High-end TV drama directors programme re-commissioned

Screenskills' high-end TV directors working group have recommissioned Directors UK to deliver their High-end TV Drama Directors Programme for a second year. Applications are now closed.

High-end TV director development © Directors UK 2017

This investment from the High-End TV Levy Fund allows Directors UK to continue this unique programme for aspiring high-end TV directors. The aim of the programme is to raise the bar of excellence among the industry’s rising talent by providing directors with the creative, editorial and technical knowledge they need to become the next generation of high-end drama directors, whilst developing and diversifying directing talent in the UK.

This year’s programme will build on the success of the 2016/17 programme and will place five directors in five high-end drama productions for up to 12 weeks. The paid placement will give the directors access to all aspects of a production, under the leadership of a mentor director. They will be embedded in every aspect of the show, from pre- to post-production, including prep, story-boarding, script read-through and shooting, all the way to the final edit, with the opportunity to direct second unit and gain an on-­screen credit.

Providing this practical hands-on learning and career opportunity within some of the UK’s most popular high-end drama productions will enable directors to develop the skills and experience needed to work on productions at this level, with the support of the production company, and Directors UK. Recent productions on the scheme have included BBC Studios’ Silent Witness, World Productions’ Bodyguard, Carnival Films’ Jamestown, Kudos’ The Tunnel: Vengeance, Lookout Point’s Press, Neal Street Productions’ Call The Midwife, and Tiger Aspect/Sky’s Curfew. This year, new partners working with the High-end TV Drama Directors Programme will include Sid Gentle Films Ltd (The Durrells & Killing Eve).

From the success of our previous programmes, we know that more immersive and hands-on experience works.

Andrea Corbett, skills and career development manager at Directors UK

Kaye Elliott, director of high-end TV at ScreenSkills, said: "ScreenSkills' High-end TV Council is delighted to be supporting Directors UK deliver their director placement programme again this year, which will provide support, development and promotion for fresh UK directing talent for the high-end TV industry. We look forward to seeing the continued success of this important programme over the year.”

Andrea Corbett, skills and career development manager at Directors UK, said: "The long term aim of the High-end TV Drama Directors Programme is to equip directors with the skills and confidence they need to become future directors to shape the high-end drama genre. Working closely with key organisation and individuals within the sector is of critical importance to achieve this. From the success of our previous programmes, we know that more immersive and hands-on experience works, by giving a placement director confidence utilising new skills developed and reassurance in the skills they already have, whilst providing them with a supportive environment.”

Sally Woodward Gentle, CEO of new partners Sid Gentle Films, said: "Sid Gentle is thrilled to be coming on board the Directors Programme this year. The work done by Directors UK and the High-end TV Levy Fund is invaluable in supporting emerging talent within the industry. We can’t wait to be a bigger part of their wonderful work.”

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