Looking back on ScreenSkills High-end TV skills training in 2019

Over the last year, the ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund has supported a huge range of continuing professional development training courses in multiple sectors, including production, craft, tech, post and VFX.  

©Sky UK Ltd/HBO

In production, an Introduction to Location and Unit Management for Armed Forces programme, run by SSVC and Creative Media Skills, offered re-training and placements for people leaving the armed forces. The Production Guild also ran an Assistant Production Accountant Fast Track programme, to help people working in production accounting progress to a senior level.

The Production Lab ran a hugely popular series of Production Secretary and Coordinator training courses nationwide. Two sessions ran in London and Belfast with four more scheduled for the new year in Cardiff, Glasgow, London and Manchester.

In craft and tech we partnered with the Script Supervisors Guild to deliver a series of paid placements for up and coming script supervisors and commissioned four weekend sessions across the UK for freelancers on how to manage their freelance careers and finances.                                                       

Heads of department and managers in high-end TV production, post and VFX had access to our leadership and management training, delivered on production to provide vital skills in how to manage crews, deal with bullying and harassment and recognise unconscious bias.  These sessions have proved so popular that we will continue running them in 2020.

The High-end TV Skills Fund New Writers Mentor Programme, commissioned to Dancing Ledge, concluded in 2019. Nine talented up-and-coming writers were paired with nine established writers who acted as mentors as well as provided industry introductions for the new writers. Bursaries were offered to the up and coming writer to write their drama drafts.

The High-end TV Skills Fund also supported the Hartswood West and BBC Wales Writers programme, offering two Welsh writers, Fflur Dafydd and Alan Harris, a bursary for six months to work in development with Hartswood West. One writer one has now had a full script commissioned by BBC Drama, and the other is in active discussions with Channel 4.

Finally, the High-end TV New Writer’s Award for production companies, run by executive producer Marcus Wilson, is an opportunity for up-and-coming writers to write a speculative script on a  returning series. The first two productions to offer this opportunity were Call the Midwife and Doctor Who.

The High-end TV Co-producer Programme has also proved to be hugely successful in 2019, with five new up and coming producers offered placements on high-end TV productions.

The High-end TV Skills Fund will continue to support the industry with a wide range of continuing professional development training opportunities over the next year, with a host of new programmes coming online in 2020.  More information on upcoming opportunities can be found here.


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