Fast Turnaround

Those are words I’m both hearing and saying a lot these days. On Day One of New Job at the BBC, I was introduced to my director, whose best-friend-by-default I would become for the next six weeks. We were given the topics for our films. There were four of them. Four films, each five minutes long, to be made over six weeks. Needless to say, it was all systems go from there!

Speaking of systems, working at the BBC is like a big fat slice of chocolate cake after a cabbage soup diet. It’s such a massive organisation that there’s support for everything: IT, Legal, Production Services – there’s even someone who will post your letters for you! But that also meant that I had to do a lot of working out which systems I needed to refer up to whenever I needed help. It’s about knowing who to email. Fortunately I worked out on the first day who I should email in order to find out who to email…

Other systems with which I have become familiar are archive databases. There’s one for news reports, one for radio, and another for all other TV programmes that have been broadcast on the BBC. Knowing your way around these is a very useful skill, and will certainly come in useful at future indie (independent production company) jobs! I have also noticed that many other indies ask for BBC Production Safety training, so I can now happily put a great big tick next to that requirement too.

So all in all, I’m learning loads and working hard and fast at the BBC. I’m already halfway through my contract, but it feels like I’ve barely been there a week! I’m certainly looking forward to returning to this beautiful building to work on further projects, but in the meantime I’m going to use that shiny BBC credit for all it’s worth in my applications for my next job…

Fast Turnaround

Bring on the Beeb

Apologies for the recent radio silence, I have been enjoying a long overdue holiday between the end of my contract at Glasshead and my future engagement at the BBC! But now, as I’m feeling restored and ready to re-immerse myself in the world of television production, I would like to share with you my strategies for moving from one contract to the other.

As you know if you’ve been following the blog, in my case it certainly took time and hard graft to build up my experience, my CV credits and my name as a recognisable one in the TV industry. But over that time I have learned certain techniques which, both after and during the build-up of your experience, can help you to find the next job.

First of all, keep a careful record of the contacts you make at networking meetings, in your jobs or through other people. Try to strike up an amicable acquaintance with them. Whether that’s asking for advice, offering them a coffee, or dropping them an update. It keeps your essential TV network aware of who you are and what you’re doing, so that you are at the front of their mind or the tip of their tongue should the need for your skills arise.

So I keep a database both of companies I would like to work for and of personal contacts I have made, colour-coded as to their likelihood of getting me work. Then, when I find myself touting for my next job, I can easily find and remember which people I should contact. In an ideal world, it is best to start putting out feelers two weeks before your current contract ends.

But the advantages of such short term contracts are: huge variety in your work, a lot of experience built up very quickly, and a knack for making new friends. Fortunately, this is the kind of environment I thrive in, and so rather than being fearful of my situation at the end of my six weeks with the BBC, I’m excited. Wherever next?!

Bring on the Beeb