How to get a job in TV! Event Report

How to get a job in TV! Event Report

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Thursday, 7th November 2013

The latest RTS Futures event, "How to get a job in TV! (By the people who really know)" attracted a sell-out crowd.

They heard a panel of series producers and talent chiefs discuss how to get into and on in telly.

At an event hosted enthusiastically by BBC One National Lottery programme presenter OJ Borg, the panellists offered their tips on writing a CV, interview techniques and networking.

“There’s no magic formula,” reckoned FreemantleMedia UK head of talent Emily Gale.

“Networking is being friendly, smiling and talking to people.”

But there is a difference between being creepy and friendly.

“Treat someone you’re meeting for the first time like someone you’re meeting for the first time – show manners, be friendly without being too pushy or in their face,” advised BBC talent manager Elsa Sharp.

She recruits researchers and producers for history and business programmes.

Getting a foot in the door is important, even if it involves little more than making the tea as a runner, agreed the panel.

“I would never not take a job if offered one in TV,” said Ed Booth, series producer of BBC1 talent show The Voice.

And when a young telly hopeful has taken that first step, it’s time to put those networking skills into practice.

Make contacts and talk to the company’s talent manager, advised Wall to Wall head of creative talent Susie Worster.

“Collect people as you go through your career,” she said.

However, Worster also sounded a note of warning: “Be thorough and do the job well. If you don’t, all the networking in the world won’t help you.”

In the TV industry, added Strictly Come Dancing series producer Sharyn Mills: “You are your reputation.”

Offering advice on writing a CV, Samantha Beddoes, series producer of BBC2 ratings topper The Great British Bake Off, said: “Include key words like self-shooting or casting and they will come up when producers search the [talent] database.”

And, added Gale: “Please don’t write an essay. If the person’s [programme] credits are really good, I’m not interested in their profile.”

A full report of "How to get a job in TV! (By the people who really know)" will appear in the January edition of Television

The event was held at the Hallam Conference Centre in central London on 6 November.

The producers were Carrie Britton, Ife Okwudili, Don Kong and Charlotte Gaeta.

Report by Matthew Bell

Pictures by Paul Hampartsoumian

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