Taking flight in production jobs

Taking flight in production jobs

Wednesday, 3rd April 2024
Dr Masood Khodadadi holds a bald eagle
Scotland’s Greatest Escape (credit: BBC)
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RTS Scotland kicked off a busy month of training events in late February with a session, held in partnership with ScreenSkills, on production office jobs.

Two RTS Scotland Futures masterclasses, on audio post-production and scriptwriting, followed in early March.

Sandy Robertson, Head of Production, Factual Entertainment, at BBC Studios (Scotland), which makes Dragons’ Den, Amazing Hotels and Points of View, explained some of the roles in the production office.

A production secretary, she said, is an entry-level job, involving booking travel and accommodation. “The person would be quite green – I would expect to be telling them what they need to do and how to do it.”

A production co-ordinator needs to show “more initiative”, she continued. As well as logistics, they would be “hiring crew and kit… and understanding more about the [production] process”.

Isha Krishnan, a production co-ordinator at Red Sky Productions, who has just finished work on series two of Scotland’s Greatest Escape, said that her role is “very diverse”, taking in everything from runners’ jobs to arguing with car hire companies and hotels about bookings.

“It can get really intense,” she added.

Marc Harvey, a production secretary at Friel Kean Films, described his job as doing “anything and everything I can to help the production team”. He is currently working on BBC One daytime show Money for Nothing.

Fola Abdul, a freelance production secretary whose first job was on CBBC show Saturday Mash-Up!, said she’d enjoyed “every moment” of her career to this point. “I’ve only been in [the industry] for two years and two months, with no background whatsoever in film and TV… it’s been amazing.”

The ScreenSkills/RTS Scotland webinar “Select sessions: The production office” was hosted by Kate Cotter, Programme Leader for the Broadcast Production: TV and Radio course at the University of the West of Scotland.

The “Dubbing for TV masterclass” at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow featured a discussion about working in audio post-production, followed by an opportunity to network.

“Break into scriptwriting”, held at STV on Pacific Quay, Glasgow, boasted the talents of three TV writers: Andrea Gibb, who adapted the book of the same name for dementia drama Elizabeth Is Missing and Andrew O’Hagan’s novel Mayflies, both for the BBC; Maryam Hamidi, who was part of the writing team for series two of BBC thriller Vigil; and David Macpherson, the creator and writer of Amazon Prime eco-thriller The Rig.

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