Directors UK and Creative Skillset’s High End TV Council are delighted to announce the launch of the High End TV Drama Directors Career Development Programme – an expanded career development initiative to help progress and diversify the directing talent in high end TV drama.

Directors UK will create six extended 12-week paid placements with various production companies and broadcasters across the UK, including BBC One’s Silent Witness and a future project from Kudos.

Six directors will be placed on a production and work alongside the lead director for the entire duration of the shoot – including pre and post-production. There is also a commitment to give the placement director the opportunity to direct 2nd unit where appropriate, and therefore gain an on-screen credit to showcase their experience and help advance their careers within high end TV drama.

The scheme:

The Directors UK High End TV Drama Directors Career Development Programme aims to give directors a broader understanding of how shows within the genre are made, and how they differ from lower budget and continuing drama productions. Directors will gain an insight into all areas of high end TV drama – including pre-production, shooting and post-production – ultimately giving them the skill set needed to be able to direct an episode in the future. As part of the career development programme directors will also have access to post-placement support from Directors UK, as well as networking and advice from the production company and lead director.

It is anticipated that the placements will take place in various locations across the UK and Directors UK will provide accommodation and travel costs to the successful directors where required. Directors UK are also committed to assisting with access costs, for example childcare, on a case-by-case basis.

During the 12-week placement, directors will be required to attend and participate in as much of the following as possible:

  • pre-production and planning meetings
  • regular meetings with the lead director to discuss the planning on production requirements and strategies
  • be on set from the outset right through to wrap
  • post-production edits
  • career development/advice session with the lead director

provide evaluation and participate in any press and/or communication briefings on behalf of Directors UK

Application Process:

Directors UK is working closely with Creative Skillset’s High End TV Council to identify the productions that will work on this scheme in partnership with Directors UK. Once the final productions have been confirmed, shortlisted directors will be matched with their production. If necessary candidates will also be interviewed by a panel drawn from Directors UK and the relevant production companies, together with the lead director.

This career development programme is intended for directors making a step up into high end TV drama, who have evidence of the skills required but don’t yet have experience. The programme will offer a supported and safe environment within which to gain the necessary confidence to direct at this level.

To apply – send the following to training@directors.uk.com:

  • completed application form (Word, PDF)
  • recent CV
  • link to your showreel

The initial deadline is Monday 16 January 2017, however Directors UK will begin reviewing applications as soon as they are received in order to start the shortlisting process.

The scheme is open to all qualifying directors. In light of ongoing campaigns, Directors UK are particularly encouraging applications from BAME and women directors, as the industry recognises that both are currently under-represented within film and TV directing generally. Only 2.42% of TV drama is currently directed by black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) directors (Adjusting the Colour Balance) and only 14% of TV drama is directed by women (Who’s Calling the Shots?).

Creative Skillset works with the UK’s screen-based creative media industries to develop skills and talent from classroom to boardroom. They support high quality professional development across TV, film and related sectors – identifying skills needs, targeting skills investment, developing key skills and growing diverse talent networks. Through their industry partnerships Creative Skillset helps to improve productivity, creativity and employability across the UK’s screen-based creative media industries.


Read all about last year’s pilot scheme and hear what the participating directors had to say about their experience here.

Find out more and apply here