I sat down with the series producer of Dog Borstal before I left the BBC two weeks ago. He's been in the business 15 years and began by working on observational, longer-term projects. He goes back and forth between BBC projects for money etc and independent projects of his own. These are his pointers:
1) If you want do an unpaid work experience placement at the BBC (4 weeks maximum), search and apply at:
It's great for the CV, gives you good contacts and most importantly provides you a taster of life in TV.
2) There are 2 books especially that have lists of film/TV/radio production companies and their contact details. This can give you an idea of which production companies are where. These two books are:
The Media Guide/Directory, published by Guardian Books <
The Knowledge <
3) If you want to try your hand at one of the big TV indie studios that produce much of the popular F&L (Factual and Learning) on TV, the big ones are:
4) If you want to get into editing, he recommended looking into what are called 'Facility Houses', which is where many production companies send their footage when the editing is not done in-house. One he mentioned are:
Uncle (part of 'The Farm' in London)
5) Read Broadcast Magazine for updates on what's been commissioned, so that you know what's going on in the industry, as well as to whom you should send your CV. You can also subscribe to Production Base, which is an online media job agency that can help you get your CV to production companies. It costs around £15/month.
This is a VERY incomplete list. There are so many other options--here in Manchester, many in Bristol and some in Birmingham. My series producer recommended applying to these companies as a runner/researcher, prove yourself and get the hang of the company and then look for options to film/sound record/edit. They're always looking for 'new talent' (read: fresh blood).