People with accountancy skills have the chance to move into film and high-end television drama production, one of the UK’s most vibrant and growing industries.
The scheme has been launched today by the Production Guild of Great Britain, the lead industry organisation for supporting film and TV production accountants and related professionals.
The Production Guild is looking to recruit 13 people to become Assistant Production Accountants on major feature films and high-end TV dramas in the UK and is providing the essential training to help people working in accountancy in other industries to transfer their skills.
Training will be provided through the Production Guild’s Assistant Production Accounting Training Scheme (APATS) which is supported by Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Fund. The training programme includes placements on film and television drama productions over 10 months during which candidates are able to receive a tax free training allowance of £300 a week and a travel allowance.
Film and television are significant employers in the UK with 46,000 alone working in film production. More than 180 films have gone into production in the UK this year spending £833.1 million.*
Films made in the UK include British films such as Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman, Stephen Frears’ Philomena, Tom Hooper’s Les Misèrables and Kenneth Branagh’s forthcoming Cinderella, as well as international productions including The Man from U.N.C.L.E., World War Z and Wrath of the Titans. High-end television dramas include Game of Thrones, The White Queen, Dancing on the Edge and Call the Midwife.
Kevin Trehy, Chairman of the Production Guild and Senior Vice President Physical Production of Warner Bros Productions says, “The Production Guild’s training scheme provides practical training for people wanting to work on film and television productions. Last year our trainees worked on a range of major film and television productions including Downton Abbey, Muppets Most Wanted, Jupiter Ascending, In the Heart of the Sea, Edge of Tomorrow, Cinderella, Whitechapel, Misfits, Mr Selfridge, Red 2 and The Tunnel.”
Alison Small, Chief Executive of the Production Guild adds, “There are real employment opportunities for film and television accountancy and financial professionals who play a vital part in the UK’s ability to deliver world-class film and television productions. Over the past ten years we have successfully attracted qualified people from other industries to transfer and augment their skills and build careers working in UK film and television.”
Andrew Noakes, Financial Controller of Bond films including Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale as well as Ripley’s Game and Wit, adds, “The APATS scheme is a very valuable tool for Financial Controllers. I know that anybody coming out of the scheme has been fully trained and has the specific knowledge and skills in accountancy to work in film production.”
Dan Hillsdon, Financial Controller on Everest for Working Title/Cross Creek/Walden Media/Universal Pictures, Kevin Macdonald’s Black Sea and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, was a graduate from the Production Guild’s first recruitment drive ten years ago. He says, “Applying to the course and leaving my job was a real risk but I wanted to work in an area that was completely different and have a new challenge. My greatest satisfaction is starting off at the beginning of the production process when we have the script and the budget and being involved in the development process. I love this job because I am always working with different departments, people and at different levels.”