Hannah R.

Development AP
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Hannah R.
Theatre, Film and Television
Film and Television Production
Undergraduate
Halifax
2015
United Kingdom

My employment

Development AP
Storyboard Studios
United Kingdom
Broadcasting
Small business (0-49 employees)
2019

More about Hannah

Low Income Household

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A day in the life of a Development AP in the United Kingdom

I develop factual television shows for an independent production company. This includes coming up with new ideas, filming, editing and pitching to commissioners.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

We make factual television for UK and international broadcasters.

What do you do?

I develop factual television shows for an independent production company. This includes coming up with new ideas, filming, editing and pitching to commissioners.

A big part of my job is writing 'treatments', which are documents (anything from 1-20 pages long) that sum up a TV show idea and try to persuade a TV Commissioner (someone who decides what TV shows get made) to pay for it! Other important parts of the job are doing lots of research, speaking to talent agents who represent presenters or actors and casting people to be in our shows. I also edit short mini-trailers to also sell the show.

Shows I've worked on range from huge studio shows to two people in a field with a camera - but my job is still the same!

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

Enjoying the combination of creative writing and technical skills offered by a career in TV development.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

No, I had hoped to work within documentaries and television.

Describe your most memorable day at work

Most of our projects are confidential until the TV shows are televised, but the best days are always when a show gets commissioned.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Freelance work can be difficult as there's no set hours and, with short contracts, it can feel like you're constantly applying for jobs. There's also no guarantees for things like sick pay or maternity leave. Not knowing what you're going to be doing a few months down the line can make it difficult to plan in advance.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

It's busy with fast-turnaround deadlines and priorities shifting every day. The work in a combination of really creative and really logistical, and you have to be prepared to do both.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

Being part of YSTV was incredibly helpful in a number of ways. Firstly - you constantly run into fellow alumni in the TV industry, so it's a great way to meet people who you might be asking for a job once you graduate! Secondly, it taught me about working in a live studio environment and gave me the chance to try out loads of different roles. I learned that wearing a high-vis vest helps you film anything!

Being a RAG officer was really helpful as, in addition to helping the society raise loads of money, I gained experience organising events - which was invaluable when I was asked in my career to organise wrap (end of filming) parties or even shoots. Door to door fundraising was also great practice for casting, as you have to endure a lot of rejection before you find who you're looking for!

I also helped run the LUMA film festival, which was my first experience in delegating to a team and still to date one of the largest events I've organised! The social media experience I gained also led directly to one of my first full time jobs as a 'junior researcher', as I managed the production company's profiles.

Of course, I also worked on a lot of films! Getting technical experience with equipment whilst at University helped me work with confidence on sets in my career.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I hope to progress to Development Producer within the next two years, alongside embarking on my own short film projects.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Email people and ask for advice! You can get emails from production company websites, or through finding people on LinkedIn or Talent Manager. Some people will ignore you, but lots will be happy to help. Get work experience if you can (and ask for pay!) Most importantly, watch loads of television!

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Working in television, TV and film industry, TV development, working in the media, women in film and TV, the TV industry in Yorkshire, TV industry in Glasgow.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Hannah’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Hannah a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Hannah to be your mentor.

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