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UNSCRIPTED: Development Researcher Training Programme
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Unscripted: Development Researcher Training Programme

Training course - Unscripted: Development Researcher training programme

  • Do you have a passion for unscripted TV?

  • Are you brimming with ideas?

  • Can you spot trends, subjects and/or people who would make great TV?

  • Would like your next role to be part of a team developing unscripted TV show ideas?

If the answer to these questions are YES, then our Unscripted: Development Researcher training programme is for you.

The course is aimed at those who want a career in unscripted and who:

  • have a demonstrable interest in working in development
  • have transferable skills or experience from other industries,
  • are returning from a career break
  • have approx. 2 or more years of work experience in any industry

Unscripted TV has identified that there is an acute shortage of Development Researchers across the UK. This course has been designed to fast-track those with a demonstrable interest and aptitude to become Development Researchers.

The Unscripted: Development Researcher Training Programme will enable 60 participants, from across the UK, to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to make their next role Development Researcher.

This, free to attend course, is taught by a highly experienced unscripted Development Professionals and is aimed at ensuring that unscripted production companies have access to a cohort of skilled and trained Development Researchers who will bring new and fresh ideas to their companies. During the course participants will meet Unscripted Commissioning Editor(s).

Development Researchers need to be brimming with ideas and able to spot new trends, subjects or people who could make great TV.

This training course will prepare participants with the knowledge they need to become Development Researchers. By the end of the course participants will have created their own portfolio of unscripted ideas.

This programme is supported by the ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills Fund which invests in training for the unscripted workforce thanks to contributions from broadcasters, SVoDs and production companies.

The course is designed as a part-time, 30-hour course running over a 6-week period.

It will run 4 times between January and August 2022.

The majority of the training will take place online and outside of traditional office hours.

There is one full day, midweek, of face-to-face training planned (Covid restrictions permitting). These will be spread across the UK.

Further course details will be announced soon.

The course is aimed at those who want a career in unscripted and who fulfil at least one of these criteria:

  • have a demonstrable interest in working in development

  • have transferable skills or experience from other industries,

  • are returning from a career break

  • have approx. 2 or more years of work experience in any industry

We are looking for people who have a passion for unscripted TV and are brimming with ideas.

You don’t need to have worked in TV or development before to apply for this course.

This training course is a fast-track opportunity for individuals who are looking to make their next move as an unscripted Development Researcher.

Course content includes:

  • Developing and formulating ideas
  • Understanding genres
  • What makes a good Development Researcher?
  • The creative process.
  • Shaping ideas
  • What makes a good sizzle reel?
  • Editing using Premier Pro and After Effects to create a sizzle
  • Interpreting briefs
  • Understanding your audience
  • Ofcom regulations
  • Ratings and why they matter
  • Creating a winning pitch
  • Pitching to commissioners

By the end of this training course participants will have :

  • been trained by respected and established colleagues;
  • an in depth understanding of the role and requirements of a Development Researcher
  • developed their own portfolio of ideas for pitching
  • have met Commissioning Editor(s)
  • shared their knowledge, experience and questions with colleagues and peers;
  • had the benefit of a peer support network;

This course will run four times between January and August 2022.

The first session of each course will be a double session on a Saturday morning (online) and subsequent sessions will be on Monday and/or Tuesday evenings (online). There will be one face to face full day midweek session for each course. Participants are expected to attend all sessions of the course.

Course 1 – 29th January – 15th March 2022

  • Birmingham – face to face session full day Tuesday 22nd February 2022

Course 2 – 19th March – 26th April 2022

  • Glasgow – face to face session full day Tuesday 5th April 2022

Course 3 – 7th May – 14th June 2022

  • Bristol – face to face session full day Tuesday 24th May 2022

Course 4 – 18th June – 19th July 2022

  • Brighton – face to face session full day Tuesday 5th July 2022

Deadlines

  • Course 1: Applications close 12th January 2022
  • Course 2: Applications close 2nd March 2022
  • Course 3: Applications close 20th April 2022
  • Course 4: Applications close 25th May 2022

We are currently accepting applications for all course dates and these will be assessed on a rolling basis. We recommend that where possible applicants select the course which has the face to face training closest to them.

This course is delivered by Unscripted TV Professionals

Alison Grade | Course Director

Alison runs Mission Accomplished and regularly delivers training for ScreenSkills. She is an experienced Line Producer and Production Manager as well as a Nesta Accredited Creative Enterprise Trainer. She regularly delivers training that enables creatives to demystify and take charge of the numbers! She is the Course Director and part of the training team. Her company Mission Accomplished regularly delivers training for ScreenSkills.

Sophie Morgan | Course Tutor

Sophie is a BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning film and TV producer and commissioning editor. As Head of Development for production companies like September Films, Cineflix and World of Wonder she has developed, pitched and exec produced hundreds of hours of TV content for all major broadcasters across all genres with credits that include series Star Lives (ITV Saturday night Entertainment), European Nightmare (BBC Daytime), Pete Burns Unspun (Channel 4 Popular Documentaries), Haunted Homes (ITV2 Entertainment), Clubbing On The Frontline (Channel 4 Current Affairs) as well as originating and exec producing Channel 4’s first original digital content This is a Knife. She also set up and ran September Films’ Los Angeles Development Department and ran LA-based indie World of Wonder’s (Ru Paul’s Drag Race) UK division. As Commissioning Editor for Living TV, she commissioned and Exec Produced the channels highest rating series of Britain’s Next Top Model and the channel’s highest ever rating series Jade and Jade: With Love following Jade Goody’s battle with cancer.

She has also been nominated for a film BAFTA for Bouncer, featuring Ray Winstone and Paddy Considine.

Perjeet Aujla | Course Tutor

Perjeet is a Birmingham-based creative making and developing factual content for terrestrial and multi-platform broadcasters.

As a former Head of Development, she has a track record of developing ideas that win commissions and funded developments including: Shipmates (C4, 5×60), Joe Wicks: Body Coach (C4, 3×60), Tony Robinson’s Coast to Coast (C5, 6×60), Weighing up the Enemy (C4, 4×60), Fat Family Tree (C4, 1×60)

Alongside this her Series Producer credits include Secret Life of the Thames with Tony Robinson (6×60′ C5), Maddie’s Do You Know (15×20′ Cbeebies) and Great British Menu (BBC2) for which she won an RTS Midlands Award and Joe Wicks Body Coach (6×6′, 4OD)

She is passionate about supporting and promoting diverse off-screen talent and has mentored via Creative Access and Channel 4.

Chris Brooker | Technical Tutor

Brooker Films, run by Chris Brooker specialise in online technical training for all levels of ability. The Brooker Films YouTube channel has amassed over 10M views, 72K subscribers & 800 video uploads.

Chris is a technical expert who can engage audiences with a wide range of technical abilities. He understands how to create engaging content and has an accessible style that will empower even the least technical to give it a try.

Training course - Unscripted: Development Researcher training programme 1

This programme is supported by the ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills Fund which invests in training for the unscripted workforce thanks to contributions from broadcasters, SVoDs and production companies.

Please note:

This course would normally cost participants £200, but thanks to funding from the ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills fund, it is currently being offered to you free.

If you fail to attend we reserve the right to request reimbursement of costs, unless your place can be taken by someone else.

Applications are now open. Please complete the form below and we will be in touch on a rolling basis.

Unscripted: Development Researcher Training Programme

Application form
  • Application Form

  • Please use these next questions to give us a sense of who you are and what you love about TV.

  • Tell us in your own words what you like about this show and why
  • Tell us in your own words why you wish you'd created this show and why
  • Please tell us what it is and why you think it shoudl be covered
  • Supplementary Information

  • Max. file size: 64 MB.
  • Equal Opportunities

    ScreenSkills and Mission Accomplished are committed to Equal Opportunities within the screen sector. Applications are invited from all members of the community and particularly from those who are currently underrepresented in the film and TV industry, e.g. members of the Black and Minority Ethnic communities, from those who are disabled and from women. The information you provide will remain confidential.

  • The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'.
  • Ethnic origin is not about nationality, place of birth or citizenship. It is about the group to which you perceive you belong. Please tick one only. If you belong to multiple groups, you can indicate mixed background below.
  • Although socio-economic background is not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, according to the Diversity in TV report by Ofcom in 2018, all of the main five broadcasters have acknowledged that this is a key area with which the industry needs to continue to engage.
  • Please think about the parent or other care-giver who was the highest income earner in your house when you were around 14 years old. What kind of work did they do? If this question does not apply to you (because for example, you were in care at this time), you can indicate this below.
  • Confirmation of Attendance

    ScreenSkills requires participants who are accepted on to course to have completed, and where applicable, current certification for the following online courses prior to this course starting:

    We will ask for evidence of completion as part of the acceptance process.

    We would recommend all applicants consider taking these free online courses as a core part of their professional development.

  • Please select any/all options which apply (brackets shows location of the one in person training day)