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Grierson Trust teams with Netflix to extend DocLab training schemes

UK-based documentary filmmaking charity The Grierson Trust has partnered with streaming giant Netflix to extend its Grierson DocLab training initiative while also creating two bespoke courses for production managers and ...
December 15, 2020

UK-based documentary filmmaking charity The Grierson Trust has partnered with streaming giant Netflix to extend its Grierson DocLab training initiative while also creating two bespoke courses for production managers and editors.

Titled the Grierson DocLab In Focus, the new schemes are tailor-made to unearth and develop talent in two vital behind-the-scenes roles, with all trainees participating in personalized work placements on a Netflix documentary production in partnership with an industry mentor.

In their inaugural year, the schemes will be delivered digitally in Spring 2021 following the success of DocLab 2020, which was forced to move online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management training scheme will run April 12-17, 2021 and is specifically made for applicants pursuing a career within the production management area of documentary program-making. With eight spots available, the program will involve an intensive schedule with industry speakers covering a range of topics including budgeting, cash flow and production paperwork; health and safety and risk assessments; music and archive copyright clearances; and managing and looking after personnel, among other themes.

Grierson’s DocLab In Focus: Editing, meanwhile, will offer eight available spots for those with post-production experience looking to step up to assistant editor. The program will involve industry speakers covering such topics as managing relationships with directors; case studies from established editors; and how to enhance the story and challenges in the edit.

The Editing program takes place online from April 26 to May 1.

Both training courses are meant to prepare successful applicants for a paid contract (up to three months in duration) working on a Netflix documentary production. Combined with ongoing support from The Grierson Trust, trainees will have access to networking events plus professional development opportunities through a slate of webinars over a six-month period.

Each applicant will be assigned an industry mentor and all trainees will then join the Grierson DocLab Alumni group, which provides continuing support through its network.

Applications for all three Grierson DocLab schemes open Wednesday (Dec. 16). Full details of application criteria, forms, dates and deadlines, can be found at on the Grierson Trust website.

The closing date for all three schemes is Feb. 12, 2021.

“The Grierson Trust has an established track record of supporting under-represented groups in factual television through our successful DocLab scheme and we are delighted that Netflix has given us the opportunity to expand that program into areas where we know there is a shortage of talent and training opportunities. Working with Netflix, we hope to shine a light on two critical production functions,” said Lorraine Heggessey, chair of The Grierson Trust, in a statement. “After the challenges of 2020 it is more important than ever for The Grierson Trust to be providing diverse talent with fresh opportunities and a route into factual production.”

“Editing and production are often overlooked parts of the documentary making process but completely vital to creating compelling stories that spark conversations and resonate globally,” added Kate Townsend, director of original documentary features at Netflix in the UK. “Both schemes are open to people who want to gain the skills and build the networks to succeed. This partnership is part of our wider work to improve representation at all levels of the creative process, and spread opportunity right across the UK.”

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is the Associate Editor at Realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.

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