Scarlett Blockley is a trainee Production Coordinator working at Raise the Roof Productions in Glasgow. She tells us about her first two months on the Channel 4 Production Training Scheme...
Two months into the scheme and I can’t begin to explain just how incredibly surreal and captivating this experience is. It’s sort of only just starting to sink in that this is actually a real paid job and not something I’ve dreamed up. I’m still pinching myself at the plethora of industry experts that I had the pleasure of getting my face in front of at the week-long Bootcamp that kick-started the training scheme in September.
You would think that introducing myself to the Commissioning Editor of Entertainment at Channel 4 would have helped speed up the realisation process, but it wasn’t until returning to Channel 4 HQ a month later, having actually started working at my independent production company that it actually felt real saying “Hi, I’m Scarlett and I’m a trainee Production Coordinator at Raise The Roof Productions in Glasgow”.
The difference in saying it this time around is that I didn’t feel like an imposter; I was learning the ins-and-outs and had actually been doing the job of a Production Coordinator for 4 full weeks. From my very first day at RTRP I was enlisted as part of the Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Team to prepare for a 5 day shoot filming 10 Christmas crafting competitions. I jumped on board and it was all over in a flurry of fake snow and edible glitter! Following the shoot, came the invoices, chasing release forms and plenty of post-production paperwork to keep me busy.
No sooner had I gotten comfortable in my office chair was it time for round 2 of training. October’s sessions delved into the excitement and risks of Health & Safety by Production Safety Specialist, Clem Leneghan, and honed in on production paperwork and expenses with Production Manager, Pippa White for the coordinators, as well as developing and pitching ideas with scheme alumnus and now Development Assistant Producer, Alexandra Burke for the researchers - both of which, believe it or not, were equally as exciting for the prospective roles!
Going round the table during our routine introductions with Pippa in our production paperwork session, it was evident that each of the coordinators had all been working on completely different productions but that, fundamentally, all six of us had principally been doing the same day-to-day tasks: typically drafting call sheets, making bookings, logging things in spreadsheets and making sense of various receipts and invoices. This session went into wonderfully specific detail regarding call sheets and expenses claims and I returned to the office fully believing there is now no receipt I won’t be able to dissect for its Net, Gross and VAT amounts to be entered into the Cost Monitor.
Each of the separate training sessions were all completely practical and brilliant, and not only were the tutors all beacons of knowledge and experience, but what really resonated with me most of all was that they all expressed similar invaluable words of wisdom: learn everything you can about each new process, have an open mind, stay focused and say yes.