Did I ever expect to get into the BBC's Production Talent Pool?
Now that's settled, you may be wondering what exactly is it? The best way I describe it, is as an opportunity to get access to more jobs and short term contracts, and a foot in the door at the BBC. It's not a permanent contract, or even a guarantee of work (but you better work if you want the work...), but it's a step in the right direction to that career you've always dreamed of...
I found out about the PTP/PTS back in December 2013, and identified it straight away as something I was really interested in doing after University, as I felt it was that 'next step' I needed to take both in order to further my career and to get somewhere that I could learn more about the skills I already have and get the chance to efficiently utilise them. It was a long process, I applied in March (a day before I went away on a 7-day film shoot, so was panicking all week that I'd messed up my application and it hadn't sent as there was no internet access...) and then didn't really find out until the end of July/Start of August that I had a final stage interview for the Production Trainee Scheme. Unfortunately, I didn't get onto the PTS, however I did get accepted into the PTP, with the 'contract' starting on 15th August and ending around that date in 2015.
Throughout the year, hopefully I'll get the chance to apply for a lot of interesting contracts, meet some amazing people and try to make a difference in the work that I do. But that's precisely the point, DO being the operative word. If you don't DO anything, then nothing will happen for you. Consider this a temp agency, jobs are going to get sent around, but if you don't apply or market yourself (via email, social media, ect) to talent managers and other PTP'ers or Freelancers then the likelihood is that work won't be as forthcoming as it was originally thought.
Over the previous weekend, I've finished the first two training courses (an extensive one on Health & Safety, and a day 'classroom' course on everything from BBC emails, to getting contracts, to the BBC Values) and it's now out into the big wide world. I've already made a fair amount of friends (I feel anyway, you may need to ask their word on the matter...) who are on the scheme, and we've talked a fair bit about work prospects, shared advice, ect, and some of them have already gotten onto contracts! In the two days since the first course, Dan was already accepted on a short term piece, and DURING the classroom course Calum was invited to an informal chat via phone. So you see? We've barely been in the scheme and stuff is already kicking off. I'm not going to presume that it's all sunshine and daisies for the next year with contracts skipping gaily into my arms from a bountious sun whilst the Sound of Music plays chorously somewhere in the ether, however it's also no reason to presume Doom and Gloom is on the horizon. It is advised that if a permanent job comes up for yourself, then the best case is to take it as there is no 'permanent' work at the BBC unless it's in admin (or similar, as we were told).
Whatever the case may be with work, I'm practically walking on air every day since being accepted in. I never thought I had the skills, or the knowledge, or was even good enough; but lets 180' this and instead take it as an opportunity to scrap the negative thinking, prove it all wrong and that it was born to be. Prospects are, I'm probably going to end up moving to London if I want any chance at all of permanent work, or contracts lasting longer than a fortnight, but im ready.
Let's see what the future brings in the next year.