Directors UK is the professional association of British film and television directors working with the moving image in the UK, with just under 7000 members.
- We represent directors and directing to Government in the UK and in Europe, to broadcasters, to regulators, to other industry bodies and to the media.
- We provide valuable services and benefits to our members and ensure they are involved in the profession and as a community.
- Directors UK unites directors, creates opportunities, and works to support and strengthen every member.
- Central to our purpose is the encouragement, protection and development of our members.
- While directors work alone, it is our role to bring members together.
- Directors UK One of You - Many of Us
It’s been an enormous privilege to play a leading role at the heart of Directors UK for nearly five years – having previously served on the Board as a Vice-Chair and Chair of the Multi-Camera Committee.
As the current Chair of Directors UK (since April 2017) I lead the Board and I am committed to promoting the work of all directors and passionate about helping train the next generation.
Directors UK was launched in June 2008 as the single voice of British film and television directors. It is now both a collecting society and campaigning body with just under 7000 members. Directors UK is a non-profit-making organisation governed by an elected Board of Directors drawn from its membership. In October 2013 I was invited to join the Board to help give a voice to multi-camera and entertainment directors.
In February 2015 I was elected to serve as one of the three Vice-Chairs and sit on the distribution and audit committees which are responsible for ensuring compliance and best practice in the financial operations of the company, particularly those connected with the distribution of members’ funds.
I am part of the negotiating team involved in the renegotiation of UK Rights Agreement with broadcasters and producers over how much money we receive annually to distribute to members as royalties and residuals.
I am actively involved in campaigning for better pay for directors, supporting our work to eradicate bullying and harassment in the creative industries and campaigning for greater diversity and opportunities for all.
Directors UK: Multi-Camera Directing Skills for TV
As a freelance multi-camera director, like many of my generation, I got my first break as a studio director when I was working as an AP in the late 1980’s at the BBC in Manchester. I was fortunate to be trained, supported and mentored on the job by my executive producer who was also a very experienced studio director. He was prepared to allow me to make mistakes on one of his shows, whilst also being on hand to step in if I got into trouble.
Within six months I was directing live three-hour Saturday morning children’s programmes on BBC1 and I never looked back.
Today we work in a very different freelance market and for aspiring multi-camera directors it’s almost impossible to break into studio directing. The perceived risks of letting someone new take control of a very expensive studio, working to a tight deadline and an even tighter budget are too great. Broadcasters and producers want their multi-camera directors to have experience - and in order to get experience you need training and a job.
In January 2016 I helped Directors UK launch a unique new training initiative designed to provide six young directors with the creative, editorial and technical knowledge they need to become the next generation of multi-camera directors.
The course was developed by some of the UK’s top multi-camera practitioners and was jointly funded by Directors UK and Creative Skillset in partnership with Pinewood Studios, The London Studios and Cloudbass who provided our facilities and crew.
This training not only aimed to raise the bar of excellence among the industry’s rising talent, but with 50% of the selected candidates from BAME backgrounds and with 50% women, it’s also helping to create a truly diverse and inclusive workforce for the future. Graduation from this course will be seen as the ultimate affirmation of the skills and talent required to become one of the best in the field.
In setting up this course we wanted it to set new standards in training. We wanted it to be free for the trainees - so we could attract people from a wide range of backgrounds. We also wanted widespread industry support and I’ve been impressed at just how well this training initiative has been received.
This course has been directors taking the lead in training the next generation of directors. It’s the first time this has happened - and it’s the most ambitious training scheme Directors UK have been involved in so far - and we hope this will set the standards for the future.