It’s always an honour to be asked onto a industry panel. But as a company just as passionate about unearthing fresh new TV talent as placing the well-known & experienced kind, the Grierson DocLab selection day is about as exciting as it gets. And that’s where we’re headed this week for the second year on the trot.
You’ll have heard of the Grierson Awards. But did you know about DocLab? Well, DocLab is for young people aged 18 – 25 from all over the country and from all different backgrounds, and there really is no better opportunity to kick off a career in TV. Those that win a place by being shortlisted on application, and then impressing the likes of us at Talented People and some big, scary (but mainly awesome) industry leaders on selection day, get onto Grierson’s residential training programme, structured mentor scheme, get paid work placements within a production company and a ticket to Sheffield DocFest.
Last year, we were struck with the ambition and natural knowledge of a stand out few. There was one particularly memorable candidate, who to us, sums up the importance of opportunities like this. On paper, he may not have jumped out. But on handshake and first few sentences of interview, where a whole raft of production companies whose output he enjoyed and why came tumbling out of his mouth… to say we were impressed would be an understatement. Bearing in mind he’d never worked in TV, lived in the depths of rural UK with no connections in the industry at all… it was his true passion for watching TV and doing his research that paid off right there and then. We’ve done interviews with PDs with less industry knowledge. Needless to say we’ve got our eye on him and some of the other DocLab alumni for work through us in the coming years!
There were candidates who couldn’t afford a bus fare into their local town, let alone a train to London, or whose family thought they were barking mad applying for something like this when the TV is purely something you watch, not produce. Yet these are the guys with fresh perspectives on the world and how we could perceive it differently.
So who will impress this year? Off we trot, cliched coffee in hand, up to selection day in Birmingham to see what this year’s hopefuls have to say.
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Talented People is an Equal Opportunity company and welcomes applicants from all backgrounds and circumstances.