Waterloo Road trainee scheme to find the next generation of TV production talent

The BBC-run hands-on scheme provides training in junior roles for the next generation of talent



New industry entrants on a Waterloo Road production trainee scheme have all gone onto working in their honed craft, on productions across drama, comedy and children’s TV.

Waterloo Road, one of Britain’s favourite continuing dramas returned to BBC One and iPlayer this month.

As part of the returning series based in a Comprehensive School and produced in Greater Manchester, 20 trainees have completed six-month placements across 10 skill areas – Assistant Directors, Cameras, Sound, Grips, Hair & Make Up, Art Department, Accounts, COVID Coordinator and Script Editing.

Waterloo Road’s move to film in the North West underlines the BBC's commitment to make more programmes across the UK, boosting drama production skills in the North of England and helping to reshape BBC drama to better reflect and serve all parts of the country.

Led by the teams at Wall to Wall and Rope Ladder Fiction and with the support of Screen Manchester and HOME Manchester, the hands-on scheme provides training in junior roles for the next generation of talent. The trainees, all from the Greater Manchester area, developed a wide range of skills having had little or no previous experience.

Dr Joanna Abeyie MBE, BBC Head of Creative Diversity, says: “The BBC is committed to developing and nurturing new talent right across the UK, and Waterloo Road is a brilliant example of a programme that reflects the diversity of the area where it is filmed.

“Through the Waterloo Road production trainee scheme, the BBC is supporting levelling up and increasing equality of opportunity by developing new and diverse talent for both Waterloo Road and the wider broadcast industry.”

Cameron Roach, Executive Producer of Waterloo Road and Founder of Rope Ladder Fiction, says: “Trainees are central to the DNA of how we make Waterloo Road and all of our cast and crew play an important part in their skills development. Through working together on set, our trainees get to build their experience and contacts whilst performing vital roles behind the camera. We are so proud of all of our trainees and the work they have delivered. It genuinely wouldn’t be the show it is without each and every one of them.”

Zane Igbe, a Floor Runner trainee, says: “My time on Waterloo Road has been such an amazing learning experience. I started as a Runner Trainee and I’ve been able to learn so much from the Assistant Director team. Also I’ve been able to step up to 3rd Assistant Director multiple times. Along with all this, I’ve been able to watch various directing styles and used it as a shadowing opportunity to learn more about directing for my own work.”

Sabbina Aslam, a COVID Coordinator, says: “I enjoyed being Covid Coordinator on Waterloo Road because I was able to meet all the departments and make connections for my future…it was a good opportunity for me to explore the different aspects of set from a different perspective and it helped me become more confident to speak to people.”

Karimah Farag, a Hair & Make Up trainee, says: “My time on Waterloo Road was busy and full of new and different challenges. I especially loved building my knowledge of hair and having the opportunity to do loads of fun different hairstyles! There were plenty of skills that I had no prior experience of and left feeling confident in, such as tattoo covers and braiding. It also gave me a heightened understanding of the importance of continuity on an ongoing drama to make sense within a storyline.”

Jagpreet Jhamat, a trainee in the Art Department, says: “It was a great experience to have, a great first TV job. Everyone was so lovely and welcoming. They all helped me in one way or another, gaining more skills to progress into my career. It made me feel very welcome and built my confidence to pursue other jobs.”

Stephen Brown, trainee in the Costume Department, says: “I learned about the ins and outs of how a production works due to the trainee meetings with people from production. I learned a lot of set dialogue and terms and what things mean when said on the radio, as well as about continuity, how to organise costumes and characters and being able to work efficiently under pressure.”

Talissa Shakouri, a Grips trainee, says: “My time at Waterloo Road was amazing, I learnt so much (I went into the grip department knowing absolutely nothing at all) and was able to leave after my six-month trainee scheme and went straight onto another job.”

Source BBC One

January 26, 2023 4:00am ET by BBC One  


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