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So you want to work in TV drama?

TV Drama in the UK

Like The Night Manager, UK TV drama can be high end, big budget production. With Holby City, it can be long running, continuous drama. Dramas can be big, medium or low budget, contemporary or period and may or may not include foreign filming.

Whether you are looking for your first job in TV drama or you are already in the industry and want to change direction, then check out Hiive for everything you need to know to help make your next move.

With advice and information from experienced professionals such as Heads of Production, Production Executives, Heads of Department and TV drama crew, you can learn about the structure of TV production, and the skills you need for a large range of job roles in the industry. 

Best of all,  Hiive will do all  the work for you by matching your skills with  TV drama roles out there. https://app.hiive.co.uk/job-roles/tv/skills-search/ 

Play your part 

Production team members’ roles and the size of departments will vary depending on the type of production. High end TV drama can mean higher stakes, larger departments with potentially more management for Heads of Department.

For high end TV drama it is likely the shoots will be more involved and demanding possibly with more stunts, special effects, visual effects and complex equipment. Therefore, broad experience is needed from key personnel.

Also, for high end TV drama, decision making can be more complex with more interested parties. Diplomacy becomes more important.

Lower budget productions can be more challenging and crew tend to have wider roles but this can be conducive to gaining broad experience. Lower budget and continuous drama productions are good training grounds where stepping up from one grade to another can happen in a supported way.

TV Drama Departments. You may know what the Camera Department does but do you know what the Props Department does?

Below are the different departments in TV drama:

Script Department helps writers to deliver good scripts.

Production Office Department is at the heart of the production.

Locations Department finds and manages locations.

Production Accounts Department is the guardian of the money.

Medical Department helps in the welfare of cast and crew.

Assistant Directors Department supports the Director and production by organising and planning everything on set.

Continuity Department is key to making an out of sequence shoot make sense.

Camera Department provides the pictures.

Sound Department provides the sound to accompany the pictures.

Electrical Department provides the lighting for filming.

Art Department turns a creative vision into a reality.

Props Department provides props for sets.

Costume Department creates a look to bring characters to life.

Makeup Department creates makeup and hairstyles to enhance character.

Editing Department crafts the finished programme.

Post Supervision Department ensures post production runs smoothly.


Hero image Behind the scenes on Downton Abbey © Carnival Film & Television, Masterpiece Theatre.


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