Published on: 11 August 2016 in Training

Hollyoaks director talent search attracts unprecedented standard of entrants

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A search for new directing talent for Channel 4’s flagship soap Hollyoaks, spearheaded by Directors UK alongside Lime Pictures and Channel 4, has attracted an exceptionally high standard of entrants and opened up a new pool of upcoming and diverse talent. 

Two emerging directors, Charlotte George and Claire Tailyour, have been selected to be mentored during nine-week paid placements on the Hollyoaks set in Liverpool starting in August.

During that time they will be responsible, under guidance from one of our female mentor directors, for one broadcast episode from prep through to the edit.

The scheme, open to women directors under the positive actions provisions of the Equality Act 2010, was held to identify new female directing talent to the show. Hollyoaks currently has six female directors out of 22 working on the continuing drama. Applicants were also encouraged from groups that are currently under-represented in TV drama (including BAME and disabled talent).

As part of the application process shortlisted candidates, coming from a range of backgrounds including short film and documentaries, were invited to attend a workshop to prepare them for shooting single-camera continuing drama.

As part of the workshop, participants spent time working with cast and crew on the Hollyoaks set before blocking through and shooting a scene.

Watch a video of the original training workshop, featuring directors Charlotte George, Claire Tailyour and Christine Lalla working on set:

Hollyoaks Executive Producer Bryan Kirkwood said: “From the very first Directors UK workshop, we found two brilliant emerging female directors able to capture Hollyoaks’ bold and unique visual style while bringing their own flair and creative vision. 

“This is a testament to the wealth of female directing talent out there waiting to be given an opportunity”.

Andrew Chowns, Directors UK’s Chief Executive said: “Directors UK is delighted to be working with Lime Pictures and Channel 4 on this initiative to develop the careers of female and BAME directing talent. The quality and number of applicants applying to the scheme shows that there is no lack of diverse talent out there - we just need to create the opportunities for them to work and to show their talent”. 

Nina Bhagwat, Off Screen Diversity Executive from Channel 4 says: “Last year we launched our 360° Diversity Charter, which aims to address diversity at all levels, both onscreen and behind the camera. Increasing the numbers of women drama directors via mentoring and shadowing was one of our Charter commitments. We are delighted to be delivering on this in partnership with Directors UK and Hollyoaks. As directors play such an important creative role, developing the careers of diverse directors who we hope will ultimately work on Channel 4 shows, is an absolute priority”.

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