Self Shooting Assistant Producer - The Documentary Unit

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

BBC Studios – The Documentary Unit, along with BBC Arts are looking to appoint a talented Shooting AP who wants to progress their directing experience with practical on the job learning with the opportunity to work alongside an experienced PD.  The aim is to accelerate the confidence and skills of budding directors with a passion for the arts. We welcome all applications but this role will be particularly suited to television assistant producers looking to take the next step in their career. The role will be to work across our award winning content commissioned by BBC Arts for BBC channels for 12 months.

We are committed to having a diverse range of skills, experience and talent working on our programmes, and as such we’re keen for applicants from underrepresented groups to apply, which include those with a disability, those from ethnic minorities, lower socio economic groups, LGBTQ+ community and different backgrounds to ensure we are representative of all.

Role Responsibility

This role aims to accelerate the knowledge and skills of budding Directors and will provide an outstanding personal development opportunity. It will fast track you to have the skills required to work confidently as a self-shooting director in Arts and docs programming. Working closely with the production teams making content for BBC Arts (Imagine BBC One, Inside Culture BBC Two, Topical Arts and others), you will be a key part of the production team producing network content for BBC channels. Using the latest innovative technology, you will be expected to produce the highest quality programmes for our audiences. Main responsibilities will be:

  • To be involved in researching and setting up filming, including the identification of suitable programme contributors, locations and storylines, working closely at all times to the editorial brief of the Series Producer, or Producer Director.
  • To work closely and effectively with production researchers and AP's with an awareness of their workload and schedule.
  • To write treatments and script items ensuring journalistic accuracy and excellent storytelling.
  • To research and clear archive.
  • To ensure that items produced are to the BBC’s editorial standards, flagging any editorial policy or legal issues at an early stage with the Series Producer or Producer Director.
  • To direct crews or self-shoot creatively and efficiently on location.
  • To communicate effectively with contributors, the production team and the Series or  Producer Director to ensure that all are kept fully informed of developments and requirements at every stage of the production.
  • Overseeing all aspects of Health and Safety.
  • To prepare effectively for edits and deliver items
  • To deliver web articles, stills and any publicity information as specified by production and produce social content when required.

The Ideal Candidate

A passion for television is vital.

The successful candidate will have some experience of working as an AP in documentary TV or comparable role in short-form/digital factual production.  Experience of making shorts for digital production is also desirable and ideally in the sphere of the Arts and Culture. You will have a sound knowledge and enthusiasm for arts and culture. You will be journalistic, curious and a fast learner. A self-starter you will be full of ideas and creative solutions.  Some experience of directing edits would be useful but not essential. Previous directing experience would be helpful but not essential and a strong editorial track record – full of ideas and  seeking out and standing up stories and contributors and setting up shoots.

We would like you to have:

  • Experience as an editorial AP in documentary TV production with specialist factual content or comparable role in short-form factual production.
  • Excellent writing skills, with the aptitude to script and direct and see your items through the initial edit stages.
  • Sound editorial judgement and strong understanding of programme objectives.
  • Experience of self-shooting on location on the C300 or FS7.
  • A team player who can deliver to the highest creative standard and must be able to contribute ideas to match the ambition and vision for each production.
  • Ability to work with presenters and  contributors and all members of the production team.
  • A track record of sound editorial judgement with respect to subject matter, contributors, content, presentation, legal and editorial policy, coupled with appropriate referral to EPs/SPs.
  • Familiarity with research techniques and sources for verification of the accuracy of material.
  • Proven ability to understand complex information and translate that into compelling television.
  • Track record of finding and working with contributors.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively in a team.
  • Ability to persuade, influence and motivate others.
  • Demonstrable planning, organising and time management skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines and changing priorities.
  • Ability to assist in the creation of digital content, including programme pages and social content.
  • Ability to travel.
  • A thorough knowledge of editorial guidelines and awareness of BBC and statutory policies and regulations to programme making, familiarity with the BBC employment practices and policies such as diversity, equal opportunities and health and safety guidelines.


Package Description

Band: C

Contract Type: Fixed Term – Full Time

Start Date: 5th January 2020

Location: Glasgow or London

  • Excellent career progression – the BBC offers great opportunities for employees to seek new challenges and work in different areas of the organisation.
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities – our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification.
  • Benefits- We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible 35-hour working week for work-life balance and 26 days (1 of which is a corporation day) with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more.

The situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak is developing quickly and the BBC is keen to continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people across the BBC, while continuing to protect our services. To reduce the risk access to BBC buildings is limited to those essential to our broadcast output. From Wednesday 18th March until further notice all assessments and interviews will be conducted remotely. For more information go to


About the Company

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below.

Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here

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