the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

Join us on Friday 19 May for our annual Freelancers' Fair; we'll be exploring some of the current challenges for freelancers in TV and film and we'll be learning and having fun at the same time.

We're returning to the beautiful Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS. Whether you are new to the industry or more established, make a date to join us there. 

BECTU members attend for free; non-members pay a small fee. All welcome. And after a day of discussion and good energy we'll come together for a drink and networking. We advise you to read the details below before booking. 

Book via Eventbrite

Event sponsors

We send big thanks to this year's sponsors - Blues Skies Partnership, Creative Skillset, Euroscript, Hencilla Canworth, PG Mutual, Pinewood Studios, Thompsons Solicitors - all of whom make a valuable contribution to help us to stage this event.

Close to 350 people took part last year; make sure you don't miss out. Eight seminars, four workshops, several opportunities for one to ones, and a fully stocked exhibition and technical area, make for a packed line-up. Download the event flyer and please share news of the event.

Look at what's in store


 (NB: Two sessions run in some time slots; please avoid booking sessions which clash)

9.45 – 11.00 RIGHTS, Camera, Action!

Have you made a film, written a piece of music, submitted a programme proposal, collaborated on a low budget production only to see your work appear without your permission? To avoid this exploitation you need to know about copyright and how you can protect yourself. Join Kate Fox, Thompsons Solicitors, Christian Siddell, Sync-Music , Janet Ibbotson, copyright consultant and BECTU’s research officer, Tony Lennon to discuss.

9.45 – 11.00 Think small, film big

Small cameras can bring big advantages in all kinds of shooting situations. This seminar takes a detailed look at the pros, cons and characteristics of some of today’s best small cameras. Our panel will include Mitch Mitchell, a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society whose career has included senior positions at the Moving Picture Company, Cinesite and Technicolor.   Mitch will contribute his thoughts on the technical issues that can arise when shooting on small cameras, including variable frame and bit rates.   

11.15 – 12.30 From script to screen – how will you make the leap?

The expanding market for TV and online content has provided writers with a greater chance of airing their work than ever before. But how do they exploit this? Join the debate with our panel of experts including writers Helen Blakeman, Peter Bowker and Tony McHale together with Rachel Constant, BBC Drama development producer. We’re also delighted to welcome NFTS graduate and newcomer, Nathaniel Price, who already has several credits to his name.

12.00 – 13.15 Blog It! Vlog It! Claim your digital space!

The digital world is expanding with more and more content being commissioned for online platforms. Are you interested in finding out how to successfully create content, strengthen your online presence and build an audience? Our guests, Sarah Williams (aka The Tough Girl) author, blogger, motivational speaker, marathon runner and Kilimanjaro climber, Lawrence Elman, co-founder of Yaddo and Eline Van Der Veldencomedy actor, producer and founder of Particle 6 Productions will share their knowledge as well as tips & tricks.

13.15 - 14.00 Europe: is our number up? Join us for Brexit Bingo to find out!

Join us for an energetic, alternative game of bingo like you've never played before! As our very special guest, actor and comedian, Samantha Baines, calls the numbers you'll discover how Britain pulling out of the EU affects you as a film-maker. There will be prizes! Arrive early as we're expecting a full house...

14.15 – 15.30 Fake news, alternative facts and the truth 

“A lie has got round the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” so said Winston Churchill. Is the mainstream media being subverted and if so how do we tell the difference between fact and fiction in defence of the true story? Join our panel, which will include Gavin Allen, the BBC's head of daily news programmes, to debate the topic which is making daily headlines.

14.15 – 15.30 How to bank your film budget

Every film is different but how can you fund yours? From pre sales, grants, equity, crowdfunding, the UK producers’ tax credit and more, we’ll consider how you can put together a budget to make your movie. Hear from our panellists on the current trends in film funding and on opportunities for new filmmakers. Our panel will include a representative of a major crowdfunding platform, a UK-based funding agency, a distributor and a producer.

15.45 – 17.00 The British Film Industry after Brexit

What should the UK film industry look like post-Brexit? We’ll discuss our identity and strengths as British filmmakers, and debate the value of continuing to develop indigenous production. We’ll also look at our role as a servicing industry, how to best protect our work and how to ensure workers on the continent of Europe continue to work alongside us. Join our special guests to debate the future.


Workshops run for either 2 OR 2.5 hours, please check each entry carefully; please only take a workshop space if you are fully committed to it; David Thomas Media workshops will be oversubscribed as places are limited).

09.30 – 12.00 Freelance Toolkit with David Thomas Media

This session is for freelancers keen to develop their business skills. Whether you’re new to self-employment or more established, this session will tackle financial control, getting  paid on time, pain-free record-keeping and how to get ready for HMRC’s digital tax revolution. Maximum 16 people.

10.00 -12.30 Grassroots and Progressive Media

How can we collectively and individually work towards shaping a progressive discourse in our media? New models, platforms and opportunities exist to contest traditional media outlets. New digital technology means that previously excluded voices can find an audience. How can these opportunities work for us? And how might we work together? This workshop will be led by film-makers Alice Bragg, Chester Yang and James Barrett. Participants will include invited members of other trade unions, the Labour Party and media collectives. Maximum 20 people.

14.00 – 16.00 Networking Dos & Donts with David Thomas Media

This workshop is for anyone who finds networking difficult or who doubts its importance. Learn how to leave the right impression without being a pain, and why face-to-face networking is just as important as anything you do online. Maximum 25 people.

14.30-16.30 Euroscript: Advanced Screenwriting - Moving Beyond the Rules

Everyone knows about Three Act Structure, but what if your film or TV story doesn't fit the rule? How do you write in seven acts, two acts or even no acts at all? What if you want to break the rules of dialogue, setting or narration? This two hour workshop will give you advanced techniques and tips, whether you’re dealing with an awkward adaptation or a ground-breaking original script. The session will be led by award winning director, writer and script editor, Charles Harris. Maximum 30 people.


Accountancy - Visit Blue Skies Partnership in the exhibition to book a tax advice appointment.

Income Protection - If you want to know more about protecting your income in the event of ill-health visit PG Mutual in the exhibition.

Euroscript Script Clinic – Euroscript is offering a limited number of one-to-one feedback consults, each lasting 30 minutes, on scripts or ideas submitted in advance - from 10 pages of script and/or two pages of outline/synopsis. A professional script doctor will help you to develop your project. For those unable to book an appointment, do visit Euroscript’s Drop-In Desk in the exhibition for on the spot feedback and to find out about Euroscript’s services (BECTU members get a 10% discount on workshops & courses.)

CV Advice - Beverley Hills, careers advisor, will be on hand to discuss your approach to this most important of self-marketing tools. To secure a spot, complete the booking form selecting the CV one-to-one option and we’ll endeavour to offer you a slot on the day (places are limited, so arrive early). Don’t forget to bring two copies of your CV with you on the day.

Advice on Working in Dangerous EnvironmentsMeet Chris Lawton, safety advisor, to take security and safety advice to support you in planning news, factual and film production in hostile and/or remote environments including high risk investigations, civil unrest, natural disasters and chemical, biological or other hazards. Chris will be offering 25 minute appointments; select a one to one with Chris on the booking form and arrive early on the day to secure a timed appointment.

Networking social

Join us from 17.00- 18.00 to reflect on what we expect will be another great Freelancers' Fair. Don't forget your business cards if you're keen to make new contacts. 

Exhibitors in 2017

The event exhibition and technical area (courtesy of Arri) will run all day. Please make time to visit them both as there will be much support and offers available. 

Freelancers' Fair on YouTube

If you missed out in 2016, or in previous years, catch up on some of the sessions on our YouTube Channel.  

Last page update 24 April 2017.