the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

SAVE THE DATE: Join us on Friday 27 April 2018 for our annual Freelancers' Fair where once again we'll be exploring some of the current challenges for freelancers in TV and film in the best value industry day out there is!

We'll be returning to the beautiful Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS. Whether you're new to the industry or more established, make a date to join us there. Pre-register here and we'll let you know as soon as booking opens. You can also follow us on twitter @bectu for updates on our 2018 plans. #freelancersfair

Freelancers' Fair 2017 - reminder

Please note the information below relates to 2017 and is retained here to help those new to the event to understand how the 2018 event is likely to shape up.

Thanks again to everyone who took part in 2017 helping us to deliver a truly successful and enjoyable day. If you missed out in 2017 check our YouTube Channel for footage from some of the sessions. 

Event sponsors & other 2017 info

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 in 2016 [NB: 370 people took part in 2017]; 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.

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. Our speakers will be lawyer Margaret Briffa who specialises in intellectual property, copyright infringement  and IT law, Christian Siddell, Sync-Music's director of creative and commercial services, Janet Ibbotson, copyright consultant and BECTU’s research officer, Tony Lennon.

9.45 – 11.00 Think Small, Film Big

This session offers a detailed look at the pros, cons and characteristics of  DSLRs and other small cameras and the big advantages they can bring in all kinds of shooting situations. 

Our panel includes Mitch Mitchell, a member of the SMPiE and a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society who has had senior positions at the Moving Picture Company, Cinesite and Technicolor.  Mitch will explain the technical issues  arising when shooting on small cameras, including variable frame and bit rates.  Also joining us will be Dominic Clemence, DOP on Silent Witness and other series, who has lots of 'small' camera experience, George Watson, award-winning director, who is excited by the vast opportunities provided by small cameras and Joe Cannon, previously an established stills photographer, whose career took a new direction when he started shooting video on his DSLRs.

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, Alex Holmes and Tony McHale together with Rachelle 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 award-winning documentary producer and director - recent credits include Pablo’s Hippos (2013), Decadence and Downfall (2016) and Murder in Italy (2017) - 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? Debate the issues with Gavin Allen, the BBC's head of daily news programmes, Peter Barron, vice-president, communications and digital affairs, Google (Europe, Middle East and Africa), and Jonathan Hardy, professor of Media and Communications at the University of East London and secretary of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom.

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. Our panellists will include Lynn Nwokorie, BRITDOC film officer, Adam Partridge, development and production executive at Ffilm Cymru, Jason Nuttall, head of funding at Crowdfunder and producers Danny De Warren (who will chair) and Barry Ryan. Join us to discuss the current trends in film funding and opportunities for new filmmakers. 

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. Nicola Countouris, reader in law at University College London and executive member of the Institute of Employment Rights, Rebecca O'Brien, producer, Sixteen Films and Nick Toon, vice president, UK public policy, Time Warner, will be amongst our guest panellists. This session will be chaired by writer/producer, Stephen Follows. 


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 as all workshops will be oversubscribed. If when you book your chosen workshop is marked full, do drop a line to the organiser to ask to be put on the waiting list. 

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 David Thomas Media has a great reputation for training in the creative sector. 

09.30 - 12.00 Social Media for Creatives

People are spending ever more time on social media, and it's increasingly a visual medium able to tell your story and to reach your audience, whoever they may be. Join this session with Tom Szekeres to:

  • Understand how social media has changed, and where to focus your efforts in 2017
  • Learn how to create a trailer specifically for social formats
  • Get started with social advertising
  • Discover how to harness influencers and key talent.

Whether you’re promoting a film, a short, a TV show, or simply yourself, we'll show you how best to cut through the noise and achieve meaningful results. Maximum 30 people. 

Tom Szekeres began social media marketing in 2008, served two years in the Civil Service Tech Fast Stream, before co-founding social media agency This Here in 2013. He has led workshops for STUDIOCANAL and the BBC, spoken at Social Media Week Barcelona, Google Campus, Shoreditch House, and Internet Week Europe, and recently started a weekly email, One Step Forward.

NB: We will try to run the earlier advertised Grassroots and Progressive Media session at another time. Unfortunately this has had to been postponed due to the upcoming general election. 

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 4 March 2018.