Insights from David Yates Film & TV Director

Film & TV Director, David Yates talking with some of Creative Alliance’s current and former Screen Apprentices.

On August 1st 2023, David Yates, director of many TV and Film productions, including the last four Harry Potter films and all the Fantastic Beasts films, talked with seven of our current and former screen past apprentices.

He wanted to learn more about:

  • Why people chose to do an apprenticeship in the screen-based creative industries.
  • What they learn from doing an apprenticeship.
  • How an apprenticeship helps them secure a role in the screen sector and how it helps them progress their career.

Apprentices David Met

David Yates speaking with apprentices on Zoom

Five were on or had completed the Level 3 Content Creator Apprenticeship. Two are about to complete the Level 7 Creative Industries Production Manager Apprenticeship. Another one of our Level 7 apprentices already had established conversations with David around Disability Inclusion issues. The companies they work with are:

All the past / current apprentices have secured permanent roles in the screen industry.

Four of the seven had completed degrees. Three of the four stated this had not taught them the knowledge and skills to gain an entry level job in the sector, although Covid did have a significant impact on their experience of graduate education.  They stated they learnt more in their first few months of their apprenticeship about how to make screen productions than they had learnt in the three years of their degrees.

The other three former/ current apprentices stated they had made a clear decision after college that university was not the right route for them. They chose the apprenticeship route at 18 and all are now in permanent jobs in the sector in their early 20’s.

One is now a senior manager in a new production company and is now employing an apprentice.

David’s responses to their stories and insights he shared.

David noted that across all seven former / current apprentices, they had demonstrated the essential quality of adaptability to survive & thrive in the screen industries:

Insights David shared:

Passion & Focus

“Work out early what role you’re passionate about and define yourself as such right from the start. Don’t let the jobs you’re having to do for the moment define how others will define you.”

Embrace the New

“Get as much and as varied experience as possible – New is good – ideally across as many disciplines and jobs as possible –understand what your colleagues do – their challenges and skill sets, it will make you better at your own job.

If no one offers you a job, create your own

“Even if you’re not getting paid work, carry on making work. It’s the first thing a potential employer / commissioner will ask to look at – WHEN – you get an opportunity to talk with someone. And always ask for a conversation and / or engineer an opportunity for a conversation. Resilience & persistence.”

Empathise, Encourage, Enthuse, Persuade: all the qualities a creative entrepreneur needs

“Making films is hard work. You have to convince many people that your ideas are commercially and creatively credible. Work on developing those qualities.”

Want to start an apprenticeship? Check out our current vacancies today!