Closing Date: 27 May 2019 at Midnight
Channel 4 drama aims to commission and broadcast the most talked-about and original drama in the UK, commissioning new work from both established and up and coming drama writers, in order to be a surprising, thought-provoking, entertaining alternative to the drama output on other channels.
In order to achieve this, we seek to create a departmental environment which is adventurous, experienced, and a welcome partner for diverse voices in the UK scripted industry, with professional and respectful relationships with independent production companies.
We encourage new and established talent to come to us to with their most original work, whether that is Jack Thorne’s KIRI or Lucy Kirkwood’s take on global politics with CHIMERICA or James Graham’s darkly comic dramatization of the referendum with BREXIT: THE UNCIVIL WAR. Through drama, we are always encouraging audiences to look at the world in a new and different way. Our pre-water shed shows HOLLYOAKS and ACKLEY BRIDGE have the same ambition, and reach a substantial young audience, a vital demographic for the channel.
In terms of C4 and E4, our output encompasses a huge range of work across these two platforms. Each year on C4, this work comprises of a continuing series (Hollyoaks), brand new series (e.g. Traitors, Pure), returning series (e.g. Ackley Bridge, No Offence, End of the Fucking World), mini-series (eg Kiri; The State) and single dramas (eg Brexit). Our E4 strategy is currently evolving.
Reaching out to new diverse talent is a huge priority for us and each year we run or sponsor a number of new talent development programmes (eg. 4Stories, 4Screenwriting, C4 Playwright Scheme). We are keen to support and develop diverse talent both on and off screen in our continuing drama. Authorship is everything for C4 drama, so developing original voices in writing and film-making as well as giving established talent the opportunity to work in a bespoke way, will always sit at the centre of what we do.
To be responsible for pre watershed dramas within the department, with a central responsibility of the role being the continuing drama or soap, Hollyoaks.
Hollyoaks, produced by Lime Pictures out of Liverpool, consists of some 261 episodes a year and is a central pillar of Channel 4s scripted output, and is one of the channel\s largest ongoing production commitments. The series is also a flagship for Channel 4\s Nations and Regions strategy. The Commissioner is the responsible Channel 4 executive, and acts as primary interface with the production itself, working across all aspects to ensure creative quality, optimal performance and reach, and contractual delivery. Within the corporation she or he plays a key role in overseeing and working with Channel 4 corporate departments including the Drama Department itself, Press, Marketing and Digital, Research and Consumer Insight, and Business Affairs, Legal and Compliance.
Work with the Head of Drama and Head of Development to develop and ensure the delivery of this strategy across the UK, in line with the strategy to increase commissioning spend in the Nations & Regions.
Dotted line reporting to, and liaison with the Director of Programmes on matters relating to Hollyoaks
Reporting to the Head of drama on the day-to-day, to take responsibility for signing off storylines, scripts, rough cuts and casting for HOLLYOAKS
Attending HOLLYOAKS long term story conferences, working closely with the Executive Producer and Series Producers to shape, progress and sign off stories
Working with Channel 4 and the production company’s Press, Marketing and Digital departments to shape, deliver and sign off on promotion and support for the show.
Organise and chair internal routines on the progress of HOLLYOAKS and including attendance of the Director of Programmes.
Co-ordination and preparation of reports, including board, strategy reports and others
Build a strong , trusted, creative, commercial and production relationship with the Executive Producer of Hollyoaks and the senior leadership team at Lime Pictures
Signing off responses to viewer enquiries or Ofcom should they arise.
Work with scheduling on any issues that may arise, and keep in touch about the show’s performance
Maintain a good working relationship between Audience Research and production company, using research to inform story and character decisions when needed.
Work with other commissioning genre areas; attend creative breakfasts
Work with commissioning editors to find and progress development projects
Work with Head of Drama to oversee new programmes and continuing series when needed
Develop and maintain a close and effective working relationship with the key independent production companies making programmes for the department
Work within the team to hone the drama strategy and messaging to producers
Fulfil other responsibilities and duties as required from time to time
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
Technical & Professional Skills
Proven production experience as a seasoned script editor or a producer
Strong editorial judgment
Experience of the production process beyond script, i.e. casting and the edit
Strong understanding of legal/compliance guidelines
Excellent verbal and written communication skills, able to give clear feedback in a business and creative context
The ability to be flexible with communication style, depending on what is most effective for the talent
Resilient and tenacious
Able to create goals, and put in place the processes to see them through
Able to lead on a corporate level
Resilient and tenacious, with energy and stamina
Proven sound editorial judgement and a demonstrable understanding of recent broadcasting output, audience, schedule, presentation, able to contribute to strategic vision especially in continuing drama
Strong prioritising and time management skills, demonstrable ability to work to hard deadlines
Will be often be working in a different location to direct line manager, so needs to be autonomous and proactively manage communications between Leeds and London to ensure continued effectiveness and efficiency
Problem solving often needed around issues of compliance
Problem solving in character and story in both storylines, script and rough cuts
Discussing any casting issues with Executive Producer and Casting Director
Job holder may face a number of unpredictable and unique problems e.g. a ground breaking show may raise problems across the spectrum of editorial, legal, press, marketing, publicity and independent company liaison
High degree of creativity required when developing ideas and problem solving with highly demanding and unpredictable talent and production companies on programme content
Role holder will need to assess the impact of any contentious material on the general public
Business Impact/Strategic Perspective
Working with the Head of Drama to help drive the increase in Creative spend in the nations and regions
Working simultaneously with the Managing Director of the Nations & Regions to deliver on the growth of the regional presence and perception of Channel 4
Desirable Experience and Skills
Inspirational leadership, alignment building and a clear sense of focus
Development as well as production experience
Considerable experience in continuing drama
Strong editorial judgment
Commissioning experience desirable but not essential
A strong professional network outside of London
Sound knowledge and experience of working for young audiences