“Directors and… Production Managers”, with production manager Addie Orfila and director Nicky Higgens (29 Jan)

Run by Northern Film & Media and Creative Skillset, “Directors and..” is a series of half day sessions aimed primarily at early career TV and film directors. Led by practitioners, the series is designed to help prepare delegates to take their careers to the next professional level by improving their understanding of how directors work successfully with and get the best out of HoDs, actors and other key colleagues.

“Directors and… Production Managers”, with production manager Addie Orfila and director Nicky Higgens, will cover all aspects of the relationship between Directors and Production Managers in TV drama, from pre-production to post, with a particular focus on returning drama. Drawing on the extensive collaborative history of production manager Addie Orfila and director Nicky Higgens, “Directors and Production Managers” will emphasise interaction and shared experience, providing an invaluable introduction to the skills and knowledge required for these two keys roles to work harmoniously at an advanced professional level.

Class Outline:

  • Introductory overview of the Director’s and PM’s roles and responsibilities – misconceptions and realities
  • Case study section focusing on Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, on which the presenters have worked together
  • The dos and don’ts of how to manage the director/PM relationship
  • How the roles interact: the practicalities of a PMs role, and what they mean from the director’s point of view throughout the production lifecycle:

                 - Budgets: how they affect creativity
                 - Scheduling: how this drives the show
                 - Working with Producers and Directors - organisation of production
                 - Working with and contracting cast and underage actors: key considerations and legal requirements
                 - Health and safety and risk assessing
                 - Location filming – in the UK and abroad
                 - Essentials of Post-Production

  • Practical exercise for the group to work on
  • Q&A – a chance to put your questions to the presenters


Who’s this class for?

“Directors and…” is open to up to 15 ambitious early career directors aiming to work in either network television or film drama.

This class is also open to individuals working as Production Assistants/Coordinators or at equivalent levels, with at least one year’s experience, who are aiming to further their careers and move up to become Production Manager.

Either way, you should have role-appropriate credits on at least two productions (shorts or longer form) and have some basic experience of how to work with professionals on set, but want to learn more and move your career to the next level. If in doubt about whether you are eligible to register please contact the organisers.


When: Friday 29 January, 12.30pm – 5.30pm. (Registration from 12.15pm)

Where: BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Level 1), Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3BA

Cost: Places for “Directors and Production Managers” are priced £5.


To register please click here.



About the presenters 

Addie Orfila

Former Head of Production at award-winning serial drama Hollyoaks, Addie Orfila has over twenty years’ experience within TV and short film production. Starting as a trainee continuity announcer and then runner at Yorkshire Television, Addie has worked her way up as 3rd AD, 1st AD, PM and Head of Production.  She has worked on three out of the four big UK serial dramas and was Production Manager at Coronation Street for a very successful tenure.  Having worked on shows such as Heartbeat, Touch of Frost, Countdown, My Parents are Aliens, Emmerdale, Barking and Jinx, Addie has a large wealth of experience to draw from and is currently a member of Channel 4’s Mentoring Diversity Network as well as trainer on the pan-industry Project Diamond Diversity monitoring scheme.

Nicky Higgens

Nicky is an experienced director with extensive credits on Hollyoaks, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and EastEnders. Before becoming a director she was also head of production and a producer on shows including The Courtroom and Brookside. Nicky originally trained at Central as a stage manager and after a couple of years in theatre, moved into TV, where she worked her way up through the ranks on film dramas, soaps and light entertainment at Granada before becoming a production manager on Brookside. She began directing on corporates and a few episodes of Brookside in the 1990's. Having worked her way up as line producer, associate producer/ assistat producer on Brookside and then as head of production on Hollyoaks and The Courtroom. Nicky started directing full time in 2007 and has worked continuously in broadcast drama since then.



Other events in the series

  • “Directors and…. Producers and Actors”, with director David Leon, producer Daisy Allsop and actor Giacomo Mancini (28 January). Click here for more info.
  • “Directors and… DOPs”, with director Roger Simonsz and DOP Sue Gibson BSC. Click here for more info.
  • ““Directors and… Producers", with dierctor Gillies MacKinnon and producer Willy Wands (11 Feb). Click here for more info. 

'Directors and...' is supported by Creative Skillset



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