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PRODUCTION ACCOUNTING: FIRST STEPS

Learn the essential skills to get your first role in this in-demand area of the film & TV industry.

Learn the essential skills to get your first role in this in-demand area of the film & TV industry.

Looking for a creative, communications-led role to break into the industry? Production accounting will take you right to the heart of a production, where an understanding of story is as important as competency working with numbers.

This online professional development course will give you a broad overview of the roles, functions and purpose of the accounting team on a film or TV production.

Learn practical skills by taking part in real-world scenarios and find out exactly what goes on in a production office, from understanding the structure of a film crew and production timelines to estimating the final cost of a show.

Work with a small group of up to 15 students and an expert tutor, plus guest experts including line producers and head of production finance.

You’ll emerge with an understanding of the roles and career progression within production accounting, an awareness of whether you’d like to work in a production accounts office – and the knowhow to get your first role.

This online course will be CPD accredited and it runs once per quarter each year.

NEXT COURSE

Start date: 20 February 2023
Duration: 4 weeks
Skill level: Beginner
Held:  Weekly
Sessions: 4
Price: £595

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Lucy Drake
Director
Chay Collins
Moderator

This CPD training is for people who want to work in TV or film production within the accounts team. It’s suitable for:

  • Anyone who loves the industry and is looking for a first role
  • Anyone considering a career move into film / TV production accounting
  • Accountants from other industries
  • Those already working in production who think they would enjoy moving over to the accounts office
  • Producers and Line Producers who would like to know more about what Production Accountants do, removing the mystery of the accounts office

This professional training allows you to:

  • Understand the costs and expenses that go into a production.
  • Learn key vocabulary and jargon-busting for production accounting.
  • Identify the different roles in productions and how they work with each other.
  • Know what different cost reports and documents are, how to use them, when to use them and how to make them.
  • Forecast a budget for a production.
  • Gain greater understanding of industry expectations and processes.
  • Clearly identify and pursue your potential in production accounting.
  • Develop the professional skills production accountants require (eg discipline, attention to detail, ability to work to deadlines).
  • Increase your communication skills and team-working.
  • Build greater independence, autonomy and critical judgment as you self- direct, self-manage and realise your assignments and final project to the course briefs.
  • Network with others working in TV and film production, and with the tutor team and industry guests.
Session 1 - What is production accounting?
Overview of the purpose of the production accounting function, roles within the team and how they fit in with the production as a whole. We’ll look at the role in big studio films such as Star Wars and streaming TV series like The Crown as well as at the other end of the scale, in small docs or current affairs shows. How an understanding of story benefits everyone on the production.
Session 2 - Starting up a Production
Setting up the finance office, including crew, systems and procedures. Types of financing, budgets, cashflows, schedules. We’ll ask you to look at the credits on TV and film shows to test your knowledge of who does what, and you’ll prepare a cash-flow from a sample budget and schedule.
Session 3 - What do assistant production accountants do?
We’ll look in more detail at roles and options for your first job, such as in areas of significant production spend, such as Costume Accountant, Location Accountant and Construction Accountant. You’ll find out about purchase orders, invoices, expenses, Pcards and payroll, with real-life exercises, including completing an audit and expenses form.
Session 4 - Forecasting and reporting
Overview of forecasting the estimated final cost of a film or TV programme using information gathered from the production. Includes examples of cost reports and how they are used by producers and funders. You’ll review a trial balance and think about next steps, including how to get your first role in a production accounts office.

All the teaching, interaction with participants, tutor input and moderation takes place in our online classroom and includes: 

  • Short podcasts and videos from Lucy Drake, John Yorke and other industry experts 
  • Practical exercises and templates to help you apply new skills
  • Guided discussions with your peers 
  • Downloadable tutor documents and resources
  • Live Q and As with your tutor and an experienced production accountant
  • Longer assignments to support and inspire your learning 
  • Peer critiquing to help you get the most from the learning experience 
  • Weekly tutor feedback from Lucy Drake.

Join our alumni

After your course, you can join our online alumni community where you’ll meet our growing network of past students. You’ll be able to.

  • Rejoin your classmates in a private forum
  • Continue to access an archived version of your course materials
  • Meet alumni from other courses and share work for feedback
  • Join discussions about screenwriting, script editing and the industry
  • Attend live chats with guest writers and industry folk

Taking things further

This course prepares you for our expert-level 8-week course Production Accounting: Advanced for Production Accountants launching Spring 2023, for those looking to step up to a more senior role.

Price: £595

Price: £50
(Non-refundable)

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Our ARTICLES 
How did Prano Bailey-Bond develop CENSOR?

How did Prano Bailey-Bond develop CENSOR?

Celebrated writer and director Prano Bailey-Bond stopped by the JYS classroom to chat about the process of developing CENSOR, her award-winning debut feature film.

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