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CrewNorth Directory Launched At BVE North

A specialised freelance directory for members of the independent trade union for broadcasting, film and allied sector, BECTU, has been launched.
CrewNorth was initially distributed in Manchester at the first ever BVE North show, the sister event to the London show which happens in February each year.
The publication promotes freelance members across craft grades in film and television, and is also being circulated by the Northern England office to crew hire companies, screen agencies and programme-makers.
BECTU National Official Jo Livesey and Learning Organiser John Crumpton were on hand during the two-day event held at Manchester Central on 16-17 November on the union's stand.
During the show, BECTU also gave space to Creative Toolkit, the new info site for new entrants and said afterwards that it was well visited.
BECTU reported that it had made positive contacts and several new members were recruited.
BECTU also delivered the show's first seminar - 'How to Succeed as a Freelance' - to a packed house.
John Crumpton, BAFTA-awarding winning freelance and union official, delivered the session with excellent contributions from Christine Pyke, an experienced programme-maker who now runs her own company, Puma Training.
Mike Thornton, a Pro-Tools expert with a string of credits across genres, formats and platforms; and Faisal A Qureshi, established writer and editor, associate producer of the award-winning feature Four Lions and producer of Khalil the Great for FACT Liverpool and a visiting lecturer at the Northern Film School in Leeds also took part.
Reviewing the seminar, John Crumpton said: "These days being a freelance means considering oneself an 'owner/manager' who effectively is running their own small business.
"As such I felt that after the audience had learnt what the panellist did and why they worked freelance, they'd want to know about the practicalities of freelancing."
He added that key questions included some on keeping accounts and how to decide their rates for work.
"Mike Thornton told how in the space of two years and through training opportunities provided by the union, he'd learnt how to blog, and later delivered training to FEU members on uploading audio-podcasts. In the process he developed the skills to launch two successful blogs, one of which has just secured commercial sponsorship.
"These types of success stories were contrasted with accounts from all the panellists of having their fingers financially 'burned' by bad and non-paying clients early in their careers.
"Such tales of woe certainly hit a chord with the crowd. A number of new entrants told me later that when they'd been on the receiving end of similar bad treatment they’d felt foolish, humiliated and alone.
"They felt a bit better that it had also happened to others who’d learnt the lesson the hard way but gone on to create thriving careers," he said adding that CrewNorth is a useful addition to BECTU's services to freelances in the North and encourages production companies to use the talent available in the region.
The union also publishes a directory for freelance members in Wales, Crewfinder Cymru, and supports FilmBang, the crew and resources directory for Scotland.
Crewbus, the union's online directory for freelance members across the UK provides a space for members in film, broadcast, theatre and live events to promote their skills.
The union also publishes a bi-monthly members' newsletter, Early Bird, which features details of upcoming productions for film and TV.
Looking ahead, BECTU will be also exhibiting at BVE 2012 in London from 14-16 February.

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