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BBC & Directors UK Enter Into Relationship
That Recognizes The Pivotal Role Of
Directors Of All Genres of Programming

Charles Sturridge & Mark Thompson
In a significant recognition the rights of creators and their original work, the BBC and Directors UK have entered into a new partnership. Under the Creative Rights deal the BBC and Directors UK have agreed on detailed and comprehensive rights and responsibilities for directors working on BBC in-house productions.

Directors UK Chair, Charles Sturridge, said: "The BBC and Directors UK have redefined the creative relationship between directors and the BBC, setting out a new and powerful partnership that recognizes the central role of the director in every program and every genre that the BBC produces. This agreement ensures that directors in partnership with other creatives can continue to make remarkable, original and innovative television."

BBC Director-General, Mark Thompson, said: "I'm delighted that the BBC and Directors UK have committed to this partnership which represents a sustainable and contemporary relationship between BBC production and the directing community. We recognise that directors are pivotal to delivering our output and place importance on growing this relationship in an engaging and meaningful way."

Pat Younge, Chief Creative Officer, Vision Productions, said: "From Drama to Factual, directors are at the heart of our content. I am confident that this partnership provides real clarity to the role and responsibilities of the director for all involved in our production teams. I look forward to seeing in-house production working with Directors UK on key issues as we strengthen ties with this important section of the freelance community."

Directors UK CEO, Andrew Chowns, said: "We've been looking for a way of defining the role of the director more clearly for the modern era, and for a way of ensuring that the contribution of directors can be properly plugged into the BBC's thinking on a range of strategic issues. This is a real breakthrough for us."

As part of this new partnership, the BBC and Directors UK will co-operate on a number of initiatives to support the career skills and talent development of directors throughout the UK. The partnership will also mean regular high level interaction between the BBC and Directors UK on major strategic issues including Delivering Quality First, program strategy, talent development, compliance and diversity in commissioning.

Details of the new partnership are outlined in two documents – one for drama and one for factual programs – that set out the detailed roles and responsibilities for directors. These include:
  • Affirming the directors' copyright in their programs.
  • Setting out the requirement for advance disclosure and consultation on key creative elements and key production information – budgets, schedules, key personnel, scripts and casting (for fiction), contributors (for factual) - to ensure the director is sufficiently well-briefed to understand the commission and lead the team in delivering it.
  • Setting out the directors' rights and responsibilities through all the stages of production and post-production, including the exclusive right to make an uninterrupted first cut.
  • Options for the director to create re-versions and re-edits.
  • Options for the director of pilots/first series to direct further series.
  • Rights to program credits.
About Directors UK
DIRECTORS UK is the professional association for British screen directors in the UK. With over 4,000 current members it represents the overwhelming majority of working film and television directors in the UK and recently opened its doors to all directors working in any audio-visual medium. DIRECTORS UK is both a collecting society for the distribution of secondary rights payments to directors, and the professional organization for screen directors providing services and support to its members. It seeks to protect and enhance the creative, economic and contractual rights of directors in the UK and works closely with organizations in the UK, Europe and around the world to represent directors' rights and concerns.

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