PGGB and Netflix seek new accountancy trainees

The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) and Netflix are seeking eight new recruits for the latest intake of the Netflix assistant production accountant training scheme (NAPATS)

Run by PGGB, the UK’s membership organisation for those working in film and TV drama production, the NAPATS scheme offers individuals with good accounting experience and a passion for film and TV the rare opportunity to access four weeks of intensive training in assistant production accounting, taught by industry professionals.

Successful trainees are then trained full time on Netflix productions over a 12-month period, supporting the work of production accountants and assistant accountants, with the chance to continue working for Netflix as a freelancer in the production accounts department afterwards.

PGGB represents those working within production office, production accounts, location management, VFX, post-production or assistant directing roles. With more than 1,000 members across the UK, PGGB works closely with studios including Netflix, Warner Bros and Disney to deliver training schemes that help meet the increased demand for production talent which has accompanied the rise in high-end television and feature film production.

Since NAPATS launched in 2018, a total of 22 individuals have undergone the training programme.

37-year-old Louise Black from Slough was part of the first NAPATS cohort and completed her training and placement in 2018/19. Today she works in accounts for Netflix’s production finance department, specialising in ‘Prep/Wrap’, taking care of Netflix shows in their earliest stages of preparation and again when postproduction is completed.

Black said: ‘Before I joined the NAPATS scheme I’d worked in several small creative businesses doing bookkeeping as part of wider office and studio management roles. I’d always wanted to work in the film and TV industry and had been trying out a few different avenues into the industry for a year or so, imagining I'd start as a production assistant and work my way up through the production management side. I had no idea that I could use my accounting experience to be part of a TV crew, until I read about NAPATS.’

Applicants are required to have academic or vocational qualifications in accounting but will also be considered if they have an equivalent level of experience working in cashier, bookkeeper or similar junior financial administration roles.

She added: ‘The training is really great for arming you with the basics of production as well as background information about the whole process of making films and TV shows. It's a complex industry with plenty of quirks and jargon, so there's a lot to cover.

‘I still use what I learned in the first couple of weeks of training. Perhaps the most important part is learning where to look and who to ask when something unfamiliar comes up, or when there's a change in the law.’

Since completing her NAPATS placement, Black has worked on Netflix shows such as comedy series Turn Up Charlie starring Idris Elba and fantasy adventure Cursed starring Katherine Langford, Gustaf Skarsgard and Peter Mullan.

‘It’s a great feeling to be part of a team that will see a production through from start to finish. When I worked on Cursed for example it was from the very beginning of prep to the very end of post-production, which was 18 months in total,’ Black explained.

‘Aside from numeracy of course, I think the main qualities you need for the job are patience, good humour and organisation skills – those usually get me through the most complicated transactions. It also helps when you're really, really into film and TV.’

The Netflix Assistant Production Accountant Training scheme is now open for applications. For more information click here. Closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 22 February 2021.

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