It is part of the trade body’s push towards becoming the single professional organisation campaigning on behalf of all directors in the UK.
Trade body Directors UK is extending its membership to “all screen directors working in any medium.”
Launched in 2008, the organisation previously only accepted film and television directors as members, but will now allow directors working in games, music videos, commercials, short films, and audiovisial to join.
The new membership scheme is part of Directors UK’s move towards becoming the “single professional organization supporting and campaigning on behalf of all directors in the UK.” It currently has 4000 members.
Directors UK plans to unite directors into a stronger creative community and champion their views to the UK government and industry. The body has already contributed to the Hargreaves IP Review and EC Consultations on State Aid for Flim and Online licensing as well as most recently the Film Policy Review.
It is currently in negotiations with the BBC in a bid to protect working conditions and establish directors’ commercial rights.
The organisation’s new website is also up and running from today and is hoping to attact members ranging from established film-makers to those just starting out, with normal membership costing £120, but half price membership on offer to students and directors who have not had a feature distributed.
Speaking at the launch in London today, chief executive of Directors UK Andrew Chowns unveiled a series of new initiatives for 2012 including tax advice seminars, a mentoring scheme and a series of workshops on working with different industry professionals from actors to distributors to cinematographers.
2012 will also see the launch of the “Find A Director” facility, which will enable producers and distributors to search the database for key information on directors.
Meanwhile, Directors UK has appointed its first in house lawyer, Charlotte Brotherton, to provide members with legal advice.
“On my arrival I was quite shocked to see how often the voice of creators was chronically underrepresented if not almost totally absent in key industry debates” said Chowns, who joined as chief executive in 2010.
“Reduced funding, changing technology, threats from intellectual property theft…Directors can make a vital contribution to the industry’s search for answers to these challenges. The perspective of directors is vital. It’s our challenge to tackle this through new relationships with industry stakeholders and particularly with producers and broadcasters, where we sit with them as partners. These discussions are already underway,” added Chowns.
My Week With Marilyn director Simon Curtis, who was one of the original directors to champion the body back in 2008, told Screen that it was important for directors to have a support network. “As a member of the DGA [Directors Guild of America] I was very keen to be part of something that helped British directors have the status and support they need in the current climate, because it can be a very isolated role.”
“What was interesting about the emergence of Directors UK is that a lot of people scoffed and said directors will never support each other. Quite the opposite – all kinds of directors or different ages, experience, levels of success were very keen to support each other,” added Curtis.
Directors UK’s president Paul Greengrass said it was more imortant than ever that “directors are speaking up for creativity, quality and leadership. The more directors we can bring into the community the more powerful our voice will be.”
To visit the new website click here