How to Set Up and Run a Production Company

New Dates TBC!

How to Set Up and Run a Production Company

Date: (awaiting dates)

Duration: 1 day
Capacity: Max. 12 participants
Fee: £150  10% Early Bird discount available for a limited period.

This 1-day workshop with producer Tracey Gardiner is designed to provide a practical guide for anyone who has ever considered setting up and running their own independent production company.

Whether it be for feature films, factual television and drama or feature documentaries, participants should be prepared to talk about why they want to set up on their own and what their goal or strategy is.


The day will start with why it is important to know the industry you plan to launch into followed by the role of the founder or producer. Are you suited to that?  There will be a step-by-step guide to the legal process of setting up a limited liability company as well as the ongoing costs and responsibilities. The afternoon will be an opportunity to talk about your business strategy and get feedback from the group.  Followed by a session on business plans which are necessary to attract external sources of finance.

This day’s course will provide would be production company owners with the essential skills to set up on their own.


  • To see your proposition in an industry context.
  • Establish your role in the company – what skills are needed?
  • To learn the practicalities of setting up a company and running it.
  • To clarify your strategy.
  • To learn the fundamental elements of a business plan.

The day will cover the following:

  • Industry context – where does your offering sit, how competitive is that sector?
  • Your role in the company – are you a manager or creator?  Who do you need to help you?
  • Setting up the company – legal and accounting – what you need to do and the costs involved.
  • Running the company – year to year costs, employer responsibilities, finance and forecasts.
  • Your business strategy – get feedback on your plan and analyse your strengths and weakness.
  • Business plans and external finance – what a business plan consists of and why it’s necessary for external finance.

Tutor profile: Tracey Gardiner, Producer

Tracey Gardiner entered television after a career as a stockbroker in the City, when she joined FulcrumTV. After more than fifteen years at Fulcrum she then set up her own production company, Iridescent Films, which made the three part BBC 2 series PILGRIMAGE with Simon Reeve (a co-production with Lion Television). She is currently the executive producer of a feature length documentary, 100 MEN, funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and MPI Distribution.

Tracey started out making programmes about business and current affairs over twenty years ago but then branched out into science, arts, history and observational documentaries, putting together international co-production deals and private finance to fund projects. Key award winners include: KEYS TO THE CASTLE (BBC) which won A Scottish BAFTA and RTS in 2015; THE WINNER LOSER (BBC), shortlisted at IDFA and winner of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival Award in; HOW M&S LOST ITS BILLIONS (C5) Wincott, Best Documentary; SIGHTHILL STORIES (BBC) Scottish BAFTA; SEND ME SOMEWHERE SPECIAL (BBC) Grierson Newcomer Winner.

The Daily Mail said about PILGRIMAGE: “a truly miraculous journey”, TV Times: “a truly engaging first leg...4 stars”, Daily Mail: “The excellent Simon Reeve returns with a three-part series...illuminating, engaging and enjoyable viewing” and the Mail on Sunday said “a life - affirming new series...4 stars”

On BBC1 documentary TOO OLD TO BE A MUM? (2010) The Telegraph said: The film tiptoed through the ethical eggshells with an equanimity that did its makers proud. The bare facts spoke loudly enough...this was a perfect subject for a television documentary, because the pictures made their own argument."