- Job title:
- Production Accountant
- Film | TV
Winner of the 2016 Production Guild Spotlight Award Pollyanna Gill explains her journey to becoming an Assistant Accountant.
A graduate of the Production Guild’s 2014 Assistant Production Accountants Training Scheme (APATS) supported by Creative Skillset, Pollyanna’s natural ability, attitude and dedication have resulted in a packed and promising early career. As a trainee, she started out on ITV’s Midsomer Murders and Now You See Me 2 (Lionsgate), returning to both productions as Accounts Assistant after finishing her training. She has since worked as Payroll Assistant on upcoming wartime romantic thriller Allied (Paramount), starring Brad Pitt, and is currently Assistant Accountant on a feature in pre-production.
What attracted you to following a career as a Production Accountant?
I was already training/studying to be an accountant in a practice in Cornwall. One day I was completing a VAT return for a client who worked freelance for the special effects department in the film industry and it really stood out, not least for the range of intriguing receipts! Outside of work, I had a real love of cinema, and it got me thinking whether it would be possible to combine this interest with my career in accountancy. I Googled 'accounts for the film industry' and came across the Production Guild's APATS course which seemed the perfect fit.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career as a Production Accountant?
Take a look at the APATS course – it offers a great way into the industry but even if you already have some accountancy experience, be prepared to start at the bottom. You may already know some of the numbers side, but there's a lot to learn in terms of how the industry works, and how accountancy fits within the production process.
What qualities does someone need to be a Production Accountant?
Good people, organisational and management skills are all really important and I think it really helps to be approachable and supportive of your colleagues.
What are the highlights of your career so far?
The Production Guild's APATS scheme was my passport to escaping farm accounts and tax returns in Cornwall, and through the scheme I met some incredible people who became amazing friends. Particular highlights include meeting new and interesting people on every job, and creating bonds with people who share the same passions. Also having the privilege and the opportunity to see the sets being built and dressed, and then the same sets all lit up and being filmed on. It's also great to watch a film/television programme I've worked on and reminiscing about the job; and meeting Morgan Freeman (and pretending not to be star struck) while working on Now You See Me 2.
How did you find out about the APATS course supported by Creative Skillset?
I found out about the APATS course through an online search. I'd just started my certified accountancy training so decided to wait until the next round but managed to miss the application deadline. I put my name on the mailing list and was then able to apply for the following course intake.
And finally, we asked why Pollyanna won the 2016 Production Guild Spotlight Award
Pollyanna is meticulous, super smart and spots things very quickly. She's dedicated, hardworking and has a love for the industry but above all her personality makes her a truly deserving winner of the Spotlight Award."
Ann Marie Fitzgerald, Production Accountant.