Tips for Film & TV producers from Rebecca O'Brien

Mandy’s Surgery Sessions are a valuable opportunity for our talented community to gain insights and advice from leading figures in the industry.

BAFTA-winning producer Rebecca O’Brien recently led a series of one-on-one sessions with several Mandy members, helping them in their careers. Rebecca has been an independent film producer for over thirty years, producing seventeen feature films. She produced 2016’s I, Daniel Blake which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Alongside director Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty, she runs the production company Sixteen Films. During this session, Mandy members were able to ask career-focused questions and they gained advice on their CV, projects and more!


Here are a few tips Rebecca gave to our members:

  • Design your CV to be more bespoke and unique to yourself.
  • Don’t limit yourself when applying for roles. It is great to have a broad mind about what you want to do in the Film Industry so that you can explore your interests further.
  • Directors in production need to be 100% certain on creative decisions. Putting in research, whether that is on directing or for a film, is key to being prepared on production shoots.
  • Be open to criticism but also be ready to defend your point of view and explain what the thought is behind it.
  • Explore production companies in your area and meet people who might be able to help you.
  • Look into apprenticeships and trainee opportunities. Believe in yourself and stay passionate.

Our members loved the opportunity to chat with Rebecca. Here are a few testimonials from them:

  • "We discussed specific areas of work that I can do to expand my experience more. I received a lot more advice than I thought I would and I have a really clear mind on how I am going to develop my CV." - Kieran Black
  • "The session was great! It was really helpful to talk about my CV. Rebecca was incredibly kind and affable. I was a bit worried at first (being a big fan of Rebecca’s work) but it all went smoothly." - Elena Valeri
  • "The 20 minutes went by super fast but I was so grateful to be able to speak to someone so experienced and get personal advice. It felt like Rebecca could understand my position as someone who is just starting out, and she gave me a great insight into some next steps I might take to grow my career." - Carlota Matos
  • "It was super reassuring knowing i’m doing the right sorta thing for my career and she also recommended pathways for me to follow." - Caitlin O’Driscoll

Do you want to attend the next Mandy Surgery?

Mandy Surgery sessions provide an opportunity for actors to get free one-on-one career advice from top industry professionals in Film, TV and Theatre. These events are run exclusively for Premium Members. Keep an eye out for the next Mandy Surgery here.