ADA Student Programme

“You’re obviously doing something right – all the students we had were brilliant.”

Paul Bennett, 2nd AD

What is it?

The ADA Student Programme is designed to offer film & media students the chance to get first-hand experience of professional film shoots. There are currently up to 20,000 people studying film & media at film schools, colleges and universities across the UK. Many would benefit from the practical experience offered by the ADA Student Programme.

The ADA has a broad and highly-experienced membership that represents many of the best Assistant Directors in the UK. Working in all forms of TV, Drama and Commercial production, our members are at the heart of the film-making process. We are frequently contacted by newcomers of all ages, looking for an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of film & TV production and to start their career in this highly-competitive business.

By inviting students to observe our shoots, and maybe helping the AD team in a minor way, this Programme offers valuable insight in to the work of an Assistant Director and the wider production process.

How does it work?

Students access the Student Programme through their film school or training provider, who pay a small annual subscription per student to cover the administration of the Programme.  Membership also includes access to our Members forums and ADA membership. Contact for more details.

Once approved, students are listed on the ADA Student page. They are then encouraged to contact those ADA members taking part in the Programme – you can search for them – to arrange set visits (lasting one or more days) via the website. The ADA is here to help if there are any problems.

The set visits are not paid positions and should not be considered an alternative to employing a Set Runner. We encourage all productions to provide catering for students and to add their names to call sheets as ‘ADA Student’. Students are also issued with identifiable set wear and will be briefed on safety procedures and on-set protocol.

In order to monitor the progress of the programme, students are asked to add details of their visits to their Profile page.

The ADA is dedicated to developing highly skilled Assistant Directors.  Helping students to gain this valuable experience early on helps them to start building their network of contacts, create a greater understanding of what an Assistant Director does and witness the professional shooting process.

We very much hope that you will be able to help and support the training of this next generation. Please email with any questions or suggestions.