News Reel & Blog

Written by Daniel Kirby on 29th February 2016

Being a freelancer and having a limited company is not just about tax status,  you are also expected to operate as a company and an employer.  Insurance is essential.
Most of our clients require freelancers to be covered by adequate employer’s liability insurance, public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance (for a sum insured of not less than £1,000,000 for each and every event) and any other suitable policies of insurance during an assignment.   Employer’s liability insurance may not be required where the consultant is the majority shareholder and employee of the contractor, but public liability and professional indemnity are regarded as ‘must haves’.
What it’s for..
Public liability will protect your legal liability where you accidentally cause damage or loss to third party property or injury to a third party. BECTU the broadcast union offer public liability insurance at discounted rate to members
Employers liability is arranged to protect employers against claims for injury or illness brought by employees. Employers' liability (compulsory insurance) act 1998 requires that employers maintain cover to a minimum of £5,000,000 in respect of such claims. 
Professional indemnity provides financial protection for your company and is designed to meet the cost of defending claims made against you, including damages that may become payable. Claims can occur where a client suffers a financial loss as a result of alleged mistakes or omissions on your part. You may even be sued by a client who is merely dissatisfied, but has no valid claim, leading to substantial legal costs and time away from contracts.
Where to get advice If you are a member of BECTU, it’s worth contacting them for advice and favourable rates.  State you are a BECTU member and they will connect you to the right person.  (It’s a friendly team of four people).  There is also information on their website.   (You do not have to be a BECTU member and most insurers will also offer this. )
BECTU do not currently offer professional indemnity insurance, but their insurance brokers Hencilla Canworth can arrange professional indemnity insurance via Mark Hill Insurance, Hiscox Insurance, Markel and others. 
They can be reached on 0208 686 5050,  ask about freelancer insurance for professional indemnity.
Regulation insurers are regulated by the FCA so insurers will not offer you a quote for insurance which is inappropriate to your needs.  They will ask you about your occupation in order to decide what insurances are appropriate for you.  It’s not unusual to be sent a lengthy questionnaire, but please be reassured - it is also likely that only small sections will actually be mandatory and need to be filled in.  -So don’t be put off, but maybe read before you print.

Written by Daniel Kirby on 26th February 2016

Leonardo DiCaprio Oscars 2016 Searchlight Recruitment Blog Post

The Oscars are almost upon us and we're excited to see how it all pans out! Whilst the result of certain categories seem clear-cut (Leo can probably start dusting that empty spot in his trophy cabinet), there are several categories that we're finding hard to predict.

We're expecting great success for The Revenant, with Mad Max taking some of slightly less esteemed awards and we're also tipping 87 year old Ennio Morricone to take home the award for Best Original Score for his stellar work on The Hateful Eight.  One of the toughest choices was putting Sylvester Stallone over Mark Rylance for Best Supporting Actor as both gave brilliant performances in Creed and Bridge of Spies  respectively, but ultimately we felt that Stallone played a vintage 'supporting' role, giving immense credibility to Michael B. Jordan's character and ensuring a potentially mediocre film was elevated to something much more profound.

Our predictions are below, let us know what you think!


Best Picture 

The Revenant

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Brie Larson, Room

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Director

Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant

Best Visual Effects

Mad Max (Fury Road)

Best Production Design

Mad Max (Fury Road)

Best Original Score 

Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

Best Original Screenplay

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight

Written by Daniel Kirby on 25th February 2016

UMG proved one of the big winners at last night's BRIT Awards, seeing their artists pick up a total of five trophies and finding particular success with their male acts. Justin Bieber, Jack Garratt and James Bay won awards for International Male Solo Artist, Critics' Choice and British Male Solo Artist respectively. 

XL Recordings saw Adele take home a record-equalling four awards in one evening, and with Bjork picking up the trophy for International Female Solo Artist a total of five awards ended up going to independently-signed artists.

WMG and Sony were less prolific, winning one apiece.

Written by Daniel Kirby on 24th February 2016

The BBC has recently announced that it will be staging three major pre-referendum debates, culminating in an event at Wembley Arena, which will be hosted by David Dimbleby.

Describing the Wembley debate as their ‘biggest ever campaign event’, the BBC will be hoping that they can emulate the success of ITV’s election debate last year, which was viewed by an audience of over 7 million. The event  promises to allow ‘thousands of voters to question representatives from the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ camps’.

The exact line-up of debaters has yet to be decided, but it seems likely that pressure will build for David Cameron to attend in order to present his case on why Britain should remain in the EU.

Alongside the Wembley event, BBC One are staging a debate in Glasgow in May, which will be aimed predominantly at young voters, and a Question Time Special a week before the referendum. TV debates have rapidly become an accepted part of British politics since 2010 and the major broadcasters are all pushing for their own debates for the referendum.

Recent TV debates have proved highly influential in directing the course of British voting, and the Wembley event on BBC One looks likely to have a significant impact on the outcome. The debate will take place on 21st June.

Written by Daniel Kirby on 23rd February 2016

Searchlight recently caught up with Ilana, who we helped secure a position as Legal and Business Affairs Executive at Content Media last year. Here's what she's been up to:


'My new role at Content Media is proving to be really enjoyable, the company has a great working environment with an enthusiastic, dedicated team of people. It’s also growing rapidly, with a global network of offices and constantly expanding portfolio of great content.

I came to the role five months ago after working at Channel 4, BBC and Endemol. This position is a lot more specialised than my previous roles, giving me the opportunity to focus solely on sales and distribution.

Content Media has a huge catalogue of multi-genre film and TV titles, from British hit dramas Line of Duty and The Syndicate to critically-acclaimed non-fiction content from Academy Award winning director Alex Gibney.

My role in the Legal and Business Affairs department is to work with the Sales team as they license these titles to broadcasters and platforms around the world, drafting and negotiating contracts for distribution rights. I ensure that we have the rights for the team to license, that there are no other deals preventing these rights being sold, and that each deal maximises the international potential of Content’s new and library titles.

It has been a steep learning curve and, with such a dynamic company and team, as well as a constantly evolving market, it’s the perfect place to further my career in international distribution.'