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Universal’s Below-the-Line Traineeship To Provide On-the-job Training On Working Title’s Untitled New York Christmas Project

NYC-Based Arts Education Non-Profit Reel Works to Source Trainees for Peacock Production


April 06, 2023

Universal’s Global Talent Development & Inclusion (GTDI) team today announced that it would partner with Reel Works to source trainees for its Below-the-Line Traineeship on Working Title’s Untitled New York Christmas Project. The Universal Pictures film is being made for Peacock, and is written by Richard Curtis, stars Melissa McCarthy and is directed by Sam Boyd. The announcement was made by GTDI head and EVP of Inclusion, Talent & Content Janine Jones Clark. 
“For more than 20 years, Reel Works has created incredible programs and initiatives providing arts education and mentorship to New York City based youth and young adults from underrepresented communities. Their work parallels our mission to provide that same level of access to those looking for opportunities across the entertainment industry,” said Jones Clark. “The entire Reel Works team have been invaluable partners in our search for up-and-coming talent across New York City, creating real job placements and providing career momentum.” 
"We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to continue building on the success of Reel Works' MediaMKRS workforce development program through this incredible new partnership with Universal's Global Talent Development & Inclusion team," said Reel Works Co-Founder and CEO John Williams. "This is a critical and exciting moment in our history as this is the first time our MediaMKRS alumni will be placed directly on a major film studio production in these types of positions." 
“New York City is the most filmed city in the world,” said City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers. “I am glad to see this partnership between Reel Works, an incredible non-profit empowering New York City youth, and NBCUniversal, a world leader in entertainment. I look forward to seeing their work shine on screen.” 
Universal launched the Below-the-Line Traineeship in 2021 on Jordan Peele’s Nope and has since run it on more than a dozen productions. The Traineeship provides on and off-the-job training and mentorship across select below-the-line departments on select NBCUniversal film projects around the world. 
With the increasing demand for experienced crew throughout the industry, this innovative and immersive experience cultivates the next generation of talent by collaborating with local partners. The Reel Works partnership will pipeline across props, grip, electric, shop craft and costume departments with the support of IATSE Locals 52 Motion Picture Studio Mechanics and 764 Theatrical Wardrobe Union. Production started shooting in March in Manhattan.
For more information on the Universal Below-the-Line Traineeship and GTDI’s other talent experiences across writing, directing and composing, please visit Please go to to learn more about how Reel Works mentors, inspires, and empowers underserved NYC youth to share their stories through filmmaking, creating a springboard to successful careers in media and beyond.