225 media students from across the South West attended the Breaking Into Media event on Monday 15th November, which was organised by Plymouth Media-Partnership and the Royal Television Society Devon and Cornwall Centre, in association with the University of Plymouth, as part of National Enterprise Week.
The highlight of the event was the keynote address from Dr. Wayne Garvie who is currently the Managing Director for Content and Production at BBC Worldwide, and will soon take up the post of Managing Director of International Production at super-indie All3Media. Plymouth-born Wayne talked about his career to date and joked that he had taken the Krypton Factor off the air, nearly ruined Paul O’Grady’s career before it had started and saved A Question of Sport. Dr. Garvie quoted the great American screenwriter William Goldman who famously claimed that SNobody knows anythingT when it comes to understanding whether films will be successful or not. Wayne explained that many people have said the same thing about predicting whether new television programmes will work. Drawing on successful programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who Wayne looked at how producers can minimize the risk of new programmes failing and thus avoid Goldman’s dictum coming true. He talked about the development of global brands such as Walking with Dinosaurs and urged producers to think big, be ambitious, understand the audience and never under estimate them. Wayne stressed the importance of marketing and using Top Gear US as an example he explained that the marketing spend was bigger than the production budget.
Other sessions during the day included a panel session featuring media professionals entitled SGetting in and Getting OnT, a chance to find out SHow To Build a Career in MediaT with international sports reporter Rob Walker, and a special session from Skillset that looked at the variety of ways into the industry including the Advanced Apprenticeships in Creative and Digital Media which featured two young apprentices who have recently started training in Plymouth.
The afternoon also saw the presentation of the Royal Television Society Devon & Cornwall Centre student awards in a range of categories. The winners were as follows:
Secret Ingredient by Natasha Laurie & Greg Nicholas from Cornwall College, Camborne
Jobesworth by Greg Joslin from Truro College
Addiction: The Forgotten People by Sarah Thorpe, Stevie-Jo Fowler & team from University College Falmouth
State of Mind by Kelly Marchant, James Doherty and team from University College Falmouth
Karen Stockdale, the Manager of Plymouth Media-Partnership, one of the organisers of the event said: SThe students who attended this event were able to get a huge amount of information about careers in the media industry, access to professionals for advice and guidance, and a fantastic insight into international television production from one of the leading lights in global media production.T
Jeremy Hibbard, Chair of the Royal Television Society Devon & Cornwall Centre, said SWith entry into the media becoming more and more competitive, it’s important to give students right across the South West a head start with days like this. It’s good for industry representatives to share their knowledge with the next generation and the RTS Student Awards is proof that there’s promising production talent already here in Devon and Cornwall.