Entertainment shows are the big beasts of the TV world. Week in, week out they fill living rooms around the country and – if the format works internationally – they earn money globally, too. Would the latest RTS Futures speed-dating event throw up an idea that could, one day, rival the success of Britain’s Got Talent?
At the event, young TV hopefuls were paired with top telly execs for a series of three-minute chats, selling themselves, their ideas or both. ITV Entertainment Commissioning Editor Asif Zubairy reckoned they acquitted themselves well, Sespecially as they didn’t have much timeT. He advised: SDo as much pitching as you can – the more you do, the better you will get.T
SLook for an idea with an extremely broad appeal. If it’s good, you’re pushing at an open door,T said Predictable Media founder Sebastian Scott, whose credits include Sky 1’s Got to Dance. SA good idea can come from anywhere and we would be excited by it, whether it’s from a newcomer or someone’s who’s been making shows for the past 20 years.T
Breaking into TV, though, can be tough. SBe enthusiastic, watch TV and have something to say about shows that are on at the moment,T argued Wall to Wall Entertainment Development Head Poppy Delbridge. Anyone approaching a production company, she added, Sshould also have some ideas to talk aboutT.
STake every opportunity that comes your way and then work your way to where you want to be. Don’t try to get to your ideal role instantly. Get into the industry and, once you are in, keep moving around,T reckoned Ed Booth, the series producer of BBC hit The Voice.
It’s unusual for newcomers to get their break on a top-rating ITV or BBC primetime entertainment show. New local TV broadcaster London Live is perhaps a more realistic point of entry into the telly industry.
SWe want to be a platform for the best young talent that’s out there. If young talent comes to our channel and, as a result, gets poached by a bigger broadcaster, then in a way we’re doing our job,T said London Live Commissioning Executive Derren Lawford.
More sage advice was offered by RDF entertainment chief Peter Usher, who has spent more than two decades in entertainment production and development: SThere was a time when you could walk into a commissioner’s office and pitch off paper, but technology has come on leaps and bounds so it’s possible now, using [editing software] Final Cut Pro and such like, to take clips off the internet and fashion something from moving pictures to sell your idea.T
Usher added: SThink really hard about how you pitch. We approach each pitch as if it’s a fresh pitch and we try not to get into a pitching pattern – every pitch is bespoke to both the idea and to the broadcaster.T
The RTS Futures event, "Speed date the entertainment gurus", was held at The Hospital Club in central London on 19 May. It was produced by Emily Gale and Susie Worster. A full report will appear in the June edition of Television.
Report by Matthew Bell
Pictures by Paul Hampartsoumian