10 tips for working in TV Development

RTS Futures
Welcome to the future

Following our sell-out TV Development workshop in February 2016, read our top ten tips to getting ahead and coming up with the next hit TV format.

1. Be interested In the world around you. Get out and experience life, attend events, get involved in creating things outside of work. You never know how or where you will get your inspiration for creating content from, so get off your behind and do stuff. 

2. Keep yourself informed of what is being commissioned by reading trade press and an eye on schedules. Jobs boards and audience tickets sites are also indicators of what is currently in production or in funded development/pilot stage. 

3. Don’t forget that any ideas you come up with during your contract, will be wholly owned by the employer/production company. You can’t take them with you elsewhere when you leave, even if nothing has come of it. 

4. It’s a good idea to keep a date timeline and archive email communication when developing content. Should an idea take off and the origin be disputed, you would have some evidence of dates and creative paths. 

5. Don’t be afraid of your ideas. The more you get them out there and collaborate, the better they will become. 

6. There are a finite amount of ideas, so don’t be surprised if something you think you thought up all yourself turns out to have been a) done before, b) is on TV next week, c) becomes an overnight ratings winner. It happens to everyone – accept it. 

7. Invest in yourself. Consider short courses in areas that will help you to develop your skills. Consider a wide range; creative writing, content for digital platforms, image manipulation software etc… 

8. Consider working in both development and production. Skills learned in one area will boost your performance in the other. 

9. Contributors are really important to development. Whether they are experts giving you a professional opinion or the lady in the café agreeing to take part in a gameshow run through – all are equally important and should be afforded the utmost courtesy, respect and thanks for their time. You’d think this one was a no-brainer – but you might be surprised how often this aspect is forgotten. 

10. Watch TV. Not just the content you are interested in but make a point of watching new and international programming across all platforms. Be inspired.