RTS West of England

Sky opens up on factual TV

In a wide-ranging discussion, hosted by True to Nature founder Wendy Darke, the duo talked about creating “content worth paying for”, with Reynolds commenting that the “fight for audiences has never been bigger”.

Dixon was delighted at the first 18 months of Sky Documentaries, particularly its Factual Channel win at the recent Broadcast Digital Awards.

Winners announced for the RTS West of England Awards 2021 in association with Evolutions Bristol

The television community of the West of England turned out in force to celebrate their work over the last year, a challenging one for the TV industry.

Guests included writer, presenter and campaigner Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (War on Plastic: The Fight Goes On), Sarah Beeny (Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country) and Megan McCubbin (Springwatch).

Boom time in Bristol for TV production

Television has never had it so good in Bristol, with indies and talent flocking to the city to meet the demands of soaring production.

According to new research from the University of the West of England, “Go West”, there are currently 197 creative companies in the Bristol city region, supporting 2,500 permanent jobs and thousands more freelancers.

Sky, Netflix and All3Media have invested in the city’s indies, and Channel 4 has opened one of its two regional Creative Hubs in Bristol.

Light at the End of the Tunnel - Life Beyond Lockdown | RTS West of England

Hear the inside story of production in lockdown in Bristol and how our Indies see the months ahead.

Lynn Barlow, chair, RTS WoE, is joined by Wendy Darke, CEO True to Nature Productions, Grant Mansfield, CEO Plimsoll Productions, Mike Jenkins, Founder, Blak Wave Productions, and Sacha Mirzoeff, Channel 4 Commissioner, Bristol Creative Hub.

Winners announced for the RTS West of England Awards 2020

The feature-length film, which tells the remarkable story of a diver who survived being trapped 100 metres under the sea with only minutes of breathable air remaining, scooped four awards.

Last Breath, made by MetFilm Production/Floating Harbour Films, won the Documentary award, with Paul Leonard-Morgan (Composer), Sam Rogers (Editing) and Ben Baird (Sound) also picking up prizes.

Netflix had more success with Our Planet, made by Bristol wildlife specialists Silverback Films, which won the Natural History and Cinematography awards.

The TV industry needs to appeal to broader audiences, says panel at RTS WoE event

“The [TV] industry genuinely is changing for the better, but we are where we are because lots of people have talked about stuff and not enough people have done anything,” added the CEO of Plimsoll Productions.

“We’re trying to appeal to broad audiences. How on earth can we do that if it’s all being seen through the prism of a bunch of middle-class white people? They should be part of the group, not the whole bloody group.”

Mansfield was part of a panel assembled for an RTS West of England webinar in late June discussing the health of the region’s TV production.

RTS West of England audience welcomed to an exclusive screening of McDonald & Dodds

Credit: ITV

He was talking after an exclusive RTS West of England screening of the show in Bath at the end of February.

The series pairs Jason Watkins as the diffident Bath-born-and-bred DS Dodds and his ambitious boss, DCI McDonald, who has transferred from south London to further her career. She is played by Tala Gouveia.

“It was always going to be Bath. Cop shows are often set in stations. It was important for Dodds, as a different kind of cop, to be out in the field,” said Murphy, who wrote both feature-length episodes, which aired on ITV in March.