Freelancers and indies connect in Glasgow

The logos for The Big Connection, the RTS and ScreenSkills

The joint RTS Scotland/ScreenSkills event, held at BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay base, started with a panel discussion led by RTS Scotland Vice-Chair Gavin Smith and ended with a “speed networking” session.

“There have been well-publicised financial headwinds [facing the industry],” admitted BBC Scotland Commissioning Executive Steve Allen, “but it’s not all bad news”.

Highlighting the opportunities for Scottish production companies, he said: “We do have money that we’re spend­ing, hoping to stimulate the industry in Scotland.”

Getting Your Foot in the Door | RTS Futures Careers Fair 2024

Industry experts from Mama Youth, Channel 4, ScreenSkills, First Break, Banijay Bright Bulb, Rise at Raw, PACT and the BBC tell you what they have on offer, when to apply, who they are looking for and how to get your application over the line. A one-stop shop for starting your career in television!

This session took place on Wednesday 7 February as part of the RTS Futures Careers Fair 2024, and was hosted by Zach Duthie - Marketing and Communications, Entertainment Partners.

RTS Scotland host speed-networking session for scripted TV

The “speed-networking” format, where industry professionals visited tables with seven minutes to speak to attendees, was used again at the packed-out event at BBC Studios in Glasgow.

Tony Wood, CEO of Buccaneer Media, spoke about his decision to expand the company to Scotland: “Television is controlled by London and that seemed to me to be a shame. So, on the spur of the moment, I agreed with Screen Scotland to set up a production company here.

Select Sessions: Industry Insight Behind the Camera | RTS Scotland

This ScreenSkills Select industry insight webinar, in partnership with RTS Scotland, sees an expert panel take a deep dive into the TV camera department. Hear how they got their feet in the door and learn about the roles they worked through, from camera assistants to operators and Directors of Photography.

The panel features freelancers at various levels in the camera department, all armed with insight and knowledge about how to bring TV shows to life.

Tips from behind the lens with RTS Scotland and ScreenSkills

Asked about her choice of career, director of photography Mari Yamamura revealed: “I was studying to be a painter; I hadn’t thought of video as a fine art medium.

“I decided to study film instead of painting, which I can do in my own time, but I always find painting and lighting to be the same process. I get the image from reading a script and then I want to express that image on the set – that’s what I’ve been trying to do and that’s what gives me joy.”

‘Huge’ boom in unscripted

The three-hour speed networking evening, “The big connection”, saw guests being allocated a table and visited by professionals at eight-minute intervals, with everyone given the opportunity to introduce themselves and ask questions.

Sarah Joyce, head of unscripted at ScreenSkills, explained the choice of the evening’s theme: “Sometimes, people don’t really understand what unscripted TV is, or… appreciate that there’s such a breadth of content.

Our Friend in the North East: Graeme Thompson

Graeme Thompson (Credit: University of Sunderland)

In our case it was a room on the top floor of Sunderland’s new City Hall. In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s stage musical Hamilton, it was a house in Lower Manhattan. But on both occasions, key players gathered to shape the future. 

No one really knows how the game is played 

The art of the trade 

How the sausage gets made 

We just assume that it happens 

But no one else is in the room where it happens

Our Friend in the North West: Cat Lewis

Cat Lewis (Credit: Nine Lives Media)

The £6bn post-pandemic boom in TV and film production is welcome news amid the uncertainty caused by the freeze to the BBC licence fee and the planned privatisation of Channel 4. 

The global expansion of content platforms and the UK’s fantastic reputation as a country that delivers excellent programmes means that there is more TV and film being made here than ever before. But there is a problem: we are predicted to have a shortfall of 40,000 creative-sector workers by 2025.