Both Gareth Gordon, Chief Technology Officer at Glasgow outside broadcast sport specialist QTV, and Morag McIntosh, Solution Lead – Studio Automation, BBC Technology, started as BBC trainees two decades ago.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
Before the pandemic, the UK production sector was stretched for talent, thanks to its extended boom. Now, as the sector revs back up to full speed, the skills issue is becoming even more pressing.
A panel of experts discuss how we can strengthen the unscripted sector, develop skills and improve inclusion in the nations and English regions in this RTS and ScreenSkills event.
The event was held in conjunction with the launch of the Unscripted TV Skills Fund on the 1 June 2021- an ambitious £3 million investment into training those working in unscripted TV genres. For more information about the fund click here.
Learn how to write a strong CV for the small screen industry with helpful hints and tips from the ScreenSkills team.