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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Game of Thrones at GEITF 2014 | Lisa Campbell

“Edinburgh is the TV industry’s Glastonbury” said one of last year’s delegates after a 3-day bonanza of
creative inspiration and all-night partying.

This year, I’d say we’ve gone one better. Instead of ageing rockers taking centre stage(although rumour has it No Expectations might treat delegates with a guest appearance…), we are set to take you behind-the-scenes of the hottest, most-talked-about TV property in decades. Battle of Blackwater drum roll please….yes, it’s this year’s Breaking Bad – Game of Thrones!

HBO programming chief Mike Lombardo will head a stellar panel, giving delegates a unique insight into this
epic production. We’re announcing some other great names who are involved in the series very soon, so watch this space!

Meanwhile, TV news is engaged in a battle of its own with online services such as VICE, Huff PoLive, Buzzfeed and NowThisNews threatening the cosy monopoly of the traditional players. Alongside an impressive line-up of news bosses from all the major channels, we’ll  hear from award-winning American journalist Tim Pool, head of live news at Vice, whose unique style of interactive broadcast journalism exists at the intersection of social and mainstream media. He’s a
Tim Pool, Vice
great speaker and this promises to be one not to miss.

Our Bafta Rocliffe panel – who will come together to judge the best new British comedy writing – is shaping up nicely. Joining BBC controller of UK comedy production Myfanwy Moore, we have the comedy maestro behind Modern Family – Amy Hartwick. We look forward to welcoming the ABC Studios senior vice president to the UK to share her expertise with our lucky competition winners.

This year, we’ll also be bringing you a series of ED Talks – each of our amazing speakers promise to bring you a unique perspective on harnessing creativity – in just 15 minutes – perfect bite-sized fodder for our Saturday line-up. Recognising that we can be guilty of navel-gazing in the TV industry, we’re showcasing speakers from other industries and professions who will encourage new ways of thinking.

Among the line-up we have neuroscientist Professor Vincent Walsh who will tell us why away days are a waste of time and why we all get our best ideas in the shower and Dr. Paul Dolan,  Professor of behavioural science, LSE, renowned expert on happiness, who has developed ways of measuring well-being. He’s the man responsible for writing the questions that are now being used in large surveys in the UK to monitor national happiness.

Just the tip of the iceberg in a programme with some 50-plus sessions - and much more to follow. Keep reading our newsletter and following us on Twitter for all the latest updates.

Early Bird tickets for GEITF 2014 are available until Monday 30 June. Book yours now to save £114 on the standard rate.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Diversity is the real One to Watch | Campbell Glennie

Last week, Tony Hall revealed his vision to address the woeful figures facing BAME representation both on and off screen. The BBC target for 2020 for off-screen talent is 15% (up from 8.3%). While the BBC’s unique position has meant that it has had no choice but to act, we also hope that this will lead to other broadcasters and indies thinking about what they can do over the coming year to effect real change too. Whether the BBC’s training and development approach will achieve the results that Lenny Henry feels can only be brought about by ring-fencing, time will tell. I’ll join Simone Pennant in “raising a cautionary glass of Cava” and hope that progress can be achieved swiftly without calling into question the massive contributions BAME creatives already make to the television industry.

It is both an insult and a missed opportunity when the television production process does not reflect its
audience. As part of our charitable remit, our schemes strive to represent all groups and we have traditionally had healthy BAME participation, above both the industry and national average. However, after the disappointing statistics on BAME representation in the industry revealed by Creative Skillset last year, we knew we could do more. We have further shifted our emphasis to go out and find more talent from underrepresented groups, regions and backgrounds, through new outreach partners, and more rigorous assessment. We feel this is even more important at the Ones to Watch level: the level where diversity starts to fall away from the industry’s composition. We are therefore delighted to report that The Network 2014 final selection is 32% BAME (up from 21% in 2013) and more crucially this year’s Ones to Watch are 30% BAME (up from 13% in 2013). As you move up the hierarchical structures of TV and the media, diversity is often a casualty, which is why we are particularly proud to preserve diverse television careers as they reach maturity.

As well as increasing BAME diversity, this year’s Ones to Watch are 70% female (something we hope will be heartening news for Jay Hunt, who will be part of this year’s Ones to Watch sessions programme) and cover a wide range of roles from within the industry, from writers to producers to VOD schedulers. It’s impossible to create an accurate microcosm of the industry in just 30 people, but we hope that this year’s successful candidates will have their eyes open to new perspectives, ideas and approaches, and learn as much from each other as the senior level talent they’ll enjoy intimate audiences with.

If Ones to Watch was a Buzzfeed article – it would be called something like “30 Reasons Why The Future of Television Is Looking Bright”. So, finally, here they are: this year’s Ones to Watch. If you know them, be sure to send them a virtual pat on the back, high five, hug, hair ruffle or whatever level of congratulation you feel comfortable with. We are not liable for any injuries sustained during “the bumps”.

Natalie Alvarado, Adam Barth, Rosa Brough, Samuel Burr, Claire Cahill, Sarah Collinson, Jessica Connell, Deanne Cunningham, Anca Dimofte, Suzy Grant, Nimesh Joshi, Jen Kerrison, Grivas Kopti, Tara Magan, Matthew Marsh, Mog McIntyre, Alana McVerry, Datshiane Navanayagam, Siobhan Ni Chiobhain, Meriel Paisley, Emerald Paston, Sophie Petzal, Sophia Rashid, Helen Richmond, Sam Shetabi, Andy Sockanathan, Cat Spooner, Rocco Sulkin, Philippa Treverton-Jones and Annabel Wigoder

Thank you to our Talent Schemes OTW sub-committee who painstakingly marked the hundreds of applications we received and those who participated in our new interview and selection panels: Alex Ayling, YouTube Channel Manager, BBC Worldwide; Dominic Bird, Head of Formats, Channel 4; Lisa Campbell, GEITF Festival Director; Tamara Howe, Controller, Business, Entertainment & Comedy, BBC Television; Angela Jain, Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, ITV; Jo McClellan, Drama Development Executive, Sky; Viv Molokwu, Chris Shaw, Editorial Director, ITN Productions, Neale Simpson, Head of Entertainment Development, RDF; Ben Tattersall Smith, Social Media Manager, BBC; Sarah Thornton, VP, Production & Development, Lifestyle & Entertainment, Discovery Networks; Katy Thorogood, Commissioning Editor, Factual, ITV; Newton Velji; and Karl Warner, Managing Director, Electric Ray.

If you would like to find out more about the diverse graduates of our schemes, or would be interested in becoming a mentor to the next generation of talent, please do not hesitate to get in touch at or follow us @OnesToWatch_TV @TheNetwork_TV or @campbellglennie

Campbell Glennie
Director, Talent Schemes

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Britain’s Got Talent (Assessment Days) | Campbell Glennie

Glasgow, Salford, Camden, Chiswick, everybody’s talking about pop music.  Apologies, I meant to say The Network talent assessment days at the end there. Cannot resist a rhyme.

For those of you who don’t know, The Network is GEITF’s entry level talent scheme, aimed at those with less than three months’ paid experience, but with a burning passion for TV, preferably bordering on the obsessive. You might know them as the inquisitive ones with bright eyes and bushy tails after your business cards at the parties. But our purpose is serious, we’re looking for new voices from new places. In short, we want to ensure that those who work in television are as diverse as those who watch it.

For the first time this year, rather than just use written applications to decide who makes it onto The Network, we packed up the GEITF Talent Schemes magic bus and hit the road during May to meet the top 170 of the over 1,000 applications we received this year. Our task: to find the final lucky 50 who will be joining us for The Network this year for four intense and fun-filled days in Edinburgh. While we hope the assessment days were instructional and inspirational for the candidates, we couldn’t help but take away a few things ourselves about the next generation of talent coming through.

Here are seven things we learnt over four days of meeting some amazing people.

•Gogglebox and Game of Thrones were among the most discussed programmes in our interviews. I’m taking away from this that titles starting with “G” connect with the younger generation. All I’m saying is a Going For Gold reboot could really clean up.

•Unorthodox interviewee techniques included winking during introductions. We would not necessarily recommend this.

•Ross Kemp may be known exclusively as a documentarian to anyone born after 1990.

•Bingewatching could be having a disastrous effect on exam results. I’m not saying Michael Gove will ban Netflix, but keep an eye out.

•The next generation are definitely hyphenates who are trying everything and teaching themselves. There were very few we met who weren’t self-shooter/editor/director/producer/actor/breakdancers.

•There are a lot of Emmas out there.

•There are more alumni of both The Network (formerly TVYP) and Ones to Watch (formerly Fast Track /
TV25) in the world than we thought. If you are too – please take a few seconds to let us know what you’re doing via this handy form – we’d love to know what you’re up to and you’ll get invites to our free quarterly alumni events.

Thank you to all the talent scheme committee members, talent managers and execs all over the UK who generously gave us their time to make these days such a success, and to Creative Skillset, University of Salford, University of Hertfordshire, BBC Scotland, Discovery UK and The Roundhouse for making them possible.

The final 50 have now been selected, and they’ll be getting the good news as you read this. So when you see a Networker at the Festival, say hello. If they’re trying out their newfound networking skills on you at a party, be patient. When they send you an e-mail asking for advice, help them out. Let’s face it, they’ll all be our bosses one day.