Tag Archives: Producers who blog

The BBC lays it down on Development & Commissioning y’all

Yo dawgs, what’s happenin’?

I went to the BBC Academy’s Digital Bristol Week yesterday, for a seminar on Production Development. So now I’m going to share with you all the golden information I have gained on ideas, commissioning and multi-platform media.

3pbaj9Number One: The Idea

For inspiration, scour production company websites and see if there’s anything specific they’re asking for. Drama is getting darker, docs more extreme. Apparently, UK commissioners hate drama with a voice over. Watch as many tv channels’ top shows as you can – even for just 10 minutes – to get a feel for what’s popular at the moment. The key to a good idea is understanding what’s out there already: examine the box’s contents and then think outside it. Daytime television is doing great right now because half the country is unemployed and they’re desperate for more ’60 Minute Makeovers’ and ‘Cash in the Attic’ – these aspirational shows are about making your life better for less. Try to come up with an idea that can travel across ages/genders/social class/geography (Top Gear is a good example of this). The golden rule: LIKE SELL MAKE. Will people like it? Can you sell it? And then can you make it? Bear costs in mind before you get carried away.

Number Two: Multi-platform & Social Media

It’s not as scary as it sounds – put simply it is just another way for an audience to consume your product. funny-dog-memeEvery BBC tv show has its own website, some even have their own Twitter and Facebook pages. Pepper Pig is a great example – apps, books, websites, games… all covered and all matching. Multi-media enhances our viewing of a show so we can carry on enjoying it even whilst it’s not on air. A new mode of media called “2nd Screen” or even “3rd Screen” refers to new audience habits – whilst watching TV they are tweeting about, reading abou it, or chatting to their friend on the other side of the world about it. The risk is losing your audience to that 2nd screen when it becomes more interesting than the TV – having multiple platforms for your media is a way of holding onto them. If not, your TV show must simply be so gripping and wonderful that audiences can’t bear to look away.

Number Three: What to do with this fabaroo idea and multi-platform shizzle?

Look at the TV schedule. Where are there gaps that your idea could fill? Does one channel need a new drama to compete with another? Remember some gaps (news, soaps etc) will never be free so don’t get caught out. cat-meme-scary-black-cat-dog-meme-funny-animals-funny-pictures_thumbWhat production companies produce the kind of content you’ve got? Next, ask those companies how they accept ideas, ask to see a past successful treatment then copy its format. When it comes to sending it in, think about the holidays – no one’s gonna care around Xmas! The best times are early Autumn (after the Edinburgh TV conference commissioners are feeling inspired) and early Spring. If you’re invited in to pitch, try to get familiar with the lingo the company want to hear, by looking at their website. And be confident (but not arrogant) – if you give them a reason to doubt you, they’ll take it. Show them you’ve done your research – tell them why people will like it, why you want them to buy it, and how it will be made.  And definitely talk about multi-media platforms!

So this is the gist of the seminar, straight from my notes! Some really inspirational stuff and useful tips. Now go forth and come up with the next Come Dine With Me!

A xx

who-is-awesome

 

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“I’m going to use what God gave me. My boobs and a posh British accent.”

I said this jokingly to ‘P’ yesterday, on the subject of job hunting in LA after I graduate. Thing is, I couldn’t help feeling that would be… cheating? I dunno.

Girls who use their bodies to get jobs (from wearing low cut tops to actually doing the deed) get a bad rep. But what if you are super talented and you just need a way to get your foot in the door? I’m not condoning sleeping with your boss to get a raise, but is a little flirting really that bad?

For example, I usually manage to get a discount with mechanics – I just smile, chat, make them feel like they want to help me out. I’m not gonna lie, my F-cup boobs probably do most of work for me. And voila I save quite a bit of money (my car breaks down every 2-3 months…).

I can’t help having big boobs – in fact, I try ridiculously hard to hide them, and sometimes I hate that they attract attention. I just can’t deny I didn’t get my first industry job based (unknowingly) on my bust : I answered all the questions wrong, but the guy hiring me was a total perv and once I’d got my boobs through that door the job was mine.

I know this is wrong. On the other hand, would I have got the job if I hadn’t had the boobs? Would I be where I am now? Guess I’ll never know.

What I do know, is that when I go to LA, I will be keeping my boobs to myself, but if the interviewer is a guy, I wont need to to flaunt them – they do that in a stiff chin-high polo jumper. And if he likes my accent, I’m not gonna change it.

In short, I don’t mind why they give me the job. I do mind how well I do the job, and how much I can impress them as a producer/camera operator/director once I’m hired.

Surely that’s what matters?

Love ‘A’ x

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Producer: to be or not to be?

So the past two weeks in my crazy world of TV Production at Bournemouth University have, without a doubt, been the most eventful and strangest two weeks of my education so far.

Allow me to elaborate… (this will surely be dazzling and thrilling in every way possible, as I am currently sitting comatose in front of a computer, in a stuffy edit suite, at half 9 in the evening – after 7 days solid work and very little sleep).

So I arrived back from my weekend with ‘P’ (twas a blast, if you must know) and strolled into uni without a care in the world – it was then that I was told I would be producing a 30min news and chat show in the Sony HD Studio, and not only this, but it would be broadcast LIVE!!! And – here is the fun part – I had 3 DAYS IN WHICH TO ORGANISE EVERYTHING!! My face at this moment:

I first experienced a state of denial – no, no. NOOOOOO! Then anger – How could you do this to me????!!!!! :@ Then anxiety – ah ah ah ah what the hell am I going to do??? Swiftly followed by a surge of extra insanity. Before finally, I took a deep breath, told myself to stop acting like a pathetic, PMS-ing (Pathetic Man Syndrome) man and sort it out.

Needless to say, the show went swimmingly and, though I say so myself (not one to brag, too much) everyone was impressed with my thorough organisational skills and “attention to detail” (ah lol at the in-joke ;p )*

Will skim over my boring weekend of waitressing and coffee-making  with the wonderful summing -up power of the word BLEURGH.

Bringing us to Monday (yesterday) when I realised to my horror that in my haste to produce a live TV show, I had completely forgotten I was also co-producing a documentary, to be shot that Thursday and Friday. My face at this moment:

I think you get the picture.

What happened then was what can only be described as a threatening onslaught on the citizens of Bournemouth, in order to find some idiot crazy enough to be the main subject for our doc. After 4 hours of being hung up on, maxing out my phone bill, and collapsing in a state of ‘Ah I just don’t give a fuck anymore!’ I received a phone call from a lovely lady. She had received my 5 voicemails** and was free this Thurs and Fri for an interview and tour of her haunted pub. My face at this moment:

It was then that I had the realisation- maybe I am actually good at this producing malarcky? Or not.

Stay tuned to see how this all pans out 🙂

Love ‘A’ x

*in-jokes permitted, this being a blog that nobody reads

** exaggerations also permitted, because sympathy is needed from the many, avid readers of this blog

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A’s boyfriend: In my spare time I like to watch Huskey videos on youtube… A & P: …

It’s amazing who might be sitting just around the corner from you, and the stories they could have to share. Seriously, we spend far too little time talking to one another (sarcastically telling BT you simply adore their customer service and would they not like to send you a twenty page form to recommend them to the year award whilst you wait another three months for the broadband… well, that doesn’t quite count).

Have so far today found out our receptionist is a very talented (and well repped) playwright/composer of musical theatre/etc etc, the new boys in the office have some simply scandalous stories of the changes in the journalist trade, and Producers blog these days. About things not at all relevant to their job description.

Have also learnt that serious conversations will simply not happen before sufficient amounts of coffee has gone through the system in the morning. For example accidentally telling your sort of boss how much a certain city could very well be considered the ghetto of northern california may not be the best idea when it turns out his lovely aunt Martha lives there and talks it up every other Sunday. Hmmm, note to self.

And on an entirely different note, Miranda Kerr (aka stunning Viccy’s Secret model+health guru+author as it turns out) posted a pic on her blog of her newborn adorable son. What do the papers pick up on though? Oh good heavens she’s breastfeeding! Deary oh! Must start a new debate, how dare they reignite such a confusing topic. To feed or not to feed… And apparently the NHS are now saying this isn’t a good idea, the whole milk thing. Not that I want to question the good docs advice or anything, but hasn’t this procedure worked quite all right for the past, oh you know, couple of thousands of years? And then some?!

over and out

xoxo

‘P’

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