“TV is all about relationships. We’re helping you kick-start those relationships.”
That’s Campbell Glennie of the annual Edinburgh TV Festival – every August, the @EdinburghTVFest is one of the highlights of the TV industry, bringing together around 2,000 people who work in TV across the UK and beyond, to network & celebrate.
Creative Futures, lovely folks as they are, kindly invited me to attend Campbell’s talk earlier today on their intense talent development scheme which runs alongside the festival, “The Network“. If you live in the UK, and want to work in TV, this could be the gateway for you.
“When you first start out in TV, your value is in how you generate and develop ideas. TV people are looking for fresh brains to suck dry, so if you’ve got a fresh brain full of ideas, you should consider applying to become part of this year’s Network.”
Here’s their spiel: The Network is a FREE intensive introduction to working in the TV industry, run by the world’s leading TV festival. If you’re looking to start a career in television, this is the scheme for you. You don’t need to have had any experience of working in television BUT you will have to demonstrate that you LOVE TV.
Earn one of the 50 places on The Network and you’ll spend 4 days in Edinburgh learning practical TV making skills from top programme makers, giving you a taster of what it’s really like to work in television. Mingle with the cream of the British TV industry and make loads of new contacts, whilst working with the teams behind shows like First Dates, Sky News, Holby City and Blue Peter. You’ll also be paired with an industry mentor, and get access to exclusive alumni events and job placements.
According to Campbell, 92% of people who’d taken part in The Network in 2014 went on to work in a TV roll after taking part.
“We all have a view of what TV people are like – that’s what we want to stop. If the people stay the same every year, TV becomes stagnant. We’re looking for people who look at TV in a different way than the average viewer.”
The Network’s application process is now open to anyone over the age of 18 across the UK; although if you are currently studying a degree, you must be in your final year of study to be eligible to enter. They want to hear from you; your ideas for TV shows.
The worst entries?
“We receive a fair few entries along these lines: “Me and my mates are hilarious! You should put cameras in front of us – we get up to all kinds of shenanigans and have the best banter.” Erm, no, we probably don’t want to see that.”
And the best?
“The best entries tell a good visual story, they leap out to us from the page. If we can read your description of a new TV format (a marketable idea which can be sold to other countries) and we can really visualise it in our head, it’s likely a winner.”
“It’s hard to make the scripted stuff come alive via application, but if you’re entering drama you should think less about the content of the story, and more about the concepts and the theme. Script is less important than the contours of a drama series.”
It’s a good idea to get a friend to read your ideas before submitting them – not just to make sure they sound like good ideas, but also to make sure they sound like you.
Expect to be hearing more from Campbell Glennie & the Edinburgh TV Festival on the 99% Perspiration blog, and on our podcast.
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And, as always,
Stay productive, stay awesome!
Executive Producer, 99% Perspiration