Tag: BBC

FilmNation TV UK partners with BBC and North East Screen to drive production in the region

Posted on by North East Screen

FilmNation TV UK, a division of award-winning entertainment studio FilmNation Entertainment, has today announced a partnership with BBC and North East Screen to attract and nurture on and off-screen talent from the region, accelerate development, diversify the pipeline of productions from the region, and produce returning, high-end productions that will be filmed locally.

The BBC and North East Screen are supporting FilmNation with the recruitment of a part-time Development Producer to be based in the region. To maximize the partnership opportunity and broaden the skill base for the region, the Development Producer will be responsible for strengthening relationships, seeking out bold and fresh voices from all backgrounds and driving development activity. FilmNation will commence the hiring of this role immediately.

FilmNation TV UK develops, produces and finances premium scripted television content for global audiences. The company, led by Creative Director Kirstie Macdonald, works with a wide variety of UK broadcasters, creative talent and studios. The UK production house’s parent company, FilmNation Entertainment, is the studio behind critically acclaimed entertainment across all mediums including: films (Academy Award winning ARRIVAL, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN), US television (Emmy winning I Know This Much Is True for HBO, Chris O’Dowd’s upcoming Small Town, Big Story for Sky), theater (Olivier and Tony Award winning Prima Facie and The Band’s Visit), and podcasts (Signal Award winning SNAFU hosted by Ed Helms).

Kirstie Macdonald, Creative Director of FilmNation TV UK says: “Having had to leave the region myself to find work in TV, I’m keenly aware how underrepresented the North East is on screen. We are thrilled to collaborate with local talent who share our vision of amplifying original voices and stories whilst helping to build a sustainable industry in the region.”

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive, North East Screen says: “This partnership with Film Nation and the BBC is part of North East Screen’s drive to ensure our ambitious talent and outstanding homegrown stories are at the heart of the North East’s future growth, showcasing fresh perspectives of what the region can offer to global audiences. The North East’s market share of production has been a small percentage for too long. Thanks to the recent interventions by the North East Screen Industries Partnership, including the North East Production Fund, we are now finally seeing some big changes with incoming productions set to increase filming days three-fold in 2024. We hope to see more of our talent bringing us commission opportunities.”

Northern Child’s latest commission starring Jordan North to air Wednesday 20th March

Posted on by North East Screen

Jordan North: The Truth About Vaping, a production from Newcastle based production company Northern Child, will air on BBC Three at 9pm on Wednesday the 20th of March.

As the UK Government moves to ban disposable vapes, Jordan North sets out to uncover the truth about vaping, and decide if it’s time he packed it in. 

Along his journey, Jordan meets young vapers similarly confused about the impact of vaping on their health. He visits his old university in Sunderland to find out how vapes work, joins Newcastle Trading Standards as they conduct raids on shops selling illegal vapes, and heads to Manchester to meet the scientist behind one of the first long term studies into the impact of vapes on our cardiovascular system.

The documentary will be repeated on Monday 25th March, 8:30pm on BBC One.

Jordan North will also be on The One Show on Wednesday to promote the documentary.

This is another fantastic commissioning win from Northern Child who, since opening their base in the region two years ago, have gone from strength to strength. Northern Child is the sister company to Middle Child who have been creating content for all the major British broadcasters as well as global platform for fifteen years.

Middlechild also have recently delivered The Tube:Keep London Moving! to Channel 5 which airs Sunday 24th March at 8pm. Though this was made under the Brighton based Middlechild, the four-part series was fully produced by our very own Katie Elliot – a North East Producer at Northern Child.

Watch the trailer below

Screen Alliance North launches Connected Communities events as part of the BBC’s Bring the Drama Festival

Posted on by North East Screen

This March, Screen Alliance North will be hosting its first series of Connected Communities events, with the support of BFI National Lottery funding, and partners the BBC. These events aim to increase accessibility to the screen industry and help improve working practices, encouraging a more diverse and inclusive workforce. They form part of the BBC’s wider Bring The Drama festival which is running across the UK throughout March.

These learning and networking events will be hosted at key Northern Studios and facilities, including Space Studios in Manchester, The Northern Studios in Hartlepool, and FACT in Liverpool.

Open to all northern crew and those interested in working in the industry, the free events, which will take place in person, and can be accessed online, will focus on themes such as environmental and social sustainability, wellbeing and good working practices and inclusion and diversity, all aimed at encouraging access to the screen industry across the North of England.

Penny Hall, Skills Cluster Partnership Lead at Screen Alliance North said;
“Connected Communities is a new strand of flagship, annual Screen Alliance North events which aim to connect our underrepresented communities in the North through learning and networking, and to help grow and sustain a well balanced, forward thinking workforce. The free events are for anyone currently working in the screen industry as crew, in production companies as well as those interested in a career in the industry.

We hope the events will encourage local camaraderie and provide opportunities for learning, upskilling and making new contacts. For those new to the industry it will give that all important foot in the door providing a new network for helping to access future work. We are thrilled to be working with  the BBC on these events, and a number of other fantastic partner organisations will be participating in our panel discussions.”

Each event will consist of a panel discussion with the BBC and other industry experts, a workshop designed to inform, educate and inspire and a networking event encouraging collaboration, knowledge sharing and contact making.

Dawn Beresford, Director of Talent and Skills, BBC Commissioning, said:

“I am delighted that Screen Alliance North have created these three events in Liverpool, Hartlepool and Manchester as part of our Bring the Drama Festival. The BBC are committed to investing in and supporting local creative economies across the UK and the Connected Communities events are one of the important partnerships to help build skills and develop talent across the creative landscape.”

Screen Alliance North Connected Communities events:

Film and TV sustainability day in Liverpool
Wednesday 6th March
FACT, Liverpool
film.office@liverpool.gov.uk

Overcoming barriers in film and TV
Thursday 14th March
The Northern Studios, Hartlepool
Overcoming barriers in film and TV Tickets, Thu 14 Mar 2024 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

Mental Health and Wellbeing in Film and TV
Thursday 21st March
Space Studios, Manchester
www.screenmanchester.com

Three North East Indies win their first BBC daytime TV commission 

Posted on by North East Screen

Three North East Indies are entering 2024 with a bang having won their first BBC daytime commission that will see them create inserts for BBC’s popular daytime show, Morning Live. 

Wander Films (Middlesbrough), Sea & Sky Pictures (Hartlepool), and Second Draft (Sunderland), were all successful with their pitch ideas and will now have their northern stories shown to a national audience. All three indies have been working closely with North East Screen over the last four years through a range of programmes and activities to support them becoming reputable broadcast-winning companies. 

North East Screen’s Development Director, Lisa Laws, believes this is just the beginning of the broadcast journey for these indies. She said, 

“It’s great to see the hard work of Wander, Sea & Sky and Second Draft paying dividends at last given the challenging commissioning climate we are in. So this is a real win not only for them, but for the North East. 

“This shows that our North East-based indies have built strong relationships with commissioners to really understand what audiences want and expect from a show like Morning Live.  

“This first step into broadcast is crucial for company growth, and I can’t wait to see what they deliver! Exciting times ahead!” 

The commission opportunity has been led by BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning Editor, Helen Munson, who is based in the North East. She said, 

“This is a really exciting opportunity to build on and develop key relationships with indies based in the North East. I know there is such a wealth of talent here and I’m really looking forward to working with them more.” 

Chloe Clover, Co Founder and CEO of Wander Films said,

“We presented five topical stories with positive messages. It was crucial that the ideas were unique yet in line with the Morning Live house style. We’re buzzing that the commissioners loved our angles, and we are now in production for TV!” 

Lou Brannon, Development Co-Ordinator at Sea & Sky Pictures said,  

“We’re over the moon to have been chosen for this opportunity to contribute to Morning Live on BBC One. We’d like to thank North East Screen and the BBC for allowing us to build on our previous successes with The BBC’s Small Indie Fund 2023 and North East Voices initiatives.  

“Our films will cover varied topics such as ways to combat loneliness and litter picking, and will give advice, inspiration and hopefully start conversations across the nation.” 

 
Mark Stuart Bell, Producer/Director at Second Draft said,  

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside the BBC’s flagship morning programme. We have a real affection for the warmth and optimism that Morning Live creates, and we hope that our film brings attention to the concerning issue of malnutrition in the UK, but also leaves the audience feeling inspired by the story of one ordinary woman’s mission to solve this crisis.” 

Morning Live is BBC One’s flagship daytime magazine show broadcast live from their Manchester-based studio, averaging over 1.2 million viewers. Since the new year, the show has been extended to 75 minutes from 45 minutes and strengthened its pool of on-screen presenters to include Cumbrian Helen Skelton. 

Four North East indies selected for the BBC’s Small Indie Fund 2024 

Posted on by North East Screen

The BBC has announced that four North East based indies will be supported through their £1.5m Small Indie Fund, providing a huge boost for the screen sector in the region. 

Candle & Bell (Gateshead), MCC Media (Sunderland), Schnoobert Productions (Newcastle) and Wander Films (Middlesbrough) will all receive strategic investment and regular mentoring from a BBC commissioning editor.  

The £1.5m Fund was launched in 2020 to support the development of small independent production companies with turnovers below £10m across Drama, Entertainment, Comedy, Factual, Daytime, Children’s, and this year, BBC Film. 

North East Screen’s Development Director, Lisa Laws, said: 

“Once again, our North East based indies are making an impression with the BBC, and it’s great to see these four companies winning BBC Small Indie Fund Awards. This award will provide them with the time to build and strengthen relationships with commissioners and get a real understanding of BBC Daytime, Peak-time or Comedy audiences to hone their pitches and improve chances of winning commission opportunities.  

“We are seeing the impact on the companies who were recipients last year: some have either moved into paid development or have won commissions thanks to the support they received.” 

Jason Cook, Founder of Schnoobert Productions, based in Newcastle, said:  

“We are over the moon to once again be selected for the BBC Small Indie Fund. Last year’s fund was so vital in our growth as a company and we are looking forward to working closely with BBC Comedy to keep this (slightly unsteady) rocket on trajectory together.” 

Maria Caruana Galizia, Producer and Managing Director of Candle & Bell said: 

“We’re very grateful to the BBC for their investment in Candle & Bell. It’s great to be working with Emma Lawson [BBC Comedy Commissioning Editor] and the BBC Comedy team for a second year in a row. Being recipients of the Small Indie Fund last year opened many doors for us, so we’re looking forward to building on the successes of 2023 which included two script commissions and an audio commission. We’re hoping for a bigger and better 2024!” 

Lou Tonner, Co-Founder of Wander Films said:  

“We are stoked to be selected for the BBC Small Indie Fund. This is an incredible opportunity for Wander to continue to grow. We’ve had a few cool wins over the past couple of months and it’s class to have the BBC on our side! We owe a huge thanks to the guys at North East Screen for providing us access to such a strong support network.” 

Paul McCoy, CEO of MCC Media said: 

“MCC Media are delighted to have been selected for the BBC Small Indie Fund. This helps to further cement our relationship with the BBC as we start working more on the factual side as well as kids and family. We hope that this opportunity will help our growth plans for 2024, and for what is gearing up to be a busy year for the North East production scene and beyond.” 

North East Screen provides support to regional based independent production companies, as well as those looking to set up a North East base, through a variety of programmes to help them develop their products and services. For more information about these programmes, contact the Talent and Business Development: talent@northeastscreen.org  

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes series 2 to air on New Year’s Day

Posted on by North East Screen

TV star Robson Green meets a new set of famous guests in this refreshing second series as they discover the roads less travelled and immerse themselves in the great outdoors.

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes showcases the North’s breath-taking landscapes, cultural heritage, and wealth of activities that are perfect for the mind and body.

Set against the backdrop of some of the UK’s most stunning scenery, this new BBC series is the perfect tonic to chase away the winter blues and will see Robson, along with family and some famous friends, appreciating a slower pace of life.

On each journey, Robson tries an outdoor activity with a different famous face as they share their favourite memories from places close to their hearts across the North East, Cumbria, Yorkshire and the Scottish Borders.

From former footballer Shola Ameobi, celebrity wine enthusiast Olly Smith, and TV personality Denise Welch, to actors Kevin Whately, Mark Benton and Tessa Peake Jones, they all join Robson for a weekend getaway they’ll never forget.

Across the series Robson hits the road in a traditional horse-drawn wagon, is in fits of giggles during laughing yoga, cruises down a canal on a narrowboat, puts his best foot forward while learning ballet in a field, and takes a scenic drive in a motorbike sidecar.

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes has been produced by Signpost and Robson’s own production company River Meets Productions.

Commissioned by Helen Munson, the BBC’s Commissioning Editor for Daytime and Early Peak based in the North East, this 15-part series starts on Monday 1st January on BBC Two at 7pm, but subsequent episodes will be in the usual 6.30pm slot and will be stripped Mon-Fri.

BBC commission new documentary from Newcastle-based indie Northern Child starring Jordan North

Posted on by North East Screen

North East indie, Northern Child has won a BBC Three commission for a documentary to be filmed in Newcastle, featuring BBC Radio 1 presenter Jordan North.

What’s Really in Your Vape? (w/t) will see Jordan North front his first documentary as he explores the truth behind the UK’s vaping phenomenon.

The number of young people vaping has skyrocketed in recent years. Annual sales in the UK are now worth more than £1.3 billion.

But do we really know what’s inside these vapes? What are they made of, how are they made, and where? What chemicals go into the liquid? How much nicotine’s really in them? Which ones are sold legally, which ones aren’t?

As someone who uses vapes himself, Jordan North seeks answers to all of these questions. As well as meeting scientists performing cutting edge testing on vapes, and researchers looking at the possible long term effects of vaping, Jordan investigates the problem with illegal vapes in the UK. How big is the market? Where are they coming from? Who’s selling them? And just how dangerous might they be?

Jordan North says: “I’m really excited to be back on BBC Three, I’ve always wanted to make a documentary and I’m really interested in this subject, as a vaper myself I’m desperate to know what’s inside my vape!”

Andrew Eastel, Executive Producer says: “Vaping has become incredibly popular in the UK. Not just with those trying to quit smoking, and especially amongst younger people. So, it’s more important than ever for us to have a better understanding of what’s actually inside a vape; how they are made and where they come from, the types or brands of vapes that may pose a risk, and whether there could be longer term implications for the health of people who vape? Jordan is the ideal person to help us answer these questions. He’s naturally inquisitive and open-minded – without being preachy – and as someone who vapes himself, he has a vested interest in getting to the truth.”

Nasfim Haque, Head of Content of BBC Three says: “Jordan is the perfect guide for this fascinating and insightful new documentary as he takes a deep dive into the rapidly expanding phenomenon of vaping and showcases his findings to viewers on BBC Three and iPlayer.”

What’s Really in Your Vape? will be broadcast on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer in early 2024.

What’s Really in Your Vape? (1 x 30) is a Northern Child Production for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer produced from Newcastle. The Executive Producer is Andrew Eastel, the Producer is Katie Elliott and the programme will be Directed by Simon Rawles. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Mark Harrison for Current Affairs.

BBC One commissions Making It with Sara Davies (w/t) for all us eager would-be inventors

Posted on by North East Screen

BBC One has today announced a brand-new commission: Making It with Sara Davies (w/t). Produced by Gateshead based Twenty Six 03, and backed by the North East Production Fund, delivered by North East Screen, this exciting new series will air on BBC One in 2024 and has been commissioned for 15×30 episodes.

Each programme will feature ordinary people who think they’ve come up with a brilliant or innovative idea for a new product, but just don’t know where to start to see if it could ever become a reality.

Enter Sara and her crack team of highly-skilled experts…they’ll meet all of the aspiring inventors to help develop their initial ideas with the aim of turning them into fully-functioning, and potentially even money-making products. Life changing stuff!

But will the ideas always work or are the aspiring inventors dreaming of the impossible? With her keen eye for innovation, and amazing concepts, Sara will be joined by her team in their specialist workshop, based in the North East of England, to see if these dreams can become a reality.

Sara, has been a successful business woman since the age of 21, when she spotted a gap in the craft market when she invented an envelope-making tool for card makers. With the help of her engineer dad, she tested and refined her product before she made a prototype and started to sell it. And since then, her life has changed, and her personal success has seen her become a major investor in some of the UK’s most successful businesses through her role on Dragons’ Den.

Sara says, “There are thousands of people across the UK who have brilliant and big ideas, but are stuck on how to get started, so I am delighted that I am going to be able to help these wonderfully innovative people develop and make their inventing dreams a reality. I can’t wait to see what ideas are out there and get them into our workshop of dreams!”

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive at North East Screen comments, “We’re excited to be supporting Sara Davies next project, this is a great example of how our development and production fund supports North East production and on screen talent to develop and drive future content. The BBC have made a solid commitment to having commissioners based in the region and we can see that really making a difference.”

Gayle Woodruffe, Operations Director at North East Screen comments, “The North East Production Fund is really starting to have an impact, supporting regional based indies and talent reach new markets, attracting international films and ground-breaking TV series, which all bring investment and jobs to our region growing businesses, skills and talent.”

Helen Munson, Commissioning Editor for BBC Daytime comments, “Where better to make a programme about inventing than the North East?! This is where Joseph Swann invented the lightbulb, and George Stephenson became the ‘Father of the Railways’. We are in good company! And with the brilliant Sara Davies at the helm we know we are going to unearth brand new inventions for the 21st Century. Gateshead based Twenty Six 03 will be working with a host of local off screen talent to bring this exciting new series to BBC One.”

Rob Unsworth, Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning comments, “The UK has always been an innovative nation, but could any one of us be the next to come up with a game-changing new invention? Viewers are in for a treat as the brilliant Sara Davies and her team of experts discover which of the clever, creative or crazy ideas so many of us have knocking around our heads could ever become a reality. I hope this will be a warmly inspirational addition to our schedule, and can’t wait to see what our budding inventors bring to the workshop.”

Duncan Gray and Antonia Hurford-Jones, Executive Producers for Twenty Six 03, comment, “We’re thrilled to get the chance to be making this series with the brilliant Sara Davies and our fantastic team here in Gateshead.  Ingenuity in the UK is alive and well and we’re already getting in some amazing ideas.” Making It with Sara Davies (w/t) will be on screens in 2024, it was commissioned for BBC One and iPlayer by Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning Rob Unsworth, the Commissioning Editor for BBC Daytime is Helen Munson. The programme is produced by Twenty Six 03’s Duncan Gray and Antonia Hurford-Jones with funding from North East Screen.

The BBC Small Indie Fund 2023 is now open for applications 

Posted on by North East Screen

The BBC has announced the launch of its £1 million BBC Small Indie Fund 2024 to support a range of UK Indies, from start-up companies to more established Indies with ambitious growth plans. 

The 2023 Small Indie Fund cohort included six North East production companies: Candle & Bell (Gateshead), MCC Media Limited (Sunderland), Middlechild Productions (Newcastle), Schnoobert Productions (Newcastle), Sea & Sky Pictures (Hartlepool) and Twenty Six 03 Entertainment (Gateshead). Hopefully the 2024 cohort will see more upcoming North East production companies named. 

On the success of the North East companies in the 2023 cohort, North East Screen’s Head of Talent and Development, Lisa Laws said: “The region is full of talented creative businesses with an abundance of ideas, skills and incredible determination. The tide is beginning to turn with support for the screen industry in the North East, and funds such as this from the BBC will help to supercharge creative business development, making us a region to look out for nationally and globally.” 

The fund, which has been running since 2020, backs talented small independent production companies with turnovers of less than £10million across factual, daytime, drama, comedy, entertainment and children’s TV genres, prioritising diverse-led companies and those based in the Nations and English regions. It is granted to companies based on the strength of their creative potential and aims to support growth and deliver sustainability within the company. Successful companies receive tailored support packages to help their development along with commissioning mentors from the BBC. 

Any North East-based company looking to apply for the Small Indie Fund is invited to contact the talent and business development team at North East Screen for an informal chat about applying and continued company development by emailing talent@northeastscreen.org  

More information on the BBC Small Indie Fund can be found on the BBC website.

Charlotte Crosby returns to BBC Three and BBC iPlayer for more Charlotte in Sunderland

Posted on by North East Screen

Cameras will once again follow the unpredictable and dynamic world of entrepreneur and TV personality Charlotte Crosby as Charlotte in Sunderland returns to BBC Three and BBC iPlayer for a second series later in 2023.

Made by Chatterbox Media, Charlotte in Sunderland series two (10 x 30’) will pick up a few months after the conclusion of the first series, which saw Charlotte face a host of life changing moments including discovering she was pregnant with her first child, her partner Jake leaving Manchester and moving to the North East, her mum being diagnosed with cancer and the sad passing of her beloved nana Jean.

The second series gets underway with Charlotte’s daughter Alba now seven months old – and Charlotte having some big plans for the rest of 2023…

Charlotte Crosby says: “I am so excited to announce that I am back on BBC Three in the Autumn for series 2 of Charlotte in Sunderland! Last year was a rollercoaster and the BBC and Chatterbox showed great sensitivity while filming some of the happiest and saddest moments of my life. I will treasure it forever as a tribute to my lovely Nana Jean. Get ready for another amazing series which will bring everyone up to date with me Jake and Alba – and of course Mam and Dad. It will be full of lols and a few surprises!”

Nasfim Haque, Head of Content for BBC Three says: “It is great to get Charlotte back once again giving viewers an access all areas pass to her entertaining world…the best bit is that off screen the team making it will be supporting local North East production talent develop – it’s a winning combo for sure.”

Nav Raman, Executive Producer for Chatterbox Media says: “We’re excited that Charlotte’s hit series is returning. We look forward sharing her on the next chapter of her hectic life – juggling relationships, work, romance and motherhood.”

Series 1 of Charlotte in Sunderland averaged 300,000 (28 day / 4Screen) with 40% of this audience between the ages of 16-34, with strong overall iPlayer viewing (62%) and the series performed particularly well with viewers in the North of England. The series also generated 448k engagements via social media with a combined total of 36m impressions.

Charlotte in Sunderland series 2 will be broadcast on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer this Autumn.

The first series is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.

Charlotte in Sunderland (10 x 30’) is made by Chatterbox Media for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer. The Executive Producers for Chatterbox are Nav Raman and Ali Quirk. The series was commissioned by Nasfim Haque, Head of Content for BBC Three and Kalpna Patel-Knight, Head of Entertainment. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Ruby Kuraishe.