Tag: BBC

The BBC and Middlechild Productions bring career workshops to Sunderland and Hartlepool Colleges

Posted on by North East Screen

BBC Academy and Middlechild Productions visited two colleges in the North East today, bringing an interactive Q&A workshop for students looking to start a career in factual filmmaking and production.

The visit was to celebrate the launch of BBC Three’s Therapy: Tough Talking documentary, which features North East actor and rapper Kema Sikazwe (aka Kema Kay). The film follows Kema’s journey through therapy as he faces his past traumas. Students at Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form got to speak with the producers about job opportunities and gaining experience for a career in television.

Students also pitched their own ideas for factual programmes, inspired by their own lives in the North East, and received feedback from television professionals. A special recorded message from Kema was also played for each college, and his therapist Hayley Tyson- Adams discussed the importance of mental health support and finding help.

This workshop is part of the BBC’s Across the UK Strategy, which seeks to invest more in training and production outside of London to better represent and serve the whole UK. This comes after the BBC announced to commit £25 million to the North East, partnering with companies like Northern Child, Middlechild’s sister company, to increase production and opportunities in the region.

Diana Hare, Commissioning Editor at the BBC, said: “Therapy: Tough Talking is a unique project. Kema’s courage, in allowing cameras in the therapy room, will help demystify and destigmatise the process. We’re grateful that we can continue to foster creativity in the North East by bringing this workshop to local colleges.”

Andrew Eastel, Creative Director at Middlechild, and the director of the documentary, said, “Everyone on the team has felt extremely privileged to have worked on Therapy: Tough Talking. To be granted the unique access to film Kema’s therapy has been both enlightening and fulfilling. By bravely allowing cameras into the room, Kema and Hayley have shone a light on the power of therapy and addressed many of the misconceptions associated with it, especially amongst younger people. We’re delighted to have this opportunity to screen the film to students in Sunderland and Hartlepool. Not just because some of them may relate to the subject of the film, but also to highlight the power of documentary filmmaking, and hopefully inspire some filmmakers of the future.”

Ruth Magnus, Director of Student Services at Education Partnership North East, which includes Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form College, said: “We were pleased to be among the select number of colleges involved in the screening of the Therapy: Tough Talking documentary. Across our colleges, we have a responsibility for the positive mental health of our students.

“Through this experience, we will be able to challenge the misconceptions of mental illness, raise awareness of symptoms and demonstrate compassion.”

Watch Therapy: Tough Taking on BBC iPlayer here.

Newcastle based TV Post-production house lands work for BBC Comedy short film

Posted on by North East Screen

The Church Post, an editing facility in Byker, Newcastle has completed the post-production of a BBC Comedy short film, ‘Where it Ends’ for London production company Tiger Aspect.

‘Where It Ends’, a short film produced by Tiger Aspect was written, developed and shot entirely in the North East of England with all cast and crew from the region. The Church Post was commissioned by Tiger Aspect to complete the post-production of the comedy short making it a fully North East produced programme.

Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Business Development at North East Screen said;

“We are delighted that The Church Post along with East Wing Sound were contracted to deliver this work which shows we have the talent and drive in the North East to grow businesses that will support more commissions to be developed, filmed and edited in the region.”

The Church Post provided Tiger Aspect with the Offline Edit, Online Edit, Colour Grade, VFX, Dubbing mix, ADR, QC and Dispatch. Their new editing suite in Newcastle has three offline edits running Avid and Premiere and one finishing suite in Resolve alongside the dubbing and ADR suite.”

Sheree Black, Production Executive at Tiger Aspect Productions said;

“This was our first time working with The Church Post and it has been an excellent one. It is a top end facility with a knowledgeable, creative and helpful team which helped make our BBC short, ‘Where it Ends’, something we’re extremely proud of. We are looking forward to working with the team again.”

James Baxter, Founder of The Church Post said;

“We are looking to expand to five edit suites over the next year and we have employed post-production producer Emily Ballantyne to support us in our growth. We are also looking to bring on two trainee editors/ edit assistants from the North East and invest in the infrastructure of the building with faster internet connection and a larger storage space.

I am delighted with how ‘Where it End’s has turned out which is thanks to our hardworking and talented team of Mark Lediard, Rich McCoull, Emily Ballantyne and David Scott. We would welcome more post-production in the North East.”

Lisa Laws continued;

“To have this sort of facility here is exactly what we’re aiming for as part of the  wider North East Screen Industries Partnership as it shows a real commitment from broadcasters and out of region production companies to grow not only our talent and companies but also our infrastructure. It ensures that once a production company has filmed here, they can stay to complete the editing, keeping investment in the region and sustaining work for our talented and specialist post production crew.”

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes recommissioned for a second series

Posted on by North East Screen

Announced today (27th April) at the Creative Cities convention in Newcastle, Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes will return for a second 15×30 series on BBC Two after its hugely successful debut earlier this year.

Robson will again be taking the roads less travelled around his beloved North East, journeying to many of the hidden gems that reside within the region as well as venturing into the Lakes and the Scottish Borders. Immersing themselves in the  great outdoors  Robson and friends will travel to the North and South Tyne valley along with the Pennine Way as well as through the charismatic County of Cumbria which includes the jaw dropping vistas of The Lake District and of course the amazing outdoor adventures in the beautiful Border county.

Joined by family, friends and famous faces the series will once again highlight the importance of blending into the outdoors to relax, recharge and re-connect along with breathing in nature. Robson and friends will travel to the North and South Tyne valley and everything in-between.

Joining Robson on his travels this series will be guests such as Kevin Whately, Tanni Grey Thompson and Shola Ameobi to name a few. And of course the family will be getting involved, including Robson’s Uncle Matheson, back by popular demand!

Robson Green comments, “I am delighted that my Weekend Escapes is coming back for a second series. The response from the first, and especially up in the North East was fantastic. It is so important to know what’s on your doorstep and explore your local area in times when you could be feeling burnt out, so I’m excited to take viewers around the North East again with my family and celeb friends – I can’t wait! Not only do I get to showcase a region I adore and its people, I’m also able to showcase the talent that exists in the area both in-front of and behind the lens. We also provide a training ground for those who aspire to work within this wonderful industry.”

Rob Unsworth, Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning comments, “The first series of Weekend Escapes was a real treat, and a big hit with viewers,  so we’re excited to see what adventures Robson takes us all on next. I’m also proud that BBC Daytime is commissioning programmes supporting and showcasing the North East, and look forward to developing more ideas with the talented companies in this part of the country.”  

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes is a co-production made by Signpost and Rivers Meet productions, both based in the North East companies and is commissioned for BBC Two Daytime and iPlayer by Helen Munson.

Northern Child wins BBC Tender and goes inside the therapist room

Posted on by North East Screen

Northern Child, the North East branch of Brighton based indie Middlechild, has won the tender for a 30-minute documentary issued last year to indies operating in the North East by BBC Three, BBC England, and North East Screen.

The documentary was won by Northern Child following a successful application to the BBC’s NE Voices Scheme. 

Using fixed rigged cameras, Therapy: Tough Talking goes inside the therapy sessions of Newcastle based rapper and actor, Kema Kay.

On the surface, Kema is a positive, ambitious, and talented young man who has forged a successful career but beneath it all, he is dealing with a lifetime of trauma. Before and after the death of a close family member when he was younger, Kema’s world was full of turmoil as he adjusted to life as a child from Zambia trying to fit in after his family moved to the UK.

This has all contributed to an ongoing battle with his mental health in adulthood and recently, what Kema describes as, “destructive thoughts”. His doctor suggests these may be signs of depression and advises he tries therapy. He has no idea what to expect, is fearful of what might be uncovered, and unsure whether the courage it takes to start the process will be worth it in the end.

The film reveals the process of therapy, especially confronting, understanding, and processing traumatic experiences, recognising triggers and the coping mechanisms that might lead to a healthier mind in the future, as well as tackling the misconceptions that still exist today. 

Andrew Eastel, Creative Director at Middlechild and the director of the film, says: “For Kema to allow us inside his therapy is incredibly brave of him. To see someone go through treatment for their mental health struggles as it happens is an incredible privilege, and one we don’t take lightly. There are a lot of misconceptions about talking therapies, especially amongst younger people, I hope anyone struggling with their mental health might be inspired to consider it themselves after seeing Kema’s journey into that world”.

The film marks the second BBC commission for Northern Child after their series, Northern Justice (10×30’) was commissioned by BBC Daytime last year.

Commissioning Editor for BBC Three, Yasemin Rashit, says: “It’s an extremely personal and immersive film, vital viewing that we hope will benefit audiences across the UK, we are proud to platform such important content. Thank you to Kema who has bravely allowed us to follow his journey, as he confronts his past to help him move forward towards an even brighter future.”

Diana Hare, Commissioner for BBC England, says: “The opportunity to follow someone through therapy in real time is extremely unusual and powerful.  As well as being fascinating for audiences it serves an important purpose, raising awareness of options for helping those facing mental health issues.   

“We are always on the lookout for great access and new story telling opportunities in England. So, we’re delighted to be working with Northern Child.”   

Therapy: Tough Talking was commissioned by Yasemin Rashit for BBC Three, and Tony Parker and Diana Hare for BBC England. 

North East Screen announce recipients of the BBC Comedy Creator Fund.

Posted on by North East Screen

North East Screen, the screen agency for the North East of England, has selected three stand up comedy creators who will each receive £1,000 in development funds to help prime them for the wave of opportunities coming into the region in 2023.

Sammy Dobson, Raul Kohli and Scott Turnbull, all talented comedy creators from the region, will each receive the development fund as well as support to help pair them with development producers and production companies and provide them with industry networking opportunities.

12 runner up comedy creators will get the opportunity to work with NE Screen’s Comedy Hot House. Jess McDonagh, Bridgett Deane, Lauren Stone, Lee Armstrong, Matty Ride-Smith, Nic Owen, Penelope Yeulet, Rachel Stockdale, Sian Armstrong, Caden Elliott, Beth Chapman and Alison Stanley.

The BBC Small Indie fund has supported a year of outreach activity across the North East culminating in the BBC Comedy Creator Development Fund, co-ordinated by NE Screen Comedy Hot House.

Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Business Development at North East Screen said;

“This was an opportunity for North East comedy creators with their sights set on scripted comedy to pitch themselves and their ideas to us. It’s been fantastic to find so many up and coming comedy creators in the region and brilliant to see such a range of talent and ideas. We can’t wait to introduce them to producers with inroads to broadcasters.

All applicants to the scheme have opportunities to meet the region’s comedy companies and development producers who pitch to broadcasters. Well done to everyone who has been part of the process and we are excited to see the ideas and comedy creations develop.”

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Click here to view all the recipients and runners-up of the BBC Comedy Creator Fund.

Recipients of the BBC Comedy Creator Fund