Tag: Channel 4

Two Newcastle based indies receive discretionary awards from Channel 4

Posted on by North East Screen

Schnoobert Productions and Rock Paper Productions have been selected alongside four other indies in the nations and regions to receive a discretionary award as part of the Channel 4 Emerging Indie Fund.

They will gain access to 4Producers’ networking events, development workshops and funds to help towards the development of programme ideas. They will also benefit from regular access to Head of Indie Relations, Rebecca Thompson.

When announcing the recipients of the awards, Rebecca Thompson, Channel 4’s Head of Indie Relations, said: “This is a difficult time for indies, particularly small indies based in the Nations and Regions, so we are delighted to be able to support these companies to make them more robust and also help them shape their ideas to put them in the best possible position to win commissions.”

Discretionary awards were also made to: Blair Black (Belfast); Catman Media Ltd (Belfast); Lunar Lander (Sheffield); and Rock Films (Birmingham.

Launched in 2020, the Emerging Indie Fund has been specifically developed to help nurture up and coming indies, widen their networks and relationships and help them move on to the next level of their development. The fund’s focus is to support indies based in the Nations and Regions.

Channel 4 ‘In Too Deep’ Digital Development Initiative

Posted on by North East Screen

Channel 4, in collaboration with North East Screen, has launched a new digital commissioning opportunity for production companies and creatives in the North East to create a hard-hitting piece for their ‘In Too Deep’ Documentary strand.

The Channel 4 Digital Commissioning team are on the hunt for brilliant youth-focused ideas. They are dedicated to reaching young audiences in the digital space so your ideas should authentically speak to young people across the UK and be social native.

‘In Too Deep’ is a doc strand where brave young journalists delve into a world, expose something and experience it first-hand for the audience. The films should be high-octane and immersive and will see a rotating roster of (sometimes undercover) journalists get closer to the action than ever before: scammers, con artists, criminals, pyramid schemes, nothing is off limits.

Click this link to watch the first ‘In Too Deep’ documentary (TW // Sexual Violence).

‘Exposing from the inside’ is a phrase to keep in mind. They are looking for pieces that take them into hidden and dark youth culture by shining a light behind the scenes. What is the darker side of big topics that interest young people? You tell us, but more importantly, show us!

These films are circa 15-20 mins each. Digital Original commissioning tariffs are between 1-3k per min and the budget will depend on the scale and ambition of your submitted projects.

Don’t be afraid to pitch ideas that you think just couldn’t be made, because Channel 4 believe there is always a way!

The deadline to send in your pitches is the 9th of November.

Send your pitches to digitalcommissioning@channel4.co.uk

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email talent@northeastscreen.org

Check out the video below to learn more.

Channel 4 and North East Screen Industries Partnership collaborate to help build the production sector in the North East

Posted on by North East Screen

Channel 4 and the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP) have signed up to a collaboration to help build the production sector and develop talent in the North East.

Working closely with North East Screen and other partners across the region this collaboration will:

  • ● enable better opportunities for the production community to engage with Channel 4 and forge strong creative relationships
  • ● include specific commissioning and development initiatives to develop the production capability in the region and
  • ● provide bespoke training and skills support to tackle skills gaps and open up creative careers to a wider range of people.

The overall aim of the agreement is to support the growth of independent production in the North East building the potential for more commissions from the region and enabling more careers in TV production.

Sinead Rocks, Managing Director Nations & Regions Channel 4, said: “As part of 4 All the UK we have regularly focused the different resources and initiatives on specific areas to help grow the production capacity. We know that there is enormous potential for the screen industries in the North East, and this collaboration with NESIP should provide tangible value and have real impact to help realise that potential.”

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen, said: “This is an exciting statement of intent from Channel 4 to work closely with us and NESIP to provide more opportunities for our regional based indies, talent and crew. Channel 4 are a great broadcaster doing some really interesting work developing content and engaging audiences across linear and digital platforms.”

Channel 4 will build on its greater Nations and Regions presence to forge stronger and closer relationships in the North East. As part of this plan, there will be a range of activities geared towards supporting talent from across the region, including established to medium and smaller indies, freelance talent in TV and Film production, and those looking to launch their careers.

The first example of this will be a Channel 4 ‘Open Day’, a mix of virtual sessions and in-person activities for indies, freelancers and other stakeholders to find out more about the channel, meet commissioners and build relationships. This will take place on Wednesday 25th October in Darlington.

Channel 4’s model is built around our unique relationship with independent production companies. There are already a range of schemes and interventions to support indies, especially those that are smaller and medium sized. Two North East indies (Sea and Sky Pictures and Motif Pictures) have already taken part in Channel 4’s Emerging Indie Fund. Channel 4 will continue to encourage and support applications from indies in the North East, including running individual and group workshops and surgeries.

Channel 4 and NESIP will work jointly to ensure that future opportunities, schemes and productions fund are shared across our collective networks in the region.

This collaboration will also involve bespoke development opportunities. To begin this work Channel 4 and NESIP have agreed to match-fund a development opportunity in the region for their new In Too Deep digital factual strand. This will be led by the digital commissioning team which is keen to commission a number of developments from the North East, either from indies directly or by pairing talent with indies in the region.

Funding is jointly provided by Channel 4 and NESIP. This will be a unique opportunity for talent and indies looking to work in the factual online space. Digital commissioners will take part in the North East Open Day on the 25th October in Darlington to talk about this in more detail.

Alongside this work, there will be a major focus on training and skills. Channel 4 will look to support talent across all career stages through 4Skills – from inspiring young people, supporting early-stage writers to hone their skills, to progressing industry professionals in skills such as ideas development, pitching and business skills.

The North East has already been a priority area for 4Skills.

4Schools – Channel 4’s school engagement programme designed to encourage 11–16-year-olds to explore a career in the creative industry. Since 4Schools launched in 2022, it has engaged with 22 schools in the north east, and worked with 11,000 students in the region, with a particular focus on schools with higher percentage of free school meals. 4Schools will continue to prioritise the North East and engage with the regional and local authorities to ensure schools are aware of the opportunity.

Channel 4 will also build on its existing partnership with New Writing North (based at Northumbria University) to support emerging writers in developing their writing skills and providing career advice.

In addition to what is already underway, Channel 4 will develop and deliver new training initiatives that are designed to support the growth of skills in the region. The National Film and Television School will run a two-day careers roadshow in mid-October covering both scripted and unscripted roles. In 2024, Channel 4 and North East Screen will explore training that accelerates business development, covering leadership and management skills, as well as investment and distribution, along with other bespoke training requirements.

Finally, this collaboration will formalise the already strong working relationship between Channel 4 and North East Screen who will meet on a quarterly basis. In addition, Channel 4 will attend the already established NESIP Workforce Skills and Development Group which includes regional further and higher education bodies and representatives from Employment and Skills teams in each local authority.

Channel 4 opens Emerging Indie Fund for 2023 applications

Posted on by North East Screen

Channel 4’s Emerging Indie Fund, which aims to help indies in the nations and regions grow their business, has opened for a new round of applications.

The Emerging Indie Fund 2023 provides practical support and opportunities for indies to help them scale their business through a combination of commissioner support, funding and training.

Selected indies will have a direct relationship with a commissioning editor within their chosen genre who will meet with the indie on a regular basis to discuss their slate. They will also meet regularly with Channel 4’s head of indie relations Rebecca Thompson, who will advise them on working with Channel 4 and growing their company.

Production companies will also benefit from online sessions with key departments within the channel, such as finance, corporate affairs and scheduling, to get a unique insight into Channel 4.

Thompson said: “Channel 4’s Emerging Indie Fund has a proven to be an incredibly effective mechanism for helping indies grow their companies and establish themselves as production partners. It’s vital that we continue to nurture emerging indie talent and help support the production sector in the nations and regions.”

Two production companies, Hill 5.14 Media and Motif Pictures, were supported by the Emerging Indie Fund in 2022.

Co-founder and managing director at Newcastle’s Motif Pictures, James Craggs, said: “I believe that the Emerging Indie Fund was a game changing experience for us as we develop and build our company.”

“It gave us vital insight into how a leading broadcaster goes about business. From there, it also allowed us to develop a relationship with a knowledgeable and experienced commissioner who gave us universal guidance, not just aimed towards what Channel 4 needs or wants so it’s improved us as a business, how we will approach our evolution and also how we develop and pitch ideas.”

The Emerging Indie Fund combines slate development funding with ongoing support from Channel 4. The funding can be used to bolster the indie’s development team with additional staff roles or consultants, or for other costs relating to the effective development of their slate.

Eligible indies may already have a track record with Channel 4 and should have a slate of ideas to discuss with a commissioner. The Emerging Indie Fund is seeking ideas that feature distinct voices and stories that are aligned with Channel 4’s editorial priorities and Future4 strategy. https://www.channel4.com/commissioning/future4-strategy

Applicants must also meet all of the following criteria:

  • Primary office and more than 50% of key creative decision-makers based in the Nations and Regions
  • A true indie in which no one broadcaster holds more than 25% of its shareholding
  • Turnover must be below £6m according to the latest set of accounts
  • Has a slate of content in development suitable for Channel 4
  • Evidence of a previous TV, film or digital production credit
  • No more than one previous Channel 4 linear series commissioned or recommissioned
  • No previous participation in the Emerging Indie Fund as a main awardee

Applications should be made through the online application form and the deadline for is 9am on Monday 19th October 2023. Further detailed information about the commissioning priorities of a specific genre is available on the 4Producers site.

Former Channel 4 Commissioner joins Wander Films

Posted on by North East Screen

Former Channel 4 commissioner and Big Brother Producer, Ramy El-Bergamy, has been appointed as Head of Development by industry trailblazers, Wander Films. With nearly 20 years of experience in the TV industry, Ramy brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Wander, taking the well-established Middlesbrough based content marketing agency to the next level.

Over the last 5 years, the team of 20 has had incredible growth, creating social media content for brands around the world such as KPMG, Hampton by Hilton and McDonalds. The agency feels like now is the perfect time to break into the world of TV, developing IP and original, groundbreaking formats in the factual entertainment genre.

Before joining Wander, Ramy served as the On-Screen Diversity Executive at Channel 4, where he was responsible for promoting diversity and inclusivity in on-screen talent, before moving into commissioning in the Daytime team, where he looked after some of the channel’s biggest brands, including Four in a Bed, Come Dine With Me and A Place in the Sun.

“I’m very excited to join the team at Wander and help them grow their ambition of moving into TV and digital. The North East has some huge creative potential, and I’m very excited to be working with such talent in an already strong and sound infrastructure in Wander”

Under Ramy’s leadership, Channel 4’s On-screen Year of Disability initiative in 2016 saw a significant increase in diverse representation, with more than 20 of the network’s flagship programmes featuring double the number of individuals with disabilities than in previous years. Ramy brings this same dedication and passion to his new role at Wander, where he will continue to positively impact the TV industry, aligning with Wander’s values of an inclusive culture where everyone has the opportunity to be seen and heard. 

The expansion to TV has always been part of Wander’s long term strategy, selected as a Pact Future30 company for being one of the UK’s most exciting up and coming indies, Wander was also recently in paid development with BBC Three. Founders Lou Tonner and Chloë Clover are excited to continue scaling and developing Wander.

“We’re stoked to have a proper TV legend like Ramy join the team! It’s a super exciting time with a lot of momentum in Wander. The TV & digital space right now is ready to be shaken up and we’re going to be part of the movement, 100%.”

This appointment has been supported with match-funding from the REACH Film and TV Development Grant Award. The grant from North East Screen is designed to support the development of exceptional content for screens and support the growth of creative businesses based in the North East of England.

Lisa Laws, Head of Talent and Business Development at North East Screen, is focused on providing support to the region’s creative business talent who are making waves on a range of platforms.

Speaking on Ramy’s appointment, she said:

“Ramy’s appointment, with his exceptional track record, feels like the perfect fit to drive Wander’s broadcast TV development slate forward. He has the connections and experience to develop and win broadcast commissions. Wander brings a new voice, fresh perspectives and a real appetite for television that audiences and commissioners will love. We cannot wait to see what new formats and stories the supercharged team uncover for our screens.”