Tag: Sunderland

The North East’s much loved Vera to end after season 14

Posted on by Jo Macleod

ITV has today announced that much loved North East drama series, Vera, will come to an end after its next season (14).

Despite the sad news today that this will be the final season of the much-loved Vera series, North East Screen is keen to celebrate what the team at Silverprint and ITV has accomplished across its 13 seasons, soon to be 14. From award nominations to ratings successes both in the UK and abroad; Vera has been an integral part of the growth of the screen industries in the North East. The impact the series has had not just on the North East screen sector, but on our region as a whole, is a true testament to everyone working on the show and at ITV to bring Ann Cleeve’s story of DCI Vera Stanhope to life.

Vera will bow out at a time when production has tripled in the region with 12 productions already confirmed to be filming in 2024 and the North East Production Fund setting its sights firmly on attracting a high-end returning drama series. North East Screen’s Film Office is currently supporting the production team at Silverprint with their production needs as they begin to film season 14. We are sure this final season will be another incredible hit with viewers across the globe.

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

Major studio development in Sunderland backed with new tools given to the region in the budget

Posted on by North East Screen

Today’s announcement of the trailblazing devolution deal agreed between the Government and North East in the Spring budget will equip the region with the tools it needs to make the Crown Works Studios development in Sunderland a reality, further proving that there has never been a better time to join the booming screen industry in the North East.  

With production in the region already up 28% last year, going against the national picture, the North East Screen Film Office has trebled the production scheduled for 2024, largely thanks to the work of North East Screen Industries Partnership, delivered by North East Screen. The development of the Studios provides the North East with the large-scale infrastructure that is the next step to welcoming productions all year-round, creating a sustainable industry for future years and generations. 

In reaction to today’s announcement, Chair of North East Screen, Academy Award winner David Parfitt said “The backing for Sunderland’s Crown Works Studios is significant in ensuring that local industry talent and businesses have a place they can create global film and high-end TV content without having to relocate to other areas of the UK. 

My generation had to leave the North East to pursue careers in the creative screen industries. Record investment in local talent from the North East Screen Industries Partnership and major UK broadcasters has started to produce substantial change, but this major investment in a large-scale studio development will take us to the next stage, supporting the incredible talent already working in the North East and bringing others home.”

With the other developments currently happening across the region, today’s announcement supercharges the range of opportunities the region’s screen agency are already providing for homegrown and relocating talent and companies. North East Screen are currently working with a range of industry experts to ensure the region’s production, facilities and service companies are ready to maximise and retain inward investment.  

North East Screen’s skills team continue to work with incoming productions to create real bridges to industry and support life-long career development for established crew based in the region. Working with a range of skills providers, including the wider NESIP group, the North East Skills group (represented by education partners) and Screen Alliance North, a BFI skills cluster in partnership with Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester and Screen Yorkshire to address wider skills shortages and improve access to quality training for diverse talent and communities; the team will continue to work closely with FulwellCain International and Sunderland City Council as the Crown Works Studio plans come to fruition. 

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen said “With the UK screen industry worth an estimated £12.5 billion in 2023, and regional production already up 28%, to have backing for the Crown Works Studios will supercharge the North East in becoming an international production hotspot, where world class content for global audiences is made all year round.  

“We have world-class locations, we have talented crew, we have indies winning commissions, and we have the support of all our local and combined authority partners to ensure our region is truly filming friendly. 

“Studio development will provide the infrastructure we really need to continue the trajectory, attracting major big-budget features, key suppliers and in the process, creating a broader range of opportunities for the people and businesses of the North East.” 

To find out more about how North East Screen can support you or your business, please contact us at hello@northeastscreen.org  

We are hiring! – Evaluation, Monitoring and Funding Application Coordinator

Posted on by North East Screen

We have an exciting new opportunity for you to join the team at North East Screen as Evaluation, Monitoring and Funding Application Coordinator. This role is key to showing what an amazing impact our organisation has on the region. You will also be the first point of contact for Production Fund enquiries and applications, identifying appropriate next steps.

We’re looking for a team player who is a whiz with spreadsheets and handling data. If that sounds like you then follow this link to read the full job specification and how to apply.

This is a full time, permanent position based in our Sunderland office with some time working in our offices in Hartlepool. The deadline to apply is the 24th of March.

North East Screen joins calls of support for the CrownWorks Studio plan

Posted on by North East Screen

North East Screen, the regional screen agency for North East England, are fully supportive of the scale and ambition of the development of CrownWorks Studios, which would be a crucial game-changer for the region’s rapidly growing screen industry.

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen, believes in making brave and ambitious decisions and plans for the region, with the studio development clearly being an ambitious plan.

On North East Screen support for the studio plan, Alison said: “Through the work delivered by North East Screen and the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP) we are already delivering real results to grow the screen industry across the North East. Capital investment however, in a large studio would supercharge the region’s capacity to deliver a much broader range of international production across the whole year. We know we have the talent, skills, locations, and experience, building on the impact of activity that has already been developed and delivered across the region in the last two years. Now we need the infrastructure to make the industry more sustainable and create long-term jobs and opportunities.

“Since NESIP backed North East Screen to deliver a strategic five-year development project in 2020, production has risen 28% in the last year (bucking the national trend), and for every £1 invested by NESIP, up to £8 is being spent in the region creating well paid creative jobs. We will likely see these figures continue to rise across 2024 and 2025.

“The North East is very much open for, and delivering business. It is vital for the region to maintain this momentum in a very fast-moving sector. FulwelCain’s plans for CrownWorks Studios presents a phenomenal opportunity to capitalise on, and bring real change to the North East’s infrastructure, helping the region become one of the leading film and TV production hubs not only here in the UK, but globally.”

Newspapers and news websites from around the North East have also come together to call on the Government to provide financial support for the CrownWorks Studios plan.

A joint statement from regional editors Ross Robertson, Ian Arkle, Graeme Whitfield, Helen Dalby, Sophie Barley and Gavin Foster said: “The CrownWorks Studios plan has the potential to be transformational for Sunderland and the wider North East. It could be the catalyst for growth in the North East creative industries in the same way that the Nissan plant was for the car industry 40 years ago.

“FulwellCain have developed a plan that has the backing of the whole region, as well as key players in the film and TV world.

“We felt it was only right that the regional media unite our voices to demonstrate the depth of that support in every corner of the North East. Politicians of all parties have supported the plans but now is the time for the Government to provide the financial support to back up those warm words.

“The CrownWorks plan is levelling up in action and an opportunity that cannot be squandered.”

We are hiring! – PA to Chief Executive/Office Coordinator

Posted on by North East Screen

We are looking for someone with excellent organisational skills, a calm demeanour, and a keen eye for detail to support our Chief Executive and work with our team to achieve our vision.

You will be the first point of contact for our CE, coordinating their diary, meetings, and other administrative tasks. You will liaise with our Board members and stakeholders to organise and take minutes of meetings.

You will also be a central part of the team, ensuring we are working well together and be responsible for the smooth running of the office on a day to day basis.

Click here to read the full job specifications and find out how to apply.

Production studio pictures a brighter future in Sunderland

Posted on by North East Screen

A media production company which has worked on blockbuster films and world-tour concerts has swapped London for Sunderland.

Sensel Studio, whose showreel includes Murder on the Orient Express, the Fast and the Furious and numerous Amazon and Netflix productions, has moved to the historic Mackie’s Corner in the heart of Sunderland city centre.

The move has seen the company, which specialises in virtual productions, designing workflows, engineering pipelines and live events, move its entire operation to the North East to capitalise on ‘the region’s growing screen industry’.

“We made the decision to move to Sunderland as we could see the huge potential in its growing screen and tech industries,” said Chris Simcock, founder and managing director.

“When you look at the development of Crown Works Studios, the recent announcements by BBC and Channel 4 to produce more shows here and the University’s continued investment into its media production courses, there is just so much potential.”

Sensel officially moved into Mackies Corner in September following the completion of work on The Co.llective, a suite of ‘individually crafted workspaces designed specifically to meet the needs of creative businesses.’

Located in Sunderland city centre, the office is just a short drive from the proposed £450 million Crown Works Studios development, which took a major step forward this week [20 Nov] with the official submission of a planning application.

“We knew it was perfect for us as soon as we saw the place,” he said. “It had a real sense of history and was just a breath of fresh air.

“As a creative business, we love the idea of a collective and all of the neighbouring studios we’ve met are of similar mindset.

“It feels like a collective of creative free spirits but all who are keen to grow their interests commercially and give back to the community.”

Chris’ decision to leave London for the North East of England also coincided with a post-lockdown realisation that, due to the company’s global reach, there was no real need for the company to be anchored in the bustling capital.

“Covid made me realise that we could do business anywhere and being based in London wasn’t necessarily an advantage,” he said.

“By coming to the North East, we can tap into top talent from the university, which is something we’re keen to do as we recruit over the next 12 months.

“We’re right near the sea, just a short drive from countryside and are only an hour’s drive from the airport which can get us wherever we need to be at short notice. Once we factored everything in, it was just an absolute no brainer.”

Alex Kirtley, managing director of Mackies Corner developer, Kirtley Co, said: “The idea behind The Co.llective was to bring to market the workspace required to help grow the city’s creative sector and the arrival of Sensel Studio show how it’s already doing just that.

“To have a business which could have up sticks to anywhere in the world choosing to relocate to Sunderland shows just how appealing an offer the city’s offer is at the moment and we’re delighted to be playing a part in that.”

Sensel Studio was supported during its move to the city by the Business Investment Team at Sunderland City Council who worked with Chris and the team to identify the perfect premises.

Cllr Kevin Johnston, dynamic city cabinet member at Sunderland City Council, said: “Our growing screen and tech industries have really put Sunderland on the map over recent years and this is a prime example of that.

“From the city’s 5G roll-out to the arrival of North East Screen, Crown Works Studios proposals and the regeneration of Riverside Sunderland, Sunderland is a city transforming and we are delighted that Sensel Studio are joining us on our journey.”

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.

Fulwell 73 Receive 11 Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations

Posted on by North East Screen

Fulwell 73, the independent production company behind the highly anticipated reboot of the North East-based TV classic Byker Grove, has received 11 nominations for the 2023 Primetime Emmy Awards.

The production company has been nominated in a range of categories for programmes such as Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl and the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.

Fulwell 73 have also partnered with Cain International and put forward plans to build the Crown Works Studios in Sunderland. The studio will be one of the largest filmmaking complexes in Europe, creating some 8,450 jobs across the North East over the next decade.

The awards ceremony will take place in Los Angles on Monday, September 18th at 5pm (on Tuesday the 19th at 1am UK time).

Read on for a list of Fulwell’s nominations. A full list of all of this year’s nominees is available at Emmys.com.

Outstanding Production Design For A Variety Special

Encanto At The Hollywood Bowl • Disney+ • Fulwell 73 Productions, Production Designer Misty Buckley, Art Director Joe Celli, Set Decorator Raquel Tarbet

The 65th Annual Grammy Awards • CBS • Fulwell 73, Production Designer Julio Himede, Art Director Kristen Merlino

Outstanding Choreography For Variety Or Reality Programming

Encanto At The Hollywood Bowl • Routines: Family Madrigal / Surface Pressure • Disney+ • Fulwell 73 Productions, Choreographer Jamal Sims

Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Special

Encanto At The Hollywood Bowl • Disney+ • Fulwell 73 Productions

The 65th Annual Grammy Awards • CBS • Fulwell 73

Outstanding Variety Special (Live)

Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium • Disney+ • Disney+ Presents in association with Rocket Entertainment / A Fulwell 73 Production

Outstanding Short Form Comedy, Drama Or Variety Series

Carpool Karaoke: The Series • Apple TV+ • CBS Studios in association with Fulwell 73 and Apple

Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Series Or Special

Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium • Disney+ • Disney+ Presents in association with Rocket Entertainment / A

The 65th Annual Grammy Awards • CBS • Fulwell 73

Outstanding Technical Direction and Camerawork For A Special

Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium • Disney+ • Disney+ Presents in association with Rocket Entertainment / A

Encanto At The Hollywood Bowl • Disney+ • Fulwell 73 Productions

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.