Saurabh Kakkar recommends online pitching for those who want to get ahead in comedy. Steve Clarke takes notes.
Jane Austen, JK Rowling and Hilary Mantel would all have made the grade in TV. That's because they are all great storytellers. "If you are not terribly excited about all forms of storytelling, you've got no business being in television at all," stressed Saurabh Kakkar, Head of Comedy Development at Big Talk Productions, speaking at the opening RTS Student Programme Masterclass.
He added: "All storytelling is entertaining an audience... If you have a passion for it, the chances are that you have done something about it.
Andrew Mackenzie, the man behind Educating Yorkshire, explains why creatives need to be entrepreneurs, reports Matthew Bell
Andrew Mackenzie speaking to Katy Thoroggood (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)
Twofour Group has made some of the most critically acclaimed factual TV of recent years. One of its biggest shows has been Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire. The company’s Chief Creative Officer, Andrew Mackenzie, is also no stranger to controversy, having commissioned My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding during his time at Channel 4.
Matthew Bell hears that working as a TV freelancer requires nerves of steel but the rewards can be lucrative
Making television can be a precarious occupation. Jobs are hard to land and rarely last longer than six months. Production staff are constantly looking for new positions and are often out of work. The creative rewards, though, can be immense for freelancers working in such a vibrant industry.
The latest RTS Futures event, "How to survive as a freelancer", assembled an expert group of talent managers and production staff to offer tips on networking, writing CVs, successful interviews and managing money.
How do researchers and assistant producers go about developing this vital skill? Matthew Bell supplies the answers
Self-shooting is rapidly becoming a key part of the job description for researchers and assistant producers working in television’s factual arena. But with training thin on the ground, how will tomorrow’s TV talent learn to shoot their own material? Help was provided by a recent RTS Futures event, “Shooting stars: a beginners’ guide to self-shooting”. A panel of self-shooters, chaired by executive producer Matt Bennett, offered advice, while training in basic camera skills was provided by Pro Motion Hire.
Outgoing BBC Trustee David Liddiment explains to Steve Clarke why the Trust, the licence fee and the corporation’s budget all need to be defended
Outgoing BBC Trustee David Liddiment (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid, is convinced the BBC can deliver more efficiency savings. But can these be implemented without affecting existing services? David Liddiment thinks he knows the answer and it is not one likely to please Javid.
There’s a lot of life left in a genre that has frequently delivered critical acclaim on very tight budgets, says Torin Douglas
Jeff Pope knows more than most about TV drama based on real-life stories, but he can't quite believe the success of Cilla. Lauded by critics – not least for Sheridan Smith's "stunning" performance as the young Cilla Black – ITV's three-part biopic was also a ratings triumph.
Averaging 8.3 million viewers and a 31% audience share, it is the most-watched new drama this year on any channel. That is almost twice the audience for Not Like That, Like This - ITV's much-praised film about Tommy Cooper, broadcast in April.
Jimmy Mulville has faced down addiction, serious illness and the prospect of financial ruin. Andrew Billen
listens to an extraordinary life story
The founder and Managing Director of one of Britain’s most successful, and certainly longest-lived, genuinely independent production companies sometimes tell his children that too much emphasis is put on excellence. “It’s very important to fail,” their millionaire father says to them, “and to recognise failure”.
Perhaps this is why I spend 75 minutes in Jimmy Mulville’s office at Hat Trick, its windows overlooking the murky Regent’s Canal, discussing the crises in his life.
YouTube is booming but a viable business model for the platform’s contributors remains elusive, finds Tara Conlan
The Slow Mo Guys are one of the budding YouTube acts that are proving successful (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)
In October, YouTube hosted Brandcast, a glitzy showcase of some of its biggest talent. Held in London, it featured Jamie Oliver, whose Food Tube channel has more than 1 million subscribers, and Zoella, aka vlogger Zoe Sugg. She started her channel in 2009 and has 6.75 million subscribers at the time of writing.