I’m thrilled to have won a place on the Media Parent’s Back To Work scheme, writes Children’s TV Producer Diana Hinshelwood. It’s a great opportunity, being mentored by BBC Children’s Exec Ninder Billing, and also workshadowing producers at another company that works with Media Parents – fingers crossed!
As was BVE ‘15 for the scheme’s launch. Keeping up with new broadcast technology is a must, and it’s all here at BVE in an impressive array of cameras, editing systems and gadgetry. Wow! Just Wow! While BVE showcases new technology, new content is important too, and I’ve never stopped developing programme ideas.
I’ve won two radio commissions, and, with two ex BBC colleagues, an option agreement for a children’s TV animation. After developing characters, creating storylines and producing a bible and animatic, we went to sunny Cannes for MIPJnr to pitch our idea. The only way to learn the skill of pitching is to actually do it. And of course, you need people to pitch to, so our first task was to line up meetings beforehand. Through existing contacts, I arranged meetings with Cookie Jar, Nelvana, Cake and Nine Story amongst others, making notes on all of them.
We practised our pitch to each other, which sounded great in the hotel room but when the time came for real, nerves kicked in and my mouth felt dry. However, everyone was friendly and I realised that the delegates are there to find new shows so we weren’t imposing. It helped to overcome any nerves.
We had an amazing time in Cannes, and we came away with a number of co-production offers, not to mention a meeting on a boat and a reception at the famous Carlton Hotel. The only sticky moment was when one delegate viewed the animatic in scowly silence. I was about make apologies and leave when he suddenly announced “You’ve got a very original idea here.” Oh my! From despair to elation in a moment. Cannes was a valuable experience from which I learnt a lot. No experience is ever wasted and I’ve used my time out to develop ideas and acquire new skills.
As well as development and pitching, I’ve also gained valuable experience in digital production, and I’m mastering Twitter. These, along with my Back To Work place, mean I’m ready for the next step. Kidscreen, anyone?