I visited Castlefield watering hole Barca for #TVMINGLING, a TV industry networking event. The plan was to search out people with knowledge / experience of screenwriting.
I met a lot of people in a similar position to me ten years ago- in uni, studying media, thinking about entering TV, finding it incredibly hard. Most people were aiming for / clinging onto jobs in camera crew (camera operator, director, lighting technician, producer etc.) My screenwriting ambitions meant weaning out the people. I came armed with blog cards and dished them all out. Reminder- bring LOADS of cards to events like these.
I spoke to a man called Edward, who advised me to check out BBC Writersroom and the BBC iPlayer to see what kind of programmes get optioned by the heads. He also suggested emailing loads of channels and production companies with resilience, and in particular Made TV, who have recently opened a Leeds branch. (Can anyone point me to Edward's online presence please?)
After a brief mingle and chat with other attendees, the panel- headed up by Lou, gave a welcome presentation under the large #TVMINGLING sign hanging from the ceiling.
In the panel there was:
Nikki Ball from Creative England
Amy Wilson, who has worked for Endemol and on Deal or No Deal.
Advice nuggets from the night:
- Don't let others channel your career. Stay true to what it is you want to do.
- Do your best, but ask for breaks when you need them. Don't let people overwork you.
- Take risks, but not too many.
- Dish out CVs. Don't take rejection personally.
- Check out Shooting People, a network for media creatives
- Check out Creative England, an England-wide crew and location database
- Use Twitter and Facebook to find scriptwriting people
- If you move from drama to documentaries- in whatever capacity- take a step back and think about your career. Don't rush into anything. Don't climb too fast. Get the experience.
- From a writing perspective, check out Charles Bukowski, US author. Also read Hemingway and Henry Miller.
An enjoyable night in an upbeat, smart venue, well-organised and informative. There'll be another #TVMINGLING in December, so keep your eye on the hashtag.
Here are a few cards I picked up on the night.