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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

50 Highlights from MGEITF 2011

The festival team are busy talking about the 2012 Edinburgh TV Festival, but we can't help but think back at some of the funniest highlights of 2011...

So we have put together 50 of our favourite moments from MGEITF 2011 to share with you on our Facebook site

If like us, you want to remember Vernon Kay opening our village fĂȘte....

....Lee Mack in a pink feathery mask....

....the banter between Ricky Gervais and Richard Bacon....

....and the famous jumper from the Killing....

....or if you want to see what fun we have at the festival, click here to visit the gallery.

Thanks to everyone who made MGEITF 2011 special, here's to an even more fun MGEITF in 2012!

Festival Team


Friday, 24 February 2012

How to become a Channels Executive at ITV...

Anna Fern reveals the 'secrets to her success' and how she became a Channels Executive for ITV!

1. How did you get into TV?

I was lucky enough to be selected for TVYP which gave me the confidence to start getting some experience in the industry. I bothered numerous companies with requests for a placement and got three stints of work experience at different companies (making my way every day on the train from my university house in Birmingham to London and back again!) I applied for lots of running positions after graduation but actually ended up getting my first role at a small company broadcasting music and film channels in Fulham.

2. What was your first job?

I was Channel Scheduler for music and film channels including Chart Show TV and True Movies. Because it was such a small company, it was all hands on deck, so I got chance to help with things like programme planning.


3.  Was the first job what you expected?

I expected to be in Production, where all my work experience had been, but it was interesting to see how a channel ran. I felt very lucky to have got my foot in the door.

4. What did you find particularly hard when you were starting out?

It can be disheartening comparing your starting wages to friends of yours in less creative careers! I found it hard feeling uncertain about whether I would be able to progress in TV and find work in the future.

5. Did you get any advice at the beginning of your career that particularly helped you?  Please share!

If you want to get into Production, get your driving license! I’m an awful driver and don’t have mine and I think this held me back when applying for running positions. Also, build your own network of peers and look out for each other throughout your careers; schemes like Fast Track at MGEITF really helped me with this.

6. What things do you know now that you wish you knew then?

That there is place for you in the industry if you work hard, are pleasant and polite, and really love TV.

7. What’s been a standout experience in your TV career so far?

Working for Peter Fincham and other senior management at ITV in my current role. It’s a privilege to spend my days with such interesting and experienced figures.

Feeling inspired and what to strive to be the next Channels Executive at ITV? Well why not start where Anna started and APPLY for The Network TODAY!


Festival Team


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Behind the scenes of TOWIE....

Total excitement here at Festival Towers as we got exclusive access to Britain’s favourite dramality show – TOWIE!

Because we know that there’s a million job roles in telly, and sometimes it’s hard to find out who dos what, we asked the stars of Essex - Lydia, Arg, Joey and Sam to step behind the cameras for once to interview their fave crew members…  and they did! 


Watch it to find out how Lydia get on filming with false eye lashes and what are the real “pros and cons” to working behind the scenes on TOWIE… yes there are a few cons…  hard to believe but it’s true!

But its all worth it in the end and you can’t help but see there is a LOT of LOVE flowing from the cast to crew! Awwww…… 

So if you think you want to work in TV, APPLY to join The Network this August for loads more insider info... and  one day you too might be able to work behind the scenes on TOWIE, Celebrity Juice, Eastenders, Hollyoaks or whatever you fancy!

As always, a big thanks to all the peeps at TOWIE and ITV2 (especially Phil, Rhonda and Corin) who allowed us to get an exclusive sneak peek behind the scenes of TOWIE and really show you guys what it means to work in TV!

Good luck!

P.s… Our application tip of the day….

Be creative! 

Visit the website for ALL the hints and tips!

And remember...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The secrets of Tamara Howe's success....

Continuing on in our quest to give you a little inspiration to apply for The Network, here is our next installment of the 'Secrets of their success'...

Tamara Howe, Controller, Production Operations, BBC Vision Productions

1. How did you get into TV?
 C4 Trainee scheme (Hazaar for schemes)
2. What was your first job?  
Trainee Production Assistant at Bandung Productions
3. Was the first job what you expected? 
My knowledge of TV production was limited, so I didn’t have clear expectations.  Was initially disappointed by the lack of formal/organised training, but raised the issue and that soon changed.   First lesson, speak up for yourself.
4. What did you find particularly hard when you were starting out? 
The jargon.   I learnt to ask questions at a very early stage.  Don’t pretend you know what BITC means – ask!
5. Did you get any advice at the beginning of your career that particularly helped you?   
Preparation is key – plan for every eventuality.   
6. What things do you know now that you wish you knew then? 
You need a range of styles to communicate/deal with a range of people.  It’s not about selling yourself out, stay true to yourself, but be aware that people are individuals so it’s not one size fits all.
7. What’s been a standout experience in your TV career so far?  
Line producing my first drama.  I was totally green and it was probably the steepest learning curve of my career.   It was a tough experience but a reminder that sometimes you’ve got to put yourself outside of your comfort zone.  No pain, no gain!

So if that isn't inspirational, I don't know what is!  Thanks Tamara! 

Some serious words of wisdom there and if you're thinking of getting into TV... look at where Tamara started, and have a think about applying for The Network, it really could be your first step to a serious career in TV! EEK!

Over and Out!
Festival Team

Friday, 17 February 2012

Top 10 Most Controversial Festival Moments

Whilst rummaging through the festival archives on a Friday afternoon, I have stumbled across the "Top 10 most controversial festival moments!" 

There are certainly a few I wish I had been there to see...


1. 1982 Brian Hanrahan and Mike Nicholson confronted military censors over the Falklands war coverage
2. Arthur Scargill publicly denounced TV's coverage of the miners' strike

3. Peter Mandelson spun the audience about Labour's Campaign Trail. 
4. Louise Woodward with her lawyer Barry Scheck gave their verdict on cameras in the court
5. Leah Betts parents spoke passionately on the portrayal of drugs on TV

6. Robbie Coltrane and Jimmy McGovern put Cracker on the couch 
7. David Baddiel attacked heavy TV censorship and regulation

8. Sir John Harvey Jones made waves with his State of the Nation on Independent production companies 
9. 2008, Gerry McCann, father of missing Madeline, took time out of his search effort to address the industry, despite heavy backlash from the press at the time. 
10. AND the Festival's screening of Death of a Princess generated immense political controversy.

Do we agree that they are THE top 10 festival moment of all time! Comment and let us know what your No1 TV festival moment is!

Watch all the TV festival sessions on line now!

Festival Team

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The secrets of Daniell Morrisey's success....

So this week The Network applications opened! Hazar! With the purpose of giving someone, somewhere, with a passion for TV, a first step in their career! 

So that got us thinking.... It's always interesting to know how someone else got to where you wanna be! 

So to give a little inspiration to all of you applying for The Network, we have asked all our brilliant Network committee members to let us in on the secret of their success! 

Armed with this insider knowledge you can either try to follow in their footsteps, or more realistically, as Danny says below, "Follow your creative dreams with perseverance and resilience" and believe you will get to where you want to be!

So the first, to bravely open the door to his career is Daniell Morrisey, Talent Executive for BBC. 

Thanks Danny!


1. How did you get into TV? 
I always wanted to write and to work in the media, so throughout school and college I always found opportunities – work experience for the local newspaper, editing a newsletter for the museum and producing my own magazines and tapes. I went to Bournemouth University on a practical writing and media production course. While there I had the opportunity to spend a summer working on the BBC’s Casualty as an assistant floor manager. It was really hard work and long hours but it was fun and gave me a broad understanding of the production process.

2. What was your first job?
I spent a year as an editorial assistant after university, and then went on to do a Masters. Through a friend-of-a-friend, I volunteered as a runner on Vanessa Feltz’s radio show where I looked after guests, and sometimes got to run the audio desk. When I left Uni, my first role was as a researcher with the Press Association.

3. Was the first job what you expected?
There was lots of doing the same thing – no email or web, just lots of phone calls, faxes and letters. But I suggested starting a magazine which I launched and edited for several years.
4. What did you find particularly hard when you were starting out?
Trying to work out what I wanted to do.
5.  Did you get any advice at the beginning of your career that particularly helped you?
 Work hard.
6. What things do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Follow your creative dreams with perseverance and resilience and worry about all the sensible stuff later on.
7. What’s been a standout experience in your TV career so far?
Seeing people that I have recruited or helped develop in some way flourish into experienced producers, journalists, reporters and presenters.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

A little love to you all, from the festival team...

Ellen Richardson - Festival helper & YouTuber

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Network has launched....

And we are off….! Yes, TheNetwork 2012 is open for business as of today!!!

For those of you who don’t have a clue what I am on about, let me explain.  Every year, the TVFestival takes 65 industry newbies up to Edinburgh for the most immersive and exciting intro to working in telly there is.

It’s called TheNetwork and, quite frankly, we think it’s a rather marvellous way to find out what really happens in tellyland.  

Over 4 days, the lucky 65 will be attending talks and workshops led by top producers from BBC , ITV, Sky and Channel 4, and, even more excitingly, they will be getting the chance to network, network, NETWORK with all the movers and shakers from the industry who attend the TV Festival.

It’s an incredible opportunity and one that is open to anyone over 18 who wants to work in TV but hasn’t had the opportunity yet.  

If that sounds like you, then get yourself here and get applying.  If that sounds like someone you know, then nudge them over to the website and get them applying.

Be warned – we don’t just give out places willy-nilly, so wannabe Networkers will need to put some oomph into their application… we want to feel their passion for telly! 

Okay, we’re ready … bring on the applications!!!

Caroline Meaby,
Director, MGEITF Talent Schemes

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Making Of Free Art Friday...

One of the highlights every year for Fast Track, is the live pitch.  

This is where four Fast Trackers pitch an original idea to a programme Editor and then get grilled on it – all at the EICC in front of a live audience of MGEITFdelegates and their fellow Fast Trackers.... 

Fast Track Live Pitch! EEEKK

Not terrifying at all then…!  In 2011 the Live Pitch was won by CBBC AP Jimmy Tam who impressed The Culture Show’s Executive Editor Janet Lee with his “free art” item idea.

You can see Jimmy’s film on The Culture Show tonight, Friday 10th February, 7pm, BBC Two.

A note from Jimmy on the 'Making Of Free Art Friday'.... 

"It’s an icy cold January lunchtime on the South Bank.
A production team of 12 (yep, 12!), five cameras, and three Free Art Friday’ artists have set up camp for the day.
Free Art Friday is an online network of artists across the world, who create pieces to leave out on the streets for anyone to take home - absolutely free.
Three of the artists have agreed to put some of their free work out for The Culture Show, while we capture what happens using 'hidden' cameras.
Will anyone be brave enough to take the work? Will anyone look or even notice them? Will they think it's artistic treasure or absolute trash?
Ten minutes into the first artist 'drop', nothing’s happened. Not a blink. Runners jog by, mummies stroll on, and tourists don't seem interested. I’m starting to worry. Whose silly idea was this again? Ah, that would be me.

It was August when I stood in front of The Culture Show’s editor Janet Lee at the Fast Track LivePitch event. The stark difference between pitching an idea and actually making it a reality has sunk in over the month I've spent working on it (guided by talented director Luke McMahon)... but it's been worth it.
 A mere six minutes later, success - we have our first bite! A bunch of art students pull the art off the tree. Our presenter Michael Smith and camera crew swoop in. Thankfully, they're happy to talk - and we get a golden moment no one could have scripted.
“What is it?” asks the student. "It’s a self-portrait," responds Korp the artist. “Sorry I’ve never heard of you,” is the cheeky reply. It’s wonderfully funny and beautifully unplanned.
You’ll have to watch the film to see who (if anyone!) gets their hands on the work from the other two artists, My Dog Sighs and Fin DAC.
But, for me, I got a whole lot more than free art from my Fast Track Live Pitch experience."

Another happy customer.... Ahhh....Over and out from the Festival Team!

Have a great Weekend and don't forget to watch Free Art Friday on The Culture Show tonight, 7pm, BBC Two.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

9 quotes to really inspire creativity...

So, I have been the one nudging / demanding everybody writes posts for our lovely ‘new’ festival blog, to allow you to truly see all the work that goes into making the festival, and now, being nudged myself, it’s my turn to step up to the blog and post…

This is the time of year we get our creative game on, to decide our 2012 festival brand design for the programme – adverts – banners – bags - websites etc. 

Armed with Kenton’s vision for 2012, ‘Putting creativity at the heart of the TV festival’, we are well on our way!
We have decided to take the creativity very literally and we are ‘making’ – yes literally ‘cutting and sticking’ our creative for Edinburgh 2012… Well actually our designer, Holly is… Here is a sneak peak….

Making Edinburgh out of Coco Pops!
So this got me thinking, with the Executive committee meetings and the festival team... 
putting so much emphasis into creativity… what is creativity and how can you inspire it?

I don’t have all the answers, but to lend a helping hand here are:

My top 9 creative quotes to really inspire the creativity in all of us…

  1. "There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”  Edward de Bono
  2. “Speed is absolutely key to creativity. The more time it takes to create something, the less likely you are to create something.” Patrick Stump (American musician)

  3. “Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.” Theodore Levitt

  4. “Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” Charles Mingus (American jazz musician and Civil Rights activist)

  5. “Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

  6. “Creativity is contagious, pass it on” Albert Einstein
  7.  “Creativity is… seeing something that doesn’t exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God.” Michele Shea

  8. “The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

  9. "All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.” Albert Camus

There are 9 because I genuinely didn’t have a tenth… anyone who has the tenth to my 9 feel free to comment below!

Phew... first ever blog post down...
Many More to go!

Amy Cahill
TV festival Marketing

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

“A’right, Vicarage?”- Why I can’t help but love Rev.

Now, I’m not writing this to appease the-great-one, Advisory Committee Chair Kenton Allen, who produced it (although I’m sure this will put me in his good-books), but purely to express my love for this program.

I grew up in the Church of England, attended a local CofE School, became a Chalice assistant (that’s the one who holds the shiny goblet with wine in it up the front) and now, alongside helping out the Festival Team, I am also a Parish Administrator. I seriously cannot escape the Church of England…

So, one thing I love, having seen the ins-and-outs of the Church from a young age, is that someone from outside the Church has come in, had a look round, and summed it up perfectly: the ups, downs and general weirdness of a Vicar’s life and the people that surround them. Having your thoughts wander in prayers, offering people food & drink rather than the cold hard cash they are asking for, being constantly skint even though the rest of the world says you’re rolling in it, having all your congregation see you as this perfect being, but having faults the same as everyone else.

Now, it doesn’t sum up every individual church perfectly (some are FAR more middle class dahling…), but it’s pretty close. My Church, being near 2 very-hard-to-get-into CofE schools, is especially susceptible to ‘migrant’ child attendees who suddenly emerge around September each year, then disappear once their parents have the letter from the Vicar – I even overheard a child from the congregation once say, “You only have to go to church until you get into a good school”. Never has “On your knees, Forget the fees” been more obvious... My family and I watched that first episode in a weird comedy-horror state, as Tom Hollander seemed to have hit that particular nail on the head and could say it to the world, knowing that he wouldn’t have to go to Church the next Sunday and face the evil stares of the rest of the congregation.

That’s part of the key to Hollander’s success: he isn’t held back by the over-politeness of Churchgoers. We all have to be nice & happy all the time and all get along perfectly, because that’s what good British Christians do – isn’t it? Well, no. Sometimes stuff is so pants that something needs to be said – or alternatively, explained in a well-written sitcom with a sweary Vicar. So many times watching Rev. I find myself agreeing with nearly everything – except possibly the drug-taking – and find it so refreshing that a ‘real’ view of the Church is being made to the public. Yes, there are some crazy people, some ridiculously posh people and some people with prejudices from the dark ages, but there are also a lot of generally nice people too.

Rev. is just such a brilliantly written comedy too; so many issues are brought up in this program that could easily make it a hard-hitting drama, but they are dealt with so well and with such care for the characters involved that it’s not downhearted. Yes, you were angry when you found out the Archdeacon didn’t become Bishop because of his ‘friend’, but when Rev. Smallbone comforts him, you can’t help but “aww” (or in my sister’s case, cry your eyes out) and feel a little better about the world. It also doesn’t alienate those who don’t go to Church – someone who only has the vaguest idea of what the Church is and does can still enjoy the plainly brilliant humour on display: you don’t have to be ‘in with the gang’ to enjoy the antics of the clergy and congregation of St Saviour in the Marshes.

Basically, I love this show. Also my mum loves Tom Hollander and wants to adopt him. I don’t blame her – if he was a real Vicar, I’d happily make the journey over to East London on Sundays, especially if I got to see him off his face, doing his less-than-pc impression of a leper – now THAT is an exciting service! Although, I would be slightly worried if Lord Voldemort was the actual Bishop of London…

Ellen Richardson - Festival helper & YouTuber

Save money on international flights to Edinburgh

It’s no secret that the Olympics is taking over London this summer, bringing international visitors to the UK in their droves.  It is likely that travel prices will get expensive and plane seats will fill up quickly. So here is a list of our favourite flight comparison sites to help our international delegates get the cheapest flights to Edinburgh this August.
If you know the eaxct dates and times that you want to travel use Skyscanner. Otherwise try Flights Direct and Avro.
If you also want to search for extra such as cars, hotels and other activities then try Kayak, Expedia, Travel Supermarket or Opodo.
And remember, it’s usually cheaper to book scheduled flights early rather than last minute. Here are some of the lowest return fares to Edinburgh today:
US and Canada: under £950
Hong Kong: under £750
Madrid, Paris and Berlin: under £150
Dubai: under £550
So get booking and see you in August!

Rebecca Lott
Online Communications and Customer Experience Executive

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Ones To Watch! - (Fast Track Changes name!)

The final Thursday of the month is when the MGEITF Talent Schemes Committee gets together.

Last week’s meeting was the first since October, so LOTS on the agenda!  We have the meetings here at Festival Towers, (a lovely phrase which makes us sound a bit like we work out of Downtown Abbey… except we really don’t!)

The Committee’s been thinking a lot about Fast Track recently, particularly as it’s the scheme’s 18th anniversary in 2012.  

Since 1994, Fast Track has been rewarding those who have already made their mark in the TV industry but aren’t yet in the position to come to the Festival as full paying delegates.  It’s got an amazing track record in identifying the best and most exciting talent.

At the last Committee meeting, we decided that it was time to relaunch Fast Track and to give it a name that more accurately reflected exactly what it was!  

So last Thursday everyone came armed with their suggestions, and after a bit of lively debate, the Committee made their decision...

I can now EXCLUSIVELY reveal that Fast Track will from now on be known as… drum roll please… the TV Festival’s ‘Ones to Watch’!  Ta – dah!

We are still all deciding on the logo... but here is a sneak peak!

In all seriousness, I think the name change sums up that the 30 people the Committee select to come to Edinburgh have been identified as the most gifted and ambitious in the industry.  It really is a badge of honour!

Caroline Meaby
MGEITF Talent Schemes Director