For those of you who don’t know, The Network is GEITF’s entry level talent scheme, aimed at those with less than three months’ paid experience, but with a burning passion for TV, preferably bordering on the obsessive. You might know them as the inquisitive ones with bright eyes and bushy tails after your business cards at the parties. But our purpose is serious, we’re looking for new voices from new places. In short, we want to ensure that those who work in television are as diverse as those who watch it.
For the first time this year, rather than just use written applications to decide who makes it onto The Network, we packed up the GEITF Talent Schemes magic bus and hit the road during May to meet the top 170 of the over 1,000 applications we received this year. Our task: to find the final lucky 50 who will be joining us for The Network this year for four intense and fun-filled days in Edinburgh. While we hope the assessment days were instructional and inspirational for the candidates, we couldn’t help but take away a few things ourselves about the next generation of talent coming through.
Here are seven things we learnt over four days of meeting some amazing people.
•Gogglebox and Game of Thrones were among the most discussed programmes in our interviews. I’m taking away from this that titles starting with “G” connect with the younger generation. All I’m saying is a Going For Gold reboot could really clean up.
•Unorthodox interviewee techniques included winking during introductions. We would not necessarily recommend this.
•Ross Kemp may be known exclusively as a documentarian to anyone born after 1990.
•Bingewatching could be having a disastrous effect on exam results. I’m not saying Michael Gove will ban Netflix, but keep an eye out.
•The next generation are definitely hyphenates who are trying everything and teaching themselves. There were very few we met who weren’t self-shooter/editor/director/producer/actor/breakdancers.
•There are a lot of Emmas out there.
•There are more alumni of both The Network (formerly TVYP) and Ones to Watch (formerly Fast Track /
this handy form – we’d love to know what you’re up to and you’ll get invites to our free quarterly alumni events.
Thank you to all the talent scheme committee members, talent managers and execs all over the UK who generously gave us their time to make these days such a success, and to Creative Skillset, University of Salford, University of Hertfordshire, BBC Scotland, Discovery UK and The Roundhouse for making them possible.
The final 50 have now been selected, and they’ll be getting the good news as you read this. So when you see a Networker at the Festival, say hello. If they’re trying out their newfound networking skills on you at a party, be patient. When they send you an e-mail asking for advice, help them out. Let’s face it, they’ll all be our bosses one day.