Ryan Meloy is Assistant Producer, Development, with IWC Media, part of Zodiak Media. Here’s what he took from the Network Development Initiative.

Why did you apply for the NDI

I applied for the NDI because I’m always looking to improve my overall understanding of television development and this felt like an unmissable opportunity to do so.

From the initial creative aspect right through to the pitching process, moving my ideas into actual production, the expectations of the commissioner and the channel, as well as satisfying the needs of the audience – the NDI course covers this entire process and much more, so for me it was an opportunity that was vital to my personal career development.

As someone who is interested in television formats, the NDI also provided an otherwise unobtainable insight into the international market.

Speaking to those who had previously taken part in the initiative, I knew that there was a chance that individuals as renowned as Matt Gould (Man Vs Food) would be involved in one of the sessions. To be able to get an insight into his creative process and how he approaches formats from an international perspective would truly improve my understanding of television formats.

How did you beneift?

c4I now have a much clearer understanding of how a channel commissioner approaches ideas they are pitched, from how they see an idea fitting into their channel identity to how they might approach it in terms of narrative in order to sit alongside their current schedule. Sessions with current high-level commissioners were invaluable in this regard.

In terms of how I approach generating new ideas, the NDI provided a number of sessions that introduced me to creative techniques that I otherwise wouldn’t have been aware of. These sessions have been invaluable for me since then and have definitely improved my skillset.

Likewise, the session on pitching furthered my abilities in terms of writing pitch documents that are succinct and engaging, as well as presenting ideas in ways that sell them and demonstrate how they would work as complete television programmes.

I’m far more aware of self-critiquing my own ideas and as a result I am able to ensure that any idea I pitch is as strong as it possibly can be at that time.

Likewise, to be involved in the creative process with someone with Matt Gould’s experience, and hold my own in terms of contribution, not only taught me a lot about formatting and idea generating but also boosted my belief in my own abilities.

How have you used your NDI experience?

Since completing the course I use many of the skills acquired in the sessions in my everyday work, from using mind-mapping and idea-generating games to approaching my pitch documents with a clearer focus. As a result I am also far more confident in vocalising new ideas as I now have a strong belief in myself.

The NDI has also opened up a number of networking opportunities with commissioners and production teams that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.

Most importantly, I am able to apply everything I learned throughout the NDI and apply it to my role in Development. For me, each session furthered my abilities and helped contribute to my overall desire to continually improve my skills.

Thanks Ryan!

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