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Meet the Delegates: SuperSizer

We work with some pretty cool people at TRC through our training programmes, workshops and events. Today we're shining the spotlight on the SuperSizer Class of 2018/19 - a host of the best TV Development executives working in the Nations and Regions of the UK. They're the creative folks who come up with all the bright ideas that turn into some of your favourite telly. 

We asked the SuperSizer delegates about the shows they wish they'd pitched, their top tips for working in telly and more. 

 

Neil McCallum - Hungry Bear

My top piece of advice for anyone wanting to work in TV would be…

Preserve and never forget the importance of common sense, good manners and the fact that where there’s a will, there’s often a way.

The show I wish I’d pitched is…

Big Brother

Something people would be surprised to learn about me is…

I once appeared on Supermarket Sweep (and lost).

 

Connie Fisher - Wildflame Productions

When I’m stuck in a creative rut I…

sing loudly to Barbara Streisand whilst driving 

My top piece of advice for anyone wanting to work in TV would be…

be a pest. Persistence is key to success. You’ve got to love the struggle.

My favourite quote is...

A misty morning does not signify a cloudy day...

Lindsey Douglas - Lion Television Scotland

The show I wish I’d pitched is…

Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds.  Based on something real that brings together two of my favourite groups – the elderly and the young – it’s warm, funny and uplifting.  That or Gogglebox, such a simple format that celebrates and showcases why we watch and love TV.

The best thing about working in Development is...

The limitless places any seed of an idea can take you, always traveling with hope that you’ll get others to buy in to it.  

My top piece of advice for anyone wanting to work in TV would be …

Only do it if you really love it and expect disappointment if you think it’ll be glamorous or a walk in the park.

Tom Popay - Stellify Media

The show I wish I’d pitched is...

RuPaul's Drag Race

When I’m stuck in a creative rut I...

build lego until I'm sick of following instructions and want to be creative again.

If I were leading a major broadcaster I would...

see the FAANG's [Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google] as less of a threat and more of an excuse to diversify my content in order to compete.

Laura Farrell - Tern TV

My top piece of advice for anyone wanting to work in TV would be…

You are your own personal cheerleader! Work hard, grasp every opportunity, learn from your colleagues and always ask questions.

Something people would be surprised to learn about me is…

I used to work as an offshore oil engineer.

The best thing about working in Development is...

Learning every day and working with a highly creative team. I enjoy harnessing my inner detective and discovering surprising and thought provoking stories. I love my job.

Henry Imbert - Very Nice

The best thing about working in Development is...

the fact there are no wrong answers. If you can stand an idea up and match it with talent, an asthetic and make it compelling you can pretty much let your imagination run wild. I'd say the most original, entertaining and exciting shows always attract the phrase 'It shouldn't, but for some reason it just works' when talked about by commisioners - I take that to mean go crazy!

The worst TV is...

made by the numbers, laiden with false jepordy and generally puts rent-a-celebs through experiences which would be life-changing for the man on the street but are just another booking for them. I also am sick of access documentaries with 'quaint' music underneath them to make them seem quirky, that really gets my goat!

Edward Kellie - Screendog Productions

My favourite quote/saying is…

Trust your instinct and be bold.. I find myself internally repeating it a little bit too often

The best thing about working in Development is...

Seeing a juggernaut of a production and remembering it as a sliver of an idea.

The show I wish I’d pitched is…

A few years ago The Jinx - the best 'boxset factual' I've ever seen. I suspect it wasn't a pitch, but a story that became unmissable as Andrew Jarecki started making it. More recently - The Circle - many say it's too clever by half, but it's most original reality concept I've seen for ages and a slow burner that I suspect will be around for years to come..

Patricia Moore - Tyrone Productions

The show I wish I’d pitched is…

Gogglebox

If I were leading a major broadcaster I would…

commission EVERYTHING from outside the M25!

My favourite quote/saying is…

Don't worry...we'll get there

 

Peter MacQueen - Caledonia TV

The show I wish I’d pitched is…

The Undateables

The best telly is…

when the whole family is gathered together in one place and everyone is enthralled by what they are viewing.

My favourite quote/saying is...

“Down with this sort of thing” – thank you Father Ted!

Robert Neil - Finestripe

The best thing about working in development is...

you have the whole world to work with. Ideas can come from anywhere.

The show I wish I’d pitched is...

Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes. A great use of a real life yet aspirational scenario in a fact ent format. Gripping throughout.

Something people would be surprised to learn about me is...

I am a two times Scottish schools basketball champion. Every team needs a great, relatively short, bench warmer (this metaphor probably shouldn’t be applied to working in television)

Khurram Adnan Sheikh- Imagemaker Media

The best thing about working in Development is...

Having the opportunity to take an audience along a new journey. We all want to make a difference and there is no better place than in development, allowing us to create new content, new ideas, new perspectives.

When I’m stuck in a creative rut I…

talk to my kids, nieces and nephews and ask them questions or open up a theme with them. Kids answers are amazing, unrestrained by boundaries, sometimes they come up with bizarre yet wonderful perspectives that just free up my creativity.

The worst telly is… 

Just too much reality, too much negativity. Pregnant at 16, on benefits etc etc. What’s wrong with ‘inspirational content’?

Nacressa Swan - Meridian Line Films

The show I wish I had pitched is…

Who Do You Think You Are or Long Lost Family. For a while, everyone was trying to crack a genealogy/social history format. Both series are just brilliant and could just run and run forever, opening ‘history’ up to everyone.

My favourite quote/saying is…

everyone feels like a fraud, get over it! 

A wonderful exec and mentor who I worked with for many years said this to me very early on - and repeated it whenever I got a break I didn’t feel ready for. TV is one of those jobs where there isn’t always an obvious training route or progression - so it’s easy to feel unprepared or that everyone else is doing better than you! This saying helped me realise that lots of people in the industry feel the same and grab every opportunity that comes my way with both hands.

Thanks to the delegates for giving us a sneak peek into the mind of a TV development exec. The group will meet again in Glasgow in late October for our focus on pitching, with guests from Channel 4. Find out more about the programme here.

About the author

Michelle Conlin

Michelle Conlin

Michelle is Marketing Executive at TRC and leads on events.