SuperSizer is our programme for development executives and producers from the nations and regions. The seven-month programme gives them the support they need to create, produce and broadcast the next big returning series. The programme involves a series of monthly workshops on topics such as negotiation, pitching and financing, as well as a trip to London for a series of exclusive meetings with the UK’s major channels.
This year, as part of the programme, the group visited BBC, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5 in February to hear all about their commissioning processes. Learning from the UK’s top broadcasters on everything from the commissioning process to scheduling was an invaluable experience for the cohort. Here’s how the trip played out...
Day 1 - BBC
Starting with a bang, the group visited the BBC at the New Broadcasting House. During the all-day session the SuperSizers heard from the Head of Content Production for BBC iPlayer, Head of Planning and Scheduling as well as Commissioning Editors for BBC Documentaries and Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment.
Day 2 - Channel 4
Day two of the trip brought the delegates to Channel 4. Here they met with contributors from the Audiences, Production and Business affairs department including the Production Finance Manager, Audience Research & Insights Manager, Senior Planning Manager, Senior Forecasting Analyst as well as Commissioning Editors from Daytime and Specialist Factual.
Day 3 - Sky
Thursday took the team to Sky HQ. Here they met with the Director of Sky Arts and two Commissioning Editors from Arts and Entertainment. Our delegates were also put to the test with live pitches. We can’t wait to see where these conversations lead!
Day 3 - Channel 5
The final session - Channel 5! Here they met with not one, not two, but FIVE commissioning editors as well as the VP (Audience Insights) the Director of Production &
Programme Management and the Deputy Director of Content Legal.
But you don’t just have to take our word for it. Here’s what the SuperSizers have to say...
It was great to hear about the inception and genesis of some ideas that I’ve watched and enjoyed - inspiring to hear where they came from. [It] was also useful to get some steers and insider info about commissioning briefs.
Siobhan Smith, Firecracker Films
All the research insights were invaluable and will help form how I prioritise ideas going forward.
Gill Brown, Two Rivers Media
Spending time in the company of experts is always a privilege and motivating as such. The clarity and rationale behind commissioner thinking and the practical needs in ... scheduling … provided sound starting points for new ideas.
Louis Bamber, Button Down
Hugely insightful to see how the process works and it helped inform my creativity.
Alan Gillespie, ShinAwiL
We’d like to thank the broadcasters for their valuable time, effort and hospitality. Here’s to many positive collaborations in the future!
SuperSizer is funded by BBC Nations and Regions, Channel 4, Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland and supported by Channel 5.