Trainees announced for new Scottish entertainment development training initiative FormatLab

TRC has announced the successful trainees who have been selected to take part in FormatLab, a new training programme that aims to create the next wave of entertainment development talent for Scotland. FormatLab has been funded by Screen Scotland, BBC, Channel 4 and Glasgow City Council.

FormatLab will focus on the development of formats in factual entertainment including reality, shiny floor talent shows, game and quiz shows and will feature training opportunities, expert mentoring and industry placements for eight candidates over nine months

The programme which has been developed by TRC in consultation with Screen Scotland, BBC, Channel 4 and independent production companies from across Scotland, launches in March.

The successful candiates and the production companies hosting them are:

  • Abbie Little, Two Rivers Media
  • Hannah Traynor, Ricochet
  • Malcolm Allaway, Tern TV
  • Kate Hammer, STV Productions
  • Isla Reid, Bandicoot TV
  • Jordan Lyon, Beezr TV
  • Anna Sainsbury, Objective Media Group
  • Rhian Campbell, Tuesday’s Child

Margaret Scott and Claire Scally, joint MDs of TRC said:

“FormatLab is a fantastic initiative that will make a tangible difference to developing Scottish talent particularly in anticipation of the growth of entertainment production in Glasgow. We worked with Kate Phillips, BBC’s Controller of Entertainment on the format of the training programme and it was fantastic to get support and input from her and the other funders and production companies”

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said:

“Scotland has a strong track record of producing high quality entertainment programmes that attract a wide audience in the UK and internationally.

“Working with its various partners, FormatLab will train new talent to grow this expanding and lucrative sector of the market and this exciting development can only benefit Scotland’s screen industries.”

David Smith, Director of Screen, Screen Scotland said that;

“We want to see Scotland based production companies winning the lion’s share of the new entertainment commissions that will go through the specialized TV production studio at Kelvin Hall, as well as the existing studios in Pacific Quay. Alongside our continuing skills development work across film and television, we’re actively increasing the range of Screen Scotland’s support for factual producers and programme makers.”

Kate Phillips, Controller, Entertainment, BBC also stated that,

“I know from personal experience what difference a scheme like this can make – finding TV fanatics from any walk of life, and exposing them to the best in the business, to learn how to make a format fly. We hope to see even bigger and bolder ideas coming out of Scotland as a result”

Phil Harris, Head of Entertainment, Channel 4, commented that;

“Channel 4 is committed to nurturing creative talent across the UK and we are really proud to be able to support FormatLab. This scheme will provide fantastic opportunities for entertainment development talent in Scotland – I can’t wait to work with this new cohort and see what great ideas get developed.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:

“The film and broadcast studio hub at Kelvin Hall will play a key role in attracting even more productions to Glasgow, and further developing this healthy sector of the city’s economy.  This new training programme will support the development of the sector, and we can look forward to seeing new talent nurtured by the scheme creating new entertainment on our screens.”