Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Getting in to TV

As like a lot of other industries Media has been affected by the recession. Less people are advertising jobs in the Media Guardian and there is less new TV written and produced by new talent. The TV industry not only has the recession to contend with but the ever changing marketplace with the internet now playing a key role in its development so much so that the degree that I graduated from Broadcasting studies is now called Digital Media.

The question I want to pose this week is with audiences now watching TV more and more online has it opened up a greater opportunity for young people to get established and noticed so that they can move on to regular TV or has the recession stopped any chance of this?

I think with technological advances it is easier and cheaper today to produce a TV programme or film than it was ten years ago. This has been highlighted by the British film “Colin” which was made for £45 and got a limited cinema release. With more and more people using the internet and watching TV on the internet it is also easier to market your work and get people watching.

This development has given young talented people the chance to shine in TV which they wouldn’t have normally had but it is the next step which is the hardest and most important which is making your talent in to a career or securing a job off the back of it. With sites like YouTube, BBC iPlayer and illegal file sharing viewers online are reluctant to pay to view and securing an advertising deal which pays you any kind of real money is near on impossible to find so making money out of your work can be hard.

So the only way really to use the online world is for publicity to help you get paid work in industry however this is where we hit another snag. Because of the recession TV companies don’t have big budgets or money to waste so many are reluctant to take risks or to employ unproven talent no matter how good you are. The big networks are looking for cheap to make programmes and programmes they can make money out of and know they are going to get high viewing figures for. This is why we have the X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity on at the moment, which takes up a huge chunk of weekly TV.

I think in the future there will be a way to draw more money out of screening programmes on the internet but until that day comes I think it is going to be hard for someone to make a decent living if they aren’t employed or funded by a major company. From an artists point however I encourage any budding TV and film maker to go out and produce something and put it up on the web as I think in the future there will be more cases like “Colin” that go on to do big things and get recognition.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"
”Shaking up the Youth of Today”