My Thoughts on the New Creatives Scheme!
For those who aren’t already aware, my name is Kallen and I am a freelance director and editor who deals in all things audio. Having completed an undergrad degree in media and communication, I quickly used my knowledge of audio to start editing podcasts, which helped me build funds during my time at university.
Being a recent graduate and ever keen to build on my repertoire of audio work, I thought the scheme would be a great way of securing new perspective clients and more consistent work; giving me the opportunity to be part of a larger project than I had before. Now, with that being said, this blog will be about the scheme, I found it, albeit limited to my experiences with the company I worked with. Of course, your mileage may vary, but there should be a lot that transfers over to your New Creatives partner.
"Before New Creatives, I thought I knew all I needed to know about the production process, but the scheme has taught me so much."
About the scheme
New Creatives is a talent development scheme that provides commissioning opportunities to produce work of audio, film or interactive media for BBC platforms. The scheme is specifically for those aged between 16-30 and who live in the UK. The scheme is overseen by BBC Arts with funding coming from Arts Council England and BBC Arts.
Depending on your location, the commissioning company will differ. I live in the South East, so was partnered with Screen South. The other New Creatives hubs are Tyneside Cinema, which covers the North, Rural Media, which covers the Midlands, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, which covers London and Calling the Shots, which covers the South West. To see which Arts council area you come under, have a look at this handy map.
How it works
As part of the development scheme, your idea will go through several submission and revisions stages in which you will be asked to explain your idea and where you see it fitting within the BBC brand. This will help to flush out your idea and think about the professional application of everything you will do.
On shortlisting and development days, you will meet with those who work for the company that covers your area and get to know your prospective New Creatives alumni for that call (essentially what they call a batch). This will introduce you to some of the people you will be corresponding with in the coming months and help you build relationships with other professionals who are operating at a similar level to yourself.
Over the next few months, you’ll attend several training days that will teach you elements of the production process and allow you to develop your artistic vision. The scheme will focus on your intentions after the scheme, the intended impact you believe the scheme will have on your future prospects, how the team can help you develop and achieve your goals as well as any other ways in which you can help yourself. You’ll also learn from veterans and current professionals within your discipline.
After that, you will work with your producer (if you aren’t producing yourself) and your exec producer to begin production. Lastly, you’ll have one final meetup where you will discuss your marketing plans for promoting your production and yourself as a media professional.
"The New Creatives scheme gave me the opportunity to expand my network of industry contacts, who I hope to collaborate with on future projects"
When I started the scheme, I was surprised at the number of writers who had applied. I expected many people to be in the same situation as myself, more involved with the production and producing side rather than the writing. There were several people with recording backgrounds as sound engineers, but most were working in partnership with a creative who had some form of writing background. This, however, allowed me to meet new writers and make connections.
Given my previous experience, I felt that I had a good understanding of the professional application of the different elements of my work and the rationale behind everything. Whilst my belief has not changed, the scheme did highlight a few areas which I had not thought about and has resulted in me having a better comprehension than I originally had.
Another area where I thought I had a reasonable understanding was learning about funding options and how to budget productions. The scheme made me aware of other funding options available and showed me how to manage different funding streams. I also learned how to position projects in a way that makes them more eligible for future arts council funding.
You’ve probably guessed by now, but the scheme allowed me to build contacts and support networks with other creatives and industry professionals. Most people are reasonable and will share and recommend your work if you do the same. Others will also happy to offer you help and advice if you express an interest in their work and career.
Lastly the scheme taught me about the application and promotion of my work. I never really thought about this when working as an editor and let other people deal with this. However, by not doing this, I know that I wasn’t bringing the sort of attention and interest to my work that I could have. Going forward, I know to capitalise and build on this, as this could have cost me other work and hindered my career development over the years up until now.