Channel 4 and Screen Scotland are launching a strategic development and pilot production initiative for Scotland-based indies, to back new entertainment ideas.
Phil Harris, head of Entertainment and Events at Channel 4, Steven Handley, commissioning editor, Entertainment, at Channel 4 and Dani Carlaw, head of Unscripted, Screen Scotland will together host a briefing for interested indies to learn more about the initiative.
The initiative is looking to fund the development of new entertainment projects with the plan of launching a pilot during the Christmas period with a Scotland-based indie this year.
Over the last two years Channel 4 Entertainment has launched a series of pilots at Christmas, including One Night In Hamleys, The Greatest Snowman and Jon and Lucy’s Christmas Sleepover. These pilots have gone on to return either as a one-off annual treat like The Greatest Snowman or as a returning series that lives beyond the festive season, such as One Night In.
Phil Harris, Channel 4’s head of Entertainment and Events said: “The Entertainment team has made a concerted push to broaden our supplier base and on-screen content and our partnership with screen Scotland is the latest step in that process. I’m excited to see some fresh ideas and form more new indie relationships.”
Steven Handley, commissioning editor for Entertainment said: “I’m thrilled to be working on this pilot initiative to deliver the next returnable entertainment hit for C4 from a Scotland based indie. I spent two years of my career in Glasgow and I can’t wait to work with the indie sector on this opportunity.”
Dani Carlaw, head of Unscripted, Screen Scotland says: “This initiative offers an incredible opportunity for Scotland-based production companies to work closely with Channel 4’s Entertainment Team. Supporting Scotland to deliver in entertainment is a priority for Screen Scotland, and I look forward to seeing our indies push their boundaries creatively.”
The ambition is to continue with this piloting model to launch new ideas around Christmas in the hope that they have potential for further commissions.
Scottish independent production companies who are interested are able to join Phil Harris, Steven Handley and Dani Carlaw in the webinar to receive further information with ideas to be submitted ideas to Steven Handley by 30th June.
Channel 4 has spent more than £200m in Scotland since 2007 and in 2019 it invested £19m in Scotland.
Earlier this year Channel 4 revealed that its proportion of commissions and spend in the Nations and Regions hit a record high in 2021 with two thirds of all original programming commissioned for the main channel being produced in the Nations and Regions, nearly double the broadcaster’s 35% quota set by Ofcom. It also revealed that 55% of spend on new content was commissioned from production companies in the Nations and Regions.
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