Fish, chips and chats – Brighton Production Hub networking event
Soho-on-Sea, some call it. You can’t argue with that, given the colour, vibrancy, and craft beer options on the seafront in Brighton.
Nearly fifteen companies were keen to showcase their production wares at the Brighton Production Hub event hosted in conjunction with The Edit the other day. Long gone are the days of one or two big powerhouses winning all the southern ‘regions’ commissions. Over 300 freelancers came to meet them, people who already live and work there, are happy to commute, or are longing to move down to this buzzing city on the southern coast.
The team at Talented People were invited along to man a table and meet some folk. We had the best spot, right between the bar and the most amazing freebie cake, so needless to say we had a lot of visitors…
It was excellent to catch up with companies we’d once worked with as freelance producers and directors ourselves, as well as meet those companies we’d worked with to staff up single roles or entire series recently. But by far the most exciting part was meeting fantastic new talent to match to relevant opportunities we have both regionally, and in London.
We may have been in talent for a collective 30 odd years in this tightly knit little industry, but it never fails to amaze us how many new CVs and faces we come across at events like these, and stars in the making who’ve been hiding under a rock in-house or simply have not needed to market themselves for years. It’s why these events are so important.
Burning topics amongst many included:
Where are all the talented production staff? There’s a severe shortage of PCs, PMs, Line Producers… How can we encourage more junior freelancers to work up through the industry into production?
Work / life balance. With increasing spotlight on mental health in this challenging industry, people want to work hard but also play hard. To work with ‘nice’ people and be respected for having a life outside of TV.
Why do companies find it difficult to see transferrable skills from one type of programming to another? Freelancers are easily pigeonholed and frustrated at the lack of opportunity outside their existing credits. Open minds would open up new talent.
Referencing – the big grey area. Who to give as a reference. Whether to trust what people say. What happens if you don’t get the job after you’re referenced… can you ask for feedback.
We dragged ourselves reluctantly away to catch the last train with many thoughts… top being: when can we move to Brighton? Closely followed by: what a buzzing and lively production industry there is here, with untapped talent pools. And then: if only we’d smuggled some cake for the train home…
Do you live and work in Brighton? How have you seen the industry and opportunity there change recently? We’d love you to leave us a comment below.