This course, of which we have now delivered 50, is designed to introduce the TV producers from China to as many aspects of the subject as possible in a packed four weeks of lectures, visits and workshops, with the emphasis always on the practical and the detail. Starting with over-views from leading figures in the industry on the fast-changing media environment, the delegates were then given a series of presentations by the programme-makers themselves covering a comprehensive range of genres: from entertainment block-busters to children’s programmes, investigative journalism to quizzes, news and current-affairs to life-style and reality TV.
To pick just a few highlights from the schedule of 18 speakers:
- Public and commercial broadcasting: past, present and most importantly, the future, by the high-profile commentator, former channel-head and presenter of BBC’s Media Show
- A step-by-step description of the creative process by the person responsible for one of the most successful formats in history, the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, from brainstorm to transmission
- An analysis of the ten things you need to know about an audience from the programme strategist of the world’s largest production company
- Case-studies by award-winning documentary makers who use cutting-edge techniques and whose programmes have brought about social change
- How to create channels and content for children of all ages or for niche audiences
- Facing the challenge of new media and using it to reach audiences in innovative ways across the range of platforms
- A master-class by a three-times-BAFTA winner on writing a production script and how to direct a studio, followed by a practical multi-camera exercise involving all the delegates recording a music performance
Every talk was intended to do more than just look in depth at particular examples of great television, but also to give the delegates clear insights into the skills, techniques and processes that underpin broadcasting in the UK, insights which they could take back with them to apply to their own programme-making in China.