TV Skills Fund masterclasses on working safely during Covid

Image: Have I Got News For You © BBC/Hat Trick/Ray Burmiston

The experience of producing shows such as Hospital, Ranganation and Have I Got News For You under lockdown will be shared in a new schedule of events designed to help TV production work safely during the Covid-19 crisis.

The aim of this package is to use case studies to share existing good practice, ingenuity and technological innovation developed or deployed in recent weeks.

This latest round of masterclasses and training supported by the TV Skills Fund, with contributions from the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5, will also include broadcasters joining forces to discuss the recently-released broadcasters’ guidance for TV production.  It is part of a programme managed for the fund by the Indie Training Fund.

Sarah Joyce, ScreenSkills’ head of unscripted and children’s TV, said: “We know that industry is grappling with how to work during Covid-19 so in an effort to support unscripted television producers work safely in the new circumstances we are introducing some new sessions.

“Makers of programmes already operating under lockdown will share their experiences and learnings with the industry and we are also bringing together the BBC, ITV and Sky for a dedicated session looking at the new broadcasters’ guidance for TV production. This session will focus on unscripted TV and continuing drama.

 “The TV Skills Fund also continues to support popular sessions such as lunch with a commissioner which foster a sense of community amongst the workforce at this uncertain time.”

The June schedule starts with Richard Wilson, executive producer of Have I Got News For You, discussing the logistics of producing the show from the homes of presenters and guests and how to hit the right tone for comedy during the pandemic.

Subsequent sessions will also further explore the challenges of working from home, keeping crew safe in the context of the virus and how technical innovation can help at this time.

The very particular safety issues in going behind the scenes at two hospitals at the height of the crisis for the two-part documentary, Hospital Special: Fighting Covid-19 will be discussed by Jackie Waldock, its executive producer, and Jo Taylor, head of production.

Some of the cutting-edge technology that helped Sunday Brunch return to air as well as the technical innovation and planning behind BBC News will be discussed in two sessions with Patrick Ruddy, executive producer at Remarkable Television, overseeing Sunday Brunch,  and Morwen Williams, BBC News head of UK operations, respectively.

And Debra Blenkinsop, of Zeppotron, will discuss how The Ranganation has been presented by Romesh Ranganathan from his garage and The Mash Report from the homes of its talent.

Click here for details of these and all other events and training offered by ScreenSkills.

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