Seven senior television executives from Scotland and Northern Ireland visited New York and Washington DC last week to meet with top US television channels as part of TRCmedia’s International Development Programme.
The stateside business trip was the culmination of a six month training programme for senior executives from independent television production companies based in Scotland and Northern Ireland who have aspirations for international growth.
Over the four day period (20th -23rd March) in New York and Washington DC the producers met with top commissioners from leading US channels including HBO, National Geographic, TLC, Discovery Channel, Smithsonian, FYI, Lifetime and A&E. Meetings gave the UK production executives the opportunity to meet face to face with U.S decision makers and pitch their television formats and proposals to an international audience.
The business trip also afforded the possibility for transatlantic co-production opportunities through an event organised by PactUS- an association of TV and content production companies which supports the business of its members in the United States and makes links between UK and US production companies. Fifteen US independent production companies attended the event in New York to meet with the UK producers.
David Smith, Managing Director of Glasgow based Matchlight said:
The surprising thing for me was the opportunities with broadcasters and co-production partners I simply would never have met without TRC and the IDP. After 8 years of success in the UK our goal for the year ahead is to produce our first show for a non-UK broadcaster. TRC and the IDP have very effectively short-circuited that process for us.
Matthew Worthy, Joint Managing Director of Belfast based Stellify Media, said:
You can be told about the cultural differences when pitching to the US markets, but it means nothing unless you go there and do it. Without the TRC International Development Programme I wouldn't have had the resources, the focus, or the access.
Natalie Hill, Head of Development and Executive Producer at Glasgow based Hello Halo, added:
Not only did we have face time with commissioners we might not have otherwise met, going with such a strong group shone a light on the great work coming out of Scotland and Northern Ireland overall.