EVENTS

24-26th October – NRK CREATIVE TRAINING, Oslo

18th October – LEADING IDEAS, ITF creative training, book at https://t.co/mTTHgMURZm

3-7th October – RTM TV, Malaysia

30th September – BBC CREATIVE, BBC Development

28-29th September – SHELTER CHARITY, Creative Training

1st September – UNLOCK CREATIVE MINDS, AC Conference @ Kings College London

31st August – INDIE DEVELOPMENT DAY, Channel 4 Fact Ent

2nd August – STRICTLY COME DANCING, Pro-dancers Workshop

12th July – BBC GOOD FOOD, Ideas Workshop

22nd April – SERIES PRODUCER TRAINING, Creative Skillset at Channel 4

17th March – LIFE’S A PITCH. Broadcast indie summit with creatives of Murder Detectives, Hunted! and Can’t touch this!

18th March – CBEEBIES, Ideas for Music & Movement


BLOGS

Making your ideas travel

Linda Green, Director of Leading Creative Talent, works with top industry leaders to identify new creative strategy and deliver ground-breaking ideas. She asks five leading experts behind the UK’s most well-travelled ideas how they discover, format and market globe-trotting brands. Kate Phillips Head of Formats, BBC Worldwide IT’s not the right idea, it’s the right idea at the right time The line that there are ‘no bad ideas’ is nonsense. There are 100’s of bad ideas, I’ve had many of them but you should never be afraid to voice them as they can kick-start different discussions and new ideas evolve as a result. Anyone working in development will have dozens of stories about the idea that got away, how I had that idea years ago that is now a huge success.  And that’s the key.  It’s not about the right idea, it’s about the right idea at the right time.  Also there is a danger in creative industries to over complicate ideas, the best most successful formats are the simple ones. Multiple format points often evolve in production with excellent execution over several series, but in the first instance, the sell, is all about having a core clear concept, and... View Article

Do brainstorm techniques work? Find out how they can set your ideas free.

It’s a question I often get asked when I tell people what I do for a living. Really? Surely it’s someone’s talent, their imagination, their drive. And yes, all of this is true. ‘Creative people’ have an ability to engage a part of their brain (now identified as behind our right ear!) to imagine new ideas or concepts. But it is also true that these skills can be learnt.  We will show you the best techniques and tools at this event, click HERE for more information. Using techniques based on 70 years of research from New York State University and application over a decade at the BBC, with What If?, with DR (makers of The Killing & Borgen), Sky, Fremantle, etc, I have numerous examples of how ‘organised’ creativity can help discover new ground-breaking ideas.  Of course, once you have the idea it is only the start, it takes courage and effort to recognise and act on it.  I love my poets and this quote by Vachel Lindsay reminds me every day that I have the responsibility to act on my ideas. “You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them” Vachel Lindsay So don’t ignore your ideas, dreams,... View Article

Get your big ideas to happen

I recently presented a Keynote speech at a London Conference on Pioneering Change which helps creative organisations and individuals innovate.  I met many wonderful, intelligent people and I noticed a theme emerged; when an idea, a concept or a new way of working is truly innovative it is harder to get across the line, to get commissioned or even to get the idea heard.  It reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s quote that I keep on my fridge door: “An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all” There are many pitching techniques to refine your idea, to sell its benefits, to identify the audience need it will satisfy, but we don’t often make logical decisions as Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow or Daniel Pink’s Drive will testify. To get a ‘dangerous’ idea heard, it is not enough to make it palatable or to sell its logical virtues; instead we must work hard to find the human connection, the salience or the emotional, evocative element that stays with your boss, commissioner or even family member to consider quietly and thoughtfully.

Strictly ideas! 5 ingredients to creative success

Looking at this you wouldn’t know that I’m a dancer too? I still get to dance around my bedroom but few know that I danced at the Royal Ballet, starred in London Ballet Productions and am a trained street-dance teacher! And so my idea development work on the Strictly format and my dream to be amongst my own, finally came true when I joined Strictly Come Dancing’s Pro-dancers for a day defining a new ideas process, inspiration and influencing skills. As I am still a loyal BBC girl, I will not divulge any secrets but I thought it would be useful and fun to share their five ingredients to inspirational ideas: 1. Storytelling – Make them forget they are watching a dance From appealing to dreams, fairy tales and emotions, to captivating with clever concepts and high production values; stories are key.  Research shows that stories engage parts of the brain that make ideas more memorable.  How might you create the story of a new concept, a new role or a new partnership? 2. Innovate – Deliver the unexpected Audiences are overwhelmed with images, messaging and complexity. For your ideas to stand out, they need to be as simple as they are different. The dancers spoke of the need to create your own style,... View Article

Harnessing digital content: from Epic Rap Battles to naked, invisible art!

As I contemplate my navel on a beautiful Sperlongan beach, I am questioned AGAIN on Brexit!  As an Anglo-Italian with a strong Roman accent, my beach dwelling neighbours do not hesitate to share their views; so far, I have been asked if us Brits are racist, self-serving or weird Islanders! I argue our case of course, we are not perfect but the UK is a place with opportunities for all nationalities and the Olympics demonstrates this best of all! However, when it comes to political knowledge, I can’t help thinking that if politicians and mainstream broadcasters could take these 5 simple lessons on harnessing the power of digital content, British voters would have had a more balanced ‘inbox’ and more open and informed discussions. Maybe so many of us wouldn’t have Googled ‘What is the EU?’ after voting to leave? 1. The power of simplicity Max Gogarty, Content Editor BBC3 and previously Vice’s Head of Development, explains how simplicity is the key; if you have a clear concept then digital platforms allow the freedom to deliver content for what the story needs. His films can play up to 18 minutes long.  Talking about BBC3’s ‘Drug Map of Britain‘, he highlights the simplicity of the format:  “One person’s story with one drug, in one place in Britain” 2.... View Article

An insiders view on the BBC’s creative future

As the TV world hears of another BBC leader exiting the BBC, one might wonder what is going on there and why have so many of the most senior management taken the step to leave a secure and well paid job.  I am not going to pretend to read their mind or to spill the beans on my friends and colleagues, but what I do know is that the pressures the BBC is under financially, the scrutiny of a certain type of press and, most importantly, a commercial change plan which brings into doubt the organisation’s Reithian values, can only help to push those who can, to leave. As I recently stood up to make a keynote speech at City  Business School, I took a deep breath and prepared to win support for the BBC; from a crowd, who if my husband was right, wouldn’t care whether the BBC was in danger or not.  As you can see in this picture, it was 20 years ago that I joined the organisation for its very values which are now becoming harder to deliver. So what’s the challenge? New audience needs – platforms, technology, expectations Although TV viewing remains relatively strong, younger audiences are not watching... View Article

Hunting that commission? Top tips for winning that commission – Indie Broadcast Summit, 17th March 2016

So what does it take?  What are the magic ingredients to getting that idea across the line? The Broadcast Indie Summit invited a star studded cast of the Indie Sector’s Heads of Development, a creative consultant (me!) and three of our best creative minds at the pitching front-line.  Here are their top tips for getting that commission. 1) A simple, killer topline – Johnny Meenagh, Shine TV’s Hunted! for Channel 4 For Shine’s Head of Development, Johnny Meenagh, the nicest guy in development (I should know as I trained him 100 years ago!), it was the simple, killer premise ofHunted’s ‘factual thriller‘, that got it over the line. 2) Search for uniqueness – Neil Grant, Films of Record’s Murder Detectives Neil Grant told the story of how he gained access to a Metropolitan police force keen to tell their story; how his personal integrity and therefore trusting relationship with the police allowed unique access to an addictive, dramatic and often upsetting ‘documentary box set’ approach to real murder investigations. 3) Sizzle clips & talent tasters focus development – Matthew Worthy, Stellify Media’s Can’t Touch This After a protracted Saturday night call-out for ideas from the BBC, a relative newcomer, Stellify, stole the show.  A stealthy,... View Article

The secret life of ideas

I was working in Factual programming research in the mid-90s when I was asked to work with the new editor of Top Gear. I was young, a little arrogant and thought it was a great gig, but I didn’t really watch the show and cars weren’t really my thing. I hastily decided that we should increase audiences by targeting female viewers to a male-skewed show; with less rubber burning and more consumer news, pink cars and a Garfield. The audience figures dropped, Jeremy Clarkson left and I learnt a very hard lesson. Because there are no shortcuts – great ideas happen if you take the necessary time to harness the three key creative resources: a mix of diverse people; a shared process to generate and evaluate ideas; and an open, inclusive environment. In all industries, one of the most common misconceptions is that ideas only come from people labelled as ‘creative’.  In fact, new research ( Neuroscience of Creativity: Scientific American 2014) shows that there is no such thing as the archetypal left brained creative person versus the more right brained logical one; instead there are three neural networks at play. Creative people have learnt a trick; they are better at... View Article

Broadcast Indie Summit: Linda Green

Creativity consultant Linda Green, who has worked on BBC shows including Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing, will offer indies advice on winning commissions at the first Broadcast Indie Summit. Why do you think it’s so important to support the Indie Summit? TV is going through a great deal of change – events like the Indie Summit allow us to reflect on where we are and where we want to be.  It’s a chance to exchange ideas on what really matters in the industry and to gain new insights into how we might fix things. Also, I’ve made great connections for new projects and collaborations from these type of events, which is an added bonus when so many of us are freelance or always heads-down from one job to another. What do you think your background and experience will bring to the summit? I have worked across all genres and platforms in both the creative and business side of TV; on the big BBC shows including the Digital Olympics, Doctor Who, Strictly and Top Gear. I also work with indies and their development teams. I coach them through the development process – helping them lead creative teams, showing them techniques to... View Article

How to discover, format and market globe-trotting brands? Lessons from Sky, BBC Worldwide, Ex on the Beach and BBC Sport

In case you missed my article in Broadcast magazine this week… here it is! What are the skills needed to discover, format and market globe-trotting brands? Linda Green asks five creatives working in areas across the industry Don’t be prescriptive. Trust gut-based creative leaps of faith. Denny Tu Head of planning and strategy, Sky Sky’s in-house creative agency has a mammoth task: to deliver an incredible amount of advertising and promotion from 300-plus people. Creative and brand leadership is at the heart of what we do at Sky, putting customers at the centre of everything. As a commercially minded FTSE 100 company, we must always balance our commercial focus (testing the shit out of everything) with our creative instincts – those ‘gut-based’ leaps of faith; the pieces of work you just know make you feel something. On Game Of Thrones this year, we had mountains of data and research, but as fans of the show, our instincts were to put the characters at the heart of the campaign, with bold messaging to bring to life one of the most epic dramas on the planet. Our instincts were right and we delivered both audience growth and some of the best numbers... View Article