Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Meeting People in the Industry

In an attempt to learn as much as I can about not only the physical process of producing, but also the industry in general, I have been attempting to meet people with varying experiences.

The first of these meetings was with Professor Brian Winston. Professor Winston is the Lincoln Chair of Communications at the University of Lincoln. He won an Emmy in 1985 for documentary script writing and has worked within current affairs programming. We met at the Brayford Campus of the University of Lincoln and discussed the difficulties of working within television. I found this insightful and sobering, and it illustrated to me how tirelessly I was going to have to work to even be given the opportunity to work.

Through a purely chance discussion, I found out that living in the next village to me was an American TV producer. Cyrus Yavneh's two most successful projects are Season One and Two of 24 and Seasons One to Three of Supernatural.

I wrote a letter to Cyrus, explaining that I wished to be a producer and that any advice he could offer would be greatly received. Knowing that 90% of letters written to people in film and TV end up in the bin, I did not expect to hear anything more about it. Two months after the letter was sent, I received a phone call from Mrs Yavneh explaining that Cyrus was in America and would be free for a chat when he arrived home for Christmas.

Three days before Christmas, Cyrus rang as promised, and we discussed the various roles of producers and the different ways to make yourself appeal to the 'suits'. This phone call was followed up with a coffee and a meeting in a local cafe. Since then, Cyrus has returned to the States to try to secure funding for a feature film he is currently working on.

In both Professor Winston and Cyrus, I feel that I have experienced contacts that I can get in touch with should I have a question that I need answered.

Professor Brian Winston

Cyrus Yavneh

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