Masterclass weekend two

After a two-week break, we jumped straight back in with a full day of the future producers pitching their project ideas to a panel. Our panellists were Pervasive Media Studio Producer Verity McIntosh, Director of Visual Arts South West Grace Davies, Co-Director of MAYK Matthew Austin, and Producer and Experience/Product Designer Tom Metcalfe. Our Future Producers were tasked with delivering a three-minute pitch of their idea for one of the following project briefs:

  1. An audience development project surrounding Watershed’s 24 and under ticket offer in response to a collaborative research project with Culture24
  2. LOVE Tea Dance with a Difference, as part of Bristol Family Arts Festival
  3. A series of late night screenings inspired by the BFI LOVE season

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We had a brilliant day brimming with ideas and enthusiasm. From ceilidhs to mad science laboratories to interactive tap dance workshops: all inspired by films. The day ended with our panellists offering some pearls of wisdom including tips on how to shape the content of your pitch, and to always be kind and generous with your peers and colleagues.

Sunday was a day of two halves. In the morning Hannah talked about key producing skills and the importance of collaborative working and project authorship. Her top tips were:

  • Always aim for a clear vision, and when it gets murky work hard to get back on track.
  • Communication, communication, communication – between everyone involved!
  • Compromise and flexibility – it’s important to work with the team to identify the key milestones and be ready to respond to change.
  • Problem solving – thinking on your feet at the most stressful moments in the project and bring the whole team with you in any decision making processes.

We welcomed back some previous Future Producers to talk about their experience on the programme: Rosie Cook, Varun Raman and James Staynings. The discussion swayed from thinking about plan B, C, and D to the importance of understanding each other’s strengths when setting out roles and responsibilities. I then ran a workshop around project planning and an introduction to gantt charts, which we will be revisiting later in the programme to apply to the live projects.

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After lunch, the future producers split into their project groups and spent the afternoon with their mentors developing and interrogating their ideas and putting plans in place for the next steps. I will hand over now to the future producers themselves to blog about their producing journey and to get you excited about attending their events at Watershed this autumn.

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