distillery at the Media Production Show 2018

Last week some of us were at the annual Media Production Show. Every year, the MPS holds great masterclasses and talks, providing insight into the industry for newcomers and veterans alike. As well as masterclasses and workshops, the MPS showcases some of the latest tech in the industry, from cameras and lenses, to servers and drones, and even cosmetics.

Rebecca, Jay, Cristina, and Rika headed over to attend some talks and here are some of their notes and quotes they took from the show:


Our Production Manager Rebecca went along to the MPS to see what's new in the industry.

The BIG Interview with Producer, Simon Chinn
Simon Chinn is a double Academy Award winning British film producer known for feature documentaries. His latest documentary, Whitney, will be released this year.

He talked about how he has seen the industry change over the last ten years, with streaming platforms like Netflix impacting the way shows are commissioned.For example, the team that comes with the project is now a much more important factor for commissioners than it has been previously.

Notable quote: “Find great stories and great people and you’re gold.”

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Jay is our Development AP. Some thoughts from Jay about some of the masterclasses he attended include: 

Factual Indies - State of the Nation
With presenter led factual it’s important to find new fresh and diverse talent. It’s important to look nationwide for stories and explore different regions when developing stories or looking for talent.

The Digital Success of C5
When working on factual content it’s important to have an emotional pull central to the narrative. (On scripted)
Sebastian Cardwell: “Lower budgets can breed stronger narratives and we’re looking for scripted that can be done on a tighter budget and delivered quickly to keep things relevant to the time.”


Cristina, our Head of Post Production, was VERY excited about seeing all of the new tech at the show (she spent half a day admiring servers).

Cinematographer's Masterclass
In this session we meet two award-winning Directors of Photography, both with extensive experience of the British film and TV industry. They talked about their careers and the main differences of filming Documentary and Drama.
“I don’t think a cinematographer could survive just as a technician, it’s incredibly important to give all you can to the aesthetic of the film.”
“Ultimately it’s all about the story, it doesn’t matter what program is. We tell stories with light.”


Our Production Coordinator, Rika, attended a Documentary Filmmakers masterclass, hosted by Will Strauss with Jim Greayer (Producer/Director), Polly Steele (Director/Filmmaker) and Jo Hughes (Series Producer/Editor, Ambulance, BBC One). Here are some great quotes from each of the speakers from the masterclass:

Jim Greayer
Jim is a writer and director in documentary and drama. He gave a small talk about the differences in directing and writing documentary and drama pieces:
"When creating a reconstruction/dramatisation documentary you must be clear what the purpose is. Filmmaking generally is about tapping into a human experience and human emotions; basically the human condition."

"If dramatisation can enlighten us about human emotion the way that pure drama does, then it becomes this valuable thing. History is important fundamentally and human behaviour hasn’t changed."



Overall, the team had an insightful experience at the Media Production Show 2018, and we'll be sure to attend again next year!

That's all from distillery for now!
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