Ciaran Pasi tells us about his first week working at Remedy Productions as a Development Researcher as part of Channel 4's Nations and Regions Production Training Scheme in Glasgow:
“I’m Ciaran and I’m going to be a development researcher at Remedy Productions.”
Each time I said that introduction during our two weeks of training with thinkBIGGER! I was met with a similar reaction from our guest speakers. “Development?” Followed by a slow nod, a slight grimace, a sharp intake of breath and a feigned smile; then attempted reassurance, sympathetic encouragement and a “Good luck.”
What was I getting myself into? I’d heard that 90% of my ideas would end up in the bin and that I would have to kill my darlings if no one was biting after 48 hours, but I thought it all sounded amazing.
To me, development seemed like a dream. You mean I get paid to sit in a room with creative people brainstorming? Coming up with ideas about everything and anything and trying to turn them into TV shows. Encouraged to think big, let your imagination run wild and worry about logistics later. Of course there would be briefs to work to but the idea that I would be encouraged to look at the world around me, think about what makes it interesting and how people could engage with it in watchable content excited me.
Now I didn’t know what to expect. I pictured myself cowering in a corner at the end of the three months, being carried off to counselling, getting told that really my ideas were good it’s just that it wasn’t the right time; that it was nothing personal.
Thankfully I can say that my first week with Remedy was one of the most enjoyable five days of work I’ve ever had.
Straight away, almost like muscle memory, in a weird sort of TV ‘wax on, wax off’ moment, the thinkBIGGER! training began to kick in. Words and phrases like ‘logline’, ‘takeaway’, ‘Fact Ent’, ‘male skewed’ and ‘one pager’ were being banded around the office and somehow I knew what they all meant.
“Have you used a camera before?” “Ever recorded sound?” “Can you edit?” “Do you have experience with Premiere Pro?” All these questions were suddenly asked and amazingly I could answer yes to each one.
If there’s one piece of advice from thinkBIGGER! that was my ringing in my ears each hour and proved invaluable it was “take your notebook with you at all times.” Everywhere I went I was making to-do-lists and scribbling things down. Names of TV shows to watch, books to read, articles to find, websites to visit, contributors and talent to research, commissioner names, who took milk in their tea and how many sugars they had.
What surprised me most was the level of responsibility I was given and how much I was included in the team from the off. Yes, I had just come off a two-week introductory training scheme but now that I was here to work I was expected to work to the same standards as everyone else, contribute ideas and develop other people’s. I really loved that. It might sound daunting but as a result I was so busy and enjoying it all so much I don’t think I looked at the clock once during my first week. Each day flew by and although I left on Friday evening with my head spinning and my body aching, I was happily exhausted - full of ideas and ready for my next week.