Top bosses from ITV were back in the Liverpool Screen School at LJMU recently running two days of workshops with undergraduate and postgraduate students as part of the ITV Northern Lights Partnership.
Students from creative writing, screen writing, media production, film studies, drama and journalism were able to get involved in all aspects of idea development and pitching.
The first day consisted of a pitching masterclass, whereupon students were able to work alongside John Whiston, Managing Director Continuing Drama/ITV In the North, Ben Smith, Development Producer, Matt Cleary, Head of Production at Emmerdale, Jim Adnitt, Production Specialist, Nicky Gillham, Creative Account Manager, Northern Productions at ITV Commercial, AJ (Amanda-Jane) Read, Publicity & Engagement Manager from ITV in the North.
Students developed ideas and pitched them back to the ITV staff. The workshop was a simulation of developing and presenting ideas to commissioners and provided students with a great tool kit for interrogating ideas and making them the best they can be.
The second day was a storylining workshop with Mark Bickerton, Head of Editorial Engagement for ITV Continuing Drama, John Whiston and AJ (Amanda-Jane) Read. This was conducted as a real life storylining conference with students plotting the storyline for Coronation Street moving forward from the previous week’s episodes.
Both days provided an insight into professional practice in the television industry. While the workshops were intense and challenging, students were able to engage, have social interaction with the guests and each other, and have suitable opportunities for networking and fun.
Jamie Sadler, an LJMU student currently undertaking an MA in Screenwriting said of his time at the workshop: "I had more fun than I ever conceived I was personally capable of."