Changing Channels: Commissioner Conversation with the Celtic Commissioners – Report
Funding is a vital part of the media industry, finding someone to support or work with in order to bring your vision to life, but it’s not always easy to know how. The panel members Grainne McGuinness, Pauline MacNamara, Margaret Cameron and Sioned Wyn Roberts came to chat through funding options in Ireland, Scotland and Wales respectively.
“Budgets are falling, but they expect outputs to remain the same.” It’s a sad truth, but the one positive to take is that content will always be needed. This is just an overview of the funding and grants discussed:
- S4C Children’s commissioning. Two age groups, pre-school service and 7-13 year olds. Uusually around 2-3 co-production projects per year and 7-8 acquisitions.
- S4C Commercial funds for co-production projects. S4C’s commercial arm invest in a range of projects – investments made on a commercial basis.
- For Digital Projects. Open to any digital products, they do not need to be a TV commission and can be a standalone product. Applications for up to £150k are invited.
- For Commercial Development projects. Commercial arm is interested in new ventures and can invest in a wide range of projects.
- BBC Alba commissions (under long term deals) 65-70 hours per annum, which is a mix of original programming, acquisitions and co-pros.
- Two commissioning rounds advertised on com, announced Oct for Jan decisions and April for June.
- The other main source of funding is Creative Scotland.
- Commissions into two channels – one for under 7s, one 7-15 year olds.
- Combination of 100% commissions, co-productions and grand funded for each channel.
- Co-fund 3-4 animations annually.
- Budgets vary from £52k to £95k per hour in live action.
The process of applying for these funds might be a little hellish, some coming with vast paperwork, but if you need motivation, Gráinne McGuinness has it: “The bottom line is that it’s worth it if you want to get your show made.”
Joint Managing Director
Sioned Wyn Roberts
Commissioning Editor, Children’s
Head of TV and Content