Earlier in March I attended the Crossover Scotland Creative Lab.
It’s part of a programme of events and professional training supported by Creative Scotland and Creative Skillset’s TV Skills Fund that aims to enhance the development, vision, connectivity and ambitions of Scotland’s creative practitioners.
I applied because not only did it include some incredible learning/mentoring opportunities across media boundaries, but it also offered the chance to expand my contacts and hopefully find some new collaborators for the future – always a good thing. All within a dedicated 4 days residential. The fact that it was at the uber-stylish Malmaison in Edinburgh didn’t hurt either!
It was also a much-needed chance for me to step outside my comfort zone and work on my pitching skills.
Turns out I was right on all counts. We discussed lots of things inside and outside traditional media boundaries, with visiting professionals and commissioners that included the National Theatre of Scotland, Channel 4, Gaming companies and others. One of the great discoveries of the week for me was Vine but I’m definitely still a beginner.
We were challenged with new groups of collaborators every day, forming and then pitching our newly created projects. BUT crucially, this sometimes meant summoning enthusiasm for ideas that weren’t our own or that we’d have chosen. And this was genius in my opinion as it proved to me that as long as you’ve done your research and know your project, you CAN pitch it enthusiastically and with some success.
I’m not really a natural pitcher – it’s anxiety-provoking for most of us let’s face it, but it can be done. The more you do it, the less traumatic it is.
Here we are on a commissioning exercise, (pic by Grant Keir/Faction North) trying but not managing to be serious.
Definitely worth the time and effort, and I’d recommend it to any creative looking to broaden their industry experience especially concerning the current digital landscape. Job done.
**Here’s a more official round-up of the Crossover Scotland Creative Lab 2014