RTS Futures: making it in TV

Even top TV executives had to start at the bottom of the ladder, so how did they get ahead? The great and the good from the world of production, commissioning and creativity tell us how to make it, and how to learn from your mistakes.

First impressions count, especially when you are starting out on your career in TV. Fortunately there are plenty of people in the industry who are willing to give some invaluable advice to help you on your way, like the attendees of the latest RTS Futures event, held in London on Tuesday 3rd December 2013.

Top executives including Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC One, and Emily Gale, head of talent at FremantleMedia UK, provided their tips to get you started and help you sustain your TV career. 

"Be a radiator not a drain. Have lots of energy and enthusiasm. Don’t suck the air out of a room. Make people want to have you on their team."  – Emily Gale

For them if you want to work in TVthen first and foremost you need to be passionate about it. Watching lots of TV is essential and you can’t fake it, especially if you are meeting potential employers, as Helen Veale, creative director at Outline Productions explains: “I’ve had people come to meet me about potential starter jobs in the industry and when I’ve quizzed them about the kinds of programmes they are intothey can’t name a single show.”

If you’re aiming to work in TV, you should be able to talk about what programmes you like and dislike, and explain why. It’s important to have an opinion about TV, and if that doesn’t come naturally to you, then be honest - TV might not be your thing. 

As in any career, it’s inevitable that mistakes will happen along the way. So never assume, be yourself and don’t be afraid to mess up once in a while. Ultimately these are the best moments to reflect and learn.