Wednesday 5 April: Digital Cities North East

On the second day of Digital Cities North East you can attend a range of free exciting events and training for the creative industries.

What: Digital Cities North East, Wednesday 5 April

Where: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, NE8 3BA

When: 09:30 - 18:00

This is your opportunity to get clued up on digital trends, hands-on with the latest technology, and the inside track on great storytelling and reaching audiences in the digital age.

Please note: During the event there will be several ‘strands’ of content running at the same time, so please study the timings carefully when making your selection. When you book sessions you’ll need to specify which strand/event you wish to attend in each time slot.

Morning programme:

10:15 – 11:15

Get into TV with Edinburgh International Television Festival

Get the inside track with Campbell Glennie, director of talent schemes at the Edinburgh International Television Festival (EITF) in this masterclass for students and early career professionals seeking roles in TV, hosted by RTS North East & Borders.

Campbell Glennie runs a range of TV talent schemes at EITF including Ones to Watch and The Network, and has also produced projects for BBC Worldwide, BBC Radio Four, Screen International and the Sheffield DocFest. Pick his brains on how to get crucial industry experience, what production managers’ want from your CV and tips on networking.

There will be an opportunity to ask your own questions about working in the creative industries.

Particular relevance to students and early career professionals. Aged 16+. 

Book here via Eventbrite.

10:15 – 11:15

Starting Out As a Freelancer with Alison Surtees, BECTU Northern branch

Find out about how to make a success of being a freelancer in the creative industries at this practical and interactive session with BECTU - the media and entertainment union (a sector of Prospect).

Do you want to set out on your own as a freelancer, but you’re unsure of how to make it work? Want to put yourself on a secure financial footing leaving you free to concentrate on the work you love? 

This interactive session will give you the low-down on the most important things you need to get clued up on - from running a business, to filing tax returns, to dealing with people and how to value your worth. 

There are pitfalls to working solo, and the talk will also touch on benefits of joining a support organisation such as BECTU for when things get difficult.

Particular relevance to creative industry professionals. Aged 18+.

Book here via Eventbrite.


10:15 - 11:15

Make Immersive Content on Your Smartphone 

BBC Academy journalism trainer Mark Robertson shows you how to get hands-on and create amazing short-form content on your mobile - whether you’re a journalist or just dipping your toe into social media production, find out what you can do when you arrive on the scene of a story with just your phone.

Particular relevance to creative industry professionals. Aged 18+.

Please bring a smartphone with you if possible. 

Book here via Eventbrite.


10:15 - 13:00

Connecting Creativity with Creative Fuse 

Do you like the idea of using your creative talents to help solve difficult problems in the wider world? Try this hands-on ‘innovation sandpit’ workshop for tips on how you could do just that. You’ll step into the world of connected creativity and learn how to see and solve problems in a whole new way.

Under the guidance of experts from the world famous School of Design at Northumbria University, learn how to act confidently and effectively within multidisciplinary innovation projects, pick up some new tools and methods which can be applied easily and quickly to the next complex problem you have to solve and think about new fields where you could apply your creative skills.

You’ll also get the key insights drawn from the Creative FUSE North East project, which brings the region’s five universities together to identify how creative, digital and IT firms can have a sustainable future by adding value to the region’s wider industries and economy.

These design gurus will engage you with real life case studies as well as hands-on practical activities.

Particular relevance to students and professionals. Aged 16+.

Book here via Eventbrite.


11:30 – 13:00

HD and Beyond: Hands on Technical Workshop with Picture Canning North

Get hands-on with the latest cameras and equipment used by professionals across the media industry.

Hosted by Picture Canning North, this workshop is aimed at those with limited experience but a keen interest in production. It’s an opportunity to get to grips with the very latest professional level equipment, including large sensor cinematography cameras such as the Arri Alexa, Amira and Alexa Mini.

The session will also discuss HD and beyond, exploring the realms of 8k and the implications for production and training. Attendees will also get the chance to chat with session leaders and have their burning questions answered.

Particular relevance to students and early career professionals. Aged 16+.

Book here via Eventbrite.

11:30- 13:00

The Essential Guide to Live Streaming

Broadcasters, businesses and ordinary people are experimenting with live streaming as the latest and trendiest of social media tools - going live with their stories and experiences at the touch of a button, trying to create immediate impact with their audiences. But which platform is best? And how do you create a successful live stream? 

Join BBC Academy trainer and creative technologist Christian Payne for an in-depth look into the good, the bad and the brilliant of going live. This practical workshop teaches you the skills you need for using mobile networks to get stories back to base, live on air, into social media feeds, or simply safely into the cloud.

Plus you’ll get to grips with reporting live on television, radio or online from a smartphone and recording with a multi-camera mobile that’s low cost, easy to use and gives great results. 

You’ll use apps such as Facebook LIVE, RecoLive and Periscope.

Particular relevance to creative industry professionals. Aged 18+.

Please bring a smart phone, iPad or tablet with you if possible. 

Book here via Eventbrite.

11:30- 13:00 

Masterclass: Apps for Story Gathering on Your Phone

BBC Academy journalism trainer Mark Robertson shows you the latest apps in animation, graphics and special effects, and takes any questions you may have about making great content on your phone in this surgery-style session.

Get hands on with the very latest apps that can enhance your content with animated text, find out how to add graphics and special effects to your videos and learn how to upload your finished content to a range of platforms. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve in a short time with little to no experience.

This session is designed to complement the content of the Make Immersive Content on Your Smartphone session - but you are welcome to attend either or both.

Particular relevance to creative industry professionals. Aged 18+.

Please bring a smart phone, iPad or tablet with you if possible. 

Book here via Eventbrite.

Afternoon programme: 


14:00 – 15:30

Digital Storytelling

From VR to vlogs and memes to mobile technology, BBC Academy series producer Patrick Flavelle explores how digital platforms have transformed traditional storytelling.

This session explores how digital platforms and mobile technology have disrupted traditional linear storytelling. The story elements of character, incident and world are still key in an online space, but getting the most out of them can depend on which platform you use and what you hope to achieve with your story.

In this masterclass, you’ll learn how a story works on different platforms and gain insights into the hooks and returning elements in digital storytelling: amazing wins; epic failures; you won’t believe this and how-to.

Feel free to ask Patrick questions and get tips on how to transform your own productions and projects with digital techniques.

Particular relevance to creative industry professionals. Aged 18+.

Book here via Eventbrite.


14:00 – 15:45

Directors’ Masterclass: Directing High-End Television Drama, with John Alexander 

Find out about the role of a director in high-end television drama and other genres with celebrated director John Alexander (Life On Mars, Indian Summers), as he shares insights drawn from 30 years of directing for television.

High-end drama, with lofty creative ambitions and budgets to match, is where much of the most interesting moving image is being created these days – in the UK and elsewhere. But how can aspiring directors work towards securing this kind of role, and how do you make a success of them when you get the chance?

John Alexander will share the lessons he’s learned over a thirty-year career that saw him move from the East Durham coalfields to join the BBC as a post-graduate factual trainee, and eventually to directing on some of the best UK productions of recent years.

Along the way he produced a number of documentaries for the BBC, including Forty Minutes and Modern Times, before directing productions including Indian Summers, Life on Mars, Quirke, Sense and Sensibility, and Small Island. He is currently working on the thriller Trust Me, starring Jodie Whittaker, for Red Productions/BBC One.

Suitable for all career levels. Aged 16+.

Book here via Eventbrite.


14:00 – 17:00

“Show me the Money!” Creative Sector Tax Reliefs Workshop with the BFI

Whether you work in film, high end TV, animation, video games or children’s TV, can you afford not to know about creative sector tax reliefs?

Get the low-down on how to take advantage of creative sector tax reliefs at this surgery-style workshop led by experts from the Certification Unit at the British Film Institute (BFI).

This is your chance to get a nitty-gritty guided tour, offering all the advice and guidance you need about qualifying for tax relief, how to apply and what it’s worth in terms of financing.

Key topics to be covered, and on which you will be able to get advice specific to your project, include:

  • Financing projects through the tax reliefs
  • How to access tax relief through the cultural test (administered by the BFI)
  • How actually to claim the money back from HMRC
  • When to access it

Particular relevance to creative industry professionals. Aged 18+.

Book here via Eventbrite.


16:15 – 17:45

Animated Adventures: Cartoons from Page to Screen, with Alex Collier

Get inside the world of ace writer, cartoonist and animator Alex Collier (Viz, DC Thomson) as he shares insight into what makes cartoons and animations really work in this session hosted by Northern Film & Media.

Alex Collier began his career making comics to sell in the playground at school. He went for a week's work experience at legendary Viz Magazine, designed a character that they used, and ended up being editor for eight years.

He is currently writing for the new series of Dennis and Gnasher: Unleashed for DC Thomson. Drawing on his experience at Viz and a wide variety of work in animation and writing for Channel 4, the BBC and DC Thomson, Alex will deliver an action-packed and – yes – illustrated peek into the process of translating ideas into cartoons and animations.

Suitable for all career levels. Aged 16+.

Book here via Eventbrite.

16:30 – 18:00

Essential Guide to Short-form

What is short-form and how does it differ from long-form? Learn how to create, plan, and distribute content that stands out online and encourages people to share it.

Join Patrick Flavelle, series producer at the BBC Academy, and learn how to generate short-form ideas, optimise content across platforms, keep costs low by exploring a range of apps, work with analytics to measure success and develop new ideas that are designed to go viral.

Particular relevance to creative industry professionals. Aged 18+. 

Book here via Eventbrite. Follow #DigiCities for the latest information.

Staff sign-in

Please wait while we check that you are connected to the BBC internal network

Sorry, we couldn't confirm that you were on the BBC internal network

  • Please check that you are connected to the BBC internal network
  • Please check the link you are trying to access is correct
Close and continue

You are confirmed on the BBC network

Close and continue