Rosie Crerar and Ciara Barry from barry crerar
Rosie Crerar and Ciara Barry from barry crerar

First cohort of production companies selected for FOCUS programme

Seven production companies have been selected as the first intake of the new FOCUS programme which will help develop Scottish screen production companies.

FOCUS is a pilot project, funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, and the participating companies, that provides expert, sector-specific business support to screen production companies working in Scotland.

The selected companies are barry crerar, Black Camel Pictures, Bees Nees, Hopscotch Films, La Belle Allée Productions, Matchlight and Seventh Crow. Each will now start working with an allocated FOCUS Business Development expert to create a business development strategy for their company. The consultants are Olsberg•SPI, Mike Kelly from Northern Alliance, and Jen Topping.

Natalie Usher, Director of Screen at Creative Scotland, said: “These companies represent a broad mix of new and established companies across film and television, all with ambition for growth. Developed in consultation with the sector and funded in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, FOCUS is an exciting new initiative that will provide access to vital specialist business development support leading to a clear and resourced strategy for growth. Creative Scotland continues to be committed to working with partners to generate the conditions necessary to ensure the continued growth of Scotland’s screen sector.”

Rebecca Thompson, Business Development Manager, FOCUS, said: “The selected screen companies are ambitious, focused, and stand to benefit tremendously from the expertise of the consultants. The consultants have a wealth of experience in supporting business transformation for companies and organisations, and represent a very high standard of business support. We are now actively seeking applications from consultants with a similar level of expertise across a range of screen specialisms for the next phase of the project.”

Rosie Crerar, Producer, barry crerar, said: “We are delighted to be selected as FOCUS participants at this early stage in our company life – the expertise and support that FOCUS provides is already proving invaluable, enabling us to strategise and enact the ambition we have to grow an innovative and commercially successful film and TV production company.”

Alasdair MacCuish, CEO, Bees Nees, said: ‘’2017 feels like a pivotal year for the TV sector in Scotland. The forthcoming establishment of the new BBC Scotland channel, increased commitment in the regions from BBC network and Channel 4 and the continued support BBC ALBA offers to the independent sector is all incredibly positive. The local production community is vibrant and hungry to show what Scotland has to offer. There is still a lot of work to do, but Bees Nees remains ambitious for the industry as a whole and excited by the part we can play in its future success. The opportunity to be benefit from the support of FOCUS could not be more timely.’’

Applications are now open for ambitious Scottish companies producing film, TV or animation, for broadcast or distribution, to take part in FOCUS. Interested companies should visit www.filmcityfutures.com

FOCUS is also now tendering for consultants with expertise in business management, book scouting, development, distribution, digital, finance, HR, leadership, legal, marketing, production or script consultancy to support the companies in the next stage of the project.