Congratulations to our colleague Tom Jenkins for making it into this year’s edition of Broadcast Hotshots, recognising him as one of the rising stars in the television industry. You can read the full issue by clicking the image below.
Tom has been with The Connected Set for over two years and we asked him to tell us more about his role at the company:
You are currently working on Mashed, a new YouTube channel in conjunction with Channel 4, launching in September. What’s the channel all about and who will it appeal to? The channel’s aim is to react to topical events by posting original video content, created in conjunction with new creative talent. We have a great range of people: animators, musicians, comics, visual artists, movie makers and a couple of other surprises! What we want to do is take a young audience who are totally disengaged with mainstream news and current affairs and create satirical, outrageous, profound or contemplative content that actually engages them.
What will be the single biggest challenge in producing Mashed? I know I’m only allowed one, but I think there are two challenges that are almost exactly equal. The first is gaining enough momentum to hit that critical mass that exposes the channel to as wide an audience as possible and, crucially, keeps them coming back. We’ve got a number of interesting and exciting plans to achieve this, but it takes time so I need to be patient! The second is the sheer amount of brilliant stuff developed by our awesome talent, which really is the nature of creating and producing online content. The challenge to get this content live and remain topical is both relentless and hugely satisfying simultaneously.
What are the main differences between producing TV content and producing content for YouTube? With TV you have a set deadline and if you don’t make the content by then you’re not going to get another chance. This, obviously, tends to seriously focus everyone involved in the project (which has negatives as well as positives!). Another difference is the archive and music suppliers are still playing catch up with the growth of online video platforms. It’s sad that some of the biggest archive/music suppliers in the industry who provide supporting assets for video content can’t see or understand the value in more flexible arrangements that ultimately would benefit them in the long term. But I’m not saying who in case they charge me even more!
You currently deal with a huge amount of online content creators. What would be your top tip for any young talent wanting to follow in their footsteps and get noticed by producers like you? It’s really, really simple: make something that shows off your skills and get in touch! We’re interested in speaking to anyone who’s got ideas and something to say. We’re currently working with established creatives but we’re really keen to help new talent develop and nurture their skills. They’ve got nothing to lose by doing that, and a lot to gain.
You’ve moved up through the ranks of TV and digital content production very rapidly! What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given that helped you do this? Try to make sure you love what you do, because it’s that enjoyment that elevates content (and what you do) from good to amazing. The other is always walk at least 30 steps after you’ve got out of a meeting, because you never know who’s walking right behind you!
If you had a brief to produce absolutely anything you liked and unlimited budget what would it be? This might sound a bit lame but it would be Mashed, but with an unlimited budget that would allow us to use whatever we liked and, most importantly, defeat all lawyers!
Who do you think are the next big things in the world of online content creation? There are just way, way too many people to single out individual names but hopefully a lot of them you’ll end up seeing on Mashed.
Finally, where would you like to be in ten years time? In a hover chair, running a Mashed empire! If that’s not detailed enough, I’d like to involved in something pretty similar to what I’m doing right now: producing engaging, thought provoking, exciting, eclectic and sometimes pretty stupid (but always awesome) content.
What 3 words would you use to describe your job? Exciting, Challenging, Fun
What are the best and worst things about your job?
- - Commissioning and helping to create the kind of content that I’d be watching, even if it wasn’t my job.
- - Giving talented creative people a platform to show just how awesome they are.
- - Working with a team and broadcaster who love the project and share our ambitions for it.
- - The opportunities to experiment with short form content.
- - Not always being able to make all the great ideas we get.
- - My coffee tab at the café.
- - Agents…
If you’d like to speak to Tom about his projects or working with The Connected Set in producing shortform content then email email@example.com