06 November 2007

How to propel yourself into film-making

Budding film and documentary makers were given some sound advice on how to get their work broadcast on a European-wide television channel in the latest in a series of guest lectures held for student journalists in Sheffield.

John Offord of Propeller TV

John Offord of Yorkshire-based Propeller TV invited students to get involved by making short films and submitting them for broadcast on the station which can be found on Sky Channel 195.

Propeller is a government-funded, not-for-profit initiative designed to engage young people in film-making and broadcasts an eclectic mix of programmes including drama, documentaries, animation and experimental films. It also makes a news magazine show called Radar.

John explained that although the station did not pay for submissions it still represented a good opportunity for young journalists to get their work more widely known.
“Having some of your work broadcast on a fully compliant European-wide television station looks very good on the CV,” he said.

Propeller is fully complaint with Ofcom broadcast regulations and for this reason about half of the 100 submissions a week are rejected, said John.

He warned film-makers of the need for proper balance in documentary and news programmes and told students to avoid product placement as this could fall foul of the regulations.
He also advised film-makers to avoid using commercial music on the sound track as this meant it would be unlikely to be used on television because of the high royalty charges imposed by record companies.

You can also watch some of the films on offer by visiting Propeller’s website and clicking on the watch Propeller TV link on the top right.