Rude awakening in Luvvie Land

29th September 2006 at 01:00
The world of lifelong learning is playing an increasing part in making sure talented people are encouraged into the world of television and film, apparently.

Not sure what all the fuss is about, personally.

I found good old fashioned nepotism was the best way into television when a temporary career change had me joining the luvvies for a spell a few years back. Well, it worked for me. I knew someone who knew someone on a show and that person knew someone who knew a very famous presenter. So, bingo, I was in.

Of course, I had to endure the politically correct interview. The Beeb has an equal opportunities policy, don't you know.

How fondly I remember all those Prada-clad women, eccentric directors who wore sunglasses indoors and the gentle rattle of the tea trolley at BBC White City as it made its way around our floor on its way to the latest genteel celebration of what a good job we were all doing. But it seems the party could soon be over.

Television and film now has its own sector skills council - Skillset - which is trying to make sure the people working in the industry actually know what they are doing. It threatens the very survival of Luvvie Land as we know it.

Why, what they're trying to achieve is nothing short of a meritocracy, the blighters!

To encourage all that raw talent out there, Skillset is funding some projects aimed at encouraging those with an eye on the big or small screen.

One project hopes to encourage more women to make horror films, presumably to make the genre a bit less stereotypical. It will be interesting to know what kind of films we will get.

I look forward to lots of films about screaming hysterical men being rescued from non-gender-specific monsters by big burly women. Or maybe the monsters will be female?

But some of the other initiatives will, I fear, need translating into English if people are going to understand what Skillset is all about.

Apparently, people from ethnic minority backgrounds are going to be "hot housed" to make features and documentaries. Answers on a postcard, please.

More baffling still is a series of short courses called "Slingshot". In a masterpiece of PR speak, the blurb explains: "Slingshot turns the Greenlight ON at the beginning of development process."

Then there's the "Microwave training programme" which has nothing to do with modern cooking methods, but provides "feature film training across the value chain".


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