A FOCUS on business development for Scotland’s screen sector

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The team from Shakehaus
The team from Shakehaus

Twenty Scottish based screen production companies are now receiving expert sector-specific business support as part of an initiative to help grow and strengthen Scotland’s film and TV industry.

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FOCUS is a two-year pilot project developed to address current market conditions in the screen industry in Scotland. Many screen production businesses operating in Scotland are not of the scale where certain business development and support functions can be afforded in-house. This has had an impact on the ability of those businesses to grow, increase output, and remain sustainable.

FOCUS addresses this by providing subsidised access to specialist business development services. In the initial pilot phase, 20 participating screen companies are working with a business development consultant to create bespoke Business Development Strategies, before moving on to access the sector-specific expertise they require.

Participating companies contribute one third of the costs of the consultancy, with the remaining costs covered by FOCUS, which is co-funded by Screen Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.

Film City Futures, in partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute, has announced further details of screen sector companies participating in the business development initiative, FOCUS.

Scottish companies now receiving support from FOCUS are barry crerar, Black Camel Pictures, Bees Nees, Forest of Black, Heehaw, Hopscotch Films, LA Media, Maramedia, Matchlight, Move On Up, Once Were Farmers, Pirate Productions, Plantation Productions, Red Kite Animation Production, SDI Productions, Selkie Productions, Seventh Crow, Shakehaus, Tripswitch Productions, and Urbancroft Films.

FOCUS is delivered by Film City Futures in partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute. The project is managed by Business Development Manager Rebecca Thompson, who previously created film audience development and crowdfunding consultancy Hot Tap Media, and the film crowdfunding and distribution platform Social Screen.

Rebecca Thompson, Business Development Manager, FOCUS, said:

“These twenty companies are representative of an ambitious screen sector in Scotland, and the selected consultants are well placed to help realise that ambition. We are excited to see what can be achieved by the FOCUS participants, as a result of this expert business support.”

Margarita Veberaite, Founder- Producer, Shakehaus, said:

“Being selected to be part of FOCUS felt like a huge encouragement and recognition of our hard work over the last couple of years. FOCUS is already helping us to accelerate the growth of the Film & TV side of our company and turn Shakehaus into a successful International Production Company. With FOCUS’ help, our goal to support new voices while focusing on female-led genre films and tv dramas has never felt so close.”

Jenny Williams, Company Manager, Pirate Productions, said: “Pirate Productions is delighted to have been selected for the FOCUS scheme.  We look forward to working with the FOCUS experts to ensure Pirate is well placed to make the most of opportunities in our fast-changing industry.”

Isabel Davis, Executive Director at Screen Scotland said: “FOCUS is an excellent example of Screen Scotland’s drive to support growth in Scotland’s Screen sector. Through the support of FOCUS we hope that these companies will be able to take the next step towards realising their growth ambitions.”

David Hartley, Creative Industries Team Leader at Scottish Enterprise, said: 

“For Scotland’s screen sector to grow, we need ambitious companies embracing international trade opportunities and using innovation to drive expansion.  FOCUS can connect businesses to sources of expertise to achieve this and help screen companies fulfil their true potential.”

The FOCUS application portal has now closed. However, FOCUS continues to offer a free sector news subscription service, as well as talks and workshops, available for any company working in the Scottish screen sector. Companies interested in finding out more should visit www.filmcityfutures.com.

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