Chalkboard TV, Storyboard Studios and Clapperboard owner iZen UK has entered a creative diversity partnership with a new talent and employment consultancy set up by ITN Productions’ Gabriella Lafor.
The deal will see Lafor’s Line Light working with all three iZen UK companies to provide access to creative and production talent from outside of the traditional TV industry.
It will also attempt to usher in a new generation of more ethnically and economically diverse voices, generating fresh responses to broadcaster briefs and identify new talent/development opportunities.
Regular workshops and internships will be held to develop and identify new talent, while a fund to develop script ideas is also being launched as part of the partnership, which was struck Line Light, iZen UK’s MD Mike Benson and Storyboard founder and MD Natalie Humphreys.
Benson said: “I think we all appreciate how hard it can be break into our industry if you don’t live in the right area, stumble upon the right person or happen to have the resources to put yourself in the mix in the first place.
“I do think the key to contributing towards meaningful change for companies like ours is to not look in the same places we’ve always looked for fresh people and ideas. Creative people, whoever they are, simply want to realise their ambition to get excellent ideas on screen and that is what we believe this scheme will promote. This partnership is designed to fast-track creatives who have the passion, skill and talent to work in television, but not the access and get them in front of people who can say yes.”
Lafor added: “Entry-level schemes and script initiatives are all very welcome and come with the best intentions. But when you work two jobs to make ends meet, these schemes are a long way away from a sustainable creative career.
“We as an industry are still incredibly risk averse, which means the likelihood of your project being commissioned if you’re from ‘the outside’ is minute. This partnership fuses the track record of the executive talent of the iZen UK group with a treasure trove of innovative ideas and fresh new creative talent. We can’t wait to get going.”
Lafor is a production coordinator at ITN Productions and is one of the inaugural winners of the David Lyle Foundation scholarship, which helps young executives to build successful careers in the international television business.