by Charlie Bunce Head of Features & Formats Leopard Films
After arriving back from a relaxing two week holiday in Italy, I have to admit the idea of getting straight on a plane to the hubble bubble of the Media Guardian Edinburgh Television Festival didn’t exactly fill me with excitement.
Sometimes even saying it’s full name can be a bit tiring, let alone spending 3 days debating the state of the industry. But I found myself at one of the most exciting festivals in years. Fortunately the session I was involved in producing (on the art of the killer pitch) took place first thing on the first day leaving me loads of time to check out what else was going on. First up, a truly unforgettable Celebrity Juice Edinburgh Special – hilarious and dangerous from start to finish. All the key Channel Controllers from the worlds of terrestrial and digital TV were there talking about what they were commissioning and why. The Alternative MacTaggart saw Grace Dent opening a window into the dark and brilliant mind of Charlie Brooker. Two inspirational masterclasses – one from the team who make Sherlock and in the other, Richard Curtis talking to Steve Levitan, co-creator of Modern Family which is now an incredible 72 episodes in. You often hear about the golden age of television as though it’s something long gone. This festival made me think we’re in the middle of it with lots more brilliance to come. And with attendance there up by something like 25% it felt as though our industry had found confidence in itself again. I certainly hope so.