THE launch of Sky Studios’ innovation hub in Leeds is creating a vibrant environment for the production of new dramas, according to a producer who has worked on hit series including Life on Mars, Bad Girls and Footballers’ Wives.
Cameron Roach, the Director of Drama at Sky Studios, made the comments after holding talks with 25 regional independent production companies at a “meet the commissioner” event in Leeds.
Sky is increasing its investment in original content after launching Sky Studios, its development and production arm.
Last year, Sky also announced the creation of a new Sky Studios Innovation Hub based in Leeds which is focused on the development of talent, scripted partnerships and new content.
Sky dramas which have already been shot in the North include COBRA, Tin Star and Brassic. Over the next five years Sky plans to more than double its investment in original content through Sky Studios.
Mr Roach said: “Leeds is synonymous with innovation, technology and creativity and we want to be part of that movement.”
He said the arrival of Channel 4 would help to place Leeds on an equal footing with other regions.
He added: “Sky and Channel 4 complement each other - it can lead to an exchange of ideas and sharing of talent.”
Mr Roach said the “meet the commissioner” event" was a packed session with key independent producers from the North and the North West.
He added: “There is a renewed creative emphasis. Across the North and the North West we are seeing a vibrant and creative environment. What we are putting the emphasis on is creating partnerships. We like to be seen as a market disruptor and we like to build partnerships so we can create a development pathway together.
“We are perceived across the UK and Ireland as nimble and working in a contemporary way.”
“There is so much fantastic drama coming through from different parts of the UK.”
Mr Roach said dramas from the North can be from a wide range of perspectives and tones.
He said that Brassic, which is set in Lancashire, had been Sky’s most successful original comedy in the past seven years.
He also said there was a “huge need” for trainee development so people can pick up the craft and skills required to succeed.
He added: “I hope the development of the Sky Studios Innovation hub will lead to really interesting projects.”
Cameron Roach began his career in script and series editing on long-running drama series such as Casualty, before landing his first producing job on series six of the hit prison drama Bad Girls for Shed Productions.
He went on to produce two series of Footballers’ Wives. In 2007 Cameron moved to Kudos Productions to produce the International EMMY award-winning second series of Life on Mars.
In 2013, he joined Sky Drama as Commissioning Editor and recently stepped up to the role of Director of Drama at Sky Studios.