Two Rivers Media — Scotland’s newest multi-genre Indie on innovation and ambitious growth

Glaswegian production company Two Rivers Media welcomed commissions from BBC2 and Channel 5 before hitting their first birthday. With a team of industry heavyweights, led by Alan Clements, this Scottish Indie is one to watch. We caught up with the newly PoweredbyPOP Two Rivers to get their view on thriving in the new world of production.

POP: You’re based in Glasgow at a time when demand for UK content is at an all time high and PSBs are investing in Scotland. How are you capitalising on this opportunity?

We believe that there has never been a better time to grow an indie in Scotland. The UK public sector broadcasters are committed to commissioning Scottish companies and the public agencies are keen to back them. In addition, the international demand for UK content is at an all-time high. We have focussed first and foremost on attracting the best talent from across the UK to Glasgow in order to build a genuinely Scottish-based indie of scale and quality, which we believe will ensure that Two Rivers makes an exciting and compelling case for commissions out of Scotland.

POP: Your slate is mixed across factual, factual entertainment, entertainment and scripted with a BBC Scotland and BBC Two commission already secured. What kind of content can we expect from you? Are there any details you can share at this stage about upcoming productions?

Our intention is to compete as a truly multi-genre indie and we have an exceptionally talented team who are developing a diverse slate. So far, we have produced a wide variety of programmes, from Choose Life: Edinburgh’s Battle With AIDS (BBC Two Scotland), to Frankie Boyle’s Tour of Scotland (BBC2 Network), to Susan Hill’s Ghost Story: The Small Hand (Channel 5), which we think shows quite a range! We are continuing to develop our slate in this vein and are confident of adding some commissions in Entertainment and Popular Factual in the very near future.

POP: Launching in January 2019 this will be your second year of operation. What excites you the most about the next 12 months?

While we produced some great programmes during the first 12 months of operation, a lot of our time and energy was focussed on recruiting our genre heads and building excellent teams around them. Now that we have all of our development teams in place, we are really looking forward to giving our full attention to ramping up the development, pitching and production of our slate of programmes and hopefully enjoying the fruits of the groundwork laid in the first year.

Two Rivers Media recently co-produced Frankie Boyle’s Tour of Scotland with Cheeky Grin for BBC2

POP: What sort of challenges are you anticipating this year and beyond? How do you plan to tackle them?

Our major challenge in the coming year is self-imposed: we have set ourselves ambitious growth plans year-on-year, with the intention of becoming a truly multi-genre indie of scale in Scotland. In doing so, we will have to compete in a crowded marketplace with long-established competitors, all vying for the same screen time. We are putting our trust in the fantastic team that we have attracted to Glasgow and believe that their strong reputations in the industry, and the quality of their work, will bring in commissions and drive the growth of the business. Additionally, as a Scottish-based indie, we are ideally placed to benefit from the increased attention that PSBs are showing to the Nations and Regions.

POP: Why did Two Rivers Media choose POP?

As a new company, we like to think that we are open to innovative ways of working and POP looks like an excellent solution for integrating so many of the admin functions required during a production: from contracting, to on-boarding, to communicating with the production teams and so on. It is also important to us, as a growing business, to work as efficiently as possible; our hope is that using the POP portal will free up valuable time of the production management staff (as well as other support and management personnel) by helping us to streamline these processes, while also giving valuable oversight as to how different aspects of productions are progressing. It was also reassuring to note that POP was already an established provider to several big-name production companies.

POP: Two Rivers Media and POP’s partnership is still very new — how have you found working with POP so far and what do you hope the partnership will grow to be?

We have found the POP team to be very supportive and attentive, as well as extremely proactive in the development of their offering. We hope that we can contribute to that development through our use of, and feedback on, the POP portal in order to maximise the benefits that it offers to us. Our aim is always to grow our business and produce high-quality content — and we hope that POP can help with both of those!

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