Radarscreen

Radarscreen: Lina Prestwood, Current TV UK

Ahead of the publication later this month of Radarscreen, the second annual Global Pitch Guide from realscreen, Current TV UK's director of content Lina Prestwood (pictured) discusses what she's looking for and the best way to pitch to her.
August 18, 2011

Ahead of the publication later this month of Radarscreen, the second annual Global Pitch Guide from realscreen, Current TV UK’s director of content Lina Prestwood (pictured) discusses what she’s looking for and the best way to pitch to her.

WHAT SHE’S LOOKING FOR:

Prestwood says Current UK’s audience age demo is wide, in the 18-40 ballpark, and is “smart, politically engaged and curious about the world they live in.” While there’s a slight male skew to the audience, Prestwood says Current wants its programming to appeal to both sexes. “Smart, authentic programming with a surprising twist is key,” she offers.

“We like our on-screen talent and propositions to be opinionated and go on probing journeys, as with Gail Porter on Prostitution; take a deep dive into subjects they think they know, such as The Forced Marriage Unit; and treat our contributors and audience as smart peers, as with What Did I Do Last Night?” she adds.

Current also wants its programming to be bold and directly relevant to its UK audience. “As a rule of thumb, if you think it’s too risky or challenging and are scared to pitch it, then do,” Prestwood implores. “At the very least, we’ll admire your audacity.” However, if you think the project could comfortably land at another network, “then it’s not yet Current,” she says.

Current’s standard tariffs are £25,000 (approx. US$40,000) per hour and £15,000 (approx. US$24,000) per half hour. One-offs must be an hour but the minimum run for a half-hour series is three episodes, unless it is a pilot.

HOW TO PITCH:

Prestwood prefers email pitches. “A punchy paragraph outlining the idea in the body of the email is always essential and fine on its own, along with links to talent and taster tape if available, but fuller treatments are also very welcome, too,” she says. The net makes it a priority to work with emerging filmmakers so be sure to sell the talent behind the project. “If part of your pitch is experimenting with form, technology, tone or convention, which we like to do, make sure that’s clear in your proposition,” she adds. Emails can be sent to Prestwood via lprestwood@current.com.

Also take note that the Current audience is social media-savvy, so pitches should reflect that. “We love ideas that engage our audience before, during and after transmission so find a way to get their loyalty, and you have our attention,” she says.

Look for Radarscreen, the second annual Global Pitch Guide from realscreen, coming in print and online at the end of August.

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