RTS London Student Television Awards

Last Friday I was one of the judges at the Royal Television Society (RTS) London Student Television Awards.

The nine strong jury was an interesting assortment of people from many areas of the TV industry. Amongst others, there was a live TV producer, an ex-Channel 4 commissioning editor, a senior producer of children’s programming and a former head of education and health at the ITC/IBA.

The entries came from five of London’s media colleges and were categorised in to animation, factual & non-factual. The highest number of entries came from Ravensbourne.

Animation I thought that all of the entries in the category were very well drawn, using sophisticated animation techniques to create thought provoking pieces with strong uses of music. Watching it is the easy part, there’s a huge amount of work involved in their production.

Factual I felt that this was the strongest category, with a very professional finish on some of the pieces.

Most pieces had clearly received a lot of pre-production and a good depth of research that showed in the depth of information of the best pieces.

There’s a lot of concern in TV generally about “young people”, currently those under 35, not watching news and many, particularly at the 18 to 25 end of the scale are not really watching TV at all.

One piece, “Common day”, took an interesting approach of joining factual and fiction. A detailed, informative discussion about a photographic competition was joined to a fictional piece.

I felt this version didn’t quite gel but it’s interesting approach to TV for people who aren’t used to watching TV – putting across facts/education while entertaining. A good programming idea for the short attention span generation.

Non-factual This category was a good reminder of how hard it is to create good TV drama, as there are a large number of elements, which all need to be strong and in the correct balance. There were a couple of very good uses of lighting and one excellent set. The winners of the awards will be announced on Monday 24 February at the London Television Centre.