Emmey Little: Politics and Communication Studies

Tell us a little bit about the role you do now.

I'm a freelance Researcher, currently I work in Development coming up with new ideas for TV shows. I’ve also worked as a Studio Researcher. 

What do you like about the role?

The hope is to come up with the next big TV hit and it’s an exciting to be able to research and pitch ideas all day long. 

How did you get into it?

When I was ending my last contract as a Studio Researcher at The One Show the Talent Manager (TM) recommended me as someone who is able to pitch ideas for TV and take feedback constructively via a network of TMs. A TM at Twenty Twenty (First Dates, A House Through Time) asked to meet me for a chat and recommended me for a role in the Development team. In TV if you can make a good impression and you work hard then news travels and it means you can find more freelance work.

How have you used your degree?

My degree was in Politics and Communication Studies, I’ve been hired in a team as a Specialist Factual Development Researcher because I have this degree and a journalism qualification. Knowing how the world works is important, so having someone on a team who can explain that is helpful. A lot of successful people in TV have politics degrees, like Karl Warner who is head of E4! 

What are your top tips for students wanting to work in your field?  

1. Be resilient and enthusiastic (a lot of it is luck so keep trying).

2. Apply to The Network Edinburgh TV Festival scheme (again be resilient I got turned down three times before I got in).

3. There's a Facebook group you should join, People looking for tv work: runners. Abide by the rules - it's strict! 

4. Find mentors, then listen to them.

5. Work for local TV as long as it grows your skills and experience and for no longer.

6. Save money for the winter months, freelance work slows down then (and it's all freelance these days).

7. Accept zero hours contracts are your friend (that way you can take freelance TV work at short notice which most of it is, and still have an income when things slow down).

8. Find relevant additional work with transferable skills if you can or that help back up your specific interest whether it be drama, documentaries, news etc.  

9. You are only as good as your last job so don't take any of them for granted.

10. Invest in comfy shoes, runners shifts are long. 

11. Join the student union film and tv making society (LSFilm back in my day). You'll get skills and contacts and be able to make whatever you want with their equipment and support. I was President for two years and I still talk about the live broadcasts we did for student election week in interviews for jobs now.