Pitch perfect – Getting Your Idea Commissioned or Your Script Noticed

Pitch perfect – Getting Your Idea Commissioned or Your Script Noticed

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Middlesex University - Grove (G229)

The Burroughs



United Kingdom

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How do you get an idea commissioned? What makes a script stand out? Find out from the experts!

About this event

In this session, experienced Producers and Exec Producers explain how to get an idea commissioned and what makes an idea or script stand out.


  • Debbie Mason, CCO and Co-Founder, Heap Mason Media
  • Gavin Humphries, Co-Founder and Producer, Quark Films
  • Vijay Mavjee,CEO & Executive Producer, RedSiesta Films

Panellist Biographies

Debbie Mason, CCO and Co-Founder, Heap Mason Media

Debbie is a leading international authority in the development and exploitation of content and has produced/exec produced in excess of 2000 hours of television in the UK and USA over the past 25 years.

In 1991 she co-founded Kudos Productions and Kudos Film Productions, one of the leading independent UK production companies, acquired by the Shine Group in 2007 for £35 million, and best known for the award-winning drama series, Spooks.

Her 2006 joint venture with Elisabeth Murdoch, ShineMatrix, launched PTV in the USA and brought the critically acclaimed ‘My GamesFever’ into 31 million homes on the My Network, broadcasting live 4 hours every afternoon. As managing director of DITG (Digital Interactive Television Group) she created and launched the first fully interactive TV channel in the world, BAFTA-winner AVAGO, which was sold to Gala Bingo in 2006. She went on to launch more than 10 channels onto the SKY platform, including iSportsTV, acquired by William Hill in 2006.

As Interactive Commissioner at ITV she was responsible for driving digital revenues across all of the programming genres with the controllers, to integrate a fully worked digital strategy driving new revenues.

As founder and CEO of Mason Media Matrix Ltd, her boutique digital media consultancy, she specialised in developing brand concepts for global multi-platform exploitation. Clients included everything from gaming operations in Israel to media and technology companies in China and designer swimwear companies in Australia. She has also been advising an international digital sports comic and graphic novel business aimed at the mass market of India and cricket fans.

As the co-founder and CEO of HeapMasonMedia Ltd, a ‘true’ independent production company launched in 2017 specifically to develop scripted dramas for TV she is currently working with multi million selling British authors Peter James and Andy McNab.

More about Heap Mason Media: www.heapmasonmedia.com.

Gavin Humphries, Co-Founder and Producer, Quark Films

Gavin is a BAFTA nominated and Cannes winning producer having worked on projects with the British Film Institute, Google, Film4, Tate Modern and the BBC.

His most recent credits include Deborah Haywood’s PIN CUSHION for the BFI & Dignity Film Finance, selected as the Opening Film for Venice Critics’ Week 2017 and premiering in North America at Fantastic Fest. PIN CUSHION was nominated for three BIFAS (British Independent Film Awards), including Breakthrough Producer; shortlisted for the Evening Standard Film Awards; and nominated for the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards 2019.

Other work includes feature documentaries THE PEOPLE VS GEORGE LUCAS (SXSW, Edinburgh) and the BBC’s BOY CHEERLEADERS (Hot Docs, IDFA) as well as several short films - four selected at Sundance, one nominated by the Royal Television Society and three Oscar shortlisted.

He’s currently Managing Editor of global online video platform NOWNESS, working with world-renowned filmmakers, musicians and artists, including David Lynch, Björk and Stella McCartney. Based between London and Shanghai with an international audience of 20million, Nowness commissions over 100 films each year and received the Webby Award for Best Cultural Website 2017.

Find out more about Nowness: www.nowness.com.

Vijay Mavjee, Executive Producer, RedSiesta Films

Vijay has worked in factual television for over 20 years. Working for André Singer at Café Productions, he developed and produced multipart science series for Discovery Channel (Future Tense) and National Geographic (Gene Hunters). He continued his collaboration with André Singer at West Park Pictures.

As Head of Development at West Park Pictures he oversaw a broad slate of programming, from travel to arts, history and science. During this time, the company produced many of Stephen Fry’s BBC documentaries and several feature docs. Other shows included The Boys of St.Columbs for the BBC and the construction of Europe’s tallest building, The Shard of Glass (Channel4/Discovery).

Vijay worked with the offices of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in developing films for the Sky Arts Masterpieces series, including The Emperor’s Secret Garden (2010) filmed in the Forbidden City and The Arch of Enlightenment (2011). He was also seconded to Clarence House working on a project for HRH called The Earth Awards.

Vijay has worked for many UK indies. He spent 4 years working for Darlow Smithson Productions producing films in the ‘Seconds From Disaster’ series and developing the 13-part series ‘Situation Critical’, both for National Geographic. A recent stint at Blakeway TV saw him developing a British history series with Tony Robinson for C5. At Midnight Oil Pictures he was a senior development exec and helped to secure funding in 2017 for a 6-part WWII series.

Vijay also has his own productions under his RedSiesta Films banner where he’s executive producing ‘Death on the Christmas Train’ with Gedeon Programmes in Paris, for France 3 and RMC Decouverte. He’s also executive producing a film about MS. And with Toronto based Matter of Fact Media he is co-developing a natural history series with BBC newscaster, Martha Kearney, presenting.

Vijay is known to many US and other international commissioners, having attended all the main markets like Cannes, Realscreen and Sunnyside for the past 15 years.

He has consulted for the Japanese broadcaster, NHK, on their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Programming. Vijay has also been a judge for the Wellcome Trust documentary grant awards. Recently, he lectured on ‘TV Development’ to students at Film London and Middlesex University and is mentoring some filmmakers.

Vijay studied at the University of Leeds and Loughborough University and has a PhD in sleep science with published works in scientific journals.