Aísling did a work placement with Greenlight TV as part of a sandwich year working in the industry whilst studying at university. Thirteen or so years later, she is now the Production Manager of the company. We spoke to Aísling about her experiences working in the creative sector on the Isle of Man and how opportunities for media jobs in the Arts are continually on the rise on our island.
I’ve had a passion for the media for a really long time which started at school. I went to QEII and they had the David McGlashen Media Centre there many moons ago! It sparked an interest in me so I think it was really great having that option available and it has allowed me to come back to my home where I was born. I did go away to university and I really enjoyed it but I was really glad to come back.
Greenlight TV is a production company based in Tromode. This year they won the contract to cover the TT Races, certainly the biggest Motorsport event on the island and arguably one of the biggest motorbike events worldwide. Greenlight covers Motorsport all over the world and produces for TV programmes, live broadcasts and highlights programmes which are distributed to over 40 broadcasters worldwide, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Euro Sports, and further afield CBS 4, CSPN, Fox Sports. The company has been established for 23 years and in the last few years they have opened an office in Manchester and have a base in Tampa, Florida as well.
We occasionally do other sports but our core business is Motorsports. It’s mostly highlights coverages for championships and we also do some documentaries throughout the year as well.
There’s a great support network from the government here in terms of grants that are on offer for the media sector. We’ve got a core team of full time staff but we also use a family of freelancers as well, many of whom are from the island so there’s a good strong network here.
Greenlight TV won the contract this year to cover the TT Races.
On top of all their coverage, the company produces four weekly magazine shows, fifty-two weeks a year from their base in Tromode. These are distributed to 650 million homes worldwide, so they have quite a big reach from such a small island.
We get a lot of support and it’s really great for us to be based here and to be honest with technology these days it doesn’t really matter where you’re based because in terms of delivery to broadcasters you know you could be anywhere really.
Greenlight TV filming in Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland.
Every year, Greenlight has produced a live feed of Tynwald Day that goes out on the internet as well on the big screen in St. John’s. They have also produced coverage of the Southern Hundred races, bringing two 1 hour highlights of that to ITV 4 in 2017 which has been really great for the event.
It’s really great for everyone to be involved in our national day like that.
As well as Motorsport coverage, Greenlight offers a really strong work experience programme. They take on students from all of the schools for a week each year and have a programme whereby they script, write, edit and premier a film. The team take on a range of students from GCSE & Sixthformers to IOM College students.
I think that in the years that we’ve been on the island we’ve provided over 200 work experience placements. I actually started out on work experience myself and got a job here because of it.
Ballakermeen Students about more about filming with Greenlight TV
For students looking to get into this kind of industry on the Isle of Man, Aísling believes that the key is to make yourself stand out and don’t be afraid to make a nuisance of yourself.
It sounds really bad but people are very busy and if you contact them in the throes of a busy Motorsports season sometimes it’s difficult and we do get inundated with request!
Enthusiasm is definitely valued as well as a positive approach to having a go and experimenting with film editing technology.
It’s not necessarily about what qualifications you have, certainly experience is key, but even if you can get hold of a camera or download some free editing software off the internet and have a go yourself at home that’s a great thing to show interest and enthusiasm! I think if you can show you’ve got a passion for it and you really want to get involved then you’re just that one step ahead of everyone else.
Greenlight TV amidst all the action
Aísling’s experience in the creative industries could be seen as being in the right place at the right time but it demonstrates how opportunities on the island are becoming increasingly available for those with a creative passion to pursue a career in the media. Having a job in creative media with opportunities to cover worldwide content are attainable on the island if you’re willing to show determination and enthusiasm.
I think that the industry is on the rise as well, certainly with the Isle of Media, there’s a real sort of appetite for it over here and I do really think it’s growing more, definitely since when I was looking for a job. There’s a lot more opportunities available out there.
With special thanks to Aísling Ridout, Production Manager for Greenlight TV.