Edinburgh TV Festival supported by Screen Scotland

Jonathan Meenagh

Development Consultant, Freelance

Ones to Watch 2005

Jonathan Meenagh

How did you find out about Ones To Watch?

I had been on TVYP, which was the forerunner to The Network, the entry level scheme run by the Edinburgh TV Festival. When I was there I heard great things about Fast Track, as Ones To Watch was known then, and applied once I was eligible.

What’s your best memory from being on the scheme?

The memory that stands out most is the people I met over that weekend and whom I’ve kept in touch with since. I wasn’t long working in TV when I went onto the scheme and had really only been employed for any extended period in just two different production companies, so to meet such a wide range or people of a similar level, and with similar interests and excitement for TV, it was hugely inspiring.

Did being on Ones To Watch change your career ambitions?

I was still exploring the various different roles that TV offered when I was on Ones To Watch, and it helped me get a better sense of the breadth of TV and how many of those who work in the business have very little to do with picking up a camera and filming, such as lawyers, sales and scheduling. It gave me a greater understanding of how the business works and widened my awareness of what was possible in terms of career.

Tell us about the most memorable talks/sessions in your year.

The most memorable talk was by Andrea Wong, who was running the US network ABC. Her bigger perspective and worldview was particularly inspiring as, at the time, viewing figures there were in the tens of millions for a prime-time series. Many UK formats were making the leap to the US and hearing how financially successful some series could become was particularly jaw-dropping.

Did you meet anyone through the scheme, or at the Festival, who’s had a big impact on your life or career?

Jason Mitchell, who owns and runs the production company The Connected Set has been a huge support and influence. We were in our early 20s when we met and were at similar levels in the TV business. We hit it off over the weekend of Ones To Watch and Jason has supported me through a number of huge hurdles and decisions that proved pivotal. I’m hugely grateful to have met him and to have benefited hugely from his support over the years since.