On Tuesday 7th September I produced a panel for my RTS Futures Committee
Years ago, TV stars came from rigid, traditional, established routes which included showreels, auditions and agents. Today, the power of the internet and social media platforms are catapulting talent from social media to our TV screens.
Tik Tok, YouTube and Instagram are now developing their personal brands, creating their own content and fanbases and TV Commissioners are scrambling to sign them up. Come and hear from social media stars who are infiltrating British TV screens in this RTS Futures session ‘From Social Media to TV Screens’.
A national audience of young people joined Grime MC and host of his own TV show on Channel 4, Big Narstie, multimedia broadcaster on Capital Xtra and Sky Arts, Remel London, Snapchat stars Man Like Haks and Stevo The Madman, to hear about their very different journeys from social media to screen stars. Chaired by Navi Lamba, E4’s Digital Executive.
It was a fascinated conversation where numerous tips and insights into the world of influencers, and diversity and inclusion were shared by the panel. Some of the key quotes are below:
#ManLikeHaks says he was making videos originally for the adults and then his audience expanded to everyone who enjoys comedy and wants to be lifted up, his fans are from all across the globe. 5.5million snapchat followers!
‘All of us are the same on socials as we are in real life. sometimes in this industry u get a 3 year run, but we’ve managed to stay relevant and have longevity by finding various paths and staying on top of platforms and pivot to keep our audience engaged’ said @StevoTheMadMan
Big Narstie – ”Music is my main career, but TV found me cos I capitalise being at the right place at the right time! Making funny videos wasn’t the plan, we just made videos with our mates! I’m SW4 Lambeth Certified Lover Boy! SHABBA! ‘
”When i started doing music, my brethren told mum i was doing drugs cos they didn’t believe music could be paying, so there was doubt/people trying to hold me back.I had faith in what I was doing.I really believe in me! Music/TV was an escape from the life i was in’ Big Narstie
I still feel v underrated.There is pretty/light privilege,Im a dark skinned woman, theres a fear of putting me on TV. I am a well spoken, I can be road, but I know how to talk, to everyone,I can do the job well.Theres a stigma of viewers not ‘getting’ dark skin women Remel London
‘My degree never got me on TV, it was social media, i made sure i was everywhere, doing everything, i loved my time at @linkuptv -they taught me to shoot/market..I’ve presented for multiple brands but I still don’t have a seat at the table & am still on my journey” Remel London
‘I had to teach myself how to shoot, promoting myself as much as possible on EVERY PLATFORM, and understanding how every platform works, following the commissioners, include all your links, cos u cant rely on TV to promote you’ Remel London
Man Like Haks ”’we taught ourselves how to be experts on every app, its not easy, I have to do everything myself, its empowering to know that I can make my own sketches, theres TV shows that don’t get the number of views that we get on our social media platforms’
‘they tried to cancel me for showing my toddler saying an explicit word’ revealed Stevo TheMadMan
‘my social media comments have been taken out of context, then people have tried to cancel/confront me & i had to avoid twitter cos of the abuse but now thats celebrated’ Remel London
‘start locally, grow your brand w/platforms who connect to you, reach out to commissioners said Navi Lamba
”i didn’t get paid for 3yrs cos i knew it would come” @StevoTheMadMan
You can see every single C4 commissioners emails on 4producers & u can ask coffee & share ideas said Navi Lamba
‘you’ve built your platform, keep building it, when Channel 4 and the BBC aren’t interested in your snapchat & insta anymore they will dump you. Keep building & owning your own content & brand’ Big Narstie
Some of the key takeaways our panel has shared included:
BIG NARSTIE TOLD US TO Capitalise and be in the right place at the right time when opportunity comes calling and come to your dream with an open heart, and use your own teams and talent to help to promote you
MAN LIKE HAKS emphasized that you have to be self taught and become experts on every social media platform
REMEL urged you to promote yourself all the time on every platform and follow the right people and tags anyone who might be interested
STEVO warned us about cancel culture and urged us all to be brutally honest on social media.
Some questions the panel left us with:
Are you doing enough on social media?
Can you use every platform like an expert?
Are you willing to put in the work and take the negative responses as well as the positive?
For many more monthly informative panels about how to get into the TV industry, do sign up to our RTS Futures page for more free sessions and information about how you can be a part of the TV industry. rts.org.uk
Until next time, happy creating!