FOCUS launches Business Bootcamp for Scottish screen companies

Film City Futures has announced that business development initiative FOCUS will be continued into June 2020, with a new Bootcamp for emerging businesses to take place in the new year.

FOCUS is a two-year pilot project that provides expert sector specific business support to twenty selected screen production companies working in Scotland. By investing in targeted, sector specific business support the project aims to create a stronger, more resilient screen sector, with companies well equipped to take advantage of the evolving opportunities for content creators in a changing market. FOCUS is delivered by Film City Futures in partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute, and is supported by Screen Scotland.

According to a recent report by EKOS the pilot has had a significant impact on the twenty participating companies, contributing to an increase of approximately nineteen full time equivalent roles, and £1.5m in additional turnover. Over a hundred more companies have also benefitted from free workshops, events, and briefings, and four additional companies are currently receiving business mentoring through a FOCUS partnership with MG ALBA.

Business Bootcamp

Film City Futures has now announced that a further ten companies are set to benefit from the initiative through a three-day business Bootcamp, due to take place in January 2020. The course, delivered over three consecutive Fridays in January, aims to equip new screen companies with the skills and contacts they need to thrive as a new production company.

Training will be delivered by industry experts Jen Topping, Mike Kelly and Clare Thompson, and will cover management, leadership, finance, development, and navigating the commissioning landscape. Participants will also meet with established Scottish production companies, as well as key contacts from Screen Scotland, Business Gateway, Triodos, Cosmic Cat, BBC Scotland and Channel 4.

Four cropped headshots edited together of the line-up for FOCUS' Business Bootcamp

Applications are now open for companies to apply for one of ten places on the Bootcamp, at a cost of £180 per company, with up to five places made available as virtual seats for those unable to attend the training at Film City Glasgow in person.

Bootcamp participants will become part of the wider FOCUS alumni, gaining access to an exclusive online portal and priority booking for FOCUS events, as well as becoming eligible to apply for further FOCUS business support funding.

FOCUS Business Development Manager Rebecca Thompson said: “Through the FOCUS pilot, we have seen the clear impact that high quality business support can have on ambitious businesses in the Scottish screen sector. We’re delighted to be able to continue to offer that support to our existing cohort as well as creating opportunities for emerging companies to gain access to the support they need to grow and thrive.”

Jennifer Armitage from Screen Scotland said: “This six-month extension to the FOCUS project supports Screen Scotland’s ambition to enable growth in Scotland’s screen sector by providing independent production companies with business development opportunities. The new Bootcamp strand makes the FOCUS model accessible to a new group of producers, who will have the opportunity to learn how to build and grow their businesses, through a range of strategies from financing to distribution.”

Scottish production companies creating content for broadcast or distribution are encouraged to apply. Applications are now open until 11.59pm on Wednesday 18 December 2019. More information and the online application form are available on


FOCUS is an initiative by Film City Futures and Scottish Documentary Institute, supported by Screen Scotland and the participating companies. Screen businesses are not always able to access the business development expertise that they need in order to achieve significant growth. FOCUS seeks to change this, by providing screen sector companies with access to the sector-specific business development expertise that they need from experts in Production, Law, HR, book scouting, sales and distribution, and other areas.

About the Partners

Film City Futures’ mission is to connect people, space and opportunity, enabling access and entry to the screen industries for all - acting as a catalyst for participation, learning, and innovation. The organisation’s vision is to ensure Scotland’s continuing growth and evolution in the screen industries. Their current pilot project, FOCUS, is open to Scotland-based companies who want to grow and develop their business. @filmcityfutures

Scottish Documentary Institute has produced over a hundred films, screening in sixty countries worldwide, garnering international recognition as being at the cutting edge of the documentary sector. Bridging art and industry, SDI is committed to supporting authored films driven by content and emotional experience. SDI is a charity organisation, delivering a ladder of development opportunities to benefit all Scottish filmmakers and producers, in addition to running Scottish delegations, in collaboration with Screen Scotland.  SDI is now leading a 50:50+ campaign to get more women into directing. @ScottishDocInst

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland.  With funding from Scottish Government and the National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success.