More4 the West Midlands

More4 the West Midlands is a creative collaboration between Channel 4 and Create Central aimed at forging stronger relationships between West Midlands indies and Channel 4 Commissioning, and support indies to develop suitable ideas for the Channel.

This is a two-stage development fund, hosted by the Daytime and Features team at Channel 4 and managed by Daytime & Features Commissioning Editors Kate Thomas and Jayne Stanger, who will be on hand to meet indies and answer questions about the opportunity at an event in Birmingham on 16th May.

It is open to production companies based within the West Midlands Combined Authority area and/or one of the three West Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership regions (Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire), with ideas suitable for More4. A training initiative, led by West Midlands-based consultancy Mission Accomplished, will run in parallel to the opportunity to help indies develop ideas, create decks and sizzles, and hone their pitches.

Three programme ideas will be selected for initial development and awarded £5k each to help the indie work up the idea with a talent or toner tape, to pitch to Kate and Jayne. From these ideas, it is expected that 1 idea will be awarded further development of £15k to fund enhanced development, including a full taster tape and budget.

More4 brief:

To help kick start your thinking here’s the key points of the More4 brief.

We’re gravitating towards soft docs series that let the audience become ‘armchair experts’ – with series that feel like ‘intelligent comfort viewing’.

We like national treasures curating engaging topics that they genuinely care about or new faces engaged in authentic & escapist endeavours.

Shows need to deliver on the promise of looking visually beautiful & have clever & innovative production models to deliver the quality and ambition we’re after.

And EVERYTHING that we commission for More4 must be repeatable on C4.

We tend to look at commissions in 3 categories – at tariffs ranging £50k- £120k.

  • The ‘big ticket ‘ / tentpole’ series (like Great British Dig, Great Big Tiny Design Challenge) We’re particularly interested in ideas that could disrupt the schedule (eg: that we could strip Mon-Fri at 9pm)  that could feel create a feeling of scale and event on the channel.
  • National treasures curating lovely loveliness (Richard Hammonds Beautiful Rivers, Mariella’s novel landscapes). Be ambitious in your talent thoughts and experience has shown that genuine and authentic passion for subjects is key to delivering shows the audience will cherish.
  • Low cost scalable / repeatable series:  This is the space we don’t get pitched anywhere near enough original ideas. What are the populist / low risk territories for that heartland ABC1 audience that can repeat anywhere – uncomplicated, and with potential to become fixtures of M4.

How to pitch:

The fund will launch on 26th April, with a briefing event on 16th May 2022. Indies should read the More4 brief above and pitch suitable ideas directly to D&Fideas@channel4.co.uk with Create Central, followed by the name of the programme idea, in the subject line. The deadline for ideas is 10th July.

Act now:

Sign up for the More4 the West Midlands Q&A event. 

Read more about the Daytime and Features team, including More4. 

Apply to take part in pitching and development training, delivered by Mission Accomplished in Birmingham.