A leading television sports documentary maker took time out of his busy schedule to offer industry insights to students looking to follow in his footsteps.
Simon Watts, who has created football documentaries for Sky Sports, provided expert advice to Multimedia Sports Journalism students at the University of Northampton, who are busy working on their own sporting docs.
His visit, which took place on Thursday 24 January, saw Simon explain how to pitch documentary ideas to commissioning organisations, using his own experience of persuading Sky to back his Out of Contract project – a programme broadcast in 2016 that followed the fortunes of players facing life on the football scrapheap.
Simon, who also worked on Sky Sports’ The Next Jamie Vardy, spent time listening to the students’ own documentary ideas, offering them tips on how to improve them.
Course leader, Marc Webber, said: “Simon is the latest of a group of people working in our industry who has added to the wealth of knowledge and experiences students have studying Multimedia Sports Journalism at the University of Northampton.
“His understanding of the whole sports documentary process, from pitch to presentation, gave our future sports storytellers a real insight to the challenges they face not just for their forthcoming assessment, but for their careers in the future.
“It is just one of many of the real-life experiences future sports content creators get when they study in a town full of sport including world-class club rugby, motorsport, county cricket and numerous football teams. “
Find out more about Multimedia Sports Journalism on the course page.
Simon’s pictured fourth from left with the students.