A creative development hub for agile storytellers

The way we consume and watch stories is changing; we no longer need a scheduled slot to get our viewing fix. Technology, and audiences are fundamentally altering the way we make & enjoy content.

To embrace this monumental shift, it is vital to inspire and challenge existing, as well as emerging, talent to stay ahead of the curve, and adapt to the needs of audiences and industry.

FLEX is our innovative, ground-breaking response to this rapidly changing space. The programme will support writers, directors and producers to develop dynamic, authentic and fluid stories fit for 2021 and beyond.

Screen Yorkshire is keen to encourage applications from those who may not have followed a traditional route into the screen industries or faced additional challenges accessing support and opportunities. Its fundamental goal is to work with talent that is inspired by the creative freedom afforded by FLEX and ready to innovate to connect diverse stories with new audiences.

Applications closed at 12pm on 22nd July

When does FLEX take place?

FLEX will run over six months from September 2021 and offer a carefully curated development opportunity for each selected creative team including as appropriate; ideation workshops, story testing sessions, writers rooms, script development support, mentoring, access to key industry figures and pitching opportunities. Throughout the progamme participants will also have guidance from the experienced and passionate Screen Yorkshire development team. We will support creative talent to embrace ideas that can hop nimbly between platforms and formats, whilst opening doors to opportunity and getting ideas ready for market. Creative teams will also be offered bursaries to support the development process.


Flex Lab - Indicative Schedule

Download our schedule to check key lab dates.

Read our FAQs below to find out if FLEX is the right programme for you.


Who is Flex for?

Flex is an innovative, creative development programme for UK based Writers, Directors and Producers. You can apply as an individual, writers may also apply as a writing duo. We welcome applications that will help us to bring together different perspectives and ways of working. Successful applicants to Flex will be accepted onto as individuals and work collaboratively to generate ideas and form creative partnerships. We believe this is the most organic way to encourage newly formed teams to coalesce around an idea and will support this process. However, in the unusual circumstances that an individual is not able to collaborate to form a team Screen Yorkshire reserves the right to end participation. Please note at least one person within the team needs to reside or work in Yorkshire and Humber and individuals can only attach themselves to one project and team regardless of their role.

I’m not from Yorkshire and the Humber, can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply to Flex if you are from outside Yorkshire and Humber.  

However, Screen Yorkshire’s aim is to secure the very best creative individuals to help make the region future-facing. Therefore, a minimum of one member of the creative team on Flex has to be from Yorkshire and Humber. If you live outside of this region and want to apply as an individual or writing duo, you can do. Writing duos with one member residing or working in Yorkshire and Humber are also able to apply.  Please note it is up to creative teams to ensure one member of the team fulfils the Yorkshire and Humber participant criteria. 

I am a writer and I work with a writing partner; can we apply together?

Yes, although you must each complete an application form - there is a section where you can highlight you are applying as a pair. In the event that you apply as a duo, you will still be expected to work in the same Writer/Producer/Director dynamic, therefore your overall team size will increase. 

Who has Intellectual Property over the ideas/content we produce during the programme?

Flex will have an agreement with each creative team which details the team members and their contributions. The principle of Flex is that this is not a programme for pre-conceived ideas or relies on traditional models for idea generation.  The rights in any project developed here will be shared equally between team members whilst participating in Flex and there will be a partial time-limited assignment of rights to Screen Yorkshire for the development phase.  During this time the team shouldn’t assign any rights or receive development funding for the project from elsewhere. At the beginning of the programme we will ask participants to sign a collaboration agreement with other members of their creative team, which fairly recognises each individual's creative contribution and determines how any IP will be dealt with at the conclusion of the programme, this may vary from project to project.  Any rights in the project held by Screen Yorkshire will be assigned back to the creative team at the end of the development process.  Our priority is to help each project find the best way to continue its development journey but if you have any concerns there will be a formal process to raise these issues during the programme. 

Do we apply with an idea / Are you looking for a particular genre or type of story?

For the purposes of Flex, we are not accepting predeveloped scripts or ideas. We want teams to explore unique ideas together, to take creative risks, and push boundaries with expectations around scripted narratives on screen. The programme will facilitate this journey through a series of sessions and bespoke support. 

What happens if our filmmaking team falls out with each other along the way?

We’ll do all we can to help you resolve any issues but at the end of the day it’s your project and you’ll have to find a way of pushing it through the various development stages 
In the unfortunate event that a member of the team does drop out or is asked to stand aside, we'll assist you in finding a replacement but will reserve the right to approve who they are. In the event that we can’t agree, then we’ll have the right to put the project into turnaround.

What do we mean by ‘emerging creative talent’?

We welcome applications from participants who have already produced some sort of creative content by the time they apply for Flex. This development initiative is focused on innovative, creative content that challenges the status quo. We don’t want to stipulate specific career achievements if you have great ideas to bring to us. However, Flex is not for the very new or inexperienced.  We need participants to be clear about what role they see themselves in and understand what responsibilities this entails. We expect professionalism, and a level of confidence and proven ability to be on the programme so we can really open doors to new ways of storytelling. 

Will I get paid for Flex?

Each team will receive a team development bursary of approx. £5000. This is intended to support the development and time needed to generate your ideas within the team and write your scripted material.  We will cover reasonable expenses where applicable and pre-agreed.  

Are there any restrictions on what the team development bursary can be spent on?

Each team will be expected to provide a mini development budget outlining costings ahead of receiving the bursary. The bursary will be signed off by the creative team at Screen Yorkshire and wherever appropriate feedback will be given and amendments will be requested. The bursary is allocated to the whole writer/director/producer team, rather than one particular member, due to the creative collaborative nature of the programme. It is intended to go towards time needed for script development, research etc.  We recognise that the heavy lifting during development often falls to the writer and if this is the case we would expect bursaries to reflect this when allocating budget.  Likewise if a substantial development responsibility will fall to another team member.

How long does the programme run for?

6 Months, September 2021 – Feb 2022. All participants must commit to the full duration of this programme. Please download the 'Indicative Lab Schedule' below. The sessions will be a blended mixture of virtual and in-person. We are keen for Flex to be bespoke for each team but this indicative schedule gives an idea of how the programme is meant to progress 
We will try and structure sessions and programme elements as flexibly as possible, i.e. evenings, lunch time slots etc. However all participants are expected to commit to the final programme timetable and deliverables. 

I have dependents / I am a carer; will this programme be suitable for me?

Yes! We welcome applications from parents/carers. Where we canwe intend to support, remove obstacles and allow flexibility for our participants regardless of backgrounds. We will assess support with costs associated to caring responsibilities, or other essential needs, based on the individual needs of participants. This support would be in addition to the team development bursary. 

What is the goal of Flex? Where will I be at the end?

All participants will benefit from developing working relationships with other key creatives under the guidance of industry specialists. Creative teams will produce an industry-ready proposal based on the content format they choose to produce e.g., for a series proposal we will guide teams to produce a scripted episode, a series outline, and/or creative production concept and a vision document. We anticipate that teams will have created content that is ready for market, or at a stage where it can go into further development. We will wherever possible facilitate introductions to make this happen, although this is not guaranteed. Part of the programme will include pitching and meeting commissioners or organisations/companies that will help to support this process. This programme will also offer professional development to get ideas across the line.  

Our partners

Flex is being delivered by Screen Yorkshire and has been developed with the Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN), a unique, business-facing initiative supporting the TV, film and games industries in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Application form

Applications closed at midday, 22nd July 2021.

Please note we anticipate the interviews will be held on the 4th, 5th and 10th August. We will be holding virtual information sessions for interested applicants on Mon 5th July and Wednesday 7th July. Please direct any enquiries to Flex@screenyorkshire.co.uk

Our development team

  • Jo Schofield

    Jo Schofield, Talent Development Manager

    Jo works with Caroline to design and deliver a suite of talent development initiatives, building partnerships within the industry to showcase the region's emerging screen talent. Jo will spearhead the launch of a new groundbreaking talent development programme late Spring 2021.
  • Natasha Kifwamba

    Natasha Kifwamba, Programme Coordinator

    Natasha works with Jo to deliver our talent development initiatives, designed to support and nurture the region's emerging screen talent. Natasha will be working on Screen Yorkshire's groundbreaking new talent development programme, launching late Spring 2021.