“There’s not enough deaf talent on our screens.” Meet: Creative Director of Flashing Lights Media, Camilla Arnold

Posted on March 20, 2015

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Congratulations on the launch of Flashing Lights Media, Camilla.  The new company has been bought from Remark! Media. How did this come about?

Thank you, it’s an incredibly exciting time!

After long talks with the Remark! directors and shareholder, we mutually agreed the Media & Access service should become independent so that we could concentrate on marketing ourselves as a specialist media company.  

This allows Remark! to focus on their other core services. The buyout is completely amicable and both companies continue to support each other.

Camilla Arnold

Camilla Arnold

What do you think will change at Flashing Lights Media compared to Remark! Media?

We are now fully focussed on media, which means there’s more scope for us to be creative.  We can highlight our unique position, as a deaf-led company, in the media marketplace. 

Our identity and brand is clear – we are confident and ready to create new projects and productions. We’ll use this to grow our client and commissioning base, and reach out to new audiences.

Who works for Flashing Lights? Talk us through the team.

There are three Directors (Mark Perry, Simeon Klein and myself) who drive the company, with a fantastic team alongside us.

Mark Perry, Camilla Arnold and Simeon Klein

Mark Perry, Camilla Arnold and Simeon Klein

Our Access team work with a diverse range of clients to make all kinds of content accessible for deaf, hard of hearing and also blind audiences. To do this we provide a range of options such as BSL translation, subtitles, voice-over and audio reading/description.

Our Production team work specifically on production ideas and includes a dedicated and talented team of researchers, assistant producers, producers and directors who create the programmes along with our in-house editor who assembles the final programme. 

We all work exceptionally hard and long hours but we have a great time together too! 

As Creative Director, did you instinctively know the creative direction you wanted to take the company? 

For a long time I’ve had a vision of creating a company that changes the way disability is portrayed in the media. 

I want to show a ‘warts and all’ perspective of disability and move away from the patronising perspective we see all too often.  The vision is also to create genuine opportunities for deaf talent, even when competing with mainstream media companies. 

I want to revolutionise the way deaf-led companies are viewed in the media industry.   To achieve this, we have set up a simple, effective and clear message with our branding.  Our website has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback so far and we’re very proud of it!

Flashing Lights have set up the BRIGHT LIGHTS AWARD 2015 for deaf talent, what’s it all about?

There’s not enough deaf talent on our screens because there’s not enough opportunity – we need to break this cycle!  

The BRIGHT LIGHTS AWARD 2015 is a way of giving a producer, director or scriptwriter from the deaf community the chance to create their own 5 minute drama or short documentary. 

The winner will have access to professional directors, producers, script-writers, editors and sound technicians, and will be able to experience the production process from conception through to the wrap party – it’s a fantastic opportunity so get your applications in! 

You’re on the BRIGHT LIGHTS AWARD 2015 judging panel along with Louis Neethling, Mutt and Jeff Productions, Ashley Kendall, Flashing Lights and award winning actress, Jean St Clair.  What are you specifically looking for in the applications?

I’m looking for a bright idea, something that hasn’t been done before.  Something that will generate interest but also stir audiences and challenge TV programming. 

There’s been a surge in the popularity of online channels because they offer ground breaking content, they bend rules and create fresh stories, stories that come from an emerging perspective and have a different texture or feel – I want to explore this further! 

I’m particularly interested in factual, investigative, journalistic ideas so will be especially looking out for those applications.  I wish every applicant the best of luck and I’m urging anyone with a bright idea to get in touch!

The closing date for the BRIGHT LIGHTS AWARD 2015 is Monday 23rd March 2015. For full details and a BSL translation of the award please go to www.flashinglights.co.uk/award/

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