Screen and Film School were delighted to welcome Elaine Pyke to our Central site on the 5th February to take part in a masterclass for our students. Elaine discussed her journey into producing and gave an exclusive insight into how commissioning for high-end drama has changed, and what is now expected.

Elaine Pyke started her career in the industry as an actress on The Bill. She moved on to script editing and producing, then was hired as the Head of Drama at Sky and promoted to Director of Sky Atlantic in 2011. At Sky Atlantic, she commissioned Sky Original high-end TV dramas such as The Tunnel, as well as overseeing all other programming for the channel, including Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and more. In 2014, Elaine joined New Pictures as an Executive Producer for Indian Summers (Channel 4) and is the lead Exec on The Innocents for Netflix.

“Don’t worry about a show being non-returnable, Now everyone is talking about mini-series. What really matters is how good it is, don’t stretch the material because other shows are having multiple seasons- concentrate on what you want to do.” – Elaine Pyke

Elaine offered a valuable insight into the world of producing, and delved into the ever changing landscape of the TV and film industry, as well as discussing the most memorable moments of her career so far, including the making of “The Take” and casting an unknown actor at the time: Tom Hardy. She highlighted the importance of shows having a USP, and discussed how current industry giants such as Netflix have changed the landscape, giving fresh talent a chance and boosting interest in new voices.

If you find a writer or director you really click with, for god’s sake stick with them! They’re more important than you think.

Elaine Pyke