We are delighted to introduce Emily Lascelles, who has supported our City Of Change campaign through Silverback Films.

Why did you decide to the join the campaign?

We were very aware that, in Covid times, so many young peoples work experiences had been cancelled. We wanted to see what we could do to counter this, and thought with a virtual work experience we could counter-act issues which had been a challenge for us and applicants, in the past. Things that might have made it difficult to host work experiences were limited office space and travel costs. Crucially we wanted to make sure that we were getting more diverse applicants and wanted to work with an organisation like Babbasa that could help with that. It was fortuitous timing in that the City Of Change campaign was happening as we started planning this, so it’s all come together brilliantly.


What do you think young people may contribute to your company?

Through this particular work experience we are hoping that it will be mutually beneficial. It will be beneficial for the individual on placement as they will get an understanding of basic office working, television in general but also knowledge about Natural History film making. We want to share knowledge and we hope that people are inspired to become Natural History film makers.


We are a small company so we may not be able to offer a lot of training opportunities or apprenticeships because we don’t have capacity to do that at the moment, but we hope that they will gain skills and may work with us again in the future.


What do you hope young people may contribute to your company?

It is always interesting when you’re showing somebody who’s not from your business what you do, it often gives you a fresh and more subjective view. In effect we’re doing the same thing over and over (planning stories, pulling together budgets, organising logistics) and it is only when somebody else has a look at the process that you are able to look at it from a new perspective.

All kinds of skills are needed and all are crucial in producing our programmes from camera ops, accountants, location guides to media data wranglers. There are so many areas a young person can contribute to.


What do you think companies may be missing by having a lack of younger voices/ influence in the company?

If you want to keep things fresh and interesting, you need to have a fresh perspective on it! Natural History in some ways is quite traditional but what is interesting at Silverback is that we are constantly trying to find new ways of showing interesting stories.

We are always thinking of more creative ways to use technology. Natural History pushes the boundaries of technology. We are willing to take calculated risks. We end up trialling new kinds of equipment, batteries, drones and cameras that will work in different environments such as the jungle. A fresh, creative perspective on how to work in particular environments and with what technology is very important.

The same applies to all other elements of our work – there is a lot of problem solving when you work in Natural History. As well as the positive impact on how we do things, young voices are crucial in our editorial ambitions. We want everyone to understand and value the natural world. We need people from diverse backgrounds in editorial, shaping what we are making so that we are appealing to broad audiences and finding ways to tell those stories.


What advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?

Don’t underestimate how transferable your skills are and have confidence in them. Never undervalue the less tangible skills, you never know how useful they could be when applied to different practices.