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Points North: Marc Allen, MD of True North Productions


Points-North-siteWelcome to Points North, a new weekly feature on Prolific North. Each Friday, one of the North’s leading media personalities will be giving us their take on the news covered by Prolific North over the last seven days. So expect wit, wisdom, gossip and more. We kick off with our first guest editor, Marc Allen, managing director of True North Productions in Leeds…

The North Is Not Enough

It is a big ask to be the first person to kick off the Points North commentaries and so I am going after big, I am going after bold and I am going after ambitious, which an exciting company needs to be in my opinion, in character if not in scale.

We can see this peppered around Prolific North this week.

The Old Granada Studios are becoming an “Arts Quarter” rather than an Ikea. Awesome!

Screen Yorkshire has double the money to invest in attracting and supporting programming. Brilliant!

Fresh Group and Skiddle have smashed targets and had their most successful year respectively. Great!

And Pikcells have tied up with a US firm to deliver incredible CGI to some major global brands. Perfect!

It is this last story in particular that really resonates for me.

A very astute and clever move to cut across and into a place where there is opportunity is an inspired way to grow. Not forcing through for a shrinking ray of light in a crowded marketplace, taking on neighbours or the “mother ship” of London but having ambitions further afield, finding creative opportunities and partnerships to evolve into a place where you can both achieve more than the sum of your parts.

True North are focused on opportunities in China and the United States for example, two countries where the distance between Leeds and London are dwarfed by one of those countries’ letters on a map. Once in such a territory our local geography is pretty much irrelevant and the playing field is very, very level.

It’s not easy and our ability to adventure here is built on thirteen years of hard work from the company, significant success on the home front to perfect the company’s talents and a critical mass now that makes us a very credible partner.

Even without this, great creativity, innovation and the ability to deliver can be currency enough for smaller firms to fast track to bigger opportunities.

In either case, large or small scale, I applaud and encourage the ambition that imagines or sees beyond the horizon. From these visions great things will grow from wherever you might find yourself.

Marc Allen is managing director of television and digital production company True North Productions in Leeds.

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