Nigel runs Ability Post Production Academy Ltd, which is a new start up working with young people, with both visible and invisible disability, to teach them the latest film editing software and help them build confidence and communication skills. Nigel was a participant in the Good Ideas Class 2018-19 in this blog we hear how he’s getting on with his good idea…

Building Ability

“When I was very young, I was told that I’d never be a film editor because I’ve got a mental health condition called bipolar, which used to be called manic depression. I wanted to set up this Academy to show that having a physical, visible or invisible disability shouldn’t stop you from working in the film and TV industry. There’s a real skills shortage in Scotland for editors. So actually, I’m going to be helping the broadcasters. I’m helping them and they’re helping me through partnerships. I think together, we can change the industry and get more kids with disability into the industry.”

“I’ve been working on setting Ability Post Production Academy up for the last three years, but I’ve found it quite a struggle, because currently it’s just me. I realized after applying for support from Scottish Edge that I needed to build a team or I needed to build partnerships. I felt that I didn’t have enough confidence and that I didn’t have the kind of techniques and tools to take this forward and to speak to broadcasters. Through taking part in the Good Ideas incubation programme, I am now ready to apply for funding. I’m also speaking to BBC, STV and Channel Four about possible partnerships.”

“On a personal level, I feel that I’m a more confident person and that I can pitch my idea with much more clarity now. Just to work with other people that are in a similar position to me allowed me to bounce ideas around and the contacts that the people on the course have given me – contacts within universities, disability charities – I wouldn’t have been able to do that by myself. So not only has the course structure been good, but the people that I’ve met have really helped me to progress my company.”

A letter to Myself

“At the beginning of January we were asked to write a letter to ourselves describing the goals we had for our idea, which would be sent after the end of Class. Reading this back when it arrived I saw that a lot of it has actually come true. I wrote that I would like to register my company and I’ve now registered Ability as a limited by guarantee company. 

I’m also looking at a Kickstarter for funding which will allow me to trial a test project to launch later next year.

By 2021 I want to have my own premises, I also want to partner with Creative Scotland, BBC, STV and Channel Four, which is a possibility now. I want to be a success and by 2022 I want to have my own Academy in Scotland, in Manchester and in London. So watch this space!”

Good Ideas

“If I hadn’t applied to Good Ideas I don’t think I would be this far along, I don’t think I would have had the ability to start to speak to people like the broadcasters. I feel that I’ve got many more skills now than I had, a year, two years ago. I’d recommend Good Ideas to anyone with an idea, because I think that the support and the people that I’ve met on the programme have been amazing for my journey. 

I’ve learned a huge amount from the other participants and have had so much support from them. There were times where I was getting to the end of my tether because I kept getting knock backs with funding applications. But people have said to me, what you need to do is look at your successes. I succeeded in getting through to the Converse Challenge final and to Scottish Edge Social Entrepreneurs final. Now I’m applying for other funds, which I don’t think I would have done without going through Good Ideas.”

Nigel is taking his experience to build Ability Post Production Academy Ltd. If you have an idea that you feel has potential apply now to Good Ideas.

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