ARC Project profile: Set, Ready, Safety


16th April 2021

Lisa Kelly is a lecturer in Television Studies from the University of Glasgow. She is the founder of Set, Ready, Safety, a venture designed to improve the safety and wellbeing of new entrants and freelance crew on production sets. We chat with Lisa to find out more.

This project profile is part of the Aspect Research Commercialisation (ARC) Accelerator, Class of 2021. ARC (formerly SUCCESS) is now on to it’s second cohort of university-based ventures seeking to change the world through their innovative, creative and disruptive ideas.

Q: What’s your academic background and how did it lead to starting your venture?

I’m a lecturer in Television Studies at the University of Glasgow, and I teach across film and television. I was previously a researcher in  the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at Glasgow where I worked on a project examining the history of the UK Film Council so I  sit between a range of fields, in terms of cultural policy, film and television studies. 

My current research is concerned with talent development in the screen industries and equality, diversity and inclusion, both on screen and behind the scenes, and I’m particularly interested in the impact of precarious working conditions on new entrants and freelance crew. This led to a collaborative knowledge exchange project with BECTU Vision and digital design agency ISO to look at ways of utilising digital technology to address key issues facing film and TV productions. From this, Set, Ready, Safety was born.

Q: What does your venture aim to achieve and how does it tackle the issue?

We are developing a digital app called Set, Ready, Safety, which is a training and management tool to keep cast and crew members safe on set. We are working on a range of features that will be tested with user groups to see which are most valuable for productions. 

There is various software being used in the industry at the moment, which has enabled productions  to go paperless for example, and help enhance compliance and efficiency.

Set Ready Safety seeks to engage and empower new entrants and freelancers specifically however, as film and TV is made up of mostly freelance workers who often don’t have access to the same kind of training and support that those  working for major broadcasters or in-house production staff may have. We really want our product to allow new entrants and freelance crew to be able to engage with health and safety in accessible, interactive and engaging ways.

The industry is quite hierarchical and people who have just got a foot in the door, as it were, don’t necessarily have a way to raise particular issues that they may be facing. And so we’re looking at how to use technology to address this.

Lisa Kelly, Set, Ready, Safety

“The industry is quite hierarchical and people who have just got a foot in the door, as it were, don’t necessarily have a way to raise particular issues that they may be facing. And so we’re looking at how to use technology to address this.”

Q: What have been some challenges you’ve faced in developing Set, Ready, Safety?

I think it’s this notion that it’s constantly shifting, as what you want to do is make sure that you are developing a product that the industry actually needs and wants . I’ve had positive  feedback so far but I’m looking forward to testing our ideas with actual user groups. I think carrying out market research  online during the pandemic has actually worked quite well as we’ve been able to get access to people across the UK industry that might have been difficult to achieve previously. The pandemic has also put health and safety on everyone’s radar, particularly with regards to film and TV which has been a lifeline to most people during lockdown. And of course, one of the main challenges has been juggling full time academic work with pursuing commercialisation opportunities and having two kids to homeschool.

Q: How is the ARC Accelerator program supporting you in bringing your venture to life?

It’s been excellent to have access to so many different consultants and the case studies that they present – a lot of them have resonated with my own venture and made me think about the best way to approach the development process, how to be flexible and respond to feedback. It’s great to have that supportive community as well. Everyone’s in a similar position and you’re able to run ideas past both the other participants but also the TTOs. It’s been a really great experience.

You can find all the project profiles from the ARC Accelerator here

Photo credit: cottonbro via Pexels

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