The 2017 NaSTA Conference was hosted by Guild TV and held in Birmingham University from March 31st to April 2nd. YSTV brought 13 members - twice as many as the previous year - of which all but one had never attended NaSTA before, and despite for the first time in 16 years not winning any awards, a fun and at least somewhat inspiring time was had.
The process of submitting the NASTA submissions was, as to be expected, very stressful. Many submissions were not submitted until right up to the last hour. Ask Adam Tye for more details. Organising getting a load of YSTV members to the conference turned out, unsurprisingly, to be a logistical nightmare. Sam Willcocks took one look at the ticket prices including hotels, and decided to find Airbnbs for a similar price, proceeded to try to organise people who wanted to go into groups on a mass spreadsheet. (Somewhat inevitably the 'Nasta Party' spreadsheet fell victim to memes and party parrots very quickly) In the end, after some tense moments when committee members left tickets and accommodation to the very last minute, YSTV descended on Birmingham... at different times... and off several different trains.
On the first day the group split into the two airbnb groups, one to a nice terraced house in Selly-Oak and another group to what can only be described as where you'd set a Brummie Trainspotting tribute. We dropped off luggage then met up again at registration. An uneventful opening ceremony later, it was time for the welcome meal. On discovery that this was a burger van in the car park, the assembled delegates decided that they'd rather buy a load of food and alcohol and all go to the less terrifying (albeit smaller) Airbnb. Here, food was cooked, the house nearly gassed by a slightly malfunctioning oven, drinks consumed and an infamously intimate game of 'Never Have I Ever' took place. This spawned multiple Quotes Board entries, perhaps most pertinently: Nicely inebriated, the party moved to the first NASTA after party at Birmingham University Guild Hall where YSTV made friends with other stations, Stag TV took a shine to Kate Whittaker (she was asked out via the YSTV Facebook page) and Katherine Bell reportedly drunkenly told anyone who would listen about how old and special YSTV was (she denies she was that drunk).
Day Two and Ceremony
On the second day NASTA provided informative sessions throughout the day on multiple subjects such as CVs, getting into the industry, tech innovations and a thinly veiled sales pitch by MadeTV. These was some chaotic scenes between sessions as there was confusion as to the location of the talks and whether this correlated with the guidebook. In the evening there was a formal meal and awards ceremony hosted by Lizo Mzimba of Newsround fame (the BBC's, not ours). For the first time in 16 years YSTV didn't win any awards, but Kate Whittaker was shortlisted for best on-screen female, as judged by Fiona Bruce.
Day Three and AGM
On the final day, despite only needing station directors in attendance, at least 10 YSTV members arrived to the AGM as there had been hangover packs promised. There were many sensible contributions by YSTV to the motions tabled at the AGM, including voting in new officers to the committee and questioning sweeping reforms to the award categories. There were also less sensible but amusing contributions such as Sam Willcocks' query about any NaSTA fellows (a posthumous appointment) later rising from the grave, and what category they would thus fall under, and Joel Mitchell who had taken to referring to election candidates as "hat boy" and "not hat boy". This silliness was fuelled by many hangovers, lack of sleep and an extensive group chat on slack during the proceedings. There was then a trips to Wetherspoons before trains back to York or members' home towns.
The awards ceremony may have been disappointing but many members were inspired by the quality of entries from other stations and planned many more ambitious productions. It was also discussed that YSTV should aim to produce more drama and 'artsy' videos as we focused too heavily on live and this was putting our entries at a disadvantage at NASTA. Connections were also formed with LA1:TV before roses, Stag TV and in particular LSTV who happened to be sat behind Edwin Barnes at the welcome talk, an initial meeting that led to future collaborations such as Roses 2017 and #Ask Look North.
- Raquel Bartra
- Edwin Barnes
- Katherine Bell
- Courtney Brotherson
- Grace Downer
- Tom Lee
- Dan Maher
- Joel Mitchell
- Lily Papworth
- Hui-Ling Phillips
- Kate Whittaker
- Sam Willcocks
- Kenric Yuen
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