Swansea production company chief goes global at prestigious TV event
A TV producer from Swansea has gone global after attending television's answer to the Cannes Film Festival.
Nearly 20 years ago, Elin Rhys set up SA1-based production company Telesgop, which she now runs with husband Richard Rees.
Since then the company, which mostly makes documentaries, has grown — now employing 30 people from its office in the Ethos building.
Recently, the company produced a Channel 4 documentary about Wallace Simpson and currently is making a programme called Edward's Secret Mistress, about another of the King's lovers. Earlier this month, Elin, who lives near Llandeilo, went along to the Mipcom festival in Cannes — mixing with some of the top dogs in the global television industry.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"When you arrive in Cannes it's quite daunting in some respects," she said.
"There are thousands of people there and there's that perception that there is a lot of business going on.
"You have to be quite confident and bullish — it's not easy for us nice, shy retiring Welsh people.
"You're looking out and seeing sparkling sea and people sailing — it's a nice environment although it's terribly expensive."
Despite studying biosciences at Swansea University, Elin fell into television production after wanting to make science documentaries.
Now the business has become a family affair, with daughter Ffion studying film and television at Aberystwyth University.
Elin, who has been a regular at the festival for the past 15 years, said the Welsh television industry had undergone huge changes in the last few years.
She said: "When we started there were lots of companies, it was an adventure. It was exciting.
"S4C was a channel that was by enlarge set up to create an industry in Wales and in the Welsh language — to that end it has succeeded.
"But over the years digital happened, so you needed to do more hours for the same money."
She said budget cuts to the channel had hit many Welsh television companies hard.
"In the past couple of years there's been huge, huge budget cuts and that's made it really difficult," she said.
"Lots of companies have disappeared and it's quite sad."
But she said opportunities such as Mipcom gave independent producers a chance to get involved in the global market through co-productions with other companies across the world.
"There's no doubt that talent is here to make these programmes but it's very hard to persuade London that Wales has it, but there are people in America and Australia," she said.