WMSB building for screen renaissance

The West Midlands Screen Bureau (WMSB) is the body leading a year-long National Lottery-funded Creative Cluster project, administered through the British Film Institute (BFI).

The bureau was created as a cross-sector body, whose work includes the clusters work, which is also supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Birmingham City Council.

The intention of the scheme is to unite the different parts of the Creative Screen Sector into a coherent voice with a compelling narrative The sector includes video games, television, film, music video, Virtual Reality, online video and Augmented Reality. 

Not everyone within the individual media forms will necessarily recognise a common sectoral cause and part of the bureau’s mission will be to make the case. The merits of that case are becoming clearer by the day, and for many, the argument for a cohesive and collaborative sector was won long ago and is already yielding results

Each component part of the sector shares common goals and values, with each creating economic, cultural and social value through storytelling and audiovisual experience.

And an era of convergence has opened up new opportunities for building Intellectual Property and creating new forms of content through working collaboratively.

So the bureau mission is to:

Build the most competitive, diverse and dynamic Creative Screen Sector in the UK, exploiting the opportunities of the emerging global, converged and participatory media ecosystem.

The work will be divided into distinct activities that will come together to create the necessary momentum to drive a period of change and growth.

To read more on the West Midlands Screen Bureau click here. 

For more details on our Creative Cluster strategy, click here.

The project is being led by Strategic Project Leader, Michael Gubbins, an experienced international analyst and journalist and former editor of both Screen International and Music Week. He has also been chair of Welsh screen agency Ffilm Cymru Wales for the last six years.

The West Midlands Screen Bureau has appointed experienced media analyst and journalist Michael Gubbins as its Strategic Project Leader.

He has been chair of the Welsh film agency, Ffilm Cymru Wales and for the last six years, alongside his own analyst business, which has worked in more than 30 countries. 

He has written influential reports on digital developments in film, diversity, documentary and new media models. His many clients have included the BFI, Europa Cinemas, Cine-Regio, Welsh National Opera, Canadian Media Fund, Proimagines Colombia, Film4, Europa Distribution, Swedish Film Institute and the Danish Film Institute.

In a long journalistic career, he edited international film industry bible Screen InternationalMusic Week and technology magazine Computing after more than a decade in newspapers.

He is a well-known chair of leading media events and festivals, particularly around Europe and a regular keynote speaker. He is also a visiting fellow of Exeter University and, among other bodies, he is on the advisory board of digital innovation leaders Power to the Pixel.

"I am returning to my roots," says Gubbins, "but it feels like huge leaps forward have been made since leaving.

"There is a sense of excitement about the potential to build a vibrant screen sector that can ride the wave of change."