Introducing A New Wave Of Creative Business Execs: Jonny McCausland

At the National Film and Television School (NFTS), our Creative Business MA develops talented creative executives in film, TV and games, who go on to shape the industry with new unique and exciting ventures. In this series we will be sharing insights from a number of recent graduates from the MA uncovering the paths they have taken since leaving the School and how their time on the course prepared them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to pursue their dream careers.

First up is Jonny McCausland on establishing innovative new departments, working ethically with AI and how the NFTS Creative Business MA equipped him with vital, relevant industry understanding.


creative execs


“Since finishing the Creative Business course, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to establish and now run a new development team at Hat Trick Productions

The new department called the Hat Trick Lab, is a dream job for me, and it was very much inspired by many of the teachings from the NFTS Creative Business course, centring on a cross-medium approach to development and a constant exploration of emerging technologies.

Focusing on building IP universes that span multiple mediums and meet audiences wherever they want to be served, we are currently developing projects for TV, film, live, immersive, audio, digital, and games. As a team, we have also worked to pioneer the ethical integration of AI tools into development workflows – whilst always maintaining a writer/creative-first approach to creativity.

Before joining Hat Trick, I provided extensive AI consultancy to companies across the media landscape – made possible thanks to the fantastic teaching from the MA. To me, being a Creative Executive means being able to take a broad view of the industry to then spot gaps for exploration, adapting this view regularly and quickly as the landscape shifts and changes.

The course was pivotal in helping me to progress in the industry. Before joining, I had a more narrow and segmented view of the media landscape – the course helped to open my eyes to the intricate interconnectedness of media and the amazing potential for the exploration of IP in many exciting forms. The course’s highlighting of emerging technologies was also of significant importance; by learning about AI, VR, VP, Web 3, etc., I was able to enter the market with a valuable and timely knowledge and skillset.

The course provided a plethora of other learning and skills, including finance, marketing, legal, production, etc. All of these, combined with the awareness of the broad landscape and the exposure to new tech, prepared me very well to progress quickly in the industry upon leaving the course.

Another key element of the course is the wonderful group of fellow students you get to spend time with – both on the course and within the wider school. There are some very talented people at NFTS, and it is exciting and inspiring to spend time immersed in that environment. This calibre of the school is matched by the excellent and large group of speakers who engage with us on the course – to hear directly from industry-leading experts is a remarkable and rare opportunity, and it certainly shaped my professional trajectory.

I certainly hope to stay connected to the NFTS and to engage as regularly as possible with the Creative Business course. As we enter a period of change in media, I think this course will only become more relevant and more interesting!”

If you’re interested in a successful career as an executive in film, TV and games and are considering applying to the Creative Business MA course, visit to learn more.

Places available to start January 2025, apply today!
Funding available.

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