Paul Appleby

Bristol Media



Paul’s career has grown from producing and directing films, multicamera and multiplatform projects across a 30 year long BAFTA-winning career in the BBC Natural History Unit to consultancy in the creative/technology space. Technology, imagery, audience and narrative opportunities have driven this development, and now broadcast is replaced by a focus on place and located media.

Paul is Chair of the Creative Sector group of the West of England LEP, and of Bristol Media CIC, one of the UK’s largest cluster organisations in the creative sector.  He is the director of VID, a consultancy developing collaborations in creative technology in the greater Bristol area, working with the BBC-Bristol Partnership, the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, Bristol University, Wildscreen, Toshiba Labs and Creative Skillset.

His key focus is on addressing the difficulty of supporting creative microbusinesses, and developing a “virtuous circle” of company growth and talent development. He is on the Board of Watershed and the Encounters Short Film Festival.

“I want to see beautiful design, intuitive functionality, a clear sense of the audience and the ability to turn users into advocates”


What excites you most about the tech scene in Bristol, Bath and the South West?
The Bristol & Bath area is increasingly recognised as a very special place with international importance. It’s brain-powered, and has the complete set of knowledge from silicon design through hardware and software to content production and UXD.

It’s a dynamic ecology, refreshed annually by a flush of bright young people coming to university, and choosing to stay. Now the independent vibe is enabled by great startup incubation, strong networks and a great sense of collaboration.

What are you hoping to see from the SPARKies nominees?
What excites me is an understanding of people, as realised through beautiful design, intuitive functionality, a clear sense of the audience and the ability to turn users into advocates.