Media Parents

Media Parents IWD Celebration of Women Filmmakers in the Regions

by Amy Walker

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Media Parents is sponsoring a celebration of women’s filmmaking on Sunday March 8th, and we’d love you to join us. Media Parents Director Amy Walker will be interviewing BBC England’s Head of TV Commissioning, Aisling O’Connor, at the event.

BBC England's Head of TV Commissioning, Aisling O'Connor (picture EdTVFest 2019)

Aisling is Commissioner for all BBC England-funded non-news TV which includes regional current affairs, and a slate of network and online content for the four BBC channels (see biog below).

The event has been curated by Writer / Actor Lisa Harmer-Pope, and features 10 shorts by regional women directors. The full programme will be added to this page shortly, click here for tickets.

If you would like to join us for lunch at Kino-Teatr in St. Leonard’s on Sea before the film programme, please email events@mediaparents.com. Please purchase your tickets for the cinema event separately.

Aisling O’Connor

Head of TV Commissioning, BBC England

Aisling O’Connor is the recently appointed Head of TV Commissioning for a newly re-structured BBC England, with a brief to re-invent the TV offer for the BBC England audience. She is based in Birmingham but works across England.

Aisling oversees BBC England’s non-news TV portfolio including long-running current affairs programme Inside Out. She will also develop opportunities to commission more TV and online content for English audiences by working with other parts of the BBC.

BBC England includes all the BBC’s regional and local services in the English regions such as local radio and regional TV.

The Head of TV Commissioning role for BBC England was created to develop a new approach to content commissioning for TV and online and to deliver content across other genres. Currently the BBC only broadcasts current affairs or light factual programmes aimed specifically at audiences in the English regions.

Aisling O’Connor, who began her career at LWT, has worked at every level of TV production including a stint as a presenter of consumer affairs programme Watchdog.

Aisling says: “I’m looking forward to working across England, delivering content which reflects the lives and stories of our diverse audience, from Hull to Hastings, Newcastle to Newquay.”

Helen Thomas, Director of BBC England, says: “We’ve created this role to work within the BBC to find opportunities to create more content for people in England across a broader range of genres.

“With her huge network of contacts, and excellent relationships with senior people across the industry, Aisling brings a wealth of experience, enthusiasm and innovation that will help deliver content that appeals to English audiences and reflects communities right across the country.”

Aisling started her career in television 25 years ago at London Weekend Television and has worked at all levels of production. She has been a BBC Daytime Commissioner, a Music and Arts Commissioning Executive for BBC Two and BBC Four, an Executive Producer on the BBC’s flagship investigative current affairs programme Panorama and a Senior News and Current Affairs Adviser in BBC Editorial Policy.

While a BBC Daytime Commissioner, Aisling looked after 17 series concurrently including The Housing Enforcers, Great British Menu, Wanted Down Under, Heir Hunters and Bargain Hunt. As a Music and Arts Commissioning Executive she looked after programmes as diverse as The Secret of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for BBC Two and The Quizeum with Griff Rhys Jones for BBC Four.

The two highlights of her career to date were executive producing U2 Innocence and Experience Live in Paris and flying to Chile (economy) to make a speech about public service broadcasting. Aisling is from Dublin and lives in Hastings.

click here for tickets

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

February 19, 2020 @ 3:57 pm Posted in News Leave a comment

5 minutes with Director Sherice Griffiths

by Amy Walker

I’m a director who is about to embark on my first feature documentary, writes Sherice Griffiths, and I’m looking for advice and/or collaborators via Media Parents.

Sherice Williams seeks collaborators for her feature doc on a pregnant MMA cage fighter

I’ve got a wonderful story about a female MMA fighter (Mixed Martial Arts AKA Cage Fighting) who is now 3 months pregnant and plans to continue her martial arts training throughout her pregnancy. I’m planning on following her journey to see what impact the training has on her physical and mental wellbeing and whether or not it can be sustained.

Sofie plans to gradually reduce the amount of sparring she does month to month but wants to stay active until the very last moment. She’s agreed on exclusive access to myself and a small crew, and we’re also able to film at the places she trains. I’m keen to film with her family, training partners, coaches and doctors to get their view on whether they think such an extreme sport should be continued through pregnancy.

MMA cage fighter Sofie will continue to work and be filmed whilst pregnant

I filmed a sizzle with Sofie about a year ago when we made a short video about the relationship between sports and mental health and she’s great on camera. If anyone wants to get involved or find out more drop me a message as I think it’s going to be a really exciting project, and we start filming on 23rd February 2020.

Here’s a link to the 2-minute doc we made with Sofie,  https://vimeo.com/322195307/d6ed0b3346

Log in to contact Sherice Griffiths via the Media Parents network: https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/collaborator/16728/sherice-griffiths

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

February 10, 2020 @ 12:30 pm Posted in News Leave a comment

available now PD cara bowen

by Amy Walker

Two Producer Directors, One Toddler

I’m a self-shooting Producer Director who has filmed in some of the most unforgiving parts of the world, writes Cara Bowen (who is currently looking for her next Edit Producing gig). From the unrelenting wilderness of Alaska filming gold miners in search of their fortune on Gold Rush, to the complete chaos the Scottish weather can bring to hapless model railway enthusiasts building a tiny railway across 74 miles of the Highlands in The Biggest Little Railway in the World. I have worked in some of the most sensitive access situations possible, and with some of the most vulnerable contributors around.

PD Cara Bowen on location. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11666/cara-bowen

I’ve shot car crashes, police chases, and resuscitations with specialised police and ambulance units throughout the country. I captured the RSPCA’s never-ending rescuing and treatment of abandoned animals on The Dog Rescuers; and the dedication of the NHS staff undertook to deliver live triplets in extremely high risk circumstances. I’ve witnessed an inmate break down when fully confessing to the crime she committed for the first time on Women in Prison. I’ve followed the disintegration of professional relationships while building a dream house; and I’ve filmed incredible people with disabilities find the confidence to take a step closer to finding love on several series of The Undateables.

And then I had a baby.

Baby meets kit

Our world changed and so did our priorities. My partner, Charlie Clayton, is also a PD and we have both seen the type of work we can do alter. With a new objective of wanting to be at home more often to look after our baby, Wolfie, Charlie and I agreed we would take turns going out on shoots. He spent the summer looking after our little boy, while I filmed farmers across the UK, FaceTiming at bath times and coming back for weekends. Charlie is now on a shoot in America as I look for my next job while solo-parenting now 20 month old Wolfie, who is confusing Duggee and Daddy, (probably a sign he’s been watching too much Hey Duggee).

While taking turns having jobs may be one solution to raising a family when both parents are PDs, there must be other families who have made it work without having to sacrifice half of their salary? I’d love to hear how others have done it. I’m also keen to find a jobshare via Media Parents so do contact me. The most logical solution it seems is to be able to go into the edit more often, and have more than one income coming in. Charlie has been lucky enough to land a couple of edit producing roles recently but, whilst I’ve edit produced a BBC2 hour, filmed and edited several charity films, made tasters and done all the edit producing courses I can find, it’s been harder for me to find the work. I know I can do it, and my BBC references attest to it!

PDs Cara Bowen and Charlie Clayton, with their son. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11666/cara-bowen

I love what I do and I know I have more to offer than either being on location or not working at all. With so much experience and a strong editorial mind, I would love to find more opportunities in the edit, to mould sequences I shot on location into shape, and occasionally be able to get home in time to put my kid to bed. I don’t want to stop shooting, but I want to prove that I have what it takes to be in the edit too, and I would very much appreciate the chance to do so.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11666/cara-bowen

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11666/cara-bowen

January 25, 2020 @ 12:45 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents February CV masterclass

by Amy Walker

Thank you to everyone who attended our Bristol Media Parents CV Masterclass last week and made it such a worthwhile event. The feedback has been so great that we’re running the masterclass again ahead of our next company networking event so you can get your CV in the best possible shape – and if you’re a jobsharer you can benefit from our new jobshare double CV.

Media Parents Director Amy Walker with freelancers at a Media Parents event

Media Parents February CV Masterclass will take place in Central London on Monday February 1oth, kindly hosted by Clearcut Pictures. Further details and the guestlist link are on the Media Parents watercooler – not yet a member? Drop us a line through the contact button at www.mediaparents.co.uk. Amy Walker will present CV wizardry and there will be the opportunity to get hands on, individually tailored feedback too.

Producer Ginny Bing attended the Bristol CV event: "It was so useful to get a fresh perspective on my CV from Media Parents. We’ve all read our own CVs a million times but what came out of this event was that if you don’t make things clear and concise and if you don’t highlight all your skills, then you’re selling yourself short."

Producer Ginny Bing attended the Bristol CV event: “It was so useful to get a fresh perspective on my CV from Media Parents. We’ve all read our own CVs a million times but what came out of this event was that if you don’t make things clear and concise and if you don’t highlight all your skills, then you’re selling yourself short.”

Cardiff-based Production Coordinator Jess Gow said: “The Bristol CV Masterclass has inspired me to get my new and improved CV uploaded to Media Parents ASAP. The workshop was great because you don’t always see the glaringly obvious! It’s provided me with helpful practical examples and made me appreciate the importance of selling yourself. There were some great networking suggestions too.”

If you’d like to get a head start on your CV before the event, you can read Media Parents CV Tips here: http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/10/media-parents-cv-tips/

"Thank you for organising the Media Parents CV workshop, the session was excellent and gave me loads of great ideas" Melissa Bishop, AP / Researcher, Bristol & London

Our hosts, Clear Cut Group, comprising of three companies (Clear Cut Pictures, The Edit Store and Clear Motion) are renowned for providing highly creative post-production to a wide range of broadcasters. Offering full end-to-end post-production across four sites in London, plus location and regional services as needed, we offer 4K, HDR and SDR capabilities in bespoke solutions to deliver your content to screen.

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

@ 12:16 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Available now scripted director Peter Chipping

by Amy Walker

I was directing some actors on a large day-for-night fight scene near the seaside, writes Editor-turned-Director Peter Chipping. There was a problem. It was midday in summer, and not remotely dark.

Peter Chipping directing a real blue screen scene at Pinewood

One of the giveaways of shooting this style is revealing the sky. You need to disguise the horizon. In many old cowboy films you see clouds floating in a dark blue sky. A dead giveaway. It was going to be hard to convince an audience I was shooting at night. On a camera monitor the blue sky just looked like a big blue screen. Maybe a chroma-key screen? I figured I could key in another colour – like black – and suddenly my actors would look like they were lit by the “moon” running against a night sky. It worked too. The knowledge had been acquired many years previously as I had been an editor and knew some editing trickery.

Editors often muse on how to get out of being shackled to their edit suites.  One skill editors often learn is making a story out of hundreds of hours of footage. It’s a lot of organisation. With a bit of know-how, that organisation can be applied to crews and productions.

Director Peter Chipping in action

I had learnt to operate cameras at college and after various diversions into multi camera studio directing, I gravitated towards factual. My camera and editing skills would come in handy, as what I shot actually made it through the edit. One thing that’s not taught to editors is writing. So I attended lots of courses, but what I learnt were beat sheets, inciting incidents, act breaks, inner and outer arcs. I discovered most writing is aimed at drama, not factual, but a class from the Exec Producer of The Apprentice, Patrick Uden, plus much trial and error, paid off.

I also discovered the structure of factual is often similar to drama. You still need protagonists and they still need a challenge, something to affect them and a battle to the end. It needs to be interesting with lots of “surprises”, otherwise known as: being “dramatic”. Quite often the act breaks became commercial breaks, but all those funky things such as themes, motifs etc can be used too. I learnt many mainstream directors start in factual and cross over, and have crossed back too. The biggest obstacle was convincing execs I could do it. So I wrote and shot a bundle of short dramas films. That lead to some police re-enactment videos being commissioned for The Police Federation and eventually a TV commission of documentary flanked by some drama. Fortunately, the American style drama/docs had budgets that dictated people with multi skills. The police films led to true crime that led to serial killers (In the USA, UK & Germany) and eventually war, which included another major serial killer: Adolf Hitler.

I found dealing with actors was not taught to editors either, so I took the plunge and did an actor’s class and even a stand-up comedy class. The former was helpful for more drama-centric productions, while the latter allowed me to see the funny side of my journey.

Peter Chipping’s drama can be seen this year (2020) in 4 episodes of “Nazi Megastructures: America’s War” on Channel 4, plus two episodes of “Autopsy, the last hours of..” for Potato/ITV which airs in America on REELZ.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15880/peter-chipping

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk Media Parents' January event is a CV seminar in Bristol - see our watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk for details

January 1, 2020 @ 9:31 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles Comments Off

B2W mentor Jessica Sharkey

by Amy Walker

Jessica Sharkey, Joint Director of Production, Hat Trick

Jessica Sharkey, Joint Director of Production at Hat Trick has been working with Media Parents since 2010

A big thank you to Hat Trick’s Joint Director of Production, Jessica Sharkey, for mentoring Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Jessica Farrow, who has been working as a JPM since her return to work via Media Parents’ scheme.

Jessica Sharkey and Laura Djanogly oversee the whole range of programme output from the Hat Trick Group from initial development and budget negotiations, through production to delivery.

Jessica joined Hat Trick as Joint Head of Production in 2004, and has been jobsharing ever since, sharing her experience of job share for the benefit of Media Parents members. Hat Trick also considers job share and flexible working in all jobs listed on Media Parents. Prior to joining Hat Trick, Jessica was Production Executive at Alomo Productions, a role which followed 14 years in the freelance production world working in Drama, Comedy, Children’s and Documentary.

Jessica Farrow, B2W JPM

Since winning the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme in 2019 I’ve been JPM at Wild Blue Media, working on a 3-part documentary for Channel 4/Discovery about tribes in the Amazon.

Wild Blue have asked me stay to see this project through post, and also to help on another programme for Nat Geo until I go on mat leave at the end of March. Jessica Sharkey has very kindly agreed to stick with me longer term as a mentor, and suggested that our next meet up should be a month or so before I want to go back which will be this time next year, as I’ll be looking to return to work Jan 2021.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14788/jessica-farrow

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

@ 9:00 am Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents Christmas Drinks Gallery

by Amy Walker

Christmas Drinks with YouCanFreeUs charity at the RGS were a lot of fun. https://www.youcanfree.us/

Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy and Healthy Christmas, and a Prosperous 2020. We look forward to working with you next year, and hope to see you at one of our brilliant events. Here are some photos from this year’s Media Parents Drinks, and some highlights from the year too.

Back to Work Winner Scripted Director Candida Scott Knight celebrates her return to directing with PD Julia Rooke at the RGS drinks

In true Media Parents style, PD Clare Richards brought her mum along to Christmas Drinks - cheers!

Got to love this one! https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/collaborator/3533/sunita-shroff

The lovely team at www.take1.tv invited Media Parents freelancers along to Christmas Drinks in soho. Back to Work Winners PM Hannah Williams Lovell and PC Jenny Madalura are pictured here with Take1 Founder Dom Bourne - cheers Take1!

Hannah & Jenny with Take1 CEO Louise Tapia - cheers ladies!

Take 1's Marketing Manager Emma Kemp is hoping to run an event with Media Parents in the new year!

january 2019

Petal Felix (pictured here with Media Parents' Joanna Gretton at Back to Work Drinks) wrote for the blog asking TV to be more diverse in 2019: http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2019/01/5-minutes-with-petal-felix-on-diversity-in-tv/

January event: Maverick TV's HoP Maria French (pictured here with the jobsharing Edit Producer she employed through Media Parents) and Spelthorne TV's Jude Winstanley joined Media Parents' Amy Walker for a masterclass in Negotiating

February 2019

Ginny Bing, PD blogged about juggling TV, kids and property developing http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2019/02/5-minutes-with-ginny-bing-producer-directoredit-producer/

march 2019

We celebrated International Women's Day with a flexible working survey - we all want it and there are many ways we are doing it! We're delighted that flexible working has made it into the 2019 Queen's Speech

April 2019

Easter break.

May 2019

Thank you to sponsors Outline Productions and Films at 59, Christopher Hutchins, Rob and Jasmine at BBC Bristol Club, and Clare Adams for all their help at the Media Parents Bristol Flexible working event in May

June 2019

At our summer party BBC Scripted Head of Talent Jacqui Taunton Fenton (now at ScreenSkills) had a good laugh with BBC Children's Exec Ros Attille and freelancers http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2019/06/media-parents-summer-party-photos/ Thanks to ClearCut for hosting!

Hannah Williams, one of 2018's Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners blogged about her successful return to work at Merman http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2019/06/5-minutes-with-returning-pm-hannah-williams/ and PM Natalie Brook-Reynolds crossed over from theatre to TV http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2019/06/5-minutes-with-pm-natalie-brook-reynolds/

july 2019

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme applications opened. West Digital hosted Media Parents' job share event which resulted in Media Parents' Back to Work Winner Joanna Gretton finding a job share partner - and ultimately getting back to work as a job share!

August 2019

Media Parents five Back to Work Scheme Winners 2019 announced and head to Edinburgh. http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2019/08/ Thanks to Hat Trick and Raw TV for sponsoring the scheme this year.

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners Laura Martin-Robinson, Candida Scott Knight and Joanna Gretton

PC Kirsti Davidson returned to work on BBC2's Gone Fishing at Owl Power

Jess Farrow returned to work as a JPM at Wild Blue Media

september 2019

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme works in partnership with Edinburgh TV Festival which the returners attend to network and participate in TV industry events. Click here to read the Back to Work winners’ take on the festival.

Employers, returners and freelancers celebrated with Back to Work Drinks in September. Thanks to S+O Media for sponsoring, and ENVY for hosting.

october 2019

Mentoring for the Back to Work Scheme began in October. Media Parents would like to thank BBC Docs Commissioning Editor Emma Loach for mentoring Cardiff-based PD Laura Martin-Robinson; Piers Vellacott, MD at Raw TV for mentoring PC Kirsti Davidson; Jessica Sharkey, Hat Trick Director of Production for mentoring JPM Jess Farrow; Endemol Shine’s Director of Factual Kim Shillinglaw for mentoring Casting Producer Joanna Gretton; Exec Coach Sam Jukes-Adams for mentoring Scripted Director Candida Scott Knight.

BBC Commissioning Editor Emma Loach is kindly mentoring for Media Parents Back to Work Scheme

november 2019

Media Parents would like to thank Fremantle’s talent team Emily Gale and Jenny Spader for hosting a returners lunch supported by ITV, the BBC, The Garden Productions, Nutopia and Multistory. Click here to see more.

december 2019

Romesh Ranganathan & Celebrity Island Composer Stefan Fletcher wrote for Media Parents blog, as did PM Helen Landeau.

If you are a company or freelancer who would like to blog for Media Parents, or a company who would like to sponsor a Media Parents event in 2020 please contact us via the contact button above. Many thanks to everyone who has supported Media Parents in 2019 by attending or sponsoring events, and employing great Media Parents talent. We look forward to working with you in 2020.

Presenter Sunita Shroff with Media Parents Director Amy Walker, Scripted Director Peter Chipping and Editor Daren Tiley at YouCanFreeUs drinks at the RGS

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

December 23, 2019 @ 2:23 pm Posted in Events, News, TV Returners Comments Off

B2W mentor Piers Vellacott

by Amy Walker

Piers Vellacott, MD, Raw TV

A big thank you to Piers Vellacott, MD of RAW TV, one of the sponsors of this year’s Media Parents Back to Work Scheme for not only sponsoring but also mentoring. Having mentored Elena Mourey on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018, Piers has been mentoring returner Kirsti Davidson, who left as an AP and successfully returned as a PC in 2019 after a substantial break.

Piers himself left four years of law school and decided to become a television producer! He joined RAW in September 2008 having previously worked as a Producer and Line Producer on over 50 hours of television programming across a range of genres. He is as conversant in US production and business affairs as he is in Europe, and has been across over 500 hrs of programming whilst at RAW.

Kirsti Davidson, B2W Production Coordinator

I recently finished a full time two month Production Coordinator contract with Owl Power on Mortimer & Whitehouse Gone Fishing. We were working on three shoots for Series 3, with the remaining three to be shot next year. I really enjoyed the process of production and it was a small and friendly team.

It was a bit strange at first being a PC after my last job in TV was as an AP 12 years ago, but it was a really useful experience.

I’ve now taken more illustration work, so I’m not available until end of February / beg of March. I’m looking to find something part time in spring which would be more manageable for my family.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/16237/kirsti-davidson

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

@ 8:24 am Posted in News Comments Off

available now composer stefan fletcher

by Amy Walker

I am a freelance music composer for television, writes Stefan Fletcher, so far specialising in factual entertainment and documentaries, and I’m available now. I recently wrote the music for The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan (BBC2) and my credits and television placements include: Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls (Channel 4), Curiosity (BBC1), House of Extraordinary People (Channel 5) and 21 Kids and Counting (Channel 4), The Yorkshire Vet (ITV) and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (ITV). Click here to listen to my reel.

Composer Stefan Fletcher https://www.stefanfletchermusic.com/ Photo credit: Helena Dolby

I joined Media Parents because networking plays a crucial role in my line of work. Media Parents seems like an excellent platform to reach out to those in your industry.

I got into music through learning the guitar at an early age and eventually went on to study Creative Music Technology (BMus) at Surrey University, a course specifically designed for writing music to picture.

Stylistically, I am very diverse, ranging from minimal piano and orchestra (suitable for documentaries) to high-impact trailer music (appropriate for tension and ad campaigns.) Whilst I do specialise in factual entertainment and documentaries, my music experience has covered lots of other areas too including: adverts, orchestration, metadata, computer games, production, mixing and more.

I would love to connect with editors, edit producers, executive producers, directors – anyone who has a say when sourcing music for television, be it bespoke or library.

Stefan Fletcher. Photo credit: Helena Dolby

https://www.stefanfletchermusic.com/

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

December 20, 2019 @ 8:14 am Posted in News Comments Off

Showcasing PD Elena Andreicheva’s new film

by Amy Walker

I’m excited to invite you to a screening of my Oscar and BAFTA shortlisted film Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl) – it’s finally here in London! writes Media Parents PD Elena Andreicheva. Please join us this Friday, December 20th at 6pm, at The Cinema Museum in Kennington. There’ll be drinks and an informal reception, please RSVP as below, mentioning Media Parents.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/4966/elena-andreicheva

PD Elena Andreicheva (left) at Media Parents Summer Party

Elena will be available in February 2020: https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/4966/elena-andreicheva

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

December 18, 2019 @ 8:00 am Posted in Events, Freelancer Profiles Comments Off