Monthly Archives: November 2011
“Television needs more understanding, flexible employers!” says Peter Bazalgette, with characteristic gusto. “If you want great people to work for you when they’re bringing up kids then it can be easily done, but employers need to be understanding and flexible, and that needs to be a part of company culture.” It’s a shift that needs to come from within, not be legislated for, Baz thinks. “The media is what it is – flexibility is less a matter of law, and more about the culture – you can’t establish a culture with a law.” So the choice to be flexible employers is very much in our hands, and within our capabilities, writes Amy Walker.
I’ve known Peter Bazalgette since 1996 when he gave me my first job in TV as his assistant at Bazal, and then Endemol. Baz, like many influential TV execs, has been a staunchly reassuring supporter of Media Parents since its inception. He has seen the need for and the benefits of, cultural change in TV. Being a parent to two children didn’t affect his media career, but his wife Hilary gave up her career as a sollicitor to bring up their family. The Bazalgette children haven’t followed their parents’ career paths though, “I don’t get this thing about following in your parents’ footsteps – my father was in the City and I never wanted to do that. Children who follow their parents never find their own feet.”
Like or not the way he’s influenced television, Peter Bazalgette’s career has been flexible in its variety, as the biog below demonstrates, and now he’s branching out again with a book about Egon Ronay, the late gastronome. “I met him when I was producing Food and Drink… we went for a fairly unimpressive lunch on Park Lane somewhere and I commissioned him to do a series of films for us… He was a human dynamo, a duellist by nature, always fighting a cause” recalls Baz. They became friends: “The Sunday Times described him as ‘a small Hungarian with a hairstyle like a budgerigar’”, he laughs. “Twelve of us who knew the old devil [amongst them Michael Winner and Nick Ross] contributed essays about his life… There is brilliant early 20th century testimony on what it was like to grow up in Hungary before the war, the story of his secret marriage to a Catholic heiress, life as a Jew under the Nazi occupation of Germany – more than a lifetime lived before he came to the UK at 31 and started again over here.”
Whilst Baz may never have needed to start again, he has always moved on from what went before, and acknowledges that there is always something to learn. “Learning how to publish has been an education for an old fart like me, ‘Egon Ronay – The Man Who Taught Britain How to Eat’ has taken eight months to publish.”
I ask him what his greatest achievement has been and am gently ticked off for pushing him to be self-regarding. “Making facts as entertaining as possible,” he says grudgingly, “Changing Rooms is my favourite programme of all of them – it was revolutionary in its content and form, and became a hit in the US where it’s still on. It was only on here for six years but was getting 12 million viewers in its peak – extraordinary”.
So what of the future? “The next big thing for television – and it is a revolution – is connected TV. Nearly every TV set currently being sold can be connected to the net. Anything else that you’re consuming online through your computer will soon be consumed through your TV set, and what will that mean for established channels and the business of TV? My greatest concern is that there should still be business models that continue to put money into premium content, which we currently fund through advertisements, the BBC licence fee or subscription models. Looking ahead ten years we may lose these.”
Technological developments over the next few years — advances that promise an exciting and challenging time for TV companies — need to be accompanied by a parallel shift in the attitudes of executives to their staff. Skilled media professionals with a wealth of experience are leaving TV because of the difficulties of balancing work and family life. The TV industry needs to make sure this valuable resource and variety is not lost. After all, companies are going to need all the help they can get as the digital revolution increases competition within the sector. Thankfully diversity has always been good for survival.
Baz is taking part in a BAFTA debate ‘My BBC in Ten Years’ Time’ to discuss this issue further. The event takes place at BAFTA this evening, Monday 21st November, so if your name’s not on the list for tonight’s Media Parents CV Tear-Up, use this link to book a ticket:
Peter Bazalgette is a media consultant and digital media investor. He is Chairman of MirriAd and a non-executive director of Base79, Nutopia, YouGov and DCMS. He advises two of Sony’s UK television divisions and is also a member of BBH’s Advisory Board.
From 2004-2007 Peter was Chief Creative Officer of Endemol. He has personally devised several internationally successful TV formats, such as Ready Steady Cook, Changing Rooms and Ground Force – he also brought Big Brother to the UK. Peter’s book about the business of TV formats, Billion Dollar Game, was published in 2005 and he is a former board member of Channel 4.
He also serves as Deputy Chairman of the English National Opera, President of the Royal Television Society and is a Trustee of Debate Mate. Peter studied at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge and graduated from Cambridge University.
The Media Parents CV Tear-Up is a great opportunity for freelancers to discuss with employers what’s working and what could work better on their production CVs. This time we’re also joined by Channel 4′s Glynn Ryland and Nina Bhagwat who can advise on CVs generally, and altering a CV to get work beyond production. Here are biogs for some of the employers attending the event, CV tips from these employers will be posted here after the event, and more can be found here : http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2011/11/media-parents-cv-tear-up-in-brighton/ Many thanks to all those who are giving their time for this event, and to Prime Focus for hosting.
Glynn Ryland, Industry Talent Advisor, Channel 4
Glynn is an award winning media professional with a broad film and television career of 17 years. Glynn has worked predominantly in international roles for Universal Studios Networks (Worldwide Creative Manager) and NBC (Creative Director) launching and branding TV channels globally as well as producing promotional campaigns for many UK broadcasters, including ITV, MTV and BBC.
Glynn created a media support scheme for disadvantaged young talent while working for the trade charity of the UK film and TV industry: The Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund. Glynn set up and ran the BBC’s volunteering scheme, placing BBC staff with charities on media-related projects, and now works as an Industry Talent Advisor for Channel 4, working with young people across the 4Talent portfolio.
Outside his media career Glynn is a property developer, film producer and a qualified NLP coach.
Naomi Carter, Head of Production, Mentorn Media
Naomi started her career as a production manager and worked extensively across the industry on a variety of genres including early reality series Survivor, before becoming a Head of Production for Planet 24 looking after The Big Breakfast.
Naomi was also a long serving Production Executive for Endemol UK where she was involved in the production of reality series such as The Salon, Celebrity Safari School and Big Brother before coming to work for Mentorn in 2009.
Steve Wynne, Joint MD, Rival Media
Steve Wynne is an award winning executive producer with over 15 years of production experience in television, radio and emerging technologies.
Steve’s career in the media started at the age of 15, when he became a presenter for his local ILR station in Wrexham, UK. His move from radio to television came in 1994 when he joined Orbit in Italy, where he produced over 200 hours of original music, kids and entertainment programming.
On return to the UK, Steve worked at Channel 5 and Buena Vista Television. In 1999 he became a producer of the phenomenally successful series SMTVand CD:UK, hosted by Ant & Dec and Cat Deeley. That year, the show won a RTS Award & two BAFTAs, setting a new standard for Saturday morning television.
In 2000 Steve was appointed Executive Producer at The Disney Channel. During his time at Disney, Steve produced the BAFTA Award winning show,The Disney Channel Kids Awards 2000 and the BAFTA Award winning seriesStar Ticket Active in 2003. In 2004 he was executive producer of another BAFTA nominated show, Madabout. He also notched up three further New York Festival Finalist Awards and was named a Broadcast ‘Hot Shot’.
In 2005, Steve joined Warner Brothers International Television as Director of Production. Whilst at Warner Brothers, he was responsible for the development, production and supervision of all Warner television formats created outside the US. He rolled out ABC’s The Bachelor internationally and was at the forefront of WB’s move into scripted formats such as Perfect Stranger’s, Suddenly Susan and Full House. He is now joint MD of Rival Media.
Nina Bhagwat, Training Manager, Think Bigger
Nina is an experienced Talent and Training Manager, with over ten
years’ experience in TV production. She is currently Training Manager
for thinkBIGGER!, working across Channel 4’s Production Trainee Scheme
and other career development initiatives.
With a background in
factual, she has experience of working across a broad range of
programmes and genres, from serious social documentary to
factual-entertainment. Since leaving production, Nina has worked as a Training / Talent Manager.
Helen Matthews, HR Consultant & Trainer
Helen Matthews is an accredited coach in career and management coaching, working independently as an HR Consultant and Trainer.
Helen was HR Director at Tiger Aspect from 2007 – 11, with overall responsibility for Tiger Aspect HR. She had previously worked at the BBC in various HR roles, leading the HR recruitment and freelance contracting teams across London programme making departments, including Drama, Entertainment, Children’s, Radio & Music, Television and Sport.
Prior to the BBC, Helen had worked at various independent companies and broadcasters, including Planet 24, ITN and deckchair.com in early 2000.
Sara Hill, Commercial Director of UK Broadcast, Prime Focus
Based at the Broadcast facility in London, Sara is responsible for bringing business into the company. Sara is an expert in the area of post production for longform television programmes and has a loyal and ever expanding network of clients built up over 18 years in the industry. As part of the senior management team, she works with her colleagues to ensure that the Prime Focus Broadcast division’s finishing solutions remain of the highest creative and technical quality. She also advises on sales and commercial strategy for the UK businesses and globally with the Prime Focus international facilities.
Amy Walker, Site Director, Media Parents
Amy Walker is an award-winning factual producer / director, series producer and development exec who runs Media Parents and continues to work in production.
Amy has developed, written and produced programmes for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and the major non-terrestrial channels for nearly 15 years. Her production career began at Channel 4 on Right to Reply, and since then Amy has worked across a variety of TV genres in five continents.
In 2010 Amy set up www.mediaparents.co.uk and believes that flexible working is the future of television.
Media Parents would like to thank Prime Focus for generously hosting the Media Parents CV Tear-Up.
Thanks to all those who came along to this evening’s CV tear-up at Madame Geisha’s in Brighton, what a lovely group of people swapping some great advice. Here’s some of it…
CV TIP #1: Make sure your CV is on two clearly laid out pages, with the most impressive jobs on page 1. Select your best jobs / credits and prune vigorously if necessary.
CV TIP #2: If there are gaps in your employment DON’T take the dates off your CV, demonstrate the skills you’ve learnt in your breaks.
Carl Simons’ CV TIP #3 : DON’T let your CV be a dull read – if it’s too dense and too detailed it’s a bore!
Carl Simons’ CV TIP #4 : You should research and tailor your CV for each job, not be too generic.
Carl Simons’ CV TIP #5 : Keep the dates on your CV, in reverse date order – without dates you just see a load of paragraphs.
Juliet Tzabar’s CV TIP #6 : Men say what they can do, women dwell on what they can’t! Have the confidence to sell your skills and experience!
Juliet Tzabar’s CV TIP #7 : Production CVs can be a list, so write a short mission statement.
Juliet Tzabar’s CV TIP #8 : Read the job description! We’ve just advertised a job (soon to be on Media Parents) and nobody read the job spec or responded to it!
Susan Tunstall’s CV TIP #9 : If you want to change roles your mission statement is really important. Make sure your mission statement is clear about where your experience lies or what your ideal job is. Use it to define your skillset.
Susan Tunstall CV TIP #10 : If you’re new to TV, don’t claim you have more experience than you do.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the Brighton event, let us know your feedback or questions for the next tear-up via www.mediaparents.co.uk
Execs and Talent Managers from the Endemol group met talent from www.mediaparents.co.uk in October. Here are some photos from the event, thank you to everyone who took part, all those from Endemol who gave their time and helped to organise the event, and to Hannah Smiles for taking these photographs.
more photos to follow.
Hannah Smiles is a London-based freelance photographer who recently shot the Endemol Meets Media Parents event. Hannah is an events photographer covering conferences and parties in and around London, and specialises in men’s fashion and portraiture. Hannah can be found in the NETWORK section of www.mediaparents.co.uk
Self-taught, Hannah has been taking photographs for five years and has worked for a variety of clients, including, Jaguar Magazine, Redwood Publishing, Royal Mail, InLondon magazine, Pepsico and De Beers.