Media Parents

Monthly Archives: May 2012

5 minutes with… romy page edit producer / PD / SP

by Amy Walker

I’m a Series Producer, PD and Edit Producer – and work mostly in obs doc and factual. Over 15 years of working in the TV industry in London and internationally, I’ve worked across different genres: from current affairs to obsdoc to reality TV. I’ve filmed Lifeguards in Bali; Asimo the robot in Japan; and scientists working in the cocoa plantations of Brazil.

Producer Romy Page in Sydney, where she worked for eight years. Romy is in the TALENT section of www.mediaparents.co.uk

I’ve recently moved back to London after an 8 year stint working in Australia. I began my career in London – but packed my bags after 5 years to see what the rest of the world had to offer. It took me 8 years to return… but when you find yourself spending your days working on Bondi Beach filming an obs doc about the Bondi Lifeguards in 30 degree sunshine, where’s the hurry to leave??

When I arrived in Australia, TV production wasn’t quite as slick as the rest of the world. Even now, mainstream news can be fairly insular. But I believe that Australian Production is now very strong, and there are many brilliant TV minds and creative talent out there. Production standards have risen and there are loads of great shows coming out of Australia. Australia has it’s own versions of the big formats: The Voice, X Factor, Australia’s Got Talent, The Biggest Loser, Dancing With The Stars, Masterchef. (Masterchef as a stripped show was devised in Australia of course). It has many big international hits like Bondi Rescue, Bondi Vet, Surf Patrol and many others. And many great productions like Go Back To Where You Came From.

The Australian TV industry is of course a smaller industry than the UK, but then it’s a smaller country… in terms of population! I’d say one of the big differences in terms of TV production is that PDs tend to shoot with crews still rather than being self shooters. There are of course some excellent self shooters in Australia and they are being used more and more as time goes on. But for now, it’s more usual to shoot with a crew. I’ve also found that the PD role is generally split into ‘Field Producers’ and ‘Edit Producers’. Sometimes there’s the luxury of filming a show and taking it through post, but often with tighter schedules those roles on a production are split. Also some of the terminology is a bit different – and I’ve had to translate exactly what I mean in the Edit when I talk about ‘grabs’ instead of ‘interviews’.

Romy Page directing on location in Australia. Romy Page is in the TALENT section of www.mediaparents.co.uk http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/2815/romy-page

Since being back, I’ve had to make new contacts and work to get a foot in the door back in to the UK industry which I’m slowly managing to do. Media Parents was a brilliant find for me, and it’s through this site that I got the job on Worlds Scariest Series Two.

As Edit Producer on World’s Scariest Animal Attacks, I took up the mantle from Director Zoe Fryer who had done a brilliant job at PD-ing this show. An invaluable week’s prep time prior to the edit meant I had an in depth handover with Zoe Fryer and AP Jon Hancock, time to get to know the ins and outs of the show, and time to write edit scripts for four of the ten stories in first draft form. I also managed to pick the brains of the other very talented PDs who had worked on the first series, so I was as prepared as I could possibly be stepping in to the edit.

Going in to the edit, it always takes a few days to fall into a rhythm of how you work with a new editor. But working with Editor Rich Cone was an absolute pleasure. We immediately found a way to structure our days, rough cut a story per day – and have a good laugh while we did it. We then had time to refine – and hopefully you’ll agree make a great show!

I had a great time working on World’s Scariest, with such an incredible team. I hope the opportunity comes up again. In the meantime, I’m looking for work, so do get in touch if you need a producer with a slight Australian twang…

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/2815/romy-page

Producer Romy Page who is in the TALENT section of Media Parents

See www.mediaparents.co.uk for great networking, talent, jobs and information. To join us please go to www.mediaparents.co.uk

May 12, 2012 @ 11:45 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with… Jill Robertson, drama director / producer

by Amy Walker

Media Parents drama director Jill Robertson’s new episode of the series Lip Service TXes on BBC3 TONIGHT at 9pm and next two weeks with series finale on the 25th!

Drama Director and Producer Jill Robertson can be found in the TALENT section of www.mediaparents.co.uk http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/1068/jill-robertson

A BAFTA nominated director and award-winning filmmaker, Jill Robertson has directed over 60 hours of TV drama including WATERLOO ROAD, CASUALTY, ROMAN MYSTERIES, MISSING and TRACY BEAKER.
Her background in production and development on movies including TRAINSPOTTING, A LIFE LESS ORDINARY, TWIN TOWN and the BEACH.  She co-produced the award-winning feature, 27 MISSING KISSES, (opening Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight), and Sky Movies feature TUBE TALES.
Significant script and story editing experience working with studios including BUENA VISTA and FINE LINE.
Directed/produced six short films including THE PIANO TUNER featuring Hugh Laurie, TERRIBLE KISSES with Jack Davenport, THE SUICIDAL DOG directed by Paul Merton and the multi-award and SIlver Bear winning DESSERTS featuring Ewan McGregor.  Jill trained at NFTS.
http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/1068/jill-robertson

See www.mediaparents.co.uk for great networking, talent, jobs and information. To contact anyone on the Media Parents blog please go to the NETWORK part of the Media Parents site. To join us please go to www.mediaparents.co.uk

May 11, 2012 @ 2:32 pm Posted in News Leave a comment

MyStreet Film Competition 2012

by Amy Walker

Media Parents networker Gladys San Juan produced this short film on Penge for the MyStreet Film competition.  http://www.mystreetfilms.com/#/films/watch/532 Applications are still open, details are below.

MyStreet is an exciting opportunity for you to tell your story about your area, through film. Share with the world where you are, who you are and how you live. To enter the competition simply upload your video (1 to 10min. long) at www.mystreetfilms.com by 22nd May 2012.

Take inspiration from our brand new trailer http://www.mystreetfilms.com/#/films/watch/462
What will happen next?
1.  We will review your film, send you a submission confirmation and your film will appear on our site.
2. The 10 best documentaries will be screened at Open City Docs Fest from the 21st- 24th June 2012

3.  At the festival the shortlist will be judged by the Open City Grand Jury, chaired by Nicolas Philibert.

First prize this year is £500 cash For our second prize winner there is a set of state-of-the-art Steady Wings as well as the enviable opportunity of a one-on-one film consultation with award-winning film maker and juror Marc Isaacs. Our third prize winner will receive a tour of the ITV Newsroom with ex-Editor and Chief David Mannion as well as an ipod doc made by Soundfreaq http://soundfreaq.com/SFQ-02RB_Features.htm. All three winners will also receive membership of Shooting people and a subscription to Little White Lies magazine.
We’re looking forward to watching your MyStreet film and hearing what you have to say.
More about Open City Docs Fest here: www.opencitylondon.com

Get involved and spread the word.

See www.mediaparents.co.uk for great networking, talent, jobs and information. To contact anyone on the Media Parents blog please go to the NETWORK part of the Media Parents site. To join us please go to www.mediaparents.co.uk

@ 2:18 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Five Minutes with… Jules Seymour, PD

by Amy Walker

Jules lives in Shepherds Bush with his wife and has two daughters aged ten and seven. He is in the TALENT section of www.mediaparents.co.uk

After directing World’s Scariest Near Misses for Series One,  through Media Parents for Mentorn Media, I was delighted to be invited back to work on Series Two.  The film I made, World’s Scariest Weather, TXes this Thursday 10th May at 8pm on Channel 5.  Making it took me into a world of tornados, dust storms and flash floods.  

Because of the nature of the subject matter - UGC (user generated content) on weather – there was a huge amount of material out there, but getting hold of the combination of footage, interview and story,  proved to be difficult.  Extreme Weather is a competitive area, and finding original stories and footage we could afford wasn’t easy.  Luckily I worked with a very talented team:   Researcher Sophia Lightfoot tirelessly chased clips and stories, AP Faye Gilbert (also from Media Parents) added her shooting and directing skills, and Alison Hunt seamlessly put it all together in the edit. 

We ended up with a set of strong stories and heart stopping footage featuring some of the most visceral and damaging weather events ever captured, plus Japan’s worst natural disaster, last year’s tsunami. 

Sophia managed to track down a fantastic and untold  story of a couple who survived  a devastating Tornado that hit Joplin, U.S.A.  Producer/Director Jim Shreim shot a great interview with the couple involved which brought the drama and horror of the event to life.  It shows how we all had to work well as a team and trust each other in order to complete a demanding world-wide filming schedule in a short space of time.

After a short break I’m about to embark on something completely different - a  Celebrity Antiques Road Trip for BBC2. Diversity is the spice of life, and in many ways this is what makes production work so attractive, it’s good to be faced with a whole new set of challenges. I’m sure it will be a whirlwind trip and very busy but I’ve worked with some of the team before and feel confident that we’ll be able to pull it off. 

It’ll take me away from home for most of the eight week shoot, but I’ll be back in time for the family summer holiday to Cornwall, where hopefully the Weather won’t be anything like the sort I’ve been witnessing over the last few months!

Jules Seymour is a PD in the TALENT section of www.mediaparents.co.uk

May 9, 2012 @ 11:57 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with… Jamie Matson PD / Edit producer

by Amy Walker

I’ve been a PD for over twelve years, working on a wide range of different productions from ob-doc to archive, and I’ve filmed in variety of different locations from fishing boats to prison cells.  A personal highlight was following the “puppy police” as they deliver justice to the animal mistreaters of the Bronx.  

Jamie Matson (not pictured) is in the TALENT section of www.mediaparents.co.uk He lives with his family in West Cornwall, but works all over the UK.

After many years as a typical production nomad, with stints in London, new York and Liverpool, 4 years ago I decided with my family to move to west Cornwall. My six year old daughter now wouldn’t want to leave and while maintaining a career in what is a very London centric industry requires a bit of juggling, the promise of good surf and even better pasties makes it all worthwhile.  

I’m relatively new to media parents but the idea of short term contracts and flexible work patterns fits with my own lifestyle.

Jamie Matson's latest production TXes tonight on Channel Five at 8pm.

The first series of World’s Greatest/Scariest was my first job through Media Parents.  I edit produced World’s Greatest Daredevils in series 1 and enjoyed it so much I was very happy to return as PD on World’s Scariest Flights in Series 2 following its immediate recommission.

A second series brings with it a fresh set of challenges.  The format and shape of the series has been bedded down, but the bar has been raised interms of the quality and strength of the stories featured. Several weeks of searching through the archives for just the right content was to follow, searching through hours of aviation accidents as a few themes began to emerge, and if the main message coming though as this stage was to avoid flying on second hand Russian cargo planes in tropical storms then that at least was something…
 
It’s a demanding and complex series, with four episodes shot on three continents, and it requires a large amount of cross over and trust between the teams of PDs and APs.  My own episode featured material shot in Florida, New york, Michigan,  Amsterdam, London and Tokyo by five different PDs (Media Parents talent Zoe Fryer, Jim Shreim, Phil Broadhurst and Jules Seymour)  but, thanks to the close collaboration between teams, it all cut together seamlessly. 

All I had to do now was not to let the material itself turn me into a nervous flyer and all would be well.  The inference of our show is that despite the high drama and jeopardy of the incidents we feature there’s always some chance for survival.  It’s a reassuring message, in amongst the screams and explosions of the material I had been viewing and editing, so I was able to sit back and enjoy my daytrip to Amsterdam to interview the survivors of a hot air balloon crash. Though I did have my camera phone ready, just in case… 
 
It was an enjoyable, and enlightening, series to work on.  I hope you enjoy watching it, and remember, please pay attention to the inflight safety briefing.

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/2904/jamie-matson

See www.mediaparents.co.uk for great networking, talent, jobs and information. To contact anyone on the Media Parents blog please go to the NETWORK part of the Media Parents site. To join us please go to www.mediaparents.co.uk

May 3, 2012 @ 2:10 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with… Phil Broadhurst PD/camera op

by Amy Walker

Phil Broadhurst, PD and Camera Operator writes about his latest job through Media Parents, reversioning a new programme for Discovery and shooting for World’s Scariest Flights which TXes tomorrow night at 8pm on Channel 5.

Phil Broadhurst filming on location. Phil is in the TALENT section of www.mediaparents.co.uk

I have been working as a director/cameraman on specialist factual and natural history documentaries for over 10 years. Always keen to gain more edit experience, my first job with Mentorn Media (via Media Parents) was as PD reversioning World’s Scariest Plane Landings, originally shown on Channel 5, for Discovery USA. (Originally produced and directed by Eoin O’Shea). Already a tight show, crammed full of aviation incidents, the brief was to ramp things up for a US audience – specifically to replace some of the British voices with American contributors, and generally up the jeopardy stakes.

While shooting the replacement interviews in the US, we were able to pick up further stories for World’s Scariest Flights (series 2 – Thurs 3rd May, 8pm, C5), working to brief from the other production team. After taking the reversion through an intense 7 day offline edit, the production team for series 2 asked me back to shoot a further week of interviews for World’s Scariest Flights, Animals and Weather. Another full-on week filming across New York, Michigan and Florida, and again working to briefs from 3 separate production teams.

The whole team at Mentorn were a pleasure to work with and I’m really looking forward to seeing the new shows starting tomorrow. The support I’ve received from Media Parents too has been relentless!!

www.fishfilms.co.uk  http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/327/phil-broadhurst

See www.mediaparents.co.uk for great networking, talent, jobs and information. To contact anyone on the Media Parents blog please go to the NETWORK part of the Media Parents site. To join us please go to www.mediaparents.co.uk

May 2, 2012 @ 4:31 pm Posted in News Comments Off