Why did I think having children would be the end of the line for working in broadcast? I can’t answer that, I just did. After 13 years of working with presenters on location, spending hours in the cutting room, hanging contestants from helicopters, placing cameras in every possible place and interviewing and meeting dozens and dozens of contributors, I shifted into corporate and charity work. It felt like the zeitgeist had moved on from me.
I wish there was a fitting translation for the word zeitgeist. A moment in time when everything is brilliant, the coming together of all our hopes and dreams and then amplified beyond our hopes.
I continued to write, shoot and edit. I even directed a multi-camera music DVD at the Dominion Theatre and flew to Kenya, India and South Africa filming projects for a global charity. I also started a craft and gift market and organised a Health, Beauty and Fitness charity fundraising fair. My time management skills became well-oiled, juggling working around the kids. But something was still missing, something not quite right.
It was not until a few @lorettalikes twitter DM’s with a friend that I took the plunge and started the process of returning to broadcast. My friend tweeted: “Man Up, you’ve had kids, not a lobotomy”. The gauntlet was down. I set about the search for work with new skills acquired from motherhood: being a mother teaches you to enjoy every moment whilst it lasts, do what you love and be very very flexible.
With no family in the UK my husband and I decided to hire a full time live in au pair to look after the children to give me the freedom to shoot overseas for a few weeks at a time, take a last minute role or stay late to finish an edit without feeling guilty or be stressed about leaving on time. A great plan, but I just needed a job to pay for it!
Fortunately I got my first returning TV job by following @MediaParents on twitter. I joined the Media Parents site and less than 10 days after signing up, I had two interviews and the au pair had a start date, now I just needed that phone call.
Mentorn were the first to call to say they would like me to join a team on a pilot for Channel 4. I admit that I did jump up and down a little (albeit quietly in public) but I was relieved. I was also chuffed and then a little bit sick, the kind of butterflies you get with a positive result on a pregnancy test. You know that you want it – but now it’s real.
It was a whirlwind seven days at Mentorn, my office days, aka meetings and location searching went fast. I was nervous on the first shoot day as I was no longer used to having people around, but there was no need to be as the team were amazing. My camera arm got a good work out plus coffee and food were always on hand.By the last day of the shoot I could feel that the past had not forgotten me and was starting to breathe new life.
I’m now looking to put my 13 years experience into gaining more experience edit producing and AP self-shooting. l would also like to work more in development and am keen to pitch my ideas – so if you want to hear them, let me know.