Media Parents

Monthly Archives: November 2013

5 more Minutes with… Lauren Pushkin: Producer Director / Editor

by Amy Walker

The last two years have been the most challenging yet the most rewarding of my career, writes Lauren Pushkin, a Producer Director and Editor in the Media Parents Talent section.

Lauren Pushkin Director Producer Editor with her son Jacob. http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/605/lauren-pushkin

After having my son Jacob in 2010 I came up with an idea for a TV series about what it was truly like to become a parent. I felt there was nothing really out there that looked at expectations vs reality and wanted the story to be told. With fellow PD, and fellow mum, Melissa Cortizo we decided to take all of the experience we had gained over the years in the industry to develop our own series. And so we invested a lot of time, money and passion into our project: ‘Becoming Mum’. In fact that’s a story in itself that’s on the Media Parents blog.

Some of the cast of Lauren Pushkin's series Becoming Mum, due to TX on Sky early next year.

After a year of development we cut together a taster tape which we were really proud of. Then we found the brilliant Executive Producer Gaby Koppel on Media Parents who would help us get it commissioned. Gaby fell in love with our concept and together we took it around to the broadcasters. We managed to meet with C4, BBC3, ITV, C5 and Sky, all who were very enthusiastic and wowed by the project. We ended up with two very different offers on the table and we decided to go with Sky who commissioned a 6 x 1hour series called ‘Becoming Mum and Dad’. (WT)

That’s when the fun really began! Melissa and I became co-producers in the series and joined forces with Spun Gold TV who I had worked with in the past. We spent the next few months driving up and down the country searching high and low for contributors. We would shoot potential contributors, edit casting tapes, attend baby groups and pre-natal classes, or stand in the freezing cold outside hospitals to find the perfect contributor. All the time we were casting we were also co-producing, putting together the rest of our team, looking for deals on equipment, testing cameras, helping with schedules. And of course somewhere in between we were parents and wives too!

Lauren Pushkin with co-creator Melissa Cortizo (right) http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/7633/melissa-cortizo

We lost a few contributors along the way, mainly because their babies came earlier than expected, but I ended up with two lovely couples. One couple were based in the bright lights of Brighton and the other, closer to home, in Windsor. These couples I have been filming now for one year. I have filmed the birth of their babies, seen them struggle with sleep deprivation, anxiety, stress, lack of support, and even filmed one of these couples’ relationships reach breaking point.  On the other hand I have also captured the most amazing joy and wonder, that only a new baby could bring. Because of the subject matter of our series, we were plunged into a sensitive and hormonal environment. The challenge I most enjoyed as a PD was that we had to adapt. Especially in the early months, we couldn’t just go in each day and know what we were filming, however much we planned, because stories were developing before our very eyes. Whether that be problems and feelings of failure from not being able to breastfeed, illness developing with baby or mum, or relationship breakdowns because life had changed so much. One of my contributors even ended up giving up her dog who she had raised and loved from a puppy. He made her anxious when near the baby. I loved shooting this series because both my couples welcomed me into their lives, they opened up to me and were honest and true. And aside of being a PD who was always trying to capture great stories, great scenes and great synch, I hope I was a support to my contributors too just by being there and experiencing everything with them.

As I have been an editor for 12 years I progressed to the edit. At the moment I am just finishing the 5th episode with the exec. It is lovely seeing it all come together. The tone and style of the series has changed along the way, and ideas have both faded and evolved throughout the long shooting and editing period. For me this has been a great learning curve. And like our contributors I have had to grapple with expectations Vs reality. My baby was my idea, and I have had to watch it take on its own shape and form along the way. It is not the series I set out to make, but it has a certain charm, and I have been there from the beginning to the end and I am excited to see it when it is broadcast in early 2014 on Sky.

After two long years, I am finishing the series this week and looking forward to getting my teeth into new and exciting projects whether that be as producer/director, editor or both.

To read the first part of our adventure  click here: http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2011/07/5-minutes-with-lauren-pushkin-director-editor/

The next Media Parents event is our London Tech Catch Up on November 28th, then our Christmas Party in December. For networking, jobs and great events please join www.mediaparents.co.uk

November 17, 2013 @ 12:08 am Posted in News Leave a comment

FREE interactive storytelling event in Manchester APPLY by Nov 18th

by Amy Walker

RIDERS Interactive Storytelling event + workshop

Nov 25th 2013 in Manchester  - please contact via email below if you wish to attend this event by Monday November 18th to secure a place. The event is FREE and up to £100 travel expenses per person paid. Membership is also free.

The next Media Parents event is our London Tech Catch Up on November 28th, then our Christmas Party in December. For networking, jobs and great events please join www.mediaparents.co.uk

Call for members: Final Riders event of the year, focusing on ‘Creative Reading Writing and Film in

Interactive Digital Storytelling…’

VENUE: Madlab Digital Laboratory, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN

TIME: 10 – 4.30pm

TRAVEL EXPENSES: members travel reimbursed up to the cost of £100.

AGENDA:     SPEAKERS – TALKS – WORKSHOP

10.00 – 10.30          REGISTRATION

10.30 – 11.30          CHRISTINE WILKS:   Thinking outside The Textbox

In a dynamic digital medium, onscreen text is free to be expressive on multiple levels. As reader-players, we process the content of the text, the meaning of the words, and we simultaneously process text as visual material, yet this modality tends to be underexploited in many text-based playable narrative forms.  This talk will explore some of the ways text might be used more expressively in the service of storytelling.

11.30 – 12.30          OLIVER CASE:   The Never Ending Story

Investigating Collective Cinematics using mobile video. Here we explore story as a collective experience and ask how digital technologies might evolve cinema through participation and reflection. Drawing on concepts ranging from Greek comedy to Zen Buddhism, the lecture explores the elements of Story in everyday life and asked how we can facilitate new forms of cinematic narrative in a digitally connected society.

12.30 – 13.30          LUNCH

13.30 – 14.20          DANIEL KUDENKO:   What Artificial Intelligence can do, & what it can’t

A presentation describing AI technology from a very general perspective, that may shed a light on strengths and limitations. This talk will explore the consequences of these limitations for interactive storytelling, followed by a discussion on how experts in creative writing and storytelling could help to improve AI.

14.20 – 16.20          NATHAN JONES:   Stories As Dark Data – Workshop

2 hour hands-on workshop examining what an existing story can become, mutating it across mediums and running it through automations and human-digital cyborg readings – noting and playing with the interchangability of number, image, language, process, calculation, clue, puzzle and poem.

An introduction will bring in a range of ideas, from Edgar Allen Poe’s explorations of Cryptograms and Secret Writing, to the children’s-book-cum-treasure-map Masquerade, and recent work by Tim Etchells, translating Conrad’s Heart of Darkness through text, image and musical score.

After this, participants will develop a suite of tools for ‘running’ (with) a story across human-computer interface, and produce a playful collaborative publication exhibiting the results.

16.20 – 16.30      CLOSURE

More information on the speakers can be found on the members section of the website: www.riders-project.net/members

RIDERS is an EPSRC funded network bringing together researchers & industry professionals working in IS through regular events – see the website for more information on joining: www.riders-project.net

Please contact Vivienne at v.m.macdonald@hw.ac.uk if you wish to attend this event by Monday November 18th to secure a place.

The next Media Parents event is our London Tech Catch Up on November 28th, then our Christmas Party in December. For networking, jobs and great events please join www.mediaparents.co.uk

November 16, 2013 @ 2:29 pm Posted in News Comments Off

media parents at BBC Cymru

by Amy Walker

Wow FastTrain at BBC Wales was amazing – an incredible line-up of free training for freelancers and BBC staff. Media Parents was represented by Amy Walker and Helen Matthews who spent the afternoon in CV surgery. Here are some photos, and some CV tips – there are more tips here: http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2013/10/media-parents-cv-tips-from-the-cv-event/

A top CV tip from Helen Matthews (pictured) is to tailor your CV to the job you're applying for, making sure that your relevant experience shouts loud and clear, both on the CV and in your cover letter.

Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for, making sure that your relevant experience shouts loud and clear, both on the CV and in your cover letter.

Great to see a working mum back in the saddle! betty Executive Producer Vicky Hamburger at FastTrain.

make your cv easy to read – no smaller than font size 12.

BECTU / Cult Cymru team CV tip #1: "Make your CV easy to read, no smaller than font size 12."

use words from the job ad in your covering letter – that way you can demonstrate how relevant your experience is.

Media Parents TALENT Karen Hoy gets CV tips from Helen Matthews: "Use words from the job spec in your cover letter". http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/3131/karen-hoy

companies often like to see information presented in different ways on a CV – so you should use the search function top right on this blog to search CV tips and company names.

Amy Walker in the Media Parents Cardiff office: "Companies often like to see information presented in different ways on a CV - so you should use the search function top right on this blog to search CV tips and company names."

putting a face to a name can clinch a job offer for you – so get out there and network every chance you get!

Series Producer Ceri Rowlands knows the value of networking through Media Parents. Ceri is in the TALENT section of www.mediaparents.co.uk http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/6763/ceri-rowlands

always spell check your cv! a spelling mistake can sit on a CV for years if you aren’t eagle-eyed.

Huge thanks to BECTU for sponsoring Media Parents in Cardiff. BECTU CV tip # 2: "Always spell check your CV!"

thanks to Donna Taberer and her team for organising a fantastic day.

thanks to Donna Taberer and her team for organising a fantastic day at FastTrain. The next Media Parents event is a Tech Catch Up on November 28th. Scroll down this blog for details or email us through www.mediaparents.co.uk

The next Media Parents event is our London Tech Catch Up on November 28th, then our Christmas Party in December. For networking, jobs and great events please join www.mediaparents.co.uk

tidy!

November 7, 2013 @ 11:15 pm Posted in News Comments Off

technical catch up November 28th

by Amy Walker

Pro Motion and Media Parents have joined forces to offer a technical refresher course for industry professionals who are returning to work, after maternity or paternity leave, or who would just benefit from a technical refresher.  Our next one is on Thursday 28th November in Vauxhall, see below to book a place.

Promotion Hire's Alain took questions from the floor throughout the demonstrations in January. Here Bella Barr interjects on the tech spec she is asked to deliver at ITN. Media Parents' next event is a Technical Catch Up in London on Nov 28th. Please see the watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk for more details.

The session will include up to date information on accepted broadcaster formats, new advances in technology and much more!  There will be networking opportunities as well as a chance to get hands on with the industry’s current ‘most popular’ line up of cameras and a host of personnel to field any questions.     The three cameras we will be looking at cover a diverse range of genres and shooting styles, ranging from Full Feature raw shooting, to budget digital Super 16mm HD acquisition, to high end factual ent / ob docs.

HoP Susie Dark from Outline (right) attended the previous event, along with HoPs, Production Managers, and shooters looking to refresh their knowledge.

The Sony PMW-F55 exploded onto the market as a supremely diverse Super35mm camera covering everything from broadcast spec and higher HD, to 2K and 4K (in both compressed and raw formats) at a price point that makes it attractive to a very wide audience.   The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has been touted as the “super GoPro”; a £700 full HD camera recording to ProRess HQ (as well as cineRAW in the future) with a Super16mm high dynamic range sensor, all in the incredibly compact form factor of a “point and shoot” camera. Not the camera for everyone, but at a third of the price of a 5Dmk3 with proper video functionality, it is fast becoming the “low profile” camera of choice.   The Sony PMW-300 has just been released as the broadcast HD spec successor to the EX3 and the follow up to the hugely successful PMW200 released this time last year. Boasting interchangeable lenses, integrated shoulder mount, and loupe viewfinder, it will be interesting to see if this camera is taken up with the same sort of gusto as the EX3 was.

This event will be hosted in a very relaxed and informal environment, lasting approximately 2 hours, from 5 – 7pm. To reserve a ticket please see the watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk or email events@mediaparents.co.uk

Promotion Hire's Caroline Bingham at the Technical Catch Up in January. Media Parents' next event is a Technical Catch Up in London on Nov 28th. Babies in arms are welcome.

The next Media Parents event is our London Tech Catch Up on November 28th, then our Christmas Party in December. For networking, jobs and great events please join www.mediaparents.co.uk

@ 7:38 am Posted in News Comments Off

TXing today : The Story of the Swastika Sunday 3rd November 13:15 BBC One

by Amy Walker

If you’re about, please watch, The Story of the Swastika Sunday 3rd November 13:15 BBC One. I was an AP on this and got the job through Media Parents! writes Hina Zaidi http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/5150/hina-zaidi

Hina Zaidi, AP. http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/5150/hina-zaidi

Hina worked flexibly on this production!

The next Media Parents event is a CV Surgery at the BBC FastTrain event in Cardiff on November 7th. Then our London Tech Catch Up on November 28th. For networking, jobs and great events please join www.mediaparents.co.uk

November 2, 2013 @ 2:32 pm Posted in News Leave a comment