Congratulations to the six Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme entrants who have won hotly contested places to the Edinburgh TV Festival and mentoring from the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channel, Channel 5, Endemol, Raise the Roof Productions, Shine Group and Media Parents. They will be tweeting and blogging from the TV Festival, and here they are…
Kumari Salgado, Script Editor & Drama Development Executive
I am a single mixed race parent of a 10 year old boy. I had a successful career in TV drama where I worked my way up from the position of receptionist in an indie to development assistant, development executive, script editor, Head of Development, producer and executive producer. I worked mainly for indies, where I developed a number of successful TV dramas such as Sirens, Goodbye Mr Chips and Can’t Buy Me Love. I produced Can’t Buy Me Love when my son was six months old.
In 2013, after almost 5 years out of TV, I worked as a temporary script editor on Holby City covering another employee’s maternity leave. However, this was only 12 weeks’ work. Since that time I have worked as a freelance script reader for BBC Films and BBC Wales. However, while this gives me flexibility with my time it is extremely low paid, unreliable and sporadic work and I feel that I am not working to my full potential. I would very much like to find my way back into full employment in TV where I can make the most of my 15+ years’ of experience.
Anna Coane, Comedy & Entertainment Producer
In 2011 I took a year out to have my first child and when contemplating returning to work I felt ready for a new challenge – I have always loved editing and (with the help of a Media Parents event) I was delighted when my first job back was as an Edit Producer. I am now an experienced Edit Producer, have developed strong storytelling skills, and am comfortable cutting a variety of formats. I have managed to step between genres throughout my career – I have experience of comedy, scripted, entertainment, fact/ent and reality.
However I have always wanted to be a Producer. When I stopped work in August 2013 to have my second child, I had gained two Producer credits, so on returning to work this time (a year later) I’m really keen to gain much more producing experience, especially in comedy/entertainment, with a view to working towards becoming a Series Producer.
Rachel Tierney, Development Producer
I have extensive experience as a freelance TV producer and development producer, working for some of the UK’s most critically and commercially acclaimed production companies in the ten years up to taking maternity leave in August 2013. One of my most rewarding experiences has been working with Century Films’ Brian Hill to produce a Storyville documentary about childbirth. In 2011 I was embedded in maternity wards across the world, in Sierra Leone, Cambodia and the USA.
I’d dearly love this opportunity to address my current challenges by re- immersing myself in the latest industry knowledge and thinking, and by making connections with a peer group who are in a similar position – so that we can share ideas and build confidence together.
Radica Anikpe, broadcast journalist / Producer / AP
I am a fully loaded broadcaster without portfolio, waiting for my opportunity to be catapulted back through the doors of my beloved television. How so? I am an experienced producer with a background in national newspaper and magazine journalism, a top-class interviewer and a dab hand at both writing and dulcet-toning voice-overs. I have, if I may say so, a pretty impressive portfolio of work behind me: I was a teenage writer for the teenage press! I was producer at MTV! I’ve worked on the Brits AND the MOBOs! I have voiced programmes on Radio 4!
I am naturally entrepreneurial and am at my shining best in a small team with a sole goal in common. I am a cool-headed creative opportunist who genuinely loves television, almost as much as I love a deadline.
Clair Titley, Producer / Director
I started my career in documentaries as a researcher for Testimony Films in 2004 and have worked in production and development since then. I made the difficult leap from AP to Director in 2011, with a First Cut film for Channel 4. I completed the edit just five days before I gave birth to my daughter.
With good reviews, I was also nominated for the ‘RTS Bristol Futures Award for Outstanding New Director’. After a year out I took the plunge and returned to work full-time, as a PD. It was great to be working again (albeit still surrounded by babies!) but as the inevitable long production hours and six-day weeks grew, I struggled to spend time with my daughter. Since that contract finished earlier this year, I have been torn as to whether to return to the industry. I managed to secure a short contract working one day a week on an observational film, but in an AP, rather than PD role. I would love to continue in the industry as a PD in Bristol, but I worry that this might be an unrealistic ambition given my situation: I don’t want to return to work full-time again just yet and my daughter’s needs mean I will have to be more flexible.
Kate Smith Development Producer
I’ve had a successful and varied career as writer, producer, researcher and lecturer, including nearly nine years of production work in radio and television. In 2005, I gave up full-time work as a television producer, and started producing children.
Nine years and three small girls later, I’ve working part-time as a lecturer in television production, and very part time as a freelance development producer. However, I’ve just given up teaching to throw myself to the wolves of freelance work once more.
Here’s wishing all the Media Parents GEITF Back to Work scheme winners 2014 the very best of luck, please read more about them on the blog and via www.mediaparents.co.uk in the coming weeks. Thank you also to all those talented people who applied but didn’t get a place this time, hopefully we will see you at an event soon.