So it’s been just over 6 months since I came back into telly and wow has it been busy! writes Helen Landeau.
It was a bit unnerving at first as my last credit was 8 years ago and no-one wanted to know, but after reading Harriet Wallace’s Media Parents article I was determined, and more importantly, I remained positive that I would get work.
Then Teri Samson from Dot to Dot Productions gave me the opportunity to do the paperwork for Series 1 of ‘Art Ninja’ (CBBC). It felt like I hadn’t been away and fell straight back into it but was a bit under pressure as I wanted to do a good job. I must’ve done because they asked me to do their paperwork again!
I attended an event in November at the BBC whereby they offered CV clinics with Talent Managers. Amy Walker was there championing Media Parents so I subsequently applied for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme too – and got a place! I met Elsa Sharpe (Talent Manager, BBC Documentaries) and she suggested that I spoke with her colleague, Louise Heaton (Talent Co-ordinator, Factual Department) who oversees Production Co-ordinators. Before I knew it, I was having an interview with her. Somehow, she already had my CV and was going to call me!
A week later, I had an interview with Gezz Mounter, Production Manager for ‘Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners’ and hey presto – started in December. I was due to finish in February but kept getting extended and finally left in March. I had a great time on this.
Following on from then, I was headhunted by Studio Lambert and unfortunately didn’t get the job but was encouraged to keep in touch and have had several indie interests. I was looking for work afterwards and didn’t think to turn to Media Parents for help. An error I’ll never do again. Through the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Amy was fantastic in contacting various companies who offered me work but by that time, BBC Lifeline turned up (part-time role) and I’d signed on the dotted line.
I’ve been with Lifeline since March and in that time have learnt a lot! The team are also responsible for producing the DEC Appeals and I’ve never worked so hard in turning around an appeal for Nepal in 48hrs but I thoroughly enjoyed it. A new skill for me now is delivering on file.
MENTORING THROUGH MEDIA PARENTS
Amy has worked really hard in finding a suitable mentor for me on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme and she hit jackpot!
Katie Brewer-Frankl is a Production Executive who is very experienced. She was with Fresh One Productions for a long time and is now working for Little Gem – a start-up production company with Ben Gale.
Our first meeting was really enjoyable – Katie’s very supportive and encouraging. She even gave me the confidence to market myself as a Senior Production Co-ordinator which I’ve taken on board. I told Katie I wanted to experience PMI and SilverMouse and she’s organised training for me on these too.
I met with Katie again this month (May). Again, another productive meeting where we discussed my skillset, CV and how I should also market myself as a Junior Production Manager – after all, I’m the doing the role already but I just wasn’t aware of it! I’m getting the confidence to push the boundaries further and market myself in higher roles. I think I could do it but just needed that push to get out of my comfort zone.
I wasn’t sure what to expect in coming back to TV after such a long time but it’s the best thing I could’ve done. Let’s see what the next 6 months bring…