Media Parents

5 more minutes with part time producer Sarah-Lee Jones

May 19, 2015 @ 10:41 am Posted in News Comments

Having received some really positive feedback on my blog which was featured on Media Parents in March, I decided to write another about how social media can work flexibly, writes part time Producer Sarah-Lee Jones.

Part time Producer Sarah-Lee Jones's reason for working flexibly.

I was contacted numerously by previous colleagues who have found themselves in a similar situation to mine, trying to get back into employment in the TV industry whilst also raising a family. I felt the first blog had a number of positives for people who are in a potentially negative place, trying to get back into the television industry after deciding to start a family. I mentioned looking for employment at smaller independent companies, rather than going through the embarrassment at the interview stage of having to explain they could only work office hours due to childcare issues.

I currently work for an indie film production company called Future Artists. For the past few months I have been co-producing a sci-fi web series called Portal which was released on 31st March. This is the reality of social media at its best, proving that working flexible hours really pays off for both the employee and the employer!

Tuesday 31st March – The launch of Portal.

In the space of 24 hours Portal went viral with over 70,000 views. It was all hands on deck at the office. We, meaning a small team of 3, have had to learn the fastest and most efficient available methods of DIY film distribution.

Wednesday 1st April

Constant e-mails, Skype chat, interviews, filming behind the scenes, social media has gone mad. What I love most is the power and instant availability of social media. Having a 19 month old daughter who doesn’t sleep through the night (and never has), being constantly woken up at stupid o’clock where at times I’ve found it impossible to get back to sleep, I’ve been able to jump onto Twitter, correspond through emails and update our Portal Facebook fans on the view count on the DailyMotion website (which has become addictive). 90,000 views to date!

Sarah Lee Jones at work with Future Artists on their feature Portal.

Thursday 2nd April

The views keep on rising, the press are heavily involved and we have got so many interviews booked in, I’ve had to get the trusted white board out just to keep up.

Future Artists are fully aware of my circumstances so if I’ve been working on social media throughout the night I am able to come into the office later on in the day or, where possible, work from home.

Skype is amazing, I can chat to the office and have regular updates throughout the day.  Work doesn’t have to be at a desk, social media can be sorted out from anywhere in the world, mostly in this case, my living room!

Friday 3rd April

100,134 views in less than a week. Not bad for a team of 3 people working a 4 day week (Future Artists don’t work on Mondays).

How many other companies out there work in this way? Can this flexible hours approach work for larger companies in the industry? Will this method of working help parents back into the TV industry? These are often parents who are highly trained and skilled, who desperately want to get back into work? I really hope employers latch on to this approach, so giving us media parents the break that we need!

by Amy Walker

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