We’re delighted to announce that Drama Asst Production Coordinator Nia Morgan from Cardiff, and Factual PD Fiona Calvert from Bristol are the next of our Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme winners. Both will be mentored by BBC Wales employees, to be announced, and Fiona Calvert will attend the Edinburgh TV Festival.
Nia Morgan, Drama Production Coordinator
Since 2010 I have worked for a fantastic company called Tidy Productions mainly on a show called Stella (Sky 1). I started as a Production Assistant and they slowly gave me more responsibility becoming a Secretary and then an Assistant Production Co-ordinator. In this role I was often given the chance to try new things. For example, helping with casting, assisting the script department and even Script Supervising on 2nd unit days. My main role was to assist the co-ordinator with every day tasks like booking accommodation, distributing scripts, script clearance and travel arrangements… to name a few.
In January of this year I had my little girl. Since then Tidy Productions have offered me odd days work which have been ideal but I haven’t been able to accept anything longer than a few days at a time. That’s my main concern when thinking of going back to work, that I won’t be able to do shoot hours for while or even work 5 days a week, which I know is essential when working on a busy production. I’m hoping to find an office based job in a production office where I can work part time. This way keeping a foot in the door for when I can eventually go back to work full time.
fiona calvert, factual PD
Starting out as an assistant in Channel 4 Documentaries was a great introduction to the commissioning process from the inside. Working as a researcher/AP on the flagship strands Cutting Edge and Modern Times was an amazing opportunity to learn from some great directors and producers. When I developed a series about a Health Farm beyond its initial conception, Stephen Lambert gave me a break to direct and I went on to PD popular documentaries taking all of my own material (and sometimes other director’s) into the edit. Again, great experience. These were mostly 30 minute series, but I also made When a Wife Loves a Woman, a 50 minute film for C4.
All in all, a solid grounding in making documentaries: researching, casting, negotiating access, handling contributors in sensitive situations, directing on location and in the edit. I also did a fair amount of Development, converting funded developments into commissions and also originating ideas to commission including one for Modern Times.
So far so good.
I then had 3 wonderful girls (not all at once!)… and my TV career ground to a halt.
I found the perfect part-time work/life balance producing dozens of 30 minute educational programmes for Legal Network Television. High quality and business as usual: directing a crew, filming in great locations from prisons to the High Court, turning legal experts into presenters, interviewing campaigning lawyers to law lords, but non-broadcast.
The next chapter? I still have lots to offer and I don’t want to disappear from the industry forever . Realistic options are edit producing and /or developing ideas (I have plenty), but knowing how and where to pitch feels daunting on my own. I need a kickstart – help to make that first breakthrough.
The ending? That mine is a story that proves it can be done!
Thank you to Judith Winnan, Head of Factual and Music for BBC Wales, and Catrin Whitmore, Head of Production Talent for championing the scheme.