Mike Ogden is a returning Production Coordinator on the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme. He is being mentored by Mammoth Screen’s Joint Head of Production, Howard Ella (see below). Mike starts as a placement as trainee assistant coordinator on Tiger Aspect’s latest drama Curfew with Sean Bean for SKY on Monday.
I’d stepped away from TV to be a carer for family. It was a hard decision to make at the time as I was juggling a career in TV camera operating and assisting as well as a burgeoning career as an independent film-maker. I do love making filmed drama. When I can’t be making it for someone else, I’ll make my own. However, when a massive life event happens, no matter how much you try and plough through to continue your career, it can stop you. That’s what happened to me. I had to face life, deal with things and try to heal.
Last year I decided it was time to come back to being a useful crew member. However, as an ex-camera person I knew I couldn’t just pick that career up so I re-appraised my skillset, taking in to account my experiences in production. I’d gained a place on a production management course at Pinewood Wales with Sgil Cymru / Skillset for two weeks. The course was great, reminding me that I am one of those oddball people who likes to solve a problem, organise and watch a plan come off successfully. Yet I needed more mentoring guidance and support.
In mid 2017, it felt like my life was too uncertain. Maybe it was time to think of something else to do. I had built up some excellent skills and experience, having managed what I’d consider several high end and complicated short films I’d learned tons from, and also the professional experience I’d had working for years in television on a lot of shows. It seemed a shame to throw that away, but also an impossible task to get seen in a new light and restart my crew career. I applied to Media Parents to see if they would support my relaunch as a Production Coordinator.
Media Parents pressed the button on the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme. Quickly we were fixing our CVs, making a plan of approach for HETV drama then attending the BVE London expo. Networking like mad, I even met someone from my previous career from Technicolor and discovered that someone from Media Parents was the daughter of a cameraman I’d worked with at Granada. I immediately felt less isolated and supported.
Being accepted on to the Media Parents High End TV Drama Return to Work Programme has allowed me a second chance. Now I can aim for my goal of being a production manager via co-ordinating for high end television drama with support and mentoring. After several years of being mentally clobbered, the positivity of being on this course and the support from so many gives me hope that I do have a useful future in production, doing the thing I love most : helping make filmed drama the best it can be.
media parents mentor : howard ella
joint head of production, mammoth screen
Howard started in the industry as a runner at Yorkshire Television and has worked in most areas of production. Outside of Mammoth Howard sits on the board of the Milton Rooms, an arts venue in Malton and writes and directs pantomimes and charity murder mysteries in his native county of Yorkshire.
Media Parents is hugely grateful to Howard and our other mentors for their support for the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Scheme, funded by the HETV Levy managed by Creative Skillset.