2018 would be the year of new adventures for me and when I awoke on Jan 2nd I decided that the time was right to get back into Media Production. I had always known that once my children were more independent I could start thinking of resuming my career back into Production Management. However I had some nagging doubts, writes returning scripted Production Coordinator Zenna Barry.
Returning Production Coordinator Zenna Barry https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14984/zenna-barry
Maybe technology would have moved on too much, perhaps my age and time away from production would go against me – these are some of the worries. Regardless, I decided to put the feelers out there to see what happened. So I exhumed my CV and reached out to ex-colleagues in the industry to meet up for coffee and discuss a plan. A good friend and my Exec at Channel m, Vanessa Williams, sent me a few links to job forums and the Media Parents website. It was whilst searching through the site that I came across this blog posts http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2017/12/poldark-and-victoria-offer-media-parents-returners-work-placements/
which sounded perfect!
Over the last 10 years I had been blessed with my 2nd child, taken voluntary redundancy and set up a successful photography business from home which enabled me to continue to be creative and earn whilst allowing the flexibility to be there for my family. However, I have always had a passion for Drama and Film, but without any credits on relevant productions, breaking into this area seemed a daunting task. However, as long as I could prove my commitment to the genre, Media Parents would consider me for the placement… result!!
Returning Coordinators Zenna Barry and Mike Ogden at Dock10 Studios
With that encouragement I decided to contact Michaela Eccleston, Head of Production at Red Production
to ask for advice with the Drama industry. We met for a coffee in-between her very busy schedule and she was so generous with her suggestions, even offering some work experience at Red which I accepted with open arms. Getting something on the CV sealed my acceptance onto the MP HETV Drama Return To Work Programme, funded by the HETV Drama Levy Fund, as managed by Creative Skillset. Doors were really opening for me and I felt grateful and excited.
Our first training was held at Dock 10, Media City and would be a day of meeting the other returners and updating our covering letters and CVs. Day two and we were preparing for the networking night ahead with role plays & mock interviews. All scary stuff if you haven’t been in that mindset for a while. We also met Head of Development for CBBC Ros Attille for lunch, who gave us lots of great tips & encouraged us that the industry needs more Production Coordinators & Managers – very welcomed news.
Zenna Barry with Ros Atille and Mike Ogden at MediaCityUK
Feeling like Alan Sugar’s next apprentice I arrived with the team at Warner Brothers to put all our preparations into practice. Networking went really well and I felt really positive that this was the right direction for me to take. Next stop we were at BVE Expo at Excel, a great place to listen to industry experts and network with ex-colleagues and new contacts.
Zenna Barry with returning Coordinator Paula Watkins, and Sister Pictures Coordinator Maja Wlodarczyk at Media Parents IWD Drinks
Over the past few months I have been on placement at Tiger Aspect on Sean Bean’s new drama Curfew, thanks to Frith Tiplady and her team, and I’ve been working with my mentor Michaela Fereday nee Eccleston and Media Parents towards a future career plan.
My advice to other media parents thinking about coming back in : don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from giving it a second go. I am extremely positive about a future in HETV drama production. There’s no better time. Don’t doubt – believe and go for it!