Media Parents

Monthly Archives: August 2018

being a female TV director by Kate Dooley

by Amy Walker

According to the Directors UK report Who’s Calling the Shots I’m a rare breed, writes Specialist Factual Director Kate Dooley. Perhaps (to be over dramatic about it) even heading for extinction, as the report highlights that the gender gap is increasing across the four terrestrial UK TV broadcasters.

PD Kate Dooley Directing for Great British Cathedrals with Tony Robinson, Channel 5

If David Attenborough saw me working he might comment on my tall giraffe easy rig that helps me self shoot, my kangaroo pouch bumbag that holds my essentials, and my alpha dog nature to get everything filmed on tight deadlines with ever decreasing funds. He wouldn’t question whether I missed painting my nails and looking at handbags.  Nor why I should have to deal with the male of my species rubbing themselves on my leg or putting their feet up on my desk.

That is because these are all human gender biases. They are nothing to do with me as a person or my capability to do my job. Thankfully, I have never felt that being a woman was a problem. But I have been the only female producer/director on every production in my career so far.

I have been the only female producer/director on every production in my career so far.

Producer Director Kate Dooley

So I warmly welcome the current atmosphere to foster females in the industry to gain some balance. It’s not just about the numbers. But it is about the balance of skills, opinions and experience from both the male and female perspective. As one of the female directors positively mentioned in the Channel 5 Diversity Guidelines I believe we have to provide nurture as well as opportunities. Media Parents felt like the right platform for this.

So how do we get more of these rare breeds?  What would help is a mix of push and pull tactics :

Most importantly, companies should positively seek out and hire women.  We aren’t hiding in the bush waiting for David Attenborough and his crew to see through our camouflage. We are here calling from the canopies. Give us a chance and then help us succeed.

Collaboration is more productive than confrontation. For an industry all about communication we also have to be open to how women communicate.   For example, I personally prefer a Socratic approach of asking questions which clarify options and encourage interactions. And I’m sorry (not sorry), I also believe we have to teach women to stop apologising.

Negotiation training especially when negotiating rates. There are (at least) two reasons women are paid less – they don’t feel they can negotiate, and the negotiators take advantage of that. The irony is most of the rate negotiations are carried out by female production managers. Thankfully Media Parents runs a great negotiating course and there is one coming up soon.

Writing / shooting training on and off the job as standard for everyone. Included in this is constant constructive feedback like chefs get in kitchens but hopefully with fewer expletives. Some companies run exit interviews with freelancers, I’ll settle for an email or call from the edit if I’m not cutting the show.

Positive role models as per STEM.  We need more female commissioners, execs, series producers and producer/directors to be in the limelight leading the way and mentoring the next generation. (Watch this space for the roll call of Back to Work mentors).

Properly tailored shooting equipment. All camera operators have back problems whatever they can bench press. We need cameras and rigs that are lighter and fit properly.

So employers, it’s time to act on the Directors UK report – I’m available!

[Since writing this, Kate has started work at the BBC]

kate dooley, producer director

Nominated for a Grierson in 2016, Kate has self shot and edit produced factual and specialist factual shows for the major UK broadcasters as well as Discovery. Science series include BBC2’s Inside the Factory featuring the largest food factories in Europe to uncover the secrets behind food production on an epic scale. History shows include Channel 5’s Great British Cathedrals with Tony Robinson and Discovery series Unearthed, following archaeologists uncovering new insights into world renowned monuments.

Kate’s degree is in engineering and this insight has helped her make engineering shows like Discovery’s Rise of the Machines, revealing the amazing human stories behind the inventions hidden deep inside some of the world’s most extreme machines. She is familiar with many cameras including FS7, A7S and C300 and has set up specialist GoPro rigs inside aircraft.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/10369/kate-dooley

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August 27, 2018 @ 3:09 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, TV Training Leave a comment

Media Parents back to work scheme winners 2018

by Amy Walker

A big thank you to all the talented freelancers who applied for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018. Huge congratulations to the eight winners who will be attending the Edinburgh TV Festival care of our sponsors All3Media, Channel 4, Endemol Shine, ITV, Merman, Raw TV, Sister Pictures and Warner Bros.

We are delighted to announce:

Katie Walmsley Unscripted PM, All3Media

Returning PM / Production Exec Katie Walmsley was a Production Executive at STV Glasgow before mat leave, and had also worked at Tern TV, IWC and the BBC as a PM. Katie kept her hand in whilst on an extended maternity break from TV, read more here : http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-katie-walmsley-unscripted-pm/

Emma Bodger Scripted Director, Channel 4

Returner Emma Bodger’s credits include River City, Casualty and Where the Heart Is. Emma suffered an accident and subsequent disability which, compounded by mat leave has made it difficult for her to find work: “As a female director who has found barriers to progression around diversity, sexuality and disability, I would love to bring a different and unique voice to the new rounds of British commissioning”. Read more here :http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-emma-bodger-scripted-director/

Jo Larmer Edit Producer, Endemol Shine

Since having her children six years ago and being widowed 18 months ago, Jo has taken on several very short-term part-time contracts, but is now looking to return to work part-time on a permanent or longer contract. Jo’s credits include Strictly Come Dancing, Comic Relief and Pop Star to Opera Star. http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-jo-larmer-unscripted-edit-producer/

geoff Dibben scripted PM, ITV

Geoff Dibben was a Production Manager and Production Supervisor on features including War Horse, Clash of the Titans and The Dark Knight. He took on care of his family in 2006, enabling his wife to go back to work, but returning has not been as easy as he anticipated. http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-geoff-dibben-scripted-pm/

Hannah Williams Scripted PM, Merman

Merman’s mentee is Scripted PM Hannah Williams. Hannah’s credits include Peppa Pig, Sarah and Duck and Wissper. : “In 2003 I took my first steps into the world of television, a decade later I had built a career of BAFTA nominations, crew akin to family and exciting projects. I then took on my own exciting project. 3 of them in fact”. After three children she is on her way back in. Read more here : http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-hannah-williams-scripted-pm/

Elena Mourey Documentary Producer, Raw TV

Elena’s credits include Hospital, The Job Interview and The Undateables. Returning to work a year after the birth of her first child, Elena needs edit experience to ultimately progress to series producer. http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-elena-mourey-unscripted-producer/

Jenny Madalura Scripted Production Coordinator, Sister Pictures

Two kids with a 20 year age gap, 10 years out of TV, Aspergers and Leukaemia to conquer and none of that is holding back Jenny Madalura. “I have been out of media work for over 10 years since working with the BBC. Having a family, getting a law degree and working part-time as a LexisNexis copywriter, whilst being a full-time parent to my two children, Luke and Ocean kept me out”. http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-jenny-madalura-scripted-assistant-coordinator/

melissa bishop unscripted AP / researcher, Warner Bros.

Melissa has been out of full time work for around three years, as the primary carer for her mother. In the meantime she started an MA in Documentary Production to better her prospects in TV as she is in it for the long run: “I feel I still have a lot to offer and have not yet reached my full potential and have many years left to work in the industry.” http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-melissa-bishop-unscripted-ap-researcher/

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JENNY MADALURA, RESEARCHER / PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

August 21, 2018 @ 8:53 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

returner Hannah Williams scripted PM

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner hannah williams

Scripted PM Hannah Williams will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Merman

In 2003 I took my first steps into the world of television, writes returning PM Hannah Williams. A decade later I had built a career of BAFTA nominations, crew akin to family and exciting projects. I then took on my own exciting project. 3 of them in fact. My children are now 5, 3 and almost 1 and it has been a magical sabbatical, one that is hard to leave, but it is time to go back to work.

I am hoping that the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme will help me to find a balance. One that allows me to still experience my children growing up for half the week whilst I spend the other half continuing where I left off six years ago. I hope it will help me to find an inspirational company in which I can be creative, practical, and inspired again to make great television.

I am looking forward to using my brain in ways that I haven’t (continuously at least) since my life changed in 2013 with a small person who swept me into a happy (yet all-consuming) fog of sleep deprivation, nappies and utter devotion.

Most of all I am hoping to rebuild my confidence. I have worked on and off between babies but only on short contracts. This time I want to jump back into the industry and allow myself to find something that will develop my skills, challenge me and give me a career goal to work towards once more. The people I once worked next to (or above) seem to have gone so far, cameras have changed, systems have altered and I feel a little out-dated!

Being mentored by Merman will be an incredible experience. One to sooth the guilt of going back to work and rekindle a little bit of the old, ambitious me again!

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11460/hannah-williams-lovell

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August 20, 2018 @ 4:42 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

returner jenny madalura scripted assistant coordinator

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner jenny madalura

Scripted Coordinator Jenny Madalura will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Sister Pictures

I have been out of media work for over 10 years since working with the BBC, writes Jenny Madalura. Having a family, getting a law degree and working part-time as a LexisNexis copywriter, whilst being a full-time parent to my two children, Luke and Ocean kept me out.

My son, Luke, is now 21, with Aspergers. Despite this, he was given a place at Ravensbourne College, to do a degree in Film and TV Production two years ago.  Shortly after, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Thankfully after nearly two years of extensive treatment and a bone marrow transplant, he’s now in remission and able to return to university.  My daughter Ocean just turned a year old, I feel I am ready to return to work and focus on my media career.

Eager to return to media work late last year I took part in some short practical back to work workshops thanks to Media Parents last October.  This gave me the confidence after such a long time out of a media career, to try and get back in.  Through Media Parents I was also fortunate to have been mentored by Leo Martin, from Fudge Park Productions, which was both insightful and promising. Thanks to my legal training I was offered assistant coordinating work, but due to unforeseen circumstances within the company, the offer to be taken on board was no longer viable. I am keen to try again.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15655/jenny-madalura

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@ 3:52 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

returner melissa bishop unscripted AP / researcher

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner melissa bishop

Unscripted AP / Researcher Melissa Bishop will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Warner Bros

I’ve been out of full time work for around three years, as I am the primary carer for my Mother.  I am now able to hand over some of that responsibility to my sisters, so am very much looking forward to getting back to work. My passion is factual TV, specifically documentary programming. I am especially strong with finding and managing contributors, from all walks of life. I love engaging with people and building a rapport. I feel I still have a lot to offer and have not yet reached my full potential and have many years left to work in the industry.

I had my first job in a production company twelve years ago, and for the following four years worked happily in various fairly junior TV roles, mainly as a Researcher. I then moved sideways to work for Legal Network Television, a corporate company making educational factual programmes, and worked my way up to producer.

For the past eight months I have been studying for a Masters’ degree in Documentary Production at U.W.E., affiliated with the BBC in Bristol. I undertook this as, at the time, I was unable to commit to regular work as my mother was recovering from illness. I thought it would be beneficial to me to brush up on my production skills, and hopefully make myself more appealing to the industry.

I do feel reinvigorated and have gained new skills. In addition it has really encouraged me to think deeply about factual and documentary storytelling and what building blocks are needed to make up truly exception programming.

Melissa is being sponsored by Warner Bros. Many thanks to the Warner Bros team for sponsoring again this year. To follow Melissa’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14397/melissa-bishop

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@ 3:38 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

returner geoff dibben scripted PM

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner geoff dibben

Scripted PM Geoff Dibben will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by ITV

I have worked in the film and TV industry since my early 20s, always in Production, writes Geoff Dibben.  I started as a Production Runner in drama, before moving onto ‘the floor’ as a 3rd AD, 2nd AD and 1st AD before becoming a Production Manager and Production Supervisor on features including War Horse, Clash of the Titans and The Dark Knight.

In 2006 after the birth of my second child I decided continuing to work on foreign location feature films would be unsustainable, especially as my wife wanted to return to work as a university lecturer.

I decided to take a sideways move into commercials and short-form corporate work which I was able to do from home, allowing me to spend time with my young family. The hope was I would be able to return to full-time production once the children were older, however this has proved harder than anticipated.

My children are now older and will both be at Secondary school so I am looking for a way into UK high-end TV drama production. I feel I have a great deal to offer not just an employer but the wider industry.  I have done everything from low-budget to super-high budgets and everything between. I have scheduled productions, budgeted productions and delivered productions, so have an extensive knowledge of physical production and post-production.

I am look to reinvigorate my career and get some mentoring, advice and relevant recent experience to get into high end TV drama productions as either a Production Manager or Line Producer or maybe as an in-house Production Executive.

I hope the scheme will introduce me to Heads of Production and Producers within Production Companies and allow me to demonstrate my skills and knowledge as well as my enthusiasm for the industry.

Geoff is being sponsored by ITV. Many thanks to the Endemol Shine team for sponsoring again this year. To follow Geoff’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14864/geoff-dibben

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@ 2:11 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Comments Off

returner jo larmer unscripted edit producer

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner jo larmer

Edit Producer Jo Larmer will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Endemol Shine

I am an experienced live and edit Entertainment Producer with a huge desire to find the perfect work/family balance, writes Jo Larmer. I am particularly keen to pursue roles in the Edit or in the support side of production, such as licensing, marketing or talent management.

My main experience has been in very fast turn-around live studio shows – working with and managing a team to generate content, and script writing. I have also been responsible for cutting down studio shows with extremely tight deadlines. Consequently it’s fair to say I work very well under pressure! I also enjoy becoming part of a new team.

In recent years I’ve seen a more business-focussed side of television, having produced some events for BBC Worldwide’s Formats team. I have found this hugely interesting and have learnt a great deal from these roles.

Since having my children six years ago and being widowed 18 months ago, I have taken on several very short-term part-time contracts, but I am now looking to return to work part-time on a permanent or longer contract. My intention is to carve out a more definite career path that enables me to use my experience in and love of TV production to support my family financially, whilst maintaining a stable presence for them at home.

I am an extremely hard worker and firmly believe that since becoming a mother I work even more productively and efficiently than ever before.

Outside of work and looking after small people I enjoy running (I completed a marathon earlier this year), British Military Fitness, yoga and reading. I have also spent some time since my husband died fundraising for the Institute of Cancer Research and have raised over £60,000 to date. And I dabble enthusiastically but fairly unsuccessfully in arts and crafts and baking!

Jo is being sponsored by Endemol Shine. Many thanks to the Endemol Shine team for sponsoring again this year. To follow Jo’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15676/jo-larmer

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@ 1:08 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Returner Katie Walmsley unscripted PM

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme

winner katie walmsley

Returning PM Katie Walmsley will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by All3Media

Before my career break I was a successful Production Executive with 20 years of television experience under my belt, writes Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Katie Walmsley. I will be looking for flexible PM work on my return, having worked my way up from Coordinating for the Natural History Unit in Bristol to running and overseeing a team of Production Managers across a diverse range of programming as Production Executive, dealing with major budgets and setting up and running productions at STV in Glasgow.

When I became pregnant with my first little girl, we relocated from Glasgow to London to be nearer family. I now have two beautiful girls, Mia and Olivia, born 17 months apart. Following Olivia’s rather dramatic arrival into the world, my husband and I took the decision that I would take the role of a stay at home mum, but I have always missed the cut and thrust of my career and have been itching to get back to work.

I’ve kept myself busy with a few smaller local projects, most recently being Events Co-ordinator for the Royal Windsor Flower Show, however television is my passion.

With the girls now settled and happy, my ambition is to forge new contacts and find a great company and that will recognize and bolster my skills whilst supporting my need to remain a part-time mum. I am realistic and would be happy to come back as a Production Manager to show a new team what I can do.

Thank you to the team at All3Media for sponsoring Katie. To follow Katie’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15643/katie-walmsley

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@ 12:36 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

returner Elena Mourey unscripted producer

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner Elena Mourey

Returning Unscripted Producer Elena Mourey will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Raw TV

Taking a year off work to have my daughter has allowed me to refocus my ambitions and consider new career trajectories, writes returning Producer Elena Mourey. I am now excited to return to my TV career and the opportunity to go to Edinburgh to explore new ideas and the support of a mentor will certainly help get me reacquainted with the industry.

In the immediate future, I’d like to continue to make programmes I’m proud to say I’ve worked on, whether that’s something that sparks a national debate or more light-hearted programmes. I’d also like more responsibility in my future roles, working as a senior producer, so I can learn how to manage larger teams of people and build on those people skills that make me a good producer in the first place.

After much contemplation, I’ve concluded that my long term career goal is to become a series producer (I hadn’t previously allowed myself to admit this), because running a series, managing a creative production team and handling crises when they arise, is where a lot of my raw skills lie. Setting the challenge of this goal has reignited the passion for my career and I’m looking forward to the future.

I’m striving for more edit experience. I found edit producing on People Like Us, BBC3 and The Job Interview, C4, incredibly creative – not to mention vitally important for the roles I take outside the edit.

I’m enthusiastic about returning to work, but I can’t deny feeling trepidation too. It can be incredibly hard moving up in TV, even without having time off. Parenting teaches you militant time-management, precise and quick decision-making, crisis troubleshooting, all skills I know will be helpful in any TV role. But most importantly, I now have an undeniably new and fresh perspective on my career moving forward.

Elena is being sponsored by Raw TV on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Thank you to everyone at Raw TV for supporting the scheme. To follow Elena’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/13955/elena-mourey

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@ 11:52 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

Returner Emma Bodger Scripted Director

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner emma bodger

Returning Director Emma Bodger will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Channel 4

Having directed many hours of British TV drama, I suffered an accident and subsequent disability, writes returning Director and Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Emma Bodger. During a debilitating recovery period, I found it impossible to get work in the UK as a director, which sent me on a challenging (and quite inspirational) path through different ways of storytelling in Asia and Africa. I would like to harness that experience as a positive on the way back to directing full-time again in the UK.

The Media Parents Back to Work Scheme will provide a forward-facing structure to build on my strengths and past achievements which include an RTS award and an International Emmy.

I believe my career trajectory would have led to me to directing High End drama naturally years ago if I had not had the accident. I will relish the opportunity to network, make and rebuild the connections I need to achieve this career progression now.

As a female director who has found barriers to progression around diversity, sexuality and disability, I would love to bring a different and unique voice to the new rounds of British commissioning.

Emma is being sponsored by Channel 4 on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Thank you to everyone at Channel 4 for supporting the scheme again this year. To follow Emma’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14708/emma-bodger

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@ 9:07 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners 1 Comment