Media Parents

Monthly Archives: June 2019

5 minutes with PM Natalie Brook Reynolds

by Amy Walker

I came into production management via a very different route to most people, writes Media Parents’ PM Natalie Brook Reynolds.

PM Natalie Brook Reynolds moved over from theatre where she worked with Sir Charles Dance

I trained as a stage manager in theatre and was a fairly successful Company Stage Manager for 12 years, my last show being Shadowlands with Charles Dance in the West End. More about that later – my career has evolved into PMing for TV and I’ve even set up a virtual PM business where I work from home for smaller companies that need ad hoc PM support. Back to how it all began…

I found that my stage management skills were very transferable and was asked back to again a year later. I was still working as a freelancer stage managing as well, but didn’t want the life of having to go out on tour for weeks/month on end especially as I had met my partner David at around the same time – moving into TV was appealing and slowly I started to move across.

At first, I worked for various production companies as a PC and then moving onto PM, because of my quick problem solving skills I seem to appeal to short form TV companies, although I have done long form, live studio and current affairs.

In 2016 I agreed to take a rolling freelancer PM role with Global Media and Entertainment in the VideoLab team which produced branded content and of course all the video content from their yearly OB events. I ended up staying nearly 2 years as Senior Production Manager with lots of my additional duties encompassing what can be described a hybrid of HOP/Production Accountant strands to my role. I would often be looking after 20 plus cost managers of video projects that were going on, managing up to 6 producers reporting into me, freelance editors and the permanent editor.

Within my time there I also put systems in place including a new cost manager and a 37-page financial management report which allowed business decisions to be made for the department.  I had the most fantastic boss who championed her team’s development and mine. By the time I decided to move on I was extremely proud of what I had done and the difference I had made to the video teams but I wanted new challenges.

I returned to freelancing, however last year I had an accident. I fell on a glass vase cutting the artery and all the tendons to the fingers on my right hand and had a 6 hour op to repair the damage. Over the last year I have had extensive hand therapy and recovered well, in this time I have worked, I was even back freelancing a week after the accident! It has made me reflect on work life balance and now I would love to work more part-time.

Currently I am still freelancing and am holiday covering the PM at Otro until the 9th July full time, but after this I am interested in short term freelance contracts in July and August ideally 4 days a week and am happy to do holiday cover and then ideally from 15th September to do more part-time freelance roles 3-4 days a week. If I can bring my skills to your company please get in touch:

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/413/natalie-brook-reynolds

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events. Summer Party June 19th; Flexible Working Event July 24th and more...

June 24, 2019 @ 6:55 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles Leave a comment

5 minutes with returning PM Hannah Williams

by Amy Walker

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2019 has opened for applications – yes it’s back! To get an application form or recommend a friend drop us a line c/o www.mediaparents.co.uk contact button.

I cannot express how much difference the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme made to reigniting both my career and my confidence writes PM Hannah Williams. (Hannah is currently looking to fill a gap before her next contract, so if you need a PM let her know: https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11460/hannah-williams-lovell)

PM Hannah Williams, 2nd from right top, with the other 2018 Back to Work Scheme Winners at Edinburgh

Since returning last August I was mentored by the wonderful Becky Parkinson at Merman. After a lovely chat and first meeting I suddenly found myself as one of the Merman team managing the Post in the UK for Frayed – an extremely exciting, funny and brilliantly written new comedy drama by Sarah Kendall.

This mainly involved coordinating Australian and UK post to work harmoniously together, as the show was shot (predominantly) in Australia and post was being split between the two countries. It couldn’t have been more perfect as it was almost exclusively home-based, aside from a few meetings or visits to the post facility in Soho.

I split 3 days across 5 which worked perfectly around my 3 children. Working with Australia came in quite handy when my children are creatures of unsociable hours anyway so I could catch up with the team in Melbourne first thing/last thing and still pick up/drop off my children at school. It just required a bit of multi-tasking and careful use of my time.

Hannah Williams gets back up to speed with industry events at Ed TV Fest

In my first few weeks back to work I felt slightly rusty but Becky was inordinately supportive and I knew I could always ask if I needed help. As it turns out, maternity leave hadn’t sapped all traces of experience and I found that I settled back into it quite quickly and loved it. Initially the contract was 6 months but I was kept on for a while longer and am hoping to rejoin them at some point in the future.

Since Merman, I took on some pre-production for a new children’s animation (which was also working exclusively from home) and am now actively looking for my next venture.

I think what this process has taught me is that I may have been out of the industry over enormous changes to tapeless or 4K but technical gaps can be answered by a simple question (or extensive google). Even the people who haven’t left the industry are still asking questions and are learning. Skills will never leave you but new knowledge can always be obtained if you need it.

The invaluable pep talk with Amy at the beginning of this journey, all those months ago in Edinburgh, still rings in my head today. Even if you have been out it does not erase all the hard work you have put in prior to babies. You are still the same person as you were with the same skills and the same talent so never make excuses for yourself.

Back to Work Scheme Winners Hannah Williams and Melissa Bishop at Media Parents Summer Party

The scheme has helped me hold onto that and regain the confidence to still see myself as a valuable asset, even if I have to be more specific about my hours and work schedule. So thank you Amy for calling me from your holiday when I had emailed you in two minds about the scheme. I really appreciated that as the support from Media Parents and the mentors from this scheme has been invaluable.

And to those of you who are a little shaky about going back to work or are thinking about applying for this year’s Back to Work Scheme if it goes ahead – DO IT! The worst that can happen is that you meet some amazing people, gain invaluable networking skills and get to have an incredible mentor and new network to support you. And if that’s the worst that can happen then you have no excuse!

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

June 21, 2019 @ 6:31 am Posted in Events, Freelancer Profiles, TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off

media parents summer party photos

by Amy Walker

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Media Parents Summer Party and made it such a good laugh. And of course thanks to the lovely ClearCut team for making the atmosphere so warm and welcoming. Our next event is the brilliant Media Parents Job Share Event on July 24th so please join us at that – click the link https://mediaparentsjobshare.eventbrite.co.uk – invite friends, the more the merrier. Photos of the summer party are here:

It was great to welcome Dragonfly's new Talent Manager Gayl Paterson, here with Raw Cut's Tina Lohmann and freelancers

BBC Scripted Head of Talent Jacqui Taunton Fenton with BBC Children's Exec Ros Attille and freelancers

Curve Media's new Talent Manager Catherine Mabb meets freelancers

Renegade's Director of Production Ed Nissen with Emporium Productions Exec Matt Holden

Back to Work Scheme Winners Hannah Williams and Melissa Bishop are currently looking for work to fill gaps - grab them while you can!

Huge thanks to Joanna Gretton from Media Parents and to the ClearCut Team for hosting so well and making everyone feel so welcome

Thanks to everyone who made it - it was great to catch up with old friends and meet some new people. Join us on July 24th for our JOB SHARE event - the more the merrier!

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events. Flexible Working Event July 24th - sign up now

https://mediaparentsjobshare.eventbrite.co.uk

June 20, 2019 @ 6:30 am Posted in News Leave a comment

Media Parents Summer Party June 19th

by Amy Walker

We’re delighted to announce our summer party on Wednesday June 19th, courtesy of our kind hosts Clearcut Pictures. Media Parents members are cordially invited to join us for an evening in the garden, please sign up to the guestlist on the Media Parents watercooler. After the success of our recent Bristol Media Parents Flexible Working Event we’re also gearing up for our London Media Parents Flexible Working Event on July 24th so save the date and watch out for that guestlist opening following our Summer Party. Here are some photos from last year’s summer party, with thanks again to Rowan Bray and the Clear Cut team.

Media Parents Summer Party last year was a glorious affair on a warm summer evening in Bloomsbury thanks to the Clear Cut team.

Huge thanks to all the companies and freelancers who attended last year's summer party and made it such a good laugh!

ITV's Back to Work Scheme Winner Geoff Dibben with Media Parents' Joanna Gretton

Renegade's Director of Production Ed Nissen with Dragonfly Coordinator Danny Leitch

Baby Cow's Head of Production Judith Bantock with Media Parents freelancers and returners

Clear Cut Pictures MD Rowan Bray with Media Parents members

Maverick's Head of Production Maria French

Tiger Aspect's Comedy and Entertainment Exec Cat Fox

Outline Productions' Production Exec Emily Freshwater with Sister Pictures' Back to Work Scheme Winner Jenny Madalura

BBC Scripted Drama & Comedy Head of Talent Jacqui Taunton-Fenton with Media Parents freelancers

Barcroft Media Exec Jude Parker

Series Producer Gayl Paterson with Katherine Bovey

Huge thanks to everyone who joined us - we look forward to seeing you again this year!

To sign up to the guestlist for the Media Parents Summer Party on June 19th see the link on Media Parents watercooler

To sign up to the guestlist please see the watercooler at https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events. Summer Party June 19th; Flexible Working Event July 24th and more...

June 7, 2019 @ 2:32 pm Posted in Events, News Leave a comment