Media Parents

Monthly Archives: September 2019

Coming Up… Media Parents Back to Work Drinks

by Amy Walker

We are delighted to announce Media Parents Back to Work Drinks to celebrate our five Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners this year. It is a brilliant opportunity to cheer our winners back into work, whilst meeting experienced industry talent and employers. Kindly hosted by ENVY Post Production, the drinks will be sponsored by S+O Media. To sign up to the guestlist please see the link on our watercooler at

Three of the Media Parents Back to Work Team Winners at Ed TV Fest

S+O Media is a west London based television facilities company that has been providing equipment as well as crew to the broadcast industry for over fifteen years.

As co-owners, (Olly Wiggins and Stephanie Keelan), have used their experience in the fields of camera work and production to provide a bespoke service to clients that ensures understanding of the shooting process from beginning to end, and where S+O sits within it.

S+O’s passion for the industry and the technology that drives it, has seen the company grow from a small team to an organisation that employs twenty two staff and many more specialist freelance technicians.

Many S+O crew began their careers in-house at S+O, and due to the extensive training they receive, the company is confident in their ability to deliver on set.

S+O hire to a broad range of high profile media clients working on a variety of programming as well as commercials, promos and branded content. From single camera PSC, multi camera recording, fixed rig and self shooting kits, the company can supply and service all our clients’ needs. S+O specialise in Super 35mm and full frame sensor cameras shooting in formats up to 8K. They also provide sound, lights and grip equipment.

Having raised their own children while working in the industry, Steph and Olly are proud to be able to support Media Parents.

With thanks to ENVY post production for hosting the event.

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September 17, 2019 @ 1:15 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Ed TV Fest with Returning Director Candida Scott Knight

by Amy Walker

“We need to do much better at keeping women in the work place.” Dorothy Byrne’s words at the Edinburgh TV Festival sum up my experiences exactly, writes Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winner, returning Director Candida Scott Knight.

Returning Scripted Director Candida Scott Knight at Ed TV Fest with two of the five Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners

After a ten-year break to raise a family and live overseas, over the past two, I’ve been working my way back to directing. As Byrne highlighted in her MacTaggart Lecture, doing better at keeping women in the workplace needs to be inclusive of course, not just when children come along, but “when the menopause does, too.” She made us laugh, but it was serious, calling us to account on many levels, and it was perfectly timed, as an introduction to the festival on this scheme.

Three days of panel discussions, talks and events, during the Fringe, the main themes were, accountability, care, inclusivity and diversity. It was political, funny at times, with plenty of opportunity to meet others and network, even in the queue for the Ladies.

PACT Chief John McVay with the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners at Ed TV Fest

One of the people I talked with was John McVay, CEO of Pact who confirmed “you bring more quality to the party now”, highlighting a problem in the industry that programme makers can be risk-averse. He recommended specific people who aren’t. Pat Younge at Sugar Films, suggested drama reconstruction in docs as a way in.

Louis Theroux discussed duty of care filming those with mental health, along with his “discomfort” at the way Jimmy Saville addressed paedophile rumours. Jerry Springer spoke of how “we’re all the same, we just look different” and need to get rid of this notion of the white middle class running TV. Equal Writes touched on the lack of confidence women can feel, begging the question of whether this is part of the gender equality issue. They asked “do agents need to be braver at signing up more female or BAME talent?” Yes! Saskia Schuster at ITV spoke of her 50:50 writer’s initiative. Talking to her after, it’s great to hear female directors are next up.

Masterclasses, on Capture, with director Ben Chanan and team discussed the extensive research done for this surveillance thriller. Top Boy, discussed mentoring initiatives across the board with half the actors, cast off the street, and if making programmes about drug and gang culture, glamourises it or lets us understand the extent of the problem.

All speakers were exposing something, reiterating Byrne’s “widespread disillusion” that is felt across the industry and beyond. But are people ready to each take responsibility to make the changes needed?

Candida Scott Knight with fellow Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Joanna Gretton at The Farm BBQ Ed TV Fest

Being a part of the festival has reminded me of the talent and many years of experience I have. I felt included and seen and am walking away with a clearer view of the path back into TV, with plenty to follow up on. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve come away with more confidence and the knowing that there are many genuine people in the industry able and willing to support me, and others like me, to get back into doing what we love, and contributing to the industry.

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September 15, 2019 @ 4:26 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents Back to Work Winner JPM Jess Garland

by Amy Walker

When I returned to work from maternity leave in February earlier this year, I’d been left with a bitter taste from the industry I’d been in since University, as I’d felt pushed aside whilst unsuccessfully trying to find work at 6 months pregnant writes JPM Jess Garland. I was ready to make a break from TV and forge a new career in Events.

Congratulation to JPM Jess Garland who will be mentored by Hat Trick on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme

I found a nice 3 day-a-week job organising training courses, and eased myself out of the fog and into working life. At first I loved the simplicity of the job, I didn’t have emails on my phone, no one called me on weekends, what bliss! I weighed this up against the fact that the role wasn’t very stimulating and it seemed like a viable trade-off.

I had a break from the job over Easter and saw an old colleague post on Facebook that she was looking for someone to do post paperwork on a couple of Channel 4 docs, the kind of stuff that was my bread and butter as a co-ord. I asked her if this could be done part time and she was thrilled to welcome me on board. I had a lovely 4 weeks’ stint at Flicker Productions and got a little reminder of why had loved TV I the first instance. I tapped into knowledge I had acquired in my career and felt truly valuable. I got to work with lovely people and watch some brilliant documentaries. When I returned to the events role I had the undeniable feeling of total and utter boredom!

I left the events job at the beginning of June and have been trying to pick up my career in TV since then. Post Production seems to be the only area that can offer the flexibility of part time work and even going up to 4 days a week I have been unable to find a JPM role (my last position before going on mat leave was as a JPM).

I am terrified that my career will be dead in the water if all I have achieved in my year back at work is a few short coordinator contracts. This sounds less like a summary and more like a moan but I can promise you I am really good at my job. I have a great CV and lots of references willing to sing my praises, which is why I find it so frustrating to be in this position. I will use the scheme to make contacts and find flexible work and shout from the roof tops about it when I get it!

If you are a TV returner, join Jess Garland and our other Back to Work Scheme Winners at Media Parents Back to Work drinks in September, see our watercooler at for details.

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September 3, 2019 @ 6:27 am Posted in TV Returners Comments Off