Media Parents

Author Archives: Amy Walker

About Amy Walker

www.mediaparents.co.uk is a jobs and social networking site committed to keeping experienced talent in TV production. It was set up by Series Producer Amy Walker.

5 minutes with Emma Love, producer

by Amy Walker

Congratulations to Emma Love who won a place on John Yorke’s screenwriting course (please see previous post). Emma writes “I was over the moon to find out I’d won a place on the John Yorke Screen Writing course courtesy of Media Parents. I’ve worked in TV production for twenty years so am really looking forward to learning a new skill which will hopefully lead to new opportunities.”

Congratulations to factual Producer Emma Love who won a place on a screenwriting course developed by John Yorke (pictured).

Emma writes : I have been lucky enough to work on some fantastic productions and with really talented people.

Twice BAFTA, Emmy, RTS and Grierson nominated I have enjoyed travelling the world, spending long periods of time in prisons, hospitals and embedded with police forces.

As a former Fleet Street reporter I know a good story and how to spot great characters and have a proven track record in casting for full commissions.

I am very proud of the programmes I have been able to be a part of and am comfortable working alone or as part of a team and enjoy nurturing research and AP talent.

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/10432/emma-love

Please join www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, networking and events.

June 28, 2015 @ 11:57 am Posted in News Comments Off

win scripting coaching from John Yorke

by Amy Walker

We’re delighted to announce that John Yorke, the man behind many of Britain’s best dramas, is acting as a mentor on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme, and has also kindly donated a place on his storytelling for screen course to one lucky Media Parents member. For details on how to apply by THURS 18th JUNE please see the watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk

John Yorke and the cast of Shameless. Huge thanks to John for mentoring for Media Parents and for this opportunity.

STORYTELLING FOR SCREEN (ONLINE) – FEEDBACK

Rachel, UK

“Brilliant course. It’s been a blast. I’ve learned a lot from all my fellow writers. All David’s help and feedback during the course has been fantastic, and as a result of the course, I feel much more confident about tackling difficult story lines than I ever have done before.

The final report in particular was very useful. I have learned a lot, and I have loved it. I know I still have quite a bit of work to do, but I don’t mind hard work. All the feedback and encouragement has been extremely valuable.”

Norman, UK

‘The end-­‐of-­‐course feedback was fantastically helpful – I’m already at my desk, working on the next version of my treatment.

David has given positive and focused criticism throughout the course – and this, combined with the insights from John’s book, mean I really feel a lot more qualified to write a script now that I have done the course. The beauty of structure!”

TEACHING

• The course lasts 16 weeks.
• Each of the first 6 sessions runs over 2 weeks; the final session runs over 4 weeks.
• All the teaching, interaction with participants and tutor moderation takes place in an online classroom, accessed via a website, and course materials and forums are open 24/7.
• Sessions open on a Monday; assignments must be completed and uploaded by the following Wednesday with critiquing of fellow participants’s work completed by the final Sunday in the fortnight, before the next session opens.
• Completed sessions remain open throughout the course so that you can review course materials and revise your work.

The course is taught using the following:
• Short audio files from John Yorke.
• Short video files from John Yorke, David Roden and/or other industry experts.
• Online guidance notes and directed prompts and exercises, devised by John Yorke.
• Directed reading and viewing lists from John Yorke.
• Online peer critiquing from other participants in the group.
• Tutor moderation (David Roden).
• The support of an online community and virtual classroom.
• A dedicated resources area, continually updated by the Into the Woods course team.

FINAL SUBMISSION

At the end of the course, you will be invited to submit a 4-­‐page treatment for one of your own stories. This might be for a drama, documentary, corporate video or reality show.

You will receive detailed written editorial feedback (of up to 1,000 words) on your submission from John and David, to evaluate your ideas and handling of techniques such as acts, scenes, and use of suspense, action and visual thinking, plus advice on where to take your ideas next.

SESSION PLAN
Session 1: Introduction to Storytelling Part 1
This first session is about reading, watching, thinking and experimenting. You’ll start by thinking about the grammar of storytelling and the essential elements of a story, and experiment with summing up a protagonist’s wants and needs. This session is also about getting to know your fellow participants.

Session 2: Introduction to Storytelling Part 2
The second session builds on the basic building blocks of the archetypal story identified in Session 1, examining structural form in more detail. Now you can identify a story’s protagonist, antagonist and desires, we’ll look at the inciting incident, the character’s journey and story endings (crisis, climax and resolution).

Session 3: Essential Storytelling Tools
This third session is about being able to see if a story works – how to ‘break a story’. You’ll start by thinking about the essential elements of a story, and experiment with three-­‐act structure. By the end of this session you should be able to deconstruct a story.

Session 4: Five Act Structure
This session breaks down a story into five acts and looks at why this is such an invaluable tool for storytellers. Practical exercises include identifying turning points and midpoints and rewriting a TV soap episode in five parts.

At the end of this session there is a live Q&A chatroom session with John.

Session 5: Building Stories
Introduces the basic building blocks of stories – scenes – and their properties, and explains why you need to get inside characters’s heads to make them work. Practical exercises include identifying the different parts of a scene and writing a story in five scenes.

Session 6: Top 25 Storytelling Tips
By now, you should know how to create your story, know how to test its elements to ensure it works, and structure your story into beats, scenes and acts. This recapping session takes you through some of John’s simple tips that we hope will inspire you to look at stories and scripts with a fresh eye. These are the 25 most important things to bear in mind when creating drama, and there are mini-­‐exercises and clips throughout so you can check your knowledge and learn from masters of story structure in TV and film. If you have a problem with a story, these 25 tips probably provide the solution.

At the beginning of Session 7 there is a live Q&A chatroom session with John.

Session 7 Developing your own Treatment
Every television show will ask you – before commissioning a story – for a synopsis and a treatment. We start this final session by looking at the difference between a synopsis and a treatment, then learn the rules for writing a successful treatment.

This final session lasts four weeks, with two weeks to write your treatment and another two weeks to give and get feedback from your peers.

Approximately 2–4 weeks after the course finishes you will receive detailed individual feedback on your treatment from David and John. You will also have the option to continue working with your peers in a specially created course alumni area online.

The online classroom closes at the end of this session, but you can join the alumni area for an annual fee of £50. This gives entry to an archive of course materials and allows you to continue posting work for review from your peer group.

GETTING THE MOST FROM ONLINE LEARNING

The course has been carefully designed by John Yorke with the Professional Writing Academy, which has extensive experience in delivering writing courses online in universities, for CPD training, and for recreational writers. The course is intended to develop the skills we believe are essential for good writing in every medium, from novel to screen, including:

• greater knowledge of story structure
• an understanding of the writing craft and professional conventions • discipline, independent practice and confidence in your work

• the ability to critically evaluate writing (your own and that of others) within a professional context.

The learning model is structured around a combination of peer and tutor feedback and aims to develop and hone your critical faculties through constant practice and revision.

You will not be given detailed tutor feedback on every piece of work you submit (there are mentoring schemes offering this, if that is your preferred route). You will receive individual tutor feedback on each of your final session pieces, and then detailed feedback on your treatment from your tutor and John Yorke at the end of the course, which discusses your strengths and weaknesses, and offers advice on where to take your work next.

Although your tutor monitors your work through the course, perhaps more important in the learning experience are the close working relationships you establish with other participating practitioners, who will include writers, editors, creatives and professionals from the writing and screen industries.

The practice of critiquing each other’s work increases and refines your understanding of what makes a good story – and the working relationships that form very often carry beyond the course to provide you with ongoing discussion and feedback from a close-­‐ knit group of practitioners you trust.

Sometimes, students with little experience of critiquing or working in a group can feel rather intimidated by the process at the outset – often because they think they will feel more comfortable with a one-­‐to-­‐one relationship with a tutor.

This is fine, but it isn’t what we offer here. So please think carefully before accepting a place that will challenge you, develop your work, and require you to work with other writers and to deadlines.

This course is not a passive experience predicated on submitting work for ‘marking’ by a tutor, but a challenging, dynamic process that we know will help you grow into the best creator of stories that you can be.

BIOG

John Yorke is former Controller of BBC Drama Production, Head of Channel Four Drama and Managing Director of Company Pictures. As a Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer, John has championed many of the defining works of British television, and is responsible for some of the biggest audience for drama in UK TV history. He has overseen some of the UK’s most enduring and popular programmes, from Shameless and Life on Mars to EastEnders and Holby City, alongside award-winners like Bodies and Wolf Hall.
John has worked with a vast array of talent, from Paul Greengrass and Paul Abbott to Debbie Horsfield and Jimmy McGovern. In 2005, John created the BBC Writers Academy, the only writing course in the world guaranteeing broadcast work and which has produced a generation of successful television writers. His first book Into The Woods (Penguin) is the UK’s bestselling book on narrative structure.

www.johnyorkestory.com

June 14, 2015 @ 6:50 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Jenn Westlake AP and PC at Creative Week UK

by Amy Walker

I remember when I first started working in TV, I was told by a producer that I should either have kids now (age 18), or wait until I was 40. I didn’t really take much notice at the time, but I soon began to realise that I very rarely saw women working in TV who had kids and if they did, they were at a very senior level. So I have to admit that when I became pregnant a couple of years ago I did feel like I was committing career suicide.

AP Jenn Westlake meets with Sugar Films' MD Pat Younge, ex BBC Head of Vision.

While my career is very important to me, having a baby wasn’t something I was going to put after it; I wanted to be able to have a baby when I wanted and still return to work when it felt right. I had Alexa (now 15 months) after working in Canada for a year. I then moved to Germany and came back to London when she was 6 months old. I started to look for part time work, but I was at a bit of a loss as to where to start – the company I had worked at for a couple of years before moving to Canada had closed their TV department and my other contacts only had full time work to offer, which I wasn’t comfortable with as Alexa so young. I did eventually manage to get a brilliant AP job at Bare Films, working from home for a few months, but knew that was very rare and lucky!

AP Jenn Westlake (right) with Back to Work Media Parents PD Victor Schonfeld (left) and Shooting AP Luke Jameson at BAFTA.

By chance came across Media Parents, after a friend had ‘liked’ it on Facebook. I’d never actually heard of Media Parents before (wish I had!), but realising that there were people out there trying to help people like me gave me the reassurance that there was flexible work out there to be had.

I immediately signed up to Media Parents and soon after won a place at their Back to Work scheme, where I attended at day at Creative Week UK. Amy Walker was such a great support right from the very beginning and really boosted my confidence when it came to networking with everyone there. Listening to the talks and chatting to others really reignited my passion for the industry and made me realise that not all employers discriminate against women with children!

AP Jenn Westlake with ITV Shiver's Head of Talent Michelle Matherson and the Back to Work Team at BAFTA

It was great to be up to speed with the industry trends again and to hear first-hand from directors about the challenges of taking risks and having a passionate commitment early on, with the reward of a great film afterwards (i.e. Jonathan Sehring on Boyhood).

Boyhood Producer Jonathan Sehring (right) talks to Matt Mueller from Screen International at Broadcast's Creative Summit.

With branded content being a hugely talked about thing within the industry, it was really interesting to listen to Amy Kean’s (of Havas Media Labs) fun presentation on the future of technology and the possibility of ‘dreamvertising’/ advertising to you in your dreams. While the notion seems quite far-fetched, it definitely got me thinking about where the industry will be in a few years’ time.

Amy managed to set up meetings with Talent Execs and MDs for me, which really gave me the push I needed to get my name out there and make new contacts. I’m really excited about what the next few months will bring and hope that I manage to find a job that enables me to balance my family life with work. I work as an AP or Production Coordinator, you can see my CV and contact details here when logged into Media Parents : http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11011/jenn-westlake

June 4, 2015 @ 1:20 pm Posted in News Comments Off

media parents mini back to work scheme delegates at Broadcast Creative Week

by Amy Walker

Media Parents is delighted to partner with Broadcast Creative Week for our latest Back to Work Scheme. Below are the latest successful Media Parents delegates who will be attending the conference days at BAFTA, learning and networking alongside Media Parents Director Amy Walker. Please contact us through www.mediaparents.co.uk if you would like to meet at the conference or would like to receive anyone’s CV.

alana baily, development producer

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/10458/alana-baily

An experienced development executive and producer, I enjoy working across a broad range of genres from documentaries and specialist factual to factual entertainment and formats.

I have developed ideas for all UK broadcasters as well as many US and European networks in previous roles at ITN Factual, Princess, BBC, Love, Ricochet, Optomen and numerous others.

My credits include the critically acclaimed presenter-led series ‘Reggie Yates: Extreme South Africa’ for BBC3, documentary single ‘How To Find The Perfect Flatmate’ for C4 and the award-winning BBC2 series ‘Climbing Great Buildings’.

I worked so hard to get into TV in the first place and I really love what I do – I think I appreciate it even more since I’m on a forced break from it – that I really don’t want to become another ‘mum who leaves television’ statistic. Whilst I’m incredibly keen to get back to work, I’m not prepared to sacrifice seeing my son during the week so am determined to persist with trying to find a part time position.

jenn westlake, AP / PC

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11011/jenn-westlake

I am an organised, effective, hard worker with a wide skill set from assistant producing to coordinating to editing. I have experience working in the UK and Canada and am confident in setting shoots up abroad. I can turn my hand anything and enjoy having a varied role. I’m self motivated and equally happy being part of a team.

I have a one year old daughter and am initially looking for part time work until I am ready to go back full time. I have a baby at home who is obviously very important to me, but my career is also very important and after a year of being at home I’m really itching to get my teeth stuck into something. I am really struggling to balance the two at the moment, but am confident that with some coaching I can make it work.

Kirstin Cameron, Producer, Glasgow

Kirstin Cameron, Producer / AP

Timing as they say is everything and after years of trying, the joyful but unexpected arrival of my baby son has put my career progress from AP to Producer on hold. With the Television industry in Scotland being a small network, and therefore opportunities for new Producers limited, working away from home to pursue my goals would be the obvious solution but being away from my son who is still only 9 months old, isn’t feasible at this stage.  Limited opportunities, healthy competition, a lack of credits, poor confidence combined with parental guilt, is a terrible combination!

Growing pains of a new Media Parent aside, there are projects which I’m keen to pitch, Producing skills I would like to hone and after establishing a good reputation and collaborating on (I hope) exciting productions, ultimately I want to take the next step to Series Producing. I feel my adaptability, forward planning, problem solving and creativity have probably improved thanks to my son arrival but its time to put those skills to use outside of the home!

Kyra Beguiristain, Producer

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/8889/kyra-beguiristain

I am an experienced Producer who works across a wide variety of genres, from Current Affairs (the Tonight series) and Consumer (Rogue Traders, Cowboy Builders, Homes From Hell), to Fact Ent (Britain’s Secret Shoppers, A Place in the Sun), and primetime Features docs (The Day The Immigrants Left, The Town That Never Retired, Embarrassing Bodies), bringing a sound journalistic approach to every job I do. I have also worked in Development and I am a confident shooter.

One of my key skills is negotiating difficult access, with Government institutions such as the Ministry of Justice, Scottish Prison Service etc. as well as large multinational companies and NGOS. Very comfortable dealing with difficult contributors, in often extremely sensitive situations.

I enjoy working with complex legals and secret filming; very used to dealing with programme lawyers and compliance issues! I started off my TV career cutting News for BBC World; I am very keen to make use of that experience and would love to do more work in the edit!

NB: the large gap in my CV is due to taking a couple of years’ maternity leave!

Luke Jameson, shooting AP / vision mixer, Manchester

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/8439/luke-jameson

I have lots of experience in different areas of TV, radio and online production, including sport, fact ents, obs docs and Childrens TV.

I’ve recently qualified for and completed a Creative Skillset funded Vision Mixer training course at BBC Wood Norton, after directing (some vision mixed) over 40 hours of multi camera motor sport output for Motors TV in 2013.

I’d like to progress with Vision Mixing but would consider other appropriate opportunities. I could do with a little help to get me started.

Victor Schonfeld, PD

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/8516/victor-schonfeld

I have developed and researched, as well as written, produced and directed internationally acclaimed, award-winning documentaries with highly sensitive subject-matter and controversial viewpoints. Credits include ITV, Channel 4, BBC, etc.

I took a long break from documentary making for family reasons and to pursue other professional interests. I am now eager to resume documentary production, bringing my zest and proven high standards to big and small projects.

For more information and each freelancers’s CV and profile please see http://www.mediaparents.co.uk talent section.

Please join www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, networking and events.

June 1, 2015 @ 4:10 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 Minutes with Ian Marriott-Smith Dubbing Mixer/Sound editor

by Amy Walker

I found Media Parents recently and think it’s a great place to keep up with all the latest news and projects in the media world, writes Dubbing Mixer & Sound Engineer Ian Marriott-Smith. When I’m not at home looking after my daughter, I spend most of my time in post-production as a sound editor. Read on to see how Ian makes a portfolio career work, including working from home.

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/9048/ian-marriott-smith

My background started in 1996 in the commercials world as an engineer in the fabulous sound studios of Angell Sound in Wardour street, where I learnt how to create soundscapes and mix great audio with both the nicest and most demanding of clients and producers. I had a short stint in Scotland to see what the media world was like outside of London and had a great memorable year at Canongate studios in Edinburgh. Back to London after that and I joined Evolutions Post production for 9 years to mix long-form TV, Documentary, Comedy, Panel shows, Daytime shows and Light Entertainment, the most notable probably being QI, The Apprentice, Gladiators, Embarrassing Bodies, Timewatch and some BBC4 music documentaries.

Ian Marriott Smith showcases his freelance audio work on his website.

I took the leap in 2011 and became freelance (and got married in the same month!) and have been continuing post production audio work in most of the Studios around Central London, Soho and East London. It can get quiet sometimes when there are dips in the industry and productions slow down but luckily I also became a freelance photographer at the same time as becoming an audio freelancer and have some post production clients, business clients and work for the Oval and Surrey Cricket. Between these two careers I manage to keep myself fairly busy! I have built a Garden studio where I can tracklay and mix audio and also take photographs; my commute to work on some days is all of 30 seconds!

The tricky part of being a freelance dubbing mixer is balancing the amount of work I do at home (in Kent) and the amount of work I do in post production facilities, I can mix most projects at home as I have a pretty fast internet connection for file delivery and receiving media but it’s difficult to be away from the rest of the process as you can’t beat face to face interaction (even if that is down the pub after a job!)

Ian Marriott Smith's home studio.

It feels like an exciting time to be part of the industry at the moment, things seem to be changing extremely fast with software becoming cheaper and more and more broadcast platforms requiring content, it’s a little tricky keeping up with it all sometimes, but as long as I have a flexible approach to projects and keep up with all the latest technical standards and requirements I find things seem to work out pretty well.

http://www.marriottsmith.com

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/9048/ian-marriott-smith

@ 2:09 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 more minutes with Helen Landeau on coordinating & being mentored

by Amy Walker

So it’s been just over 6 months since I came back into telly and wow has it been busy! writes Helen Landeau.

Helen Landeau (right) with her mentor Katie Brewer-Frankl, Little Gem's Production Executive.

It was a bit unnerving at first as my last credit was 8 years ago and no-one wanted to know, but after reading Harriet Wallace’s Media Parents article I was determined, and more importantly, I remained positive that I would get work.

Then Teri Samson from Dot to Dot Productions gave me the opportunity to do the paperwork for Series 1 of ‘Art Ninja’ (CBBC).  It felt like I hadn’t been away and fell straight back into it but was a bit under pressure as I wanted to do a good job.  I must’ve done because they asked me to do their paperwork again!

I attended an event in November at the BBC whereby they offered CV clinics with Talent Managers.  Amy Walker was there championing Media Parents so I subsequently applied for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme too – and got a place!  I met Elsa Sharpe (Talent Manager, BBC Documentaries) and she suggested that I spoke with her colleague, Louise Heaton (Talent Co-ordinator, Factual Department) who oversees Production Co-ordinators.  Before I knew it, I was having an interview with her.  Somehow, she already had my CV and was going to call me!

Production Coordinator Helen Landeau talks to the BBC's Charlotte Lamb at Media Parents Back to Work drinks.

A week later, I had an interview with Gezz Mounter, Production Manager for ‘Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners’ and hey presto – started in December. I was due to finish in February but kept getting extended and finally left in March. I had a great time on this.

Following on from then, I was headhunted by Studio Lambert and unfortunately didn’t get the job but was encouraged to keep in touch and have had several indie interests. I was looking for work afterwards and didn’t think to turn to Media Parents for help.  An error I’ll never do again. Through the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Amy was fantastic in contacting various companies who offered me work but by that time, BBC Lifeline turned up (part-time role) and I’d signed on the dotted line.

I’ve been with Lifeline since March and in that time have learnt a lot!  The team are also responsible for producing the DEC Appeals and I’ve never worked so hard in turning around an appeal for Nepal in 48hrs but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  A new skill for me now is delivering on file.

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/9357/helen-landeau

MENTORING THROUGH MEDIA PARENTS

Amy has worked really hard in finding a suitable mentor for me on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme and she hit jackpot!

Katie Brewer-Frankl is a Production Executive who is very experienced. She was with Fresh One Productions for a long time and is now working for Little Gem – a start-up production company with Ben Gale.

Our first meeting was really enjoyable – Katie’s very supportive and encouraging.  She even gave me the confidence to market myself as a Senior Production Co-ordinator which I’ve taken on board. I told Katie I wanted to experience PMI and SilverMouse and she’s organised training for me on these too.

With thanks to Katie Brewer-Frankl, part time Production Exec at Little Gem, for Mentoring on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.

I met with Katie again this month (May).  Again, another productive meeting where we discussed my skillset, CV and how I should also market myself as a Junior Production Manager – after all, I’m the doing the role already but I just wasn’t aware of it!  I’m getting the confidence to push the boundaries further and market myself in higher roles.  I think I could do it but just needed that push to get out of my comfort zone.

I wasn’t sure what to expect in coming back to TV after such a long time but it’s the best thing I could’ve done.  Let’s see what the next 6 months bring…

Join us for FREE CV advice at the BECTU Freelancers Fair on May 29th https://www.bectu.org.uk/events/freelancers-fair. Please join www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, networking and events.

May 27, 2015 @ 12:38 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme closes TODAY

by Amy Walker

Media Parents is partnering with Broadcast to offer up to 6 parents an introduction to the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Each person will receive a day ticket to Broadcast’s Creative week – worth £340 – plus coaching in networking, a day of networking par excellence chaperoned by Media Parents Amy Walker, and a personal CV surgery. You must be available to take up a place on either 2nd or 3rd June. Please email events@mediaparents.co.uk for an application form and further details which include training cost – completed applications must be received by 8pm Wednesday 27th May. Here follows more info on Creative Week:

Media Parents Amy Walker, with Back to Work Scheme mums at BVE. One of the mums got a job offer through networking that day!

Creative Week is a unique event connecting the worlds of television, film and advertising.

The Media Summit, Creative Summit and Global TV Summit will gather leaders and creative from across the media industries for a week of cutting-edge content, leading speakers and fantastic networking.

The packed programme includes thought-leadership sessions from industry leaders, expert analysis of consumer and market behaviour, and insights into the creative trends and digital innovations shaping the future of the sector.

With numerous networking opportunities across the event, Creative Week offers an unrivalled opportunity to exchange ideas and make new connections across the media world. Creative Week is held at BAFTA, London, 1-3 June 2015.

www.creativeweek.co.uk

Join us for FREE CV advice at the BECTU Freelancers Fair on May 29th https://www.bectu.org.uk/events/freelancers-fair. Please join www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, networking and events.

May 21, 2015 @ 9:58 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 more minutes with part time producer Sarah-Lee Jones

by Amy Walker

Having received some really positive feedback on my blog which was featured on Media Parents in March, I decided to write another about how social media can work flexibly, writes part time Producer Sarah-Lee Jones.

Part time Producer Sarah-Lee Jones's reason for working flexibly.

I was contacted numerously by previous colleagues who have found themselves in a similar situation to mine, trying to get back into employment in the TV industry whilst also raising a family. I felt the first blog had a number of positives for people who are in a potentially negative place, trying to get back into the television industry after deciding to start a family. I mentioned looking for employment at smaller independent companies, rather than going through the embarrassment at the interview stage of having to explain they could only work office hours due to childcare issues.

I currently work for an indie film production company called Future Artists. For the past few months I have been co-producing a sci-fi web series called Portal which was released on 31st March. This is the reality of social media at its best, proving that working flexible hours really pays off for both the employee and the employer!

Tuesday 31st March – The launch of Portal.

In the space of 24 hours Portal went viral with over 70,000 views. It was all hands on deck at the office. We, meaning a small team of 3, have had to learn the fastest and most efficient available methods of DIY film distribution.

Wednesday 1st April

Constant e-mails, Skype chat, interviews, filming behind the scenes, social media has gone mad. What I love most is the power and instant availability of social media. Having a 19 month old daughter who doesn’t sleep through the night (and never has), being constantly woken up at stupid o’clock where at times I’ve found it impossible to get back to sleep, I’ve been able to jump onto Twitter, correspond through emails and update our Portal Facebook fans on the view count on the DailyMotion website (which has become addictive). 90,000 views to date!

Sarah Lee Jones at work with Future Artists on their feature Portal.

Thursday 2nd April

The views keep on rising, the press are heavily involved and we have got so many interviews booked in, I’ve had to get the trusted white board out just to keep up.

Future Artists are fully aware of my circumstances so if I’ve been working on social media throughout the night I am able to come into the office later on in the day or, where possible, work from home.

Skype is amazing, I can chat to the office and have regular updates throughout the day.  Work doesn’t have to be at a desk, social media can be sorted out from anywhere in the world, mostly in this case, my living room!

Friday 3rd April

100,134 views in less than a week. Not bad for a team of 3 people working a 4 day week (Future Artists don’t work on Mondays).

How many other companies out there work in this way? Can this flexible hours approach work for larger companies in the industry? Will this method of working help parents back into the TV industry? These are often parents who are highly trained and skilled, who desperately want to get back into work? I really hope employers latch on to this approach, so giving us media parents the break that we need!

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/collaborator/10542/sarah-lee-jones

May 19, 2015 @ 10:41 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Voiceover Artist Katie Flamman

by Amy Walker

“I was one of 50 Media Parents who attended the CV Tear Up last Tuesday evening, sponsored by Alias Hire,” writes Katie Flamman. “I am a former Broadcast Journalist, now working as a Voiceover Artist. My career path is “interesting” so I was hoping for some advice about how to present myself on one page of A4… It was also pretty daunting as I had a (correct) suspicion that I might be the only Voiceover person in the room. Would they think I was in the wrong place? Would I be wasting everyone’s time?”

VO Artist Katie Flamman (left) with freelancers Trevor Showler and Uli Hesse at the Media Parents CV Event sponsored by Alias Hire.

Here’s my background – I am a qualified Broadcast Journalist with 7 years’ experience in TV News (ITN, BSkyB). My last broadcasting job was Programme Editor on Five News. It was a full-on, round-the-clock job – exhilarating and exciting but not family friendly. My husband works long hours and travels a lot. So when we had kids I decided to take a break from broadcasting.

For the last 9 years I have done part-time jobs which fit in around our family: Events Co-ordinator, Charity Fundraiser and Trustee, Learning Support Assistant and Mum. My CV was already varied… and then came my 2015 personal relaunch as Freelance Voiceover Artist and Scriptwriter, working from my home studio.

So I turned up at the Media Parents CV Tear Up with 10 copies of my eclectic CV, feeling nervous. But I needn’t have worried. It was a really positive and nurturing environment. A lot of people there were just as apprehensive as I was – some had moved to London recently and were keen to make contacts, others were also looking for CV advice. I chatted to some lovely Media Parents, including a very kind Sound Engineer who offered to give me feedback on my studio set up in exchange for gardening tips!

And I am pleased to report that thanks to advice from Catherine Catton (UKTV) and the other inspiring execs, my CV now makes sense and the “best bits” are easy to spot. Catherine suggested I should reduce my non-broadcast jobs to a footnote, make more of my News experience and put a Personal Statement at the top. I am now describing myself as a Storyteller: “I will find the right words to tell your story, and my voice will bring that story to life”.

The whole evening was a great confidence booster for me. Since then, work has started to come in too – I’ve recorded a spoof TV promo, been commissioned to narrate and act in a series of animated Shakespeare plays for kids and am in talks about writing and voicing a corporate video. Thank you Media Parents for giving me an empowering experience. Look forward to the next event.

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/10474/katie-flamman

Join us for FREE CV advice at the BECTU Freelancers Fair on May 29th https://www.bectu.org.uk/events/freelancers-fair. Please join www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, networking and events.

May 14, 2015 @ 3:50 pm Posted in News Leave a comment

media parents CV tear up photos

by Amy Walker

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Media Parents CV Tear Up, 50 of us had a great night at ENVY, kindly sponsored by Alias Hire. UKTV’s senior commissioner Catherine Catton, Dawn Beresford from Arrow Media and CPL, Peter Grimsdale, DLT’s Michaela Hennessy-Vass, Lucy Eagle from Cactus, Wild Pictures’ Diana Hunter, Esther Johnson from Boundless and Nick Dyne from Fremantle joined the Alias Hire and Media Parents teams to meet freelancers who wanted to improve their CVs, or just make contacts. There is a link to CV tips at the bottom of this article if you want to rework your CV.

Catherine Catton meets Jo Molloy from the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Jo has found work at Channel 5.

Boundless HoP Esther Johnson seemed to have an ever-growing queue of freelancers waiting to meet her.

Wild Pictures HoP Diana Hunter meets Kate Boddington from the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.

Cactus Head of Production Lucy Eagle, and Media Parents' Amy Walker meet freelancers.

Ex-commissioner Peter Grimsdale was on hand to offer scripted and factual advice.

Former commissioner Michaela Hennessy-Vass met freelancers for DLT Media.

Midnight Oil's Producer Ros Attille and MD Gillane Seaborne.

Alias Hire's MD Danny Dawson nailed the elevator pitch on cameras.

Nick Dyne met freelancers on behalf of Fremantle Media.

Arrow Media and CPL Talent Exec Dawn Beresford called for more CVs before she left. There was a light stampede.

With thanks to The Alias Hire Team

FOR MORE CV TIPS PLEASE GO HERE http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2014/01/new-year-new-cv-new-job/

FOR MORE CV TIPS PLEASE GO HERE http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2014/01/new-year-new-cv-new-job/

Please join www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, networking and events. www.mediaparents.co.uk Please SAVE THE DATE May 20th for our next event and keep an eye on site emails.

April 29, 2015 @ 11:42 pm Posted in News Comments Off