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Author Archives: Amy Walker

About Amy Walker 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 Katherine Eisner on funding from non-broadcast sources

by Amy Walker

Media Parents Networker and Cocaine Unwrapped Producer Katherine Eisner writes about funding from non-broadcast sources.

To contact Cocaine Unwrapped Producer Katherine Eisner please go here:

    Funding is often what stops a great idea in its tracks.

    Over the years I’ve solved this by using alternative sources to top up money from broadcasters or finance films from scratch.

    Who Will Finance Projects?

    A range of organisations will put money into the right kind of project.

    • Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO’s)
    • International Agencies like the UN
    • Private Foundations
    • Government Ministries


    I raised additional money from a Danish NGO for a film about the collapsing Chernobyl sarcophagus (commissioned by Swedish TV) and co-produced with Cicada Films. This enabled us to spend longer time filming at the Chernobyl site.

    Katherine Eisner raised funding for Collapsing Chernobyl, produced with Cicada Films.

    How much can be raised?

    • The amounts of money vary from £3,000 to £5,000 to one- off amounts of  £20,000.
    • Finance can mount up with clusters of funders attached to one project.


    • For the cinema documentary, Cocaine Unwrapped (Dartmouth Films) extra money was needed to film this ambitious story, about the impact of the drugs trade on communities in Latin America and the US. I raised production money from a Dutch NGO and funds for the outreach from the Boell Foundation.

    Still from Dartmouth Films' Cocaine Unwrapped


    • Outreach is important since funders want films to have impact and reach out beyond the TV, cinema screen or website.
    • Example:
    • A film about chemical pollution in the Arctic commissioned by NRK (Norway) and co-o financed by environmental groups was also used by Scandinavian educators in classrooms and by Arctic research institutes in their outreach.

    Is it only Documentaries that could be funded in this way?

    • This approach could also be used for dramas and drama docs.
    • It depends on the story, treatment and factors like timing.

    Katherine Eisner Bio

    Katherine has spent the last 15 years producing TV news features and short documentaries.

    • She has filmed stories from the collapsing Chernobyl sarcophagus to an interview with and profile of Oscar Niemeyer, the great architect.
    • Commissions include C4 News, BBC World, SVT, YLE; consultancies include the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.
    • Recent projects include the cinema feature Cocaine Unwrapped (co-producer) for Dartmouth Films.

    Katherine is known for getting projects off the ground and developing innovative approaches.

    • At Associated Press TV News – (Executive Producer) she developed a new market for APTN’s commercial arm bringing in over $1.2 million from organisations such as the Asian Development Bank and UNICEF.
    • She pioneered co-productions between TV broadcasters and organisations (charities, foundations) attracting new audiences beyond the TV screen.
    • A film about chemical contamination in the Arctic commissioned by Norwegian TV was also used by Scandinavian educators in classrooms and by Arctic research institutes in their outreach.
    • Katherine developed new sources of funds for the Panos Institute (media NGO and model for the BBC’s Media Action) of which she was a founder member and Development Director.
    • Over $1mliion was raised from other charities in the US and Europe for Panos projects (books, workshops, meetings).

    Making international stories relevant to domestic audiences in Europe and the USA (where she lived for seven years) is key to Katherine’s approach.

    • For the cinema documentary Cocaine Unwrapped she planned activities in New York, Washington DC, LA and Berlin with organisations from universities (Johns Hopkins) to grassroots groups, MOMS United Against the War on Drugs.
    • She also organised briefings for specialised media in Washington DC, San Francisco and Boston for the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) as Marketing Director.

    Katherine ‘s experience of international organisations includes:

    • UNICEF (UN- New York) co-ordinating global media campaigns
    • OXFAM (UK) managing a team of campaigners raising funds and awareness

    Katherine’s corporate experience includes:

    • Saatchi and Saatchi on the management side – where she began her career

    Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents Back to Work scheme is currently accepting more applicants, please email for details.

    December 12, 2014 @ 1:14 pm Posted in News Comments Off

    5 minutes with…Anna Burns, Edit Producer

    by Amy Walker

    Before I had my daughter I was a Producer/Director on all sorts of weird and wonderful shows, never quite knowing where my next adventure would be, writes Anna Burns.

    Anna Burns on the Shipwrecked team.

    From a desert island in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean (Shipwrecked) to an operating theatre filming, gulp, cosmetic surgery (10 Years Younger) or in Rio with a bunch of hot young things (Britain’s Next Top Model) to nudists in New York (What’s The Problem with Anne Robinson). Wherever my job took me I was sure to have an experience I would never forget.

    As a kid my Dad used to mock me ‘Anna if there were exams in TV you’d pass with flying colours.’ ‘Haha Dad!’ but maybe he was on to something. After leaving Uni I started out as runner at Granada TV.  There I worked my way up through the ranks, from junior researcher to researcher to Insert Director. And on some of the biggest entertainment shows at that time ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ (Matthew Kelly is genuinely THE nicest man in show business) ‘Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes (yes Rachel Hunter I will never forget your impersonation of Marilyn Monroe) and ‘You’ve Been Framed’ (nothing funnier than dogs and cats).

    After four unforgettable years at Granada and just days before Christmas I impulsively said yes to a job in London, starting the day after New Year’s Day. Was I mad? No place to live and just a handful of people I knew down there, I packed up my car and off I went. My Dad’s last words ‘The road goes both ways’. I never looked back.

    Have Format Will Travel session at Salford with Cat Lewis.

    I got to work on all types of shows – T4′s Popworld, The Frank Skinner Show, The Patrick Kielty Show (lucky Cat Deeley)… I even tried my hand at a quiz show ‘Soap Addicts’. Never seen it? No, nor did many others. But then I got a great opportunity to AP on Wife Swap USA for ABC Television. Wow that is one show that will stay with me forever. A home schooling, vegan, bible bashing family from Florida Vs. an extremely loud, meat eating, cursing family from Virginia. Fireworks. On that I learnt how to make the best telly from a great director, Tayte Simpson. AND how to talk someone back into agreeing to be filmed when they are about to call time on the whole programme. Disaster averted.
    Soon after I was directing programmes of my own and I took everything I had learnt in all those years to create the best TV I could. But then whilst stood in four inches of snow, in the middle of nowhere filming for The Biggest Loser, I was battling morning sickness and I knew this would be my last chance to direct. Having a child would mean I could no longer pack a bag at a moments notice and disappear around the country or the world for what could be months, nor would I want to.

    "…Loads of our Edit Producers are Mums." Sorted.

    So in the later stages of my pregnancy I edit produced. I had stepped into this role before on Supersize V Superskinny and How To Look Good Naked. And sometimes as a director I think we can become too close to our rushes. When you edit produce you bring another way of looking at it, fresh eyes I guess. Then the Exec of Masterchef, David Ambler, bumped into me when I was about to drop and said ‘…just let me know when you’re ready to come back to work, loads of our Edit Producers are Mums’. Sorted.

    However, what I didn’t plan for was soon after having my daughter I became a single parent. I was left with no choice but to relocate back to the north for the support of my family. If life is like a game of snakes and ladders that was one big snake I went down. Right back to where I started at my Mum and Dad’s. I felt like the cards were stacked against me now, all my contacts were in London and I was not just a parent trying to figure a way back into TV but a single parent. If I’m not at home to put my daughter to bed who is? She’d be like orphan Annie.

    I have edit produced a few programmes since I’ve been back in Manchester – CBBC’s Marrying Mum & Dad, BBC3′s Young Tailor of the Year, Channel 4′s Baggage – all thanks to the support of the BBC’s Talent Manager, Victoria Roye.  And I’ve made it work for the job and my daughter. But the contracts have been few and far between. And although my experience may get me an interview, the fact I can’t pull long hours at the drop of the hat won’t always work for a programme, especially if it’s a new series. I get it though, sometimes a show can face difficulties in the edit and the only way to fix it is to put your nose to the grindstone.

    Anna Burns at Salford Media Festival with Back to Work Content Producer Shamaila Khan.

    I recently went for dinner with a couple of old telly friends, an Exec and a Director. When I explained I felt TV had turned its back on me because I could no longer give my life to the job, they looked at me and said ‘Well yes, what did you expect?’ So just when I was starting to feel invisible and like ‘Is this it? Do I go and get a boring job and live out the rest of my boring life?’ I heard about the Media Parents Back To Work Scheme. And more excitingly a chance to attend the Nations & Regions Conference at Media City. Amy Walker looked at my CV, said I had great credits and she’d love to invite me. Right there and then, with just those words, I felt excited about TV again.

    The two days I spent at the festival gave me the boost I needed.  To just be in the same room as Peter Fincham, the Director of ITV, the CEO of Nine Lives, Cat Lewis and Nell Butler, the brains behind Come Dine With Me, was great. Some interesting discussions were had, should the BBC still have the licence fee? That debate will rage on. How our viewing habits have changed and the future is more and more we like to select our own nights entertainment through IPlayer, Netflix, Sky On Demand…But still roughly over 90% of us want to be a part of live TV.  And it’s partly Twitter, Facebook we have to thank for that. Rather than waiting to discuss what went down on Corrie over a coffee at work, we can discuss it with friends or strangers online there and then. There was a discussion on the rise and possibly fall of TV formats and I learnt a new buzz word, ‘fixed rig’ as in One Born Every Minute. But the big news for me is it’s the YouTubers who could be stealing our attention soon and already have followings bigger than Gaga’s ‘Monsters’. We’ll see, I personally hadn’t heard of half the YouTube names banded about. Guess I’m out of touch and need to watch something other than CBeebies.

    What I did take away from everything said was that the TV industry is more exciting than ever, with endless possibilities given the imaginations we have, the technology now there for us to keep telling those stories. But as someone who is not a huge fan of politicians, I was happy to duck out of Harriet Harman’s address to instead meet with ITV’s Talent Exec, Tracy Walker thanks to Media Parents.  I had a great meeting with Tracy, also a Mum, discussing all sorts of avenues of work for me. So I don’t think Harriet would feel too snubbed.
    Overall it was fantastic to be part of such an amazing TV festival and mostly because it reminded me that I do want to work in TV, it’s all I’ve known, it’s what I love and I’m good at it. And why should being a parent stop me in my tracks?

    I think my ‘networking’ skills were a little rusty and maybe I was grinning inanely at everyone. But as there was no alcohol involved I think it’s safe to say I didn’t embarrass myself, too much. Let’s hope this is the start of a new chapter in my career, and in mine and my daughter’s life.

    "Right there and then, with just those words, I felt excited about TV again…Let's hope this is the start of a new chapter in my career and in mine and my daughter's life." Please contact Anna to book her via

    Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents Back to Work scheme is currently accepting more applicants, please email for details. Christmas drinks for freelancers TONIGHT December 4th are detailed on the watercooler at

    December 4, 2014 @ 7:47 am Posted in News Comments Off

    announcing the nations & regions back to work winners

    by Amy Walker

    We’re delighted to be partnering with the Salford Media Festival, and reintroducing two mums to TV via the Nations & Regions TV conference this week. If you are attending the festival please come to find us and say hi, if you’re not, please see our twitterfeed @mediaparents where we will be sharing knowledge from the lectures. Here they are…

    anna burns, edit producer

    Anna Burns is an edit producer with 17 years TV experience, looking for work in Manchester.

    I wish to return to work as an Edit Producer. I worked as a Producer/Director prior to having my daughter but as a single parent I am now unable to commit to working away on location. However, I enjoy the role an Edit Producer brings and my many years of shooting and cutting my own programmes means I have great experience of the edit. I also wish to gain new contacts within TV companies in the north, as I lived and worked in London for the most part of my career many of my contacts are still based there.  So it would be great to meet various companies based at Media City.

    shamaila khan, content producer / researcher

    Shamaila Khan is a web content producer looking to return to broadcast as a researcher.

    Since taking voluntary redundancy from the BBC (after my daughter was born) I have worked part time on two short term contracts for Rasa Productions a theatre company.

    I worked for the BBC in Manchester for nearly ten years on various websites as a researcher and then assistant content producer before the relocation to Media City.

    My plan for returning to work (in the media) after four years is getting back to work I enjoyed and want to be a part of again.

    I also want to work in areas which my previous contracts/work commitments may have restricted me from i.e Television and Radio.

    I am happy to undergo more training if necessary as I am aware I may not possess all the necessary skills for a TV role and also understand that four years away from the media can result in lots of change.

    I feel that starting again is nerve wracking  but also exciting as I want to devote the time I have (now that both children are at school) to work that I am passionate about but also something I feel I am good at.

    I would love to work as a researcher ideally in Entertainment/Drama or Children’s TV, I enjoy these subject matters and could be an asset to but I am also willing to consider any work that gets me back into the media.

    The flexibility of working when you are solely responsible for school runs and children’s welfare while working at a location that may not be close to home will be a challenge but one that I will happily accept, you never know until you give it a try!

    Amy Walker, Media Parents director (pictured left), will be at the festival with Anna and Shamaila. Please stop us and say hi or tweet us @mediaparents where we will be sharing knowledge from the festival.

    Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents Back to Work scheme is currently accepting more applicants, please email for details.

    November 17, 2014 @ 7:40 pm Posted in News Comments Off

    5 minutes with… Rachel Tierney, PD

    by Amy Walker

    Mired in the snotty, skint end of maternity leave, my first thought at seeing the Media Parents Back to Work scheme was a wistful “wouldn’t that be nice” before rescuing the baby from the stairs.  But two people sending me the link in one weekend was a sign – or at least, enough to register in my sleep-addled brain, so I applied.

    Rachel Tierney, second from right, with the Media Parents geitf Back to Work Scheme Winners.

    And got a place. NOW the logistics started.  Could I really leave the baby for three nights?  Could her dad get time off work at short notice?  If the baby (and dad) survived would I survive the emotional wrench? It was a crash course in Getting On with It – a trial run for string-pulling behind the scenes without letting work down.

    Then it dawned on me. Three nights. Away. In a bed. With just myself. Emotional wrench that it indeed was it was also the most exciting prospect I’d faced for many months…

    Pretty much the best thing about the scheme was being plonked, without baby / household / distraction, right in the middle of TV world. This isn’t dipping a toe back in – it’s full on, 10hr days of just thinking, talking, listening, watching TV and the executives running the TV industry. Intimidating, overwhelming, intense, yes – but so quickly exhilarating and inspiring, too.  With admittedly, moments of “so nothing’s changed…”

    Realisation dawns on Rachel Tierney that she has a bed to herself!

    After a year away from development meetings and commissioner briefings I was keen to see the Meet the Controller sessions. Informative and entertaining, these were a great way to get up to date on what different channels are looking for, what’s coming up and where things have moved on to (or not) since I last worked in development. There was the odd edgy moment such as when Charlotte Moore faced repeated questioning from Krishnan Guru-Murthy about being a woman (and nice) in charge of BBC One – frustrating to watch, when no one had raised the issue with Danny Cohen, Cassian Harris or later Peter Fincham.  The latter handled his own interrogation about “risk” (TV buzzword of the moment) with wit…

    Diversity was also on the agenda, with sessions exploring TV’s record on and off camera.  Sky is introducing quotas; the BBC was keen to talk up its forthcoming Black Britain season, which includes a David Olusoga-fronted History of Black Britain (which won TWO CDN Diversity Awards last night). I was glad to see this is one conversation at least which does seem to be moving forward since I last hung out in TV world… Time will tell.

    Rachel Tierney is a Producer Director getting back to work.

    My favourite session, being a nosy parker (why else would I work in documentaries?!) was Sizzles that Sold the Show.  An extremely rare opportunity to spy on other people’s taster tapes and hear why they did or didn’t work… 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy was the standout winner, a funny, lo-fi tape with no bells and whistles, just a smart idea with great characterful delivery.  30% of first pitches now apparently arrive on commissioners’ desks with an (unfunded) tape – so smart, cheap ideas are the way forward.  Although one of the panellists was from content agency Fifth Street, and revealed that production companies hire his services to make killer sizzle tapes. That can’t be cheap.

    I also went to How to be a Better Indie, expecting to learn how to handle the commissioning process better in the eyes of broadcasters, though it was also largely about how indies treat freelancers. Well, yup, it ain’t always great, hence the anxiety I and other Back to Workers were feeling about returning to the workplace. Still with betty and Wall to Wall represented on stage it’s clear production companies can make it work for all concerned.

    The most depressing session for me, and not just because I’m waving goodbye to the age bracket, was about the 16-34 audience. A lively and riled-up panel discussed where now for young viewers, with BBC Three facing a move online (“a kick in the knickers”, Fox Project’s Georgia said..).  An impassioned exploration of what TV does, and should mean for younger viewers – and where it, and they, might go in the future.

    Networking is not my favourite thing, especially in an environment where everyone else is GO GO GO and you’re still trying to remember where you left your self-confidence (somewhere around 7cm dilated, probably).  But with allies in the other Back to Workers and the fab mentoring from Amy Walker I did feel able to get involved.

    6 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners will attend the Televisual Festival, please say Hi! Here 2014 GEITF Back to Work Scheme Winners at the Edinburgh TV Festival and Media Parents' Amy Walker, 3rd from right, next to Rachel Tierney.

    So, a success.  I felt reconnected with the industry, my lactating boobs didn’t explode after three nights away, and most importantly, my partner welcomed me home with the darkly muttered words “…I don’t know how you do it”. Quite.

    Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents Back to Work scheme is offering two FREE places at the Nations & Regions TV Conference in SALFORD. Apply by 5pm on Friday 14th Nov to for details.

    November 12, 2014 @ 3:27 pm Posted in News Comments Off

    5 minutes with Jamie Farnell-Warren…Composer

    by Amy Walker

    “After becoming a dad nearly four years ago it has been quite an act juggling work and childcare”, writes Composer Jamie Farnell-Warren. “Quite apart from this I am very sorry to report that composers, of which I am one, are feeling rather unloved presently.”

    Jamie Farnell-Warren: "Composers… are feeling rather unloved recently."

    The rise of the behemoth that is ‘The Music Production Library’  hasn’t helped us much by spewing great masses of cheap music into the factual world of programming. Libraries do have a part to play but they pay composers very little and only the person who owns the library really makes any decent money. As  freelance composers we are seriously struggling to compete. I know there are some great directors/producers out there who still value composers and the music we create and I have worked with many of them so many thanks to you. So my message is if you invest so much time on making a great film please invest in a person and some original bespoke music and release your editor from spending 12 hours sifting through 1000 library pieces.

    We are also actually quite a bit cheaper than you might think.”

    "Composers… actually quite a bit cheaper than you might think" Jamie Farnell-Warren.

    I have composed for factual/film and documentary and as a member of the BBC Worldwide Composers group and from that I’m asked to pitch on many upcoming BBC productions. I was asked to compose the soundtrack to  the six part series ‘INDIAN OCEANS WITH SIMON REEVE’ for BBC2 putting together an eclectic soundtrack which comprised huge orchestral scores, African vocal songs and everything in between!

    Following on from this my next BBC4 series ‘BULLETS BOOTS & BANDAGES’ also highlighted  the diversity of my work moving from huge orchestral themes through to delicate piano sonatas.

    As a result I was asked to compose the quirky soundtrack for the BBC1 show ‘ALLOTMENT WARS’ through ‘WILD PICTURES’.
 I’ve also worked on many US shows and have had music featured on  ’AMERICAN IDOL’, ‘SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’  & ‘THE SQUAD PRISON POLICE’ to name but a few..

    Have a listen/watch to my music show reel and if you do require an experienced composer on your next project please drop me a line or advertise your job with Amy on the Media parents website.


    Recent Credits:

    ITV1 1 x 45mins ‘Man to Manta with Martin Clunes’

    BBC2 6 x 1hr ‘Indian Oceans with Simon Reeve’

    BBC4 3 x 1hr ‘Bullets, boots & bandages’

    BBC1  1 x 1hr ‘Allotment Wars’

    6 x 45mins ‘The Squad’

    Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents Back to Work scheme is offering two FREE places at the Nations & Regions TV Conference in SALFORD. Apply by 5pm on Monday 10th Nov to for details.

    November 7, 2014 @ 1:27 pm Posted in News Comments Off

    announcing the Televisual Factual Festival Back to Work Scheme Winners

    by Amy Walker

    Congratulations to the eight people who have been awarded places on our November Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Six of them will be attending the Televisual Factual Festival on November 13th and 14th at BAFTA, so if you are also attending please look out for us and say hello! Here come the girls…

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

    helen landeau, production coordinator

    Helen Landeau is a BBC-trained Production Coordinator with over 10 years of location filming experience in Factual, Factual Entertainment and History. Helen has recently taken the risk of leaving the corporate world to become a freelance Production Coordinator after being inspired by Back to Work Scheme winner Harriet Wallace’s story in The Guardian. Helen had been in the corporate world for just under 8 years and had used some of her TV skills in various roles across the organisation, but had always wanted to return. Within a month of joining Media Parents Helen has started her first coordinating role, she is hoping to consolidate that experience through the coaching and mentoring provided on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. @HLandeau

    Jo Molloy, edit producer.

    jo molloy, edit producer

    In a previous life I used to have quite a successful career in telly – I lived in Los Angeles and worked as a producer/director and series producer mainly on high profile mainstream factual/entertainment documentary series for British companies like September Films, and Lion Television. My kids were born in the States, but it was a quiet time for British TV in Los Angeles so I did a few projects mainly consulting and development or pick up shoots.  When we returned to the UK I decided to focus on being a mum.  For years I didn’t work, then through a contact I starting making a couple of films for charities – pitching, directing/producing and edit producing.  I also spent 4 months working on a DIY obs-doc TV series as an edit producer. It was hard balancing childcare and the long hours but I really enjoyed being in the edit, and I think I have a pretty good idea for what makes a story work. @JoMMolloy

    In 2011 my husband and I decided to take a year out and bring up our children in Prague where he’s from, which quickly turned into two years. We’re back in the UK now and I can’t help that niggling feeling that I’m not reaching my full potential, I always loved working in the TV industry and have 15+ years of experience in TV….is it going to waste?  And where do I begin?

    Producer Director Rebecca Towers.

    rebecca towers, producer director

    I’m a Senior Producer Director with fifteen years experience at the BBC where I worked as a programme producer, journalist and filmmaker across multiple factual genres and formats. Whilst I specialised in politics, I also worked on documentaries, current affairs, news and history programmes.  I have had the pleasure of working on some fantastic flagship programmes during my career and it has been a privilege to make films and content that have had a positive impact on people’s lives.

    Shortly after becoming a mum, I left the BBC to spend time with my daughter and to explore work on a wider range of factual filming and writing projects.  Since then, I have produced several short films for television, pitched and produced corporate film content and currently write a monthly interview series, ‘In the Spotlight’, highlighting female talent within the TV and film industry.

    Establishing new contacts in factual programming is a key focus and the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme is a great opportunity to make new connections, get up to speed on industry news and best practice and to receive tailored advice on building an industry profile following a career break. @RTowers_TV

    AP Kate Boddington with her daughter.

    kate boddington, assistant producer

    I made the transition from maternity leave to the world of working TV parents this time last year. Securing mentoring and attending Televisual Factual Festival would not only help me to gain confidence in my ability to juggle work and being a new mum but also give me the chance to focus on nurturing my career and building skills to progress in this highly competitive industry.

    Since returning to work following maternity leave I have been able to undertake two short and one longer contract. I would be really keen to make the most of the guidance on offer. I am keen to explore a few career options including the possibility of moving back into a role within a commissioning broadcaster or what steps I should make next in factual TV Production. @kboddington

    Gina Mahoney, Edit Producer.

    gina mahoney, edit producer

    Since having twin boys in January 2012 I’ve been back at work for two short edit producing stints one for John Torode’s Australia and the other for a reversion of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA.   I think this is a real achievement as when I first had my two boys I thought I may never leave the house again let alone go out to work.

    I think the Media Parents back to work initiative is just what I need to help me gain the confidence to go out and sell myself in the right way.  I could do with some insightful direction for my CV, help to create a good online presence, tips on the most successful ways to approach companies for work and to become skilled at how to network.  I have lots of valuable television production experience in many different genres, including live, entertainment, sport, factual, children’s and most recently food.  Ideally I would like to return to edit producing but not just food shows I would like to broaden my experience again with a view to working back towards producing then series producing again. @MahoneyGina

    Becky Sharpe, Shooting PD.

    becky sharpe, shooting PD

    I am a London-based Director who has been telling stories and making films in one role or another since I was a teenager. I shoot and am happy to write scripts and voice over. I have a commitment to humanitarian projects in my personal work, doing photographic and film projects with people with disabilities and disadvantaged adults and children.

    My career started after Film School at Saint Martins in a Soho Cutting Room on BBC programs and then I independently produced awardwinning short films. I went on to work for broadcast and internet, multi-screen installations, interactive drama, and high budget Corporates for clients such as PriceWaterhouse Coopers, as well as working in Europe and Africa (Sky TV/APTN). I hope to make new connections in broadcast television for full time work – with a view to working as a DV Director and as a Producer/Director. @BeckySharpie

    Ali Schilling, Producer.

    ali schilling, producer

    I left television in 2009. I was extremely fortunate to have worked for some amazing companies on some fascinating factual and current affairs programmes.  I’d travelled all over the world to weird and wonderful places and had worked with some inspirational people. Stopping to have children took me on another journey – equally amazing – but I’ve never lost my love of television and the absolute privilege I felt in making it.

    I have explored new areas since having my children.  I’ve worked with Save the Children’s media team, setting up press trips for print and broadcast journalists to STC’s global projects.  With over a decade’s experience setting up international shoots this was an area I felt hugely confident in but it made me realise just how much I missed programme making. I now also run my own family photography business – Ali Schilling Photography – part time.

    I am right at the start of re-launching myself back into the television world.  As a parent, I had already identified that a logical first step would be to find work as an Edit Producer as the hours are more regular.  I have edited films I’ve produced and know I have the necessary storytelling skills to craft good programmes.  Many of my old contacts have now moved on and so I have been feeling quite daunted about making that first step.  Recently someone told me about the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.   It sounds like an incredible opportunity and would not only give me the guidance that I feel I’m lacking but also the confidence I would need as I feel my way back into the industry again.

    Lucy Dywer Comedy Producer / AP.

    lucy dwyer, comedy producer / AP

    I got my first non-scripted comedy producer job in 2012 after a 2 year career break in which I gave birth to and looked after my daughter. Prior to this I was an AP within comedy / entertainment for a number of years. I love comedy and would like to focus on working in scripted comedy. I want to be part of a production company / organisation that will help me nurture my current writing, editing and producing skills. Ultimately I want to work as a script editor / writer as I feel that this plays to my strengths and will also hopefully enable me to work more flexibly than producing in either a studio or an edit. @skiddlyboooo

    If you would like to join us at the Televisual Factual Festival please see below.

    The Televisual Factual Festival.  Exclusive Media Parents discount

    13-14th November 2014, BAFTA

    The Televisual Factual Festival is the leading forum for business information and debate for factual television filmmakers, business executives and project leaders. With over 50 speakers12 sessions, the Pitch for Cash competition with a £5k prize fund and two Meet the Commissioners networking lunches, the Televisual Factual Festival is a must-attend event for anyone working in factual television. Book your exclusive discounted ticket online using the code MPdisc15. APPLY TODAY

    Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents November Back to Work scheme is currently open for applicants. Please scroll down the blog for details.

    October 31, 2014 @ 7:32 pm Posted in News Comments Off

    5 minutes with Clair Titley… PD on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme

    by Amy Walker

    “I am normally a little skeptical when people mention ‘flexible working’ within the TV industry,” writes Clair Titley, PD on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. “In my experience, ‘flexible working’ in TV means that the Production Manager will order you a pizza if you have to work beyond 9pm. The only people I had come across in TV who actually worked flexible hours were Execs or possibly Series Producers – certainly not PDs or APs.” Keep reading and you’ll discover that Clair is currently working flexibly in TV…

    2014 GEITF Back to Work Scheme Winners at the Edinburgh TV Festival, featuring Clair Titley, far left, and Media Parents' Amy Walker, 3rd from right.

    So when my daughter was about one year old, I threw myself back into work full-time. I loved being back in production – it was a breath of fresh air after a year of nappies. But I really struggled with not seeing my daughter when the inevitable long hours and weeks kicked in. I assumed there was no other way to work though. I then found myself at a cross-roads, not wanting or able to go back to a full-time career, but very reluctant to give up a career that I absolutely love and feel very passionately about.

    Somehow I got chatting to Amy Walker from Media Parents over the phone and told her my situation. I think her words were “You can’t tell me its not possible!” and she persuaded me there was an alternative to the all-or-nothing scenarios. I applied for the Media Parents Back to Work scheme and suddenly found myself in Edinburgh at the TV Festival networking again.

    Clair Titley, left, is being mentored by Channel 4's Deputy Chief Creative Officer, Ralph Lee, via the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.

    It’s amazing when you get talking to people, whether its the BBC’s former Chief Creative Officer Pat Younge, or junior production staff, how common the issue of juggling family life and work life is. But I also discovered that although there tend to be very few flexible jobs advertised – there are people out there who are willing to consider different ways of working. It might mean finding more creative solutions to a role, whether that be job-sharing or longer pre-production periods – but perhaps there is some hope after all? Someone also pointed out that some productions might even greatly benefit from only having to pay me part-time, but still gaining all my expertise.

    So I’ve returned from Edinburgh with a bunch of new contacts, including Channel 4′s Deputy Head of Features Alex Menzies, and Channel 4′s Deputy Chief Creative Officer Ralph Lee as my mentor, some new ideas and most importantly, more confidence in asking for flexible working. Before, if I asked a potential employer about working part-time I was sure I could see their eyes glazing over – and I would assume that the conversation had ended. But by the end of the festival, having spoken to a variety of other mums and carers in TV, I found that there might be ways that my flexible working might help employers – it just requires a little more creativity on both sides to work out how!

    Clair Titley is now working flexibly, 2 or 3 days a week in Bristol.

    Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents November Back to Work scheme is currently open for applicants. Please scroll down the blog for details.

    October 29, 2014 @ 3:26 pm Posted in News Comments Off

    5 minutes with Radica Anikpe… development researcher & presenter

    by Amy Walker

    It was slightly surreal: receiving a message on my phone from Media Parents’ Amy Walker congratulating me for winning a place on the Back to Work scheme. Was she really telling me that I was going to be going to the Edinburgh Television Festival? In less than a week? She only blooming was!

    2014 GEITF Back to Work Scheme Winners at the Edinburgh TV Festival, featuring Radica Anikpe, 4th from left, and Media Parents' Amy Walker, 3rd from right.

    They say it takes a village to raise a child, I would add that it takes no fewer folk to facilitate the removal of one slightly over-excited writer/presenter/carer from London to Edinburgh for four days.

    Radica was too excited to take any more photos beyond this point.

    The pre-festival networking coaching session acted like balm to my petrified-of-networking soul. The upshot? Networking is just chatting, and remembering that it probably won’t lead immediately to a job, it’s just a chat, yeah? Nerves soothed, we were straight into the festival.

    The festival is a full fathom immersion into the world of television, surrounded by those who make, commission and present it.  You are surrounded by the great and the good. Look, that’s Kirsty Wark! Look, that’s Peter Fincham. Look, that’s Stuart Murphy!

    It was an inspirational trip, with the sessions alone being worth the cost of a ticket. Highlights for me included an informative session on sizzle reels: keep it long enough to cover the subject and short enough to remain interesting, and be wary of over-promising and thus shooting yourself in the foot come production.

    Phil Edgar-Jones’ controller session was fabulously entertaining, especially as he had chosen clips with the aim of soothing sore heads (it was the morning after the big do, ouch!). His Sky Arts channels are all about celebrating genius in new and innovative ways and he is always happy to receive a short email with a programme idea.

    Radica Anikpe, papped at GEITF, is now working in development at Channel 5 thanks to meeting Andra Heritage at the Media Parents Back to Work event.

    Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s hour on how they create their shows was an insightful look at how much rigour they apply to writing and performing.

    I have a funny feeling that it could be one of those career-defining moments, but it is a little too early to be making predictions. I will say that it was a full-on, exciting, experience that I grabbed with both hands and not a little gusto. I schmoozed like I have never schmoozed before. Thanks to Amy I have a meetings in the diary with not one, but two commissioners and list of agents to email, and CVs sent to the BBC, among others. Never mind the ready-made peer group of my fellow winners.

    Thanks Edinburgh, you were splendid. 2015, yeah?

    Radica Anikpe is now working in development at Channel 5 thanks to meeting Andra Heritage at the Media Parents Back to Work event.

    Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents November Back to Work scheme is currently open for applicants. Please scroll down the blog for details.

    October 16, 2014 @ 11:55 am Posted in News Comments Off

    media parents back to work drinks and new scheme launch!

    by Amy Walker

    To cheer on the Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme winners, and open admissions for our new Back to Work Scheme we had a drinks party in central London, attended by Discovery Commissioner Helen Hawken, Channel 5′s head of in-house content, Wall to Wall’s Head of Talent Susie Worster amongst other employers and a host of great freelancers. The evening was sponsored by Promotion Hire whose friendly team also joined us for the evening. Here are some photos from the night, and details of how to apply for our next scheme are below – applications close on October 20th and there are 6 places up for grabs with entry to the Televisual Factual Festival in November included.

    Discovery Commissioning Editor Helen Hawken with Channel 5's head of in-house production Andra Heritage.

    Vera Productions MD Rebecca Parkinson, with PD Ana Garcia.

    2014 Back to Work Scheme Winner Radica Anikpe, right, is being mentored by Michelle Chappell, Commissioning Editor at Channel 5.

    2014 & 2013 GEITF Back to Work Scheme winners Anna Coane, comedy producer, and Harriet Wallace, factual producer.

    Susie Worster, Head of Talent at Wall to Wall talks to Producer Becky Jones.

    Vera MD Rebecca Parkinson talks to BBC Comedy's Charlotte Lamb and Producer Julie Clive.

    Brook Lapping's Paul Birmingham talks to freelancers.

    Drama Director Vito Rocco talks to 2014 GEITF Back to Work Winner Kumari Salgado, Script Editor.

    2013 Back to Work scheme winner Sidra Khan has been working for Channel 4 as an edit producer since taking part in the scheme.

    Rachel Tierney, PD, 2014 winner (left) talks to AP Hina Zaidi.

    Production Coordinator Helen Landeau talks to BBC's Charlotte Lamb.

    Caroline, Jude, Peter and Alain from Promotion Hire, sponsors of the event.

    Media Parents' Kerry Jones and Amy Walker. Amy is currently Head of Talent at The Garden Productions.

    Our latest Back to Work Scheme offers support to freelancers returning to TV after a career break. Six entrants have the opportunity to win a pass to the Televisual Factual Festival in November, in addition to a personalised mentoring programme. Media Parents provides individual coaching on every aspect of returning to the workplace. In addition to mentoring from relevant people at broadcasters and indies, Media Parents offers sessions on getting the most from mentoring, networking, CVs, personal branding, interviewing and stepping back into the workplace. The scheme is subsidised by Skillset which is offering a bursary for 80% of the course fee. For more details please email us at Applications have now closed but you can still get tickets for the Televisual Factual Festival on November 13th and 14th.

    The Televisual Factual Festival.  Exclusive Media Parents discount

    13-14th November 2014, BAFTA

    The Televisual Factual Festival is the leading forum for business information and debate for factual television filmmakers, business executives and project leaders. With over 50 speakers12 sessions, the Pitch for Cash competition with a £5k prize fund and two Meet the Commissioners networking lunches, the Televisual Factual Festival is a must-attend event for anyone working in factual television. Book your exclusive discounted ticket online using the code MPdisc15. Offer expires 31st October

    Please join for great jobs, events and training.

    October 4, 2014 @ 4:41 pm Posted in News Comments Off

    media parents back to work drinks… who’s coming?

    by Amy Walker

    We’re delighted to announce a stellar line-up of companies and freelancers in attendance at the Media Parents Back to Work Drinks on October 1st. Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme Winners from 2014 and 2013 will be attending. We’re sorry the guestlist has now closed, but we will be launching a new Back to Work Scheme, in conjunction with Skillset and the Televisual Factual Festival, so please do apply when the details are made public. Meanwhile here are company attendees at the drinks :

    Helen Hawken - Director of Programming, Factual, DNI
    Caroline Ross – Director of Human Resources, Shine Group
    Priscilla Baffour – Industry Talent Specialist, Channel 4
    Susie Worster – Head of Talent, Wall to Wall
    Rachel Ayres – Talent Coordinator, Shed Media Group
    Paul Birmingham – Production Manager, Brook Lapping
    Andra Heritage – Head of Channel 5 in-house Production
    Miranda Wayland – ITV Diversity & Inclusion Manager
    Charlotte Lamb – Talent Coordinator, BBC Comedy
    Amy Walker – Head of Talent, The Garden Productions / Media Parents
    Kerry Jones – Media Parents
    Caroline Bingham – Business Development, Promotion Hire
    & the Promotion Hire team

    Freelancers attending :

    Jo Molloy PD
    Stacey Burns Wyn Davies Sports Producer
    Harriet Wallace Producer (2013 winner)
    Sidra Khan PD / Edit Producer

    (2013 winner)

    Becky Jones Development Exec / SP
    Heather Day PD
    Helen Landeau Production coordinator
    George Bland PD / Editor
    Anita Lowenstein Dent
    Einav Leshetz Editor
    Kumari Salgado Script Editor

    (2014 winner)

    Elena Rottigni Researcher
    Jamie Farnell Warren composer
    Kate Boddington AP
    Anna Coane Producer / Edit Producer

    (2014 winner)

    Radica Anikpe AP / Producer

    (2014 winner) PD
    Ana Garcia Shooting PD / AP
    Amanda Rubin PD / social media
    Rachel Tierney (2014 winner) PD
    Hazel Palmer Camera Operator
    Matt Holden Exec Producer
    Zoe Fryer PD
    Hina Zaidi AP
    Claudia Lee PD / Editor
    Gina Mahoney Edit Producer/Producer
    Elanor Lee PM
    Lucy Dwyer PD/Edit producer
    Julie Clive Producer

    Becky Sharpe


    PD/DV Director

    Mignon Van Weeran Producer
    31 Liz PC
    Vito Rocco Director
    Jane Devoy Writer, drama
    Rebecca Wolff Producer
    Danielle Carpanen Edit Producer
    Sarah Brewerton Editor, drama
    Fiona Wailes Producer

    October 1, 2014 @ 12:33 am Posted in News Comments Off