Media Parents

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.

Become a post production co-ordinator

by Amy Walker

Post Production Co-ordinator training  – the Production Guild 7th – 11th December in Soho

Have you taken time out of your career and need to increase your skills working in film and TV post production? Or are you working in the film industry as a production assistant, assistant production co-ordinator or production co-ordinator and interested in moving to post production? If so, The Production Guild’s one week intensive Post Production Co-ordinator Training taking place on Monday 7th December – Friday 11th December from 10am – 2pm at 01zero-one is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to make the move to post production co-ordinator and build a long term career in the UK film industry.

The week long course is taught by leading Post Production Supervisor Gisela Evert (Jonathan Strange and Mr. NorrellThe FallingThe Grand Budapest Hotel). You will review the whole post production process gaining a full understanding of the deliverables of film, learning to ascertain and monitor the progress.

The Production Guild based at Pinewood Studios is the UK’s most prestigious membership organisation for those working in production on feature films and TV drama.

We are particularly keen to receive applications from return to work parents and to facilitate this training will take place between 10am to 2pm.

The cost of this week long course is £300 + VAT + booking fee. (Without significant financial support from Creative Skillset the cost of this training would be over £2500).

Further funding for travel and accommodation is also available for those living outside of Greater London.

Closing date for applications is Thursday 26th Nov 5pm.

You can apply here Alternatively please get in contact to find out more – you can email us or telephone us at Pinewood Studios 01753 651 767.

Media Parents next event is CV A&E with FremantleMedia UK, Twofour Group and Zodiak Media. Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking event is taking place on November 23rd, see for details.

November 19, 2015 @ 2:29 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Anna Curtin Endemol’s Back to Work Development Producer

by Amy Walker

Development Producer Anna Curtin is Endemol Shine’s candidate on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Here Anna writes about her adventures in Edinburgh and beyond – she is now #backtowork – it can be done!

Anna Curtin relaunches herself at Edinburgh ℅ Endemol Shine and the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.

GEITF started well for me when I got a free phone charger and then I met my fellow Media Parents delegates who are lovely and inspiring people.  Knowing that everyone comes with some anxiety was reassuring.  Luckily the talent managers I met (Melissa Clay-Peters from Princess Productions and Nicky Searle from Dragonfly Film & TV) were very supportive of parents returning to work and both gave me some great tips for my CV – it’s important that a Development Producer includes the commissioning editors’ names against credits.

The sessions made me realize that my break from TV hasn’t made a difference in what the commissioners are looking for. They want authenticity, innovation and ultimately good story telling. Someone asked Channel 5’s Controller Ben Frow if 5 still wanted fixed-rig shows and he explained that fixed-rig is just a filming technique – it’s still all about the story. It seems the best way to approach 5 with an idea is to shout loud and proud that you came up with this show for Channel 5 and that you want to work with them. Makes sense.

GEITF sessions made Development Producer Anna Curtin feel her ideas were still relevant.

Angela Jain, Director of Digital Channels and Acquistions for ITV said it was essential to watch the channel you are pitching to, and that the best approach is to “Make me laugh and bring me cake”.  Most of the commissioners want to be surprised.

The session about TV titles was interesting – basically don’t put the word British or Benefits in a title – they’ve been done to death.  There goes my ‘Get Britain Off Benefits’ idea then.

Remarkable Television MD Kitty Walshe.

I reconnected with several friends and ex-colleagues at GEITF, and set up follow-up meetings in London. I also met my mentor Kitty Walshe, MD, Remarkable TV. A mum herself, Kitty is a firm believer in parents returning to work – positively, the general consensus is that working parents are very good employees and have good time-management and patience.

I think one of the main things I took away from Edinburgh was not to apologise for being a parent or for taking a break. We are all still relevant and valuable to the industry.  Taking some time out to have kids is not an affliction – after all producing a human being takes a lot of hard work, and we want to return to work as we love it and have a lot to offer.

Since returning from Edinburgh I’ve met with Kitty Walshe again to discuss my Back to Work Plan, who was very nice and helpful.  She gave me some suggestions for my CV and some good advice in general.  She put me in direct contact with people who may be looking for good development people so I’m excited about that. She’s also going to send my CV to other companies where she has good contacts. I got my first short development contract care of Media Parents at CPL Productions – and I’ve recently got another contract at Ricochet – so who knows where that will lead?

Anna Curtin's GEITF tips : take your notebook and festival pass and be ready to party!

If you are looking to get back into the workplace, do join Media Parents on Nov 23rd for our CV A&E at Fremantle. Scroll down this blog for more info.

Media Parents next event is CV A&E with FremantleMedia UK, Twofour Group and Zodiak Media. Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking event is taking place on November 23rd, see for details.

November 17, 2015 @ 1:56 pm Posted in News Comments Off

media Parents CV A&E hosted by fremantlemedia UK

by Amy Walker

After attending Media Parents’ networking event at BBC Broadcasting House in September, FremantleMedia UK’s Head of Talent Emily Gale got in touch to say how many fabulously talented freelancers she had met… brilliant! But… Emily felt that some freelancers CVs could sell their wealth of talent better – and so the Media Parents CV A&E was proposed for November 23rd. The event is kindly hosted by Fremantle and sponsored by Alias Hire who will be showing off their latest drone. Please read on for who’s coming and their top TV CV tips…

FremantleMedia UK's Emily Gale, right, and TwoFour's Sue Kenderdine meet freelancers at Media Parents' BBC Broadcasting House event in October.

Emily Gale will be joined at Fremantle by Zodiak Media’s Jules Waring, TwoFour’s Leeanne Vinson – and Sue Kenderdine also enjoyed the BBC event so much that she will be joining us again. The talent team will be offering freelancers tailored CV advice by appointment, and Sony Pictures’ Ian Critchley who also attended the BBC Broadcasting House event, will give group coaching on How To Network. Alias Hire’s MD Danny Dawson, and Head of Training Natalie Brady will be showing off their new drone and on hand to talk about Skillset-backed training opportunities. The event takes place from 5:30 – 7:30pm and freelancers are asked to submit CVs in advance. For details see the watercooler and CV A&E emails from

CV A&E who’s coming… NEW ADDITIONS

Helena Tait, COO, Nutopia

Helena Tait, Nutopia

Helena has managed and delivered hundreds of hours of content for global audiences, working with most major broadcasters on both side of the Atlantic.  After many years at Wall to Wall she joined Diverse as Head of Production in 2006.   Although specialising in ground-breaking, award winning specialist factual shows and event television, she has also overseen content production spanning factual entertainment, light entertainment, quiz shows, formats, drama and shiny floor.   Helena joined Nutopia  in 2010, and oversees company operational activities as well as partnerships, company strategy, staffing, communications and growth in ancillary areas.

Helena Tait’s CV tip : keep the file size of your cv small – a large file will be the first to go from an inbox.

simon willgoss, head of development, nutopia

Simon Willgoss, Nutopia

Simon heads up Nutopias Development department, rejoining the company in 2014 after a stint as Head of Development at CB Films. Simon originally joined Nutopia to develop America The Story Of Us for History – which became the network’s highest ever rated special. His recent development and production credits include the Emmy-winning How We Got To Now for PBS, The 1980s: The Decade That Made Us for Nat Geo, Mankind for History, and How We Invented the World for Discovery. Simon was named one of Broadcast Magazine’s International Rising Stars in 2015.

Simon Willgoss’s CV tip : if you work in development name the commissioners you have worked for and if you have had ideas commissioned make that very clear too.

Natalie Spanier

Natalie Spanier, Head of Talent, Nutopia

Natalie has spent her career in factual television working with some of the UK’s leading indie companies and broadcasters. After several years in the independent sector, in 1998 she joined the BBC Specialist Factual department as a producer. She worked on a range of output from iconic magazine shows such as Animal Hospital and Tomorrow’s World to live events and blue chip documentaries. In 2006 she joined the UK commissioning team for the Animal Planet Channel, and more recently worked as an Executive Producer on several series including the hit wildlife documentary series Monkey Life which airs around the world.

John Comerford, Head of Boundless West

John Comerford is Head of the newly formed Boundless West label, Fremantle UK’s regional production hub in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. Boundless West’s productions include Escape to the Country (BBC One), Grand Designs (C4), Escape to the Continent (BBC One) and Four Rooms (C4). He divides his time between the London and Amersham offices.

As an Executive Producer, John oversees the Railway Journeys and Escape brands, encompassing Great British Railway JourneysGreat Continental Railways,Railways of the Great War,  Escape to the Country and Escape to the Continent. As Editor of Factual Programmes, he executive produced a wide variety of Boundless and talkbackTHAMES brands including: How Clean is Your House? (C4), House Doctor (C5), Wish You Were Here (ITV), Would Like to Meet (BBC Two), Farmer Wants a Wife (C5),  Designs for Living (C5), Digging Deep (BBC Two), Squeamish(Discovery), Heroes of History (C5), and a number of documentaries including Nuns Aloud (BBC One) and Farewell The Bill (ITV).

Prior to joining Fremantle, John was an Executive Producer in the BBC’s Documentaries & Contemporary Factual department, where he oversaw travel programming.  During his BBC career he produced a variety of factual, documentary and children’s programming including Blue PeterAirport and Holiday.

John Comerford’s CV tip : don’t forget that TV is a visual medium and if you work in a creative job your CV should reflect that.

Boundless HoP Esther Johnson at a previous Media Parents CV event. Thank you Esther for joining us again!

Esther Johnson, Head of Production, Boundless

Head of Production for Boundless, Esther has overall production management responsibility across all factual titles – from Daytime Factual: Escape to the Country and Great British Railway Journeys, to Factual Entertainment: The Apprentice and You’re Fired, Features: Grand Designs, and Specialist Factual: Four Rooms.

She joined the company in May 2008, initially as Head of Production for Factual Features at talkbackTHAMES, which included responsibility for the regional production base in Amersham.

Prior to this, Esther was at the BBC, working initially as a Programme Finance Manager and Senior Genre Business Affairs Manager in Factual Commissioning and then as Production Executive working across the BBC’s in-house production activity in Science & History key titles during this time included HorizonTimewatchSupervolcanoIndustrial Wonders of the World and Jimmy’s Farm).

Esther started her career at the British Film Institute working in research and TV production.

Esther Johnson’s CV tip : if you want international work list far-flung countries you have travelled in – experience of a place may land you the job over someone has none.

Emily Gale, FremantleMedia UK (Photo courtesy of RTS Futures)

emily gale, head of talent, fremantlemedia UK

Emily Gale started out working for BBC Regional News. She then moved to Watchdog, starting as a runner and working her way up to producer. Emily then moved to CBBC where she series produced live, magazine and documentary series including the BAFTA nominated Short Change. She has produced and directed live shows and OBs for BBC Factual, and worked in New York making reality shows for Discovery and Bravo. Emily is now head of talent for FremantleMedia UK.

Emily Gale’s top CV tips :

Please don’t turn your CV into an essay – 2 pages is ideal, 3 absolute maximum.

Driving Licence is with a C, not an S.

Isobel Ricketts, Breakthrough Media

Isobel Ricketts, Breakthrough Media

Breakthrough is a communications agency and production company. Our mission is to help our clients inspire positive social change through the power of storytelling, primarily through the production of emotionally driven films, campaigns and other communications products.

Our clients include NGOs, government agencies and inter-governmental organisations and today we employ around one hundred people across Europe and East Africa.

Isobel Ricketts’ CV tip : include links to any of your shows online – don’t assume everyone has watched everything.

Leeanne Vinson, TwoFour

Leeanne Vinson, Talent Executive, Twofour Broadcast

Leeanne Vinson, talent executive, twofour broadcast

Leeanne Vinson heads up Twofour’s talent division, attracting and retaining the best execs, producers and directors in the industry for the Twofour Group. Leeanne has worked in television for over twenty years for indies Betty, Fresh One and Shine as well as for C4 and the BBC Features commissioning team.

Leeanne Vinson’s top CV tips:

Keep your CV short and sweet

Summarise your experience briefly – as if you are explaining it to a friend

Don’t write ‘references on request’ – get permission from two or three referees and write their name, position and email address at the bottom of your CV. A good reference will help you get the right job far more quickly..

Sue Kenderdine with a freelancer at Media Parents BBC Event.

Sue Kenderdine, Head of Talent, TwoFour

Sue is responsible for off-screen editorial talent across the Twofour Group (including Twofour, Oxford Scientific Films, Indus and Boomerang). She runs Twofour’s Talent Database, building and developing relationships with all levels of production staff – from researchers to series producers – and working with our executive producers and production management teams to staff projects and to attract and keep the best people in our Devon, London and Cardiff offices. With eight years non-TV management experience and 17 years in television, Sue joined Twofour in 2006 having spent six years at Lion Television.

Sue Kenderdine’s top TV CV tip:

Ensure your email address is your name, i.e. not or rather,

Julia Waring, Head of Talent, RDF Media

Julia Waring, Head of Talent, RDF Media

I started working in television as a production secretary in drama in 1985, moving over to factual a couple of years later. I  became a researcher, AP and then Producer through freelance jobs at ITV, Mentorn and various other indies, until joining RDF Television in its infancy in May 1997.  After running what was tantamount to a news desk for RDF International, and SPing various in-house productions, I sidestepped the mechanics of making television programmes and was given the post of recruiting other people to do that!  I find it a constant pleasure – as well as really interesting – to meet such a variety of people who want to bring their imagination, passion and intelligence to this industry – and I especially enjoy meeting new entrants and providing an opportunity to give them a kick start their chosen career path.

My job at RDF is to keep in touch with all grades of freelancers on the editorial side in the TV industry, from new entrants to executive producers.  Once met (our team tries to arrange meetings with as many people as possible) and on our Talent Database, we can track talent and put them forward for production or development roles as appropriate.  The joy of the job is meeting so many great people and facilitating work for them within the Zodiak Group – or putting them in touch with other Talent Managers in the industry.

Julia Waring’s top CV tips:

“Headlines”! – no talent manager wants to read a novel when they get a CV – keep it simple.

For me, no personal statement – your brief covering letter should contain any info which might be useful on that front to a prospective employer.

SONY Pictures' Ian Critchley (right) meets Media Parents at the BBC Broadcasting House event.

ian critchley, talent consultant, sony international television

Ian will kindly be offering small groups a workshop “How to Network” at the event.

Originally from St. Helens, Merseyside Ian has spent over twenty-five years in the TV industry across ITV and the BBC where he established the BBC’s Production Talent Network. He has been responsible for editorial talent management across all genres in production and commissioning on a pan-UK basis.

With a particular focus on developing new talent and headhunting at the executive level for a range of award winning shows, from Strictly Come Dancing to Top Gear, Little Britain to Dr. Who, Ian is now a talent consultant at Sony International Television and is the media advisor for On The Road action group.

Ian Critchley’s top TV tip for working flexibly:

If you want flexible work, research all the TV companies within a mile of where you live and contact them!

Alias Hire's Natalie Brady and Danny Dawson at Media Parents last CV event.

danny dawson, MD, Alias Hire

Danny Dawson is the Managing Director of Alias Hire, having originally joined in 2009 as Hire Manager. In the time, Danny has been influential in repurposing Alias Hire into one of the industry’s premier video facility companies. Prior to Alias Hire Danny was a production professional operating for 8 x years as a Researcher, Shooting AP and PD on varying titles and formats including live transmission “City Hospital” BBC1, “Who Do You Think You Are?” BBC1, as well as corporate production. Danny entered into the broadcast industry in 1999 first for Hammerhead TV and then to Metro Broadcast where he joined as a runner to running the hire desk within three years.

Danny was elevated to Managing Director in October 2014 and is committed to focusing Alias Hire into exploring new areas of broadcast services, including bespoke training, aerial video and IP Streaming.

Alias Hire’s top CV tip : if you’re a shooter, state in your job title that you shoot, and elsewhere list the cameras you use

natalie brady, head of training, alias hire

Natalie Brady has been working in the media industry for over 20 years. Starting as an assistant at the BBFC in Soho Square. After taking time out to have children she went back to work as a casting agent and in 2005 she joined a training company as a coordinator for Soho Editors.

Since then she has gone from strength to strength helping companies and freelancers get high end training while also securing lots of funding from Creative Skillset to help make training more affordable for everyone. Natalie has facilitated Alias Hire’s training programme (as well as running the office and on most days the company). For a factsheet on Alias Hire’s subsidised courses please click on the relevant title below :

Production Manager Factual TV

Production Manager Children’s TV

Production Coordinator Children’s TV

Data Wrangler

Media Parents Director Amy Walker (left) with Hampshire employer Rosie Bowen-Jones at the BBC Broadcasting House event.

Amy Walker, Director, Media Parents

Amy Walker founded and runs Media Parents. She is passionate about retaining experienced talent in the TV industry and will be on hand to meet freelancers on an ad hoc basis at the Fremantle event. In addition to running Media Parents, Amy works as a freelance talent exec and series producer. She is currently series producing part time – it can be done!

Amy Walker’s top TV tip:

Use networking to your advantage, both in person and on social media – it’s a lot more fun than you think if you just give it a go. See you at the event.

Details of how to sign up for this event are on the watercooler at Freelancers are asked to submit a CV, indicating the talent manager they would like to meet, and their likely time of arrival at the event which runs from 5:30 to 7:30. Ian Critchley’s How to Network talks will be first come first served to groups of up to 8 people on the day. We look forward to seeing you there.


Ann hawker Edit producer

Charlotte Armitage Shooting PD shorts, promos, micro docs.

christopher wiseman Production Manager

Claire Daly Producer

Anne Monnehay Editor

Charlotte Wassermann Senior Producer / Edit Producer

Claire Ackling Radio producer & media mgmt

Clio David Producer Director Camera

Corinna Gallop Producer / Production Manager

David Coward Producer Director

Diego Nicoletti Camera operator and PD

Gaby Koppel Series Producer/ Edit Producer

DAREN TILEY Freelance Editor

David Harris Pd

Fergus Clark Cameraman

George Bland Avid Editor / Producer


Hayley Smith Series Producer

Jeannine Dowling-Jones Executive Assistant/Personal Assistant

Jim Anderson Assistant Producer/P/D

Graciela Watson Edit Producer

Ilya Colak-Antik Development Executive

Jeff Bannis AP, DV Director

Jim Shreim Producer Director

Johanna Woolford Gibbon PD / SD / SP

kate Middleton Executive Producer

Katy Lock Producer/Director

Leisa Fisicaro Producer/Director / Edit Producer

Kasia Uscinska Producer/Director

Katharine Duchesne Series Producer

Kyra Beguiristain Producer

livia russell Series Prod/Ed Prod

Loanna Morrison Researcher?AP

Louise Orton Producer/Director

Maria Vazquez Medina Offline film & video editor

Marius Grose Avid Editor

Louise Metcalfe Assistant Producer

Lucy Sandys-Winsch Exec/Series Producer

Marion Milne Series Producer/Producer Director

Martin Percy Interactive Film Director

Matt Currington PD

Michelle Brooks Producer

Nicola Waddell Executive Producer/Series Producer

Rachael Heaton-Armstrong Producer/Ap

Michael Pentney Editor

Morgan Phillips Producer/Director

Pauline Roenisch Production Manager

Rebecca Towers Producer Director

Richard Clayton Video Editor

Roger Huyton Producer/Director (Self-shooting)

Rosemary Laryea Presenter/Producer

Simon Ardizzone Offline Editor

Richard Hughes Shooting Director & Cameraman

Romesh Aluwihare Freelance Film & Television Editor

Shany Stephany Producer

susan drummond Producer/AP/EP

Susana Seijas producer

Tamsin Curry Producer/AP

Vikki Miller Producer

William Shaylor Production Manager

Susie Valerio AP

Tracy Warren Development

Warren Prentice Series / Exec Producer

Zoe Alzamora Production Manager

zoe brooks Promo Producer

Media Parents next event is CV A&E with FremantleMedia UK, Twofour Group and Zodiak Media. Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking event is taking place on November 23rd, see for details.

November 3, 2015 @ 4:26 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Movember with Media Parents PD Phil Stein

by Amy Walker
Hello everyone. This year, I am taking part in Movember. If you have never heard of Movember, the idea is quite simple. I grow a MOustache during NoVEMBER. MO…VEMBER, get it? No, I haven’t just made this up – it’s an actual thing. A big thing, which raises money for men’s health in various countries around the world. The main causes are testicular cancer, prostate cancer, men’s mental health and physical inactivity. All worthy causes you are willing to support, right?

Shooting PD Phil Stein in clean shaven times at Media Parents' Arrow Media event in October.

So what will happen is every day this month, I will be posting a photo of myself on my Facebook page and on my twitter account (@filmmaker_phil). The first one is attached to this message.
In return, all I ask is for a small donation from you – and for you to spread the word: I’m aiming to raise £250 this month. You can click on my special Movember website: and follow the instructions. All major credit cards (and PayPal) are accepted.
Yours Hairily.

DONATE to get Phil to smile :

Phil Stein is a creative P/D, Series Producer (or Series Director) and Edit Producer who focuses on strong story-telling through well-crafted films. He has fifteen+ years of experience with specialist factual, ob-doc & drama-doc formats. Find him here :

Media Parents next event is CV A&E with FremantleMedia UK, TwoFour Group and Zodiak Media. Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking event is taking place on November 23rd, see for details.

@ 1:48 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Arrow Media meets Media Parents photos

by Amy Walker

Many thanks to Arrow Media’s Exec Team for throwing open Arrow Media’s HQ to 60 Media Parents freelancers last week – great to hear that Arrow Media has subsequently employed some Media Parents freelancers and will be keeping in touch with many more. MD Iain Pelling personally welcomed everyone, and Joint Creative Director John Smithson spoke to greet everyone and introduce the exec team. We then dispersed to all corners of Arrow Media to meet and talk, it was great to be invited into so much of the building. Here are some of the photos, more are shared in our twitterfeed @mediaparents and on facebook.

John Smithson, Arrow Media's Joint Creative Director, greets the room at Arrow's London HQ.

Arrow Media MD Iain Pelling not only worked the whole room, he met every Media Parents freelancer attending throughout the whole Arrow Media building.

Arrow Media Execs Ash Potterton and Nick Metcalfe amongst the Media Parents crowd.

It was pretty packed! 60 Media Parents freelancers then dispersed around the building to meet the Arrow Media Exec Team.

Arrow Media's Talent Exec Dawn Beresford meets a Media Parents Editor in post production. Huge thanks to Dawn for suggesting this event.

Thanks to very new father and Exec Ash Potterton for joining us - congratulations on the new arrival!

Media Parents Back to Work freelancers waiting to meet Ash Potterton.

Media Parents freelancers networking in the basement at Arrow Media.

Arrow Media Joint Creative Directors John Smithson (right), Tom Brisley (centre) and Exec Nick Metcalfe meet Media Parents freelancers in the board room.

Media Parents Production Manager Rashpal Dhaliwal spotted hard at work in the Arrow Media office!

Arrow's Head of Features Oliver Wright meeting a freelancer on the third floor.

Executive Producer Thomas Viner with a Media Parents freelancer.

Production Executive Carrie Pettifer meets Media Parents Archivist Tracey Li.

A good time was had by all.

Thanks also to Arrow Media's runners for smoothly facilitating the event.

Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking will be announced in the first week of November provisionally taking place on November 23rd, see for details.

October 22, 2015 @ 10:00 am Posted in News Comments Off

Arrow Media meets Media Parents Event 21st October

by Amy Walker

We’re delighted to announce that Arrow Media will be hosting an event to meet Media Parents talent on October 21st. Arrow Media’s MD Iain Pelling and Creative Directors Tom Brisley and John Smithson (Sherpa, Touching the Void) will attend along with Arrow Media Execs Nick Metcalfe, Thomas Viner, Ash Potterton, recently appointed Head of Features Oliver Wright, Production Executive, Carrie Pennifer and Talent Exec Dawn Beresford. If you have features or specialist factual experience, and / or have worked for U.S. broadcasters then the Arrow team would love to meet you. The event was suggested by Dawn Beresford, Arrow’s Talent Exec, after she was so impressed by the Media Parents freelancers she met at an event earlier this year. The event takes place on Wednesday 21st October and applications are now closed, for details of our events please see the watercooler at

Arrow Media Creative Directors Tom Brisley and John Smithson with MD Iain Pelling will be meeting Media Parents on October 21st.

Arrow Media is one of the UK’s most ambitious creative forces.  A fast-growing independent production company, Arrow Media specialises in creating high quality and innovative content across TV, film and digital media from long-running series to big ambitious projects such as new theatrical documentary Sherpa, RTS winning Live from Space, ID ratings hit series See No Evil and NGCI juggernaut Ultimate Airport Dubai.

Founded in 2011 by Tom Brisley, John Smithson, and Iain Pelling, Arrow Media has created and produced hundreds of hours of adventure, science and technology, nature and history programming for the UK, US and International markets. Arrow’s clients include Channel 4, BBC, Sky, Smithsonian Network, Discovery, Animal Planet, TLC and National Geographic Channels globally.

who’s coming…

Tom Brisley, Joint Creative Director

Tom Brisley, Joint Creative Director

Tom Brisley is co-founder and joint creative director of Arrow Media, one of the UK’s fastest growing independent production companies. His creative vision and leadership have played an integral role in establishing Arrow as one of the UK’s most ambitious creative forces and expanding its portfolio of content across live, scripted, factual and factual entertainment programming for the UK, US and international TV market.

Tom’s recent credits for Arrow include the ground-breaking and RTS and Bafta digital award-winning Live From Space for Channel 4 in the UK and NGC in the US and globally; Battle of Britain – Return of the Spitfires for Channel 4; See No Evil, which broke audience records for Investigation Discovery in the US; Planes That Changed The World and Animal Fight Night.

Before setting up Arrow, Tom ran the factual TV output of Darlow Smithson Productions where he was responsible for creating and executive producing over 200 hours of high-quality television, including long-running series I Shouldn’t Be Alive; Richard Hammond’s Engineering Connections and the award-winning Seconds from Disaster. He also oversaw documentary specials such as Miracle on the Hudson; Concorde’s Last Flight and the BAFTA nominated Tsunami: Caught on Camera, as well as the Animal Planet drama Mermaids – The Body Found.

Previous to that Tom worked as a producer/director in the independent sector and at the BBC, where he started his TV career as a graduate trainee.

John Smithson, Joint Creative Director

John Smithson

John Smithson is co-founder and joint creative director of Arrow Media, one of the UK’s fastest growing independent production companies. Previously he was chief executive of Darlow Smithson Productions, a company he created and evolved into one of the biggest and most admired producers in global non-fiction TV. He has been nominated and won more than 50 Awards across film and television for his work.

In 2011 he was an Oscar® nominee for Best Motion Picture of the Year for Danny Boyle’s 127 HOURS, a film he originated and produced. He also produced Touching the Void, which won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film and broke box-office records. He has worked as an Executive Producer on hundreds of hours of iconic television – from long running factual series to scripted films for broadcasters around the world.

Iain Pelling, MD

Iain Pelling

No biog.

Oliver Wright, Head of Features

Oliver Wright. Arrow Media Team Portraits by

Oliver started his career producing and directing segments for a variety of US tabloid news and entertainment series that aired globally, then worked across a variety of hit documentaries, features and reality series for UK broadcasters.

His credits include series and development producer for Embarrassing Bodies (C4), series and then executive producer for Supersize vs Superskinny (C4). He produced and directed Daniella Westbrook: Eastenders, Drugs and My New Nose, which was a huge hit on Channel 5, series produced Make Me Perfect (ITV), and executive produced Superscrimpers (C4), The Sex Education Show (C4) and Snog Marry Avoid, which he revitalised with a new presenter and comedy elements for BBC3. Wright also co-created the body modification reversal series idea which is now Bodyshockers (C4). He also executive produced the show, which has since become a global hit and now airs in dozens of countries worldwide.

As Talent Executive at Arrow Media and CPL Productions Dawn is responsible for helping grow the companies’ output and scouring the industry for the top production talent.

Prior to this Dawn spent over 3 years as the Creative Executive at Shine TV where she initiated, designed and managed Shine TV’s graduate trainee programme; managed cross genre development for the Factual, Features and Entertainment departments and Exec Produced a series for T4 funded by the Department of Education. As Genre Executive for BBC TVs Factual Commissioning Department, she was an integral member of the team that brought the best in-house and independent sector ideas to the Channel Controllers and Exec Produced ‘Africa Kicks’, a season of documentaries for BBC 3.

dawn beresford, talent executive

Dawn Beresford

Dawn Beresford joined Arrow Media as Talent Executive in June 2014. Her role is to ensure Arrow is aware of, has the choice of, and employs the best possible talent across all its operations. Dawn is also Talent Exec at CPL Productions, an Advisory Board Member of Creative Access and a member of the  Independent Training Fund’s Advisory Group. Prior to this, she spent 3.5 years as Creative Executive at Shine TV and 4 years as Genre Executive for BBC TV’s Factual Commissioning department. Dawn has a production background and her credits include:- Series Producer, Lonely Planet, Discovery, Producer/Director Desperately Seeking Stardom, ITV, Assistant Producer, The Lying Game, BBC 2.

Nick Metcalfe, Executive Producer

Nick Metcalfe. Arrow Media Team Portraits

Nick has been with Arrow for 3 years, running a broad slate of programmes including Ultimate Airport: Dubai (National Geographic’s global hit observational documentary series about Dubai Airport), Dogs: Their Secret Lives (C4), Survival in the Skies (the history of the space suit, ejection seat & parachute for Smithsonian) and most recently Nightmare on Everest (C4) about the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

Previously Nick was an Exec at Nutopia, and Darlow Smithson, the show-runner on How We Invented the World (Discovery), Richard Hammond’s Engineering Connections (BBC & Nat Geo), Infested (Animal Planet), & Seconds From Disaster (Nat Geo) among others.

Thomas Viner, Executive Producer

Thomas Viner

After a career as a freelance director, Thomas joined Arrow very soon after the company was formed, series producing their first series, and being closely involved in production and development ever since. As an exec, Thomas has looked after shows for the UK and the US, covering science, history, crime, natural history, drama docs, and design, including Kevin’s Supersized Salvage (C4), The Genius Who Hacked Hitler (BBC2/Smithsonian), Animal Fight Night (Nat Geo Wild), See No Evil (ID), Terror In The Skies (C4) and World’s Most Extreme (Travel Channel/C4).

Ash Potterton, Executive Producer

Ash Potterton

Ash is an executive producer at Arrow Media.  Most recently he oversaw the two-part Battle of Britain event for Channel 4, The Day The War Was Won and Return of the Spitfires. Before joining Arrow, Ash was an exec at Dragonfly TV and then Silver River working across documentaries, current affairs, fact ent and specialist factual for all the main UK channels.  Prior to that, he spent a total of seven years as head of development at Love Productions and then Dragonfly TV, with commissions including The Great British Bake Off, One Born Every Minute, Filthy Rich and Homeless and The Baby Borrowers.

Carrie Pennifer, Production Executive

Carrie Pennifer

Carrie was recently made Production Executive at Arrow Media.  She has just completed work on her third series ofUltimate Airport Dubai for National Geographic.  During her time at Arrow Media she was Production Manager onseveral other series including Ultimate Warfare; World’s Most Extreme and Terror in the Skies.  Prior to this, Carrie worked at Brook Lapping Productions for many years, production managing such shows as Shakespeare Uncovered;  Putin, Russia and the West; Cameron Uncovered and Blood in the Water to name a few. She has experience working for all the major broadcasters on all types of production from Obs Doc to Current Affairs to large scale Drama Documentaries.

Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking is on October 21st with the Arrow Media team, see for details.

October 13, 2015 @ 11:32 am Posted in News Comments Off

media parents BBC Broadcasting House event photos

by Amy Walker

Thank you so much to everyone who attended the Media Parents Pan UK Networking event at BBC Broadcasting House, 100 people came from far and wide to join us for a brilliant evening’s connecting. Thanks also to Helena Gardner and Paula Goldstein who hosted the event on behalf of the BBC Talent Network, and to the team from dock10 studios in Manchester who sponsored the evening. And BBC Daytime Commissioning Exec Adrian Padmore held Media Parents’ first Skype meeting… Our next event will be held on October 21st.

BBC Daytime Commissioning Exec Adrian Padmore holds Media Parents' first Skype meeting with SP / EP Ceri Rowlands from Cardiff.

At Media Parents we do everything we can to help people connect, so for our first regional talent event held in London we didn’t want distance to be a barrier. BBC Commissioner and former Media Parents talent Adrian Padmore skyped with Media Parents SP/Exec Ceri Rowlands in Cardiff at the event. We’re hoping that Skype can be a regular feature for people who can’t travel to future Media Parents events – although there’s nothing like seeing you in person!

100 Media Parents members from throughout England and Wales gathered to meet employers in the glorious Council Chamber of Old Broadcasting House

Huge thanks to BBC Talent Network's Helena Gardner (here meeting freelancers) and Paula Goldstein for hosting this event. We're delighted to say that the BBC were delighted with the event and we'll be invited back!

Thanks to Chris Hutchins and his team for joining us from BBC Bristol. A father of five, Chris spoke passionately about the need to support parents in the industry. Thanks Chris!

TwoFour's Sue Kenderdine travelled from Plymouth for the event, and Fremantle Media's Emily Gale was keen to meet people who would like to work in Amersham

Sky's Jamie Mezzasalma was keen to meet talent in all areas of production who would like to work in Osterley

SONY Pictures' Ian Critchley meets Media Parents David Coward (left), who got a job through Media Parents at Lime Pictures on Wednesday

Harriet Scott from Remarkable TV met freelancers who work out of Birmingham

BBC North's Sian Whomes attended from Salford

Patrick Steel and the dock10 team flew the flag for facilities in Manchester - check out their website and impressive client list

Media Parents Exec Jonah Heston got his Lime Pictures job through the website

Dragonfly's Nicky Searle meets a Media Parents freelancer

Media Parents freelancer Amanny Mo talks to Amy Gelber who got her Exec job at freeform through Media Parents

Media Parents' Kerry Jones (left) came down from Liverpool for the event

Jasbinder Kaur from Breakthrough Media was on a mission to hire

RTS Award winning team! TVPP Hampshire's Rosie Bowen-Jones and Media Parents Director Amy Walker

Huge thanks to everyone who travelled to this event and gave it their support. Our next event is on October 21st in Central London. Please see site emails and the watercooler on for details. See you there!

October 2, 2015 @ 5:27 pm Posted in News Comments Off

media parents networking BBC Broadcasting House Sept 30th

by Amy Walker

Fancy a spot of networking in here? Join Media Parents in the BBC Broadcasting House Boardroom on September 30th. Photo courtesy of

We’re delighted to announce that our next networking event will be in the Council Chamber at BBC Broadcasting House on September 30th. The event is kindly being hosted by the BBC Production Talent thanks to D-I Brown and Helena Gardner and her team, with a special emphasis on meeting talent who will work outside of London. Please see below for details of employers attending. Media Parents would also like to thank dock10 in Manchester for sponsoring this event.

who’s coming…


First up is Adrian Padmore, a Media Parents member for several years…

Adrian Padmore meets PD Fiona Calvert at GEITF with Media Parents' Back to Work Scheme

adrian padmore, Assistant Commissioner for Daytime and Early Peak

In February 2015 I became the Assistant Commissioner for Daytime and Early Peak. My recent programmes in this role include Big Blue UK, Instant Gardener, Right on the Money and Escape to the Country.

Before joining the BBC, I worked as a freelance Series Producer across factual, formats and features programming. Over the past decade, I have produced shows for BBC One, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 including Holiday Hit SquadEscape to the Country and Can’t Pay We’ll Take It Away.

I currently split my life between London in the week and the West Country at weekends.

Helena Gardner, BBC

helena gardner, Head of Production Talent for Factual & Daytime (London)

Helena Gardner is the BBC Head of Production Talent for Factual & Daytime in London, she is keen to meeting senior talent at SP and Exec level across Science, Arts, History & Business, Documentaries, Current Affairs, Consumer & Live and The One Show.

Chris Hutchins meets Media Parents talent at a BBC Bristol event

Christopher Hutchins, Head of Production Talent, Natural History, Features, Daytime & Documentary Genres (Bristol)

A staunch supporter of Media Parents since our inception, Christopher is based in Bristol but across factual production on all sites.

Helen Hagelthorn at a Media Parents event at BBC Bristol

helen hagelthorn, Talent Manager for Features, Factual Formats and Daytime pan UK (Bristol)

I manage editorial staffing for long running Features brands such as Countryfile, Antiques Roadshow, DIY SOS and Food and Drink; and across Daytime, productions such as Flog It, Bargain Hunt, James Martin’s Home Comforts. After an earlier production career APing and directing on features and ob docs, I worked as Talent Manager in the Indie sector at RDF West, before moving to BBC Bristol four years ago.

Gaynor Scattergood, BBC NHU at a Media Parents event

Gaynor Scattergood, Talent Manager NHU & Children’s (Bristol)

I’m a Talent Manager for BBC Natural History Unit Landmark and Children’s programming.  I’ve been a Talent Manager at BBC Bristol since 2004, during which time I have covered Production Management, Bristol Factual and now the Natural History Unit.  I started my career as a Secretary at Central TV in Birmingham, working in the Personnel Department before moving onto productions such as ‘Central Weekend’ and ‘The Cook Report’.   I joined BBC Bristol as a Production Secretary on a much loved series ‘Under the Sun’.  I then became a Production Co-ordinator in the Natural History Unit and worked on some fabulous projects including ‘Wildlife on One’ and ‘Andes to Amazon’.

Sian Whomes, BBC

Victoria Goodwin, Head of Production Talent for Learning, Religion & Ethics (SALFORD)

Sian Whomes (pictured) will kindly replace Victorian Goodwin. Victoria is Head of Production Talent for BBC Learning and the Religion & Ethics departments. She’s always on the look-out for digital content makers, especially with great story telling skills and wants to talk to documentary film makers and anyone who’s interested in working in production management. Victoria has over 20 years in broadcasting, both in production and talent management in the BBC and independent sector, in children’s, sport, news and current affairs.

BBC Comedy’s Charlotte Lamb (right) with Vera MD Rebecca Parkinson at a Media Parents Event

charlotte lamb, PM BBC Comedy

Charlotte Lamb has been a long-term supporter of Media Parents and would like to meet freelancers connected with comedy at the event. Charlotte is a TV Comedy Production Manager who manages and recruits the Comedy departments Production Co-ordinators, Production Secretaries and Runners.  Charlotte was a Production Co-ordinator for ten years working in both the BBC, Channel 4 and various independents.

ian critchley, talent consultant SONY pictures

Ian Critchley, SONY

Originally from St. Helens, Merseyside Ian has spent over twenty-five years in the TV industry across ITV and the BBC where he established the BBC’s Production Talent Network. He has been responsible for editorial talent management across all genres in production and commissioning on a pan UK basis.

With a particular focus on developing new talent and headhunting at the executive level for a range of award winning shows, from Strictly Come Dancing to Top Gear, Little Britain to Dr. Who, Ian is now a talent consultant at Sony International television and is the media advisor for On The Road action group.

Jamie Mezzasalma, SKY

Jamie Mezzasalma, Lead Recruitment Partner Content SKY

Jamie is a member of the recruitment team at Sky. He is responsible for all recruitment across Content for Sky. He leads a team of recruiters, who are responsible for roles across Sky Entertainment, Sky Production Services and Sky News. Jamie has been at Sky for 2 years and has always been responsible for recruiting across the content areas. Media Parents would like to thank Sky for sponsoring the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2015.

Harriet Scott, Endemol

Harriet Scott, Series Editor Remarkable Television (Birmingham)

Harriet is currently overseeing the successful returning BBC2 series ‘The House That £100K Built’ and ‘The £100K House: Tricks of the Trade.’

Harriet is keen to meet factual editorial and production talent at all levels who are based in or willing to work in Birmingham. Media Parents would like to thank Endemol Shine for sponsoring the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2015.

Jonah Weston, Exec Producer Lime Pictures

Jonah Weston

Jonah Weston is a freelance Executive Producer who got his job at Lime Pictures through Media Parents. He joins us as both a representative of Lime Pictures, as he is looking to hire people for a couple of roles, and is also attending to meet people as a freelancer.

I have over 20 years television experience.  My work has been Bafta nominated and won various awards, including an RTS. My film Feral Children is still Channel 4′s highest ever rating science documentary with an audience of over 5 million.

Sue Kenderdine, Head of Talent Twofour (Plymouth)

Sue Kenderdine, TwoFour

Sue is responsible for off-screen editorial talent across the Twofour Group (including Twofour, Oxford Scientific Films, Indus and Boomerang). She runs our Talent Database, building and developing relationships with all levels of production staff – from researchers to series producers – and working with our executive producers and production management teams to staff projects and to attract and keep the best people in our Devon, London and Cardiff offices. With eight years non-TV management experience and 17 years in television, Sue joined Twofour in 2006 having spent six years at Lion Television. She would specially like to meet people who can work in Devon who are self shooting PDs and SPs. And all levels for Cardiff.

Emily Gale, Fremantle (Photo courtesy of RTS Futures)

Emily Gale, Head of Talent for Fremantle UK

Emily would like to meet freelancers interested in working from Boundless’s
production office in Amersham, and PDs/Edit Producers/Series Producers/ Dev Producers/Exec Producers/Producers working in London.

Nicky Searle, Dragonfly Film & TV at a Media Parents event

Nicky Searle, Head of Talent Dragonfly Film & TV

Nicky would like to meet freelancers working regionally and in London. “[On a CV] I like a mission statement paragraph which tells me who you are, what you’ve done and where you want to go.”

Rosie Bowen-Jones, TVPP

Rosie Bowen-Jones, Executive Producer TVPP (Hampshire)

Rosemary Bowen-Jones has produced and directed “Survivor” for ITV-1; won an RTS Award for Best Daytime Feature for her Watercolour Challenge programme in Connemara; made the definitive country music documentary “Stand By Your Dream : The Tammy Wynette Story” for the BBC’s BAFTA award winning Arena Series.

She has recently completed programmes for prime-time ITV-1 and Channels 4 and 5.

Amy Gelber, freeform TV

Amy Gelber, Exec Producer freeform TV

Amy got her first job at freeform through Media Parents and would be looking to meet people at all levels who are happy to work out of Chorleywood and/or on location in Europe/Rest of the World. We hire Researchers and APs who are multilingual – French and Spanish are what we need most. Also interested in Casting Researchers and APs, EPs and Directors.

A producer with more than 15 years experience, Amy cut her teeth in regional current affairs, before moving on to produce, report and direct on factual series covering everything from business to crime and movies. She went on to PD for several years, before moving into edit producing, working on both established formats and new series including A Place in the Sun, The Clothes Show and Kill It, Cook It, Eat It!. Amy series produced on A Place in the Sun from 2012 and is now executive producing at Freeform Productions.

Jasbir Saund, Breakthrough Media

Jasbir Saund, Head of Talent Breakthrough Media

Jasbir has used Media Parents as a freelancer and wltm shooting PDs and DV Directors.

Media Parents would like to thank Patrick Steel and his team at Manchester-based dock10 for kindly sponsoring this BBC event.

A word from dock10

“We offer the finest studios spaces in Europe, an innovative post & content platform that can be extended across campus and beyond alongside the benefits of MediaCityUK’s highly connected and resilient infrastructure. We have combined this state of the art technology with market leading operational support teams and craft talent. Whether you’re filming the next generation of talent show, grading a gritty new drama, archiving your precious content or need a purpose built media environment to operate from, you’re in safe hands.”

Patrick Steel, Dock10

Patrick Steel, Head of Commercial Dock10

Patrick has 30 years experience in the international broadcast market including operational roles on some of the UK’s leading productions. As Commercial Head of BBC Studios, he played a key part in the commercialisation of the business and its subsequent growth in indie revenues, also delivering strategic deals with BBC Sport and Childrens.

Following a period as Head of Operations with Talkback Thames Patrick left to fulfil a dream of sailing across an ocean before being lured back from the western Caribbean by the bright lights of Salford, where he was a member of the initial team responsible for the startup of dock10.

…No of course he doesn’t miss it.

Andy Waters, dock10

Andy Waters, Head of Studios dock10

Andy takes responsibility for all things studio flavoured. Spanning a 25 year career in TV production, including BBC Television Centre and Limehouse Studios, he first came to MediaCityUK in May 2010 where he established and launched the dock10 studio business. Andy’s passionate about dock10’s clients having a great experience from the moment they arrive, helping them create their show through to leaving with their rushes.

When not working Andy attempts to stay on top of the weekend schedule for his   four children, getting them to hockey, football and rugby matches on time (well mostly) and sometimes squeezing in a bit of fishing…

Kerry Jones & Amy Walker, Media Parents

Kerry Jones, client liaison Media Parents

Kerry Jones worked on a variety of factual TV programmes before moving into feature films and working with Danny Boyle, Mike Leigh on Vera Drake, and a variety of British directors on quality period features as a Hair and Makeup Artist. Kerry works flexibly and brings up her two girls in Liverpool.

Amy Walker, director Media Parents

Amy Walker founded Media Parents in 2010 and works with a small team of brilliant freelancers to run events, training, and to offer jobs throughout the UK. She is keen to meet everyone at the Broadcasting House event and would love to hear ideas for the development of Media Parents and our events. Amy continues to work as a freelance Series and Exec Producer, moving between factual programmes, development and talent management. Loves a positive solution.

Miranda Wayland, ITV (centre) at a Media Parents event

miranda wayland, diversity & inclusion manager ITV

[unable to attend]

Miranda has long been a supporter of Media Parents and we would like to thank her for her part in ITV Studios’ sponsorship of the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2015. Miranda would like to meet anyone interested in working with ITV.

media parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme 2015

Some of the winners from the 2015 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme will be joining us at Broadcasting House so please look out for them.

Comedy Director Vito Rocco (left) & the Media Parents Back to Work Team at GEITF

Vito Rocco, Comedy Director, Sky Back to Work Scheme Winner

Back to Work PD Caroline Deeds (centre) with ITV Shiver MD Alex Gardiner at GEITF

Caroline Deeds, PD Wall to Wall Back to Work Scheme Winner

PD Melanie Beer with CDN CEO Amanda Ariss at GEITF

Melanie Beer, PD Creative Diversity Network Back to Work Winner

Back to Work PD Fiona Calvert with Boomerang's Head of Development Patrick McMahon at GEITF

Fiona Calvert, PD BBC Wales Back to Work Winner

For a full list of attending freelancers please see the watercooler at

Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking is at New Broadcasting House on September 30th, see for details.

September 25, 2015 @ 12:03 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with international shooting PD Louise Orton

by Amy Walker

Like many documentary filmmakers, I haven’t followed a normal route into the profession, writes Producer Director/ DV Director Louise Orton.

Louise Orton in Lira, Uganda.

My first professional job after university was as a local journalist, and then I went to work in communications for international charities for over 11 years. I covered conflicts and natural disasters including the wars in Sierra Leone and DR Congo, and Cyclone Nargis in Burma. The crux of my job was to tell the human stories behind the issues and to engage the UK public to want to donate or take action.

My experience as a journalist stood me in good stead for finding interesting and engaging characters and persuading them to talk. But that was in the UK. A remote African community can be a totally different kettle of fish. Sometimes women are nowhere to be found when you enter a village, as their voice may not be considered important. The village chief may have strong ideas on who he wants you to speak to, but this might not be who you want to speak to, so delicate negotiating is needed.

This is Mayna Bibi, who lost her daughter and grand-daughter during severe floods in Bangladesh when their small boat capsized. Photo courtesy of Islamic Relief.

Many times I’ve travelled overseas immediately after a famine or conflict. The circumstances are traumatic but it’s your job to come home with the stories.  I have developed a hard casing, but have never lost the compassion. Important while interviewing a mother who lost her daughter and granddaughter in floods in Bangladesh (pictured above); children in Sierra Leone whose parents were beheaded in front of them; a man who lost his wife and eight children in a massacre in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Not all my work with NGOs has been so sad. I was in Ghana for the Global Week of Action on Trade assisting a camera crew to film chicken farmers marching into parliament with their chickens. At the end of the march it was a scram to get into parliament and the authorities said they would only admit one chicken farmer, the media and some prominent campaigners.  Unfortunately, the chicken farmer had parted company with his chicken! I ran round like a woman possessed to get another chicken and just managed to pass it through the gates as they were about to close. Having a chicken in parliament created a stir and achieved our goal of making it onto the national and even the international news agenda.

Philippines shoot: Louise Orton worked as director with Filipino cameraman Gerry Carreon.

Ingenuity and resourcefulness are important in both NGO comms and documentaries. As is tenacity. I was working for a medical aid agency during the renewed violence in eastern DRC in 2008. Our doctors were desperately trying to reach a hospital in a town that had been cut off by the violence. A TV crew making a Dispatches for Channel 4 were interested in joining the medical convoy but the doctor in charge had categorically refused. After several hours I managed to persuade him otherwise and the TV crew produced amazing footage of the doctors literally saving lives with the new supplies. I helped the crew by English – French translating and liaising with the doctors and patients, and finally decided I wanted to be a filmmaker.

I went freelance in late 2010. I got a job as social media producer on The Health Show for BBC World because of my contacts and knowledge in the work of global health, and also did some research and AP work. I was delighted when I was asked to direct a short film on a great character I had found in Huddersfield. Since then, I have done development work for True Vision and shot and/or directed several short films overseas (mainly for charities). I also filmed, produced and directed a Witness film for Al Jazeera, about a human rights activist in Western Sahara. I am currently developing several international films for broadcast and online.

Louise Orton on location in Burkina Faso.

The resourcefulness and resilience that I have developed, my international contacts book, along with my foreign language skills and knowledge of global current affairs, are great assets for TV documentary work. I’d be delighted with any pointers, introductions or to hear from any companies who could use my skills.

Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking is at New Broadcasting House on September 30th, please email us at for details.

September 21, 2015 @ 12:11 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Leeds PD Emily Coleman at Edinburgh TV Festival

by Amy Walker

I’m Emily Coleman – TV Producer with 15 years’ experience, writes Producer Director Emily Coleman. I’ve made primetime programmes for all of the major broadcasters. My ideas have been commissioned by BBC1, ITV and Channel 5.

But I’m also the woman pushing the swings in the park in a soggy anorak. I’m the woman pretending to be a zombie in pursuit of my excited toddlers. I’m the woman whose handbag no longer contains an iPad and a notebook, but loose Smarties, wet wipes and an upended tube of glitter.

Since I had my kids, it feels like I’ve been living a double life – and the two versions of me don’t seem to have much in common. With returning to work on the horizon, I don’t just want to press rewind but find a way to bring the two halves of my life together. So I was thrilled when Amy Walker rang to offer me the ITV place on Media Parents’ Back to Work Scheme.

We met at the Edinburgh TV Festival and took turns to introduce ourselves. It quickly became more confessional than sales pitch, as we exchanged stories of how long we’d been out of the industry. “Stop apologising”, Amy said. “You’re not a TV Producer BUT a mum, you’re a TV Producer AND a mum – and that’s brilliant!

First Back to Work group meeting at Edinburgh TV Festival : "I'm a TV Producer AND a mum - and that's brilliant!"

Edinburgh was a great chance to catch up on everything I’d missed and find out what the commissioners are looking for. ITV’s Richard Klein asked for producers to pitch “the bloody obvious” – but reappraised and well-made – e.g. Rookies. We’ve all watched ob docs about the police, but to see them handling difficult situations for the first time offered something new. Jay Hunt threw down the gauntlet to developers, revealing that at the top of her access wish-list is IKEA – a furnityre company which aspires to change the way we live.

I booked speed meetings with regional BBC talent managers Victoria Goodwin, Victoria Roye and Sue Fletcher – two of whom I’d worked with more years ago than we cared to remember. They made it clear their doors were open and parents with experience were regarded as an asset, not a liability.

Oxford Scientfic Films' Emma Morgan with Emily Coleman and the Back to Work team at GEITF.

We met inspiring mums like Cat Lewis from Nine Lives – who persuaded Granada to set up their first ever job share when her kids were small and now runs her own successful indie – and Emma Morgan from Oxford Scientific Films, who has always worked 3 or 4 days a week since she became a mother.

ITV Shiver MD Alex Gardiner with the Back to Work team at GEITF.

A special mention goes to Alex Gardiner, MD of ITV Shiver from my sponsoring company ITV Studios, for proving that you can have one of the biggest jobs in TV and still be a thoroughly nice person. He made time for us to have a relaxed and unhurried coffee, where we chatted about family, home, travel and life as well as our careers and approaches to work.

Emily Coleman celebrates her birthday with the Back to Work team at GEITF.

There was lots of talk about how to encourage diversity in TV at the Festival, but we often have a narrow definition of what that means. If we want to make TV that speaks to the whole of the audience, it can’t all be produced by twenty-somethings pulling all-nighters in Soho edit suites. So good luck fellow Media Parents – I have the feeling I’ll be hearing a lot more of all of you in the future.

Emily Coleman is a Yorkshire-based Producer/ Director and Development Producer looking for part-time work or job share.

September 18, 2015 @ 5:47 pm Posted in News Comments Off