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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 Emma Hyman development producer

by Amy Walker

How many of you dress for success? I don’t mean eighties powersuit, Joan Collins shoulder pad style, I mean matching your clothes to suit or alter your mood, asks Emma Hyman, a Development Producer who’s worked through Media Parents.

Media Parents members Emma Hyman (right) networking with Michaela Hennessy-Vass and Sir Ian McKellen in 2012

Let’s say for example, I’m knackered – I have a choice, I can wear grey and brown so everyone will know and stay away or I can wear bright pink and turquoise to brighten my mood and lift my spirits. Let’s be honest here, nobody really wants to see a morose development producer beiging around. Taupe is not the colour that will inspire Fact Ent hits or a sunshine-filled kids’ format or even a meaty factual series. Taupe is the colour of accountants and tax advisors, taupe can be left in the grown-up corner of John Lewis – I’m heading to the sale section, turns out yellow shoes are always going cheap in January!? Borrowing the words from my first TV mentor, the great Sir Peter Bazalgette “I’m not afraid of colour!”

Sir Peter Bazalgette "not afraid of colour".

I had a baby not so long ago. My hair and back were often covered in a vomitus slime that only parents can appreciate. My eye bags were so heavy that I looked like I’d been carrying my Tesco shop…on my face. But pass me the red lippy and hey presto, I felt a million dollars (well, more like ten quid but you know what I mean!).

Developing ideas when on mat leave : "We meet at BAFTA every few weeks"

I’ve been working from home for a while now, bashing out kids’ formats for Cbeebies and CBBC (taking advantage of my current brain zone) with my lovely work partner Christopher Pilkington – even getting a funded pilot commissioned. We meet at Bafta every few weeks so I can play at being a grown-up. There is obviously much wardrobe deliberation pre-meet. “Does this look ok?” I ask nervously to my over-honest 9 year old, “Hmm,” she says in a Wintouresque tone, “lose the belt!”

The focus has been fantastic, a sanity saver for those more tedious moments of parenting. Don’t get me wrong, looking after kids is extremely rewarding but so is using my brain for something even more creative than what to make from Playdoh today. On those rare mornings when I actually had a chunk of time to write, I would really think about what to wear for the office (my kitchen table). As shallow as it sounds, I found that if I made a bit of an effort: clean clothes, brushed hair, a bit of the Barry M, then I felt more grown-up, more empowered, more creative! I’m in fine company, apparently Magritte used to put on a suit, walk around the block and enter his own front door every morning to get himself into work mode. And he did alright, didn’t he?!

Emma Hyman “beiging around”

The last few weeks I’ve been challenging myself to get back into the work place. No more working at home, developing ideas in between shovelling rice cakes into my little ones mouth and dragging my big ones to swimming, art etc etc. I need a break. (Just to clarify in case any future employees are reading this – I don’t mean a slacking break, I mean a break from the domestic.) I was lucky enough to find work through a Media Parents networking event so I need to relaunch again, jumping into something other than the local swimming baths. A new challenge. To think in a team, and write with an end and dress to impress someone other than a one year old. I need a new makeup that isn’t left over from my wedding over ten years ago and most of all I need a new wardrobe. To sum up, I’d love a job – a hectic, pressured, fun-packed, brain-turning, worth-dressing-up-for job.

emma hyman development producer

Having been trained as an Endemol Creative Intern, I spent years developing all sorts of shows for various Indies. I have worked at massive corporations and as part of a two-man team in new companies. I’ve developed everything from fact-ent and factual to quiz shows, Saturday night entertainment, day-time, kids’ shows and everything in between. I get a buzz from sparking off an idea but also love the challenge of cracking a tricky format. I’m a great team-player and really enjoy a good brainstorm but I can also work hard by myself if needs be. I have some big ideas in my head that I’d love to share with a company that is willing to invest in me.

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - see for details.

February 4, 2016 @ 12:38 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Ceri Rowlands working flexibly outside London

by Amy Walker

Media Parents Series Producer / Editor Ceri Rowlands on How to survive and thrive as a Freelancer outside London.

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

I’ve always loved a challenge and TV Series Producing, with it’s competing editorial, budgetary and relationship building demands, provides me with that in spades, writes Ceri Rowlands.  My current challenge is my biggest to date: to keep up a regular flow of work in the South West, outside London where 95% of freelance jobs are located. When my children were babies, I was still free to work away. But now, with a 5 and 9 year old who take a dim and vociferous view of me absenting myself, and a husband who’s patiently sucked up the childcare for way too many years, the days of working Monday to Friday a two-hour train ride or one-hour flight away for months on end, are no longer an option.

So, I find myself in the position where I’m turning down cracking offers of London-based jobs with no certainty of securing a job locally. The solution, I’ve found, is to be flexible. So, in the gaps between Series Editor and Series Producer jobs in Cardiff and Bristol, I’ve taken Development, Casting and Edit Director roles.

Ceri Rowlands networking at Media Parents event in Cardiff.

Companies and individuals can sometimes take some persuading to take you on in a ‘less demanding’ role (not that they are though).  The key is to communicate to the company, often best in person, that all your experience will make for a better production and ensure that their are lives easier.  And at the end of the day, that’s what we all want.

When it comes to negotiating my rate, I adjust it according to the job, just as I did when I lived in London and moved between international, network and digital productions.  My advice is to keep abreast of the ‘going rate’ for different production roles – you can ask questions about this, anonymously if you like, on the Media Parents watercooler.  Also, be sure to communicate to a potential employer what additional skills and experience you can bring to the production. You may find yourself covering several roles and, if so, you’ll need to negotiate a fair rate.

Outside London it’s also far more acceptable to cross genres.  So my time in Cardiff has seen me swing from Film, to Features to Specialist Factual. Other friends in the same boat have built up parallel careers as Web Producers. One turned to writing and is now a Costa Book Awards nominee.

The other challenge that life outside London brings is that, if you want to stay here, you simply can’t rely on talent websites alone to provide you with your next job. Most local companies recruit by word of mouth or through personal introductions.  You have to network. Media Parents regularly organise Freelancer/Employer events in Bristol and Cardiff, where you can make new contacts as well as possibly securing your next job. I find them very helpful. And don’t worry if you can’t make it to their London events, there’s always SKYPE.  This is how I connected with BBC Comm Ed Adrian Padmore last year; me in my kitchen in Cardiff, him in Broadcasting House (see photo above, it is me). Seek out any local Freelancer groups, social media or otherwise.  Attend every networking event you can.

Ceri Rowlands networking at the BBC with Media Parents in Cardiff

Having recently stepped up to the role of Series Editor, I’m now working towards securing an Exec role locally and have reached the stage where I’m also trying to generate my own work.  Having successfully developed both a CBBC and S4C living history series for Indus TV, and worked up a makeover format for BBC Wales, which was then successfully re-commissioned, I’ve recently started developing my own programme ideas.

I’m used to diversifying – in my early twenties I swapped my career path in Law for one in TV. One year later I relocated from Cardiff to London, and then, via a stint in BSB and Channel 4’s Presentation Departments, became a Studio Director; first at Channel One TV and then ITN. Three years later I moved into Single Camera Directing and Producing. Eight years later I became a Series Producer and, more recently, I’ve been Series Editing. There were plenty of obstacles along the line, but with a lot of hard work and more than a fair helping of blind optimism and sheer bloody mindedness, I always found a way through.

As a result of this will to survive in TV, my CV of late may not look like the London ‘norm’ but it’s been an enjoyable ride so far. I’ve zoned my CV by job and have several tailored CVs so I send out the most relevant one to the job in hand. This life is certainly not nine to five, the days are long and if anything, I’m working harder than ever. But the big bonus is, I get to see my children. And you can’t say fairer than that.

January 21, 2016 @ 5:35 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with PD Kasia Uscinska on volunteering

by Amy Walker

Resolved to do some voluntary work this year? This piece by PD Kasia Uscinska on filmmakers’ charity Dreamflight is bound to inspire you in 2016.

Kasia is a specialist factual PD currently looking for work :

I never set out to volunteer or donate my time to a good cause writes Kasia Uscinska. It kind of just happened.  But if an opportunity doesn’t come your way may I suggest you seek one out.  I work as a PD in history, arts and science programming but some of my most fulfilling projects have been outside of the TV world.  There are some amazing experiences to be had, I know I’ve had my share.  If you have been thinking about giving of your time and skills maybe my story will inspire you.

Back in 1999 I got a call from a very suave-voiced Concorde pilot inviting me to Florida. How could a girl refuse?  But we wouldn’t be going alone.  In fact the holiday wasn’t for us at all but for 192 sick and disabled children.  My services were required to film the trip and produce a 2-hour video for the kids.  That first trip blew me away.   Never had I met so many incredible children or generous volunteers.   What I didn’t realize at the time is that 17 years later I would still be involved with this charity.

So what’s it all about?

Dreamflight is the charity; its mission is to change lives by giving deserving children the experience of a lifetime.  Every October dozens of kids arrive at a hotel near Heathrow airport for the start of an amazing 10 day trip.  There are tearful goodbyes as parents hand over their precious wards to the charity guardians.  This is strictly a holiday for the kids.  Families get some well earned respite from care duties while the children get to experience life beyond the confines of serious illness.  Cancer, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, heart problems, kidney failure, birth defects…the list of conditions these kids are battling is astounding.  An army of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other non-medical volunteers provide the 24 hour care needed during the trip.

The kids, aged between 8 and 12, come from every corner of the UK and Northern Ireland and are placed into 12 regional groups: ‘The Marvels’ (the West of Scotland), ‘Shrek’ (Wales), ‘The Simpsons’ (the East of England), ‘Goofy’ (the Midlands) you get the picture.  Each group has their own camera operator.  Our job is to document the kids’ every moment, first off is a big party hosted by Dick and Dom.  It’s wonderful to see how many kids are keen to strut their stuff on the dance-floor, particularly those that might be in wheelchairs or have other physical impairments. Some, of course, are nervous and anxious, this is their first time away from families and home.  However hard you try to engage them they sit quietly in the corner refusing to join the party.  But after years of experience I know that by the final night those same kids will be performing in front of crowds, cracking jokes and have a renewed self-confidence.

Equipment and filming

The 12 camera crew have a wide variety of experience. We have everyone from DOPs (Jon Boast is a long-term supporter too) to kit-room assistants.   The requirements are being able to shoot and edit and importantly interact with the kids in a genuine and sensitive manner.  Riding rollercoasters and wearing fancy dress is non-negotiable.  Everyone is equipped with Canon XF105s.  The charity owns 6, the rest are lent by The London Camera Company and ProCam.  We have top-lights, CF cards, mono-pods, rain-covers – everything that’s necessary.  Every evening we download our footage onto hard-drives before backing it all up onto a specially built NAS drive. That way not a frame will be lost.  I generally film the trip in an observational style catching things as they happen.  I want the kids’ reactions, the fear as they face something new and the resulting joy and excitement when they conquer it.  Because there are 16 children in each group it is important to ensure equal coverage.  It can be easy to focus on the loud characters or those that play up to camera but we’re not here to make TV.  Our purpose is to follow every child’s journey and the relationships they forge with both other children and the adults.   I get little pieces to camera with the kids about what they’re doing, they enjoy having their 5 minutes of presenter stardom.  I remember one boy who insisted on doing a David Attenborough and popping out from the bushes to talk about dolphins.  However I also shoot proper interviews with each child and adult.  This way the parents get to know exactly who these people are that their kids come home talking about.

What’s it like to film so many kids?  Most are intrigued by the camera and want to have a go.  I always explain how it works and let them try their hand at filming.  They love to copy and often film little interviews.  Sometimes they come back with golden moments like mini weather reports for the folks back home.  There’s usually a child or two who hates the camera and runs when I turn it in their direction.  It can be tricky winning them round, but not impossible.  Over the years I’ve discovered there are a several of things I can do.  One is simply to chat and get to know them without turning the camera on.  Another is give them a one-on-one camera training session, letting them explore all the strange knobs and buttons makes it all less scary.  The other is to pass the camera to one of the keener kids and ask them to film their friend.  A child who normally avoids the camera tends to engage more when someone their age is doing the filming.  Soon enough even big old camera-op me is not that intimidating and I have a new friend.

The trip

Everything about the trip is meant to make the kids feel like VIPs.  The morning after the Dick n Dom party a police escort takes everyone directly airside at Heathrow to a huge hangar where Dreamflight’s very own 747 is waiting.  BA set up a mobile check-in at the hotel the day before, so passports have already been checked and bags scanned.  The kids are escorted onto the plane by a marching band where the crazily dressed crew are waiting for them.  This crew have all volunteered to fly the plane out, stay for the trip to look after the kids and fly everyone back at the end.

The flight is 8 hours of fun and games with silly string fights, face-painting and general chaos.  We fly at a much lower altitude than normal to keep cabin pressure as high as possible for kids with breathing difficulties.  First class in the nose of the plane is turned into a mobile hospital where kids can get physiotherapy, dialysis and other treatments.  Upon landing the kids are greeted by a team of US volunteers who whisk them away in a convoy of buses flanked by police outriders.  The main motorway to the hotel is specially closed off for the Dreamflight VIPs.

You can imagine the organization something like this takes but also how much fun it is to be film it all.  The whole of Dreamflight takes over a Holiday Inn and what follows is 7 days of fantastic theme-park adventures.  Each day the charity visits a different theme park: DisneyWorld, Universal Studios, Discovery Cove, Islands of Adventure…we invade them all.  The evenings have parties, visits from NASA astronauts, opportunities for getting up on stage to sing, dance or tell jokes and more.

Kasia with the Dreamflight team

Apart from being enormous fun exactly how might such a holiday change lives as the charity suggests?  A lot of these children have gone through incredible physical and mental pain.  Some are depressed and despondent about their situation, understandable particularly if they’re suffering from a terminal or degenerative condition.  Imagine being 10 years old knowing your muscles are wasting away so that soon enough you won’t even be able to swallow.  Or what if you’re in remission from a brain tumour but worry constantly that it may return?  Maybe you have a feeding tube constantly attached to your stomach and feel self-conscious. Life can seem bleak and unfair.  These are just some of the things these kids face.  But by treating them as much as possible as ordinary children, letting them do things the average kid does, they can conquer their fears and learn that they can attempt so much more than they previously thought.

Simple things like doing the log flume ride Splash Mountain or the Hulk rollercoaster may normally be out of reach for a wheelchair-bound kid but Dreamflight make it happen.  For a child with severe cerebral palsy and little upper body strength it might mean stopping a ride and carrying her on.  Adults will then sit behind and either side of the child holding her upright throughout just so that she can experience the thrills and sensations others take for granted.  This is something their parents would never dare do but with medics on hand the group know what can be undertaken safely.  Often the more disabled the child the more important such physical experiences are. This is why there is great emphasis on using the hotel swimming pool where kids are even taught to swim.  There is also a visit to a waterpark and on the last day every child gets to swim with a dolphin.  Water is the only place where physically disabled kids feel truly free and in control. They aren’t strapped into a wheelchair, the water supports them naturally.  The charity has 12 Gopros as well as other waterproof cameras so we as camera crew can be right alongside the kids capturing these important events.

The Edit and Premiere

Every member of the camera crew is responsible for editing their own footage into a, at minimum, 90 minute film.  We all know how much work goes into editing and this can definitely put some people off from volunteering.  I remember one year taking 144 hours to edit two 2-hour Dreamflight films.  The films are made into DVDs but before they are sent out to the kids each group has a reunion and a film Premiere at a local cinema.  Both kids and families are invited to see the final product projected in glorious HD.  I like to sit at the front of the auditorium and turn round to look at the kids’ faces as they watch themselves on the giant screen.  That moment is priceless.  All those hours in edit are worth it just to witness the laughter, tears, embarrassment and joy of my audience.  (I’ve never had that kick with a TV show.  Has anyone?)  All the mums and dads, brothers and sisters get to watch how shy and nervous children blossom into confident personalities.  When else do we TV folk ever get to see the true impact of something we have made on the final viewer?

By recording the trip on film the children have a powerful reminder of what they were able to achieve.  They can share the holiday experience with their families who are often curious to understand why their children return home with confident new personalities.  The film can also serve as a memento for those families whose children have terminal illnesses.  I can personally attest to the power of these films.  I remember one father coming to me after watching the footage and saying he now saw why his son had come back with a new lease on life.  He said that before the trip the whole family was despondent but their son came back full of such joy that they were all re-invigorated.  Kids will watch their DVD copies of the film again and again till they wear them out.  These are all such huge compliments as a film-maker and are a welcome boost in the sometimes jaded world of TV.   I can truly say that of the many television programmes I have made over the years this project has brought me the greatest joy and satisfaction.

If you are interested or want to know more then do drop the charity a line to

Kasia at a Media Parents event with Pro Motion Hire

Kasia is a specialist factual PD currently looking for work :

January 13, 2016 @ 3:43 pm Posted in News Comments Off

All I want for Christmas is John Yorke

by Amy Walker


John Yorke

What can factual TV learn from drama? Learn how to keep your audience hooked.

Amongst other courses, the Professional Writing Academy has launched a new five-week online course for TV, film and media professionals: Storytelling for Screen (Factual & Entertainment TV).

Suitable for new and established professionals in factual and entertainment TV who want to develop a greater understanding of how stories work.

The course starts on 18 January 2016, and applications are open now. Bursaries for up to 50% of the cost are available for all these courses on a first-come, first-served basis.

About the Course

Storytelling for Screen (Factual/Entertainment TV) with John Yorke|18 Jan|5 weeks|£900 (£450 with Creative Skillset bursary)
Based on Into the Woods, John Yorke’s bestselling book on story structure, this course will give you an understanding of how all stories work and how to apply dramatic storytelling principles to factual and entertainment programme-making. John Yorke is also a mentor on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.

High student satisfaction

‘The course has given me a practice which will be invaluable as I find my writing feet. From one session alone, I found a completely different way of approaching my work, which is very exciting. I now know how to pay the right kind of attention to the mechanics of my stories and how to really test my characters.’

Radica Anikpe, Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winner 2014, writing in November 2015. See Radica’s blog post here. Media Parents Diana Hinshelwood is also currently following the course.

See more feedback from previous students here.

Bursaries are available for professionals who may find it hard to access or fund face-to-face professional development opportunities. This includes freelancers, sole traders, people in startup companies or micro-businesses or situated in rural areas. Also people seeking to develop their professional skills following a work break for childcare, redundancy or a period of illness.

Additional 10% discount for @mediaparents subscribers. Contact for details, sending your Media Parents profile URL as confirmation of membership.

The courses have been made possible by the support of Creative Skillset, and have been approved as part of an informal or formal continuing professional development (CPD) programme. This project has been partly supported by HM Government with Employer Ownership funding.

December 16, 2015 @ 7:29 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Series Producer & Director Marion Milne

by Amy Walker

Media Parents Series Producer Director Marion Milne writes about the shooting of Blood & Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore. TXing from Tuesday 8 December 9pm for three weeks on BBC Four.

Presenter Simon Sebag Montefiore and Series Producer/Director Marion Milne in Churriana, Spain @MarionMilne @simonmontefiore

“And action” I said. Or rather muttered. We were, after all, in the Royal Chapel of a vast Catholic Cathedral. Not so much bring up the bodies, as bring the crew down to the bodies. “This,” said Simon Sebag Montefiore in a perfectly pitched Attenborough-esque whisper, “is in many ways the secret heart, of Spain itself…”

Can we stop there?” The gravelly Canadian tones of my sound recordist, one of the best in the business, in my headphones. “False start,” I said, hoping the tension could not be heard in my voice.

“Just collapsing the boom pole. Low ceilings alert. Thirty seconds.” Our recordist would never stop us without good reason.

“Standby to go again,”I said, “and action.” Once more the four of us, half bent double, crept down the stone stairs of the vault. The soft shoe shuffle. “This is the vault, continued Sebag, where the Spanish Kings and Queens are actually buried. It’s usually closed to the public. And they’ve let me in.”

Well not in so many words I thought flattening myself against the chilled, damp walls, to allow our cameraman to follow the action, opening up the iris, as it grew dark and hushed inside the tomb. They didn’t say no to us filming down here. Then again, we didn’t, strictly speaking, ask.

It was a far cry from the bright sunshine outside as Sebag concluded. “Cut,” I said: “Great take everyone. Let’s get out of here.”

Just another day on the road with Simon Sebag Montefiore, shooting the epic series Blood & Gold: The Making of Spain, which airs on BBC Four, from Tuesday December 8th at 9pm. In three hours, in classic Sebag style, this is an entertaining, erudite romp through Spain’s story.

Series Producer/Director Marion Milne meets Nutopia COO Helena Tait at Media Parents November event.

It’s a narrative populated with some of the great characters of history: Hannibal, the Carthaginian General, whose family ruled over Southern Spain in the third century BC; El Cid, the legendary medieval warrior who – we found out – turned out to be a ruthless mercenary; Ferdinand and Isabella, whose infamous Spanish Inquisition was the forerunner of a modern terror state; Philip the Second who was once briefly King of England (who knew?) before launching an Armada against us.

The joy of a Simon Sebag Montefiore series is he weaves together all those half remembered bits of history from school into an epic, televisual narrative and then throws in some fabulous new characters and stories as well.

The sweep of the series allowed us to shoot in some of the most cinematic places in Europe: on a fast moving boat in the Bay of Cadiz which opens the series; in Italica, a city of Roman ruins so well preserved they look like a film set; through the narrow streets of Granada’s Albaicin district and inside the exquisite Alhambra at dawn; atop the Giralda, Seville’s bell tower; in the Medina Al Zahara, Cordoba’s forgotten Moslem citadel; in the Valley of the Fallen, Franco’s grandiose memento to Fascism.

It doesn’t get much better than shooting these kind of series, on a sensible in-house BBC budget, with support from the Open University and BBC Worldwide. It’s what British specialist factual TV does best. Proper authoritative and accessible broadcasting. Long may it continue.

Media Parents’ Marion Milne was Series Producer and Director of two episodes of Simon Sebag Montefiore’s new series Blood & Gold The Making of Spain, from Tuesday December 8 at 9pm on BBC Four.

Simon Ardizzone, also of Media Parents, was editor of two episodes.

November 30, 2015 @ 7:17 am Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents FremantleMedia CV A&E photos

by Amy Walker
Huge thanks to FremantleMedia UK for hosting Media Parents CV A&E this week. Fremantle opened their doors to eighty people for the event, which was sponsored by Alias Hire and also featured employers from Twofour, RDF Television, Nutopia and elsewhere – thanks to everyone who attended and made this such a successful event. Here Media Parents Promo Producer and Co-ordinator Zoe Brooks writes about attending her first Media Parents event. Scroll further down this blog for CV tips from attending companies.

Thanks to Emily Gale for hosting the latest Media Parents event at FremantleMedia UK and to Zoe Brooks for this piece

It was 5.30 as I arrived at 1 Stephen’s Street. Fremantle Media HQ was like walking into a vast marble futuristic film set. I strolled, wide eyed along to the front desk, where I was greeted by a charming receptionist who knew exactly why I was there, and where I was going.

“Media Parents CV A+E.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Name Please.”

“Zoë Brooks.” She swiftly crossed my name off her list with her brand new pink highlighter and ushered me to the glass entrance gates, where by now the alarm was now going off through a bit of forced gate action by a Media Parent without security ID!

Boundless West Head John Comerford meets a Media Parents exec

Yes I was here for the Media Parents CV Surgery hosted by Fremantle Media’s Head of Talent Emily Gale and her colleagues John Comerford, Head of Boundless West, Esther Johnson, Boundless’s Head of Production, and Katharine Rosser, talent assistant.

Twofour's talent managers Leeanne Vinson and Sue Kenderdine get down to business

There were eight CV stations set up including  Leeanne Vinson and Sue Kenderdine from Twofour, Julia Waring from RDF, and Nutopia COO Helena Tait and her team, Simon Willgoss and Natalie Spanier.

Ian Critchley, Talent Consultant from Sony International TV and The Alias Hire guys also had stations where they gave tips and knowledge about freelance work in the TV industry.   Last but most definitely not least, Amy Walker, Director of Media Parents & Arrow Media, who kept everyone moving from appointment to appointment with her 10 minute bell!

Sony's Talent Consultant Ian Critchley coaches on networking

I was going to see Leeanne Vinson, Talent Exec from TwoFour, the people who brought us the fabulous “Kitchen Impossible” with Michel Roux Jnr, my slot was 6.40, and it was only 5.45, I thought I better mingle.

RDF's Julia Waring gets straight to the point

I trotted along to Nutopia before they had a chance to settle into their chairs, and spoke to Simon Willgoss, Head of Development who was very interested in what I did. I am a Promo Producer / Production Co-ordinator and it was through chatting to Simon that I realised I could play my hand in a slightly different way and market myself to the hire companies as well as the TV companies – thanks Simon.

The Alias Hire team demo their kit

The guys from Alias Hire (Camera, Kit, Crew) were sponsoring the event.  They brought along their new Drone, which is a very impressive piece of kit.  I did not know that a Drone comes with a Drone Pilot.  I also did not know that you could hire a Drone, a Drone Pilot, a Camera Operator & Insurance for about £600.00 a day, I would have guessed more.

Alias Hire MD Danny Dawson

But what would Leeanne make of my CV? Not much as it turned out! Total reconstruction! She was drawing arrows everywhere, the bottom bit should be at the top, the top bit at the bottom, it was good, constructive feedback. I got the message, and her card!   She will be seeing this CV again, after I have given it a 21st Century makeover!

All in all a great event, well-organised with lots of knowledgeable and experienced professionals who were happy to share their experiences and suggestions to help you try and get more freelance work.

I encourage all Media Parents to go along to these events, you really can get lots out of them, and you will always be given a warm welcome.

Media Parents Director Amy Walker

Media Parents next event is Christmas Drinks, sponsored by Cornish Insurance and hosted by Molinare. For details please see watercooler and site emails. Guest list is here :

Adrian Padmore Assistant Commissioner BBC

Alan Davis PM Shiver

Alex Mattholie Researcher Arrow Media

Alice Lister HoP ClearStory

Alicia Vella Producer/Director

alison martin Series Producer

Amy Walker Series Producer / Director Media Parents

Anna Coane Producer

Anne Monnehay Editor

Anthony Coates Manager UK sales and business Cornish Insurance

Charley Bennett Casting Producer Shiver

Charlotte Armitage PD

Chiara Messineo Producer/Director

Christie Thackray Production Coordinator Maker Studios

Claire Walker HoP Raw Cut Television

Clare Richards Producer Director Dragonfly

Clio David Producer Director Camera

Dafydd O’Connor Producer/Director

Danny Dawson MD Alias Hire


David Harris PD

Diana Hinshelwood Producer

Ed Stradling Producer/Director

Emily Gale Head of Talent Fremantle Media

Emma Houghton-Brown AP Arrow Media

Esther Johnson HoP Boundless

Euan McRae PM ClearStory

Fergus Clark DOP

Fiona Frankland PM Phil Mcintyre TV

Francesco Ficarra Assistant Producer Arrow Media

Graciela Watson Edit Producer

Grainne McPhillips Producer

Helen Williamson Series Producer

ian critchley Talent Consultant Sony

Ian Lamarra Creative Director Bookhouse TV

Isa Suarez Composer / Performer

Isobel Ricketts PM Breakthrough Media

Jasbir Saund Talent Manager Breakthrough Media

Jason Hendriksen PM Windfall Films

Jeff Bannis Director

Jim Shreim Producer / Director

John McVay Chief Executive PACT

Jon Mountague Head of Comedy SKY

Jon Nicholls Composer

Jonah Weston Executive Producer Lime Pictures

Josephine Besbrode Producer/Director

Jude Parker Series Producer

Kasia Uscinska Producer/Director

Katherine Parsons Executive producer

Katy Milner Director

Katy Savage Development Producer

Kemi Ayoola Line Producer

Kerry Jones Client Liaison Media Parents

Kim Duke Series producer

Kim Smith Assistant Producer Arrow Media

Kymberlie Andrew Broadcast Journalist

Kyra Beguiristain Producer

Laura Leigh Senior Producer Studio Lambert

Laura Vaughan Producer Arrow Media

Laura Watts PM Barcroft Productions

Lesley Scarff Series producer/edit producer

Lindy Taylor Production Executive Broadbean Media

livia russell SP/Edit Producer

Liz Bayliffe Smith Commercial Manager Dock10

Loanna Morrison Researcher/AP

louise Orton Producer/Director

Lucia Yandoli Research and Development

Lucy Dwyer Writer / Producer

Lynda Hall Camera Operator Features & Drama

Magda Gora Researcher Arrow Media

Maria French Production Executive Maverick

Matt Currington PD

Matt Norman Composer

Megan Ott Production Coordinator Barcroft Media

Megan Owens People finder / genealogist

Michael Bolsover Offline Editor

Michael Pentney Editor

Michaela Hulmanova Production Accountant Arrow Media

Michelle Heeley Exec Producer

Morgan Phillips Producer/Director

Nicki Purcell Production Executive Crackit

Nicola Waddell Executive Producer/Series Producer

Patrick McMahon Head of Development Boomerang

Patrick Steele Head of Commercial Dock10

Paul Birmingham PM Brook Lapping

Pauline Roenisch PM Arrow Media

Peter Grimsdale Exec producer

Phil Stein P/D

Pip Gould Production Co-ordinator Arrow Media

Rachael Heaton-Armstrong Producer

Rashpal Dhaliwal PM Arrow Media

Richard Hughes Camera / Director

Romesh Aluwihare Film & TV Editor

Rosemary Laryea Presenter/Producer

Sara Brailsford executive producer

Sean Grundy Writer Director

Shany Stephany AP

Shaun Wilton Company Director

silvia galeazzi tv and radio creative

Stephanie Campbell Series producer

Steve McNally Cornish Insurance

Stuart Watts Drone Operator Alias Hire

susan drummond Producer/Edit Producer

Susana Seijas Dacey Producer

Susie Worster Head of Talent Wall to Wall

Tina Lohmann HoP Bookhouse TV

Tolula Dada Development Editor

Tracy Garrett Production Manager

Trevor Showler Freelance / Creative Director

Uli Hesse Producer / Director

Weston Owens Edit Series Producer

Zoe Fryer Producer/Director

Media Parents next event is our Christmas Drinks, see for details.

November 29, 2015 @ 10:41 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