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.

Media Parents March Negotiating Event

by Amy Walker

Ever wanted to feel confident negotiating your contract / rate / flexibility at work? Thank you to everyone who joined us for Q&A and helpful tips from Line Producer Jude Winstanley of the Unit List and production companies including Endemol Shine, Twenty Twenty, Plum Pictures, with Media Parents’ Amy Walker amongst others…

"Make friends with Production Managers, they have the intel on rates" suggested Jude Winstanley. Pictured with Media Parents Director Amy Walker.

If you can’t attend Wednesday’s event feel free to send us questions via the contact button at ASAP.

Jude Winstanley, freelance Line Producer & Production Manager

Jude has worked in broadcast TV for 20 years and is currently a freelance, Line Producer, trainer and founder of TV industry online jobs board The Unit List.

Jude is also a volunteer events producer for the Royal Television Society Futures team and is regularly invited to take part in a wide range of consultations on industry development.  Her experience covers a range of genres; entertainment, factual, factual entertainment, documentary and children’s.

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February 27, 2017 @ 10:04 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with PD Alicky Sussman on jobsharing

by Amy Walker

For the past year and a half, PDs Alicky Sussman and Milla Harrison have been job sharing. As PDs we have made two 60 min programmes together for BBC2 science series, Horizon (still on iPlayer) writes Alicky, and edit produced on Channel 4 rig show, Eden.

PD Alicky Sussman, right, with job share partner Milla Harrison

Our experience has been incredibly positive – as a team we are creative and efficient, delivering well-received programmes on time and in budget – but crucially we have also maintained a good work/life balance.

Find a job-sharing partner

When we were given our first job-sharing opportunity, it helped enormously that we presented ourselves as a ready-made partnership to Horizon editor, Steve Crabtree. Steve was able to see exactly what skills and experience he was getting, and then make a judgment – in just the same way that he would have done if we were applying as individuals. Media Parents profiles have a job share function so you can link to preferred partners after requesting to see their CVs.

Minimize the risk for your employer

Opportunities are more likely to come from people you know, or in areas where you have a proven track record. Milla and I both had previous experience making Horizons, and we had both worked with Eden’s Series Editor, Sunshine Jackson. A huge part of making the job share work has been these supportive bosses, who knew and trusted us.

Flex and compromise

For all the productions we have worked on, we have tried to be as flexible as possible to fit in with programme needs. On Horizon Milla worked 4 days a week spread over 5 and I worked 3 days spread over 4. To make this work budget-wise, we sacrificed having a full-time researcher (a Horizon is usually staffed with a full time researcher and full time PD). When edit producing on Eden we were contracted to work 2.5 days each, but agreed together at the start of the projectthat we would work an additional half day (usually at home) to fully hand over to each other.

Alicky Sussman, 3rd from left, with Milla Harrison, fourth from left on a Raising Films / BBC panel with Media Parents Director Amy Walker (photo : BBC)

Better together

Milla and I have a similar but not identical skill-set, and a combined 40 years TV experience. Together, we are quicker at writing scripts and making decisions. On location we take turns to be the Director or the Researcher/AP, reducing the pressure of a big shoot.

In the edit, we work on different sections of the script before passing to the other to refine. On days off, the films whirr away in the back of our minds, allowing for new, more creative ideas. Organisation and communication is key to making the partnership work. In the edit we avoid repeating or contradicting by writing detailed daily handovers, which include a plan for the following day.

No room for competition or egos

You have to trust your job-sharing partner and accept that there will be times when you have to compromise – job sharing may not be for everybody! When it works as it has done for us it benefits both employers and freelancers in a life-changing, work-enhancing way – we are both looking for work now so I hope more employers will be receptive to job sharing ongoing.

so how do you negotiate rates for a job share? find out at our March 1st event

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now for our next event on how to negotiate at

February 20, 2017 @ 8:19 pm Posted in News Comments Off

FREE initiative for emerging filmmakers

by Amy Walker

Modern Tales is a FREE five-month story and professional development initiative for emerging BAME, female and disabled filmmakers.

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now at

The programme supports writers, directors and producers in the development of longform dramatic fiction (feature film, series, serials, webisodes) that reflects the unique intellect, imagination and experience of diverse emerging filmmakers and that is also market conscious, industry aware and distinctly creative. Modern Tales is passionately committed to making a significant impact on the diversity issues the Film & TV industry faces. We believe that the training scheme we have devised, which utilises an innovative 360 approach to traditional script development, offers diverse emerging filmmakers a real opportunity to develop their projects and progress themselves as filmmakers in a way that will significantly enhance their career prospects and their ability to make a discernible impact on the industry. We have consulted widely, listened to feedback and discussed the barriers our target communities face in the industry.

In order to remove any potential cost barriers to those wanting to apply, we are pleased to announce that we will now be offering bursaries covering the full cost of the fees for all successful project development teams. This means that all the selected project development teams will be able to access the full 5 month programme for free. Please download project development application guidelines from the website for further details, follow our social media feeds or feel free to contact us at

Our unique five month development programme based in London offers:

• 8 day-long training sessions in the creation and marketing of fictional material forfilm, TV and online platforms

• Online support from industry mentors and access to an online peer community• An opportunity to network with other film creatives

• Individual project development for selected teams. Those teams participating in project development will progress to a developed long-form fiction project and additional content packaged in a portfolio to present to industry. They will also get the chance to pitch their project to Development Executives.

Tickets will still be made available for all eight individual training sessions for those not applying for full project development but who still wish to attend individual course days. For More Information: Visit

February 14, 2017 @ 3:20 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents February CV Workshop

by Amy Walker

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND – CV need some help? Join Media Parents at this CV Workshop run by Amy Walker, Media Parents Director. To book a place at this Wednesday’s CV event see the watercooler at

See the recap of the tips freelancers found most useful here :

Amy Walker (right) at a Media Parents event in Bristol

Some testimonials :

“Thanks for a really useful evening Amy. I realised  my CV had become a list of jobs rather than an a document that sells me to prospective employers. Top tip from the evening – If you’re applying for different roles, have a CV for each listing the relevant experience at the top as the person reading it may not make it down to the bottom of page two..” Ian, Series Producer
“Thank you for the MediaParents CV workshop, which was absolutely brilliant.” Clare, PM, Line Producer

“Thank you for a fantastic session, it was really helpful.” Kerry, Researcher.

If you need some CV inspiration please read the links below : – it’s still the jobsite with the largest number of great jobs per capita in TV!

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now at

February 6, 2017 @ 3:47 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Brighton Event Thursday December 8th

by Amy Walker

If you’re a Series Producer /PD /Edit Producer /Editor /DV Director /AP /Researcher /Production Manager or Production Co-ordinator and you’d like to work out of Ricochet’s Brighton office then


We are the biggest TV production company in Brighton and we are currently staffing up projects for the BBC, ITV, C4 and C5.

We are holding an Open Day on Thursday December 8th from 2pm-8pm

Come and meet our Senior Team*, find out about our new commissions, and check out our offices.

To register (and even if you can’t attend but want to work here) please send your CV mentioning Media Parents to:

it’s a date!

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now at

* including Lisa Cox, who mentors for Warner Brothers on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Thanks Lisa.

November 22, 2016 @ 11:15 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Development Exec Kirsty Calvert Ansari C4 Back to Work Winner

by Amy Walker

Having been on maternity leave since the end of last year I’ve been excited but apprehensive about heading back to work. Whilst TV hasn’t really changed much over the past 12 months I feel like my life really has, and it’s been daunting trying to imagine how my new home life will fit around a job. So being sponsored by Channel 4 on the Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme was an unexpected godsend and a much needed introduction back into the world of tv writes Kirsty Calvert Ansari.

Development Executive Kirsty Calvert Ansari was one of this year's Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners.

Firstly, I’ll start by saying the trip to Edinburgh TV Festival was so much more than I’d anticipated. Not only was it great meeting MDs and Creative Directors of companies full of brilliant advice and support, but also it was about meeting a group of lovely supportive people in totally the same position as me. It was a place to reconnect with old contacts, to have coffee with commissioners and talent agents and to circulate my cv and tell people ‘’I’m back’’ and looking for a job.
But it wasn’t all just about networking, it was also good to be able to attend lectures. From channel controllers and commissioners, to format masterclasses, Amazon, Hans Rosenfeldt’s Crime Noir, Youtube and Sharon Horgan, the schedule was certainly varied. But with such a busy schedule there were hard decisions to make too (such as whether attend the lip-sync battle with Mel B and Prof Green and experience a cringe-fest of commissioners in lycra or to hear Patrick Holland’s needs for BBC2).

Kirsty’s Edinburgh digest :

Quick upsum:  ITV definitely want a load more crime; formats are king; Sky 1 admitted to being ‘more Homer than Marge’; Cassian Harrison wants us to be surprising (but not ‘too’ surprising); Ben Frow is fed up with copycat jibes; and finally to a packed auditorium Vice’s Shane Smith sounded a warning to legacy media that it needs to adapt.

Read more about the 2016 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners at

Among the many super helpful people I met were Alex Gardiner MD at Shiver, Kate Beal Blyth at Woodcut Media, Lorraine Chalker-Phillips at Label1, Will Smith at ITN Productions, Helen Hawken at Discovery, Lucy Leveugle at C4, Claire Laycock at TLC and my mentor from C4 Ralph Lee who was extremely encouraging and insightful.
Fuelled by free coffee, ice-cream, toast and skittles, Edinburgh has reinvigorated me and boosted my confidence. My plan in the short term is to look for a Head of Development role and then hopefully in the future a role in commissioning. My mentor Ralph Lee has already pointed me in the direction of a C4 commissioning attachment scheme that looks really interesting.
Since writing this, Kirsty has landed a flexible development exec job at Twenty Twenty.

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now at

November 8, 2016 @ 10:02 am Posted in News Comments Off

Can Producer Viv Perry take her baby to Edinburgh TV Festival?

by Amy Walker

When Producer Viv Perry asked if she could take her 5 month-old baby to the Edinburgh TV Festival courtesy of the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme everyone’s immediate reaction was “yes she can”. Viv and Isaac took it all in their stride and caught up with Reggie Yates along the way…

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Viv Perry catches up with ex-colleague Reggie Yates at Edinburgh TV Festival

My trip to Edinburgh for the TV festival was the first time I’d gone further than zone six since I’d had my son, writes Producer Viv Perry.  So, it was with some serious excitement and to be truthful, trepidation, that Isaac and I set off for the Edinburgh TV Festival thanks to the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.  In short it was hectic, intense and totally worth it.  I don’t plan to go back to work until Isaac is one so this was a great opportunity to meet the companies who’ll be crewing up in the coming months, to think about where I’m going next in my career, and to keep up to date with how the industry’s evolving.

At the TV Festival with 5 month-old Isaac

I’m currently a producer and I received huge amounts of encouragement to take the next steps to achieve my ambition of being a series producer.  BBC Talent Manger Caroline Carter was incredibly useful in dissecting my CV and pointed out how I’d buried some of my key skills in dense descriptions of my roles.  Time to refresh my personal statement and bullet-point my achievements.

Likewise Edd Buckley – Talent Manager from Blast! helped me think through how to make those steps to build on my edit producing experience as the company likes to grow talent within established long-running series such as Supervet.

It was refreshing to think through alternative funding models for getting commissions off the ground with Noel Hedges from DRG – a company that specializes in acquiring programmes from producers to sell on.

In between nipping out to feed Isaac, I managed to make the most of the lecture programme.  Jay Hunt was upfront about her instinct to back programmes that didn’t really fly the first time round – singling out Gogglebox and First Dates as examples of hits that took nurturing.

Combined with Ralph Lee’s observation that a hit factual series is ‘not subject driven, but is relies on place, precinct or process’ I felt I’d gleaned a few nuggets towards developing a smash hit factual series.

I enjoyed the session on What Men Want and was pleased to hear Reggie Yates hold some of the panel to account – as he claimed that “TV is failing men, not content” – pointing to the fact that his contemporaries don’t necessarily turn on the box to watch interesting programmes – there’s a world of Netflix’s and Amazon Primes competing with Dave and Top Gear!  I’d produced Reggie Yates in my radio days so it was great to catch up with him and see his work mature and become ever more incisive.

The festival has left me excited to return to work next year and raring to make the most of my Media Parents Back to Work Scheme mentorship with All3Media – having chatted with Sara Geater who couldn’t have been more supportive of my return to work.

Read more about the 2016 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners at

September 17, 2016 @ 9:45 pm Posted in News Leave a comment

media parents back to work scheme 2016 winners

by Amy Walker

Congratulations to the six winners of the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2016, and thank you to everyone who applied, and to this year’s sponsors – Warner Brothers, SKY, Endemol Shine, Channel 4, the CDN and All3Media. Meet the winners…

All3Media : VIVIENNE PERRY, producer

Viv Perry is a Producer with pre mat leave credits on 24 Hrs in A&E, Inside the Klu Klux Klan and music docs. Having started her career in radio, Vivienne has an eclectic CV with a range of experience. She would like to build on her experience in the edit with a view to series producing ultimately.


Anne-Claire Pilley is a Producer Director based in Glasgow, who was responsible for many Scottish BBC documentaries including My Boyfriend the War Hero, and Transplant Tales. A mum of two young children Anne-Claire has not worked since being diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2016.

Channel 4 : KIRSTY CALVERT-ANSARI, Development Exec

Kirsty Calvert-Ansari is a Development Exec who was Head of Features and Formats development at RDF and a Factual Executive at ITN Productions before taking adoption leave in 2015. In addition to originating commissions, Kirsty was part of the teams who developed Child Genius, The Gift, and Make Bradford British, as well as working on the first series of The Undateables.

Endemol Shine : VICTORIA HARRIS, Casting Producer

Victoria Harris is a Senior Casting Producer who worked for Endemol Shine several times, as well as Raw, Love, Optomen and others, before taking mat leave in 2015. She would like to use the scheme to help her step up to Casting Exec.

SKY : GEMMA EXLEY, Digital Producer

Gemma Exley is a Digital Producer responsible for the online content around big name shows (I’m A Celeb, Big Brother, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway). She could use the scheme to come back in more flexibly after mat leave.

Warner Brothers : ANNA COWDRY, PM

Anna Cowdry is a factual Production Manager whose work includes several South Bank Show series for SKY ARTS, and work for Fresh One and Silver River. Living in Brighton, Anna has always commuted to London, but now that’s no longer an option she needs support to establish herself, ideally flexibly, in a smaller pool.

Please watch this space for details of the scheme’s mentors and updates from Edinburgh TV Festival. Follow our progress at

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now at

August 12, 2016 @ 3:06 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Diana Hinshelwood producer & trainee screenwriter

by Amy Walker

As a children’s  producer, writes Diana Hinshelwood, I often write scripts but I wasn’t a scriptwriter – despite ambitions to be the next Sally Wainwright. As a parent, the holy grail is working from home.  I can write, I thought.  All I need to do is find an agent.  If only it were that simple.

Diana Hinshelwood, Children's TV Producer and wouldbe screenwriter

Most agents were kind  but weren’t looking for children’s writers.  But one agent said he enjoyed my writing  and if I ever tried writing  for mainstream, he’d happily take a look.

Encouraged by this, I booked onto John Yorke’s Screenwriters’ Course. I was ridiculously excited and nervous about doing something new. The course is on-line, and broken into modules to do in your own time but to a deadline. We posted exercises for others to comment on,  which is nerve wracking  but the comments were mostly encouraging.  And there was no shortage of imagination amongst our group.  What a creative lot we were!

The best bit was watching classic films for ‘homework’.  Thelma and Louise, The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby.  I didn’t mind putting in the hours for that.  But the exercises that followed were hard, and answers by no means obvious.  Who is the protagonist? Antagonist?  What do they want?  Obstacles?  etc .  And did these films follow all the rules?  Well, no. We’re told the protagonist must appear very early on with a clear goal.  So, in “The Godfather” Michael Corleone doesn’t appear until two thirds in.  The exercise prompted fierce discussion and in most cases we disagreed on interpretations.

We also had different tastes.  I thought “Million Dollar Baby” was brilliant, but others were critical of Clint Eastwood and his directing. Another film I loved was the Disney animation “Cars”  – loathed by everyone else. Perhaps as a children’s producer I have a different perspective.

We  had to rewrite treatments for existing soaps – which was difficult even when you’re familiar with the characters.  And ultimately we were building up to writing our own treatments using the structures and techniques we’d been taught.  However, it is one thing to know the rules but quite another to apply them in your own writing.  Ultimately, I loved it!  The feedback I got was amazing. (Quote from David Roden: “This is a cracking piece of writing, and you should be very proud of yourself. Do not stop working on this.”) and with tweaks and advice from David and  John, I’ve been encouraged to turn my treatment into a script.

I’m so pleased I did this course.  It’s given me new skills and confidence – and another challenge.  But that’s what being a working parent is all about.

APPLY BY JULY 31st for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2016. Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now at

July 16, 2016 @ 12:16 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Opens for Applications

by Amy Walker

We’re delighted to announce that Media Parents will partner with broadcasters, indies and the Edinburgh International TV Festival for a fourth year running to support parents getting back into TV with our Media Parents Back to Work Scheme – so please apply! APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

Media Parents Back to Work Winners at Edinburgh TV Festival 2015

Media Parents (a social enterprise set up to promote flexible working and help working parents balance the demands of media and childcare) is running a scheme to help parents and carers back in to the TV industry following a career break.

Sponsors so far are Warner Brothers, All3 Media, Channel 4, the CDN, Endemol Shine and more will be announced shortly.  Thank you to Kitty Walshe Remarkable Television MD, PACT Chief Executive John McVay,  Wall to Wall MD Richard Thomson, SKY Head of Comedy Jon Mountague, BBC Wales Series Producer Samantha Rosie and BBC Wales Head of Production Talent Catrin Whitmore, Mark Robinson, Creative Director ITV Shiver and Channel 4’s Deputy Chief Creative Officer for mentoring last year’s winners.

Winner Anne Henry with Channel 4's Ralph Lee at Edinburgh TV Festival 2015

In 2015 seven successful media parents / carers were awarded sponsored places and returned to the TV workplace – this year we’re offering the opportunity again. Will you win a place?

Successful candidates will be awarded a free delegate pass, plus travel and accommodation in Edinburgh, with bespoke mentoring sessions from the sponsors. To apply by July 31st (sooner if you can please!) send an email to us to request an application form or click the link below.

Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2015 at GEITF

Applicants are required to send a 300 word précis outlining their experience and ambitions upon returning to TV, plus a CV including all dates of work, and completed application form obtained from the above address, submitted by July 31st. The email should be titled with the applicant’s name, job title and genre. Applicants must be available to attend the Edinburgh TV Festival from 23 – 26 August 2016. See the Festival programme and dates here :

Director Vito Rocco is now directing EastEnders having completed the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2015

Candidates are required to have 3 years’ experience in TV and should not have worked continuously in TV for more than 12 weeks since the career break. This doesn’t mean you need to have been out of work for 12 weeks, it means you can’t have worked continuously for 12 weeks since you have returned to work.

There is no submission charge but successful applicants must subscribe to either the talent or network section of for one year to prove their commitment to returning to the workplace. Thank you for your interest, we look forward to working with you. Download application form here : application form media parents Back to Work Scheme

APPLY BY JULY 31st Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now at

July 15, 2016 @ 10:34 pm Posted in News Comments Off