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Bristol Media Parents Event Thursday 29th November

by Amy Walker

Media Parents presents a brilliant FREE opportunity for freelancers to network with companies hiring in Bristol and South Wales on Thursday 29th November, thanks to support from production companies.

Major sponsors Wall to Wall / Warner Bros Television Production UK Ltd are keen to meet experienced factual, specialist factual and fact ent freelancers working in production and editorial in Bristol – SPs, (shooting) PDs, edit producers, PMs, LPs and more. Head of Wall to Wall West, Emily Shields, Deputy Head of Production Emma Fenton and Head of Creative Talent Susie Worster will attend to meet freelancers.

Drop us your CV c/o the address below to sign up for this FREE event

Outline Productions wltm factual PCs, PMs, SPs, shooting PDs and edit producers, as well as freelancers working in other roles in South Wales or Bristol. MD Laura Mansfield and Creative Director Helen Veale will attend with Executive Producer Katy Fryer and Production Executive Emily Freshwater.

Tigress Productions’ Production Executive Isa Snow Campbell and EndemolShine‘s Talent Manager Tanya Gottlieb are looking for PDs and DV Directors with natural history / story telling experience, as well as experienced edit producers.

PACT will be represented by Media Parents Director Amy Walker, if you would like your CV passed to Anjani Patel, Head of Diversity please let Amy know.

The event will be kindly hosted by the BBC. Due to unforeseen circumstances no BBC staff are able to attend, but freelance Series Producer Jane Lomas, currently working at the BBC will pass on CVs.

Seadog TV & Film Productions‘ Head of Production Linda Stephens and Operations Director Suze Scott will attend. Seadog are not currently crewing but are keen to meet freelancers for future shows. RDF West‘s Emily Knight will also attend. Freelancers should bring paper copies of their CV and email them in advance to events@mediaparents.co.uk.

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

To support Media Parents please join by clicking the photo below.

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

November 20, 2018 @ 4:46 pm Posted in Events, News Comments Off

media parents CV event gallery

by Amy Walker

Huge thanks to ITV Shiver‘s job sharing talent managers Ros Malthouse and Emma Astaire for hosting Media Parents’ October CV event, and to everyone who attended for creating a great buzz on the evening. BBC Scripted Production Exec Jacquie Glanville and Talent Manager Noelle Bartlett met scripted talent, along with Kindle Entertainment‘s Production Exec Keri Atkins. Back to Work Scheme sponsors Raw TV were represented by Nicky Searle and Didem Gormus, Expectation Factual‘s Anna Bonnadio joined us unexpectedly, in addition to Two Four‘s Vanessa Colosi, Fremantle‘s Jenny Spader and of course the Shiver and Media Parents teams met freelancers. RDF West’s Emily Knight was unable to attend due to problems at Paddington but she has sent a PDF of RDF’s CV tips that can be downloaded at the end of this article. Here are some photos and testimonials to give you a flavour of the event if you missed it. Click here for more CV tips from the attending companies.

Thank you to ITV Shiver's Ros Malthouse and Emma Astaire, job sharing talent managers, for hosting the event and meeting freelancers "We really enjoyed meeting lots of new people and have been following up..."

“Thank you for the event last night, it was really useful and I made a couple of good contacts.” Petal Felix

"First of all a big thank you for last night, it was my first Media Parents event and I can honestly say it was the best networking event I’ve ever been to. Well bloody done!" Mark Aldridge, Writer & Producer https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/4258/mark-aldridge

Thanks for arranging last night’s CV event. It was a great opportunity and for me to start mingling again. A lot of the work I do these days is solitary, so it was great to put faces to names. It was also good to get so much positive feedback about my CV. Thanks again for this event and I look forward to coming to another one in the future. Justine Sullivan, Celebrity Producer https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/10118/justine-sullivan

"Media Parents has completely changed the way I look at my CV. Thank you" Ash Smith https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/3309/ashley-smith

Back to Work Scheme Winner Melissa Bishop with TwoFour. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14397/melissa-bishop

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner, Coordinator Jenny Madalura with Shiver. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15655/jenny-madalura

"Thank for you, for a very busy and interesting evening last night! Think the collective noun for Freelancers must be a swarm." Shanti Ramakuri, PM https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14771/shanti-ramakuri

Returner Hannah Williams was celebrating her new flexible job at Merman. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11460/hannah-williams-lovell

Please click here for RDF West TV CV Tips. For information about Media Parents next event please sign up to our email list or see our watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

October 29, 2018 @ 9:58 am Posted in Events, How To, News Leave a comment

TXing tonight : the great model railways challenge

by Amy Walker

Tune in tonight to watch Channel 5′s Model Railway Challenge, from Media Parents Executive Producer Pat Doyle and the Knickerbocker Glory team.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/4934/pat-doyle

October 12, 2018 @ 2:15 pm Posted in Events, News Comments Off

media parents CV tips

by Amy Walker

Our next event, on October 17th, is a CV event, kindly hosted by ITV’s Shiver, in which freelancers discuss their CVs with employers, partly for advice and partly to network. Scroll down this blog to find out who is coming and read their CV tips, we’re also delighted to be joined by Raw TV in addition to those named below. There will be employers who are keen to network and employers who are looking to hire – hiring particularly factual Edit Producers and SPs, production roles and factual development people. Scripted employers looking to meet 1st ADs, Coordinators and Line Producers, people who want to cross over from factual and people who are interested in Scripted Development, with or without experience. Sound good?

Channel 4's Deborah Lane Winter at a Media Parents CV Event "If you've had a career break, avoid the suggestion that that's a problem in your cover letter or CV - it might not be a problem."

Jenny Spader, Fremantle CV tip : watch TV!

If you do nothing else between now and Wednesday, choose your top person to meet and watch their output so you can demonstrate an interest. Read how returner Jaime Caruana prepared for her meeting here.

Meet Fremantle Talent Coordinator Jenny Spader

media parents CV tip : focus on the top 1/3 of  the 1st page

we all read CVs digitally these days. if you don’t have anything relevant to the job or company your interested in at the top of your CV the employer may not bother to scroll down. Front load your CV like pretitles.

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

ros malthouse, shiver CV tip: don’t rely on your cover letter

I don’t usually send on cover letters to execs or SPs, just your CV with a couple of lines, so make sure that any information you want to get across is on your CV – don’t put all the relevant info in your covering letter.

Shiver's Ros Malthouse

Sue Kenderdine, TwoFour cv tip: check your email address

ensure your email address is your name, i.e. not sexygirl@gmail.com  rather, firstnamesurname@gmail.com. If you have changed your name with marriage, be consistent so people can find you.

Vanessa Colosi, Talent Manager TwoFour

TwoFour's Sue Kenderdine (centre) meets Media Parents talent at our BBC CV Event

Media Parents cv tip : Include your name, contacts and job title at the top

Signpost.  Also save the document as your name, job title, CV (and maybe the date). Send it in an email titled with your name and job title for max discoverability.

Noelle Barnett, BBC Scripted CV tip : tailor your CV

CVs lead with skillset and most relevant experience to the role you are going for. If you’re looking to move into a new area of work, then note the transferrable skills/experiences that you have that will help you establish yourself. You might have come a long way, but kill your darlings – it demonstrates that you can select relevant detail which is important in any TV job.

BBC Drama's Noelle Barnett (left) at Media Parents recent Job Share Event

Keri atkins, kindle entertainment CV tip : use your CV to network

Including the names of managers / commissioners you have worked to (or talent you have worked with) enables your CV to start networking for you before you get into the room.

Keri Atkins at Media Parents Job Share event at Tiger Aspect

Jacquie Glanville, BBC Drama CV Tip : keep it to 2 pages

Keeping details brief, concise and informative helps when passing your details on to hiring managers. Your CV should read like a good menu!

Emily Gale, Fremantle : Make sure your interests are interesting!

On a CV a no no for me is when I read the person’s’ ‘Interests’ are  :Eating, Reading, Travelling…  Come on… those are universal interests!  What makes you unique? What do you bring to the party? I love meeting people who have rich and diverse interests and who I can learn from. The best meetings I have are the ones where I frantically scribble down all the recommendations the freelancer has given me. Isn’t that after all why we work in this industry because we are always learning something new?

Fremantle's Emily Gale is unable to attend the event but Fremantle Talent Coordinator Jenny Spader will be there to meet freelancers

Emily Freshwater, Outline Productions CV tip : spell check

It’s not rocket science, mistakes can lose you a job and can stay on your CV for years. Get a friend to proofread or ask Media Parents for a CV M.O.T.

Outline Productions' part time Production Exec Emily Freshwater at our April CV event

Emma Astaire, Shiver TV CV tip : keep the file size small

Some CVs are stored in inboxes and deleted if they are too large. Keep your formatting by saving as a PDF.

Shiver TV's Emma Astaire

Emily Knight, RDF West – is unable to attend due to train disruption at Paddington today – sorry! Feel free to email us with a CV to pass on to Emily.

RDF West's Emily Knight is keen to hear from freelancers who will work out of Bristol and Cardiff.

To attend this event see the watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk. Can’t make it? Email us for CV advice via our contact button.

Our next event is a CV Clinic on October 17th. Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

October 10, 2018 @ 9:01 am Posted in Events, News 1 Comment

a researcher’s guide to Edinburgh TV festival : Melissa Bishop

by Amy Walker

Edinburgh does…Question Time, hosted by the amazing Kirsty Wark. After all these years shouting at the TV from my sofa, I was there, mic in hand and selected to ask the first question, kicking off the whole debate writes Melissa Bishop. As Kirsty says my name and peers at me over her famous reading glasses, all eyes turn in my direction, cameras recording for posterity. I am now very nervous. But I am up in Edinburgh as the Warner Bros returner on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.

Question Time Presenter Kirsty Wark with Returning AP / Researcher Melissa Newbury

“As a recent report in Broadcast magazine has shown that the number of women directors in TV have actually fallen in recent years, what do the panel suggest to address this problem?”  Job done, my voice was not too wobbly and I had taken a first little step out of my comfort zone. That’s what I was here for after all.

On the way to the airport at 5.30am on the first day of the Edinburgh TV festival, I’d had 20 minutes to gather my thoughts. This was in fact my first Edinburgh TV Festival – brilliant. I had always meant to go but life gets in the way and somehow I’d never made it. The event is completely jam-packed, there are so many interesting, talented people to meet, I didn’t want to be doing it at anything less than 100% match fitness, so I’d prepared well. However, I was really nervous. Imposter syndrome strikes again.

"I was worried that being out of TV work, as a full-time carer, would been seen as a personal weakness somehow" Melissa Newbury needn't have worried https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14397/melissa-bishop

In addition, somewhere in the back of my head I was worried that being out of TV work, as a full-time carer, would been seen as a personal weakness somehow. When I got talking to people, I realised how any people have been in the same situation, or have experienced something similar and are totally understanding. It really isn’t just me.

The MacTaggart Lecture this year was beautifully written and passionately delivered by Michaela Coel, in front of a packed house. A fascinating personal insight into the industry through the eyes of a “misfit” (her words) – culminating in a moving call to arms for all in the industry to address this problem, to get our house in order – “fix this house”.  Her words resonated deeply and the message regarding lack of diversity permeated the rest of the festival.

It’s a great place to make connections, including Expectation Factual Head of Talent Anna Bonnadio, and Anouk Berendsen, Head of Talent at All3Media who kindly agreed to meet with us returners. One thing she said that struck me was “Be honest and open… just ask for what you want, what you need as a parent/carer in TV.”  If we all did this, things would have to change.

Returner Melissa Bishop with Expectation Factual's Anna Bonnadio

The first Media Parents session with Amy Walker flipped a switch in my head. Amy asked us in turn to introduce ourselves, in three clear sentences, name, what we are and what we want to do.…easy, but I couldn’t. I hadn’t thought through how to communicate really basic information about myself to others. So when I was asked to speak, I could only reply ‘but, what am I?’ Basic yes, but very easy to overlook. I realised that in my previous attempts to introduce myself to people whilst networking (not something that comes naturally to me and makes me feel a bit icky – to be perfectly honest), I’d either take so long thinking up my opening lines that they’d left by the time I was ready, or gone up to them and ended up rambling, trying to explain my entire life history to my poor victim. Not a very memorable encounter, or memorable for all the wrong reasons.

So: “Hello I’m Melissa Bishop…I’m a factual Researcher/AP, returning to documentary. Pleased to meet you.”

Try thinking of it as a conversation, Amy advised, when we’re discussing how uncomfortable the power dynamic of networking can make me feel. They are not ‘the boss’ and you are not asking for a job. You’re two peers, exchanging information and ideas. They might actually like talking to you. As someone who has been out of this world for a few years, my confidence has taken a bit of a battering.  I’ve found that it often takes just small mental adjustments to counteract this and feel ok about introducing myself back to the working world. Just this one session on it’s own was a total confidence boost.

As inspiring as anything I have mentioned so far, was meeting the other returners. All extremely talented and really lovely human beings. Michaela Coel’s MacTaggart Lecture enforced the idea that there is room for all of us in TV.  Here’s hoping that message will be taken away from here and acted upon.  I’ll be doing my little bit by asking for what I need as a carer in TV.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14397/melissa-bishop

Our next event is a CV clinic on October 17th at Shiver, please see our site emails for details. Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

October 9, 2018 @ 8:23 am Posted in Events, Freelancer Profiles, TV Returners Leave a comment

Media Parents Back to Work Drinks Gallery

by Amy Walker

Huge thanks to the lovely team at West Digital for sponsoring and hosting our Media Parents Back to Work Drinks at their facility in West London. We were made really welcome in Shepherd’s Bush by Joint MDs Peter Zacaroli and Darren Cock, and by General Manager Paul Wilkes and the FOH team. We celebrated our Back to Work Team and were joined by more returners, Back to Work Scheme sponsors and freelancers for the last summer drinks in a leafy urban garden. Our next event will be at Shiver on October 17th, see www.mediaparents.co.uk for details.

West Digital's General Manager Paul Wilkes (left) and MD Peter Zacaroli with some of the Media Parents Back to Work team

Maverick TV's PM & Head of Talent Tamara Durnford, met freelancers and represented Back to Work Sponsors All3Media

Endemol's Back to Work Scheme mentor Melissa Clay Peters met returners

West Digital MD & Lead Editor Peter Zacaroli was all smiles

Cheers to all the returners who made it - quite a few people's first night out!

Thanks to Warner Bros' Jo Norris for coming along

West Digital MD Darren Cock meets freelancers with Exec Producer Matt Holden

Making Waves HOP Mags Scholes meets Screen Skills / Creative Skillset HETV Drama Returner Fred Archer celebrating his placement at Tiger Aspect

Thanks to Media Parents' Joanna Gretton for all her hard work!

Celebrating returner Jo Larmer's first day back at work on Comic Relief, and Hannah Williams' new flexible job at Merman

CTVC's Neil Barnes was on hand to cheer on the returners

Thanks for making it a great evening.

Our next event is a CV clinic on October 17th at Shiver, please see our site emails for details. Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

September 27, 2018 @ 2:14 pm Posted in Events, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

A scripted PM’s guide to Edinburgh TV Festival : Hannah Williams

by Amy Walker

Two days prior to Edinburgh I walked into Tesco with my sleeping 3 year old draped, like a dead weight, over my shoulder, writes returning Scripted PM Hannah Williams. With my other hand I pushed a trolley containing my 10 month old (who thought it was hilarious to make her panda dive dramatically from the trolley every 10 seconds). My 5 year old headed up our procession ensconced in a fantasy game. A lady walked past, smiled at me and said, “Wow! That’s a full time job you have there!”

PM Hannah Williams who is being mentored by Merman on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme, with her daughter Polly on their way to Edinburgh TV Festival

And, yes, it is a full time job (although I have never really thought of it that way). So, you can imagine that I entered the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme with a degree of trepidation, considering I am about to attempt another job on top of my “full time job”.

My Mum and 10 month old (Polly) came with me to Edinburgh and deposited me at the EICC on Wednesday morning. It was a little reminiscent of my first day of school (with the exception of the baby!). I have freelanced in the industry on and off for 5 years but, on the whole, I haven’t worked consistently. I was definitely nervous but inordinately excited. It felt like the right time to dabble my toe back in the glistening water of TV once more.

And I needn’t have been nervous. The overriding feeling I came away with was one of empowerment and a reignited spark for production. I could write hundreds of words about the seminars I watched and the people I met. But the feeling of empowerment really was the most overwhelming part.

Hannah Williams, left, with fellow Back to Work Scheme winner Katie Walmsley, Anna Richardson and Sue Perkins at Edinburgh TV Festival. "The feeling of empowerment really was the most overwhelming part."

I adore my children more than anything in the world. On the other hand I used to find TV making so exhilarating that I would often be in the office until the early hours, so devoted was I to the cause. And therein lies the crux. As much as I adore my children there still exists that person inside me who adores the career it took so long to build. It was Edinburgh that proved to me that it is possible to balance the two. There are many other Mums who do it brilliantly and many more supportive industry professionals who can help me to make it happen part time or via job share.

On Day Two I attended the seminar entitled ‘Legendary Women of TV Reveal All’. With a stellar line up of Olivia Lichtenstein, Arlene Phillips, Paula Wilcox, Selina Scott, Dorothy Byrne and the brilliant Dotty (A.Dot) hosting, we heard about how they climbed (sometimes grappled) their way up the career ladder. Olivia Lichtenstein described how she returned to work with a 5 month old and was immediately expected to visit Japan for a work project. Arlene Phillips moved us all to tears with a story of overcoming her lack of self worth and two generations of women thanked each other for changing the industry by their different contributions to the cause. They talked about the difference between once “clinging on and being grateful for being there at all” and, more recently, owning a place in the industry regardless of gender and presence of children.

I decided there and then that I wouldn’t make excuses for having children. A lovely talk with Media Parents Director Amy Walker reassured me that I have a lot to offer the industry. I should be selling my 16 years worth of experience rather than apologising for a slight absence. I think this is something that all my fellow mentees realised too. And quite rightly.

Returning PM Hannah Williams with Merman Producer Clelia Mountford

One of the most memorable moments at Edinburgh was a meeting with co founder of Merman, Clelia Mountford. Aside from the fact she is generally utterly lovely and extremely talented, she assured me that she once felt as I did after returning to work after her second child. We had a great chat and after a big hug she left. And I knew then that I was back and it would all be ok. If she could do it, so could I!

So I would like to thank Amy Walker, and Merman for sponsoring me in the scheme, and giving me the chance to regain my confidence, which had fallen along the wayside somewhere with discarded nappies and sleep deprivation. Between Media Parents, my new mentee friends and Merman I have a great support network should I need it. But, more importantly, I also now have my old determination and self-confidence back. So next time someone in Tesco tells me I have a full time job I shall hopefully be able to reply, “yes, and I work part time in TV too!”

Since writing this I have started my mentoring from Merman’s Head of Production Rebecca Parkinson, and have been hired by Merman. I will be joining them as Post Production Supervisor, which will comprise of three days a week work spread over five days, working mainly at home. Not only will I be working for one of the most exciting (and genuinely lovely) production companies around but the role fits perfectly around my children. I am enormously excited about starting a new chapter.

Join the Media Parents Back to Work winners for drinks in September

Meet Hannah at our Media Parents Back to Work Drinks on Sept 26th. Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

September 25, 2018 @ 11:47 am Posted in Events, Freelancer Profiles, TV Returners Comments Off

A Production Executive’s Guide to Edinburgh TV Festival : Katie Walmsley

by Amy Walker

Excitement and nerves merged into one as I arrived at the Edinburgh TV Festival writes returning Production Executive Katie Walmsley.  And after an inspirational networking workshop with Media Parents, it was time to leap back into the world of TV.

"She's back!" Returning Production Executive Katie Walmsley with Presenter Sue Perkins at Edinburgh TV Festival

The first seminar that pulled me in was  ‘How to make a Green Production’ with Producer Rosa Brough and Trevor Vegera Lopez, Production Executive from Keo Films.   It was great to learn about the Albert Certification @WeAreALBERT, an online points scoring scheme which rewards productions for implementing sustainable production techniques.  A growing number of productions have gone through this scheme, including Downton Abbey, Coronation Street and Poldark. Great to learn that there are viable ways the industry can be part of the solution.

After a fun hour with Roy Walker and some of the cast of Love island for ‘Edinburgh Does…. Catchphrase’, it was off to the A+E Networks opening night drinks at the National Museum of Scotland.  It felt rather daunting walking into a packed venue full of incredible talent, however it was easy to bump into people I already knew since my Production Executive days in Glasgow and I immediately felt at home.  It was lovely to see Alan Clements and Kirsty Wark.  I also reconnected with Paul Sheehan, Commercial Director, STV and Pauline Law, Head of Multi-Platform Production, BBC Scotland.

MacTaggart Drinks at Edinburgh TV Festival

Day Two, and, determined to make the most of the festival programme,  I darted to the ‘The Leaders Debate’ where Kirsty Wark certainly held some of the panel to account over the Commissioning processes.  The difference between how the Indies and Commissioners view elements of the process was vast. From a production exec’s point of view there were some eye-opening revelations. For example 95% of commissioners said they had never asked an indie to start spending on a production without a green light, compared to 66% of indies that said they had.

‘The Michael Palin in North Korea’ Master Class was a powerful workshop, as was the insightful ‘Legendary Women in Television Reveal All’ Debate. Olivia Lichtenstein quoted Nora Ephron when asked what she’d tell her younger self – ‘be the heroine of your life, not the victim’ and my favourite advice from Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current affairs at C4 ‘Be pushy and ambitious and marry a builder’.

Katie is sponsored by All3Media on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Katie (left) pictured with All3Media Head of Talent Anouk Berendsen in a leafy glade somewhere near Edinburgh TV Festival

ALL3Media Talent Manager ‘Anouk Berendsen’ & I escaped the busy crowds and had an invaluable chat with huge amounts of encouragement for my return to TV.  Anouk’s top tip was ‘Be confident in the experience you have and never apologise for taking a career break or for being a mum’.   I felt excited for the future and reassured that I could return to the job I love and still strike the work/life balance and be there for my children.

The final session ‘A Very English Scandal Master class’ hosted by Sue Perkins including the very charismatic Hugh Grant was fun and informative and reaffirmed how important team dynamics are to the success of a production, both on & off the screen.

We wrapped with a fantastic CV workshop with Amy Walker, ensuring my CV really showcased my skills and abilities.  The festival went in a blur and I’ve left with reaffirmed confidence, new contacts and some great meetings lined up about my future.  I’m excited to meet my mentor Roz Pound, Head of Production at Objective Media Group next month.  It was fascinating to see how the industry has evolved but it also felt like I’d never been away.  Media Parents & All3Media have given me an amazing platform to return to television and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15643/katie-walmsley

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners 2018. To read more about their journeys follow this blog

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

September 6, 2018 @ 10:47 am Posted in Events, TV Returners Leave a comment

How to get the most out of Edinburgh TV Festival, Nicola Kingscote SP

by Amy Walker

Ahead of this year’s Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners being chosen to attend Edinburgh TV Festival, Nicola Kingscote, one of last year’s Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners look back at last year’s festival and how to get the most out of it.

Sugar Films' Pat Younge with Nicola Kingscote at Edinburgh TV Festival 2017

As I crawled out of bed at 4am to catch the flight from Bristol to Edinburgh for the TV Festival I reflected on the fact that (weirdly) during my 18 years with the BBC as a director and Series Producer, I had never made it to the event. The day job always took priority. My recent decision to volunteer for redundancy had given me the clear headspace to find the Media Parents Back to Work scheme, and I was thrilled to be sponsored by TwoFour in Cardiff to attend. When I arrived at the EICC the speed meeting sessions were underway, enabling any festival delegate to book a face-to-face slot with a variety of talent managers from broadcasters and indies. It was great to meet with Zoe Rushton from BBC Cardiff, Fintan Maguire, an Exec Producer from Spun Gold (now at Rumpus Media), and with Pat Younge, MD of Sugar Films. All were generous with their advice and time. Pat was very keen for me to add a showreel to my CV, to really emphasise some of the well known series that I have worked on to potential employers.

Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2017 : Scripted Director Kate Cheeseman, SP Nicola Kingscote, PD Josie Besbrode & Edit Producer Emma Sayce

The first panel discussion I attended was “Tantrums and Tabloids – how to survive a production crisis”. In the old days, after transmission, we just worried about the overnight figures. This cleverly dramatised debate revealed what could happen if a contributor is hounded and humiliated on social media. Thought-provoking in terms of our duty of care to contributors, and how we as programme makers need to brief and fully prepare them honestly for what “can” happen if they are targeted on social media. For a BBC lifer, hearing from other channel heads was also fascinating. Ben Frow from Channel 5 (affectionately referred to by his team as Chairman Frow) submitted himself to a filmed “In Therapy” session which he shared with us, so that we would better understand him and what he wants for the channel. (Click here to watch Ben Frow speak at Edinburgh). His unapologetic honesty was so refreshing. In this and other sessions I got a great sense of the varied cultures at other channels and I felt very excited about the future as a freelancer. The Jewel in the festival’s crown however, was Jon Snow’s moving McTaggart Lecture.

Channel 4's Jon Snow photobombs the Media Parents Back to Work Team at Edinburgh TV Fest 2018. Nicola Kingscote second from right

The following day emotions ran high again on a panel discussion  called “I’m A Producer, Get These Celebrities Out of Here” hosted by the TV presenter Anna Richardson, which focused on the difficulties that can occur between the production and onscreen talent. Anna herself recalled agreeing to take a fertility test for a TV series when she was in her early thirties, and the utter shock and devastation she felt when the results revealed that she was infertile. As I flew back to Bristol armed with a notebook full of useful ideas and contacts, I realised that the most memorable and impressive festival moments for me were those when someone bravely risked making themselves vulnerable in front of their peers. Food for thought for anyone returning to work, because every single time, the risk was rewarded with supportive applause. The Scheme really helped my confidence in two ways. I was a parent with 18 years of TV experience who had taken a year out, but had also left the security of the BBC behind at the same time, to become a freelancer. I was moving into a new world and the back to work scheme really helped me with that transition. It demystified the freelance world for me in a way that has been hugely beneficial. The three other women on the scheme have also become great friends and we continue to support each other and remain in contact, often with tips on how to streamline our work lives to have more quality time with our family or just to have a general moan about things! It’s great to have that network with people who are not direct competition with each other, but who totally get what it is like to parent in the TV world.

Nicola Kingscote, Media Parents Back to Work Winner 2017

Click here to view Nicola Kingscote’s profile.

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018 is underway, see our blog for details. Join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

July 31, 2018 @ 10:27 am Posted in Events, Freelancer Profiles, How To, TV Returners Leave a comment

media parents 2018 summer drinks & back to work scheme

by Amy Walker

We’re really delighted to be announcing the 2018 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme sponsors at our summer party this week, where talented freelancers will be joined by  Channel5, MTV, ITV, Sister Pictures, Merman, The Garden, Raw TV, 360 Production, Barcroft Productions, Warner Bros, Tiger Aspect, Fosse Films, Outline Productions, Wadell Media, Boulder Creek International, Seefood and more.

Clearcut MD Rowan Bray and guests at Media Parents Summer Party 2017. Good times!

Clearcut Pictures are sponsoring the Media Parents Summer Party for the second year running – huge thanks to Rowan Bray and her team for supporting us again. We’ll be enjoying Clearcut’s hospitality in a leafy garden on Wednesday July 4th. http://www.clearcut.cc/

We’d also like to thank the Schedule32 team and Cornish Insurance for sponsoring the event too.

Media Parents Summer Party 2017 - join us in a Bloomsbury garden!

“We take away the time-consuming job of finding and booking accommodation for TV crews.”

Schedule 32 was founded in 2005 by Jo Clement. After organising many location shoots over 15 years in the industry, Jo saw a clear need for a TV-friendly hotel agency – a 24/7 operation, that’s always keeping the budget in mind, while offering a reliable personal service so that clients don’t have to rely on online bookings. http://www.schedule32.co.uk/

Thank you to everyone who joined us last year, we look forward to seeing you this year!

Cornish Insurance has built up an enviable reputation over 28 years providing unparalleled service to TV clients. Steve McNally, Rob Smith and the team are able to understand any risk presented, with experience and market insight. Cornish take great pride in dealing with clients, from individuals to Blue Chip Companies, with a personal touch. No other Broker or Insurer will be able to offer Cornish’s niche market products. By listening to customers’ needs Cornish have created products designed specifically for you and your business. To discuss your insurance needs please contact http://cornishinsurance.co.uk/

Please sign up to the guestlist via our watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk to join us on July 4th!

If you would like an application form for our 2018 Back to Work Scheme, please click here Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Form 2018

Meet Team Media Parents at our summer party - Amy Walker (left) and Joanna Gretton look forward to meeting you.

Join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events. Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018 is opening soon.

June 30, 2018 @ 5:46 pm Posted in Events, TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off