Media Parents

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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

When You Actually Want Your Career to go Sideways… Mark Aldridge

by Amy Walker

Sooo, I just finished my first novel writes Exec / Series Producer Mark Aldridge.

Mark Aldridge, left of frame, at Media Parents CV Event

The small group of friends and trusted colleagues who have read it, really rate it. I hold the 292 pages of manuscript in my hands like it’s a new baby. It’s warm, it’s got a nice smell. It’s not exactly cuddly and adorable but it’s much loved all the same. There’s over nine months of development there and … Yeah, that’s enough of the baby similarities I think. Having finished the obligatory tweaking, proofing and editing, I send it over to my agent. Warren’s been reading it as we go along, full of his usual encouragement, but I’m looking forward to his opinion on what I consider to be the finished article… But that feedback will have to wait a couple of weeks.

I’m a father of 8-year-old twins and they were front-of-mind when I took a sideways step with my career. Perhaps inevitably, stepping sideways also means taking a hit with your income. I made a deal with my partner, we agreed I could do the book for a limited period of time, in our case a year. I just made it.

Now, it’s all about finding a job back in TV. I’ve had a steady stream of freelance work that’s fitted in around writing the book, but now it’s finished, I need to get back to the day job. So, the next few weeks are all about re-establishing connections and getting myself back on people’s radars as an Exec / SP in Production or Development.

I’m a story-teller. In the end, isn’t all TV about telling a good yarn? So, if anyone’s reading this who’s on the lookout, I’m combining my EP experience with my writing and looking for development roles, as well as broader EP or SP gigs. The storytelling was front and centre when I developed Channel 4’s ‘Utopia’ and I recently put it into action again working with the ‘Simon’s Cat’ team at Endemol Shine. But I’ve also applied storytelling on a wider scale. With ‘Rooftop Rainforest’, we told a compelling tale that ran right through the backbone of Sky TV. We built a living, breathing rainforest, with over a thousand plants and trees, on top of the Westfield shopping centre. The story encompassed Sky’s rainforest charity, gave the CEO an ideal location to address the great and the good and, of course, delivered two hours of high-end documentary to SkyOne.

Mark Aldridge and the Football Tonight team

So, whilst I wait for the response to putting the TV wheels in motion, I thought I’d note down some lessons I’ve learned over the year.

When You Actually Want Your Career to go Sideways…

If you’re considering a sideways step, be prepared to start near the bottom. You may be a hotshot in your established career, but you’re a noob in the other one. Sure, there will be a ton of transferable skills, but you will be competing with those who are already established.

Before you begin, set yourself a timeline for how long you (and family) are prepared to give it. Real change, change for good, change for the better, takes time. And your new career choice will have consequences for those who around you. They will need to be flexible too.

If you give yourself twelve months, like I did, know that you have a great deal of time there for development. If you stay focussed, you are going to be improving dramatically in that time. For me, the important thing was simply to get going. Then it got better. What was really curious was looking back at those early first steps and seeing how my writing had evolved over the year.

There’s another benefit too, this one’s probably the best one, your year of going sideways will certainly put what you did before into perspective. You’ll be able to see all the plus points and identify some of the negatives from your previous job. That can help guide you going forward. Hell, you’ll probably find what you’ve learned over the year supports your original career and that can only be a good thing.

I’ve set up a site, manwithseveralhats.com, that’s me. Two of the hats have gone sideways from TV production. Consultancy is one. Writing is the other.

So, I’ve got three hats right now. That’s enough. Any more and I’d be spread too thinly. As I say on the website, I’d be a very skinny hat, I’d be a Beret.

www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/4258/mark-aldridge

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

@ 9:34 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To Leave a comment

Back to Work as a HETV Drama Coordinator by Zenna Barry

by Amy Walker

I’d had a 10 year break from TV writes Coordinator Zenna Barry. I’d worked in factual as a Coordinator but I’d always loved drama and originally wanted to work in film – so after an ex-colleague told me about the Media Parents website, I found that they were looking for coordinators on a ‘HETV Drama Back To Work Scheme’ funded by ScreenSkills which sounded perfect for me.

Zenna Barry was on placement on Tiger Aspect's drama Curfew with Sean Bean

I’d never worked in drama production before and I was advised to get some work experience before applying, which I did. Michaela Eccleston, Head of Production at Red Productions was then kind enough to become my mentor, and throughout the scheme she has been on the end of a text or call whenever I’ve needed guidance and encouragement.  We’ve also had face-to-face meetings at her offices which have really helped me understand drama production and carve out my plan for the future.

Mentor Michaela Eccleston, Red Productions' HOP with mentee Zenna Barry (right)

The scheme kicked off at the end of Feb, with CV and interview training and networking events in London that would re-align my mindset.  Media Parents then set up a 4 week placement on ‘Curfew’ for me – a high end TV drama being shot at Space Studios for Tiger Aspect.  The placement went well – even though it felt quite daunting to be back in the production office again.  But my mind was focussed on learning and so I just got stuck in.  Everyone looked so young and had already been working on the show for a few months and - I’m not going to lie to you – it was a challenging time, juggling childcare and new learning in a genre I haven’t worked in before – but I stayed cheerful throughout and made the most of my time there with the team – who were great with me:)

Zenna Barry with the production team on Tiger Aspect's Curfew

After the placement, reality hit home - it was now time to get a real job!!!  In my past I had been a Coordinator/ PM mainly in factuals and live programming.  But because I didn’t want to take this route again and with the large gap in my CV, my mentor advised me that I would have to go backwards before I could go forwards.  This was sound advice as I felt that I really needed to understand the drama processes before I took on any kind of role of responsibility.

On location for a Curfew night shoot

Media Parents contacted me and suggested I applied for a free Line Producers course run by Addie Orfila for the Indie Training Fund, also funded by ScreenSkills.  What a great week in Media City – with seven other aspiring LPs, learning all about how to PM and Line Producer in drama, it really helped with my knowledge gap.  I made some great contacts on the course which led to two weeks’ work on a children’s drama for the BBC – ‘The 4 O’Clock Club’.  Again a lovely production team – learning on the job, locally filmed, enjoying the catering (!) and loving being back in production!

Line Producer training at Media City

Courtesy of the Media Parents jobs page I then managed to secure 6 weeks work as an Assistant Coordinator on a Sky One comedy drama ‘Brassic’.  With a 4-day handover, I was then left coordinating the show whilst the main coordinator was on holiday for 4 weeks! I loved every minute of it, again working with a great team.  It was a tough job though, with long 12 hour days, which was tough on my family, but I was really starting to find my feet now and felt confident putting all that I had learned since the beginning of the year into practice.

ITV then got in touch and wanted me to interview for a Coordinator’s role on Emmerdale.  The commute would be tricky – Manchester to Leeds everyday – but the role sounded ideal, spending much more time down on set and learning directly from the senior PM,  so I decided to go for it.  After the toughest interview of my life (1.5 hours on Skype with a panel of three from ITV) I was delighted to hear that I got the job – a permanent in-house contract for ITV drama – wow!!  I’m so grateful and now well on my way to becoming a PM in drama which was my dream at the beginning of the year!!  Thanks partly to the negotiating skills I honed on the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme the contract at ITV can offer me some flexibility and the work/ life balance that I so desperately crave.  To be there for my family in the evenings and at weekends whilst being part of a creative team – I’m so excited at what the future may bring!!

Thank you Media Parents for everything you have done for me this year – I will always be truly grateful for this scheme that helps parents like me get back into the game.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14984/zenna-barry

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

@ 9:34 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To Leave a comment

How to work flexibly on location in TV Ali McBride & Kate Walker

by Amy Walker

It’s 5 years ago this month that my maternity bubble was burst and I came back to work, writes Series Producer Ali McBride. I was happy in my baby bubble, but also keen to return to telly, and thanks to Media Parents Back to Work Scheme I was given the confidence to do so with gusto.

Series Producer Ali McBride returned to work via Media Parents and wanted to pay it back https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15861/ali-mcbride

Five years in and the plate spinning is working (just) but, sadly it seems, not for everyone. As a consequence I’ve seen many new Mums and Dads flee the industry. So I wanted to see if, in my own small way, I could help other parents find a balance.

When I started working at Crackit North I saw an opportunity. I was Series Producing a new Channel 5 series based at a hospital in Barnsely and we needed to follow the shifts of the staff to capture their working day. To cover certain staff shifts we needed to be flexible with the hours we filmed, so flexible working became an essential part of my hunt for the perfect PD.

Ali McBride and the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners waiting for Kevin Spacey's MacTaggart Speech at Ed TV Fest 2013.

I knew of a director looking to return to work after having her first child – Kate Walker - so we discussed the job and she grabbed the offer with both hands. Across three months, Kate and another PD who was also happy with the flexible shifts, followed the staff, gained the trust of the team and filmed some incredible stories.

I know that flexible filming schedules don’t suit every production but I do know that having a flexible PDs team was a real asset to the production. After this experience I’m keen to spread the word that flexible working can work and should be considered more naturally as part of the crewing up process. The challenge now is to see if I can make this role work on my future projects!

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15861/ali-mcbride

Kate Walker

Kate Walker PD : "The prospect of long hours and the physical demands of shooting full time made me question my career which I had always loved" https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15868/kate-walker

The idea of returning to work as a Shooting Director with a ten-month-old baby was daunting to say the least – the prospect of long hours and the physical demands of shooting full time made me question my career which I had always loved. When Ali contacted me with the opportunity to work part time with flexible hours it sounded too good to be true.

I gave her a diary of the days I was available and the best times I could work, Ali then married this up with when the key characters we wanted to film were on shift and so I began. I worked on average three days per week over the filming period, which included some evenings and weekends – this worked perfectly for me as no additional childcare was needed and I got to spend more time with my baby. I never felt my relationships with the staff I was filming were compromised as many of them also worked part time and had families.  Ali’s strategic approach to filming meant that my time on location was maximised and I always felt like a valued member of the team. It couldn’t have been a more perfect way to return to work.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15868/kate-walker

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15861/ali-mcbride

Kate is available from October 15th and Ali is available from November, both for work in Leeds and the North West. Find them on Media Parents.

Casualty 24/7 Wed Channel 5 @ 9pm. Crackit North Productions.

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 @ 4:44 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To, TV Returners Leave a comment

Returning script editor Jaime Caruana how to manage work placements and mentors

by Amy Walker

Having won a place on the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme funded by Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset). Media Parents acted on my behalf in approaching production companies to find a mentor, Antonia Gordon at Silverprint Pictures, and a work placement.

Returning Script Editor Jaime Caruana : https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/7402/jaime-caruana

A fantastic aspect of the HETV Back-to-Work Scheme is the introduction to an industry mentor. This is a person completely separate to the work placement, but the equivalent of a potential boss.

ITV's Antonia Gordon https://www.silverprint-pictures.co.uk/about-us/

I am delighted to have Antonia, a Head of Development at ITV, as my mentor. Someone completely neutral, who works in the same field. Media Parents found a great match for me and the relationship is blossoming.

I feel that I have a mentor who is fully supportive of the back-to-work plan I developed as part of the returners course, as well as contributing heavily towards the plan and pushing me when I need pushing. Antonia’s been great at providing me with new contacts and is always there for moral support, should I have any wobbles. Being another parent, working in the industry, she gives me both inspiration and confidence in what I am doing.

I was introduced, via email, to Sarah Stack, the Head of Development at Kudos, and a meeting in person was soon arranged. It wasn’t clear whether the meeting was just to say “hello” and discuss my start date, or to see if I fitted their mould before they committed. I decided to err on the side of caution and prepped for it like I would an interview. I did my research on the Head of Development, the team and the company. Most importantly, I watched as many Kudos transmissions as I could. I also prepped answers for the standard interview questions.

When we met, it was obvious straight away that this was going to be more of an informal meeting/chat regarding placement dates. Phew! The funding from Screen Skills covered a 4-week, full-time placement. Given my 8 year career break, I felt that launching myself straight into full-time hours would be a huge shock. So, having had negotiating training from Media Parents, I negotiated spreading the 20 days out, part time. The HoD thought this arrangement would be mutually beneficial – Kudos would be able to utilise me for longer and I would get more time across their slate.

Sarah Stack https://www.kudos.co.uk/team

I am writing this blog mid-placement. I spent the Sunday before I started in a complete state of anxiety, where my coping mechanism was to spend the day manically cleaning my house. The anxiety kept me wide awake the night before and put me off eating any breakfast in the morning. This was going to be a huge challenge – dropping the kids off at school breakfast club for 7:30am, catching the earliest train I could and arriving at the offices of Kudos in a calm and relaxed manner!

I had nothing to worry about. They all know why I am there (and if they didn’t, I made a point of telling them when I introduced myself). The first thing the HoD asked me when I arrived: “Was I nervous?” I decided to be honest. Why lie? The HoD is a mum too. She totally gets it.

I spent the first couple of weeks observing, attending meetings and not being afraid to ask questions. By this week (my third), I have made an effort to be proactive and contribute more. The key thing for me is that, by the end of my placement, Kudos feel they have got something out of it as much as I have. To be continued…

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/7402/jaime-caruana


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 4, 2018 @ 9:10 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To, TV Returners Comments Off

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

how to get back into TV directing by returner Kate Cheeseman

by Amy Walker

It’s nearly a year since I won a place on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme with a bunch of other lovely talented returners, and what a year! writes Scripted Director Kate Cheeseman who was mentored by Channel 4. Read here about Kate’s journey to directing Call the Midwife. The scheme has helped us all back to work – Nicola Kingscote has Series Produced after a two year break, Josie Besbrode has been working flexibly as a PD, and Emma Sayce job shared prior to her current role. Emma is now “back in” after working sporadic short contracts to keep her hand in since maternity leave four years ago. This year’s Media Parents Back to Work Scheme is open for applications until tomorrow, so spread the word – it works!

Congratulations to the Back to Work Winners from 2017 for returning successfully

When I first tried to return to directing, despite hundreds of letters and applications, it was impossible. I had not worked in TV for some years. However, in the last few years people have woken up to some of the problems, and organisations like Media Parents, Raising Films and Directors UK have been spearheading change.

To help bridge my gap, last year I made my fourth short. It’s a great way of showing what you can do, of meeting people and just keeping up with technology and working practices. I linked up with a great team who were looking for a director and had a brilliant script. The schedule was tight, but we found an equally wonderful cast and crew.

Shortly after the shoot, I won a place on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Showing willing despite not having professional credits for a while won me the place. I was off to Edinburgh TV festival.  It was a great boost as I felt that I’d had so many rejections it was becoming difficult to carry on! It was really encouraging for someone to actually believe in me.

Myself and the other returners all made the most of the festival, going to some great talks and meeting fantastic contacts.  Everyone who is anyone in TV goes!  I emailed lots of the people I wanted to meet before the festival and though I didn’t have a huge response, the few that I did hear from were well worth the effort.  One of those contacts recently helped me get a fantastic agent at ITG.

Media Parents Back to Work Team 2017 at Edinburgh TV Festival

Back in London my Channel Four mentor Chloe Tucker encouraged me to keep going. To some extent getting work is a numbers game.  No meeting is wasted either, even if it ends in a rejection it might lead to something further down the line. Being on the Back to Work scheme I felt I had something to tell people about rather than just asking for work. One of my meetings shortly after Edinburgh was with an executive producer I had known before my break and though she had no work at the time, she suggested I met with the producer on Call the Midwife.

In the autumn, I set about editing my short, What Happened to Evie. Post for shorts is tricky as you usually don’t have much money, so have to wait for people.  In the end I edited the film myself, which I wouldn’t normally recommend but we had such a tight script that it wasn’t too bad.  Finishing the film gave me something to show people and when I finally had the interview with Call the Midwife, I am sure this helped show I could direct actors. I also watched all the seasons of the show again. Several boxes of tissues later I met with the lovely producer and chatted about the programme. A few months later I was offered the finale of the next season. I can’t tell you how happy I felt.

Many of the contacts that I met through the Back to Work Scheme have been really helpful with advice and contacts, so, another plus for the scheme and great ongoing contacts for me. All in all, it’s been an incredible year, kicked off by getting on this fab scheme, and I hope just the start of lots of new journeys.

Congratulations Kate!

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/12997/kate-cheeseman

To apply for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018, click here.

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

July 23, 2018 @ 8:42 am Posted in How To, News, TV Returners 1 Comment

how to Job share in Edit by Emma Sayce and Nikki Ryan

by Amy Walker

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner 2017, Edit Producer Emma Sayce, made it her goal to break back in to flexible work via the scheme (which is currently open for applications, apply here.). Emma has just finished a 12-week stint job sharing as an Edit Producer on Maverick’s BAFTA winning CBBC show Operation Ouch! She and job share partner Nikki Ryan write here about their experience of job sharing in the edit.

Operation Ouch!'s job sharing Van Tulleken brothers

Six months ago, neither of us had really thought about job sharing, but having done it, we’re keen to repeat the experience. We’ve found it to be a productive and enjoyable way of working.

Job Sharing Returner Emma Sayce at Edinburgh TV Festival with her Media Parents Sponsor Endemol Shine Global HR Director Bella Lambourne

Operation Ouch! is a 12 x 28’ science/medical series for kids, presented by identical twin doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken. Nikki worked as an Edit Producer on the series a few years ago, and when the Head of Production, Maria French, contacted her about coming back for the 7th series Nikki (very nervously) asked for part time hours. On such a busy edit this wasn’t viable, and the idea of sharing the role came up. Maria sounded out the Series Producer and Exec, and both were happy to give it a go. Maverick advertised the position through Media Parents and found me to pair with Nikki.

Maverick had chosen us on our individual merits … but it was down to us to make the partnership work, and we had never met! After our first conversation it was clear we were on the same page – both committed to the job, and to making the process of sharing it work.

Tamara Durnford, right, Maverick TV's Talent Manager who crewed for the jobshare at Media Parents recent job share event

Nikki worked 3 days a week, Emma 2. In the main, looked after our own VTs from start to finish, but this didn’t mean we worked independently. Being across 3 edits, on a fast turnaround show, meant lots of planning and we did this together – mapping out what each edit would be cutting and when, and lining up work for each other so we could hit the ground running on our respective days. We made it our business to be across everything our job share partner was doing, so that we could answer questions about it, and the production team could treat us, essentially, as one person.

All this meant we had to be in close communication. We had detailed handover phone chats on Wednesday and Friday evenings, spoke to each other during the day whenever we needed to, and had a joint email account which we kept an eye on during our days off. We did find ourselves putting in a bit of time ‘out of hours’, but this didn’t feel onerous. We could fit it around family commitments, and we also enjoyed it! How often, as a freelancer, do you get a detailed insight into how someone else does your job, and the opportunity to compare approaches and share best working practices?

None of our editors had worked with a job share duo before but they were extremely supportive, as was everyone on the production.  We definitely felt able to work as effectively as we would have done as individuals. The job of an EP is, after all, a creative one, and it’s easier to be creative in the edit when you’re not tired, not stressed because of what may/may not be going on at home, and generally feeling happy with your work/life balance. You also get time out of the edit to come up with the odd funnier line / fresher idea / solution to something that is proving tricky. In this way, we felt we offered good value to our employer – 2 brains for the price of 1!

Channel 4's Jon Snow photobombs the Media Parents Back to Work Team at Edinburgh TV Fest 2018 - Emma Sayce far left.

One big lesson, from our experience, is that job sharing really is a team game. There’s no room for competition or egos – your partner’s success is your success. You need to pair up with someone you trust, communicate easily with and who has a similar work ethic. Interestingly, we found that you don’t need the same experience, just the same attitude!

This job share has exceeded our expectations. Through Media Parents we feel lucky to have hit upon a partnership that works, and we’re keen to test it out on different kinds of show. We’re aware, for example, that on something like a single narrative doc, we’d be collaborating on a much more creative level. We’ve spoken to other job sharers who’ve made that work!

We’d encourage anyone interested to try and get a job share going. You can post here to find a job share, or on the Media Parents watercooler. Hopefully this will become progressively easier to do, but for now it seems that if a production company knows one of you, they’re more likely to give it a shot. We hope this way of working will allow those of us who need to give time to our lives outside telly (for whatever reason), to also have long and fulfilling careers within it.

Emma is now working for Endemol Shine, her Media Parents Back to Work Scheme sponsoring company, and will be available in November. Nikki Ryan is currently on mat leave – congratulations ~Nikki!

Nikki Ryan, Edit Producer Job Share

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/13729/emma-sayce

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/2587/nikki-ryan

Read more about Media Parents Back to Work Scheme here : http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/07/media-parents-back-to-work-scheme-opens-2/

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

July 18, 2018 @ 5:01 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

media parents mentoring : writer Emma Reeves & Returning Script Editor Becky Evans

by Amy Walker

Emma Reeves is an award-winning writer working across stage and screen. Her TV Children’s credits alone include The Worst WitchEveThe Dumping Ground, Young Dracula and The Story of Tracy Beaker. She has won Writers Guild Awards, RTS Awards and been nominated for both Children’s Baftas and a Broadcast Award. We have worked together before and there’s very little this lady doesn’t know about Children’s drama, writes Returning Script Editor Becky Evans. I was extremely pleased to learn that Becky had agreed to be my mentor courtesy of the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme.

The Worst Witch (Credit : CBBC)

A nice lunch in the bar at BAFTA gave Emma and me the perfect chance to catch up, reminisce about past projects and begin plotting a return for me. Emma is the perfect mentor because she has been able to offer the relevant names and contacts from a variety of companies within the Children’s field. It certainly hasn’t done me any harm to mention her name as my mentor either! She has made my CV mailout a whole lot easier and it’s been really encouraging to link to the right people straight away without feeling like your CV is floating across a lot of the wrong departments. New contacts in hand it’s been left to me to do the ground work so the last 6 weeks has been emails, calls and the odd meeting to refresh old connections and make some new ones. It’s fantastic to know that Emma has her ear to the ground on my behalf too and always at the end of a phone if I need a pep talk!

Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme Script Editor Becky Evans in conversation at BAFTA

So far the reaction to my CV has been very positive and it’s been a great boost for my confidence to know that my skills are still very relevant and of interest to Producers. My recent placement at Kindle Entertainment, also organised by Media Parents, has really helped bridge the parenting gap on my CV. An expression I’ve heard a few times after various meetings and chats is ‘Good Script Editors are thin on the ground! Looking forward it’s now all about the wait to be remembered when the new drama pitches have been signed off and the productions start crewing up. The Script Editor is usually the next port of call right behind the Producer once a drama leaves its development home. Make your CV memorable enough, impress where you can and with a bit of luck the phone will ring when they need someone with your skills!!

Emma Reeves, Writer

Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Mentor

‘I worked with Becky a few years ago on a British / Australian co-production for CBBC, ‘Dead Gorgeous’. I very much appreciated her talent and attention to detail as a Script Editor. The demands of the business, especially on continuing drama, can make it particularly hard for working mums (mums are still too often the “default parent”). Good Script Editors like Becky are hard to find and it’s time the industry recognised that they need to move to more flexible working conditions if they are not to continue to experience a major talent drain. Script Editors can work effectively from home a great deal of the time, making it easier for working parents to fit work around school runs, etc. I know that the response to Becky’s CV has been very positive and I’m sure she’ll find the perfect job’.

The Worst Witch Writer Emma Reeves

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

Click here to apply for the Media Parents 2018 Back to Work Scheme Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Form 2018.

July 3, 2018 @ 7:45 am Posted in How To, TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off

how to edit remotely by Ian Brown, Editor

by Amy Walker

I have been in British Television for over 20 years and in that time I have been lucky enough to work on programmes as diverse as Peter Kays Phoenix Nights, Cold Feet and Dragons’ Den to the multi award winning “Ups” documentaries, writes Editor Ian Brown.

Editor Ian Brown : https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11059/ian-brown

As a well respected finishing editor and colourist, the majority of my career has been spent working out of the regions’ top post facility houses, usually in big air conditioned rooms with fancy sofas and hot and cold drinks on tap but after the birth of my twins in 2012, I began to wonder if we could do things differently?

My youngest son Thomas has Cerebral Palsy and it became clear that if I could build a finishing suite at home, I would be able to have far greater control over my family’s work life balance.

A traditional finishing suite can easily set a facility back six figures but they all have one thing in common, without a skilled operator, they are worthless. I had the skills, I just needed to find a way to build a reliable home system.

In 2013 I began to forge a relationship with Matt Aindow at Scan computers in Bolton. As my plans progressed I spent time meeting the back room boys at Scan in their labs. Using a mixture of professional and gaming components we began to realise my dream of a facility class home finishing system. We added a Tangent wave control surface to give my system world conditions and it came up trumps.

Within days of me getting it home in February 2015, I was called on to grade a rock promo for Sitcom Soldiers, then edit a number of charity films, content for art exhibitions and a 5K grade on the British feature film “Off Piste”. It also allowed me to work from home whenever I was called on to edit TV programmes. Large parts of ITV’s Unbelievable moments Caught on Camera, Les Dawson Forever and Britain’s Darkest Taboo’s were cut in a cellar in Bromley Cross on my 3XS system.

Tom

Too often the demands of  working in Television combined  with the pressures of raising a young family lead to a talent drain out of the industry. I am reluctant to commit to working long unsociable hours especially when you add in a commute but as television fragments into more of a cottage industry I think this kind of home working is the future.

Send me a drive, discuss the brief and I can edit, online and grade around the needs of the schoolrun by picking up extra hours once my children are asleep. With high speed broadband, it is easy to do approvals over the internet. I consistently bring in my jobs on time and in budget whilst enjoying seeing my children blossom.

The way the team at Scan have worked hand in hand with me to see through my dream has been faultless and I am now often in the enviable position when I do go into town, of working on kit in high end facilities that cannot touch my home system for speed, grunt and reliability.

Yet much more important than that I am able to keep my skills as a high end finishing editor in the market place whilst juggling the family life balance that comes with having a child with complex special needs. Thanks to scan I am able to work on your project when you need me :-)

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11059/ian-brown

June 7, 2018 @ 10:11 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To Comments Off