Media Parents

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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

How to Job Share in TV by Media Parents

by Amy Walker

Huge thanks to everyone who supported our TV Job Share Event this week and made it a resounding success. We were particularly delighted to be joined by so many Production Executives who were thinking of ways to build job share into their schedules. Thanks to Hat Trick’s Joint Directors of Production Jessica Sharkey and Laura Djanogly who shared tips from their own job share, and have been supporting us since our first job share event in 2010 – read on…

"We wanted communication to be seamless" Hat Trick's Joint Directors of Production Laura Djanogly and Jessica Sharkey with Media Parents Director Amy Walker

“We wanted communication to be seamless” Hat Trick’s Joint Directors of Production Jessica Sharkey and Laura Djanogly commented at Media Parents’ TV Job Share event. “We wanted someone to be able to start a conversation with one of us on a Monday and pick it up with the other on a Thursday without having to repeat themselves”. Having a joint email inbox has helped with this, and it’s a trick that job sharing Edit Producers Emma Sayce and Nikki Ryan haven’t missed on Operation Ouch at Maverick TV.

Tamara Durnford, right, Maverick TV's Talent Manager with PD Colette Hooper

Maverick TV’s PM and Talent Manager Tamara Durnford job shares part of her role with Maverick’s Head of Production Maria French. When it came to finding a match for Edit Producer Nikki Ryan, Maverick took the process seriously and asked Media Parents to help. Media Parents PD and Back to Work Scheme 2017 winner Emma Sayce got the job. The pair had not met before they started working together but the match is going well nonetheless. Emma has even been given some work from home scripting on some of the days that she isn’t in the office at Maverick.

Cat Fox, Tiger Aspect's Head of Productions is open to job shares. Cat (left) is pictured with returning Line Producer Clair Carney from Channel 4's Bake Off

Tiger Aspect is a company which is open to job shares, although nobody is yet job sharing. Head of Production Cat Fox was in the crowd to pick up ideas. All companies at the event agreed that joint approaches are welcome, and using the Media Parents website, freelancers can find others to job share with and mark the pairings on their profiles. We also encourage freelancers to apply as job shares for our jobs – present a solution that includes the flexibility you need, rather than just asking for help. Where possible get a schedule before the interview so you can talk in practical terms about the feasibility of flexibility.

Kindle Entertainment Production Executive Keri Atkins was in the crowd to find out how to make job shares work at Kindle

There were several existing job shares in the crowd at the Media Parents TV Job Share Event, including PDs Alicky Sussman and Milla Harrison. Milla and Alicky have job shared as PDs, Development Producers and Edit Producers and have written about it here:

http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2017/02/5-minutes-with-pd-alicky-sussman-on-jobsharing/

Alicky Sussman (right centre) and Milla Harrison have job shared as PDs, Edit Producers and Development Producers - so far!

Milla and Alicky’s job shares were supported by the BBC, and docs Senior Producer Jenny Williams also spoke from the floor about her current BBC job share.

Producer Jenny Williams speaking about her job share, next to Raw TV's Sophie Milligan

Jenny Williams was approached for her BBC role and made it clear that she could only work part time. At which point her BBC Exec suggested a job share, and this is currently in its first month and working well. The pair did not know each other before the job share was set up, but they did meet in advance. All job shares emphasise the importance of communication, and Media Parents Director Amy Walker has written about a creative job share with someone she had worked with previously, here :

http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/05/amy-walker-on-job-sharing-as-a-pd/

All3Media's Head of Talent Anouk Berendsen (right) also welcomes approaches from job shares

All3Media’s Anouk Berendsen also welcomes approaches from job shares. Her advice was to be clear about flexibility needs from early on “If an Exec wants to work with you then we can make it work for you, we can be creative about the way we staff projects, I’ve just placed someone on a 4 day a week contract, and I work flexibly – the company is run by a woman and we are really good about providing what people need to make their lives work too.”

Exec Producer Matt Holden also spoke about the flexibility that Shine TV offer to freelancers, enabling work life balance and a happy workforce. Shine MD Tanya Shaw has been mentoring returning PD Emma Sayce as part of Media Parents Back to Work Scheme and Emma will be working at Shine once her Maverick contract finishes.

Exec Producer Matt Holden in the crowd at Media Parents TV Job Share Event

BBC Drama’s Talent Manager Noelle Bartlett and Production Executive Jacquie Glanville were at the event meeting freelancers and making it clear that flexibility is supported at the BBC. Jacquie is also mentoring Returning Drama Coordinator Paula Watkins on the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme funded by the HETV Drama levy managed by Creative Skillset.

BBC Drama's Noelle Bartlett (left) and Jacquie Glanville were keen to meet Media Parents freelancers

Job sharing Talent Managers at Twenty Twenty TV have recently employed their first Edit Producer job share on First Dates and are looking forward to that paving the way for more. A great tip from the event is to use the Media Parents network to help you find job share partners, then to write for the blog about the qualities your job share brings, and the flexible work you want, as Post PMs Sarah Bell and Monica Rubio have here : http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/03/5-minutes-with-job-share-post-production-managers/

Jay from Jamie Oliver Productions (left) talked to freelancers including PM job share Sarah Bell and Monica Rubio

Media Parents Back to Work winner 2017 PD / Edit Producer Josie Besbrode has been working part time in edit recently, and has joined forces with job sharing Edit Producer Emma Sayce to write this informative blog packed with tips on job share, so please do read and share :

http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/05/5-minutes-with-pds-emma-sayce-and-josie-besbrode-on-job-sharing/

Flexible working PD Josie Besbrode (centre) has researched job sharing for Media Parents blog

Huge thanks to everyone who came and made some GREAT MATCHES in the crowd! Please keep letting us know about your job share progress and highlight companies who are supportive so we can keep the momentum going. Thank you so much for this feedback on twitter @mediaparents too, it keeps us all going!!

Senior Producer Jayne Hibbitt Smith from Kalooki Productions is looking for a PD at the moment so why not apply as a job share? See our jobs page at https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/jobs/

Our next event is on June 4th and our Media Parents Summer Party is on July 4th this year so SAVE THE DATE!

Join Media Parents for training, events and great jobs - www.mediaparents.co.uk

May 18, 2018 @ 2:44 pm Posted in Events, How To, TV Training Comments Off

how to approach TV job shares by PDs Emma Sayce and josie Besbrode

by Amy Walker

When we met on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme we had both just spent a good chunk of time at home with kids, and were on the point of returning to work (specifically, to PD / Development Producer / Edit Producer / Senior Producer roles) in factual telly, write Emma Sayce and Josie Besbrode. We had a frank chat about what our worries were: how would we find a way of working that would be fulfilling, and would advance our careers BUT would not involve us having to make unbearable compromises at home?

Josie Besbrode & Emma Sayce (right, far right) with other Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2017

When Amy Walker, who runs Media Parents, suggested we think about job sharing, our initial thoughts were: ‘how would that work?’ We wondered if it is even possible to job share a creative role. The answer, as we have since discovered, is that it absolutely is. In fact, job sharing can be a great way of doing the kinds of jobs we do because, arguably, it fosters creativity.

Amy suggested we talk to Alicky Sussman and Milla Harrison who’ve job shared successfully as PDs (on Horizon), as Edit Producers (on Eden) and as Development Producers (read more here). Read all about their experience here.

Alicky and Milla said two really striking things to us, and the first was a word of warning: “job sharing does not necessarily mean half the work”.  They said you will spend a lot of time (mainly out of hours) on communication with each other, talking about things you’d never normally spend much time even thinking about. On the positive side, they thought job sharing had produced great results – e.g. that their edits had progressed quicker than they would have done otherwise, that problems were solved more easily by two brains, and that their days off gave them a useful perspective that the films benefitted from. It sounded like the experience had been enjoyable and creatively satisfying, and had allowed for a work/life balance they were both happy with.

Next we spoke to Sunshine Jackson, founder of http://amplifyproductions.co.uk and former Series Editor on Eden.  It was Sunshine who employed Alicky and Milla, as job sharing Edit Producers. She saw the whole deal as a bargain, two brains for the price of one. With her background, as an offline editor, Sunshine could immediately see the value of that time out / perspective on the edit that a job share enforces: ‘I’ve been in edits for 20 years, and I know that if you can maintain a level of distance from the material it’s a massive advantage editorially. You make better decisions, and do things in a quarter of the time.’ Sunshine said that Alicky and Milla’s job share worked very well from her point of view, and that she wouldn’t hesitate to hire them again. Sunshine will be attending Media Parents’ TV Job Share Event on Wednesday, along with Milla Harrison.

Finally, we spoke to the team at Ricochet where, on Food Unwrapped, they used job sharing Series Producers and would do so again. It was an idea the producers and Ricochet came up with collectively and pitched to Channel 4. Working three days each was ideal they felt, because it minimised handovers. Although the company were paying for an extra day, the benefits of two creative minds and fresh eyes made it cost effective. Both job sharers worked on Wednesday, had an entire team meeting and split the work for the coming week. An important message was to act, and be treated as, essentially, one person, to trust and support each other, and therefore instil confidence in the team. The job share was facilitated by Ricochet’s Director of Production, Lisa Cox, who will be attending Media Parents’ TV Job Share event this week.

Having chatted to job sharers, and to those who have employed job sharers, we now feel it’s definitely worth a go! To us, it seems that the disadvantages (mainly financial for us) are outweighed by the fact that it could be an enjoyable, productive way of working that leaves us with time and energy for our families. It could also mean that we take on more contracts, and work continuously, rather than doing intensive stints, and then having to have time off to recover / catch up with our kids.

While we’ve been researching and writing this blog, Josie has been working as a PD 4 days a week and Emma has started a job share Edit Producer role c/o Media Parents at Maverick TV, alongside Nikki Ryan who will also be attending Media Parents TV Job Share Event.

PDs Emma Sayce and Josie Besbrode (right) are Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners

Nikki Ryan, Edit Producer Job Share

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/10764/josephine-besbrode

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

Media Parents job share event takes place on May 16th please scroll down this blog for more information.

Join Media Parents for training, events and great jobs - www.mediaparents.co.uk

May 14, 2018 @ 9:55 pm Posted in How To, TV Returners Comments Off

how to job share as a TV PD by Amy Walker

by Amy Walker

Media Parents PD Laura Leigh filming on location in Essex before the TOWIE fight.

Being offered the directing job on a single doc is a dream for most PDs. Being given a four-week shooting period, and a contract of 10 weeks from prep to final post is, frankly, dream over. I turned it down twice, writes Media Parents Director, Amy Walker. Not so much because of the challenging shoot and edit schedule, but because, if not handled sensitively, this doc about controversial kids’ beauty parlours could potentially impact the small businesses of the women – mums – who ran and depended on them. And I am passionate about supporting independent businesses. And women.

I took the job. Not only did we have a short time to turn the production around, we also had logistical challenges in that the production office ran from Bath, and the shoots were in Essex and Sussex. I had worked for the indie before so I made a bold suggestion – a job share could make the schedule and budget work.

I had worked as a Series Producer with a talented PD called Laura Leigh. Born in Essex, Laura had returned to her roots with her husband and one-year old. She was a great shooter and could manage the Essex contributor shoots, whilst I, not a shooter, could cover everything else with a crew. This meant Laura could also continue to shoot whilst I took the production into the edit.

I put it to Laura. We talked at length about how it could work. We knew each other well and had worked together before so had done a lot of job share groundwork already. Laura came with me to sign up the Essex contributor. She was a dream – your slightly wayward friend from school who you love but cannot save from herself. She got on like a house on fire with Laura. We were away.

Media Parents PD Laura Leigh filming in Essex

We would do the first few shoot days together (we had just ten budgeted days), then split them geographically. We meticulously planned each shoot (as much as one can) both logistically and editorially. We agreed shotlists and lists of questions, hypothesized scenarios based on recces. We had a long phone call the night before each shoot, each of us made separate shoot notes, and a longer download call at the end of each shoot day, with many emails in between.

Laura Leigh shot most of the footage on a P2. We chose this camera because, as Laura was recently pregnant at the time, we needed a lighter weight camera that was still acceptable for the broadcaster’s delivery requirements. Shooting on this tapeless format meant that — aside from working with sound recordist Jasmine Allodi who is also adept at data wrangling ­­— we had to bring in a DIT. The team excelled themselves when, during a break from filming our contributor started a fight with someone from the cast of TOWIE. It was picked up on the mic and thanks to the digital set up we were able to salvage the audio and use it over other shots until the camera was rolling on it.

We were delighted – and I will admit I was a bit envious as it wasn’t my shoot – but there is no I in job share. On their next shoot I got a text from Laura to say that the contributor (and effectively our crew) had been ejected from the audience of The Wright Stuff Extra for shouting abuse – so there are swings and roundabouts.

Media Parents' Director Amy Walker with creative jobshare partner PD Laura Leigh (right).

I am really proud in TV terms of what our team achieved. Massively assisted by the job share we made a 44-minute, single doc in 10 shooting days over the course of a four-week shooting period. Alex Kirkland is a fast, clever editor, who brought the offline edit home on time and budget in just four weeks. He also has a good tenor voice for cheering up a day that has gone beyond reasonable length.

To join us Media Parents TV Job Share event sign up to the guestlist here and send a CV to the address on the link : https://mediaparentstvjobshareevent.eventbrite.co.uk

Join Media Parents for training, events and great jobs - www.mediaparents.co.uk

May 9, 2018 @ 6:15 pm Posted in How To, TV Training Comments Off

How to Job Share as Post Production Managers

by Amy Walker

They say “Two heads are better than one.” Post Production Managers Sarah Bell and Monica Rubio couldn’t agree more. (Since this article was published Sarah and Monica have been job sharing as post production managers – congratulations!)

This is us: Monica Rubio on the left and Sarah Bell on the right. Looking for an opportunity to job share in post production

Between the two of us, there aren’t many situations we haven’t dealt with in the world of post-production. Both born organizers, we run a tight post ship.

So why should you work with us?

We both have an excellent grasp of technical specifications and workflows, the ability to problem-solve under pressure and a wealth of experience in post-production scheduling.

We also share a solid understanding of archiving processes and understand the importance of utilising media management best practice.

Both of our collaborative natures and working together on projects mean we are a great job-share match.

With over 30 years of experience between us, we are a team who wish to job share for a healthy work-life balance. We have collaborated successfully on projects, and now wish to expand this to a job share.

Monica Rubio, Post Production Manager

Monica Rubio, Post Production Manager

Monica has a background in Editing and Colouring. She has been involved in Post- Production from the beginning of her career and has worked with a variety of post facilities from boutique to big houses. She particularly enjoys being involved in the process of programme-making from the pre-production stage. She is extremely interested in new formats and follows with passion the current and constant changes on formats and deliveries including HDR and ACES.

Monica’s experience includes the management of short form for online content to Audio assets and budgeting of serial scripted TV on the likes of Law and Order and Street Fighter as well as different Languages including British Sign Language.

Sarah Bell, Post Production Manager

Sarah Bell, Post Production Manager

Sarah began her broadcast career in Australia, in the fast-paced world of News; Editing and as a studio operator. This was followed by many years of all things post and long-form at the BBC’s in-house post-production facility for Factual programming, working on flagship programs such as Horizon, Louis Theroux and Sky At Night.

Sarah’s can-do attitude and eye for detail meant that she was rapidly promoted to Workflow Manager. She also has solid experience of short-form and TVC workflows having joined a busy creative agency as Post Production Manager. She has an extensive knowledge of deliverables for both broadcast and online. Her experience in News in particular means she can calmly work to a deadline.

Please contact Monica and Sarah through Media Parents using the links below. You can also meet them at Media Parents job sharing event in May.

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/10780/sarah-bell

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14229/monica-rubio

Join Media Parents for training, events and great jobs - www.mediaparents.co.uk

March 23, 2018 @ 12:49 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To Comments Off

how to survive as a TV Director Jon Dunham

by Amy Walker

The Three PsPassion.  Patience.  Perseverance. Director Jon Dunham writes – these were the words of advice given to me by the late Oscar winning director Robert Wise at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where I studied film.  I’ve never forgotten this.  After 18 years of making mostly independent documentaries his words ring more true than ever.

Media Parents Director Jon Dunham (left) with Boston Marathon Winner Bill Rodgers. The Boston film is looking for UK distribution.

My latest film BOSTON narrated by Matt Damon tells the story of the more than 100-year-old Boston Marathon including the 2013 bombings and the race’s emotional return one year later.  It is a feature-length documentary, which required a lot of passion, patience and perseverance.

Click to view Boston trailer. Photo credit Michael J. Lutch

Having run marathons myself and always very interested in history, I combined these two loves with my passion for filmmaking.  Honestly it would be very difficult for me to imagine attempting to make a film about a story that I am not passionate about!  Filmmaking is too difficult.  You have to love it.

My journey to making BOSTON actually started 15 years earlier when I began developing and eventually was successful making my first feature documentary “Spirit of the Marathon”, centered around the Chicago Marathon.  It took me five years to make the film and I was fortunate that it was both a critical and box office success grossing $1 million in cinemas in the U.S. and Canada in three nights.  While I never had any intention in becoming the guy who makes films about marathons, this production did indeed put me on the map so that when it came time to make BOSTON following the attacks I was a proven filmmaker in this particular genre.  It took a lot of patience to get there.

From the get go, BOSTON was anything but easy.  Similarly to my first film, it took four years to reach the finish line as we were constantly searching for funding.  At one point I even ended up selling my car to keep going!  But we persevered, and in a lot of ways it’s a better film because of the time it took to create, as we were afforded more opportunities for interesting storytelling along the way.

Today we are fortunate to be working with Lionsgate on the distribution of BOSTON with transactional video on demand however the journey continues as we continue to release the film via other channels and in more parts of the world.  The film has yet to be released in any way in the UK and we are actively seeking a distribution partner.  The trailer can be viewed at:  https://vimeo.com/225479641

In the meantime I’m looking for new projects to be a part of as well as focusing on another subject I am passionate about… Italy, and in particular Naples, where I had the incredible fortune of living for two years.  Continuing to apply the principles of the three Ps, I look forward to the process of telling the story of this most complex, beautiful and mysterious place in our world and continuing to make non-fiction film.

To contact Jon Dunham log in to www.mediaparents.co.uk

http://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15147/jon-dunham

Join Media Parents for training, events and great jobs - www.mediaparents.co.uk

March 6, 2018 @ 11:59 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To Comments Off