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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