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Coming Up… Media Parents Back to Work Drinks

by Amy Walker

We are delighted to announce Media Parents Back to Work Drinks to celebrate our five Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners this year. It is a brilliant opportunity to cheer our winners back into work, whilst meeting experienced industry talent and employers. Kindly hosted by ENVY Post Production, the drinks will be sponsored by S+O Media. To sign up to the guestlist please see the link on our watercooler at  www.mediaparents.co.uk.

Three of the Media Parents Back to Work Team Winners at Ed TV Fest

S+O Media is a west London based television facilities company that has been providing equipment as well as crew to the broadcast industry for over fifteen years.

As co-owners, (Olly Wiggins and Stephanie Keelan), have used their experience in the fields of camera work and production to provide a bespoke service to clients that ensures understanding of the shooting process from beginning to end, and where S+O sits within it.

S+O’s passion for the industry and the technology that drives it, has seen the company grow from a small team to an organisation that employs twenty two staff and many more specialist freelance technicians.

Many S+O crew began their careers in-house at S+O, and due to the extensive training they receive, the company is confident in their ability to deliver on set.

S+O hire to a broad range of high profile media clients working on a variety of programming as well as commercials, promos and branded content. From single camera PSC, multi camera recording, fixed rig and self shooting kits, the company can supply and service all our clients’ needs. S+O specialise in Super 35mm and full frame sensor cameras shooting in formats up to 8K. They also provide sound, lights and grip equipment.

Having raised their own children while working in the industry, Steph and Olly are proud to be able to support Media Parents.

With thanks to ENVY post production for hosting the event.

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September 17, 2019 @ 1:15 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Ed TV Fest with Returning Director Candida Scott Knight

by Amy Walker

“We need to do much better at keeping women in the work place.” Dorothy Byrne’s words at the Edinburgh TV Festival sum up my experiences exactly, writes Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winner, returning Director Candida Scott Knight.

Returning Scripted Director Candida Scott Knight at Ed TV Fest with two of the five Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners

After a ten-year break to raise a family and live overseas, over the past two, I’ve been working my way back to directing. As Byrne highlighted in her MacTaggart Lecture, doing better at keeping women in the workplace needs to be inclusive of course, not just when children come along, but “when the menopause does, too.” She made us laugh, but it was serious, calling us to account on many levels, and it was perfectly timed, as an introduction to the festival on this scheme.

Three days of panel discussions, talks and events, during the Fringe, the main themes were, accountability, care, inclusivity and diversity. It was political, funny at times, with plenty of opportunity to meet others and network, even in the queue for the Ladies.

PACT Chief John McVay with the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners at Ed TV Fest

One of the people I talked with was John McVay, CEO of Pact who confirmed “you bring more quality to the party now”, highlighting a problem in the industry that programme makers can be risk-averse. He recommended specific people who aren’t. Pat Younge at Sugar Films, suggested drama reconstruction in docs as a way in.

Louis Theroux discussed duty of care filming those with mental health, along with his “discomfort” at the way Jimmy Saville addressed paedophile rumours. Jerry Springer spoke of how “we’re all the same, we just look different” and need to get rid of this notion of the white middle class running TV. Equal Writes touched on the lack of confidence women can feel, begging the question of whether this is part of the gender equality issue. They asked “do agents need to be braver at signing up more female or BAME talent?” Yes! Saskia Schuster at ITV spoke of her 50:50 writer’s initiative. Talking to her after, it’s great to hear female directors are next up.

Masterclasses, on Capture, with director Ben Chanan and team discussed the extensive research done for this surveillance thriller. Top Boy, discussed mentoring initiatives across the board with half the actors, cast off the street, and if making programmes about drug and gang culture, glamourises it or lets us understand the extent of the problem.

All speakers were exposing something, reiterating Byrne’s “widespread disillusion” that is felt across the industry and beyond. But are people ready to each take responsibility to make the changes needed?

Candida Scott Knight with fellow Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Joanna Gretton at The Farm BBQ Ed TV Fest

Being a part of the festival has reminded me of the talent and many years of experience I have. I felt included and seen and am walking away with a clearer view of the path back into TV, with plenty to follow up on. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve come away with more confidence and the knowing that there are many genuine people in the industry able and willing to support me, and others like me, to get back into doing what we love, and contributing to the industry.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14731/candida-scott-knight

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September 15, 2019 @ 4:26 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents Back to Work Winner PC Kirsti Davidson

by Amy Walker

My first job was as an art department assistant on a drama and then as work experience at TFI Friday writes returning PC and Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Kirsti Davidson.

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Kirsti Davidson will be mentored by Raw TV

I managed to get a job at Television Centre Studios where I had the opportunity to work on a number of productions and in a variety of positions from Production Secretary, Production Coordinator and Assistant Producer in both Sport and Entertainment. I have experience of  live OBs, live studio, pre recorded studio shows and filming on location and worked on shows such as TFI Friday, Sports Personality, Grandstand, Sport Relief, Auntie’s Bloomers and Parkinson.

After 10 years, I I took a break to have a family. It was extremely difficult to get production work that fitted with family life, there was no such thing as flexible working or part time hours and I saw colleagues really struggling with employers and teams when they had to leave suddenly due to a child being poorly or picking up from nursery. It just looked so stressful, so after a few false starts I forged a new career as an illustrator where I could work from home – it was creative and I picked up some great transferable skills; including time management, adobe creative suite, patience, negotiation skills, being calm under deadline pressures and communication skills.

An illustration by Kirsti Davidson

Now my children are older and I am able to work longer hours and travel, I’d really like to work back in production again and be part of a team. Having been out of the industry for several years, I’m happy to work my way up from PC and am looking at courses to brush up on my production skills. I am grateful to Raw TV for the opportunity to be mentored by one of their team.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/16237/kirsti-davidson

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August 31, 2019 @ 6:49 am Posted in News, TV Returners Leave a comment

media parents back to work scheme winners 2019

by Amy Walker

We’re delighted to announce the Winners of this year’s Media Parents Back to Work Scheme, sponsored by Raw TV and Hat Trick Productions. Thank you to everyone who applied, it was an exceptional line-up this year and we look forward to having a drink with all applicants, sponsors, alumni and supporters at our Back to Work Drinks on September 25th (see watercooler for details).

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Returning Director Candida Scott Knight waving (not drowning) in the crowd at Media Parents Summer Drinks

Something unusual happened this year, in that we opened up applications to people who were unable to attend the Edinburgh TV Festival as well as those that were. And our sponsors chose people who were not able to attend, in addition to people who could. For a company that promotes job sharing this is an ideal result, meaning we have five people on the scheme this year, from Wales and Brighton as well as London. Here they are – if you would like to meet Laura, Joanna and Candida at the festival please drop us a line via the site or @mediaparents on twitter.

JPM Jess Garland, London mentored by Hat Trick Productions.

Congratulation to JPM Jess Garland who will be mentored by Hat Trick. Cheers Jess!

JPM Jess Garland returned from mat leave in Feb 2019 and felt pushed out of the industry because she could not find flexible work. She took a flexible job in events before picking up a flexible post PM contract. She is using the scheme and support from Hat Trick to try to find flexible PC or JPM work, and to try to retain her JPM status rather than seeing her career go backwards after having a child.

PC Kirsti Davidson, Brighton mentored by Raw TV.

PC Kirsti Davidson will be mentored by Raw TV

After 10 years in TV as an AP Kirsti took a break to have a family and subsequently found it was extremely difficult to get production work that fitted with family life. So after a few false starts she forged a new career as an illustrator where she could work from home. Now Kirsti’s children are older and she is able to work longer hours and travel, it’s become clear to her that illustration is more of a hobby than a career, and she misses working in production and being part of a team. After 12 years out Kirsti is planning to retrain and re-enter the industry as a Production Coordinator, supported by Raw TV.

PD Laura Martin-Robinson, Cardiff supported by Hat Trick Productions.

Cardiff PD Laura Martin-Robinson will be attending Edinburgh TV Festival

On the face of it Laura has it all – two BAFTAs and a great relationship with a production company ie ie productions (pronounced yeah yeah) that enables her to work flexibly. But she has three kids, and working part time on Welsh regional productions barely covers her childcare costs. She wants her career to be self-sufficient, full time and has network ambitions.

Director Candida Scott Knight, London supported by Media Parents

Returning Director Candida Scott Knight will be attending Edinburgh TV Festival alongside PD Laura Martin-Robinson and Casting Producer Joanna Gretton as part of the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme

Since working at Channel 4 and directing Hollyoaks, award-winning short film director Candida has raised a family and moved to L.A. and back. For the past two years she has been building her skills and her intention is to work her way back up to directing drama again.

Casting Producer Joanna Gretton, London supported by Raw TV

Joanna Gretton (right) with Amy Walker at Media Parents Summer Party 2017

Joanna has been working with Media Parents for three years, helping other talent find gigs and return to TV so now it’s her time. Prior to working for Media Parents Joanna was a PD, and caster on documentaries and cast celebrities for royal obituaries. Thanks to Media Parents Flexible Working Event Joanna has met one job share partner and is looking for more potential job shares as she makes her way back into part time work.

Huge thanks to Hat Trick and Raw for making the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme possible this year, and for the supported from the TV Foundation, which runs The Edinburgh TV Festival. Thanks once again to everyone who applied – if you didn’t win a place this time don’t give up – TV needs you. Join us at our Back to Work Drinks on September 25th at ENVY, see the watercooler for details.

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August 19, 2019 @ 3:50 pm Posted in Events, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Director Candida Scott Knight

by Amy Walker

With my work experience as a director in drama on short films, Hollyoaks and a further 7 years directing shorter form, after raising a family and living overseas, returning to the UK, I’m absolutely ready to re-start my career in TV again writes Returning Director Candida Scott-Knight. Candida will be attending Edinburgh TV Festival this week as part of the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme, supported by Media Parents.

Returning Director Candida Scott Knight will be attending Edinburgh TV Festival alongside PD Laura Martin-Robinson and Casting Producer Joanna Gretton as part of the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme

Over the past 2 years I’ve been getting up to speed, meeting colleagues old and new, developing projects, applying to schemes, shadowing on Britannia II as well as completing training, most recently multi—camera, directing scenes on Coronation Street.

With a truer and more honest way of being in the way I am now, I bring a very real and authentic voice to the media today. With this quality and my experience, I’m very clear on my skills and what I now bring to take my career to the next level.

Returning Director Candida Scott Knight waving (not drowning) in the crowd at Media Parents Summer Drinks

I realise I may not be be handed the keys to direct immediately, although like learning to ride a bicycle I’m ready and know how to. So whilst I work towards directing, I’m open to looking at all positions and transferring my directing skills to other jobs within the industry so I can step back to full time work again and bring all of me to it.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14731/candida-scott-knight

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@ 3:11 pm Posted in News Leave a comment

Media Parents Back to Work Winner Casting Producer Joanna Gretton

by Amy Walker

I am attending Edinburgh TV Festival as part of the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme this year writes Casting Producer Joanna Gretton.

Joanna Gretton (right) with Amy Walker at Media Parents Summer Party 2017. Joanna will be attending EdTVFest with Cardiff PD Laura Martin-Robinson and Director Candida Scott Knight

Before leaving TV production to explore other avenues when my children were at nursery, I worked as a PD, AP and Casting Producer and casting is my chosen route to return. I love people and real human stories, my most recent credits were for documentaries and casting celebrity interviewees for royal obituaries. I’ve experienced human stories from a different perspective over the last three years in the course of my work for Media Parents, both as a Talent Manager and in supporting returners back to work. Now my children are both at school I want to bring these stories to screen again.

I know I need to refresh my skills – I’ve seen that companies sometimes ask casters to use premiere pro these days, so I’m going to look into that. I’ll also refresh my camera skills and I can teach myself how to cast on Skype. I’m very excited at the prospect of returning and bringing back my voice to TV.

Joanna Gretton (in red) at the Media Parents Job Share Event at West Digital in July

I don’t think I realised I could do casting as a job share until recently, and, thanks to the Media Parents Job Share event at West Digital  in July,  I’ve found one potential partner and am on the look-out for more potential job shares. I’ve started to approach companies to find out which are sympathetic to job share and I’m excited at the prospect – start with the companies listed on Media Parents if you are trying to work out which are supportive of flexible working.

For practical reasons I’m starting with the companies that are geographically close to where I live to make my commute and the school run easier. Get in touch if you want to job share, or watch this space to see how I get on. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11382/joanna-gretton

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@ 2:48 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents Back to Work Winner PD Laura Martin-Robinson, Wales

by Amy Walker

It’s always been my dream to direct documentaries writes Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Laura Martin-Robinson. I spent my 20s throwing myself into the world of work – researching at the BBC and making independent docs on the side. I got a job working on Louis Theroux’s San Quentin doc and my first film was selected for Britdoc and Birds Eye View. It was amazing and I felt I’d landed.

Cardiff PD Laura Martin-Robinson will be attending Edinburgh TV Festival through the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme

My 30s were spent figuring out how to make films, have kids and do it from Wales. Over the past 8 years I’ve had 3 children and 3 maternity breaks. I’ve continued working in between – but always part time. I’ve also had caring responsibilities for my brother, dad and mum. This stretched me emotionally, financially and physically. In an industry where confidence is key it took time for me to find my voice.

I began directing but it’s been a challenge. Being a mum and out of London has added an extra dimension of feeling cut off from the TV community and commissioners.

Having been at companies that weren’t on board with flexible working I now work with a Welsh production company ie ie (yeah yeah) productions. It’s a truly flexible company that is making it its mission to support women and underrepresented voices in film and TV.

Last year's Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners at Edinburgh TV Festival

I’ve made films that have done well in Wales (I won 2 BAFTA Cymru awards) and that I’m proud of, but with the kinds of projects I’ve chosen (long term on a part time basis) I’ve barely covered child-care costs.

I’m now ready to step up a gear and go back to consistent work, build my networks and develop my craft as a director. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/9887/laura-martin-robinson

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/9887/laura-martin-robinson

August 17, 2019 @ 9:56 am Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Opens for Applications

by Amy Walker

We are delighted to announce that Media Parents Back to Work Scheme will run again this year, supported by indies and the TV Foundation, which runs The Edinburgh TV Festival. Described by previous winners as “invaluable” and “life-changing”, here is the the back to work scheme in PM Hannah Williams’ words “The scheme has helped me hold onto and regain the confidence to still see myself as a valuable asset”.

2018 Back to Work Scheme Winners at Edinburgh TV Festival

This hugely successful scheme offers winning applicants the opportunity to be mentored by industry leaders, and to attend Edinburgh TV Festival to refresh TV knowledge and contacts. This year’s scheme is particularly seeking applications from Production Managers as well as editorial candidates.

Applications have now closed for this year’s scheme and winners’ progress can be followed on this blog. We are holding Media Parents Back to Work Drinks on Wednesday September 25th for returners. See our watercooler for details.

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July 29, 2019 @ 2:32 pm Posted in News Leave a comment

Come into the Garden Maud… and Job Share

by Amy Walker

Join Media Parents on Weds 24th July in the leafy garden at West Digital for a glass of rose and a spot of networking… Hopefully you will find your job share life partner if that’s your thing, or you could find out about the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme launch! Either way you’ll meet some great people in lovely surroundings at West Digital.

Join us for pink drinks in West Digital's leafy garden

West Digital is an independent, boutique post house that’s been providing creative and innovative picture and sound post production for almost 18 years.

Some of last year's Back to Work Scheme Winners at West Digital celebrating their return to work

Set in a relaxing building in the heart of Shepherds Bush, with it’s wide range of entertainment, cafes, bars, restaurants and shops, we have light and airy contemporary cutting rooms and fantastic finishing suites spread over four floors.

You're invited to enjoy the convivial atmosphere at West Digital - take a tour on the night if you'd like to

To help make you feel at home, we also have a tranquil garden and a relaxing cafe-bar reception – with friendly faces and great coffee.

West Digital MD & Lead Editor Peter Zacaroli and the team are really friendly. Nobody wanted to leave last time - thank you for inviting us back!

We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and our supportive company culture. Our talented creatives and fantastic support teams have a wealth of experience working across broadcast, theatrical, corporate, commercials and branded content.

Make sure you're signed up to the guestlist to attend Wednesday night's event: https://mediaparentsjobshare.eventbrite.co.uk

Recent broadcast credits include, ‘Edwardian Britain in Colour’ (Ch5), ‘Great Green Wall’ (doc feature), ‘Chris Tarrant’s Extreme Railway Journeys’ (Ch5), ‘A Place in the Sun’ (Ch4), ‘Final Say’ (Sky Arts), ‘The Last testament of Lillian Bilocca’ (BBC4), ‘Coast v Country’ (Ch4), ‘Up For It’ (Film4).

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events. Summer Party June 19th; Flexible Working Event July 24th and more...

July 23, 2019 @ 11:05 pm Posted in News Comments Off

media parents summer party photos

by Amy Walker

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Media Parents Summer Party and made it such a good laugh. And of course thanks to the lovely ClearCut team for making the atmosphere so warm and welcoming. Our next event is the brilliant Media Parents Job Share Event on July 24th so please join us at that – click the link https://mediaparentsjobshare.eventbrite.co.uk – invite friends, the more the merrier. Photos of the summer party are here:

It was great to welcome Dragonfly's new Talent Manager Gayl Paterson, here with Raw Cut's Tina Lohmann and freelancers

BBC Scripted Head of Talent Jacqui Taunton Fenton with BBC Children's Exec Ros Attille and freelancers

Curve Media's new Talent Manager Catherine Mabb meets freelancers

Renegade's Director of Production Ed Nissen with Emporium Productions Exec Matt Holden

Back to Work Scheme Winners Hannah Williams and Melissa Bishop are currently looking for work to fill gaps - grab them while you can!

Huge thanks to Joanna Gretton from Media Parents and to the ClearCut Team for hosting so well and making everyone feel so welcome

Thanks to everyone who made it - it was great to catch up with old friends and meet some new people. Join us on July 24th for our JOB SHARE event - the more the merrier!

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events. Flexible Working Event July 24th - sign up now

https://mediaparentsjobshare.eventbrite.co.uk

June 20, 2019 @ 6:30 am Posted in News Leave a comment