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Media Parents Back to Work Drinks

by Amy Walker

We’re delighted to be joined by our Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners, mentors and a host of supporting companies for drinks tonight (see our watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk for full guestlist). The evening is being kindly hosted by West Digital in West London, so join us for the last of the summer wine in a lovely garden. We look forward to seeing you there!

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners 2018 at Edinburgh TV Festival

West Digital is an independent, boutique post house based in West London that has been providing creative and innovative picture and audio post production to broadcast, theatrical and corporate clients for over 15 years. Our talented creatives and amazing support teams have a wealth of experience working across factual, features, documentaries and entertainment. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and our genuinely supportive company culture.

West Digital team (from left) Paul Wilkes, GM, Darren Cock and Peter Zacaroli, Join MDs. Photobombed by Harriet

We provide a complete post production solution, based in our modern, relaxing facility. All of our cutting rooms are spacious with a contemporary finish, natural light and air con; we have great sound and picture finishing suites and lovely breakout areas such as our cafe-bar reception and our peaceful garden. We’re able to offer production companies office space within our facility and we also provide fully managed ‘pop up post’ solutions.

Recent credits include:

‘Chris Tarrant: Extreme Railway Journeys’ (Ch5), ‘DHL: Delivering the World’ (Ch5), ‘The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca’ (BBC4), ‘A Place in the Sun’ (Ch4), ’Railways of the Holocaust’ (Ch5), ’Coast v Country’ (Ch4), ‘Inside the Storm’ (CNA), ‘People and Power’ (Al Jazeera), ‘Brilliant Ideas’ (Bloomburg), ‘Uncovering Venus’ (BBC4).

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

September 26, 2018 @ 9:34 am Posted in News Comments Off

A scripted PM’s guide to Edinburgh TV Festival : Geoff Dibben

by Amy Walker

I am lucky enough to be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by ITV Drama (thank you ITV and I hope I can repay your faith!) writes Drama PM Geoff Dibben.

PM Geoff Dibben with the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners 2018

Before my career break, I worked for many years as an Assistant Director and then Production Manager on films such as ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘War Horse’ so at Edinburgh TV Festival, I focussed on things that were relevant to my area of expertise, scripted drama production.

Apprehension was the overriding feeling as I walked into the festival, having never been to anything similar previously. I had always been too busy working or trying to rest between projects, so it is easy to miss such events.  But the magic of the Back to Work Whatsapp group meant I quickly met the rest of the cohort – a very impressive group – then straight in to sessions at the festival.

The first session was the BBC 1 ‘Meet the Controllers’ session with Charlotte Moore who discussed the future of the channel. Listening to commissioners and controllers actively encouraging programme makers to come to them with interesting, challenging ideas was a useful aspect of the festival. I also found it really interesting to hear Charlotte state the BBC is looking to “… do the shows that no one has dare to, to take risks” as well as a push on diversity, and a desire to engage with a younger audience such as bringing ‘Peaky Blinders’ to BBC 1.

After our Media Parents Back to Work networking training it was more from channel controllers, in this case Steve North, Hilary Rosen and Richard Watsham at UKTV. Again, a very impressive session hearing about UKTV’s tremendous ambition; especially with their expansion into high-end original TV drama with ‘Flack’, starring Anna Paquin. They have the desire to create content comparable to the likes of BBC and ITV, providing producers and talent with ‘…opportunities they may not get elsewhere’.

"At every spare moment I was trying to network with anyone who would listen."

At every spare moment I was trying to network with anyone who would listen. I met lots of interesting and supportive people such as Kerry Greenhill from Silver Print and Jason Simms from Sky Vision to name but few.  It was gratifying that everyone I spoke to was positive about me and my return, especially gratifying after such a long time out.

The following day I watched Kevin Lygo from ITV and his session. An interesting hour listening to his approach to commissioning broad and impactful TV drama which seems to have paid off with the channel producing the most watched and the second most watched TV dramas with ‘Liar’ and ‘Little Boy Blue’ in 2017.

One thing I was surprised to hear from Kevin was how hard ITV were finding it to get Producers and Writers to create 1 or 2 hour closed end dramas – ‘Where’s the next Lewis, the next Morse?’ he asked – programmes that have defined ITV drama over the past decades. That is definitely a note I will keep for future reference.

"It took me back, listening to them talking about pulling the pieces of the jigsaw of production together. This only urged me on more to realise my aims within the industry" writes returning PM Geoff Dibben

One of the sessions that resonated most with me was listening to Lennie James and Sky Vision’s ‘Save Me’ team talking about how the production (about a child kidnapped by paedophiles) got off the ground, and how they developed and realised the project’s vision – it took me back a few years, listening to them talking about pulling the pieces of the jigsaw of production together. This only urged me on more to realise my aims within the industry – to return to Production Management and one day Produce.

Hard to admit, but I have been out of scripted drama production for eight years and I am still sure I took the right decision to spend time at home with my family rather than months and months away on location.  But it is hard being away from TV drama and keeping connected to it. My visit to the Edinburgh TV festival has without doubt confirmed in my mind this is the right way forward for me and I am raring to go…

http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-geoff-dibben-scripted-pm/

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

September 21, 2018 @ 4:16 pm Posted in News Comments Off

A Director’s Guide to Edinburgh TV Festival : Emma Bodger

by Amy Walker

I am always looking to find out what the shape-shifting, latest incarnation of TV looks likely to be. I was in Edinburgh to reboot my career having had a year off looking after my son, writes Director Emma Bodger, so it was fantastic that many of the sessions were so forward facing. Two great sessions stood out, reigniting my dual passion for storytelling and exploring innovative spaces.

Director Emma Bodger, Channel 4's Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Mentee, takes a networking selfie with returning PM Geoff Dibben at the National Museum of Scotland

The YouTube Originals session with Luke Hyams was a hit, not least, because it was the only session that ended with a mass selfie. I am now the proud owner of a Cobra Kai bandana (If you haven’t seen it Cobra Kai is the reboot of the Karate Kid franchise which has had over 40 million views on its first episode – check it out on YouTube).

Of course the burning question is what does Luke want to commission? Simple! YTO are looking for “personality driven authored pieces that have international appeal that take you into a world you haven’t seen before”. He showed Left Bank Pictures’ new sci-fi show ‘Origins’ as his drama example. Demonstrating high production values, it was a good illustration of audience and commissioner expectations of a premium show behind YouTube’s pay wall.

YouTube doesn’t have the same demands of linear TV schedules so although working in forms the audience will recognise, 30’ serialised comedy (ie not sitcom – it’s all about getting the audience to return), 60’ dramas and 90’ specials and films.

Although short form is not a priority on the premium channel, some things remain. “One of the main differentiators and one of the great pleasures of making a show for YouTube” is that the audience is able to comment. “It’s a way to get real and direct feedback from your audience” and the good news is, it will still be part of the functionality on the premium service.

Director Emma Bodger observes the rest of the 2018 Back to Work Scheme winners at Edinburgh TV Festival

In another inspiring session, Caressa Douglas from BEN was talking with Samantha Glynne – VP of Branded Integration at Freemantle and David Eilenberg Chief Creative Officer at ITV America in a session all about  “How to Cash in on the Streaming Gold Rush”.

Samantha was keen that producers should remember “that ‘commercial’ is not a dirty word.”

There is a certainly a stigma in the UK around “product placement” that needs to be broken down even though producers are happy to pitch content to commercial channels funded by advertising. My big takeaway was the reinforcement that the partnerships must make sense for the brand, the producers and the audience/consumers. The panel were passionate that any brand integration into content needs to be bold and authentic. It fails where the brand of the show is compromised by including ‘subsidiary brands’ that are not the right fit.

What is super exciting about this new space is brands are now recognising that being inside content brings “an emotional impact” that a 30 second spot can never give them so they need producers as much as we need them. There are cultural shifts that probably need to happen. Sponsors are used to using ratings points as the biggest indicator of ROI, so clearly this thinking will need to modified as we find new models of funding content. But Caressa pointed out that already, big, global-thinking brands are getting switched on to the fact that the phenomenon of binge watching can lead to greater recall of product. It’s not just about impressions any more, it’s also about engagement. Great news for storytellers!

Director Emma Bodger, Channel 4's Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Mentee

Although most of the examples were factual entertainment (I was amazed how many brands there were in Love Island!), there is lots to think about when pitching scripted and it made me think back to my super proud moments from my Emmy Award winning work in Kenya in a parallel universe where we were embedding sponsored, behavioural change messages, making careful choices to protect the storyworld/brands and the characters from not saying or doing things just because the sponsors asked for it but making sure all integration was true and authentic to both the characters and the world.  I feel have a lot to offer in this space and a wealth of multiplatform past experience to build on. Being at the Festival gave me the opportunity and the space away from family responsibilities to reflect on that. The future is looking bright…

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14708/emma-bodger

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

September 20, 2018 @ 12:23 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents back to work scheme winners 2018

by Amy Walker

A big thank you to all the talented freelancers who applied for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018. Huge congratulations to the eight winners who will be attending the Edinburgh TV Festival care of our sponsors All3Media, Channel 4, Endemol Shine, ITV, Merman, Raw TV, Sister Pictures and Warner Bros.

We are delighted to announce:

Katie Walmsley Unscripted PM, All3Media

Returning PM / Production Exec Katie Walmsley was a Production Executive at STV Glasgow before mat leave, and had also worked at Tern TV, IWC and the BBC as a PM. Katie kept her hand in whilst on an extended maternity break from TV, read more here : http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-katie-walmsley-unscripted-pm/

Emma Bodger Scripted Director, Channel 4

Returner Emma Bodger’s credits include River City, Casualty and Where the Heart Is. Emma suffered an accident and subsequent disability which, compounded by mat leave has made it difficult for her to find work: “As a female director who has found barriers to progression around diversity, sexuality and disability, I would love to bring a different and unique voice to the new rounds of British commissioning”. Read more here :http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-emma-bodger-scripted-director/

Jo Larmer Edit Producer, Endemol Shine

Since having her children six years ago and being widowed 18 months ago, Jo has taken on several very short-term part-time contracts, but is now looking to return to work part-time on a permanent or longer contract. Jo’s credits include Strictly Come Dancing, Comic Relief and Pop Star to Opera Star. http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-jo-larmer-unscripted-edit-producer/

geoff Dibben scripted PM, ITV

Geoff Dibben was a Production Manager and Production Supervisor on features including War Horse, Clash of the Titans and The Dark Knight. He took on care of his family in 2006, enabling his wife to go back to work, but returning has not been as easy as he anticipated. http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-geoff-dibben-scripted-pm/

Hannah Williams Scripted PM, Merman

Merman’s mentee is Scripted PM Hannah Williams. Hannah’s credits include Peppa Pig, Sarah and Duck and Wissper. : “In 2003 I took my first steps into the world of television, a decade later I had built a career of BAFTA nominations, crew akin to family and exciting projects. I then took on my own exciting project. 3 of them in fact”. After three children she is on her way back in. Read more here : http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-hannah-williams-scripted-pm/

Elena Mourey Documentary Producer, Raw TV

Elena’s credits include Hospital, The Job Interview and The Undateables. Returning to work a year after the birth of her first child, Elena needs edit experience to ultimately progress to series producer. http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-elena-mourey-unscripted-producer/

Jenny Madalura Scripted Production Coordinator, Sister Pictures

Two kids with a 20 year age gap, 10 years out of TV, Aspergers and Leukaemia to conquer and none of that is holding back Jenny Madalura. “I have been out of media work for over 10 years since working with the BBC. Having a family, getting a law degree and working part-time as a LexisNexis copywriter, whilst being a full-time parent to my two children, Luke and Ocean kept me out”. http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-jenny-madalura-scripted-assistant-coordinator/

melissa bishop unscripted AP / researcher, Warner Bros.

Melissa has been out of full time work for around three years, as the primary carer for her mother. In the meantime she started an MA in Documentary Production to better her prospects in TV as she is in it for the long run: “I feel I still have a lot to offer and have not yet reached my full potential and have many years left to work in the industry.” http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/08/returner-melissa-bishop-unscripted-ap-researcher/

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

JENNY MADALURA, RESEARCHER / PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

August 21, 2018 @ 8:53 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

returner Hannah Williams scripted PM

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner hannah williams

Scripted PM Hannah Williams will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Merman

In 2003 I took my first steps into the world of television, writes returning PM Hannah Williams. A decade later I had built a career of BAFTA nominations, crew akin to family and exciting projects. I then took on my own exciting project. 3 of them in fact. My children are now 5, 3 and almost 1 and it has been a magical sabbatical, one that is hard to leave, but it is time to go back to work.

I am hoping that the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme will help me to find a balance. One that allows me to still experience my children growing up for half the week whilst I spend the other half continuing where I left off six years ago. I hope it will help me to find an inspirational company in which I can be creative, practical, and inspired again to make great television.

I am looking forward to using my brain in ways that I haven’t (continuously at least) since my life changed in 2013 with a small person who swept me into a happy (yet all-consuming) fog of sleep deprivation, nappies and utter devotion.

Most of all I am hoping to rebuild my confidence. I have worked on and off between babies but only on short contracts. This time I want to jump back into the industry and allow myself to find something that will develop my skills, challenge me and give me a career goal to work towards once more. The people I once worked next to (or above) seem to have gone so far, cameras have changed, systems have altered and I feel a little out-dated!

Being mentored by Merman will be an incredible experience. One to sooth the guilt of going back to work and rekindle a little bit of the old, ambitious me again!

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11460/hannah-williams-lovell

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

August 20, 2018 @ 4:42 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

returner jenny madalura scripted assistant coordinator

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner jenny madalura

Scripted Coordinator Jenny Madalura will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Sister Pictures

I have been out of media work for over 10 years since working with the BBC, writes Jenny Madalura. Having a family, getting a law degree and working part-time as a LexisNexis copywriter, whilst being a full-time parent to my two children, Luke and Ocean kept me out.

My son, Luke, is now 21, with Aspergers. Despite this, he was given a place at Ravensbourne College, to do a degree in Film and TV Production two years ago.  Shortly after, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Thankfully after nearly two years of extensive treatment and a bone marrow transplant, he’s now in remission and able to return to university.  My daughter Ocean just turned a year old, I feel I am ready to return to work and focus on my media career.

Eager to return to media work late last year I took part in some short practical back to work workshops thanks to Media Parents last October.  This gave me the confidence after such a long time out of a media career, to try and get back in.  Through Media Parents I was also fortunate to have been mentored by Leo Martin, from Fudge Park Productions, which was both insightful and promising. Thanks to my legal training I was offered assistant coordinating work, but due to unforeseen circumstances within the company, the offer to be taken on board was no longer viable. I am keen to try again.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15655/jenny-madalura

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

@ 3:52 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

returner melissa bishop unscripted AP / researcher

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner melissa bishop

Unscripted AP / Researcher Melissa Bishop will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Warner Bros

I’ve been out of full time work for around three years, as I am the primary carer for my Mother.  I am now able to hand over some of that responsibility to my sisters, so am very much looking forward to getting back to work. My passion is factual TV, specifically documentary programming. I am especially strong with finding and managing contributors, from all walks of life. I love engaging with people and building a rapport. I feel I still have a lot to offer and have not yet reached my full potential and have many years left to work in the industry.

I had my first job in a production company twelve years ago, and for the following four years worked happily in various fairly junior TV roles, mainly as a Researcher. I then moved sideways to work for Legal Network Television, a corporate company making educational factual programmes, and worked my way up to producer.

For the past eight months I have been studying for a Masters’ degree in Documentary Production at U.W.E., affiliated with the BBC in Bristol. I undertook this as, at the time, I was unable to commit to regular work as my mother was recovering from illness. I thought it would be beneficial to me to brush up on my production skills, and hopefully make myself more appealing to the industry.

I do feel reinvigorated and have gained new skills. In addition it has really encouraged me to think deeply about factual and documentary storytelling and what building blocks are needed to make up truly exception programming.

Melissa is being sponsored by Warner Bros. Many thanks to the Warner Bros team for sponsoring again this year. To follow Melissa’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

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

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

@ 3:38 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

returner geoff dibben scripted PM

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner geoff dibben

Scripted PM Geoff Dibben will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by ITV

I have worked in the film and TV industry since my early 20s, always in Production, writes Geoff Dibben.  I started as a Production Runner in drama, before moving onto ‘the floor’ as a 3rd AD, 2nd AD and 1st AD before becoming a Production Manager and Production Supervisor on features including War Horse, Clash of the Titans and The Dark Knight.

In 2006 after the birth of my second child I decided continuing to work on foreign location feature films would be unsustainable, especially as my wife wanted to return to work as a university lecturer.

I decided to take a sideways move into commercials and short-form corporate work which I was able to do from home, allowing me to spend time with my young family. The hope was I would be able to return to full-time production once the children were older, however this has proved harder than anticipated.

My children are now older and will both be at Secondary school so I am looking for a way into UK high-end TV drama production. I feel I have a great deal to offer not just an employer but the wider industry.  I have done everything from low-budget to super-high budgets and everything between. I have scheduled productions, budgeted productions and delivered productions, so have an extensive knowledge of physical production and post-production.

I am look to reinvigorate my career and get some mentoring, advice and relevant recent experience to get into high end TV drama productions as either a Production Manager or Line Producer or maybe as an in-house Production Executive.

I hope the scheme will introduce me to Heads of Production and Producers within Production Companies and allow me to demonstrate my skills and knowledge as well as my enthusiasm for the industry.

Geoff is being sponsored by ITV. Many thanks to the Endemol Shine team for sponsoring again this year. To follow Geoff’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14864/geoff-dibben

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

@ 2:11 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Comments Off

returner jo larmer unscripted edit producer

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme winner jo larmer

Edit Producer Jo Larmer will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by Endemol Shine

I am an experienced live and edit Entertainment Producer with a huge desire to find the perfect work/family balance, writes Jo Larmer. I am particularly keen to pursue roles in the Edit or in the support side of production, such as licensing, marketing or talent management.

My main experience has been in very fast turn-around live studio shows – working with and managing a team to generate content, and script writing. I have also been responsible for cutting down studio shows with extremely tight deadlines. Consequently it’s fair to say I work very well under pressure! I also enjoy becoming part of a new team.

In recent years I’ve seen a more business-focussed side of television, having produced some events for BBC Worldwide’s Formats team. I have found this hugely interesting and have learnt a great deal from these roles.

Since having my children six years ago and being widowed 18 months ago, I have taken on several very short-term part-time contracts, but I am now looking to return to work part-time on a permanent or longer contract. My intention is to carve out a more definite career path that enables me to use my experience in and love of TV production to support my family financially, whilst maintaining a stable presence for them at home.

I am an extremely hard worker and firmly believe that since becoming a mother I work even more productively and efficiently than ever before.

Outside of work and looking after small people I enjoy running (I completed a marathon earlier this year), British Military Fitness, yoga and reading. I have also spent some time since my husband died fundraising for the Institute of Cancer Research and have raised over £60,000 to date. And I dabble enthusiastically but fairly unsuccessfully in arts and crafts and baking!

Jo is being sponsored by Endemol Shine. Many thanks to the Endemol Shine team for sponsoring again this year. To follow Jo’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15676/jo-larmer

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

@ 1:08 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Returner Katie Walmsley unscripted PM

by Amy Walker

introducing media parents back to work scheme

winner katie walmsley

Returning PM Katie Walmsley will be sponsored on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme by All3Media

Before my career break I was a successful Production Executive with 20 years of television experience under my belt, writes Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Katie Walmsley. I will be looking for flexible PM work on my return, having worked my way up from Coordinating for the Natural History Unit in Bristol to running and overseeing a team of Production Managers across a diverse range of programming as Production Executive, dealing with major budgets and setting up and running productions at STV in Glasgow.

When I became pregnant with my first little girl, we relocated from Glasgow to London to be nearer family. I now have two beautiful girls, Mia and Olivia, born 17 months apart. Following Olivia’s rather dramatic arrival into the world, my husband and I took the decision that I would take the role of a stay at home mum, but I have always missed the cut and thrust of my career and have been itching to get back to work.

I’ve kept myself busy with a few smaller local projects, most recently being Events Co-ordinator for the Royal Windsor Flower Show, however television is my passion.

With the girls now settled and happy, my ambition is to forge new contacts and find a great company and that will recognize and bolster my skills whilst supporting my need to remain a part-time mum. I am realistic and would be happy to come back as a Production Manager to show a new team what I can do.

Thank you to the team at All3Media for sponsoring Katie. To follow Katie’s progress please read this blog and tweets @mediaparents.

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

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@ 12:36 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News, TV Returners Leave a comment