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media parents back to work scheme opens

by Amy Walker


Media Parents Back to Work Winners at Edinburgh TV Festival 2015

Media Parents is re-launching its hugely successful sponsorship scheme to help parents and carers back into the TV industry after a career break. 100% of our sponsored applicants have found jobs after taking part in The Media Parents’ Back to Work scheme. Previous years’ winners include a primary carer who had been out of TV for 8 years and is now directing EastEnders, another secured a commission with Channel 4 and another successfully used the scheme to return to work in remission from cancer. We have currently secured sponsorship from Warner Bros and Endemol Shine and are still looking for companies and broadcasters to partner with.

Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2015 at GEITF

We offer companies the opportunity to sponsor one of our applicants to give them the boost of confidence and contacts that will help these highly skilled TV workers back into the industry. As a company you will be offered a selection of applicants to suit your specialism. Through the scheme companies can increase diversity in the workplace, play a part in reinvigorating the career of talented individuals – and in the process garner great PR as a company – we have a track record of gaining national media coverage in The Guardian and on BBC Radio 4.

Successful applicants will be awarded sponsored places at this year’s Edinburgh International TV Festival EITF in August – applicants must be available in Ediburgh from 24 – 26th August. Our winners will be awarded a delegate pass plus travel to and accommodation in Edinburgh with bespoke mentoring sessions from the sponsors. Historically places have been sponsored by Endemol Shine, Channel 4, BBC, CDN (Creative & Diversity Network), Sky, ITV, Warner Bros, BBC Wales, All3Media, Raise the Roof Productions and Endemol Shine.

Read more about the 2016 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners at

The commitment from your company is limited to three encouraging phone calls or meetings with your mentee between September and December 31st 2016. We work with the mentee in advance, and the onus is on them to formulate a back to work plan which they discuss with their mentor. We ask you to support them by sharing advice and contacts. Previous years’ mentors include ITV Creative Director of Programming, Mark Robinson, Sky Head of Comedy, Jon Montague, Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes Ralph Lee, Wall to Wall MD, Richard Thompson, PACT Chief Executive, John McVay, Channel 4 Commissioner Michelle Chappell, BBC Commissioner Catherine Catton and Nat Geo Commissioner Carolyn Payne among a brilliant array of execs from across the board in TV. The experience is highly rewarding on both sides.

We screen and check references before offering companies a choice of candidates.

6 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners attended the Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival in 2014, seen here with Media Parents Director Amy Walker.

Applicants for the scheme are required to send an Back to Work Scheme form 2017, plus 300 word précis outlining their ambitions upon returning to TV and a CVs complete with dates and referees to by August 11th at 6pm. Candidates must have at least 3 years’ experience in TV and should not have worked in TV for more than 12 consecutive weeks since their career break. Applications are now open.

Ali McBride, Harriet Wallace, Kirsty Smith and Sidra Khan, media parents delegates waiting for Kevin Spacey's MacTaggart Speech at GEITF 2013.

Media Parents - join now for brilliant jobs and events at

July 25, 2017 @ 7:48 am Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents Summer Drinks

by Amy Walker

We hope to see you this evening if you’re on the esteemed guestlist below for the Media Parents Summer Drinks. Held in a Bloomsbury garden, fear not there is also wet weather cover!

Media Parents Summer drinks will be attended by more than 30 companies!

An informal affair, Media Parents Summer Drinks are hosted by Clear Cut Pictures and sponsored by Cornish Insurance. Here’s some info about their company, thank you Cornish for enabling the event to go ahead!

With over 35 years broking experience providing advice to the Film, Media and International Transport Insurance sector, Cornish Insurance have built an enviable reputation for the development of innovative bespoke insurance products.  As Lloyd’s Coverholders we are able to discuss our customer’s requirements direct with the underwriters themselves.

In a rapidly changing world it is important that cover can be adapted to encompass areas of conflict; Cornish Insurance have proved, time and again, that speed of response is the key to a successful partnership with its clients, leaving You, the customer free to fulfil your commitments.

We are currently developing a streamlined media product designed to let YOU choose what cover is and is not required.   Unlike many of the existing bulky contracts you will pay for, and receive, only the covers you really require.   Any changes of cover, documents, account queries and claims processing will be handled by an online App providing worldwide access 24/7 but all backed by your account handler’s mobile telephone number and live chat, ensuring you have full underwriting advice and support when it is needed.

Enquire within :

Guestlist for tonight :

Agata Mastalerz

Production Manager Shearwater Media

alison martin

Series Producer Freelance

Andrew Lawrence

Lighting Camera / PD drew lawrence

Anne Bond

Preditor Freelance

Alex Sunderland

Series Producer Freelance

Amy Walker

Director Media Parents

Andy Wells

PD / Exec Foss Films

Bea Buck

Group Head of Facilities Warner Bros

Becky Sharpe

Self-Shooting PD ADN Digital

Claire Seeber

Producer / Writer Freelance


Editor DT Editing

Ed Nissen

Head of Business Clear Story

Bettina Smith

JPM / AP Avalon

Danny Leitch

Production Coordinator Twenty Twenty

Debbie Lowe

Producer Filmsof Record

Elena Andreicheva

Producer / Director Freelance

Emily Fielden

Head of Talent Studio Lambert

Emma Ibbetson

EP / VFX Producer & Manager Emma Ibbetson

Emma Riley

Head of Production Aurora Media

Helen Williamson

Series Producer Pioneer Productions

Emily Freshwater

Production Exec Freelance

Emma Parkin

Edit Producer / P/D Freenlance

Gaby Koppel

Series/ Edit Producer Bergholt Brown

Holly Lubran

Development Researcher Renegade Pictures

Ilya Colak-Antic

Writer / Exec. Prod. / Development Exec. / Commiss Freelance

jane Liscombe

Producer Jane Says

Joanna Gretton

Producer Media Parents

Jon Nicholls

Jon Nicholls music

Isobel Williams

Series Producer/Exec Producer Freelance

Jo Tracy

Drama / Features Producer Freelance

Jon Coutts

Editor Freelance

Jonathan Schütz

Series Producer / Edit Producer / PD Curly Lizard Films Ltd.

Josephine Besbrode

ProducerDirector/Edit Producer Freelance

Julie Scott

Production Executive Firecracker / Tinopolis

Katharine Robson

Researcher Wall to Wall

Kaye Godleman

Series Producer King Bert

Judith Bantock

HoP Baby Cow

Kalpna Patel-Knight

BBC Entertainment Commissioning Editor BBC

Katy Ferguson

Series / Edit Producer Freelance

Kirsty Garland

Talent Exec Raw TV

liz foley

Series Editor Keo Films

Maria Valente

Editor Freelance

Matt Currington

PD freelance

Megan Gerrie

Series Producer / Director Freelance

Maddy Addy

Head of Development King Bert

Marta Aliaga

AP Raw

Matt Holden

Exec Producer Endemol Shine

Megan Macqueen

Producer Spun Gold

Michaela Hennessy-Vass

Executive Producer DLT Entertainment

Michelle Brooks

Producer/ Director Showpatrol

Morgan Phillips

Producer/Director Freelance

Nico Byron

Snr Resourcing Manager, UK Studios ITV

Michele D’Acosta

Producer Icosta Media

Michelle Heeley

Executive Producer Freelance

Naoma Nagahawatte

Talent Coordinator Nutopia

Nicola Waddell

EP-SP Freelance

Patrick Keely

Series / Edit Producer Potato

Phil Stein

Producer Director Freelance

Renata Pavelka

Production Coordinator Wall to Wall

Ros Edwards

Director n/a

Peter Demetris

Director Little Gem

Rebecca Dale-Everett

Production Coordinator Wall to Wall

Richard Hughes

Shooting Director Freelance

Sabine Pusch

Edit producer Freelance

Sacha Grimsditch

Head of Development OMTV

Samantha Williams

Producer Drama Freelance

Sarah Lavender

Production Coordinator Freelance

soul Nazemi


Sam Bailey

Production Assistant Twenty Twenty / Warner Bros

Sara Hegarty

Editor Freelance

Sarah Patten

PD Media Parents

stephen lennhoff

Director Producer freelance

Sunita Shroff

Presenter Freelance

Tamara Durnford

Talent Manager Maverick Television

Tina Lohmann

Production Executive Raw cut TV

Uli Kress

PM Freelance

Susanna Thornton

Researcher Freelance

Tania Mckeown

Develop producer Optomen

Tom Collinson

Producer/Director/Writer Freelance

Will Jessop

Shooting PD Century Films

Yvonne Alexander

Executive Producer Jet TV Ltd

Zara Bellos

Production Secretary Wall to Wall Media

See you there!

Media Parents - join now for brilliant jobs and events at

July 19, 2017 @ 2:34 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Producer Jodie Chillery crowdfunding a film

by Amy Walker
Earlier this year I happened to meet an old school friend, Louise, who I’d not seen for a couple of years. Now a GP, living close by, she asked me if I might help her with a charitable project she was thinking of launching writes Media Parents’ Jodie Chillery, PD.

Jodie Chillery (left) with SP / Edit Producer Jo Molloy at Thursday's Media Parents drinks

Dr Louise told me how she has witnessed a dramatic rise in young people presenting with self-harm injuries at her surgery and she had a feeling that online instruction videos and images are behind this spike in reported incidents. Louise had her own battle with mental health as a teenager and was admitted into a child psychiatric unit from the age of 13 to 16 with self-harm and an eating disorder. She remembered what it was like in the mid 90s when anyone suffering with a mental health problem was branded a “looney” or resigned to the “nut house”. And while its true, a great deal has been done to raise awareness and change attitudes since then, Louise can’t help but feel its not enough, something needs to actually be done!

Jodie Chillery behind the camera

I helped her produce a fundraising video for a project called Growing Resilience in Teens she is piloting in Hitchin in Hertfordshire to tackle issues associated with low self esteem and manifesting in negative behaviour such as self-harm. But as I met more of the young people who were self-harming and learnt more about how they are influenced, it seemed to me that there was a bigger story in this project worth exploring.

And now some months later with some filming underway the project is snowballing.  I have contributors, I have an exec producer, I have a Radio1 DJ even, and I have an audience – I just don’t have any money!

I also have a duty and a commitment to make this film. Not just to raise awareness and investigate what it is that’s influencing our young people, but to document Dr Louise’s journey so other communities around the country can take a look and replicate her idea in their school or community group.

This is happening right here, right now and I desperately need a bit of equipment. The equipment will both help to actually make the film, but also has the potential to be used as part of the project in film-making workshops with the teenagers that take part. Hired in or borrowed equipment will not give us the flexibility this project needs.

So, on Friday 30th June I’m launching a crowd funding campaign to help generate some initial funding to get the project off the ground. It should also put me in a stronger position to apply for other grants and funding streams. If you think you might be able to contribute something please pledge via the crowdfunder here and if you can think of anyone else that might want to help with this please do share the link too.

And when this film is released, I’ll be back here writing about how it worked out!

Media Parents - join now for brilliant jobs and events at

June 30, 2017 @ 11:37 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 mins with Isa Suarez Composer

by Amy Walker

Congratulations to Media Parents Composer Isa Suarez, who has just been awarded The Agadir International Film Festival ‘Prix du Jury’ for her film Just Gone, which is now premiering at Cannes Film Festival. The film was directed by Sophie Austin, and the DoP was also female, Lynda Hall.

Isa writes : Following the film award - Prix du Jury -  for Just Gone at The International Film festival of Agadir, this short film, directed by Sophie Austin, is now going to be at the Cannes Film Festival  2017. Original Soundtrack by Isa Suarez. Lynda Hall shot it beautifully, and I was asked to compose the soundtrack after its initial release last year.

Isa, who has scored programmes for betty and Talkback Thames, has also recently composed original music for an oral history mobile app called A Hackney Autobiography.

Composer Isa has also been recently awarded an Arts Council grants to compose Nocturnes Wonder. It will be new music  composed for a choir, a female beatboxer, piano and electronic music. The final pieces will be a suite of free downloadable pieces to listen to on  mobile phones while walking at night, or at home. Launching at Camberwell Arts Festival  in June 2017, Nocturnes Wonder is an open invitation to join us in a musical journey that runs through the night. You can enjoy Nocturnes Wonder at night, wherever you are in the world or during Camberwell Arts Festival.


Media Parents - join now for brilliant jobs and events at

May 26, 2017 @ 1:49 pm Posted in News Comments Off

PD Zan Barberton on Perinatal Mental Health

by Amy Walker

Perhaps it is in the nature of being a documentary maker, but I frequently feel passionate about the subjects that I make films about, writes Media Parents Producer Director Zan Barberton.

PD Zan Barberton's film was supported by the Heads Together campaign, The Duchess of Cambridge introduced the film at its premiere. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading a new campaign in partnership with inspiring charities, which aims to change the national conversation on mental wellbeing. (Photo by Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Royal Foundation)

Perinatal Mental Health (affecting the mother in pregnancy and after childbirth, family members and the baby itself) is one of those subjects. It seems that more and more people are beginning to understand the importance of this issue, which affects nearly 2 in 10 women and has been calculated to cost the country around £8 billion annually.  I have been working on a film about Maternal Mental Health for 3 years, and I’ve been staggered by the amount of ignorance, silence and fear surrounding it. So it is wonderful that the young Royals – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry – have brought their significant influence to raising awareness of the subject.

Last week the Duchess of Cambridge made a speech to introduce a film I have worked long and hard on:  “If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy we would seek advice and support from a doctor” she said “getting help with our mental health is no different”. It feels like a tipping point. Slowly, slowly, the silence is lifting and this important subject is getting talked about.

The project is led by charity Best Beginnings, the brainchild of Alison Baum, a former BBC producer herself, and a bit of a force of nature. She is passionate about finding innovative ways to communicate health information and is a huge cheerleader for the power of film. I could probably write a few pages about Alison (she just got an OBE) but I suggest you go to their web site!

The series of 8 films is called “Out of the Blue”.  I filmed, directed and edited 3 of them. The idea is to allow women to speak openly about their experiences, breaking the silence and reducing stigma. It is an unusual type of filmmaking: obs doc in style, with high production values, but at heart informational. Every film had to hit specific “learning points” and was viewed and reviewed by a whole team parents, frontline healthcare professionals, Royal Colleges and other professional bodies so that it would provide proper, medically-checked information. This was a painfully slow process and meant that the project took around three years from start to finish – the gestation of a baby elephant.

PD Zan Barberton works flexibly on the film around her two children.

The production company was Heirloom Media, run by the talented Jacqui Smith, an executive producer on science programmes for BBC Scotland. A working mum herself, she allowed me to arrange my shoots and editing around my availability – which really worked for this project. I was honest about the time I spent on it and invoiced accordingly, and this meant that I was able to spend time with my family, or work on other projects during the slow periods. This way of working has meant that I have been able to regularly shoot – a part of filmmaking that I love.

Structuring this sort of film presented challenges. We decided from the outset that it would all be told in the past. On a practical level, consent could be tricky if we were filming present-tense stories with women suffering from mental illness. Aside from the practicalities, our target audience was potentially vulnerable new mums, so we wanted the film to be as reassuring as possible. A key message is that you can and will get better – so it helps to see healthy people on screen. We were lucky to have some wonderfully grounded and articulate contributors who carry the films with style and even humour. I am always humbled by the courage of people who choose to share their most painful experiences to help others… it is part of the privilege and responsibility of documentary work.

The films were of course made in close contact with the contributors, who viewed it regularly from the rough-cut stage, and whose feedback was taken extremely seriously.  One of the characters was shown coming very close to suicide in the film and I wondered about whether it was too raw an experience to expose an audience of vulnerable mothers to.  After she had seen the film she said something that really convinced me: Seeing her story on screen had allowed her to understand that her experience was a symptom of an illness rather than an act of selfishness. She said that she finally forgave herself.  Just hearing that made it all worth it.

The Out of the Blue series is available online on the Best Beginnings web site, and is also on the Baby Buddy App. Looking after your mental health is important even if you are well…and especially if you are a parent. So show it to your friends with babies!

Zan Barberton gets her hands on the ProMotion kit at a Media Parents event. Zan Barberton is currently looking for PD work or edit /edit producing. Find her CV on the above link at Media Parents.

Media Parents - join now for brilliant jobs and events at

April 4, 2017 @ 12:23 pm Posted in News Comments Off

TXing Tonight PD Phil Broadhurst’s One Born…

by Amy Walker

Media Parents PD Phil Broadhurst worked on tonight's One Born Every Minute

@ 11:53 am Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents March Negotiating Event

by Amy Walker

Ever wanted to feel confident negotiating your contract / rate / flexibility at work? Thank you to everyone who joined us for Q&A and helpful tips from Line Producer Jude Winstanley of the Unit List and production companies including Endemol Shine, Twenty Twenty, Plum Pictures, with Media Parents’ Amy Walker amongst others…

"Make friends with Production Managers, they have the intel on rates" suggested Jude Winstanley. Pictured with Media Parents Director Amy Walker.

If you can’t attend Wednesday’s event feel free to send us questions via the contact button at ASAP.

Jude Winstanley, freelance Line Producer & Production Manager

Jude has worked in broadcast TV for 20 years and is currently a freelance, Line Producer, trainer and founder of TV industry online jobs board The Unit List.

Jude is also a volunteer events producer for the Royal Television Society Futures team and is regularly invited to take part in a wide range of consultations on industry development.  Her experience covers a range of genres; entertainment, factual, factual entertainment, documentary and children’s.

Continue reading →

February 27, 2017 @ 10:04 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with PD Alicky Sussman on jobsharing

by Amy Walker

For the past year and a half, PDs Alicky Sussman and Milla Harrison have been job sharing. As PDs we have made two 60 min programmes together for BBC2 science series, Horizon (still on iPlayer) writes Alicky, and edit produced on Channel 4 rig show, Eden.

PD Alicky Sussman, right, with job share partner Milla Harrison

Our experience has been incredibly positive – as a team we are creative and efficient, delivering well-received programmes on time and in budget – but crucially we have also maintained a good work/life balance.

Find a job-sharing partner

When we were given our first job-sharing opportunity, it helped enormously that we presented ourselves as a ready-made partnership to Horizon editor, Steve Crabtree. Steve was able to see exactly what skills and experience he was getting, and then make a judgment – in just the same way that he would have done if we were applying as individuals. Media Parents profiles have a job share function so you can link to preferred partners after requesting to see their CVs.

Minimize the risk for your employer

Opportunities are more likely to come from people you know, or in areas where you have a proven track record. Milla and I both had previous experience making Horizons, and we had both worked with Eden’s Series Editor, Sunshine Jackson. A huge part of making the job share work has been these supportive bosses, who knew and trusted us.

Flex and compromise

For all the productions we have worked on, we have tried to be as flexible as possible to fit in with programme needs. On Horizon Milla worked 4 days a week spread over 5 and I worked 3 days spread over 4. To make this work budget-wise, we sacrificed having a full-time researcher (a Horizon is usually staffed with a full time researcher and full time PD). When edit producing on Eden we were contracted to work 2.5 days each, but agreed together at the start of the projectthat we would work an additional half day (usually at home) to fully hand over to each other.

Alicky Sussman, 3rd from left, with Milla Harrison, fourth from left on a Raising Films / BBC panel with Media Parents Director Amy Walker (photo : BBC)

Better together

Milla and I have a similar but not identical skill-set, and a combined 40 years TV experience. Together, we are quicker at writing scripts and making decisions. On location we take turns to be the Director or the Researcher/AP, reducing the pressure of a big shoot.

In the edit, we work on different sections of the script before passing to the other to refine. On days off, the films whirr away in the back of our minds, allowing for new, more creative ideas. Organisation and communication is key to making the partnership work. In the edit we avoid repeating or contradicting by writing detailed daily handovers, which include a plan for the following day.

No room for competition or egos

You have to trust your job-sharing partner and accept that there will be times when you have to compromise – job sharing may not be for everybody! When it works as it has done for us it benefits both employers and freelancers in a life-changing, work-enhancing way – we are both looking for work now so I hope more employers will be receptive to job sharing ongoing.

so how do you negotiate rates for a job share? find out at our March 1st event

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now for our next event on how to negotiate at

February 20, 2017 @ 8:19 pm Posted in News Comments Off

FREE initiative for emerging filmmakers

by Amy Walker

Modern Tales is a FREE five-month story and professional development initiative for emerging BAME, female and disabled filmmakers.

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now at

The programme supports writers, directors and producers in the development of longform dramatic fiction (feature film, series, serials, webisodes) that reflects the unique intellect, imagination and experience of diverse emerging filmmakers and that is also market conscious, industry aware and distinctly creative. Modern Tales is passionately committed to making a significant impact on the diversity issues the Film & TV industry faces. We believe that the training scheme we have devised, which utilises an innovative 360 approach to traditional script development, offers diverse emerging filmmakers a real opportunity to develop their projects and progress themselves as filmmakers in a way that will significantly enhance their career prospects and their ability to make a discernible impact on the industry. We have consulted widely, listened to feedback and discussed the barriers our target communities face in the industry.

In order to remove any potential cost barriers to those wanting to apply, we are pleased to announce that we will now be offering bursaries covering the full cost of the fees for all successful project development teams. This means that all the selected project development teams will be able to access the full 5 month programme for free. Please download project development application guidelines from the website for further details, follow our social media feeds or feel free to contact us at

Our unique five month development programme based in London offers:

• 8 day-long training sessions in the creation and marketing of fictional material forfilm, TV and online platforms

• Online support from industry mentors and access to an online peer community• An opportunity to network with other film creatives

• Individual project development for selected teams. Those teams participating in project development will progress to a developed long-form fiction project and additional content packaged in a portfolio to present to industry. They will also get the chance to pitch their project to Development Executives.

Tickets will still be made available for all eight individual training sessions for those not applying for full project development but who still wish to attend individual course days. For More Information: Visit

February 14, 2017 @ 3:20 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents February CV Workshop

by Amy Walker

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND – CV need some help? Join Media Parents at this CV Workshop run by Amy Walker, Media Parents Director. To book a place at this Wednesday’s CV event see the watercooler at

See the recap of the tips freelancers found most useful here :

Amy Walker (right) at a Media Parents event in Bristol

Some testimonials :

“Thanks for a really useful evening Amy. I realised  my CV had become a list of jobs rather than an a document that sells me to prospective employers. Top tip from the evening – If you’re applying for different roles, have a CV for each listing the relevant experience at the top as the person reading it may not make it down to the bottom of page two..” Ian, Series Producer
“Thank you for the MediaParents CV workshop, which was absolutely brilliant.” Clare, PM, Line Producer

“Thank you for a fantastic session, it was really helpful.” Kerry, Researcher.

If you need some CV inspiration please read the links below : – it’s still the jobsite with the largest number of great jobs per capita in TV!

Media Parents is brilliant for jobs, networking and training - join now at

February 6, 2017 @ 3:47 pm Posted in News Comments Off