Media Parents

Posts categorised as: TV Returners

How to get the most out of Edinburgh TV Festival, Nicola Kingscote SP

by Amy Walker

Ahead of this year’s Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners being chosen to attend Edinburgh TV Festival, Nicola Kingscote, one of last year’s Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners look back at last year’s festival and how to get the most out of it.

Sugar Films' Pat Younge with Nicola Kingscote at Edinburgh TV Festival 2017

As I crawled out of bed at 4am to catch the flight from Bristol to Edinburgh for the TV Festival I reflected on the fact that (weirdly) during my 18 years with the BBC as a director and Series Producer, I had never made it to the event. The day job always took priority. My recent decision to volunteer for redundancy had given me the clear headspace to find the Media Parents Back to Work scheme, and I was thrilled to be sponsored by TwoFour in Cardiff to attend. When I arrived at the EICC the speed meeting sessions were underway, enabling any festival delegate to book a face-to-face slot with a variety of talent managers from broadcasters and indies. It was great to meet with Zoe Rushton from BBC Cardiff, Fintan Maguire, an Exec Producer from Spun Gold (now at Rumpus Media), and with Pat Younge, MD of Sugar Films. All were generous with their advice and time. Pat was very keen for me to add a showreel to my CV, to really emphasise some of the well known series that I have worked on to potential employers.

Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2017 : Scripted Director Kate Cheeseman, SP Nicola Kingscote, PD Josie Besbrode & Edit Producer Emma Sayce

The first panel discussion I attended was “Tantrums and Tabloids – how to survive a production crisis”. In the old days, after transmission, we just worried about the overnight figures. This cleverly dramatised debate revealed what could happen if a contributor is hounded and humiliated on social media. Thought-provoking in terms of our duty of care to contributors, and how we as programme makers need to brief and fully prepare them honestly for what “can” happen if they are targeted on social media. For a BBC lifer, hearing from other channel heads was also fascinating. Ben Frow from Channel 5 (affectionately referred to by his team as Chairman Frow) submitted himself to a filmed “In Therapy” session which he shared with us, so that we would better understand him and what he wants for the channel. (Click here to watch Ben Frow speak at Edinburgh). His unapologetic honesty was so refreshing. In this and other sessions I got a great sense of the varied cultures at other channels and I felt very excited about the future as a freelancer. The Jewel in the festival’s crown however, was Jon Snow’s moving McTaggart Lecture.

Channel 4's Jon Snow photobombs the Media Parents Back to Work Team at Edinburgh TV Fest 2018. Nicola Kingscote second from right

The following day emotions ran high again on a panel discussion  called “I’m A Producer, Get These Celebrities Out of Here” hosted by the TV presenter Anna Richardson, which focused on the difficulties that can occur between the production and onscreen talent. Anna herself recalled agreeing to take a fertility test for a TV series when she was in her early thirties, and the utter shock and devastation she felt when the results revealed that she was infertile. As I flew back to Bristol armed with a notebook full of useful ideas and contacts, I realised that the most memorable and impressive festival moments for me were those when someone bravely risked making themselves vulnerable in front of their peers. Food for thought for anyone returning to work, because every single time, the risk was rewarded with supportive applause. The Scheme really helped my confidence in two ways. I was a parent with 18 years of TV experience who had taken a year out, but had also left the security of the BBC behind at the same time, to become a freelancer. I was moving into a new world and the back to work scheme really helped me with that transition. It demystified the freelance world for me in a way that has been hugely beneficial. The three other women on the scheme have also become great friends and we continue to support each other and remain in contact, often with tips on how to streamline our work lives to have more quality time with our family or just to have a general moan about things! It’s great to have that network with people who are not direct competition with each other, but who totally get what it is like to parent in the TV world.

Nicola Kingscote, Media Parents Back to Work Winner 2017

Click here to view Nicola Kingscote’s profile.

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018 is underway, see our blog for details. Join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

July 31, 2018 @ 10:27 am Posted in Events, Freelancer Profiles, How To, TV Returners Leave a comment

how to get back into TV directing by returner Kate Cheeseman

by Amy Walker

It’s nearly a year since I won a place on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme with a bunch of other lovely talented returners, and what a year! writes Scripted Director Kate Cheeseman who was mentored by Channel 4. Read here about Kate’s journey to directing Call the Midwife. The scheme has helped us all back to work – Nicola Kingscote has Series Produced after a two year break, Josie Besbrode has been working flexibly as a PD, and Emma Sayce job shared prior to her current role. Emma is now “back in” after working sporadic short contracts to keep her hand in since maternity leave four years ago. This year’s Media Parents Back to Work Scheme is open for applications until tomorrow, so spread the word – it works!

Congratulations to the Back to Work Winners from 2017 for returning successfully

When I first tried to return to directing, despite hundreds of letters and applications, it was impossible. I had not worked in TV for some years. However, in the last few years people have woken up to some of the problems, and organisations like Media Parents, Raising Films and Directors UK have been spearheading change.

To help bridge my gap, last year I made my fourth short. It’s a great way of showing what you can do, of meeting people and just keeping up with technology and working practices. I linked up with a great team who were looking for a director and had a brilliant script. The schedule was tight, but we found an equally wonderful cast and crew.

Shortly after the shoot, I won a place on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme. Showing willing despite not having professional credits for a while won me the place. I was off to Edinburgh TV festival.  It was a great boost as I felt that I’d had so many rejections it was becoming difficult to carry on! It was really encouraging for someone to actually believe in me.

Myself and the other returners all made the most of the festival, going to some great talks and meeting fantastic contacts.  Everyone who is anyone in TV goes!  I emailed lots of the people I wanted to meet before the festival and though I didn’t have a huge response, the few that I did hear from were well worth the effort.  One of those contacts recently helped me get a fantastic agent at ITG.

Media Parents Back to Work Team 2017 at Edinburgh TV Festival

Back in London my Channel Four mentor Chloe Tucker encouraged me to keep going. To some extent getting work is a numbers game.  No meeting is wasted either, even if it ends in a rejection it might lead to something further down the line. Being on the Back to Work scheme I felt I had something to tell people about rather than just asking for work. One of my meetings shortly after Edinburgh was with an executive producer I had known before my break and though she had no work at the time, she suggested I met with the producer on Call the Midwife.

In the autumn, I set about editing my short, What Happened to Evie. Post for shorts is tricky as you usually don’t have much money, so have to wait for people.  In the end I edited the film myself, which I wouldn’t normally recommend but we had such a tight script that it wasn’t too bad.  Finishing the film gave me something to show people and when I finally had the interview with Call the Midwife, I am sure this helped show I could direct actors. I also watched all the seasons of the show again. Several boxes of tissues later I met with the lovely producer and chatted about the programme. A few months later I was offered the finale of the next season. I can’t tell you how happy I felt.

Many of the contacts that I met through the Back to Work Scheme have been really helpful with advice and contacts, so, another plus for the scheme and great ongoing contacts for me. All in all, it’s been an incredible year, kicked off by getting on this fab scheme, and I hope just the start of lots of new journeys.

Congratulations Kate!

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/12997/kate-cheeseman

To apply for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018, click here.

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018 is open for applications, see our blog for details. Join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

July 23, 2018 @ 8:42 am Posted in How To, News, TV Returners 1 Comment

how to Job share in Edit by Emma Sayce and Nikki Ryan

by Amy Walker

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner 2017, Edit Producer Emma Sayce, made it her goal to break back in to flexible work via the scheme (which is currently open for applications, apply here.). Emma has just finished a 12-week stint job sharing as an Edit Producer on Maverick’s BAFTA winning CBBC show Operation Ouch! She and job share partner Nikki Ryan write here about their experience of job sharing in the edit.

Operation Ouch!'s job sharing Van Tulleken brothers

Six months ago, neither of us had really thought about job sharing, but having done it, we’re keen to repeat the experience. We’ve found it to be a productive and enjoyable way of working.

Job Sharing Returner Emma Sayce at Edinburgh TV Festival with her Media Parents Sponsor Endemol Shine Global HR Director Bella Lambourne

Operation Ouch! is a 12 x 28’ science/medical series for kids, presented by identical twin doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken. Nikki worked as an Edit Producer on the series a few years ago, and when the Head of Production, Maria French, contacted her about coming back for the 7th series Nikki (very nervously) asked for part time hours. On such a busy edit this wasn’t viable, and the idea of sharing the role came up. Maria sounded out the Series Producer and Exec, and both were happy to give it a go. Maverick advertised the position through Media Parents and found me to pair with Nikki.

Maverick had chosen us on our individual merits … but it was down to us to make the partnership work, and we had never met! After our first conversation it was clear we were on the same page – both committed to the job, and to making the process of sharing it work.

Tamara Durnford, right, Maverick TV's Talent Manager who crewed for the jobshare at Media Parents recent job share event

Nikki worked 3 days a week, Emma 2. In the main, looked after our own VTs from start to finish, but this didn’t mean we worked independently. Being across 3 edits, on a fast turnaround show, meant lots of planning and we did this together – mapping out what each edit would be cutting and when, and lining up work for each other so we could hit the ground running on our respective days. We made it our business to be across everything our job share partner was doing, so that we could answer questions about it, and the production team could treat us, essentially, as one person.

All this meant we had to be in close communication. We had detailed handover phone chats on Wednesday and Friday evenings, spoke to each other during the day whenever we needed to, and had a joint email account which we kept an eye on during our days off. We did find ourselves putting in a bit of time ‘out of hours’, but this didn’t feel onerous. We could fit it around family commitments, and we also enjoyed it! How often, as a freelancer, do you get a detailed insight into how someone else does your job, and the opportunity to compare approaches and share best working practices?

None of our editors had worked with a job share duo before but they were extremely supportive, as was everyone on the production.  We definitely felt able to work as effectively as we would have done as individuals. The job of an EP is, after all, a creative one, and it’s easier to be creative in the edit when you’re not tired, not stressed because of what may/may not be going on at home, and generally feeling happy with your work/life balance. You also get time out of the edit to come up with the odd funnier line / fresher idea / solution to something that is proving tricky. In this way, we felt we offered good value to our employer – 2 brains for the price of 1!

Channel 4's Jon Snow photobombs the Media Parents Back to Work Team at Edinburgh TV Fest 2018 - Emma Sayce far left.

One big lesson, from our experience, is that job sharing really is a team game. There’s no room for competition or egos – your partner’s success is your success. You need to pair up with someone you trust, communicate easily with and who has a similar work ethic. Interestingly, we found that you don’t need the same experience, just the same attitude!

This job share has exceeded our expectations. Through Media Parents we feel lucky to have hit upon a partnership that works, and we’re keen to test it out on different kinds of show. We’re aware, for example, that on something like a single narrative doc, we’d be collaborating on a much more creative level. We’ve spoken to other job sharers who’ve made that work!

We’d encourage anyone interested to try and get a job share going. You can post here to find a job share, or on the Media Parents watercooler. Hopefully this will become progressively easier to do, but for now it seems that if a production company knows one of you, they’re more likely to give it a shot. We hope this way of working will allow those of us who need to give time to our lives outside telly (for whatever reason), to also have long and fulfilling careers within it.

Emma is now working for Endemol Shine, her Media Parents Back to Work Scheme sponsoring company, and will be available in November. Nikki Ryan is currently on mat leave – congratulations ~Nikki!

Nikki Ryan, Edit Producer Job Share

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

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/2587/nikki-ryan

Read more about Media Parents Back to Work Scheme here : http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/07/media-parents-back-to-work-scheme-opens-2/

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018 is open for applications, see our blog for details. Join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

July 18, 2018 @ 5:01 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To, News, TV Returners Leave a comment

5 minutes with HETV Drama PC mike ogden on placement

by Amy Walker

A first day back on any job is like a first day at school; full of anticipation and the unknown. Yet it’s good when you realise you haven’t lost the ability to ride a bike you once loved as skills and experience stored in a dusty section of your brain re-emerge, writes returning Production Coordinator Mike Ogden. This is what happened to me as I worked on ‘Curfew’, a HETV drama for broadcaster Sky, produced by Tiger Aspect and Frith Tiplady’s Moonage Pictures at Space Studios in Manchester.

Returning Coordinators Zenna Barry and Mike Ogden at Dock10 Studios, Mcr for their Media Parents Returners' Training

‘Curfew’ is huge and complex, easy to get lost or overwhelmed with if you haven’t experienced drama production. I’d had that experience and yet was full of anticipation of the unknown and new. Previously I was embedded in a camera team, my production management experience limiting me to the shorts and commercials I’d produced which felt like a long time ago.

As an assistant production coordinator, it was my task to help the team complete the mountain of paperwork needed to document their production day to day, to research ahead shoot locations, help with accommodation and travel requests and anything else thrown my way. Theirs is a twenty four hour production cycle, at times managing two full-on production location crews full of stunts, visual and practical effects, a big cast with many supporting artists all needing to be organised and looked after by a dedicated production team, with some staff walking through the door to begin their day as others are leaving for home after twelve hours managing.

Returning drama coordinator Mike Ogden is being mentored by Mammoth Screen's Howard Ella https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/4273/mike-ogden

You’ve got to love making drama to put up with this for several months. Dedicated. Do the work. For me that meant a tram and a train journey in to the studio and back home. Day by day. Helping to manage a shoot taking place unseen. Elsewhere. In a dark studio. On the pages of a call sheet. Unfolding slowly as you type in progress details, scene by scene, shot by shot from several departments. That’s what film making is. They don’t teach that in any film school. Lots of paperwork, but it helps to know what it contributes to and is aimed at. I found it fascinating. Maybe there’s something wrong with me? You have to be a little OCD in this job.

It was exciting to be involved with ‘Curfew’ in my small way, to contribute to a larger thing. It helped me restart, to show me I can be useful again. Like everyone else, I have ambition but it takes small steps to get anywhere. Re-learn old skills. Pick up new ones. Meet a bunch of nice people and do something creative. I miss that the most.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/4273/mike-ogden

July 5, 2018 @ 10:00 am Posted in TV Returners Comments Off

media parents back to work scheme under deliberation

by Amy Walker

Media Parents’ Back to Work Scheme announces its 6th year in partnership with Edinburgh International TV Festival. Thank you to every who has applied, we have heard from great returning talent. Sponsors are now making their decisions and we hope to make announcements early in week commencing August 13th. We will hold drinks in September for all applicants.

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 been offered work after taking part in The Media Parents’ Back to Work scheme. Will you be the next?

Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2017 : Scripted Director Kate Cheeseman, SP Nicola Kingscote, PD Josie Besbrode & Edit Producer Emma Sayce

We are hugely grateful to our sponsors – and are delighted to say that Channel 4 has just come on board. Other sponsors are All3Media, ITV, MermanEndemol Shine, Warner Bros, Sister Pictures and Raw TV for supporting this scheme for talented freelancers. PD Josie Besbrode and Edit Producer Emma Sayce have both returned to flexible work this year. Josie has been working part time and Emma has been job sharing – you can read their job share post here and look out for Emma’s latest job share piece. SP Nicola Kingscote has written about Edinburgh TV Festival, and Director Kate Cheeseman has written about returning to work to direct Call the Midwife.

Media Parents Back to Work Winners at Edinburgh TV Festival 2015

Previous years’ winners include a primary carer who had been out of TV for 8 years and has gone from directing EastEnders to now directing Emmerdale, other returners have secured commissions, and another successfully used the scheme to return to work in remission from cancer. 

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 highly skilled TV workers back into the industry. 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 Edinburgh from 22 – 24th 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, 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 www.mediaparents.co.uk

We work with mentees in advance t0 workshop CVs, and the onus is on mentees to formulate a back to work plan with Media Parents which they discuss with their mentor. Previous years’ mentors include Shine MD Tanya Shaw, ITV Creative Director of Programming, Mark Robinson, Sky Head of Comedy, Jon Mountague, ex Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes Ralph Lee, Channel 4 Drama’s Chloe Tucker, Wall to Wall MD, Richard Thompson, Ricochet Head of Production Lisa Cox, Boomerang Director of Programmes Sam Grace, 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. We are told the experience is highly rewarding on both sides.

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 complete and submit an application form (click here to download : Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Form 2018), plus a CV and 300 word précis outlining their ambitions upon returning to TV to events@mediaparents.co.uk by July 29th 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 www.mediaparents.co.uk

July 4, 2018 @ 7:00 pm Posted in News, TV Returners, TV Training 6 Comments

media parents mentoring : writer Emma Reeves & Returning Script Editor Becky Evans

by Amy Walker

Emma Reeves is an award-winning writer working across stage and screen. Her TV Children’s credits alone include The Worst WitchEveThe Dumping Ground, Young Dracula and The Story of Tracy Beaker. She has won Writers Guild Awards, RTS Awards and been nominated for both Children’s Baftas and a Broadcast Award. We have worked together before and there’s very little this lady doesn’t know about Children’s drama, writes Returning Script Editor Becky Evans. I was extremely pleased to learn that Becky had agreed to be my mentor courtesy of the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme.

The Worst Witch (Credit : CBBC)

A nice lunch in the bar at BAFTA gave Emma and me the perfect chance to catch up, reminisce about past projects and begin plotting a return for me. Emma is the perfect mentor because she has been able to offer the relevant names and contacts from a variety of companies within the Children’s field. It certainly hasn’t done me any harm to mention her name as my mentor either! She has made my CV mailout a whole lot easier and it’s been really encouraging to link to the right people straight away without feeling like your CV is floating across a lot of the wrong departments. New contacts in hand it’s been left to me to do the ground work so the last 6 weeks has been emails, calls and the odd meeting to refresh old connections and make some new ones. It’s fantastic to know that Emma has her ear to the ground on my behalf too and always at the end of a phone if I need a pep talk!

Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme Script Editor Becky Evans in conversation at BAFTA

So far the reaction to my CV has been very positive and it’s been a great boost for my confidence to know that my skills are still very relevant and of interest to Producers. My recent placement at Kindle Entertainment, also organised by Media Parents, has really helped bridge the parenting gap on my CV. An expression I’ve heard a few times after various meetings and chats is ‘Good Script Editors are thin on the ground! Looking forward it’s now all about the wait to be remembered when the new drama pitches have been signed off and the productions start crewing up. The Script Editor is usually the next port of call right behind the Producer once a drama leaves its development home. Make your CV memorable enough, impress where you can and with a bit of luck the phone will ring when they need someone with your skills!!

Emma Reeves, Writer

Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Mentor

‘I worked with Becky a few years ago on a British / Australian co-production for CBBC, ‘Dead Gorgeous’. I very much appreciated her talent and attention to detail as a Script Editor. The demands of the business, especially on continuing drama, can make it particularly hard for working mums (mums are still too often the “default parent”). Good Script Editors like Becky are hard to find and it’s time the industry recognised that they need to move to more flexible working conditions if they are not to continue to experience a major talent drain. Script Editors can work effectively from home a great deal of the time, making it easier for working parents to fit work around school runs, etc. I know that the response to Becky’s CV has been very positive and I’m sure she’ll find the perfect job’.

The Worst Witch Writer Emma Reeves

Join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events. Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018 is opening soon.

Click here to apply for the Media Parents 2018 Back to Work Scheme Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Form 2018.

July 3, 2018 @ 7:45 am Posted in How To, TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off

5 minutes with Paula Watkins, Returning HETV Production Coordinator

by Amy Walker

Having reluctantly left Production many years ago to bring up 2 children, it was unfinished business. I always intended to go back but a teaching career suited being a working mum and so it took until August 2017 to see if it was still possible to get back into TV, but instead of commercials, move into Drama, writes Paula Watkins.

Returning Production Coordinator Paula Watkins networking at Broadcast Commissioning Forum

In truth I thought it highly unlikely that anybody would want to employ someone who had been out of the industry for over 14 years. A lot has changed and with no up to date training or experience I questioned what I had to offer and almost gave up before I had even started. On a whim I made a phone call to a Producer I used to work with and a week later I began work experience on Silent Witness for the BBC.

Silent Witness (Picture Credit : BBC)

Walking in on the first day was terrifying, what would the production team make of me and what exactly did I want from the experience?  Within a very short amount of time it felt extremely familiar and comfortable and it was easy to ask millions of questions, take notes, offer help and be honest about my desire to learn everything I could to eventually be employable again within a production team. Much of the job was the same but the particular demands of TV Drama as opposed to Commercials needed to be learnt alongside all the current practices. Overriding all of this however, was a feeling that maybe there was work out there and that I did have skills to offer but just needed a way in. Being accepted onto the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme a few weeks after some further work experience on The Durrells for ITV, really felt that the universe had a plan for me.

Paula Watkins with Tiger Aspect's Cat Fox at Media Parents Job Share Event

The Media Parents course was so brilliantly supportive and helped me to realise that I could do this ‘returning to TV thing’ that I had originally thought too ambitious. There was much to thank Amy Walker for during that week but the day at the BAFTA Commissioning Conference was a highlight. Not only were many of the speakers inspiring but it affirmed that there is so much exciting TV being made and waiting to be made. I came away wanting to be part of it.  As it happened by the end of the same week I was! I started a four-week placement with Fudge Park Productions.  Within 3 weeks of sending off my Return to HETV application form I was starting work on a Comedy Drama.  All thanks to Media Parents.

So now I just had to do it. I arrived on the job on the last day of prep and therefore into an existing team. This made it more nervewracking as the relationships and working practices were already established. On the first day of filming I made my way to set before everyone else, found the Production Bus and set myself down early to settle the nerves. There was plenty to do but the challenge was to find how to be as supportive as possible and seek out things to do without interfering or usurping anyone else’s role. But I also needed to learn as much as I could. This was a golden opportunity and I wanted to make the most of every second.

Fudge Park's White Gold (Picture Credit : BBC)

PACT contracts came my way and that gave me something that I could take control of, keeping myself busy whilst getting to the know the team and, most importantly, them getting to know me. The long days and journey to and from various locations were gruelling, but this was outweighed by how much brilliant experience I was getting. Once the contracts were done it was about being there for anything to support and help with the daily challenges that always occur in Production. Towards the end of the placement, I was delighted to be asked to stay on until the end of the production. This was really exciting and gave me the confidence to believe that my skills were useful and that I had become part of the team.

The back to work plan is currently taking shape with the help of my mentor BBC Production Exec Jacqui Glanville, and Media Parents. I need to stay close to home until my youngest daughter finishes her A levels so I’ve been fortunate enough to work from home as a Production Coordinator for Merman thanks to Media Parents. When that contract finishes there is plenty to do: developing excel skills, Albert courses, getting to know Movie Magic, Final Draft and anything I can find close to home.

Returning Coordinators Paula Watkins (top left) and Zenna Barry with Sister Pictures Coordinator Maja Wlodarczyk at Media Parents IWD Drinks. Paula attended every networking event possible to get back in to TV.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14684/paula-watkins

Join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events. Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018 is opening soon.

July 2, 2018 @ 7:45 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles, TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off

media parents 2018 summer drinks & back to work scheme

by Amy Walker

We’re really delighted to be announcing the 2018 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme sponsors at our summer party this week, where talented freelancers will be joined by  Channel5, MTV, ITV, Sister Pictures, Merman, The Garden, Raw TV, 360 Production, Barcroft Productions, Warner Bros, Tiger Aspect, Fosse Films, Outline Productions, Wadell Media, Boulder Creek International, Seefood and more.

Clearcut MD Rowan Bray and guests at Media Parents Summer Party 2017. Good times!

Clearcut Pictures are sponsoring the Media Parents Summer Party for the second year running – huge thanks to Rowan Bray and her team for supporting us again. We’ll be enjoying Clearcut’s hospitality in a leafy garden on Wednesday July 4th. http://www.clearcut.cc/

We’d also like to thank the Schedule32 team and Cornish Insurance for sponsoring the event too.

Media Parents Summer Party 2017 - join us in a Bloomsbury garden!

“We take away the time-consuming job of finding and booking accommodation for TV crews.”

Schedule 32 was founded in 2005 by Jo Clement. After organising many location shoots over 15 years in the industry, Jo saw a clear need for a TV-friendly hotel agency – a 24/7 operation, that’s always keeping the budget in mind, while offering a reliable personal service so that clients don’t have to rely on online bookings. http://www.schedule32.co.uk/

Thank you to everyone who joined us last year, we look forward to seeing you this year!

Cornish Insurance has built up an enviable reputation over 28 years providing unparalleled service to TV clients. Steve McNally, Rob Smith and the team are able to understand any risk presented, with experience and market insight. Cornish take great pride in dealing with clients, from individuals to Blue Chip Companies, with a personal touch. No other Broker or Insurer will be able to offer Cornish’s niche market products. By listening to customers’ needs Cornish have created products designed specifically for you and your business. To discuss your insurance needs please contact http://cornishinsurance.co.uk/

Please sign up to the guestlist via our watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk to join us on July 4th!

If you would like an application form for our 2018 Back to Work Scheme, please click here Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Form 2018

Meet Team Media Parents at our summer party - Amy Walker (left) and Joanna Gretton look forward to meeting you.

Join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events. Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2018 is opening soon.

June 30, 2018 @ 5:46 pm Posted in Events, TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off

5 minutes with Zenna Barry, Production Coordinator scripted

by Amy Walker

2018 would be the year of new adventures for me and when I awoke on Jan 2nd I decided that the time was right to get back into Media Production.  I had always known that once my children were more independent I could start thinking of resuming my career back into Production Management.  However I had some nagging doubts, writes returning scripted Production Coordinator Zenna Barry.

Returning Production Coordinator Zenna Barry https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14984/zenna-barry

Maybe technology would have moved on too much, perhaps my age and time away from production would go against me – these are some of the worries. Regardless, I decided to put the feelers out there to see what happened.  So I exhumed my CV and reached out to ex-colleagues in the industry to meet up for coffee and discuss a plan. A good friend and my Exec at Channel m,  Vanessa Williams,  sent me a few links to job forums and the Media Parents website.  It was whilst searching through the site that I came across this blog posts http://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2017/12/poldark-and-victoria-offer-media-parents-returners-work-placements/ which sounded perfect!
Over the last 10 years I had been blessed with my 2nd child, taken voluntary redundancy and set up a successful photography business from home which enabled me to continue to be creative and earn whilst allowing the flexibility to be there for my family.  However, I have always had a passion for Drama and Film, but without any credits on relevant productions, breaking into this area seemed a daunting task. However, as long as I could prove my commitment to the genre, Media Parents would consider me for the placement…  result!!

Returning Coordinators Zenna Barry and Mike Ogden at Dock10 Studios

With that encouragement I decided to contact Michaela Eccleston, Head of Production at Red Production to ask for advice with the Drama industry.  We met for a coffee in-between her very busy schedule and she was so generous with her suggestions, even offering some work experience at Red which I accepted with open arms. Getting something on the CV sealed my acceptance onto the MP HETV Drama Return To Work Programme, funded by the HETV Drama Levy Fund, as managed by Creative Skillset. Doors were really opening for me and I felt grateful and excited.
Our first training was held at Dock 10, Media City and would be a day of meeting the other returners and updating our covering letters and CVs.  Day two and we were preparing for the networking night ahead with role plays & mock interviews. All scary stuff if you haven’t been in that mindset for a while. We also met Head of Development for CBBC Ros Attille for lunch, who gave us lots of great tips & encouraged us that the industry needs more Production Coordinators & Managers – very welcomed news.

Zenna Barry with Ros Atille and Mike Ogden at MediaCityUK

Feeling like Alan Sugar’s next apprentice I arrived with the team at Warner Brothers to put all our preparations into practice.  Networking went really well and I felt really positive that this was the right direction for me to take. Next stop we were at BVE Expo at Excel, a great place to listen to industry experts and network with ex-colleagues and new contacts.

Zenna Barry with returning Coordinator Paula Watkins, and Sister Pictures Coordinator Maja Wlodarczyk at Media Parents IWD Drinks

Over the past few months I have been on placement at Tiger Aspect on Sean Bean’s new drama Curfew, thanks to Frith Tiplady and her team, and I’ve been working with my mentor Michaela Fereday nee Eccleston and Media Parents towards a future career plan.
My advice to other media parents thinking about coming back in : don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from giving it a second go.  I am extremely positive about a future in HETV drama production. There’s no better time. Don’t doubt – believe and go for it!

@ 4:57 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, TV Returners 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