Media Parents

Monthly Archives: May 2011

5 Minutes with… Donna Taberer on the Fast Train Event


Fast Train – the biggest TV freelance training event ever in the UK – brought a huge buzz to White City recently.  The event was hosted by the BBC Academy, sponsored by Skillset, involved 14 training partners and commercial training providers,  and Media Parents members were out in force!  Head of Public Partnerships for BBC Academy, Donna Taberer, writes here about the day.

Head of Public Partnerships for BBC Academy, Donna Taberer. Donna is in the Media Parents NETWORK section at

Around 350 freelancers including several Media Parents members took part in the taster training sessions and master classes. There were a total of 1,457 attendances across 72 separate practical training sessions – everything from scripting, pitching, self shooting, editing to 3D, to multi-camera directing a band. The master classes  - with some of the biggest industry names including BBC Controllers Janice Hadlow, Zai Bennett, Richard Klein and Liam Keelan, pioneering documentary producer Roger Graef, Nic Morris, director of photography of Being Human, Shine’s Jamie Munro, Silver River owner and author Daisy Goodwin, Richard McKerrow of Love Productions, ITV commissioner Jo Clinton-Davis, Channel 4’s Andrew Jackson, So Television’s Graham Stuart, and Sky’s Stuart Murphy, were also fully subscribed.

The informal feedback from the day showed just how much training is valued by freelances. 87% of attendees said they found the day extremely useful and the other 13% very useful. 100% would consider booking more training after Fast Train and 100% would be interested in attending next year.

Donna Taberer, Fast Train organiser, said, ‘We were amazed at the response to Fast Train, and to the demand for places.  We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from delegates and contributors. There was overwhelming gratitude that the BBC, along with partners, could offer such a range of training and all for free. The day had amazing support from BBC programme makers and executives.  We’re now actively looking to see how we can replicate the event in other parts of the UK.” link to Fast Train film featuring Janice Hadlow, Roger Graef, Anne Morrison and others.  Please go here for further information for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

May 31, 2011 @ 11:06 am Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents met Vera, Splash and Rival at Envy


Many thanks to ENVY for hosting Media Parents meets Vera, Splash, Rival and more in Central London.

Jane Lush and Kate Gibbard from Splash Media meet Media Parents at ENVY

Steve Wynne and Howard Myers, MDs from Rival Media, and Splash Media HoP and MD Kate Gibbard and Jane Lush meet Media Parents

Geoff Atkinson from Vera Productions meets Media Parent Shiroma Silva

Splash Media HoP Kate Gibbard meets a Media Parent

Vera Productions HoP Rebecca Parkinson and MD Geoff Atkinson meet Media Parents

PM Emily Freshwater

Steve Wynne, MD Rival Media talks to a Media Parent

Gregg McNeill from Big Baby Productions talks to Media Parents PD Ian Greaves

Elliott Cranmer, MD ShootMedia talks to Media Parents

Howard Myers, MD Rival Media talks to Media Parent Emma Griffiths

PD / SP Claudine Parrish and PM Jess Goodman

Media Parents Administrator Udo Okpara caught redhanded.

SP Delyth Lloyd, PD Stephanie West and Emma Lyne, AP

PM Jess Goodman, Media Parents Director Amy Walker, photographed by Drama Co-ordinator Maggie Walsh

May 18, 2011 @ 12:23 am Posted in News 1 Comment

Media Parents meet… Vera, Splash and Rival

by for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

On Tuesday 17th May 2011, Media Parents members (from will be meeting MDs and Heads of Production from Vera Productions, Splash Media and Rival Media in Central London.  Here’s who’s coming…

Rival Media

Howard Myers, Joint MD Rival Media

Howard Myers has over 25 years experience in the TV industry, during which time he has created and produced award-winning programmes in live, factual, entertainment and scripted genres.  He has been nominated for several BAFTA’s, an RTS Award, and has won both international Prix Jeunesse and New York Festival Awards including the Grand Jury prize for his original scripted comedy series Bus Life.

Steve Wynne, Joint MD Rival Media

Named a Broadcast “Hot Shot” in 2002, Steve Wynne has over 20 years of production experience in television, radio and emerging technologies.  A founding board member of the Children’s Media Conference, his UK credits as producer include BAFTA Award winning shows SMTV /CD:UK, The Disney Channel Kids Awards and Star Ticket Active.  Steve sits on many international judging panels at BAFTA and the International Emmy Committee.

Splash Media

Jane Lush, Joint MD Splash Media

Jane Lush began her programme making career at the BBC, producing popular documentaries and features. She turned BBC One’s flagship travel programme, Holiday into an all year round hit show. She exec produced BBC One docs including Martin Clunes, Born to be Wild. As Controller of BBC Daytime she can be blamed for commissioning Weakest Link, which became a global hit around the world, Bargain HuntEscape to the Country and Flog It, and created Doctors, a daytime soap opera from scratch – all still stalwarts of the schedule. As Controller of Entertainment Commissioning her legacy includes Strictly Come DancingThe ApprenticeDragons’ DenHouse of Tiny Tearaways and Test the Nation. She was also responsible for the BBC’s Comedy output, and steered Have I Got News for You through all its controversies since it began.  She started Splash Media with Fenia Vardanis in 2007.

Kate Gibbard, Head of Production Splash Media

Kate Gibbard started her career at Twofour where she worked on a wide variety of productions including The Hotel Inspector, Through Hell and High Water and Dead Famous for many broadcasters such as the BBC, Channel 4, Five and Living.

Vera Productions

Geoff Atkinson, MD Vera Productions

Geoff Atkinson is Joint MD of Vera, which he founded with Rory Bremner, Vivienne Clore and Elaine Morris in 1994. He is also an established comedy writer.

Starting off his career at Punch magazine, he ended up working with the likes of Douglas Adams and John Lloyd and was one of the main writers on Spitting Image. He has also written for Michael Barrymore, Lenny Henry and Cannon and Ball.

As a Producer he is best known for Rory Bremner’s shows along with the two Johns (Bird and Fortune), Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression, Mark Thomas Product and the recently acclaimed Getting On. He has also Exec Produced numerous Dispatches including Politicians For Hire.

Rebecca Parkinson, Head of Production Vera Productions

Rebecca Parkinson joined Vera in November 2010, and her aim is to maintain and build on the family friendly ethos and creative environment which exists at the company, and for which it is well known. Prior to this she worked with Stuart Murphy at Sky and at Twofour as Head of Production. Her PM experience was mainly garnered at Objective where she worked in factual, entertainment and comedy – and magic of course! As a co-ordinator she worked at most of the major independents on projects ranging from documentary to hidden camera. She has a daughter, Lily, aged 2 and a half.


Dominic Briere-Edney, Business Development Manager ENVY

Envy is one of the leading post houses in the UK and has three buildings in Rathbone Place, Margaret Street and Foley Street.

Envy is experienced with every type of HD and SD production and offer 95 operational areas including off-line AVID, Final Cut Pro, DS Nitris, Symphony, Grading, Smoke, Flame, 3D and Audio, including a Dolby licensed studio. We also have a courtyard garden, two fully licensed bars, a study and a 750 sq ft rooftop terrace.

ENVY is very proud to have won the Best Post Production House at the Broadcast Awards in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In late July 2011, ENVY is expanding, adding nearly an extra 10.000 sq ft in Rathbone Place which will include off line suites, audio and vfx.

Envy is thrilled to support the great work of Media Parents and look forward to continue to do so.

Media Parents

Amy Walker, Site Director Media Parents

Freelance Series Producer Amy Walker created the Media Parents website in 2010 in the hope that it would help experienced talent to stay within the creative industries, by listing opportunities for flexible work and standard contracts.  Within a year Media Parents has over 400 talented subscribers, a network of thousands, and works with more than 200 TV and film companies. Media Parents is placing talented people in great jobs on a weekly basis, and getting great feedback from everyone involved. is a lovely place to be.

Udo Okpara works with Amy as Admin Assistant at Media Parents.  Udo studied Ancient History at UCL  (see below) and spends most of his spare time training in Judo.

Udo Okpara, Admin Assistant Media Parents

May 17, 2011 @ 12:30 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with… Terry Tyldesley, PD/mum/rockstar


Instead of buying a Harley Davidson, I started a grrrl band. And yes I’m over 40, and rapidly turning into Cheryl Cole’s worst nightmare, writes TERRY TYLDESLEY.

Pink rocker Terry Tyldesley fronts the band Suburban Mousewife and is a Producer / Director. She can be found in the TALENT section of

Suburban Mousewife are unashamedly lo-fi, political, punky and a bit poppy, and on Friday 6th May we’re playing at Amy Lamé’s Camden Mayoress’ Ball (scroll down for FREE tickets) along with hotly-tipped young bands, and cool DJs.  It’s a world away from PD-ing documentaries and award-winning current affairs, (though there have been a few rock and roll films too).

It’s been a transferrable skillsfest so far. I’ve learned about singing, sound, cabling, new bands, social media and widgets, and making a downloadable EP. My script-writing is being finessed by crafting punchy songs and I’m well on my way to being a Multimedia Parent with a 360º venture, and plenty of programme ideas.

Terry Tyldesley (left) is in the TALENT section of please use the link to book her for your next gig.

The band has had an enormous amount of goodwill, and yes, cheering, and played all kinds of trendy venues and small festivals. We’re not just tolerated, we get invited back. Being outspoken females of a certain age (3/5 of us are parents) is our USP, and we played a riotous gig at star jewellers Tatty Devine’s Xmas party.

My bandmates are 4 gutsy women, including a vivacious physics teacher (I’m determined to get her on TV), an amazing art lecturer, an angel-voiced copyright expert turned professional musician, and a local indie legend.

As for my kids, they think it’s just what mums do. They’ve only seen us once, at the sole venue they could legally get into – a street festival. The older one feigned embarrassment and the younger one came up and kissed me mid-song – very sweet, but a bit distracting. My husband is wonderfully supportive and doubles as photographer and roadie.

Terry Tyldesley: "As for my kids, they think it’s just what mums do... The older one feigned embarrassment and the younger one came up and kissed me mid-song – very sweet, but a bit distracting."

Playing in a band is a refreshingly direct way of communicating – you can see why film stars (hello Hugh Laurie) itch to do it. It’s like having your own TV station and no channel controller.  Our favourite song, My Idol Is Me, is all about airhead culture and older women being banished from TV. Simon Cowell won’t like it, but it’s still catchy.

Not everyone’s impressed though. An AP I worked with was completely unfazed by my secret, (now not so secret) life. Her previous PD was also a burlesque dancer.

*** You can win tickets to the ball by entering a competition on the Tatty Devine website:

Gig details:

EP download: for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

May 6, 2011 @ 9:44 am Posted in Events, News Leave a comment

Robert Horne walks in memory of his son

Freelance Lighting Director Robert Horne is currently walking the length of the Thames in memory of his son Elliot.  Please read his letter to Media Parents below, and sponsor him at
Here is the letter he wrote to Media Parents and some photos from DAY ONE: May 4th when he started his walk in the Cotswolds.

Day 1: Lighting Designer Robert Horne starts his Thames walk in the Cotswolds on May 4th.

Hi Amy,
My name is Robert Horne and I am a freelance lighting director. I joined Media Parents on facebook last June as you were recommended and because I had my first child due a couple of weeks later. I thought it would be quite nice as I was about to become a “media parent”.
Sadly, Elliot contracted an infection in the womb and died during the final stages of labour. After his death my wife and I received a lot of help and support from SANDS, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity (Charity Registration No. 299679). They also fund research into the causes of stillbirths.

So to support them and in memory of Elliot I am setting out to walk the entire length of the River Thames (184 miles) over the next twelve days.
I wondered if there might be anywhere on your site that you might be able to give me a mention. I fully understand if this is not something you do, but you can but ask.
My just giving page is :
There will also be a blog:
If you can help that would be great.  Thanks for your time,
Robert Horne
Since this email was published through Media Parents there has been a fantastic response from people connected with Media Parents and beyond – please help to keep him going by sponsoring Robert a bit more, and do look out for him in Broadcast Magazine shortly.  More updates as we get them.

Day 1: "Not what I was expecting" Robert Horne.

Day 1: Robert's photo of the first bridge over the Thames.

Day 2: Cricklade to Radcot. "Old Father Thames keeping an eye on all who pass. Not quite sure why he has a spade," Robert Horne walks on.

Thames Walk Click on the link to see Robert’s Itinerary.

Day 3: Robert Horne between Radcot and Swinford.

End of Day 3: Rob's feet after 38 miles of the Thames path.

Day 4: Swinford to Abingdon, 16 miles. Rob's wife Jo joins him on the walk - many congratulations to both of you!

Day 5 : Rob Horne after Sunday lunch with Jo.

End of Day 5: 30 miles in, the first blister.

Day 6 feet. Wallingford to Reading, another 18 miles walked and just shy of £2,500 raised.

Day 6: The view from Reading Travelodge.

Day 7: Reading to Aston, Robert Horne passes the 100 mile mark!

Day 7: 72.5 miles left and over £2,500 raised for SANDS.

Day 8 : Hurley to Windsor, 18 miles.

May 5, 2011 @ 5:38 pm Posted in News Leave a comment