Media Parents

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Jan 31st technical catch up – who’s coming


As you know, Pro Motion and Media Parents have joined forces to offer a refresher course for industry professionals returning to work after maternity or paternity leave, or who just want to catch up on developments over 2012. There will be networking opportunities, as well as a chance to get hands on with the industry’s current ‘most popular’ line up of cameras, and a host of personnel to field any questions. Here’s who’s attending from Pro Motion, independent companies and Media Parents talent.

The event is being hosted by Caroline Bingham who is in the Media Parents Network.

The event is being hosted by Caroline Bingham, Business Development Executive, pictured left.

Alain Lolliot

Caroline will be joined by Alain Lolliot Technical Operations Manager, with Technician Lee Follett.

Jude Prior, Business Support Manager for Pro Motion will also join us at the event, as will Katie Thomas, Business Development Manager and Duncan Martin, MD.

Duncan Martin, MD

Joining us from independent companies will be Claire Brown from Media Parents, Jessica Wilson Director of Talent, Cineflix. From ITN : Bella Barr Production Executive, Emma Wood Production Co-ordinator / Manager, Jenny Smith, Production Co-ordinatorCeri Barnes Head of Production, Double Act, Louisa Carbin PM, Crackit Productions, Susie Dark HOP, Outline Productions and Vics Wilson, PM, Outline Productions. From Twenty Twenty Viv Pheysey, PM and Daisy Harding, PM. Linzi Young, Production Co-ordinator, Angel Eye Media and Anna Melin, PM, October Films.

Katie Thomas, Business Development Manager for Pro Motion will be attending the technical catch up event on Jan 31st.

Freelancers attending the event are listed below and in the Talent section of

Amy Walker

SP / Media Parents
Kelly Sweeney

Jess Goodman

John Fitzgerald

SP / Senior Producer
Maggie Kelly

SP /

Dev Prod

Zarina Dick

New to Media Parents

Kasia Uskinska

Shooting PD
Jackie Chivers

Victoria Hollingsworth

AP / Producer
Zoe Fryer

Shooting PD
Sheila Hayman

SP / Producer
Natalie Barb

Haresh Patel

Sound Recordist
Michelle Martin

Debbie Deeney

Sally Weale

Shooting SP
Susan Drummond

PD / Edit Producer
Jodie Gravett

Lesley Scarff

Jonathan Allan

Director/ FCP Editor
Shona Charlton

PD / FCP Editor
Zan Barberton

Shooting PD / FCP Editor
Amanda Ward

New to Media Parents

Promo Producer
Adetola Adeola

Evy Barry

Shooting PD
Lucy Day

Jnr PM
Shiroma Silva

Shooting PD
Amanny Mohamed

Romy Page

If you have 3+ years TV experience please join us at for great jobs, networking and events.

The guest list for this event has now closed but please keep an eye on for more details of future events.


January 30, 2013 @ 5:38 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 Minutes with Jodie Gravett… AP


I’ve been an AP for over eight years. Before that I was a researcher, prior to that, a runner, and long long ago I worked nights changing toilet rolls and delivering Pizza Express and Thai green curries in Soho’s deepest darkest edit suits. I’ve filmed in the Nepalese jungle, a landfill site in Croydon, and on a trawler in the English Channel. I’ve worked in development, on prime time flagship shows, on charity promos, on location, and caught a live mouse in the studio seconds before TX while welcoming the controller of BBC One with my free hand to watch the show go out from the side-lines. So, all in all, I’ve gained quite a bit of experience and knowledge, and felt pretty confident in my role. In all that time it never crossed my mind that having a baby might put a whole new spin on that.

Jodie Gravett is an AP looking for work through Media Parents

After Oliver was born I couldn’t imagine how it would be possible to even attempt working. Life had changed beyond all recognition, we moved to just outside London when Oliver was only a few weeks old, and he was certainly my most challenging project yet! How would it work? Are there any part time AP jobs? Is that ridiculous? And if not, how could I afford childcare and a train fare…. would it be worth it? What about career progression? What if I needed to go to Edinburgh in the middle of the night to collect a contributor who’d failed to get on the right train, or what if the scientist who’d promised to call me back half an hour ago still hasn’t or what if the camera kit still hasn’t arrived at the end of the day, the prospect of missing bed time seemed inconceivable. In fact, the prospect of missing a minute of Oliver’s little life seemed inconceivable.

But over time I noticed that I approached learning about bringing up a baby much like I might approach researching a new development project desperate to get commissioned. I read various books, went to groups – (we did it all, singing, signing, story time, swimming) spoke to experts and then decided to do it my own way anyway. The children’s centre must have dreaded my visits, – “but why exactly should my son have supplementary vitamins ‘til he’s five, what is the scientific basis, is this government advice or independent research or funded by a pharmaceutical company?”. And when the health visitor showed us a video about weaning, all I could see was the poor camera work, mute contributors, monotonous voice over and shocking music.

I realised that I had to return, at least for part of my time, or all those years of learning about anaerobic digestion, making friends with the head of national pig association, freezing at midnight filming men fix a hole in the road, and listening to the most hilarious “creative discussions” late into the evening would be wasted and all for nothing. I would not give Creative Skillset the pleasure of swelling its stat of 5000 plus women who’ve exited TV in the last 3 years, compared to just 750 men. (Creative skillset 2010) There must be a way for it to work; the television industry cannot shut out a whole section of its workforce that has a wealth of experience, passion and desire to remain part of it.

So to keep in touch with the industry while I was still breastfeeding and when the maternity pay ran out I set up a transcribing service from home. I could do it while Oliver was asleep and in the evenings and the faster I got at typing the more I could do. Before I knew it I’d branched out into post production scripts and was filling every sleeping hour of Oliver’s with frantic typing. It taught me a lot, it was like working with many different directors in a very short space of time. It was an alternative way of learning to shoot for sequences without actually doing the shooting. What I started for just a bit of extra cash and to keep my hand in, turned out to be quite a learning experience. I then did a couple of charity films with the Media Trust, and sent myself on a sound/camera refresher course. Oliver could go to his grandparents and I could get my head out of “Rabbit’s Nap” and row, row, rowing my boat for a few days.

And now, finally, after fifteen months I feel like I really need to get my teeth into a proper project. Who knows if it will work, if I will be able to afford the train fare and if I will be able to bear missing bed time, but if I don’t give it a go the children’s centre will ban me from all future visits as I’ve definitely over stayed my welcome there!

January 24, 2013 @ 3:26 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents 2012 Technical Overview : Jan 31st


Pro Motion and Media Parents have joined forces to offer a refresher course for industry professionals returning to work after maternity or paternity leave, or who just want to catch up on developments over 2012.

Caroline Bingham, Business Development Executive at Pro Motion Hire, pictured on right, will be at the event. See also

The session can be attended with or without baby, (age restrictions apply), offering an overview of technical changes in the industry during the past year. The session will include up to date information on accepted broadcaster formats, new advances in technology and much more!

There will be networking opportunities, as well as a chance to get hands on with the industry’s current ‘most popular’ line up of cameras, and a host of personnel to field any questions.

You're welcome to bring children to this event if they can't walk yet! Pictured here, Pro Motion Hire's Caroline Bingham with her twins.

The camera line up includes: Canon XF 305, C300, 5D mkii/i and from Sony: PMW-200, PMW-500, PDW-F800 and NEX-FS700 (with slo mo capabilities). We feel this line up will give a great overview of the cameras currently being used on a range of different productions.

We will also discuss workflows for these formats which will include a demonstration on how to ingest media onto a laptop and subsequent back up onto a hard drive.

This event will be hosted in a very relaxed and informal environment, lasting approximately 2 hours. Places are limited, so if you are interested in attending this inaugural session on the 31st January, please book with Media Parents:

Contact Amy Walker & Claire Brown

If you have 3+ years TV experience please join us at for great jobs, networking and events. Our next event is a technical catch up on Jan 31st, please email to attend.

Media Parents is a website and organisation which aims to bring flexible jobs and standard contracts in media into one place, to help freelance working parents or anyone who wants to balance the demands of media and other commitments, and to make it easier for employers to find this highly skilled and experienced part of the TV workforce.

January 16, 2013 @ 2:08 pm Posted in News Comments Off

TXing Tonight : Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure – 8pm, Five


PD / Camera Operator Phil Broadhurst writes about his latest gig, biking across South Africa with Charley Boorman.

Last year I spent eight weeks in South Africa on the road with Charley Boorman for a 4 x 60’ series for Five. We started off in Cape Town and headed through every corner of the country on motorbike, covering a total of 10,000km, before finishing up in Cape Town again amid a massive convoy of fellow bikers.

Last week’s episode saw Charley abseil off Table Mountain, visit the prison on Robben Island and cage-dive with great white sharks in Gansbaai. Tonight we are having adventures in the Drakensburg mountains!

First we pick the coldest day of the year to attempt to drive up the Sani Pass into Lesotho. It’s a steep dirt road cut into the side of the mountain – get it wrong and you’ll be sent careering into the abyss. Parts of the road are in shadow all day long and are so thick with ice that even standing up becomes impossible. At one point I am out of the vehicle (luckily!) filming when our driver gets it all wrong and nearly goes backwards over the edge. Next we head out on a trek to camp out at the top of Tugela Falls, the second highest waterfall in the world, pitching our tents on the snow at the top of Sentinel Peak.

The route takes in some grim chain ladders with frozen metal rungs bolted into the rock-face, and all the crew have to climb them in a keen icy wind. We spend the night freezing under the stars in a howling gale but are rewarded with a pure morning of stunning vistas.

We had an awesome, supportive crew on this series, both in London and on location, which is so important on a show like this when you are working to a flexible schedule and spending literally every waking hour together – it was a joy to shoot!

Episode 2 of Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure TX’s tonight at 8pm on Five.

I am a creative self-shooting PD with specialist factual, natural history and obs-doc credits. I am a calm and diligent director, combining strong editorial skills with exceptional photography. I’ve had work through Media Parents

• Credits for BBC, ITV, PBS, Discovery, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Five
• Filmed extensively overseas. Expedition trained. Valid I-Visa for USA
• Worked with HDCAM, P2, XDCAM, Varicam, DSR, XF305, EX3, GoPro’s
• Also skilled at timelapse, mounted/hidden cameras, jib/crane work, IR & camera traps
• Experienced working with animals/wildlife, including long-lens/high-speed work
• Able to manage own sound/lighting if required
• Methodical and reliable location data manager

If you have 3+ years TV experience please join us at for great jobs, networking and events. Our next event is a technical catch up on Jan 31st, please email to attend.

@ 12:50 pm Posted in News Leave a comment

5 Minutes with . . . Ana Garcia, shooting PD / AP


I’ve been working in the world of broadcast documentary for nearly seven years now. I was always one of the ones who knew what they wanted to do. All the way through school and all the way through Uni I was like a broken record, “I want to make films, I want to make films.” I wanted to write and I wanted to direct and I wasn’t willing to wait for the opportunities to come my way. I sold pretty much everything I owned (not much!) at 25 to make my first “proper” short film.

Ana Garcia is in the TALENT section of

I had a degree in Film, TV, Theatre and Italian from the University of Bristol, I had read a lot of books, I’d done a weekend course at Raindance – I was sooo ready. I managed to fly a small crew out to Gibraltar, chartered a small boat and convinced a couple of good looking builders to perform for me for free. The premise was fool proof; 2 Gibraltarian brothers (after the funeral of their father who died tragically in a boat accident) sail out to sea and find an illegal immigrant from Africa drowning in the straits of Gibraltar. One brother wants to save him, the other wants to hand him in to the police … !!! It was ambitious! My cast and crew were fantastic but the film has been buried in the deepest darkest corner of my flat ever since. I said when I make my wonderful fantastic tour de force Oscar winning feature, I’ll add the short on as an extra to give other film makers hope. Unfortunately the short is still in the box . . .

Three years ago I began the arduous task of raising funds for my first feature documentary film, Gibraltar. It was a soul destroying, long and painful process but I got there in the end. I somehow managed to get Revolution Films (Michael Winterbottom and Andrew Eaton) to produce it so I had a great team around me. I’m originally from Gibraltar and felt very strongly that the story of the people on the Rock should be told. It’s a great David and Goliath story and I really gave it my everything. My grandfather was one of Gibraltar’s most prominent leaders when Franco closed the border between Gibraltar and Spain, so I had access to great archive but also my family was a part of the story. My family, like many others, were separated by the gates at the border and many never lived to see each other again. It became very personal and for 2 years it completely took over my life. When I finally finished the film, I was proud and happy and relieved! I thought, this is it! Finally people will see I can really direct, I can really shoot, I can really produce – no more AP jobs for me! I expected festival success and instant distribution and broadcast. My moment had arrived! It was all worth it! Idiot! I think I spent a year crying over rejection after rejection. It was horrible. I had beautiful, wonderful critical reviews but no one would broadcast it. It was subsequently near impossible to find work because I had a big hole in my broadcast credits while I was off shooting my feature doc. In the eyes of the industry I was still a researcher / AP, still waiting for someone to give me that golden opportunity . . .

Ana made the jump from AP to PD on Channel 5's Botched Up Bodies which TXed this week.

I did go back to AP-ing and then DV directing broadcast documentary and finally, finally, I somehow managed to convince Transparent Television to let me PD and shoot a prime time two part documentary for Channel Five, Botched Up Bodies. Transparent were fantastic. They started me off as a DV Director and the more I did, the more they let me do. Eventually they gave me the job and I shot, produced and directed both documentaries. First episode TX-ing on Mon 14th Jan at 10pm (yesss!).

It’s been a steep learning curve but I am proud of my work so far. I still don’t know what the lessons are from having thrown myself so whole-heartedly in to my own independent projects early on. I thought they would get me further faster, but in the short term they slowed me down. Perhaps in 10 years I’ll know the answer.

Gibraltar has been sold to broadcasters in Finland, Australia and Spain and when I finally get Richard Klein to watch it …

I live in hope.

If you have 3+ years TV experience please join us at for great jobs, networking and events. Our next event is a technical catch up on Jan 31st, please email to attend.

January 14, 2013 @ 4:45 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Five Minutes with… Dylan Howitt, PD, Preditor, Dad


Dylan Howitt writes about alternating as a shooting PD and full-time carer for his young child. Read about his work for broadcast, Macmillan Cancer Research and “the tyranny of wiping”.  Dylan’s recent series World’s Scariest… a job he got through Media Parents, will transmit this Spring on Channel 5. For more info and to contact Dylan please see

Getting ready to film the Hurricane Sandy clean-up with the Marines for Mentorn Media.

I’ve finished a 12-hour day shooting for Macmillan Cancer Support and just made it home in time to see my 2 year old before her bath and bedtime routine. My head is full of the inspiring people I met and filmed with, the heartbreaking stories they told me, as well as multiple worries about did I get all the cutaways and was there too much background noise in that interview we did? I’ll back up the rushes later but right now Sylvie wants to play horsey, read Shoebaby and dress Pooh bear – all at the same time. I make a conscious effort to shift to her level but it takes a while. But then the cares of the day are gone in building tunnels and running baths.

Dadhood and TV…can they mix? I’ve often heard ‘TV is a young person’s world’ so when I knew I was having a child it seemed like it might be time to find something else to do, get a proper job maybe. I’ve loved reading the Media Parents blog to see how other people have been able to achieve that tricky balancing act of being a parent and working in TV. This is the only forum I’ve come across where these things are discussed and it’s been huge not feeling like I’m the only one trying to do both. From my point of view, it’s definitely still a work in progress.

Dylan Howitt on location in La Paz.

Before my daughter was born I had about 12 fantastic years making films, first as an editor then as a shooting PD, all over the world. Working extremely long days or travelling for weeks at a time in remote locations was all part of the thrill and I often felt I had the best job in the world. Some highlights have included filming sculptors in Mozambique who work with cut up guns for BBC4, a week in Bolivia with Damian Lewis for BBC Daily Politics, and managing to get an exclusive interview with the 17th incarnation of the Tibetan Karmapa not long after he’d fled to India (for Five).

But as soon as we knew we were having a child my whole attitude changed. I was unsure about whether to take on riskier assignments, turning down, for example, the chance to make a bunch of short films in the Middle East, as well as a job in Afghanistan (still a bit gutted about the former). I actively looked for UK based work and started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to sustain the long hours and insecurity of freelance life and still be a good dad. I had moments when I thought about finding something else to do, at different points fantasizing about teaching, gardening, running a café, or going back to college and trying to make it as an artist – because obviously that would be so much easier than a life in TV. Of course I was too busy working and getting ready for the baby to put any of these ideas into action…

When Sylvie was born though I also experienced the upside of the flexible freelance life. I took off a Scandanavian-esque 6 months which was wonderful for the spirit (if not for the bank balance). I was able to spend loads of time getting to know my newborn and readjusting to our new life, which I strongly believe is something all parents – mums and dads – should be able to do. Also, my partner got a job as an academic researcher on a public health project, requiring us to travel to Ecuador for three different trips, sometimes for months at a time. So again I was able to take off chunks of time and be a full time dad while she worked.

Switching roles like this has been really challenging: it’s basically a constant negotiation about who is doing the childcare and has meant me turning down lots of job offers (which never feels good as a freelancer – will they suddenly stop asking?) But I think ultimately we’ve both benefitted. My partner has been able to sustain and move forward in her career. And I’ve found out what it is to look after a toddler full time, an experience both massively hilarious and utterly exhausting in equal measure. I’ll never be the one who asks “what have you been doing all day?”

Filming World's Scariest in Mexico with Simon Anderson. Simon is a researcher in the TALENT section of

I was able to take on a 3 weeks shoot in The States recently only because I knew it would be my turn to stay at home the next time. Having such a duel life isn’t always easy – switching between childcare and professional life is quite a mental switch. For me it takes a couple of days to properly get back into kit lists, shooting scripts, lenses, and colour temperature, after living in a world of potty training, Iggle Piggle, play dates and what someone called ‘the tyranny of wiping’.

Planning things is challenging too, especially when I don’t know if the next job is for 2 weeks or 6 months. But what has given me more options is having what is apparently called a ‘portfolio’ career, which is a posh way of saying I wear various hats. I’m just as happy making films for charities as for TV, and taking on whichever roles are needed while concentrating mainly on shooting and directing. So right now I’m directing, shooting and editing some films for Macmillan. Before that I did a great 2 month stint as a shooting PD for Mentorn on ‘World’s Scariest’ and ‘Superstorm USA’ (for Five and BBC3 respectively), work I got through Media Parents. I’ve made some shorts for BBC Learning, and also been teaching at the Documentary Filmmakers Group and the University of Westminster. All the while perfecting my story-reading and Lego building skills, and getting ready for another 6 weeks in South America in 2013. Like I say, a work in progress…

Dylan Howitt lives in Brighton and works everywhere. Contact him through the TALENT section of

If you have 3+ years TV experience please join us at for great jobs, networking and events. Our next event is a technical catch up on Jan 31st, please email to attend.

January 11, 2013 @ 12:21 pm Posted in News Leave a comment

5 minutes with… Caroline Bingham, Business Development Executive


Caroline Bingham, Business Development Executive at Pro Motion Hire, writes about her career change from freelance sound recordist to accommodate motherhood, and the Media Parents technical workshop on January 31st that will highlight technical changes over the past year.

Caroline Bingham: "In my late twenties I started to give my future some serious thought and just couldn’t see how on earth it was possible to have a young family and work as a freelance sound recordist."

I’d wanted to work in the television industry since I was a teenager.  I loved the idea of working in documentaries and being able to be part of a team telling people’s stories.  Against school career advice I embarked on a practical media degree and in 1999 headed to London from Sheffield to start on the path of my chosen route, camera and sound operation.  I worked long hours for low pay for 2 years as a kit technician and in-house camera and sound assistant.  The work paid off and in 2002 I took the step to become a freelance location sound recordist.  With the aid of a Skillset grant I attended a residential course at the BBC Wood Norton College in Worcestershire to consolidate my training and so my freelance career began.  I loved being on location and felt privileged to be involved with projects filming diverse and fascinating subjects.

Caroline Bingham networking at a Pro Motion Hire event. For information about the Media Parents Pro Motion Hire technical event please email

However, working as a freelancer is hard.  You have no support, the hours are erratic and you never have any idea when the next pay cheque is going to arrive.  In my late twenties I started to give my future some serious thought and just couldn’t see how on earth it was possible to have a young family and work as a freelance sound recordist.  I had no family close by to call on at the drop of hat to look after children and couldn’t envisage a flexible enough childcare scheme that would allow me to call at 6pm the night before and book my children in for the next day.  I knew of very few female crew members to ask for their advice or use them as role models (Media Parents sadly didn’t exist then) and so started putting steps in place to move into a more secure career choice.  I didn’t want to leave the industry I’d worked so hard to enter and so could only see a change in role as a long term viable option.

"I’ve always felt quite entrepreneurial and wanted to seek more of a business development role and was fortunate enough to have been offered that role, in which I still work today." Caroline Bingham, Business Development Executive.

Using my experience I took a permanent staff position booking crews and equipment for shoots.  I’ve always felt quite entrepreneurial and wanted to seek more of a business development role and was fortunate enough to have been offered that role, in which I still work today.

In 2010 I fell pregnant and to my surprise and shock my husband and I discovered we were expecting identical twins! In the September of that year Connor and Curtis were born and my world changed forever.  It was a challenging first year but I always thought I would want to return to work.  I’d worked so hard for many years to reach a level of expertise, knowledge and contacts within the industry and wasn’t prepared to give that all up. However making the decision to return to work after a baby wasn’t an easy one.  Having two also made the decision tougher with the cost of childcare to consider.  I was incredibly fortunate to be working for Pro Motion Hire which was very happy for me to return on a part-time basis.  I know it’s not always easy for companies to offer this opportunity but felt so grateful to be in a company where being a mother didn’t mean the end of the road for my career if I didn’t want to work full-time.

For more information on the event mentioned please email To contact Caroline Bingham re Pro Motion Hire, please find her in the Network section of

Being a working mum has given me a new perspective and I believe it has made me better at my job.  I feel a more rounded individual but returning to work was daunting.  I work in a technical sales roles and was very worried about how much the industry would have moved on in the year I’d been away and how out of my depth I might feel.  It was that anxiety that gave me the inspiration to address this issue for other people returning to the industry after a career break such as maternity leave. We are about to host our first workshop highlighting industry changes in the last year, what new camera equipment has been released and what is expected for the forthcoming year.  Media Parents is the perfect partner for us to hold these workshops with.  It’s about offering a helping hand to build up the confidence in those that are at a time in their career where confidence isn’t sky high.  It’s a chance to get the old grey cells whirring again and an opportunity to meet others in the same situation.

If you are interested in knowing more about the January 31st  event or would like to register please contact

If you have 3+ years TV experience please join us at for great jobs, networking and events.

January 4, 2013 @ 4:51 pm Posted in News Leave a comment