Media Parents

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Media Parents CV Surgery October 1st – who’s coming…


Thanks so much to everyone who is coming along to the Media Parents CV Surgery on October 1st, and to ENVY for hosting and Shift 4 for sponsoring. Here’s who will be joining us to talk CVs and selling yourself on paper:

Chloe Samwell-Smith

Chloe Samwell-Smith
Production Recruitment Manager, Endemol UK

Chloe Samwell-Smith has been with Endemol for almost 14 years in the HR department, recruiting and nurturing talent, and looking after HR needs of productions and permanent staff.

deborah lane winter

Deborah Lane Winter
Open4 Channels Specialist, Channel 4

Deborah runs Open 4,  a new online learning platform that’s available to everyone. Open 4 is part of Open Channels (an innovative collaboration between Channel 4 and the BBC) and is supported by Creative Skillset.

priscilla baffour

Priscilla Baffour
Industry Talent Specialist, Channel 4

Priscilla looks after 4Talent which works across the country nurturing and developing new talent.

Elaine Day
Director of Production, DCD Media

Elaine Day

Elaine was appointed as DCD Media’s Director of Production in January 2012 to oversee the production output of September Films, Prospect Pictures, Prospect Cymru and Rize USA.

Prior to that Elaine was Director of Production for September Films, where she supervised September’s entertainment, factual and drama slate including PENN & TELLER: FOOL US, RICHARD HAMMOND’S BLAST LAB, PREGNANT MAN, BRIDEZILLAS, HOUSE OF AMERICA and BREATHTAKING. Elaine began her career at the BBC, where her diverse credits range from MASTERMIND and NEWSNIGHT to BLEAK HOUSE and A PERFECT SPY. As a freelance Script Supervisor, Elaine worked on feature films and television dramas, including BUSTER and BEHAVING BADLY.

Jane Manning

Jane Manning
Head of Production, October Films

With 25 years experience in TV production, Jane has overseen over 200 hours of content covering current affairs, documentary, factual entertainment and live events for worldwide broadcasters, and for corporate clients.

Jane is a member of the October board and, as Head of Production, is integral to the company’s creative, strategic and commercial planning. She manages programme output and together with the Managing Director is responsible for the day-to-day running of the company.  She is also in charge of personnel, and takes particular interest in mentoring and growing talent within the company. Jane is a Mentor on the CDN Senior Mentoring Scheme and is a judge of television industry awards, most recently the Broadcast and Grierson Awards.

Nicky Searle

Nicky Searle
Head Of Talent, Dragonfly Film & TV

Nicky Searle has been Head of Talent at Dragonfly since May 2013.   After a production career in music, entertainment and event television, spending most of her time interviewing bands and working with key presenters she moved across to talent management in 2007.  Most recently she set up the talent department at NBCUniversal International, and prior to that oversaw all production recruitment at Optomen.  In six years of talent management she has worked across a variety of genres, from specialist factual to constructed reality.

Yvonne Bainton

Yvonne Bainton
Head of Production, Dragonfly

Yvonne joined Dragonfly in June 2013 as interim Head of Production. Prior to joining Yvonne had been working as a Line Producer/Production Manager on some of the biggest shows in factual television – most recently series 3 of 24hours in A&E (C4) at The Garden Productions and prior to that she spent two years working on The Apprentice at Boundless Productions. Previously Yvonne was resident Line Producer at Windfall Films for 8 years where she helped bring complex and challenging projects to the screen including the BAFTA winning gargantuan series Inside Nature’s Giants (C4/NG) and their two innovative reality dramas Born with Two Mothers (C4)and Richard is my Boyfriend (C4).

Amy Walker

Amy Walker
Director, Media Parents

Amy runs Media Parents in addition to working as a factual series producer. She will greet everyone at Tuesday’s CV Event and ensure it runs smoothly. Profile links for talent attending will be sent to each of the talent managers in advance, and timed appointments will take place on a first come, first served basis on the night. Currently making a new series with Bear Grylls, Amy has probably seen a million different TV CVs since her first job in TV as Peter Bazalgette’s PA and she has recently written a piece for The Guardian which contains some CV advice for returners to the workplace:

The Shift 4 team who are sponsoring the event : From L to R, Alex Trezies (MD), Amy Swan (Marketing and Business Development), Alex Thompson (MD)

With thanks to ENVY post production for hosting the event.

The next Media Parents event is our CV Surgery on October 1st. For networking, jobs and great events please join

September 29, 2013 @ 10:59 pm Posted in News Comments Off

TXing Tonight : Inside Broadmoor, Monday 30th September, 9pm, Channel 5

Made by Wildfire Television, Inside Broadmoor is a two-parter. This important and absorbing documentary charting the history of Broadmoor Hospital has brought together two Media Parents – Tracy Garrett as Production Manager and Karen Hobbs for the Costume in the reconstructions, writes Karen Hobbs.
150 Years of Insanity, Part One  - Ripper and Co. 1863 – 1952  TXes on Channel 5 at 9pm on Monday 30th September. Part two – Patients or Prisoners? 1953 – 2013 can be seen on Monday 7th October 2013, 9pm, Channel 5.

The next Media Parents event is our CV Surgery on October 1st. For networking, jobs and great events please join

@ 5:32 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with… Amy Swan at Shift 4, sponsors of Media Parents CV Surgery


Shift 4 has sponsored Media Parents CV Surgery on October 1st. Here Amy Swan, who heads up Shift 4’s Marketing and New Business, explains why…

The Shift 4 Team: From L to R, Alex Trezies (MD), Amy Swan (Marketing and Business Development), Alex Thompson (MD)

Your CV is your first chance to make a good impression on a potential employer. It should speak loudly of your skills, experience and value and all in a few seconds because, in the fast moving world of production, that’s probably all the time a CV will get. Making your CV the best it possibly could be will make all the difference in getting you the work you want.

That’s why Shift 4 are really pleased to be sponsoring Media Parents’ CV Surgery event, to help freelancers give their CVs style as well as substance and to connect them with production companies for advice, guidance and networking. The event will be attended by employers from Channel 4, Dragonfly Film & TV, Endemol, September Films, October Films and DCD Media. Earlier this year Shift 4 underwent a total makeover, with all new branding including a new logo and a new website. The process of creating and rolling this out has proved to us how important it is to stand out in an ever competitive market. Presenting yourself well, whether you’re a company or an individual, is key to your success. Shift 4 are now reaping the benefits.

Shift 4 has been supplying and supporting broadcast production for over 20 years, pulling out every stop to help clients get the job done. As you’d expect, our range of camera, sound, lighting and grip equipment is extensive and we pride ourselves on its quality and maintenance. But what sets us apart is the way we work alongside our clients as one of the production team. Providing advice, demos, training and 24/7 back-up in addition to kit supply and crewing, our slick but friendly and flexible ‘extra mile’ approach makes our service priceless.

Amy Swan with her daughters Frances and Ruby.

Amy Swan worked as a freelance Series Producer and, after having two children 18 months apart, switched to facilities hire, joining Shift 4 in October 2012.

To reserve a place at the Media Parents CV Surgery on October 1st you must be a subscriber to Media Parents. Details of the event are on the watercooler at

The next Media Parents event is our CV Surgery on October 1st. For networking, jobs and great events please join

September 16, 2013 @ 10:17 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with… Harriet Wallace, on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme


On the plane to Edinburgh all I could think was the same thought over and over again, writes Harriet Wallace, two whole days without children, two whole days without children, TWO WHOLE DAYS WITHOUT CHILDREN! I know this really wouldn’t be a big deal to many people, but to me (someone who hasn’t spent one night away from their children in the last 5 and a half years), this was a very big deal. Two days of uninterrupted adult conversation, two days of clean, snot-free clothes and most excitingly two whole nights of sleep.

Harriet Wallace with her two boys. Harriet is in the TALENT section of Media Parnents.

Now, I don’t want you to start thinking that I just applied for the Media Parents back to work scheme to get away from my children – although as the school holidays draw to an exhausting end, this seems a pretty valid reason to me. I applied because there was what can only be described as, a creative ‘hole’ in me. Emotionally I am fulfilled, financially we just about scrape through but creatively, there is definitely something lacking. I miss the buzz, the banter and most of all the funny, intelligent people who make the weird and wonderful world of telly go round. By the time I had left the Edinburgh TV Festival, I felt like that hole could be filled (Oh god not sure this analogy is working now!), and my excitement for returning to the land of telly had been well and truly ignited.

I would love to say that I arrived in Edinburgh bristling with confidence and raring to go. The reality is, I was terrified. It was like my first day at school, times a thousand.  What do I wear? Where do I go? Will I recognise anyone? And if I do, will they recognise me? I have been out of TV for ten years, and all of a sudden ten years felt like a very, very long time. Luckily for me, I had three other women to walk through the school gates with, feeling exactly the same emotions – Sidra, Ali and Kirsty. This is one of the real benefits of Media Parents – the support, the network, and the solidarity you get from it – you’re in it together. These three women, who I can genuinely say will be friends for life, were three of the funniest, most creative people I have ever met.  With a TV credit list between them that would make any programme controller salivate: Faking It; Location, Location, Location and The Comedy Lab, to name but a few – they had no reason to feel nervous, but they did. We all did. The Festival started, we all held our breath and jumped in.

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

The Meet the Controller sessions gave me an insight into the personality and tastes of the people in charge of the major channels. From Janice Hadlow’s controlled, erudite eloquence ‘It’s not all about the ratings… I’m looking for original, distinctive, surprising shows…I want strong flavours, even if they’re divisive’ to Ben Frow’s refreshing, if not occasionally brutal, attitude ‘We’re not a niche channel. Ratings do count for us. Money does count for us… For me, the title is everything.’ One of the most inspirational sessions I attended was the ‘The Ones to Watch – Live Pitch’ where seven incredibly brave young people had just 1 minute 30 to pitch their short film to C4’s Random Acts commissioner Tabitha Jackson. I also enjoyed the ‘Online and Social Media’ session, which brought me up to speed on the latest multi-media developments and the various platforms that television is now working across.

And it wasn’t just information I got from the festival I also got a huge amount of laughs. ‘The worst TV I Have Ever Made and All It Taught Me’ was just brilliant and had me literally crying with laughter. Highlights included: ‘Beat The Crusher with Freddie Star’ and ‘There’s something about Miriam’ (“Unbeknownst to you, you’ve just dry humped a man, how do you feel?”). And to finish it all off Dara O’Briain’s hilarious compering of the Television Awards was the perfect antidote to maybe just one too many TVisms (Marmite anyone?).  All in all, it was a memorable few days. Oh, and you know what, lots of people did recognise me and by the end, whilst I still felt a little bit awkward and a little bit, well, ‘mumsy’ I did feel like I could do this telly thing again.

Easing herself back into the workplace with a glass of wine, Harriet Wallace talks to RDF's Angela Oakhill at the Media Parents networking in Bristol. Harriet is a producer who has not worked in TV for 10 years since pursuing other projects and having two children.

From all that I saw during the two days, one thing became very clear to me.  Over the last ten years, nothing has really changed. When it comes to making good TV, It’s still all about the story. The audience may have changed how and when they want to watch that story, but as for the content, they still want the same things: to be moved, surprised, challenged, excited, informed and above all entertained.

On the plane back from Edinburgh I didn’t have just one thought in my head, I had a hundred. New TV ideas bounced around with thoughts of YouTube and Netflix all to the throbbing beat of my hangover (so much for the deep peaceful sleep!). But the overriding thought, the one that kept pushing itself to the surface above all the others – I cant wait to see my children and tell them all about the Festival. Were they interested? Of course they weren’t. All they wanted to know was had I got any free stuff, and did that include any chocolate? Luckily I had, and it did.

The next Media Parents event is our Great CV Tear Up on October 1st. For networking, jobs and great events please see

September 6, 2013 @ 11:43 pm Posted in News 6 Comments

TXing tonight: Gibraltar My Rock by Ana Garcia, 10pm BBC4


You might remember reading Media Parents Talent Ana Garcia’s blog about selling her worldly goods to fund her film… Ana wrote “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.” Ana’s belief paid off, watch it he did,  and Ana’s film TXes tonight on BBC4 at 10pm.

In January this year I wrote a little piece about an independent feature documentary that I made, Gibraltar, writes Ana Garcia. It was a real labour of love, took me almost 3 years to make on next to nothing and was near impossible to get distributed and / or seen. It was a steep learning curve. After a couple of years of much head banging on an array of brick walls and wondering what I had spent all that time and hard work on, I’m thrilled to say a cut down broadcast version of the film, Gibraltar: My Rock, will be broadcast this coming Wed 4th Sep on BBC4 at 10pm. It’s a massive relief to see something I worked so hard at get an audience and I hope everyone will tune in!

Ana Garcia

For networking, jobs and great events please see

September 4, 2013 @ 12:14 am Posted in News 3 Comments