Media Parents

Monthly Archives: November 2014

announcing the nations & regions back to work winners


We’re delighted to be partnering with the Salford Media Festival, and reintroducing two mums to TV via the Nations & Regions TV conference this week. If you are attending the festival please come to find us and say hi, if you’re not, please see our twitterfeed @mediaparents where we will be sharing knowledge from the lectures. Here they are…

anna burns, edit producer

Anna Burns is an edit producer with 17 years TV experience, looking for work in Manchester.

I wish to return to work as an Edit Producer. I worked as a Producer/Director prior to having my daughter but as a single parent I am now unable to commit to working away on location. However, I enjoy the role an Edit Producer brings and my many years of shooting and cutting my own programmes means I have great experience of the edit. I also wish to gain new contacts within TV companies in the north, as I lived and worked in London for the most part of my career many of my contacts are still based there.  So it would be great to meet various companies based at Media City.

shamaila khan, content producer / researcher

Shamaila Khan is a web content producer looking to return to broadcast as a researcher.

Since taking voluntary redundancy from the BBC (after my daughter was born) I have worked part time on two short term contracts for Rasa Productions a theatre company.

I worked for the BBC in Manchester for nearly ten years on various websites as a researcher and then assistant content producer before the relocation to Media City.

My plan for returning to work (in the media) after four years is getting back to work I enjoyed and want to be a part of again.

I also want to work in areas which my previous contracts/work commitments may have restricted me from i.e Television and Radio.

I am happy to undergo more training if necessary as I am aware I may not possess all the necessary skills for a TV role and also understand that four years away from the media can result in lots of change.

I feel that starting again is nerve wracking  but also exciting as I want to devote the time I have (now that both children are at school) to work that I am passionate about but also something I feel I am good at.

I would love to work as a researcher ideally in Entertainment/Drama or Children’s TV, I enjoy these subject matters and could be an asset to but I am also willing to consider any work that gets me back into the media.

The flexibility of working when you are solely responsible for school runs and children’s welfare while working at a location that may not be close to home will be a challenge but one that I will happily accept, you never know until you give it a try!

Amy Walker, Media Parents director (pictured left), will be at the festival with Anna and Shamaila. Please stop us and say hi or tweet us @mediaparents where we will be sharing knowledge from the festival.

Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents Back to Work scheme is currently accepting more applicants, please email for details.

November 17, 2014 @ 7:40 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with… Rachel Tierney, PD


Mired in the snotty, skint end of maternity leave, my first thought at seeing the Media Parents Back to Work scheme was a wistful “wouldn’t that be nice” before rescuing the baby from the stairs.  But two people sending me the link in one weekend was a sign – or at least, enough to register in my sleep-addled brain, so I applied.

Rachel Tierney, second from right, with the Media Parents geitf Back to Work Scheme Winners.

And got a place. NOW the logistics started.  Could I really leave the baby for three nights?  Could her dad get time off work at short notice?  If the baby (and dad) survived would I survive the emotional wrench? It was a crash course in Getting On with It – a trial run for string-pulling behind the scenes without letting work down.

Then it dawned on me. Three nights. Away. In a bed. With just myself. Emotional wrench that it indeed was it was also the most exciting prospect I’d faced for many months…

Pretty much the best thing about the scheme was being plonked, without baby / household / distraction, right in the middle of TV world. This isn’t dipping a toe back in – it’s full on, 10hr days of just thinking, talking, listening, watching TV and the executives running the TV industry. Intimidating, overwhelming, intense, yes – but so quickly exhilarating and inspiring, too.  With admittedly, moments of “so nothing’s changed…”

Realisation dawns on Rachel Tierney that she has a bed to herself!

After a year away from development meetings and commissioner briefings I was keen to see the Meet the Controller sessions. Informative and entertaining, these were a great way to get up to date on what different channels are looking for, what’s coming up and where things have moved on to (or not) since I last worked in development. There was the odd edgy moment such as when Charlotte Moore faced repeated questioning from Krishnan Guru-Murthy about being a woman (and nice) in charge of BBC One – frustrating to watch, when no one had raised the issue with Danny Cohen, Cassian Harris or later Peter Fincham.  The latter handled his own interrogation about “risk” (TV buzzword of the moment) with wit…

Diversity was also on the agenda, with sessions exploring TV’s record on and off camera.  Sky is introducing quotas; the BBC was keen to talk up its forthcoming Black Britain season, which includes a David Olusoga-fronted History of Black Britain (which won TWO CDN Diversity Awards last night). I was glad to see this is one conversation at least which does seem to be moving forward since I last hung out in TV world… Time will tell.

Rachel Tierney is a Producer Director getting back to work.

My favourite session, being a nosy parker (why else would I work in documentaries?!) was Sizzles that Sold the Show.  An extremely rare opportunity to spy on other people’s taster tapes and hear why they did or didn’t work… 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy was the standout winner, a funny, lo-fi tape with no bells and whistles, just a smart idea with great characterful delivery.  30% of first pitches now apparently arrive on commissioners’ desks with an (unfunded) tape – so smart, cheap ideas are the way forward.  Although one of the panellists was from content agency Fifth Street, and revealed that production companies hire his services to make killer sizzle tapes. That can’t be cheap.

I also went to How to be a Better Indie, expecting to learn how to handle the commissioning process better in the eyes of broadcasters, though it was also largely about how indies treat freelancers. Well, yup, it ain’t always great, hence the anxiety I and other Back to Workers were feeling about returning to the workplace. Still with betty and Wall to Wall represented on stage it’s clear production companies can make it work for all concerned.

The most depressing session for me, and not just because I’m waving goodbye to the age bracket, was about the 16-34 audience. A lively and riled-up panel discussed where now for young viewers, with BBC Three facing a move online (“a kick in the knickers”, Fox Project’s Georgia said..).  An impassioned exploration of what TV does, and should mean for younger viewers – and where it, and they, might go in the future.

Networking is not my favourite thing, especially in an environment where everyone else is GO GO GO and you’re still trying to remember where you left your self-confidence (somewhere around 7cm dilated, probably).  But with allies in the other Back to Workers and the fab mentoring from Amy Walker I did feel able to get involved.

6 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners will attend the Televisual Festival, please say Hi! Here 2014 GEITF Back to Work Scheme Winners at the Edinburgh TV Festival and Media Parents' Amy Walker, 3rd from right, next to Rachel Tierney.

So, a success.  I felt reconnected with the industry, my lactating boobs didn’t explode after three nights away, and most importantly, my partner welcomed me home with the darkly muttered words “…I don’t know how you do it”. Quite.

Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The Media Parents Back to Work scheme is offering two FREE places at the Nations & Regions TV Conference in SALFORD. Apply by 5pm on Friday 14th Nov to for details.

November 12, 2014 @ 3:27 pm Posted in News Comments Off