You know what its like when you apply yourself to something and it takes off? Its like watching a snowball roll down the hill, just getting bigger and bigger. Well that is what I feel the start of this year has been like writes PD and Back to Work Mum Graciela Watson.
BVE15 in February was the launchpad for Media Parents Back To Work Scheme. This was an inspiring event for many reasons. There was BVE15 itself - a huge industry event which has all the technology you expect from brand new cameras to new sound recording equipment, flexible lighting kits to editing platforms and impossible to miss were number of Drone cameras flying around.
The advancements made technologically are impressive enough but even more interesting for me was the amazing amount of free seminars. Anything from tutorials on FCPro X to lighting for 4K and panel discussions, such as “Pros and cons of self shooting – are we suffering its limitations or benefitting from flexibility and cost savings?” It was hard work trying to fit in as much as possible but the result of attending BVE15 all three days was that I felt much more up to speed about the industry and more passionate than ever to start making programmes again.
One of the most useful seminars I attended was “How to market yourself on Social Media” by Samantha Baines (Penguin In the Room). First we had a crash course in twitter use from Media Parents, then we headed straight to hear Samantha. It goes without saying that if you work in media you should have a public profile. Any potential employer has to be able to find you by simply typing your name into a search engine. Samantha advocates seeing yourself as a product, taking regular photos of yourself and keeping your profile up to date at all times. Simple, but good advice. Her other tip was to imagine your face on a billboard next to anything you tweet…
Richard Ayoade hosted a session which looked at how to write and pitch comedy ideas which gave a real insight into his personal experiences in TV. At the other end there were talks about the future of tv involving interactive apps the audience downloads before the show airs giving them more control over content. This has actually already started happening!
Also and by no means second, I got to meet the other women who have been lucky enough to make it onto the current Back to Work Scheme. It’s always difficult going back to work, whether you’ve been out for a few months or a few years (I’m in that last category) but what’s really reassuring are meeting others who are all in the same place. It gives you a chance to come together and breath a sigh of relief – “Phew! It’s not just me – I’m not alone! These women have amazing credits too – we are all going to make it together!”
There are 8 of us on the current scheme and once we’d actually found each other in the vast arena of London’s Excel centre, we immediately started swapping stories, talking through our fears and expectations for the year ahead. It sounds corny, but it was beautiful to meet up with women who are all embarking on the same journey as myself. Watch out for us breaking back!
Since writing this article Graciela Watson has landed a job at the BBC through www.mediaparents.co.uk. For more details of the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme please email firstname.lastname@example.org