Media Parents

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Introducing SKY’s Back to Work Winner scripted director Vito Rocco


We’re delighted to announce that Scripted Comedy and Children’s Director Vito Rocco is  our final Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme winner. Vito will be sponsored by Sky, and his mentor will be announced after the Edinburgh TV Festival, which Vito will attend with our 6 other Back to Work Scheme winners and Media Parents Director Amy Walker.

Comedy & Children's TV Director Vito Rocco.

Vito Rocco, Scripted Comedy & Children’s TV Director

Following my work as a BAFTA, Rose D’Or and British Comedy
Award winning director I became the primary carer in 2009 for my young son and newborn baby daughter.

I had previously directed Channel 5 hit comedy drama series SUBURBAN SHOOTOUT, Channel 4’s THE LAST CHANCERS starring Adam Buxton, Kevin Bishop and Kevin Eldon, and the world’s first user-generated feature (award-winning) film FAINTHEART for Film4 which was set in the world of Viking re-enactors, starring Eddie Marsan, Ewen Bremner and Jessica Hynes.

In between juggling childcare and writing a screenplay for Vertigo Films, I devised and led an innovative MA Filmmaking course at East 15 Acting School. Having enabled a 275% increase in income to the school, produced a series of award winning short films (New York Children’s Film Festival), and become Visiting Professor in Film and TV at NUA in China, I am looking to reconnect with the UK TV industry as a director of high quality, ground breaking children’s drama and comedy TV programmes.

I am passionate about the Film and TV industry and want to bring my experience as a primary carer of early years and as an educator of young adults into the TV industry to ensure there remains a strong connection between content provision and the end user. Children are demanding, nowhere more so than in their entertainment provision. It is our responsibility as broadcasters and parents to meet that challenge and provide award winning comedy drama to inspire a new generation.

I am currently developing a comedy drama series set in the cut-throat world of the P.T.A.; a feature about a group of ageing performance artists who move to rural Italy to set up a retirement commune (OLD IN THE SUN) and a UK road movie which takes place on a mobility scooter (GOODBYE).

Thank you to Celia Taylor, Head of Non-Scripted Commissioning for Sky Entertainment, and Amy Wyatt Head of Recruitment, Corporate and Content, Sky, for championing the scheme and to Sky for sponsoring Vito, whose mentor will be announced later in the year.

Applications for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme are now closed. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered. Please join for great jobs, networking and events.

August 20, 2015 @ 8:45 am Posted in News Comments Off

Introducing Endemol Shine’s Back to Work Winner


We’re delighted to announce that Development Producer Anna Curtin is the next of our Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme winners. Anna will be sponsored by Endemol Shine, and mentored by Remarkable Television MD Kitty Walshe.

Development Producer Anna Curtin will be mentored by Remarkable MD Kitty Walshe and sponsored by Endemol Shine.

anna curtin, development producer

I’m a Senior Development Producer and have been working in TV for nearly 20 years (yikes!). I started working for London Weekend Television as a Production Secretary and after a long stint as a Celeb Booker I rose up to AP level.  It was a really good grounding for me.  My first development job was for BBC entertainment where I devised BBC Three’s first Game Show ‘Come Fly With Me’.

This set me on my path as a jobbing Development Producer and I have worked with some great companies over the years working on a diverse range of programmes which range from an E4 show where couples settle their sexual debates in a court room, a documentary about a Funeral Director and transforming a harmless daytime quiz show into a filthy late night offering as well as some more ‘vanilla’ programmes.

I have had career breaks over the last 5 years to start my family and I returned to work twice within this time frame successfully although I am finding it harder returning to work now my youngest is 1-years old.  I’m hoping it’s not a shift in the wrong direction for TV parents.

My hopes for returning to work are that I can step back into my development role with renewed enthusiasm and energy.  I know I can manage my time effectively and can get the right balance for my career and family.  I think the skills I have learned from my children will help me in my career – I have learned patience, flexibility, to function on 3-hours sleep and I have experienced tantrums to rival the most narcissistic media professional.

Kitty Walshe, MD Remarkable Television

Remarkable Television MD Kitty Walshe.

Kitty Walshe, who previously worked as an executive producer for Remarkable Television from 2008 until 2014 – has rejoined the company from UK indie Twofour, where in January she became head of features and daytime.

Her credits include the recent Channel 4 commission of Dr Know (working title). Walshe’s prior exec producing credits at Remarkable include Secret Eaters, Gok’s Fashion Fix and Supersize vs Superskinny. Prior to that, she worked at ITV on shows such as I’m A CelebrityHell’s Kitchen and Tenants From Hell.

Thank you to Bella Lambourne, Global Head of HR Endemol Group and HR Director at Endemol UK and her team for championing the scheme and to Endemol Shine for sponsoring Anna.

Applications for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme are now closed. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered. Please join for great jobs, networking and events.

August 19, 2015 @ 1:07 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Introducing ITV Studios’ Back to Work Scheme Winner Emily Coleman PD


We’re delighted to announce that Development Producer and PD Emily Coleman from Leeds is the next of our Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme winners. Emily will be sponsored by ITV Studios, and mentored by Shiver Creative Director Mark Robinson, from Shiver’s Leeds office.

Development Producer Emily Coleman will be mentored in Leeds by ITV

emily coleman, development producer & PD

I’m a PD and Development Producer with fifteen years’ experience of making high-profile and critically acclaimed factuals and features. I’ve directed primetime programmes for the BBC, ITV and Channel 5. My credits include:

  • The Secret Tourist – primetime BBC1 undercover consumer series which I developed from proposal stage, then went on to produce and direct.
  • Jade – high-profile ob-doc series following Jade Goody’s cancer battle, which led to a 20% rise in smear tests, secured blanket media coverage and broke channel viewing figure records.
  • The Man Who Shared His Liver – RTS Award nominated documentary following life or death pioneering surgery with living donor transplant patients.
  • 100 Greatest Albums – RTS Award nominated feature with exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names in music.

My most important recent production however, has been my two beautiful children, who are now 4 and 2 ½ years old. After an extended break, and with some trepidation, I’m hoping to return to work in the autumn.

I hope that the Back to Work scheme might give me a confidence-boost and a positive reintroduction to the world of work. I’m hoping to meet some inspiring role-models, learn to set boundaries between work and home and manage my time more effectively – plus develop a strategy to steer my career in a more family-friendly direction.

Emily will be mentored by ITV Shiver’s Creative Director Mark Robinson.

Mark Robinson, Creative Director & Mentor, ITV Shiver, Leeds

ITV Shiver's Mark Robinson.

Mark has executive produced a wide range of projects for Shiver on behalf of ITV, Channel Four, Channel 5 and Sky.

As a leading light in shows celebrating our cultural and popular history he set up the 100 Greatest format for Channel Four and has since looked after The Nation’s Favourite…for ITV, a brand which has revealed the stories behind the songs of icons like Abba, the Bee Gees and Elvis Presley.

Mark pioneered the Monday night ITV travelogue slot with series like The Lakes, The Dales, Little England and Tales From Northumberland With Robson Green.

He also executive produced all six series of the Rose D’Or nominated daytime – and now international – hit series May The Best House Win and has recently looked after titles as diverse as Coronation Street – 50 Years, 50 Moments, The Talent Show Story, Super Tiny Animals, Newsflash – Stories That Stopped The World, Being Poirot and The Miners’ Strike & Me.

Thank you to ITV Studios, ITVShiver and Julian Bellamy for sponsoring the scheme, and to Sue Davidson, HR Director ITV Studios, and Miranda Wayland, ITV Diversity and Inclusion Manager, for championing the scheme.

Applications for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme are now closed. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered. Please join for great jobs, networking and events.

@ 8:56 am Posted in News Comments Off

Introducing the CDN’s Back to Work Winner Melanie Beer PD


We’re at Edinburgh TV Festival this week so if you’re there please make contact and meet the Back To Work team, headed by Media Parents Director Amy Walker. All profiles and photos are below – tweet @mediaparents to make contact or email through the Media Parents website See you in Edinburgh!

We’re delighted to announce that Edit Producer / PD Melanie Beer is one of our Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme winners. Melanie will be sponsored by the CDN, and mentored by CDN Chairman and PACT Chief Executive John McVay.

Edit Producer / PD Melanie Beer will be mentored by the CDN's John McVay.

melanie beer, PD Edit Producer

I am a versatile and experienced Producer/Director and Edit Producer that has worked on Observational Documentaries, Factual and Fact/Ent programmes for BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Discovery, Sky, MTV and Five.

I have self shot and cut programmes covering a variety of topics from health docs like Love on the Transplant List, The Sex Clinic and Kids on Camera: Diary of Children’s Hospital to presenter-led programmes such as Homeless in Detroit.   I have directed single and multi camera crews on long running series like Four in a Bed and Edit Produced programmes with original content, UGC and archive footage.  I particularly enjoy drawing out the quirkier aspects of human nature when on shoots, dealing with sensitive topics and shaping extraordinary stories in the edit that tell us more about human behaviour.

I am extremely lucky to be Mum to my 6 month old daughter Clara but I also feel very fortunate to have spent the last eleven years doing a job that I feel very passionate about and thoroughly enjoy.  I hope that by returning to work as a P/D or Edit Producer, I can continue to make programmes that inform, inspire and entertain people.  I’ve considered re-training as many of my friends who used to work in the industry have done after having children, but my heart and mind are telling me to return to TV and I can’t wait to get started.

Melanie will be mentored by CDN Chair and PACT Chief Executive John McVay.

John McVay, CDN Chair, PACT Chief Executive and Media Parents Mentor.

John McVay, CDN Chairman and PACT Chief Exec.

John McVay is the Chief Executive of Pact. He has been involved in programme making as a producer, consultant and trainer since 1986.  Prior to his appointment at Pact, he has held positions as the founding Director of the Research Centre for Television and Interactivity in Glasgow , where he developed the concept for Cross Creatives, now Content Lab, and was Director of Training and Education at Scottish Screen. John is a Board Member of Skillset, Chairman of the Skillset Investment Committee and a Governor of the National Film and TV School. At Pact he lead the successful campaign that resulted in changes in the 2003 Communications Act. resulted in the UK having the world’s most creative and commercially successful independent production sector. John was also President of CEPI the pan-European producers association for two years. He is a Director of ISAN UK and serves on the Film London task-force as well as chairing their industry committee.

Thank you to CDN for sponsoring, and to Amanda Ariss, Executive Director, and Tanya Mukherjee, Executive Manager, for championing the scheme.

Applications for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme are now closed. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered. Please join for great jobs, networking and events.

August 12, 2015 @ 10:01 am Posted in News Comments Off

Introducing BBC Wales’ Back to Work Winners Nia Morgan & Fiona Calvert


We’re delighted to announce that Drama Asst Production Coordinator Nia Morgan from Cardiff, and Factual PD Fiona Calvert from Bristol are the next of our Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme winners. Both will be mentored by BBC Wales employees, to be announced, and Fiona Calvert will attend the Edinburgh TV Festival.

Drama Coordinator Nia Morgan

Nia Morgan, Drama Production Coordinator

Since 2010 I have worked for a fantastic company called Tidy Productions mainly on a show called Stella (Sky 1). I started as a Production Assistant and they slowly gave me more responsibility becoming a Secretary and then an Assistant Production Co-ordinator. In this role I was often given the chance to try new things. For example, helping with casting, assisting the script department and even Script Supervising on 2nd unit days. My main role was to assist the co-ordinator with every day tasks like booking accommodation, distributing scripts, script clearance and travel arrangements… to name a few.

In January of this year I had my little girl. Since then Tidy Productions have offered me odd days work which have been ideal but I haven’t been able to accept anything longer than a few days at a time. That’s my main concern when thinking of going back to work, that I won’t be able to do shoot hours for while or even work 5 days a week, which I know is essential when working on a busy production. I’m hoping to find an office based job in a production office where I can work part time. This way keeping a foot in the door for when I can eventually go back to work full time.

fiona calvert, factual PD

PD Fiona Calvert from Bristol will be mentored by BBC Wales

Starting out as an assistant in Channel 4 Documentaries was a great introduction to the commissioning process from the inside.  Working as a researcher/AP on the flagship strands Cutting Edge and Modern Times was an amazing opportunity to learn from some great directors and producers.  When I developed a series about a Health Farm beyond its initial conception, Stephen Lambert gave me a break to direct and I went on to PD popular documentaries taking all of my own material (and sometimes other director’s) into the edit.  Again, great experience.  These were mostly 30 minute series, but I also made When a Wife Loves a Woman, a 50 minute film for C4.

All in all, a solid grounding in making documentaries:  researching, casting, negotiating access, handling contributors in sensitive situations, directing on location and in the edit.   I also did a fair amount of Development,  converting funded developments into commissions and also originating ideas to commission including one for Modern Times.

So far so good.

I then had 3 wonderful girls (not all at once!)… and my TV career ground to a halt.

I found the perfect part-time work/life balance producing dozens of 30 minute educational programmes for Legal Network Television.  High quality and business as usual: directing a crew, filming in great locations from prisons to the High Court, turning legal experts into presenters, interviewing  campaigning lawyers to law lords, but non-broadcast.

The next chapter?  I still have lots to offer and I don’t want to disappear from the industry forever .  Realistic options are edit producing and /or developing ideas (I have plenty), but knowing how and where to pitch feels daunting on my own.  I need a kickstart – help to make  that first breakthrough.

The ending?  That mine is a story that proves it can be done!

Thank you to Judith Winnan, Head of Factual and Music for BBC Wales, and Catrin Whitmore, Head of Production Talent for championing the scheme.

Applications for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme are now closed. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered. Please join for great jobs, networking and events.

August 11, 2015 @ 2:40 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Introducing Channel 4′s Back to Work Winner Anne Henry Producer


We’re delighted to announce that Current Affairs and Comedy Producer Anne Henry is the next of our Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme winners. Anne will be sponsored by Channel 4, and will meet with Channel 4′s Deputy Creative Officer Ralph Lee to determine who her mentor at the Channel will be.

Current Affairs and Comedy Producer Anne Henry will be mentored by Channel 4.

anne henry, current affairs & comedy producer

I’m a TV producer with ten years’ experience in comedy and current affairs. I started in comedy and entertainment, working on programmes such as Richard and Judy and the Graham Norton Show, but increasingly got involved in news-based comedy, trying to make Britain’s answer to The Daily Show on The Late Edition, The Comic Side of 7 Days and 10 O’Clock Live. Through them I started working in current affairs, as a producer on Newsnight (memorably producing a report from a vajazzling salon for a discussion on feminism – it trended on Twitter for 12 hours afterwards), This Week, and political talkshow The Agenda. I’ve also been involved in some really interesting new media projects, including The Insiders, an ambitious project for Channel 4 Learning which used video and animation as well as Twitter and MySpace profiles to make careers advice engaging through stories and a hidden online game. Recently I’ve been working with Google and YouTube on events such as Zeitgeist.

With a two-year-old and five-year-old at home, both fairly demanding commissioners of breakfast goods (cheerios and cutted-up apple anyone?), I’m keen to explore flexible/part-time opportunities in development.

Thank you to Channel 4′s Deputy Chief Creative Officer Ralph Lee, Creative Diversity Manager Ade Rawcliffe and Laura Boswell from 4Talent for supporting the scheme.

Channel 4's Ralph Lee is a Media Parents mentor.

Applications for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme are now closed. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered. Please join for great jobs, networking and events.

August 10, 2015 @ 9:33 am Posted in News Comments Off

Introducing Wall to Wall’s Back to Work Winner Caroline Deeds PD


We’re delighted to announce that Producer Director Caroline Deeds is the first of our Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme winners. Caroline will be sponsored by Wall to Wall, and mentored by Wall to Wall MD Richard Thomson.

PD Caroline Deeds will be sponsored by Wall to Wall on the Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme, and mentored by Wall to Wall MD Richard Thomson, see below.

Caroline Deeds, PD

Caroline has a background as a fine artist, she trained at The Glasgow School of Art, and Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, her work was concerned with performance and installation art. After directing her first 50 minute doc REGGAE GIRLS for Channel 4, Caroline studied at the NFTS in Documentary Direction.

Caroline directed WALKING BACKWARDS, which screened at international festivals and won prizes including the Timberland prize at The Milan, African Asian and Latin American Film Festival.  She has developed and made films engaged with outsiders and people on the edges of society, including women banished to witch camps in Northern Ghana, prison communities in the UK in STORY BOOK DADS for Channel 4, and recovering mental health patients. Caroline has been working on a long term collaboration with mental health service users making films about their experiences of living with schizophrenia. She is inspired by stories of isolated people who against the odds, refuse to lose sight of their dreams.

Caroline has collaborated with and made several films with a number of Turner Prize winning artists, including Antony Gormley with WASTEMAN for Channel 4, Chris Ofili EXPLODING THE CRYSTAL for Tate Media, and most recently with Jeremy Deller in his film SACRILEGE, at the British Pavillion ‘English Magic’ for the 55th Venice Biennale. Caroline is developing an exciting slate of new films. ‘MY HOME, MY SCHOOL’: In the 1970’s her mother built a school in Northern Nigeria. Her desire was to create a loving learning environment for all. Now Boko Haram threatens this vision. The film follows her mother’s dilemma; to continue to teach in the face of terrorist threats or close down the school and jeopardise the future for the children. ‘…A TIME TO SPEAK’, about a transgender man who works as a Jewish chaplain.  The film follows him through his transition and the impact on the relationships around him as he grapples with acceptance from his community.

Inspired by the potential of new media, Caroline is developing trans-media (multiplatform) projects for the first time.  “I am inspired by the idea that the traditional idea of broadcasting is changing, making way for new models of communicating to new audiences. The challenge is, how to use trans-media to enhance the story experience for a potential audience in a meaningful way”.

Caroline currently teaches part time at The MET Film School in London and is a visiting tutor at The NFTS.

Richard Thomson, MD & Mentor, Wall to Wall

Wall to Wall MD Richard Thomson will mentor Caroline Deeds on the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.

Richard Thomson was appointed Managing Director of Wall to Wall in March 2011. Overseeing the company’s operations, Richard is responsible for maximising the exploitation of all IP rights from programme and format sales, putting together co-production funding and deficit financing, exploring new media and other ancillary and merchandising opportunities and ensuring Wall to Wall continues to deliver ground breaking and outstanding programming to all major broadcasters in the UK and abroad.

Wall to Wall is one of the UK’s leading production companies and for over 20 years the  Warner Brothers owned indie has been supplying broadcasters around the world with ground-breaking, award-winning high quality television content across many genres.

Thank you to Wall to Wall MD Richard Thomson, and Wall to Wall Head of Talent Susie Worster for supporting the scheme.

Applications for the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme are now closed. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who entered. Please join for great jobs, networking and events.

August 5, 2015 @ 9:24 pm Posted in News Comments Off