Two Producer Directors, One Toddler
I’m a self-shooting Producer Director who has filmed in some of the most unforgiving parts of the world, writes Cara Bowen (who is currently looking for her next Edit Producing gig). From the unrelenting wilderness of Alaska filming gold miners in search of their fortune on Gold Rush, to the complete chaos the Scottish weather can bring to hapless model railway enthusiasts building a tiny railway across 74 miles of the Highlands in The Biggest Little Railway in the World. I have worked in some of the most sensitive access situations possible, and with some of the most vulnerable contributors around.
I’ve shot car crashes, police chases, and resuscitations with specialised police and ambulance units throughout the country. I captured the RSPCA’s never-ending rescuing and treatment of abandoned animals on The Dog Rescuers; and the dedication of the NHS staff undertook to deliver live triplets in extremely high risk circumstances. I’ve witnessed an inmate break down when fully confessing to the crime she committed for the first time on Women in Prison. I’ve followed the disintegration of professional relationships while building a dream house; and I’ve filmed incredible people with disabilities find the confidence to take a step closer to finding love on several series of The Undateables.
And then I had a baby.
Our world changed and so did our priorities. My partner, Charlie Clayton, is also a PD and we have both seen the type of work we can do alter. With a new objective of wanting to be at home more often to look after our baby, Wolfie, Charlie and I agreed we would take turns going out on shoots. He spent the summer looking after our little boy, while I filmed farmers across the UK, FaceTiming at bath times and coming back for weekends. Charlie is now on a shoot in America as I look for my next job while solo-parenting now 20 month old Wolfie, who is confusing Duggee and Daddy, (probably a sign he’s been watching too much Hey Duggee).
While taking turns having jobs may be one solution to raising a family when both parents are PDs, there must be other families who have made it work without having to sacrifice half of their salary? I’d love to hear how others have done it. I’m also keen to find a jobshare via Media Parents so do contact me. The most logical solution it seems is to be able to go into the edit more often, and have more than one income coming in. Charlie has been lucky enough to land a couple of edit producing roles recently but, whilst I’ve edit produced a BBC2 hour, filmed and edited several charity films, made tasters and done all the edit producing courses I can find, it’s been harder for me to find the work. I know I can do it, and my BBC references attest to it!
I love what I do and I know I have more to offer than either being on location or not working at all. With so much experience and a strong editorial mind, I would love to find more opportunities in the edit, to mould sequences I shot on location into shape, and occasionally be able to get home in time to put my kid to bed. I don’t want to stop shooting, but I want to prove that I have what it takes to be in the edit too, and I would very much appreciate the chance to do so.