Media Parents

Monthly Archives: January 2020

available now PD cara bowen

by Amy Walker

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.

PD Cara Bowen on location. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11666/cara-bowen

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.

Baby meets kit

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!

PDs Cara Bowen and Charlie Clayton, with their son. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11666/cara-bowen

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.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11666/cara-bowen

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11666/cara-bowen

January 25, 2020 @ 12:45 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents February CV masterclass

by Amy Walker

Thank you to everyone who attended our Bristol Media Parents CV Masterclass last week and made it such a worthwhile event. The feedback has been so great that we’re running the masterclass again ahead of our next company networking event so you can get your CV in the best possible shape – and if you’re a jobsharer you can benefit from our new jobshare double CV.

Media Parents Director Amy Walker with freelancers at a Media Parents event

Media Parents February CV Masterclass will take place in Central London on Monday February 1oth, kindly hosted by Clearcut Pictures. Further details and the guestlist link are on the Media Parents watercooler – not yet a member? Drop us a line through the contact button at www.mediaparents.co.uk. Amy Walker will present CV wizardry and there will be the opportunity to get hands on, individually tailored feedback too.

Producer Ginny Bing attended the Bristol CV event: "It was so useful to get a fresh perspective on my CV from Media Parents. We’ve all read our own CVs a million times but what came out of this event was that if you don’t make things clear and concise and if you don’t highlight all your skills, then you’re selling yourself short."

Producer Ginny Bing attended the Bristol CV event: “It was so useful to get a fresh perspective on my CV from Media Parents. We’ve all read our own CVs a million times but what came out of this event was that if you don’t make things clear and concise and if you don’t highlight all your skills, then you’re selling yourself short.”

Cardiff-based Production Coordinator Jess Gow said: “The Bristol CV Masterclass has inspired me to get my new and improved CV uploaded to Media Parents ASAP. The workshop was great because you don’t always see the glaringly obvious! It’s provided me with helpful practical examples and made me appreciate the importance of selling yourself. There were some great networking suggestions too.”

If you’d like to get a head start on your CV before the event, you can read Media Parents CV Tips here: https://blog.mediaparents.co.uk/2018/10/media-parents-cv-tips/

"Thank you for organising the Media Parents CV workshop, the session was excellent and gave me loads of great ideas" Melissa Bishop, AP / Researcher, Bristol & London

Our hosts, Clear Cut Group, comprising of three companies (Clear Cut Pictures, The Edit Store and Clear Motion) are renowned for providing highly creative post-production to a wide range of broadcasters. Offering full end-to-end post-production across four sites in London, plus location and regional services as needed, we offer 4K, HDR and SDR capabilities in bespoke solutions to deliver your content to screen.

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

@ 12:16 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Available now scripted director Peter Chipping

by Amy Walker

I was directing some actors on a large day-for-night fight scene near the seaside, writes Editor-turned-Director Peter Chipping. There was a problem. It was midday in summer, and not remotely dark.

Peter Chipping directing a real blue screen scene at Pinewood

One of the giveaways of shooting this style is revealing the sky. You need to disguise the horizon. In many old cowboy films you see clouds floating in a dark blue sky. A dead giveaway. It was going to be hard to convince an audience I was shooting at night. On a camera monitor the blue sky just looked like a big blue screen. Maybe a chroma-key screen? I figured I could key in another colour – like black – and suddenly my actors would look like they were lit by the “moon” running against a night sky. It worked too. The knowledge had been acquired many years previously as I had been an editor and knew some editing trickery.

Editors often muse on how to get out of being shackled to their edit suites.  One skill editors often learn is making a story out of hundreds of hours of footage. It’s a lot of organisation. With a bit of know-how, that organisation can be applied to crews and productions.

Director Peter Chipping in action

I had learnt to operate cameras at college and after various diversions into multi camera studio directing, I gravitated towards factual. My camera and editing skills would come in handy, as what I shot actually made it through the edit. One thing that’s not taught to editors is writing. So I attended lots of courses, but what I learnt were beat sheets, inciting incidents, act breaks, inner and outer arcs. I discovered most writing is aimed at drama, not factual, but a class from the Exec Producer of The Apprentice, Patrick Uden, plus much trial and error, paid off.

I also discovered the structure of factual is often similar to drama. You still need protagonists and they still need a challenge, something to affect them and a battle to the end. It needs to be interesting with lots of “surprises”, otherwise known as: being “dramatic”. Quite often the act breaks became commercial breaks, but all those funky things such as themes, motifs etc can be used too. I learnt many mainstream directors start in factual and cross over, and have crossed back too. The biggest obstacle was convincing execs I could do it. So I wrote and shot a bundle of short dramas films. That lead to some police re-enactment videos being commissioned for The Police Federation and eventually a TV commission of documentary flanked by some drama. Fortunately, the American style drama/docs had budgets that dictated people with multi skills. The police films led to true crime that led to serial killers (In the USA, UK & Germany) and eventually war, which included another major serial killer: Adolf Hitler.

I found dealing with actors was not taught to editors either, so I took the plunge and did an actor’s class and even a stand-up comedy class. The former was helpful for more drama-centric productions, while the latter allowed me to see the funny side of my journey.

Peter Chipping’s drama can be seen this year (2020) in 4 episodes of “Nazi Megastructures: America’s War” on Channel 4, plus two episodes of “Autopsy, the last hours of..” for Potato/ITV which airs in America on REELZ.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/15880/peter-chipping

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk Media Parents' January event is a CV seminar in Bristol - see our watercooler at www.mediaparents.co.uk for details

January 1, 2020 @ 9:31 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles Comments Off

B2W mentor Jessica Sharkey

by Amy Walker

Jessica Sharkey, Joint Director of Production, Hat Trick

Jessica Sharkey, Joint Director of Production at Hat Trick has been working with Media Parents since 2010

A big thank you to Hat Trick’s Joint Director of Production, Jessica Sharkey, for mentoring Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner Jessica Farrow, who has been working as a JPM since her return to work via Media Parents’ scheme.

Jessica Sharkey and Laura Djanogly oversee the whole range of programme output from the Hat Trick Group from initial development and budget negotiations, through production to delivery.

Jessica joined Hat Trick as Joint Head of Production in 2004, and has been jobsharing ever since, sharing her experience of job share for the benefit of Media Parents members. Hat Trick also considers job share and flexible working in all jobs listed on Media Parents. Prior to joining Hat Trick, Jessica was Production Executive at Alomo Productions, a role which followed 14 years in the freelance production world working in Drama, Comedy, Children’s and Documentary.

Jessica Farrow, B2W JPM

Since winning the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme in 2019 I’ve been JPM at Wild Blue Media, working on a 3-part documentary for Channel 4/Discovery about tribes in the Amazon.

Wild Blue have asked me stay to see this project through post, and also to help on another programme for Nat Geo until I go on mat leave at the end of March. Jessica Sharkey has very kindly agreed to stick with me longer term as a mentor, and suggested that our next meet up should be a month or so before I want to go back which will be this time next year, as I’ll be looking to return to work Jan 2021.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14788/jessica-farrow

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk

@ 9:00 am Posted in News Comments Off