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5 minutes with Exec Producer Meriel Beale

by Amy Walker

I would love to call on your help, writes Exec Producer Meriel Beale.

I’ve recently become the Anti Bullying and Harassment officer for Bectu Unscripted. I’m putting together an awareness raising campaign for anti bullying week (16th November) and I’m asking for stories of bullying & harassment in the TV industry.

I have already been sent many stories, sadly, but it would be good to have some more.

If you have an experience that you would be happy to share, you can do so anonymously without identifying any parties, via the form below.

Your testimonies will form part of the campaign from Bectu and the Film & TV Charity under the hashtag #UnseenOnScreen, so you should be aware & happy that your anonymous experiences may appear on social media.

The idea is to show how many people are affected by bullying and harassment, and to reinforce that we are stronger together.

This is the first step in the campaign, more will be revealed to try to deal with this industry-wide issue.

I hope this is ok, many thanks for your help.
Meriel

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfjVtiDlaE_uRbYe-P8VG7XX7w4LfEVnwT-KgvEpDWxpLf1Kw/viewform?fbclid=IwAR14VkUyuCBFibQkk-kEOZQuYZjw45b3tLMLgJ69kcLhUHnzkKqx-VxxjGo

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/10695/meriel-beale

Meriel Beale (centre)

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

November 13, 2020 @ 2:22 pm Posted in Events, News Comments Off

5 minutes with PD Kate Dooley

by Amy Walker

Returning PD Kate Dooley writes: Art imitates life imitates art. Having had a baby in February, Kate is now looking for a job share partner as she returns to work. Her latest series Becoming You, narrated by Olivia Colman, TXes tonight, 13th November on Apple TV. Read on…

I’m great in a pub quiz (remember those?). It’s down to years of working on tv shows about anything and everything. Scouring the internet for surprising yet accessible take home facts and stories which can visually delight and emotionally entertain both an exec and a viewer.


When was the first 747 flight? I filmed aboard the pilot 747 plane in Seattle. Which is the only British Town with an exclamation mark? Shot there for Escape to the Country. Why are humans the only mammals with visible eye whites? Edit produced a show on child development.

PD Kate Dooley at work

But this information has never been truly useful until now… On Friday 13th November “Becoming You” will air on Apple TV+ https://tv.apple.com/us/show/becoming-you/umc.cmc.2eln6544k8wo99s3vrdl5amwf . An epic documentary following children around the globe grow and develop from birth to age 5. Beautifully shot, sweet and informative – even more so for me as I gave birth to my first child just after working on the show.


8 months later and I’m still looking back at my research notes to help guide and inform me, by which I mean not spend hours googling things which tell me I should take my child to A&E immediately. The most useful info for having a baby in the age of covid-19 is understanding why after months of lockdown baby’s first reaction to her grandparents was fierce tears when before lockdown she was all smiles with any old Tom, Dick or Harry.

It turns out babies around 8 months develop the capacity to compare faces to the handful of people they know. If they don’t recognise them their developing emotion of fear kicks in to let them know this person might not be safe. Of course stranger danger is a hugely important development step but it’s very comforting to know her reaction to her grandparents is perfectly normal and can be reversed with time spent together.
This fact is illustrated in the show in a scene with a cute Mexican boy which I edit produced. The children in the series are real life examples from across the world of the amazing steps in development we all go through, but it’s not often that my real life then imitates my job!


I’m now looking to return to work perhaps through a job share and the series has helped me here too by working with a range of inspiring mums.


With ex Channel 4 head and ex BBC controller Jay Hunt as the Apple TV+ commissioner, talented MD of Wall to Wall Leanne Klein to guide us, knowledgable Edit Series Producer Helen Sage and ever hardworking producer Victoria Weaver to help find the amazing characters that were featured. Working on this doc has shown me that it really is possible to have children and keep producing exciting programming and progress my career.


So if you’re interested in job sharing or forming an unbeatable pub quiz team let me know!

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/16924/kate-dooley

PD Kate Dooley

Pub Quiz Answers:
1969 though Pan Am only starting flying them commercially in 1970.
Westward Ho!
Human babies are born with poor eyesight so eye whites help them make eye contact easily. Eye contact triggers the release of the love hormone which helps to bond parent and baby.

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

@ 2:09 pm Posted in News Comments Off

showcasing artist Ben Fenton

by Amy Walker

If you’re looking for ways to extend the summer, artist Ben Fenton’s coastal works are reasonably priced and will lift a room. Currently exhibiting at the Electric Palace Cinema in Hastings, Ben also sells paintings and commissions direct from his facebook page and website.

“I grew up in Dungeness, and Greatstone, and Rye, and Winchelsea Beach, writes Ben Fenton. I grew up on and beside the Romney Marsh. My father was a fisherman and I was putting to sea with him from the age of four. I grew up with the sound of saltwater dragging shingle away to someplace else. I grew up with the weight of an uninterrupted sky pressing down upon me. I grew up in a land that had been borrowed from the deep. A land that built structures from wood, and stone, and concrete to celebrate it, and to keep from giving it back. I am now returned to the coast of Kent and Sussex and I am painting the souvenirs of my past.”

Artist Ben Fenton, originally from Dungeness, has forged out a successful career in London for more than 12 years, but wanted to return to the Romney Marsh to get away from the distractions of living in the capital and seek new inspiration and challenges for his work. Ben’s stunning paintings can be found in private collections all over Europe and the UK and he continues to exhibit in diverse spaces in London, Kent and East Sussex.

http://benfentonartist.moonfruit.com/

August 30, 2020 @ 6:00 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Channel 4 legal How not to get Sued

by Amy Walker

SOLD OUT: Join us for a spot of networking and to hear Channel 4’s Rowena Cordrey and Fiona McAllister deliver their hour long ‘Ultimate Legal & Compliance Masterclass’ for Media Parents on Tuesday 21st July. 4′s legal team will be helping you to navigate the tricky world of legal and compliance and giving you their dos and don’ts for staying on the right side of the law.

Join Media Parents for Channel 4's How Not to Get Sued session, see link below for zoom details

Rowena Cordrey

Ro is a Senior Lawyer in Channel 4’s Legal & Compliance team, which is renowned for its enabling advice as part of the Channel’s unique risk-taking remit.  She provides legal, compliance and ethical advice on all aspects of television programming – broadcast and online – before and after broadcast, including its promotion and marketing.

Ro trained and then qualified as a media law solicitor at Farrer & Co in 2009, principally advising tabloid newspaper clients as well as magazines and regional publishers.  She worked for the BBC in their Litigation team before first joining Channel 4 for just over 4 years.  Ro was Deputy Head of Compliance at ITN (which produces the news for Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5) working across news and on a number of high-profile undercover investigations, including the award-winning Cambridge Analytica (C4 News) and ‘Gay Conversion’ Therapy (ITV News) investigations.  Ro then worked at Viacom before returning to Channel 4 this year.

Fiona McAllister

Fiona is an experienced media lawyer currently advising production companies and Channel 4 both pre and post-publication on legal, regulatory compliance and ethical issues which arise in the making and broadcast of programmes, online content and marketing campaigns on all Channel 4 platforms. Fiona focuses on all content-related matters, including defamation, privacy, contempt and fairness issues.

Prior to joining Channel 4 she spent around 12 years in private practice – based at leading media firm, Simkins LLP, generally advising Claimants (individual and companies) on media related issues and acting against the media. Prior to that Fiona was with a Scottish firm, Burness Paull LLP where she advised BBC Scotland and regularly provided programme legal advice on all aspects of media law affecting BBC output. She is dual qualified and admitted to practise in England & Wales as well as Scotland.

Amy Walker

Amy will be hosting the Channel 4 session on behalf of Media Parenst. She champions diverse creative talent, and set up Media Parents ten years ago to facilitate that. She is a factual TV Series Producer and Talent Exec and has just completed a 2-year EMBA sponsored by Channel 4. Her most recent series for Channel 4 was BAFTA-nominated. She lives in Hastings. https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/

This event is now SOLD OUT. To support Media Parents and join our future events please join us here.

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

July 16, 2020 @ 4:04 pm Posted in Events, How To, News, TV Training Comments Off

5 minutes with Peter Chipping Drama Director Writer Editor

by Amy Walker

As we came out of a quiet February, which included me promising to finish all those jolly DIY jobs I’d been so looking forward to doing (!) a different major concern hit, writes Peter Chipping. So major it shut down all the DIY and builders’ merchant stores, leaving the promise of me completing those DIY jobs to later.

As a father my immediate concern was the safety of my grown-up children, one of whom had just started working at a care home and caught “something” there. Without testing being offered we couldn’t confirm the exact nature – but insisted on self-isolating her anyway. Meanwhile, the missus and I volunteered with the GoodSam / NHS volunteers app. (June update: Both children are well and the care home worker beavering away. COVID testing was undertaken 2 months later, but nothing on anti-bodies – so we can’t be sure what happened.)

Peter Chipping remote working on a script

While waiting for the app to ring, I went back to the drawing board. Literally, and started writing. It felt good to be doing “something” TV related. It felt like work too.
One such job I’d always promised myself to do was to rewrite a medical thriller movie.

Easy-peasy, right? All I ever needed was the time – but it kept getting put off. It sat in a bottom drawer knocking on the handle wanting to be let out. The time was right and off I went. Slowly. Very slowly. How do these established writers write a movie in two weeks? Sometime later, 101 pages finally rolled out of Final Draft and has now winged its way to my script editor.

Then to a different genre. This time working in two teams, interconnected with some zoom-connected producers.  The first project was fleshing out an idea for a presenter led biography / travelogue. We had the presenter in the form of a well loved actor and hewed an angle for him. We had even shot a sizzle pre lockdown – so I just needed to edit it down.

This followed with a specialist factual entertainment idea that could be shot under the emerging post COVID guidelines. We found some experts and zoom-interviewed them. Creating glossy e-brochures followed, along with budgets and have presented to broadcasters. Of course these ideas are super-ground breaking, returnable and, of course, cost efficient!

Leading with a valuable Media Parents online CV event, I’ve also enjoyed a plethora of online zoom master classes, training courses and commissioner meetings. However, the pandemic suddenly took to a turn for the worse and my world imploded: The DIY shops re-opened and the paint brushes returned. Sigh.

Tasks completed, all I need is a commission for one of the three above please. Or the promised and evaporated TV contract coming back into play. That, and of course a barber. Then I’ll be able to remove the hat.

Peter Chipping mainly directs scripted television, read his previous blog here.

The drama he wrote and directed for Nazi Megastructures has just aired on C4, catch it here.

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

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

June 25, 2020 @ 5:33 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Rahim Mastafa Offline Editor

by Amy Walker

What is In The Edit – The Film & TV Making-of Podcast? Writes freelance Media Parents Editor Rahim Mastafa. Rahim is Cardiff-based and has award-winning credits in factual, daytime and docs, including Channel 4′s Travel Man, read more here.

Offline Editor Rahim Mastafa https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/6815/rahim-mastafa

In the Edit is a weekly interview-based podcast where I speak to other working film & TV professionals. We talk about their careers, how they got started in the industry, some of their favourite projects and get inspiration for those who are working or want to work in film or TV.

Hear more about the making of Sherlock amongst many other shows on the podcast

Some of the guests I have so far interviewed from the world of drama are Dream Horse & Happy Valley Director Euros Lyn, Sherlock & Dracula Production Designer Arwel Jones, Broadchurch Doctor Who Costume Designer Ray Holman, Peaky Blinders & Tolkien Special Effects Supervisor Danny Hargreaves, Luther & Black Mirror DOP Stephan Pehrsson, DNEGTVthe VFX company behind shows such as Chernobyl, Star Trek: Picard, Locke & Key and Sex Education & His Dark Materials stunt coordinator Crispin Layfield.

Travelman Series Director Nicola Silk talks to Rahim for In the Edit

Factual guests I’ve interviewed are Barry Hecker, Series Producer of Sam & Shauna’s Big Cookout and The One Show, Graciela Watson, Senior Edit Producer of Find It, Fix It, Flog It, Bargain Hunt & Location, Location, Location Producer Director Nick Denning, Code Blue & Manhunt documentary director Iwan Robert, The Wedding Guru director Paul Symonds and more.

Sherlock & Dracula Production Designer Arwel Jones

The idea is to get as broad a range of working professionals as possible and for them to tell their story. I’m always on the lookout for more guests to join me on the podcast, so don’t be surprised if you get a message from me soon!

You can hear the podcast on these platforms:
https://intheedit.podbean.com/
https://open.spotify.com/show/7hQuOHlPlIvJqC92RM7ZJa
https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/in-the-edit-the-film-tv-making-of-podcast/id1508561910

And you can book Rahim here: https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/6815/rahim-mastafa

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

June 24, 2020 @ 4:08 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, News Leave a comment

3 actions for TV diversity right now

by Amy Walker

Want to actively do something to support diversity in TV? Adeel Amini from The TV Mindset has shared three calls to action that anyone can implement in TV teams, writes Media Parents Director Amy Walker.

The TV Mindset‘s webinar on Racism in TV has been watched by nearly 5,500 people in  a week. You can view it here. Producer Amini says “I’m pleased to say that The TV Mindset is now advising many institutions on their next steps” contact him through the facebook page.

Are you hiring in your own image or comfort zone? Advice I was given early in my hiring career was, two CVs being equal, choose the candidate which brings greater diversity to your team. It grates on everyone to think that a decision is made based on the colour of a person’s skin. Equally, how are we going to improve diversity and inclusion? Networking is a great place to start. If you’re looking for places to advertise jobs to diverse candidates you can choose Media Parents and you can read more about other platforms and resources here.

If Media Parents can help you with crewing or casting, contact us here.

Thanks Adeel for your clear calls to action. For info on mental health support in TV, go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thetvmindset/

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

June 23, 2020 @ 12:16 pm Posted in How To, News, TV Training Leave a comment

how to increase diversity in TV #blacklivesmatter

by Amy Walker

“What is your company doing to to ACT and not just say #BlackLivesMatter on social media?” an African American friend asked in discussion about George Floyd. So here follows a list of companies offering TV diversity training in the UK, platforms you can search or join for greater diversity and a link to donate to BLM causes, writes Media Parents Director Amy Walker. Also take the time to click here to read and sign this BAME TV Taskforce Letter and, if you are a person of colour, join the BAME TV Task Force. Additional resources have been provided by writer Sarah Page and can be found on twitter here.

Credit Emily Rickets @ewr.portfolio

Media Parents Director Amy Walker has won diversity awards for crewing and casting, so if Media Parents can help with the diversity of your teams click here to contact us. If your company is looking for diversity training then read on.

BLM protest Cornwall credit: Chris Yacoubian

The TV Mindset‘s webinar on Racism in TV has been watched by nearly 5,500 people in  a week. You can view it here. Producer Adeel Amini says “I’m pleased to say that The TV Mindset is now advising many institutions on their next steps” contact him through the facebook page. Amini has also created some straightforward calls to action that anyone can implement at work, read more here.

BLM protest London credit: Alison Hunt

Industry training body ScreenSkills diversity training offer can be found here. Media Parents is proud to say that the Media Parents ScreenSkills Return to Work Programme out-performed ScreenSkills diversity targets, and that the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme has 35% diversity in intake over the years.

Trainer Addie Orfila is recommended for industry diversity training, as is Femi Otitoju, who delivers training on unconscious bias. You can take a Harvard unconscious bias / explicit association test by clicking here. Media Parents’ Amy Walker participated in Otitoju’s unconscious bias training thanks to BFI subsidy.

BLM protest Tunbridge Wells credit Emily Ricketts @ewr.portfolio

MAMA Youth‘s inclusion awareness workshops are experience based and tackle issues at the forefront of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Offered exclusively to corporate and patron partners, these workshops are now open to the wider industry.  Please contact info@mamayouthproject.org.uk for more information. Mama Youth’s alumni talent pool is also a useful diverse talent resource.

BLM protest London credit: Alison Hunt

Creative Access recruits under-represented talent to the UK’s creative industries. In addition to using them to recruit, they have a diversity training offer for companies.

Click any of these hyperlinked organisation names to find out more about their offers in diversity and inclusion: IconicSteps@PrincesTrust@SaraPuttAssoc@CSparkworks@artsemergency@Film_London@DiVA_Creative; @FourCornersE2@thinkbigger_org and @BAFTA offers various training opportunities and schemes. And here is PACT’s diversity website.

BLM protests London credit: Alison Hunt

Simone Pennant’s TV Collective has reported on Channel 4′s recent commitment to be an anti-racist organisation, which you can read about here. You can also follow Channel 4 News Identity strand on facebook here. The TV Collective also organises networking events and promotes job opportunities to the BAME TV community. See also @TriForceEvents@cinesister@BritBlacklist@RaisingFilms@104Films@bbcwritersroom; https://bbcstudios.com/writersacademy@DANC_MANC@illuminatrixLDNhttps://womenbehindthecamera.co.uk/

https://profileperformers.com/ and @ProjectNoirHub, a creative collective for people of colour working to make the creative industries more culturally diverse. Channel 4 also lists a collection of industry talent schemes here: https://careers.channel4.com/4talent/industry-talent-schemes/4stories

BLM protest Cornwall credit: Chris Yacoubian

If you would like to share any other recommended training sources for diversity and inclusion in TV please contact us. You can also click through to this BBC article which links to UK and US charities, including The Stephen Lawrence Trust, promoting equality which you can support. Be the change!

BLM protest London credit: https://www.antoniamaguire.com/

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

June 19, 2020 @ 9:44 am Posted in How To, News, TV Training Comments Off

locked down with Producer Jonathan Schutz

by Amy Walker

And here we are – at home, writes Media Parents Factual Exec and SP Jonathan Schutz. Working from home. Hmm. Let’s be honest: for most of us, even the least sniff of work has evaporated. Channel 4 has suggested it will be “reaching out” to freelancers. The BBC and Netflix have made donations to the Film & TV Charity, ITV has made a fund available for indies. It’s all very nice, though perhaps not all that useful for those of us who are just about grinding along.

Producer Jonathan Schutz in edit at home

In the meantime, some indies are helping out by rehiring and furloughing recent freelancers so they can avail themselves of Rishi Sunak’s seeming bounty. Many of us however (including those with Personal Service Companies) plummet between the cracks of the Chancellor’s help package. BECTUMartin Lewis and some helpful MPs and journos – are making noise about this, but we still don’t know if that’s going to have any effect.

All the channels, terrestrial and otherwise, will soon be desperate for content – and not just shows about the virus. It’ll be on a budget as commercial broadcasters face a fall in advertising income, and those broadcasters who rely on ad-sales driven production will be hit doubly as sponsors retreat as well. I personally have two 6-hour series in development with interested sponsors who have gone extremely quiet!

But quality production on a budget? That’s good news: my whole business model for Curly Lizard Films is based on it. Frankly, my life – juggling Daddy Duty with Specialist Factual production – has been a bit like lockdown for some years now anyway. I was writing, developing, producing, editing and delivering productions from home long before all this kicked off. Last year’s main Curly Lizard production was a reversion of a very glossy Chinese series for NGC, all made from the spare room.

Some companies are managing to get commissions – you can watch Swan Films MD Joe Evans talking about his latest socially distanced commission with Talented People’s Kimberley Godboldt by clicking here, and your family can take part in Grayson’s Art Club here – but there are a lot more of us still looking for work.

Who are any of us really working for anyway?

So, dear broadcasters and indies – here’s a thought that could get us all busy right now. Pop down to your friendly distributor – online, of course. They have plenty on their shelves from around the world. Or see what you have in your own archive that could be repurposed. Send it over to me, and I’ll script something up and edit it together for you. And should you be up for some history – there are plenty of untouched subjects from all over the world, with archive accessible online. Wouldn’t it be a nice surprise if we suddenly developed a wider world-view while shut away in our houses?

Because when you come down to it, what’s the one thing better than setting up funds and relying on the government’s largesse? Getting productions started again and getting us all back to work. So now: over to you!

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/14396/jonathan-schtz

April 17, 2020 @ 2:46 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To, News Leave a comment

Media Parents IWD Women Filmmakers Event Gallery

by Amy Walker

Huge thanks to everyone who attended Sunday’s IWD event and made it such a great success. Event organiser Lisa Harmer curated a programme of 10 films by female filmmakers in the Hastings area, which were screened to a full house at Kino-Teatr. BBC England Head of Commissioning Aisling O’Connor shared her thoughts on content she’d commission and flexible working in TV which will be summarised for this blog shortly.

With thanks to Lisa Harmer (left) and the BBC's Aisling O'Connor

It was a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women on International Women’s Day, and to connect with people in the different spaces of the atmospheric cinema.

Director Bindu De Stoppani screened trailers of her two most recent feature films

Films ranged in length from 1 to 15 minutes, and included shorts, art pieces and trailers. The youngest filmmaker, Calypso Cragg, was just 15 years old. Media Parents’ next event will be a negotiating masterclass on April 29th, run by video conference so that people from all round the UK can join, virus or no virus. Please keep an eye on the blog and site emails for details.

Money was raised for women's refuge Turner House. If you would like to donate, or are in need of refuge in Hastings please contact the organisation here: https://saha.org.uk/

With many thanks to Olga Mamonova and Kino-Teatr for hosting the event. Thanks also to Zoe Marshall for taking the photographs https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/23/zoe-marshall

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

March 9, 2020 @ 10:57 pm Posted in Events, News Leave a comment