Media Parents

Posts categorised as: TV Training

How to Ace an Online Interview with Zoe Russell-Stretten

by Amy Walker

In order to maximise your opportunity in an online interview, make everything as easy as possible for a potentially tired, zoomed out, busy employer, writes Zoe Russell-Stretten, Head of Talent at Brinkworth. Ahead of Media Parents’ How to Ace a Job Interview Online workshop this Friday, Zoe has kindly shared some tips on online interviews.

Zoe Russell-Stretten from Brinkworth (left) at Media Parents CV Event in the days when we could all go out

We always interview people in pairs at Brinkworth, or even sometimes in threes. An interview with an AP or more junior will last approximately half an hour. Anyone more senior is typically an hour.

Tech:

Almost everyone uses either Zoom or Teams. If you don’t have a basic working knowledge of both, practise using the features before the interview. Always download the application prior to the interview, so you don’t waste the first ten minutes of precious time. It will work!

Maximise your broadband. There’s nothing more frustrating than a poor quality picture, one that is lagging, out of sync or other symptom of poor broadband. This is your first impression, and the interviewer should be able to both see and hear you in real time. Some people do genuinely suffer from poor broadband speeds, but often, this can be improved. Turn off the wifi on all of your other devices in the house; your mobile, other laptops, possibly your TV, an Alexa or Google hub. Beg or bribe other householders to withhold from using the internet for that one sacred hour. If an employer has to work extra hard to connect with you, it’s hard to make a good impression. Test this with a friend beforehand.

Audio. Again, do a test beforehand. Turn off radios. Shut windows. Explain to children, partners or housemates that there’s a lot of chocolate in this for them if they don’t make a noise for an hour. If your audio is unreliable, learn how to use the mute function. Mute yourself when you’re not speaking, to avoid the speaker getting feedback. To avoid most problems, it’s usually easier to use headphones.

Presentation:

Because we’re all at home now, you are technically inviting a prospective employer into your home. So take a look at what the employer can see. Laundry? Clutter all over the carpet? Questionable art on the wall? Something on the shelf (eg that BBC interview)? A lot of people have their home workstation set up in their bedroom. If all else fails, use a filter on your background but make it a professional looking one.

Even if your CV is brilliant, if your house presents as a mess, employers might be worried about entrusting a complex project to someone who can’t present a sense of order and calm. Unfortunately, first impressions really do count, and your home/environment says so much about you.

Also – unless absolutely necessary, avoid taking the call on your mobile. Wherever possible, use a static device. An hour of watching someone’s own shaky hand-cam is extremely draining (especially when you’re doing it hour after hour).

Lighting! We work in a visual industry. If you are anything above a researcher, you should be able to demonstrate that your mind considers things in a visual way. So make sure you’re not backlit, that your face can be seen clearly, and that again, the interviewer isn’t having to mentally work hard to piece together information about you because you’ve set up your interview poorly. It’s amazing the number of shooting PDs who interview for a job but fail to think about setting up the shot of their own face!

Framing. Test with a friend how your framing works. Set your monitor or laptop up so that it’s level with your face. So many people look down into their computer – and it gives the interviewer an excellent view up your nose.  Also, learn how far back you should be to your screen – another frustration is people who sit too close and you are left interviewing their forehead, or just the top half of their face. It’s just extra mental work for the interviewer, and in the TV industry, isn’t really a great first impression. Everyone should be able to frame a basic shot.

Our next event, How to Ace a Job Interview Online, is on Friday 3rd March, email via the contact button above for details

Personal Presentation:

Just because this is an interview taking place in your home, it doesn’t mean that you should dress like you’re at home. Think about how you personally present, and apply the same rules that you would if you were meeting in an office. Dress the part, secure your hair off your face, don’t wear dodgy slogan clothing or something that a child or pet has just been sick upon.

A note about make up – depending upon your camera – some more modern cameras allow a lot of detail. So it can mean a little less is more. One of the strange things about online interviews is you can literally see yourself and how you come across, and if you have any insecurities about your appearance, this can be really distracting. You want to be able to stay confident and focused on what you’re saying. Both Zoom and Teams have filters that allow you to optimise your image (not cat filters, just gentle improvements). If you’re feeling a bit less confident in your appearance (as so many of us do right now!), then these filters are well worth knowing about as they can give just a little boost of self-confidence and stop people from focusing too much on their own face.

Prep:

Now that we are all stuck at home, but with tools to access all of the information on the planet literally sitting in our pockets, there’s just no excuse for not preparing for an interview. Watch. The. Employer’s. Output. This isn’t the early naughties – everything is available on demand, and if it’s not, it will be somewhere on YouTube or Vimeo or similar. Familiarise yourself with the style of programmes. It will empower you so much more in an interview, and there may be opportunities to demonstrate that you’re so invested in getting the job, that you’ve taken time out of your day to do this kind of research. It really really impresses. Every time.

Also – come prepared with questions. Thoughtful, editorially focused questions. Try to make sure they don’t sound critical of the employer or previous output. Practical, logistical and rate-related questions relating to the job itself can be dealt with post interview with either the TM or PM, so don’t waste this opportunity by asking ‘how much will I get paid’ at this juncture. Ask about editorial steer, tone, use of music, access, casting, overall production schedule etc… anything that shows that you’re thinking the way you would if you were already in the job. This is just another way to show that you care about getting the job.

Etiquette:

There may be some people on the call that don’t do much speaking. The people that don’t speak are doing a lot of thinking… and almost definitely they are there because their opinions about you impact on your ability to get the job. So don’t forget to acknowledge them or include them in your greeting, farewell, and of course – if the opportunity arises to reference something they may have said or be involved in. If you’re really at a loss, just use your eyeline to make sure you’re looking at everyone at different stages in the call. Most often, they can see that you’re doing this and that you’re being inclusive.  Regardless of your level of seniority, this portrays you as a respectful team member, and everyone wants that!

Back in the good old days of offices, this same rule applied. People who failed to acknowledge others in the meeting performed poorly, and were less likely to get the job as it was an indication as to how they perceived a) their own status and b) how they would behave on a team.

Some Positives:

Online interviews, and homeworking, are brilliant for opening up more opportunities to work. As a Talent Exec, I can now hire people based purely on their skills, without having to take their geographical locations into consideration. I can hire people who are juggling childcare, or other caring responsibilities – where previously more exceptions would have needed to have been made, these issues are no longer something to be ‘solved’ or agreed upon. People can work far more flexibly.

The same goes for access in general – for those with other access to work challenges. The removal of a commute to an office instantly broadens the talent pool in a positive and exciting way. We have always tried to make jobs as accessible as possible, but we are able to do so with far more ease and success now.

And finally…

Just a general note for interviews in any situation. Please don’t tell me that you’re great. Just be great. The individuals that are at great pains to describe themselves using the adjectives on their personal statements on their CV come across as insincere – and I sometimes suspect they are doing it out of nervousness. Try not to let nerves get in the way, but if they’re there, it’s much more acceptable to acknowledge those by saying ‘ah… it doesn’t matter how many years I’ve been in this job, I still get nervous in interviews!’. That shows you care. Going hard the other way to cover up your fears is off putting and makes it very hard for the interviewer to see through the self-advertising which can come over as egotistical.

Join us for Media Parents events, jobs and training at www.mediaparents.co.uk. Our latest event is on Friday 5th March

March 3, 2021 @ 3:49 pm Posted in Events, How To, TV Training Comments Off

Event: How to Ace A Job Interview Online

by Amy Walker

Face any online interview fearlessly with Media Parents Director Amy Walker’s TV industry tips at Media Parents’ February event.

Get Prepared, Feel Confident. See the Media Parents watercooler for tickets. (Photo: Clare Lawrence http://www.loveseen.co.uk/)

Join us from 12 – 1pm on Friday 12th February 2021 for an interactive online workshop: How to Ace A Job Interview Online. Sign up for your ticket via the Media Parents watercooler or non-members click here to email us for details.

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

February 7, 2021 @ 6:32 pm Posted in Events, How To, TV Training 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

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

5 minutes with returning PM Hannah Williams

by Amy Walker

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2019 has opened for applications – yes it’s back! To get an application form or recommend a friend drop us a line c/o www.mediaparents.co.uk contact button.

I cannot express how much difference the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme made to reigniting both my career and my confidence writes PM Hannah Williams. (Hannah is currently looking to fill a gap before her next contract, so if you need a PM let her know: https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11460/hannah-williams-lovell)

PM Hannah Williams, 2nd from right top, with the other 2018 Back to Work Scheme Winners at Edinburgh

Since returning last August I was mentored by the wonderful Becky Parkinson at Merman. After a lovely chat and first meeting I suddenly found myself as one of the Merman team managing the Post in the UK for Frayed – an extremely exciting, funny and brilliantly written new comedy drama by Sarah Kendall.

This mainly involved coordinating Australian and UK post to work harmoniously together, as the show was shot (predominantly) in Australia and post was being split between the two countries. It couldn’t have been more perfect as it was almost exclusively home-based, aside from a few meetings or visits to the post facility in Soho.

I split 3 days across 5 which worked perfectly around my 3 children. Working with Australia came in quite handy when my children are creatures of unsociable hours anyway so I could catch up with the team in Melbourne first thing/last thing and still pick up/drop off my children at school. It just required a bit of multi-tasking and careful use of my time.

Hannah Williams gets back up to speed with industry events at Ed TV Fest

In my first few weeks back to work I felt slightly rusty but Becky was inordinately supportive and I knew I could always ask if I needed help. As it turns out, maternity leave hadn’t sapped all traces of experience and I found that I settled back into it quite quickly and loved it. Initially the contract was 6 months but I was kept on for a while longer and am hoping to rejoin them at some point in the future.

Since Merman, I took on some pre-production for a new children’s animation (which was also working exclusively from home) and am now actively looking for my next venture.

I think what this process has taught me is that I may have been out of the industry over enormous changes to tapeless or 4K but technical gaps can be answered by a simple question (or extensive google). Even the people who haven’t left the industry are still asking questions and are learning. Skills will never leave you but new knowledge can always be obtained if you need it.

The invaluable pep talk with Amy at the beginning of this journey, all those months ago in Edinburgh, still rings in my head today. Even if you have been out it does not erase all the hard work you have put in prior to babies. You are still the same person as you were with the same skills and the same talent so never make excuses for yourself.

Back to Work Scheme Winners Hannah Williams and Melissa Bishop at Media Parents Summer Party

The scheme has helped me hold onto that and regain the confidence to still see myself as a valuable asset, even if I have to be more specific about my hours and work schedule. So thank you Amy for calling me from your holiday when I had emailed you in two minds about the scheme. I really appreciated that as the support from Media Parents and the mentors from this scheme has been invaluable.

And to those of you who are a little shaky about going back to work or are thinking about applying for this year’s Back to Work Scheme if it goes ahead – DO IT! The worst that can happen is that you meet some amazing people, gain invaluable networking skills and get to have an incredible mentor and new network to support you. And if that’s the worst that can happen then you have no excuse!

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/11460/hannah-williams-lovell

June 21, 2019 @ 6:31 am Posted in Events, Freelancer Profiles, TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off

january event : negotiating with media parents, Maverick TV & Spelthorne Community TV

by Amy Walker

Happy New Year! Following the success of last year’s event we’re inviting you to Negotiate with Media Parents, Maverick and Spelthorne Community Television on Wednesday January 23rd. Maverick TV’s Head of Production Maria French will join Spelthorne PM and Unit List guru Jude Winstanley and Media Parents Director Amy Walker for a brilliant training session on negotiating rates and flexibility as a freelancer.

Maverick TV's HoP Maria French at Media Parents 2018 Negotiating training with Exec Matt Holden, and returner Emma Sayce who went on to work flexibly at Maverick

"Make friends with Production Managers, they have the intel on rates" suggested Jude Winstanley. Pictured with Media Parents Director Amy Walker at Media Parents Negotiation event in 2017.

Join us for this year's Negotiating event on Weds Jan 23rd, see below for ticket link.

Get your tickets here : https://negotiating-with-media-parents.eventbrite.co.uk

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

January 16, 2019 @ 2:25 pm Posted in Events, TV Training Comments Off

being a female TV director by Kate Dooley

by Amy Walker

According to the Directors UK report Who’s Calling the Shots I’m a rare breed, writes Specialist Factual Director Kate Dooley. Perhaps (to be over dramatic about it) even heading for extinction, as the report highlights that the gender gap is increasing across the four terrestrial UK TV broadcasters.

PD Kate Dooley Directing for Great British Cathedrals with Tony Robinson, Channel 5

If David Attenborough saw me working he might comment on my tall giraffe easy rig that helps me self shoot, my kangaroo pouch bumbag that holds my essentials, and my alpha dog nature to get everything filmed on tight deadlines with ever decreasing funds. He wouldn’t question whether I missed painting my nails and looking at handbags.  Nor why I should have to deal with the male of my species rubbing themselves on my leg or putting their feet up on my desk.

That is because these are all human gender biases. They are nothing to do with me as a person or my capability to do my job. Thankfully, I have never felt that being a woman was a problem. But I have been the only female producer/director on every production in my career so far.

I have been the only female producer/director on every production in my career so far.

Producer Director Kate Dooley

So I warmly welcome the current atmosphere to foster females in the industry to gain some balance. It’s not just about the numbers. But it is about the balance of skills, opinions and experience from both the male and female perspective. As one of the female directors positively mentioned in the Channel 5 Diversity Guidelines I believe we have to provide nurture as well as opportunities. Media Parents felt like the right platform for this.

So how do we get more of these rare breeds?  What would help is a mix of push and pull tactics :

Most importantly, companies should positively seek out and hire women.  We aren’t hiding in the bush waiting for David Attenborough and his crew to see through our camouflage. We are here calling from the canopies. Give us a chance and then help us succeed.

Collaboration is more productive than confrontation. For an industry all about communication we also have to be open to how women communicate.   For example, I personally prefer a Socratic approach of asking questions which clarify options and encourage interactions. And I’m sorry (not sorry), I also believe we have to teach women to stop apologising.

Negotiation training especially when negotiating rates. There are (at least) two reasons women are paid less – they don’t feel they can negotiate, and the negotiators take advantage of that. The irony is most of the rate negotiations are carried out by female production managers. Thankfully Media Parents runs a great negotiating course and there is one coming up soon.

Writing / shooting training on and off the job as standard for everyone. Included in this is constant constructive feedback like chefs get in kitchens but hopefully with fewer expletives. Some companies run exit interviews with freelancers, I’ll settle for an email or call from the edit if I’m not cutting the show.

Positive role models as per STEM.  We need more female commissioners, execs, series producers and producer/directors to be in the limelight leading the way and mentoring the next generation. (Watch this space for the roll call of Back to Work mentors).

Properly tailored shooting equipment. All camera operators have back problems whatever they can bench press. We need cameras and rigs that are lighter and fit properly.

So employers, it’s time to act on the Directors UK report – I’m available!

[Since writing this, Kate has started work at the BBC]

kate dooley, producer director

Nominated for a Grierson in 2016, Kate has self shot and edit produced factual and specialist factual shows for the major UK broadcasters as well as Discovery. Science series include BBC2’s Inside the Factory featuring the largest food factories in Europe to uncover the secrets behind food production on an epic scale. History shows include Channel 5’s Great British Cathedrals with Tony Robinson and Discovery series Unearthed, following archaeologists uncovering new insights into world renowned monuments.

Kate’s degree is in engineering and this insight has helped her make engineering shows like Discovery’s Rise of the Machines, revealing the amazing human stories behind the inventions hidden deep inside some of the world’s most extreme machines. She is familiar with many cameras including FS7, A7S and C300 and has set up specialist GoPro rigs inside aircraft.

https://www.mediaparents.co.uk/freelancers/10369/kate-dooley

Click image to join Media Parents www.mediaparents.co.uk for great jobs, training and events.

August 27, 2018 @ 3:09 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles, TV Training Leave a comment

media parents back to work scheme under deliberation

by Amy Walker

Media Parents’ Back to Work Scheme announces its 6th year in partnership with Edinburgh International TV Festival. Thank you to every who has applied, we have heard from great returning talent. Details of winners will be posted elsewhere on this blog. We will hold drinks in September for all applicants.

Media Parents is re-launching its hugely successful sponsorship scheme to help parents and carers back into the TV industry after a career break. 100% of our sponsored applicants have been offered work after taking part in The Media Parents’ Back to Work scheme. Will you be the next?

Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2017 : Scripted Director Kate Cheeseman, SP Nicola Kingscote, PD Josie Besbrode & Edit Producer Emma Sayce

We are hugely grateful to our sponsors – and are delighted to say that Channel 4 has just come on board. Other sponsors are All3Media, ITV, MermanEndemol Shine, Warner Bros, Sister Pictures and Raw TV for supporting this scheme for talented freelancers. PD Josie Besbrode and Edit Producer Emma Sayce have both returned to flexible work this year. Josie has been working part time and Emma has been job sharing – you can read their job share post here and look out for Emma’s latest job share piece. SP Nicola Kingscote has written about Edinburgh TV Festival, and Director Kate Cheeseman has written about returning to work to direct Call the Midwife.

Media Parents Back to Work Winners at Edinburgh TV Festival 2015

Previous years’ winners include a primary carer who had been out of TV for 8 years and has gone from directing EastEnders to now directing Emmerdale, other returners have secured commissions, and another successfully used the scheme to return to work in remission from cancer. 

Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2015 at GEITF

We offer companies the opportunity to sponsor one of our applicants to give them the boost of confidence and contacts that will help highly skilled TV workers back into the industry. Through the scheme companies can increase diversity in the workplace, play a part in reinvigorating the career of talented individuals – and in the process garner great PR as a company – we have a track record of gaining national media coverage in The Guardian and on BBC Radio 4.

Successful applicants will be awarded sponsored places at this year’s Edinburgh International TV Festival EITF in August – applicants must be available in Edinburgh from 22 – 24th August. Our winners will be awarded a delegate pass plus travel to, and accommodation in, Edinburgh with bespoke mentoring sessions from the sponsors. Historically places have been sponsored by Endemol Shine, Channel 4, BBC, CDN, Sky, ITV, Warner Bros, BBC Wales, All3Media, Raise the Roof Productions and Endemol Shine.

Read more about the 2016 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners at www.mediaparents.co.uk

We work with mentees in advance t0 workshop CVs, and the onus is on mentees to formulate a back to work plan with Media Parents which they discuss with their mentor. Previous years’ mentors include Shine MD Tanya Shaw, ITV Creative Director of Programming, Mark Robinson, Sky Head of Comedy, Jon Mountague, ex Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes Ralph Lee, Channel 4 Drama’s Chloe Tucker, Wall to Wall MD, Richard Thompson, Ricochet Head of Production Lisa Cox, Boomerang Director of Programmes Sam Grace, PACT Chief Executive, John McVay, Channel 4 Commissioner Michelle Chappell, BBC Commissioner Catherine Catton and Nat Geo Commissioner Carolyn Payne among a brilliant array of execs from across the board in TV. We are told the experience is highly rewarding on both sides.

6 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners attended the Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival in 2014, seen here with Media Parents Director Amy Walker.

Applicants for the scheme are required to complete and submit an application form (click here to download : Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Form 2018), plus a CV and 300 word précis outlining their ambitions upon returning to TV to events@mediaparents.co.uk by July 29th at 6pm. Candidates must have at least 3 years’ experience in TV and should not have worked in TV for more than 12 consecutive weeks since their career break. Applications are now open.

Ali McBride, Harriet Wallace, Kirsty Smith and Sidra Khan, media parents delegates waiting for Kevin Spacey's MacTaggart Speech at GEITF 2013.

Media Parents - join now for brilliant jobs and events at www.mediaparents.co.uk

July 4, 2018 @ 7:00 pm Posted in News, TV Returners, TV Training 6 Comments

media parents mentoring : writer Emma Reeves & Returning Script Editor Becky Evans

by Amy Walker

Emma Reeves is an award-winning writer working across stage and screen. Her TV Children’s credits alone include The Worst WitchEveThe Dumping Ground, Young Dracula and The Story of Tracy Beaker. She has won Writers Guild Awards, RTS Awards and been nominated for both Children’s Baftas and a Broadcast Award. We have worked together before and there’s very little this lady doesn’t know about Children’s drama, writes Returning Script Editor Becky Evans. I was extremely pleased to learn that Becky had agreed to be my mentor courtesy of the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme.

The Worst Witch (Credit : CBBC)

A nice lunch in the bar at BAFTA gave Emma and me the perfect chance to catch up, reminisce about past projects and begin plotting a return for me. Emma is the perfect mentor because she has been able to offer the relevant names and contacts from a variety of companies within the Children’s field. It certainly hasn’t done me any harm to mention her name as my mentor either! She has made my CV mailout a whole lot easier and it’s been really encouraging to link to the right people straight away without feeling like your CV is floating across a lot of the wrong departments. New contacts in hand it’s been left to me to do the ground work so the last 6 weeks has been emails, calls and the odd meeting to refresh old connections and make some new ones. It’s fantastic to know that Emma has her ear to the ground on my behalf too and always at the end of a phone if I need a pep talk!

Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme Script Editor Becky Evans in conversation at BAFTA

So far the reaction to my CV has been very positive and it’s been a great boost for my confidence to know that my skills are still very relevant and of interest to Producers. My recent placement at Kindle Entertainment, also organised by Media Parents, has really helped bridge the parenting gap on my CV. An expression I’ve heard a few times after various meetings and chats is ‘Good Script Editors are thin on the ground! Looking forward it’s now all about the wait to be remembered when the new drama pitches have been signed off and the productions start crewing up. The Script Editor is usually the next port of call right behind the Producer once a drama leaves its development home. Make your CV memorable enough, impress where you can and with a bit of luck the phone will ring when they need someone with your skills!!

Emma Reeves, Writer

Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Mentor

‘I worked with Becky a few years ago on a British / Australian co-production for CBBC, ‘Dead Gorgeous’. I very much appreciated her talent and attention to detail as a Script Editor. The demands of the business, especially on continuing drama, can make it particularly hard for working mums (mums are still too often the “default parent”). Good Script Editors like Becky are hard to find and it’s time the industry recognised that they need to move to more flexible working conditions if they are not to continue to experience a major talent drain. Script Editors can work effectively from home a great deal of the time, making it easier for working parents to fit work around school runs, etc. I know that the response to Becky’s CV has been very positive and I’m sure she’ll find the perfect job’.

The Worst Witch Writer Emma Reeves

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July 3, 2018 @ 7:45 am Posted in How To, TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off