Media Parents

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How to Job Share in TV by Media Parents

by Amy Walker

Huge thanks to everyone who supported our TV Job Share Event this week and made it a resounding success. We were particularly delighted to be joined by so many Production Executives who were thinking of ways to build job share into their schedules. Thanks to Hat Trick’s Joint Directors of Production Jessica Sharkey and Laura Djanogly who shared tips from their own job share, and have been supporting us since our first job share event in 2010 – read on…

"We wanted communication to be seamless" Hat Trick's Joint Directors of Production Laura Djanogly and Jessica Sharkey with Media Parents Director Amy Walker

“We wanted communication to be seamless” Hat Trick’s Joint Directors of Production Jessica Sharkey and Laura Djanogly commented at Media Parents’ TV Job Share event. “We wanted someone to be able to start a conversation with one of us on a Monday and pick it up with the other on a Thursday without having to repeat themselves”. Having a joint email inbox has helped with this, and it’s a trick that job sharing Edit Producers Emma Sayce and Nikki Ryan haven’t missed on Operation Ouch at Maverick TV.

Tamara Durnford, right, Maverick TV's Talent Manager with PD Colette Hooper

Maverick TV’s PM and Talent Manager Tamara Durnford job shares part of her role with Maverick’s Head of Production Maria French. When it came to finding a match for Edit Producer Nikki Ryan, Maverick took the process seriously and asked Media Parents to help. Media Parents PD and Back to Work Scheme 2017 winner Emma Sayce got the job. The pair had not met before they started working together but the match is going well nonetheless. Emma has even been given some work from home scripting on some of the days that she isn’t in the office at Maverick.

Cat Fox, Tiger Aspect's Head of Productions is open to job shares. Cat (left) is pictured with returning Line Producer Clair Carney from Channel 4's Bake Off

Tiger Aspect is a company which is open to job shares, although nobody is yet job sharing. Head of Production Cat Fox was in the crowd to pick up ideas. All companies at the event agreed that joint approaches are welcome, and using the Media Parents website, freelancers can find others to job share with and mark the pairings on their profiles. We also encourage freelancers to apply as job shares for our jobs – present a solution that includes the flexibility you need, rather than just asking for help. Where possible get a schedule before the interview so you can talk in practical terms about the feasibility of flexibility.

Kindle Entertainment Production Executive Keri Atkins was in the crowd to find out how to make job shares work at Kindle

There were several existing job shares in the crowd at the Media Parents TV Job Share Event, including PDs Alicky Sussman and Milla Harrison. Milla and Alicky have job shared as PDs, Development Producers and Edit Producers and have written about it here:

Alicky Sussman (right centre) and Milla Harrison have job shared as PDs, Edit Producers and Development Producers - so far!

Milla and Alicky’s job shares were supported by the BBC, and docs Senior Producer Jenny Williams also spoke from the floor about her current BBC job share.

Producer Jenny Williams speaking about her job share, next to Raw TV's Sophie Milligan

Jenny Williams was approached for her BBC role and made it clear that she could only work part time. At which point her BBC Exec suggested a job share, and this is currently in its first month and working well. The pair did not know each other before the job share was set up, but they did meet in advance. All job shares emphasise the importance of communication, and Media Parents Director Amy Walker has written about a creative job share with someone she had worked with previously, here :

All3Media's Head of Talent Anouk Berendsen (right) also welcomes approaches from job shares

All3Media’s Anouk Berendsen also welcomes approaches from job shares. Her advice was to be clear about flexibility needs from early on “If an Exec wants to work with you then we can make it work for you, we can be creative about the way we staff projects, I’ve just placed someone on a 4 day a week contract, and I work flexibly – the company is run by a woman and we are really good about providing what people need to make their lives work too.”

Exec Producer Matt Holden also spoke about the flexibility that Shine TV offer to freelancers, enabling work life balance and a happy workforce. Shine MD Tanya Shaw has been mentoring returning PD Emma Sayce as part of Media Parents Back to Work Scheme and Emma will be working at Shine once her Maverick contract finishes.

Exec Producer Matt Holden in the crowd at Media Parents TV Job Share Event

BBC Drama’s Talent Manager Noelle Bartlett and Production Executive Jacquie Glanville were at the event meeting freelancers and making it clear that flexibility is supported at the BBC. Jacquie is also mentoring Returning Drama Coordinator Paula Watkins on the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme funded by the HETV Drama levy managed by Creative Skillset.

BBC Drama's Noelle Bartlett (left) and Jacquie Glanville were keen to meet Media Parents freelancers

Job sharing Talent Managers at Twenty Twenty TV have recently employed their first Edit Producer job share on First Dates and are looking forward to that paving the way for more. A great tip from the event is to use the Media Parents network to help you find job share partners, then to write for the blog about the qualities your job share brings, and the flexible work you want, as Post PMs Sarah Bell and Monica Rubio have here :

Jay from Jamie Oliver Productions (left) talked to freelancers including PM job share Sarah Bell and Monica Rubio

Media Parents Back to Work winner 2017 PD / Edit Producer Josie Besbrode has been working part time in edit recently, and has joined forces with job sharing Edit Producer Emma Sayce to write this informative blog packed with tips on job share, so please do read and share :

Flexible working PD Josie Besbrode (centre) has researched job sharing for Media Parents blog

Huge thanks to everyone who came and made some GREAT MATCHES in the crowd! Please keep letting us know about your job share progress and highlight companies who are supportive so we can keep the momentum going. Thank you so much for this feedback on twitter @mediaparents too, it keeps us all going!!

Senior Producer Jayne Hibbitt Smith from Kalooki Productions is looking for a PD at the moment so why not apply as a job share? See our jobs page at

Our next event is on June 4th and our Media Parents Summer Party is on July 4th this year so SAVE THE DATE!

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May 18, 2018 @ 2:44 pm Posted in Events, How To, TV Training Comments Off

how to job share as a TV PD by Amy Walker

by Amy Walker

Media Parents PD Laura Leigh filming on location in Essex before the TOWIE fight.

Being offered the directing job on a single doc is a dream for most PDs. Being given a four-week shooting period, and a contract of 10 weeks from prep to final post is, frankly, dream over. I turned it down twice, writes Media Parents Director, Amy Walker. Not so much because of the challenging shoot and edit schedule, but because, if not handled sensitively, this doc about controversial kids’ beauty parlours could potentially impact the small businesses of the women – mums – who ran and depended on them. And I am passionate about supporting independent businesses. And women.

I took the job. Not only did we have a short time to turn the production around, we also had logistical challenges in that the production office ran from Bath, and the shoots were in Essex and Sussex. I had worked for the indie before so I made a bold suggestion – a job share could make the schedule and budget work.

I had worked as a Series Producer with a talented PD called Laura Leigh. Born in Essex, Laura had returned to her roots with her husband and one-year old. She was a great shooter and could manage the Essex contributor shoots, whilst I, not a shooter, could cover everything else with a crew. This meant Laura could also continue to shoot whilst I took the production into the edit.

I put it to Laura. We talked at length about how it could work. We knew each other well and had worked together before so had done a lot of job share groundwork already. Laura came with me to sign up the Essex contributor. She was a dream – your slightly wayward friend from school who you love but cannot save from herself. She got on like a house on fire with Laura. We were away.

Media Parents PD Laura Leigh filming in Essex

We would do the first few shoot days together (we had just ten budgeted days), then split them geographically. We meticulously planned each shoot (as much as one can) both logistically and editorially. We agreed shotlists and lists of questions, hypothesized scenarios based on recces. We had a long phone call the night before each shoot, each of us made separate shoot notes, and a longer download call at the end of each shoot day, with many emails in between.

Laura Leigh shot most of the footage on a P2. We chose this camera because, as Laura was recently pregnant at the time, we needed a lighter weight camera that was still acceptable for the broadcaster’s delivery requirements. Shooting on this tapeless format meant that — aside from working with sound recordist Jasmine Allodi who is also adept at data wrangling ­­— we had to bring in a DIT. The team excelled themselves when, during a break from filming our contributor started a fight with someone from the cast of TOWIE. It was picked up on the mic and thanks to the digital set up we were able to salvage the audio and use it over other shots until the camera was rolling on it.

We were delighted – and I will admit I was a bit envious as it wasn’t my shoot – but there is no I in job share. On their next shoot I got a text from Laura to say that the contributor (and effectively our crew) had been ejected from the audience of The Wright Stuff Extra for shouting abuse – so there are swings and roundabouts.

Media Parents' Director Amy Walker with creative jobshare partner PD Laura Leigh (right).

I am really proud in TV terms of what our team achieved. Massively assisted by the job share we made a 44-minute, single doc in 10 shooting days over the course of a four-week shooting period. Alex Kirkland is a fast, clever editor, who brought the offline edit home on time and budget in just four weeks. He also has a good tenor voice for cheering up a day that has gone beyond reasonable length.

To join us Media Parents TV Job Share event sign up to the guestlist here and send a CV to the address on the link :

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May 9, 2018 @ 6:15 pm Posted in How To, TV Training Comments Off

media parents CV event gallery

by Amy Walker

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for our recent CV event, it was great to see so many connections being made – and even job shares being discussed ahead of our May jobsharing event. Special thanks to companies who joined us including jobsharing talent managers from Twenty Twenty TV, Maverick TV’s Tamara Durnford, Brinkworth Films, Outline Productions and Haresh Patel, who is looking for a flexible producer / business getter for his new VR / AR venture. A good time was had by all. If you’d like CV tips please scroll down, and in the meantime here are some photos of the event, also see our twitterfeed @mediaparents.

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for another great Media Parents evening

Twenty Twenty's job sharing Talent Managers Kate Farnaby and Sophie French have also job shared as Series Producers

Zoe Russell-Stretten from Brinkworth Films (left)

Well done to all those who attended their first Media Parents event, we know you'll be back!

PM jobshare Monica Rubio and Sarah Bell were networking as a pair

Thanks to Maverick's Tamara Durnford for meeting so many freelancers

Outline Productions' part time Production Exec Emily Freshwater came into town on her day off for the event - thank you Emily!

RDF West's Emily Knight took the late train back to Bristol after meeting freelancers who will work out of Bristol and Cardiff.

If you'd like to know more about Media Parents events drop us a line and scroll down the blog.

Media Parents' Amy Walker offers free CV advice at any time to Media Parents members.

"I've never seen so many cocktail sausages in my life". Let's leave it there.


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April 26, 2018 @ 12:16 am Posted in Events, TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off

on returner placement with Becky Evans, Script Editor

by Amy Walker

After a snowy start to the month I began a four week placement as a Development Script Editor on the Children’s Editorial team at Kindle Entertainment, writes returning Script Editor Becky Evans. Kindle are a multi award-winning independent who amongst others make shows like Jamillah & Aladdin, Hank Zipzer, Treasure Island and Dixie. The placement set up by the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme has been a fantastic first step back into the industry.

Script Editor Becky Evans is #backtowork and available from April

It has been hugely encouraging for me to be offered a flexible working plan. Kindle agreed to two full working days on site with three days from home. This has restored my faith that the TV drama industry does and can offer flexibility for their professionals with young families. It’s also been fantastic to know that my parenting gap of seven years doesn’t affect the value of the professional skillbase I developed prior to taking mat leave.

A typical day – it’s an early start for me as I battle Southwest trains from my home base in Hampshire up to Waterloo, and on to Kindle’s home base of Gainsborough Studios in Shoreditch. I have now mastered the exact spot to stand on the station platform that lines up beautifully with the carriage door. Sadly about 50 other people figured that out too. The hour-long journey gives me quiet time to read and I’ve started using the travel to help cover the workload. These are precious child-free hours in my day so I’ve learnt to make use of them!

Returning Script Editor Becky Evans is placed with Kindle Entertainment via the Media Parents Children's Drama Return to Work Programme

My office days tend to be very busy working to sometimes tight deadlines re-writing pitch documents, creating new stories or adapting longer-form ideas to shorter-form concepts.  It’s quite a challenge to be able to switch your headspace from project to project but one I’m thoroughly enjoying.

My home days have been on call for the Head of Children’s Development in case she has anything she needs me to look over. I also have a general workload of novels and scripts to read with a view to identifying new writing talent or particular voices suitable for up-coming projects. It’s been encouraging to know that briefing sessions with writers are as common via SKYPE as they are face to face.

Overall it’s great to be back in London and amongst the buzz of a busy production company. Kindle Entertainment are a welcoming team and it continues to be a privilege to be working across a variety of drama development projects on their Children’s slate.  Thank you to Amy Walker and the Media Parents team for putting all of this together. The experience has also encouraged me to get my CV out there and start looking for future editorial roles – I’m available for interviews from April.

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March 18, 2018 @ 9:26 pm Posted in TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off

on returner placement with Mike Ogden, drama production coordinator

by Amy Walker

Mike Ogden is a returning Production Coordinator on the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme. He is being mentored by Mammoth Screen’s Joint Head of Production, Howard Ella (see below). Mike starts as a placement as trainee assistant coordinator on Tiger Aspect’s latest drama Curfew with Sean Bean for SKY on Monday.

Mike Ogden is taking up a placement on Tiger Aspect's drama Curfew with Sean Bean

I’d stepped away from TV to be a carer for family. It was a hard decision to make at the time as I was juggling a career in TV camera operating and assisting as well as a burgeoning career as an independent film-maker. I do love making filmed drama. When I can’t be making it for someone else, I’ll make my own. However, when a massive life event happens, no matter how much you try and plough through to continue your career, it can stop you. That’s what happened to me. I had to face life, deal with things and try to heal.

Returning drama coordinator Mike Ogden is being mentored by Mammoth Screen's Howard Ella

Last year I decided it was time to come back to being a useful crew member. However, as an ex-camera person I knew I couldn’t just pick that career up so I re-appraised my skillset, taking in to account my experiences in production. I’d gained a place on a production management course at Pinewood Wales with Sgil Cymru / Skillset for two weeks. The course was great, reminding me that I am one of those oddball people who likes to solve a problem, organise and watch a plan come off successfully. Yet I needed more mentoring guidance and support.

In mid 2017, it felt like my life was too uncertain. Maybe it was time to think of something else to do. I had built up some excellent skills and experience, having managed what I’d consider several high end and complicated short films I’d learned tons from, and also the professional experience I’d had working for years in television on a lot of shows. It seemed a shame to throw that away, but also an impossible task to get seen in a new light and restart my crew career. I applied to Media Parents to see if they would support my relaunch as a Production Coordinator.

Media Parents pressed the button on the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme. Quickly we were fixing our CVs, making a plan of approach for HETV drama then attending the BVE London expo. Networking like mad, I even met someone from my previous career from Technicolor and discovered that someone from Media Parents was the daughter of a cameraman I’d worked with at Granada. I immediately felt less isolated and supported.

Meeting Ros Attille, Head of Development, CBeebies, with fellow returning Coordinator Zenna Barry

Being accepted on to the Media Parents High End TV Drama Return to Work Programme has allowed me a second chance. Now I can aim for my goal of being a production manager via co-ordinating for high end television drama with support and mentoring. After several years of being mentally clobbered, the positivity of being on this course and the support from so many gives me hope that I do have a useful future in production, doing the thing I love most : helping make filmed drama the best it can be.

media parents mentor : howard ella

joint head of production, mammoth screen

Mike Ogden’s mentor Howard Ella joined Mammoth Screen having spent the last 15 years Producing and Line Producing dramas such as ‘An Inspector Calls’, ‘Lewis’, ‘Monroe, ‘Mount Pleasant’ and ‘5 Days’.

Howard started in the industry as a runner at Yorkshire Television and has worked in most areas of production. Outside of Mammoth Howard sits on the board of the Milton Rooms, an arts venue in Malton and writes and directs pantomimes and charity murder mysteries in his native county of Yorkshire.

Media Parents is hugely grateful to Howard and our other mentors for their support for the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Scheme, funded by the HETV Levy managed by Creative Skillset.

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March 16, 2018 @ 9:33 pm Posted in TV Returners, TV Training Comments Off