Category Archives: Uncategorized

New job. New blog

It’s been 5 whole years since my last post, and instead of giving you a random recap of which most of the information will be cut short, I thought I would just continue as if that time had not passed, and life had not taken me on the winding road to where I am now…

So…

Travelling alone for work is always a strange experience. Restaurants are the most peculiar places I find, especially when there for dinner. You’re generally surrounded by families, friends and couples all on holiday, enjoying a relaxing dinner and drink at the end of a day of sightseeing or sunbathing. There’s a lot of time to ponder the world back home and wonder what everyone is up to at that particular moment in time.

There are obviously the fellow ‘working away’ soloists sat sporadically around the restaurant. You can always tell who they are, engrossed in an electrical device whether it be their phones, iPads, laptops or kindles. I’m not knocking this in the slightest. It’s a great way to keep in contact with those you miss and find yourself thinking about.

I started my new job as an International Format Consultant (Lahh-Dee-Day I know!) in May and since then, have been discovering just what this job is all about as well as travelling to various locations.

So what IS an International Format Consultant?

I’ll try and be brief but anyone knows me might know this might not be. I now work for what was BBC Worldwide but since April and ‘ the merge,’ it’s another arm of production in BBC Studios.

We’re a small team of 6; 4 flying consultants (of which I’m one), our team’s production co-ordination and our boss. We then work closely with two other teams so we sit with around 15-20 people. It’s a very sociable bunch, unless headphones are on and then not so much.

It’s our main goal to facilitate and encourage other broadcasters around the world to make the best version possible of a format. Whether that be Bake Off (yes the BBC own the international license to that – not including the UK or North America), Strictly (aka Dancing with the Stars to the rest of the globe), Astronauts or How To Stay Young, once the sales team have done their thing it’s passed onto one of us to help the local broadcaster produce their show.

Having spent 11 years in production, I thought I would miss the practical side more but alas, this job is so interesting and exciting that you don’t really get from carrying, dragging lugging, kit weighing a small huge elephant around the country. Anyone who knows how much I love Eurovision and the idea of being a Head of Delegation will understand when I say, the job is a bit like that.

I like to think of it all a bit like a James Bond film, but without the missions involving death… and there are zero guns… and no Martini’s; shaken or stirred (mainly because I don’t like them)… and zero Bond Girls… and no lasers or plans for world domination, but way more glitter and baking and laughing and some gadgets but they have been purchased through standard routes as opposed to customised by a guy with a letter for a name.

Now as I write this I’m on a flight back from Athens. Yes there are the usual crying babies surrounding me and I’ve finally found the balance for my headphones which means they are drowned out for the most part, without leaving me totally deaf.

The team I’ve been working with have been incredible and SO welcoming; a classic Mediterranean spirit. But I am also glad to be going home, even if the weather is 20 degrees colder. Gotta love British weather.

I guess these posts might be a way for me to keep track of what’s exactly happened. So when I’m 90, sat with Adam, looking out on my balcony (because I’m going to have a balcony) I can relive these moments. Like a diary for the new age… including pictures obvs!

So, to the future me, and anyone else who would like to come along for the ride, hope you like it…

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Tips on networking

Yesterday I went to a ‘managing your career’ workshop and the best thing to come out of it were a few networking tips that I would like to share with you…

  1. Share more information than you expect to get back
  2. Research an event/project/person before going to it/watching it/meeting them so you take an interest in what’s happening
  3. Be proactive – if you hear about something you can help with, volunteer for it! 
  4. Make the most of the events that you go to
  5. Keep your contacts up to date and use them – don’t just wait until that point when you need a job or want something. Drop people a line to say hello or ask for their opinion on something you’re working on
  6. Follow up on the contacts that you make quickly
  7. See yourself as part of a linked environment – it’s a small world after all!
  8. Become known as someone who can also connect others with one another – don’t be selfish
  9. Spend 10 minutes a day ‘bumping into’ people
  10. When possible, chose for a face-to-face meeting instead of picking up the phone

Generally, I think the overall consensus of networking is a bit like exercise or learning a new language – it’s all about little and often. 

 

I hope this has been a little useful for you. It was for me. I’m replenishing my business card stash as I type!!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Filming for Audience Insights

Filming the Audience Insights day in BBC London was great fun although quite exhausting!

The day began at 8am when the four camera operators; Anna, Andy, Josh and myself, sorted the Z5 kits and got ready for a morning of flash mobbing.

Camera D; My Camera

The 50 young people arrived and we split into four groups; one camera with each group…logical! The groups then went to different areas of the BBC and made people aware of the Audience Insights Portal now available online.

Filming the Flash Mobs at the BBCFor the morning session, we simply followed each group with handheld Z5’s (although I took my monopod… obviously! Everyone who knows me, understands how much I love that thing for observational filming).

After a 17 minute lunch (yum!) we set up for the afternoon question andFilming the Question and Answer session answer session.

For this, three  BBC controllers met with the 16 – 24 year olds to discuss everything and anything; from their personal experiences to their programme ideas.

It was a fantastic afternoon session to film.  We filmed it much like a usual audience setup. Two cameras either side of the stage, one at the back as a wide shot of the whole stage, and then one focused on the audience.

I am quite excited about editing it all together… all 14 tapes!

Skecher and Camera

I think the best part of the day for me was getting to meet and record a voice over with Kirsten O’Brien. I used to watch her present CBBC with Ortis the Aadvark and I couldn’t believe I was sat next to her! Ahh it’s the small things I guess….

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.