As programme Leaders and Senior lecturers on Television Production Management and Film and TV production at Edgehill university, maintaining strong industry links which our students can tap into, plays a big part in the work Perelandra Beedles and Joy Monks do to prepare for each new year.
Joy and Perelandra both still balance successful broadcast careers with their roles as lecturers and it is through this work that they are able to organise placements, guest speakers and mentorships for their students.
Here Perelandra tells us about a recent visit they made to Mediacity in Manchester.
It’s always great to pop over to Mediacity to catch up with friends and colleagues so we can keep our ears to the ground about the latest developments in the industry. Where possible we help create relationships which will be of benefit to our students.
Getting that first foot in the door into the TV industry can be tricky and it’s all too often as much who you know, as what you know. Luckily our students are incredibly accomplished by the time they graduate and our TV Production degrees are fast gaining a reputation for being a real hotbed of talent.
We are very fortunate that there is always tons of good will when we ask friends from the BBC and ITV to give up some of their time.
This visit has been sparked as I am now module leader on a fantastic course in Children’s Television. Who better to chat to about how things are shaping up at BBC Children’s than the talent team who look after recruitment for CBeebies and CBBC.
Our first meeting was with Callum Hawes Resourcing & Talent Advisor and Sonoara Begum Talent Manager both from BBC Children’s.
Over hot chocolates we got the low down on what the BBC are really keen to see in applicants to their department. I was also able to pick their brains about processes when working on Children’s TV to make sure the module we deliver is bang up to date. It’s been a while since I’ve directed Children’s content so checking in to make sure there aren’t any new legislations or updated frameworks is essential.
Joy and myself are always eager to get industry guests to come into Edgehill and by the end of our chat, we had arranged a full day of sessions on campus with not only Callum and Sonoara but various other production staff from both BBC Children’s and BBC Sport-Result!
Our next meeting was with the incredibly talented Production Designer, Stephen Graham. Stephen has worked with Joy on tons of shows over the years, and proving that the TV industry is really such a small world, also worked at ITV at the same time as me on shows like This Morning.
Stephen is always incredibly in demand and has worked on everything from Sherlock Holmes to Songs of Praise. Stephen like so many in the Television industry is really keen to give something back and agreed to come along to deliver a masterclass to my third-year Independent Television Students on all aspects on studio production design. Not only that he also later that week popped into Edgehill so he could see first-hand what our students have to work with, to ensure his talk was tailored to the resources we offer.
What was really heartening was that I showed Stephen a selection of students work from the last few years in the TV studio here on campus and he was incredibly impressed by the quality and talent we have.
Our final meeting of the day was with Anita Walsh who is talent manager at BBC Sport, Anita was previously a lecturer at Edgehill before she was headhunted by the BBC and continues to be a real champion of the Television production degree. She will be coming in later in the year to provide a CV workshop and help third year students by going through what they need to do to prepare for industry interviews and meetings.
These visits (although they really feel like we are just meeting friends for a chin-wag) actually not only keep us on the ball about the industry we are preparing students for, but also help us keep Edgehills profile visible at Salford Quays.
From this one day alone we managed to secure a raft of events and speakers that will benefit or TV production students enormously. We also got to hang out at The Furchester Hotel-my daughter was very jealous!!