How It Started
What was your first ever job?
My first job was at the Stock shop at BBC Post Production, handing out tape stock for transfers and tech reviews. Back then you had to make VHS copies for production and presentation. Anyone that ever worked there had a 101 BBC VHS’ at home to use. I also had to label up all the D3 and Beta SP tapes for the library. It was a bit dull, but I got to meet all the editors and spend a lot of time at the BBC bar – this was a pre runners’ job at the BBC. I went on to be a Runner and our very own Vickie Mansell was a Bookings Manager at the time and that seemed very mighty and important to me (as it well was and still is).
What brought you to SPS?
I made a bit of a misstep after I left the BBC in June 2011 for another role. By July 2011, I knew for my mental health I needed to move on, so I joined Sky in October 2011. I had to go backwards to go forwards but I’m so glad I made the move.
How has your role evolved over the years?
As it still says on my pass, my role when I joined was a Post Production Resource Co-ordinator in Client Services. I covered all the modules and back then we covered the lines ingest bookings, which meant shift work and covering for sickness and late changes in Studios Bookings on the weekend – with the help of the on-call TD.
At that time, it didn’t feel like the Bookings department was utilised to its fullest extent, so we came together as a team and built a plan on how we could develop the role into more of a career and less of a ‘job’. Then, we presented our ideas to senior management and those suggestions were taken on board. Since then I have been Team Leader across the Bookings team, specialising in Sport bookings, freelancers, and all-around team management.
What were your biggest professional challenges and how did you overcome them?
Both my biggest challenge and achievement were during my days at the BBC. While in Post-Production, I was involved in an IT project where we were updating our scheduling system. The project was so good, as I was really invested in the outcome and I thought I would love a job in BBC Technology. However, once I got there I soon found out that technology was not my thing, so I took a career break for a year, went traveling and then found my way back to Post Production.
My greatest achievement was post-producing ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. I did it for a few years and managed the edits for both SCD and ‘It Takes Two’. We worked across 10 + edits a day, 7 days a week and an overnight edit too. I was also responsible for hiring a Loggers team, Edit Runners, and a dedicated Edit Assistant team, who worked 24/7. I also raised all the PO’s for freelancers, making sure they invoiced weekly to keep the production budget on track. The teamwork between Post and Production was strong and you really felt a part of the programme. They had great wrap parties too. It’s always great to dance with Brucie.
How It’s Going
What does your day to day work life look like?
No two days are the same. I could have team meetings or a clear day ahead, but this quickly fills up with all matter of questions, all be it from freelancers, team members, editors, or team leaders. I’m a super user for Planit, so that can take up time too. It could be a Wellbeing question or advice on a Sky policy. At times, it’s hard to pin point what I do, I have a hand in many pies. Since working remotely, I try to keep the team working together as a team and we still catch up every day, even if it’s only for a quick call. We are still a team and we need to keep that going.
I try to have an overview on what is going on, but it’s not always easy to do remotely, so I’m conscious that I’m sending e-mail reminders all the time. Sorry!
What’s been your SPS career highlight and why?
I would say seeing people (that I’ve given a job) really grow in their careers at Sky and in SPS. I think I really work hard on a team dynamic and I love it when people move on and up and I end up asking them for advice and help later down the line.
What can you see yourself doing next?
To be honest, I have no idea. But COVID-19 has made me think more about what I like about Sky and it’s the being a part of a team and working together. So, it’s hard to say what I’ll be doing, but I do know that I want to have the same team dynamic.
How It Can Be Done
What are your top 3 tips for becoming a Bookings Team Leader?
- Follow your passion, it will shine through and help you.
- Get involved in areas outside your day job.
- Be good to runners.
What would you tell your 16-year-old self?
Be proud of your background and don’t let it stand in your way and be true to yourself and don’t worry about what others think or what they have.