Background & Testimonials
(whilst this page is obnoxiously long, I like to think of this as the LinkedIn bio for the super nosy. Fill ya boots.)
Michaela started working in television in 2012, alongside her studies she picked up every entry level opportunity possible. From shadowing on the set of Skins: Redux (E4), to running on one of the BBC‘s flagship ethical and moral debate programmes, The Big Questions, to operating studio cameras for presenter screen tests with ITV (Stand by Your Man), and BBC Learning’s ‘A Question of Faith’, hosted by Angelica Bell.
Eager to learn more whilst studying, Michaela took full advantage of the industry standard shooting equipment and broadcast-ready Television studios, producing videos for clients either independently or in small crews. From covering a 2 mile stretch of dancers and performers, documenting The Manchester Day Parade for Walk The Plank. To self-shooting video guides for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease sufferers, on behalf of the NHS.
“Michaela is an incredibly hard-working, organised, clear thinking filmmaker. She can manage both small and large groups of people, execute filming to a high standard as a camera op and as a producer/director. She can both research and manage a schedule and a budget effectively. She has strong visual ideas and is a great team player. She would be an asset to any team and I’m sure she will go far!” Julia Berg, Emmy award-winning producer and director of factual programmes for BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
Michaela spent the summer of 2013 documenting the journeys of officers within the Greater Manchester Police Special Constabulary. From intense interviews with the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, to capturing the chase of a suspect across the streets of Manchester, resulting in arrest. Michaela was out on patrol in the City Centre on the evening that Father-of-two and firefighter Stephen Hunt was unlawfully killed in a blaze on Oldham Street. This experience taught Michaela to tread the line very carefully, especially when hearing sensitive information over the radios on the evening. Michaela received a special recognition award for her contribution to the documentary, awarded to her by Sir Peter Fahy at The Special Constable Gala Awards.
“Her skills working as a coordinator and studio team member have helped productions within education and with the large corporate venture like the BBC Radio 6, come together with a hassle-free and professional approach. I look forward to working with her soon as a production coordinator on my next feature production.” Ash Tidball, Studio Manager (UOS) and Film Director
It was crucial to Michaela to get out into the field and learn the things which can’t be experienced from a textbook. However, she didn’t let her degree slip; securing a First Class Degree with Honours in Television & Radio and producing one of her proudest films to date – Behind the Burlesque. The documentary explored the underground culture of Burlesque, examining the argument of whether neo-burlesque is an empowering art form or objectifying and degrading women, potentially undoing hundreds of years worth of progression in feminism.
Michaela has worked as a runner on a variety of programmes, such as Fremantle’s The Xtra Factor for ITV2, Mentorn’s 4thought.TV for Channel 4 and BBC 6 Music’s All Shook Up for iPlayer. Although duties differ across most productions, Michaela is most regularly looking after contributors, crew or talent. For example, Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom for The Xtra Factor, all of the bands across All Shook Up and Host Rhod Gilbert and judges Peter Hook and Midge Ure most recently for Wall to Wall’s music show, UK’s Best Part Time Band.
Although very hospitable with a lot of customer service experience, Michaela makes sure her tech background is put to good use; data wrangling sound files with 4thought.tv, logging in real—time on the studio floor with All Hail the Veil (e4) and operating B Camera for The Xtra Factor. Working across various genres, Michaela gained experience managing petty cash budgets, taking care of consents, filling in production reports and arranging travel.
Michaela also worked for eight months at the video production company, Toasted Productions, based at Media City UK. Within the role, Michaela joined crews on shoots as a runner but mostly helped with admin related tasks and editing within the production office, working as a junior all-rounder. Michaela’s editing experience allowed her to put a number of hours into editing commercial films for clients, such as The Manchester International Festival, gaining an understanding of professional workflows and media management whilst building a fantastic rapport with clients.
“Michaela was a valued member of the team for eight months, working two to three days per week in her final year at University, Michaela used her editing skills and creative ability to bring edits to life. She also took great pleasure in mirroring and organising many terabytes worth of media, really helping media management within the company.” Simon Marsland, Director of Toasted Productions
After graduating, Michaela was employed by The University of Salford to manage Quays TV News; an online news platform. Surrounded by working journalists, this gave Michaela a real insight into news and gave her the opportunity to expand her knowledge in research, scripting, legals, fact-checking and most importantly, editorial decisions. Michaela took an editorial lead on the programmes, whilst boosting output from the original 10-minute programme per week to a meaty 3×20 minute programmes each week, including a fresh variety of content.
New content included Friday First, a magazine entertainment programme which introduced live music to the channel. Alongside three broadcasts per week, the team also produced special programmes such as Global News: Poverty, linking up with 12 Universities live across the world for two hours. Another highlight form the year is The Election Special led by the MA Journalism Students, setting the bar very high for future broadcasts. Stepping away from News, The Oscars Film Special had viewers in fits of laughter as the resident film buffs went head to head but not forgetting covering in-house festivals such as Salford Create, The Science Festival and The Salford International Media Festival.
“Michaela was a delight to work with. Always professional, punctual, wonderfully creative and can be utterly relied upon.” Neil Salmon, Technical Team Leader (University of Salford), previous Line Manager and past lighting director at ITV and Technical Supervisor for ITV News.
Michaela also took the editorial lead on a University record-breaker, an idea generated by herself and the technical lead, to be on air, live, for fifteen hours to raise money for charity. Michaela orchestrated content across the entire 15 hours, encompassing everything to be expected from a usual day of broadcasting on a terrestrial channel. From Breakfast in the morning to daytime chat, to lunchtime news bulletins, to evening entertainment. Michaela directed and co-produced the first programme of the day, Breakfast with Brad; wanting to take advantage of the larger studios within the building, the programme covered topical news, human interest stories and live studio guest interviews.
Not long after leaving her internship, Michaela plunged straight into the deep end as a Junior Researcher at ITV, working on The Jeremy Kyle Show. Mostly she was phone bashing, creating strong relationships with contributors, writing up guest bios and presenter notes, booking guests and looking after those guests on studio day. An absolute whirlwind of a job, Michaela soaked up every minute and learned a great deal.