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Meet Producer Mo

The screen industries offer a powerful platform for a multitude of voices. In this video, Mo discusses the importance of a diverse workforce.
My name is Mo, I am 32 and I’m a TV producer from London. I’ve always wanted to make sure that when I work on different shows, people of different race, diversity, even age groups or sexuality are always shown on TV. The media is such a powerful platform. And we have such an amazing job where we can educate many people who watch TV. And one of the key things of our jobs is that making sure that we show different diversity and representation. The great thing about the United Kingdom is that it is so multicultural. And I think for myself, I come from a British-Asian Muslim family, I always wanted to see someone like myself on TV.
The types of shows I worked on– I mainly done it reality and entertainment. So it could be anything from your reality shows from TOWIE to Made in Chelsea, to entertainment shows like Saturday Night Takeaway , The Voice and Dancing On Ice next. My first job in the industry, I started off as a day runner on The X Factor. But I got my first production runner job on a show called Take Me Out, which was like a dating show on ITV many years ago. So I did that and kind of moved up from various shows and then, really. I have done casting, gallery, story, and a bit of the edit as well, so it of can vary from job to job.
I would say one of the key things is knowing the different roles that you have, especially in the TV industry. As well as, I think it’s really important that people know that it’s a very, very long hours and– on particular shows maybe– but also it’s not always glitz and glam that you might see on TV, a lot of hard work goes into it. So it’s just being prepared that there’s a lot of grafting to do as well. I first started off in down the production ring as a production secretary and coordinator. Then I kind of jumped ship, and moved on to the editorial side of things and moved up from a researcher, AP, now to a producer.
And the great thing about working in production was I learned about organisation and schedules, how to kind of manage the day to day of a production team. I’ve always been quite– I’ve always been intrigued by people and people’s stories. So that’s one of the reasons why I kind of jumped ship, but I guess it’s been great working on both sides because it kind of makes you a bit more well-rounded. And makes you understand what both kind of teams are doing. The key skills for working on the production side of things is being able to communicate effectively with your team and as a wider network of people, as well as being a logistically minded and organised.
Those skills are kind of transferable if you go onto the editorial side of things, but the main things for editorial side of things is being able to speak to people. Which I know sounds very simple, but you do get to meet people of all walks of life. So it’s being able to kind of speak to different people and making them feel comfortable and at ease. Working as a team more than anything to make sure we get that angle. There’s so many different jobs and so many opportunities working in the media industry. And I think more than ever, now is an amazing time to get into it there’s so much kicking off and there’s so much creativity.
If you’ve got that passion, then definitely go for it. Don’t give up, there’s a lot of knock back sometimes. And if there’s anything that you’re passionate about, or any shows that you’re passionate about, make sure you look at the production companies or the credits that people are working on and get in touch with them. If you want to work in the industry, look at yourself and think what you can bring to it, which will be a bit different. Good luck.

The screen industries offer a powerful platform for a multitude of voices telling diverse stories. In this video, Mo discusses the importance of a diverse workforce. Diversity can refer to our differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, disability, education, religious or ethical values, national origin, and political beliefs.

In this video, Mo explains that he wanted to see someone who looked like him on TV. He think that content should be made by more diverse teams, to enable us to reflect the multicultural society we live in and educate viewers. Do you agree? As you watch, think about the benefits of improving diversity in front of and behind the camera. How do you think this will affect content?

Further reading

Have a read of this article: Representation Matters: 13 Shows That are Breaking Boundaries When it Comes to Diversity

Over to you

Do you feel represented in the screen industries? Is your voice being heard? Can you offer a company a diverse set of perspectives, work and life experiences, or religious or cultural differences? Is there a story you’d like to tell?

Please share your thoughts with other learners below.

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