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Emma Piquemal

  • Executive Producer/Head of Production/Senior Project Manager
  • South East, UK
  • 02/11/2021

Personal Summary - Optional

I currently work as Audio-Visual Executive Producer at The Open University (OU).  I design and produce educational distance learning courses and manage the production and delivery of 20,000 audio-visual assets per annum – from the design phase working closely with academic subject experts, through to final delivery.  I have full responsibility for managing a team of 12 in-house staff and 20 external suppliers (TV companies), and full responsibility for a million pound annual budget across 50 projects (degree and other qualification levels).


Prior to this role, I have 3 years experience of working in senior management in education, training and community engagement. Perhaps of most relevance, was my role at “The Talent Manager” wherein I worked in TV industry recruitment and ran the training arm of the company which included identifying TV industry training gaps, securing funding and creating Skillset approved TV training courses which run to this day.


Prior to that, I have 10 years experience working at Senior Producer/Director in documentary and factual TV broadcast programming, working on programmes such as McIntyre Undercover, Secret Suburbia and Strictly Come Dancing. In my current role, I commission TV companies such as Angel Eye, Lambent Productions and Talkback Thames, to produce some of our video content – so I still work very closely on a day to day basis with TV professionals to make video content.


My current role includes working closely with senior OU managers, funders and other stakeholders, in and outside the OU and full responsibility for monitoring and evaluation of project outcomes/objectives and communicating how effectively these were met.  I have extensive experience of working in large organisations within regulatory frameworks.  Please find a special letter/award from my current employer at the bottom of the CV, which you may find useful.


As my referees will vouch - I am a highly motivated self-starter who has excellent communication, negotiation, problem solving, creativity, multi-tasking, people and project management skills.  I find great satisfaction from managing projects from inception and “making things happen”.  I have remained diplomatic in the most extreme circumstances and always manage to secure the best outcome for my stakeholders, whatever the obstacles.  I am able to offer a pragmatic, sensible approach to get the best outcomes – like any good Producer, I am adept at calmly tweaking the project when required, to get the best outcomes when required, and always keeping my eye on the “bigger picture”, to deliver the best outcome. I’m extremely dependable and exceptionally organised – but highly creative. 


I am largely motivated by “making a difference”, hence my current role at the OU, where social justice, through widening participation to disadvantaged groups, is the main mission of our organisation. If I can also work in a creative environment, then that’s the perfect combination for me. Alongside my OU position, I am currently working as consultant for a small charity – Watipa, whereby I am strategic lead for expanding their young people’s scholarship scheme in Global South countries. I am also leading on the business development - researching and securing new funding and am also developing and implementing an evaluation framework for their scholarship scheme and a mentor programme. I also do voluntary work for various charities, such as where I  am currently designing and producing video resources on how to tackle sexism in schools for use by Teachers, and I’m also currently producing some videos and helping with stakeholder management and offering outreach mental health support work to vulnerable people, via a local foodbank.


I work in a multiplatform environment and am passionate about using media to enrich student’s lives.  The AV components of these modules are not made in isolation - they are heavily embedded into the overall student learning journey to bring out the learning objectives of each course. My role involves in-depth design with academic experts and negotiation with many stakeholders throughout the production process.  I lead the process of overall product (degree course) design – embedding the student learning objectives within a multiplatform of video, audio, apps, social media, quiz’s, animations, artificial intelligence, forums etc.  I work with internal and external suppliers, to produce and deliver responsive web content that is tailored to the way audiences want to consume OU content. I work in a complex environment, and as my referees will vouch, my strength is daily problem solving, negotiation and partnership building, across a complex mix of stakeholders, both internally and externally, to produce high quality online learning materials for OU students.


A large part of my role is advising academic teams on digital teaching innovation and cutting-edge innovation and ideas including Augmented Reality. I work closely with the library and Contracts & Acquisitions team, to source appropriate archive video (BBC etc) and clear permissions for this re-use/publishing of 3rd party materials and am responsible for overseeing my team who catalogue this archive re-use – we re-use around 6,000 assets per annum. I raise around 60 supplier and other crew etc contracts with the Contracts & Acquisitions team each year. I am responsible for the smooth running of my team and training such

as use of the inhouse portal for rights clearance, regular Risk Assessment training, lighting, camera, directing etc.


I have a clear account handling role – I am the academic point of contact for all audio-visual matters and am responsible for collating and disseminating all guidelines and information around media production and resources, to all faculty staff – Curriculum Managers and the like, as well as tutors and academics.  I work very closely with a plethora of stakeholders such as funders, Curriculum Managers, Production Managers and other faculty staff to ensure audio-visual production work is carried out smoothly and effectively.


I am in the process of completing a Prince project management training course. Our organisation is currently restructuring/rolling out Agile working processes, so I am familiar with working in this way.


General overview of key transferrable skills


  1. Senior project management - My referees will vouch that I am a highly motivated self-starter who excels in the area of project management. My strengths are influencing, negotiating and problem solving, as well as the ability to multi-task (currently 40 projects simultaneously).  I am continually streamlining processes and ways of working to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.  Throughout my career I have always worked with a plethora of diverse stakeholders, often with conflicting priorities.  I have remained diplomatic in the most extreme circumstances and always manage to secure the best outcome for my stakeholders, whatever the obstacles.  Currently my main clients are academics across various disciplines.  I liaise with them and external companies who produce most of the audio-visual (AV) assets I commission.   Other stakeholders are faculty budget holders, policy makers across the OU and HE, Licensing & Acquisitions, University Finance team, curriculum managers, funding bodies, the experts/subjects we are filming with, senior management in the media department I work within, as well as external HE and educational organisations such as HEFCE and schools. Throughout my career, I have had to forge and maintain strong relationships with a plethora of project partners - from funding bodies such as the ESF, LDA, or NDC, higher education bodies, community and voluntary groups, through to government think tanks, local and national media, BBC staff at all levels including programme commissioners, to various groups associated with the programmes I have made, such as museums, authors, celebrities or young adults with electronic tags.


  1. Creativity and production editorial skills - I am extremely pro-active and creative as evidenced by 10 years video TV production Producer/Director credits. I bring this creativity not just on-screen, but in my calm, simple but flexible approach to project management. I’m a strong team player and a safe pair of hands who delivers to the highest standard and can creatively and smoothly problem solve around hurdles along the way. Continually tweaking a brief as part of the design, comes naturally to me, as does a clear outline of what has been agreed – to ensure we always deliver on time and to budget on all projects. So, I enjoy putting my ten years of experience as a creative TV producer/director into practise not only through designing online courses and high-quality educational AV content, but also by bringing new creative ideas and “thinking outside the box”, to achieve outstanding results across the entire project management and delivery, not just within the AV and E-learning design.


  1. Research – I am a politics/sociology BA dual honours’ graduate. As part of my degree, I received a 1st in the Social Science research methods aspects of my degree where I gathered and presented both quantitative and qualitative social science research data.  Analysis of society was a key aspect of my degree. I then applied these skills in documentary research, creating rich and deep narratives about new topics for each programme, as well as robust statistical evidence, for the subject matters that featured in the programmes I produced.  Analysis of society (and by association research and therefore research methods), continues to be a key motivating factor in what interests me in my career.  I regularly have the opportunity to apply the qualitative and quantitative research skills acquired in my degree, such as through my involvement in my colleague Jo Mack’s OU/Bristol University project Breadline Britain: The rise of mass poverty and Oxfam’s How change happens project. 


More detailed career experience and skill set (career biography)


I find great satisfaction from managing projects from inception to delivery and “making things happen”.  I have a great track record of not only devising and managing industry standard AV training courses, but I currently work at the cutting-edge forefront of E-learning design and delivery at the OU.  I started my career in broadcast TV.  For 10 years, I worked as Producer/Director in observational, documentary, drama and factual entertainment programming.  I worked for all the main broadcasters - BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC UKstyle, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.  I made around fifty 30 minute, two 60 minute and twenty 15-minute TV programmes for terrestrial broadcast TV. I’ve made programmes on extremely sensitive and diverse subject matters with contributors from all walks of life - from prostitutes, refugees, kids with electronic tags, to celebrities and chefs.  I can work with people from all walks of life.  Putting people at ease and gaining their trust in order to tell often sensitive and delicate stories is one of my strengths. 


In the last twenty years I have had full responsibility for all aspects of each project I’ve worked on – from the ideas stage, responsibility for budgets, full editorial control, through filming, editing to delivery. Whatever the brief, I have worked from the ideas stage up to delivery and delivered to an exceptional standard.  I have been described by a former line manager as “a very safe pair of hands, she delivers to an exceptionally high standard whatever the brief and always manages to negotiate around any hurdles that may arise, reaching the best possible outcome”.  When working for the new start-up company Just Fabulous TV for Sky and ccc media (educational charity), I set up the projects, associated processes and recruited all 30 staff that I then line managed.


In 2003, an opportunity arose, to work setting up a community TV channel – home2home (DFES funded), on a deprived council estate in Stratford.  I was highly successful in engaging disaffected members of the community, to take part in events I devised.  I set up an OAP club taking senior citizens on daytrips to places like the Imperial War Museum. One 71 year old woman Sue said “I’ve never left Newham before. This is the best day of my whole life”.  I was sensitive to the barriers that prevented some members of the community taking part in formal learning/local events – factors such as lack of confidence, social isolation, lack of funds and I took steps to bridge those gaps. Organising transport to events for instance, going to collect people from them homes to help with feelings of isolation and generally taking the time to engage with and gain their trust in the environment within which they felt safe – usually starting with visits in their homes.  I created films about the lives of people on the estate for broadcast on their community TV channel home2home.


I trained residents to be involved in this production process.  Some of the older members could remember living in the terraces slum houses on the same land that the current high rises were then built on.  I set up a youth club to engage disaffected youths and literally sat at the bottom of the high rises in order to chat and engage the local people – rather like outreach work. I also organised a launch event for home2home, which featured live music, food, activities, show cases and stalls, over 1000 people attended, including the local MP and it featured in the local media.


Inspired by this experience, I decided to move out of broadcast TV and into educational video production.  I left the BBC to work as Senior Project Manager/Head of Training at ccc media, a charity funded primarily by ESC, LSC, LDA.  Here I came up with AV community engagement ideas, sought and secured funding for these, then senior managed up to 9 projects at a time and line managed 12 staff.  On the one hand, we provided vocational TV production training to media freelancers, whilst the other side of our business was to encourage socially excluded and disadvantaged sections of the community into our AV training projects - such as online video making for NEETS and prisoners, then support them into further training, education or employment.  As well as senior manager who had overall responsibility for both strategic level and the day to day operations of all projects, I was also responsible for devising all project and training course content and related events. This included monitoring, evaluating, documenting and reporting success to funders and other stakeholders.  Successes included devising an e-mentoring website for mentors/mentees to conduct mentoring and running various video/TV networking events related to this.  I also changed the accreditation system for our socially excluded young adults, many of whom were illiterate, so that they could be assessed purely through observation, but still receive the same Open College Network accreditation. 


I then went on to work as Training and Recruitment Manager for DV Talent which is one of the principal TV recruitment and training providers. I was responsible for responding to TV broadcasters’ requests to find suitable freelancers to make the media packages required, as well as providing and booking industry level training for freelancers.  I identified the need for industry standard Final Cut Pro editing and also Production Management training, created the course content and associated learning materials in line with Skillset’s national occupational standards system and then set up and managed these courses which are still active at DV Talent.  I have also worked for BBC training to deliver a few of their short courses, including the industry standard 5 day “BBC Single Camera Producing and Directing” course.