Setting Up Your Own Production Company – The Low Down

Setting Up Your Own Production Company – The Low Down

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Middlesex University - Hendon Town Hall - Committee Room 2

The Burroughs



United Kingdom

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This ‘warts and all’ session will offer an opportunity to hear from and pose questions to production company founders.

About this event

This ‘warts and all’ session will offer an opportunity to hear from and pose questions to production company founders.

They will share with you the pros and cons of running your own company, ‘lessons learnt’ along the way, and attempt to answer any questions you may have on a broad range of topics – be it company set up, employing staff, pitching for business or marketing your services.


  • Debbie Mason, CCO and Co-Founder, Heap Mason Media
  • Nick Long, Co-Founder, Turtle Canyon Media
  • Nick Parnes, CEO, Kalel Productions

Panellist Biographies

Debbie Mason, CCO and Co-Founder, Heap Mason Media

Debbie is a leading international authority in the development and exploitation of content and has produced/exec produced in excess of 2000 hours of television in the UK and USA over the past 25 years.

In 1991 she co-founded Kudos Productions and Kudos Film Productions, one of the leading independent UK production companies, acquired by the Shine Group in 2007 for £35 million, and best known for the award-winning drama series, Spooks.

Her 2006 joint venture with Elisabeth Murdoch, ShineMatrix, launched PTV in the USA and brought the critically acclaimed ‘My GamesFever’ into 31 million homes on the My Network, broadcasting live 4 hours every afternoon. As managing director of DITG (Digital Interactive Television Group) she created and launched the first fully interactive TV channel in the world, BAFTA-winner AVAGO, which was sold to Gala Bingo in 2006. She went on to launch more than 10 channels onto the SKYplatform, including iSportsTV, acquired by William Hill in 2006.

As Interactive Commissioner at ITV she was responsible for driving digital revenues across all of the programming genres with the controllers, to integrate a fully worked digital strategy driving new revenues.

As founder and CEO of Mason Media Matrix Ltd, her boutique digital media consultancy, she specialised in developing brand concepts for global multi-platform exploitation. Clients included everything from gaming operations in Israel to media and technology companies in China and designer swimwear companies in Australia. She has been advising an international digital sports comic and graphic novel business aimed at the mass market of India and cricket fans.

As the co-founder and CEO of HeapMasonMedia Ltd, a ‘true’ independent production company launched in 2017 specifically to develop scripted dramas for TV she is currently working with multi million selling British authors Peter James and Andy McNab.

More about Heap Mason Media:

Nick Long, Co-Founder, Turtle Canyon Media

Nick Long has co-run Turtle Canyon Media for the last ten years but has been working independently in film, TV and video for nearly twenty. Turtle Canyon Films was formed as the independent filmmaking arm of the production company – alongside Turtle Canyon Comedy to develop that side of the business. Being based at Pinewood Studios has immersed Nick in the heart of the industry and given him a chance to work on a wide range of projects. He has worked on projects ranging from documentaries, Live multicamera shows, TV pilots and video content for Broadcasters and online distributors, to independent feature films.

Nick’s projects have picked up several judge and audience awards internationally. His work can been seen on Netflix, Amazon, BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, BBC, Sky Arts and ITV.

Producer credits include:

  • James Acaster: Repertoire – Netflix
  • Ed Gamble: Blood Sugar – Amazon Studios
  • Dara Ó Briain: Voice of Reason – BBC
  • Tom Allen: Absolutely Live – Channel 4
  • Joel Dommett: Finding Emo – ITV
  • Jonathan Pie: Back to the Studio – BBC
  • Daliso Chaponda: What the African Said – Spirit Entertainment
  • The Catherine Tate Show: Live – Great Point Media

Over the past several years, Nick has also been involved with producing over 20 short films (including “Wheels” which was shown during the Channel 4 coverage of the Paralympics in 2012), working with a wide variety of writing, directing and acting talent across different genres and budgets levels. At the same time, He has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world, producing content for the corporate and commercial sectors. Nick and his team work quickly and efficiently, repeatedly delivering top class projects on brief, on schedule and on budget.

Find out more about Turtle Canyon Media:

Nick Parnes, CEO, Kalel Productions

In the early noughties, Nick was Exec of International Formats for MTV Networks, after having produced and directed various independently-produced shows including Popworld (C4) and Swag (C5). Nick signed a co-pro deal with Objective Productions in 2009 and created/exec’ed The Undercover Princes/Princesses, Eye Spy, Make Me A Millionaire Inventor, among others. He exec’ed the UK versions of Impractical Jokers and Off Their Rockers, and helmed the pilot for Kayvan Novak’s Britain Today Tonight.

In 2016, Nick spearheaded a deal with Greenbird thereby forging a partnership with BBC Worldwide and the creation of innovative shows like Stupid Man, Smart Phone and Rich Kids Go Skint.

Find out more about Kalel Productions: