Carol Owens

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Interview Date(s): 
29 Nov 2017
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BEHP Carol Owens Interview Synopsis

Name: Carol Owens (née Gregory)

Born: July 1956 in Newcastle on Tyne, British

Awards: RTS Technology Innovation Award 2000 (with BBC team), RTS Fellowship 2001

Honours: Visiting Professor of Media Strategy, University of Lincoln 2009-2012

SYNOPSIS (400 words)

School: Redditch County High School, Worcestershire.

University: University of Leeds 1974-78, Fine Art BA Hons, specialising in film-making and cinema history. TV production experience via student TV society, Network 4. Graduation film “Marion at Bamforths” held in National Film Archive.

Early career: joined BBC as Trainee Assistant Film Editor in 1978, training at Ealing Film Studios plus 9 months’ job shadowing before full Assistant, working on “Public School”, and programmes in Horizon, Omnibus, and Bergerac series.

Assistant Producer Attachment 1982-3: “Did You See…?” TV review series with Ludovic Kennedy, directing 2 film magazine items. “Reputations: R.A. Butler” documentary, Exec. Producer Philip Speight, presenter Anthony Howard.

Editing experience: 1983 Assistant on “Year of the French” and “40 Minutes”, then acting Editor on Adam Curtis’s first longer film.  Editor on “Timewatch”, “Bookmark”, “Three Painters”, “Omnibus”, and “The Battle for Berlin” with Charles Wheeler.

1986 “Ballerina” series, then edited music programmes with Barrie Gavin and Simon Rattle, all complex multi-source projects. Chief Film Editor on “The Road to War” series, interrupted by maternity leave 1989. Last series “Relative Values” 1990.

Major transition point: 1990 moved into BBC Editing Operations Management, soon dealing with the introduction of the BBC internal market, with restructuring and redundancies in 1992-3. Managed the introduction of non-linear editing systems, with skills training and new creativity. Studied Business Administration at Bradford University on BBC diploma course.

Major transition point: 1995 became Project Director, Digital Production Technology Project. Created Digital Forum quarterly seminars, and DigiLab technology innovation centre. Ran pilots on self-shooting, desktop editing, and the first media asset management systems. Learned that metadata was key to managing digital media and workflows. Working with BBC IS&T Strategy, got business case approved in 1997 to create first enterprise Data Model.

Major transition point: 1998 launched BBC Standard Media Exchange Framework (SMEF™) at IBC. Media Data Group team worked with BBC projects to define data needed, and also with European Broadcasting Union on B2B data exchange scheme, P/Meta. 1999 “The Missing Link” studio event at BBC explained metadata vision for future. Won RTS award 2000 and Fellowship 2001.

Major transition point: 2004 outsourced to Siemens with BBC Technology, delivering more general consulting. Some metadata projects with next employers Serco and Ascent Media Group, and student lectures as Visiting Professor at Lincoln University 2009-12. Freelance authoring for Digital Production Partnership, then procurement project with BBC. 2016 up-dated current BBC architecture team on metadata history.