Leading factual producer Arrow International Media (Arrow) has announced the further strengthening of its senior team with the appointment of Julia Hardwell and Kyran Speirs to the new roles of Head of Talent and Head of Post Production respectively.
These roles are designed to help the company fuel future growth by supporting, at senior management level, its initiatives in both people management and technology. Arrow - widely recognised as one of the most innovative independent companies in these areas - has invested heavily in both people management and technology since its inception.
Hardwell’s promotion to Head of Talent recognises the importance of talent to Arrow as a company. Arrow is committed to investing significantly in training and development, offering a range of support for staff and freelancers, including career guidance for freelancers. In her new role, Julia will be responsible for delivering end-to-end resourcing and talent services for all UK and US hiring, as well as developing relationships with internal and external talent. She will also be responsible for devising and implementing robust training programmes, whilst continuing to foster a diverse and inclusive environment. Hardwell joined Arrow in 2019 as Talent Manager, working closely with Talent Advisor Dawn Beresford across all aspects of recruitment, training and development. Julia started her TV career on Children’s classics such as Art Attack, Newsround and Blue Peter. From Production Manager at the BBC, she moved into Talent Management at ITV and then Studio Management where she oversaw studio facilities for shiny floor live and pre-recorded productions such as Later with Jools Holland, Take Me Out and Catchphrase. She is a member of the CIPD.
Arrow has a successful in-house post facility which has grown five times in capacity, in the last six years, under Speirs’ guidance. With many years' experience and multiple awards spanning from Production right through to Post, Speirs brings a wealth of technical and creative understanding on how best to take content from conception through to final delivery. Kyran has also helped to introduce and develop a successful in-house finishing pipeline which takes programming from offline straight through to broadcaster - a facility which Arrow remains committed to both growing and future-proofing. In 2020, Speirs was part of the Arrow team which signed a deal with GrayMeta, a collaboration giving Arrow access to artificial intelligence software, to enable the company to log and access their catalogue of 250,000 minutes of unused content for the first time. The company also introduced Quicklink’s ST500 ‘Studio-in-a-Box’ solution - camera, lights and broadcast-quality audio which can be remotely controlled from any Chrome browser. Initially introduced to enable Arrow to continue to film contributors under lockdown, it was so successful that it has become part of Arrow’s production toolkit. In his new role as Head of Post Production, Kyran will be responsible for continuing to grow Arrow’s in-house post department to world class standards. He will also continue the growth of partnering talent and suppliers, as well as invest in talent to expand Arrow’s growing Post Production team.
The latest promotions follow on from the recent appointments of Stephanie Mavropoulos and Carrie Pennifer as Co-Heads of Production - new roles designed to further strengthen Arrow’s Production team and grow Production’s senior management presence within the company. At the same time, Tim Antill was promoted to Financial Controller to oversee all of the company’s financial operations and compliance. Both Hardwell and Speirs, who report directly toIain Pelling and take up their roles immediately, will also work across both Arrow Media and Arrow Pictures.
Iain Pelling, Managing Director, Arrow, says: “Since the very beginning, we have recognised that, to make the very best content, we need to properly invest in talent and in technology. Consistently making over 100 hours of high-quality content every year is no mean feat operationally, particularly when the majority of those productions are filmed outside the UK. Talent and technology have been at the forefront of our investment strategy for many years. Our growth plans continue to be ambitious and these new roles will enable us to nurture and develop our people, and grow our technological capacity whilst future-proofing and innovating. Both Julia and Kyran have played a pivotal role in Arrow’s success to date, so we are delighted that they will be joining the senior management team in their new roles.”
Julia Hardwell says: “Throughout my career, I’ve been passionate about supporting and developing careers within an industry that is notoriously difficult to navigate. I’m thrilled to be leading the Talent team at Arrow to help build a fantastic pool of talent as the company continues to grow and expand its portfolio.”
Kyran Speirs comments: “I have always been very proud to be a part of the Arrow family. I believe tremendously in the values, talent, and vision in which Arrow champions. To continue this epic journey as Head of Post-Production is truly a great honour. I am thrilled and excited to continue working with an ever-growing, ever-evolving, boundless team of exceptional talent.”