Kharis Productions Ltd is owned and operated by Iain Morris and Karen Rollins, both of whom have extensive experience in the world of television media spanning from 1980 to the present. They are also award-winning feature film producers.
Iain Morris has honours degrees in English Literature, Sociology, Psychology and Education. He began professional life as a teacher and, within three and a half years of qualifying, was appointed Head of an English Department in a comprehensive school. During this tenure, there were additional active and consultative responsibilities with the BBC (both in Glasgow and in London), the Scottish Council for the Curriculum, the Scottish Examination Board and teacher training bodies.
After seven years as Head of English, he left to take up a position as Programme Editor at Scottish Television where he had responsibility for ITV education programmes. During that time, he produced series on such diverse topics as Science, History, Language, Lifeskills, The Arts, Religion, the Environment. He also produced a series of documentaries on media ‘behind the scenes’ as well as the long running series called “The Education Debate” featuring one hundred representatives of the Scottish educational system in animated dialogue about the hot issues of the day.
In 1989, after a short period as the Deputy Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council for Scotland, Iain Morris returned to television production, taking up the post of Head of Programmes at Scope Productions, one of Scotland’s leading independent production and facilities companies. In 2002, with colleague, Karen Rollins, he set up Kharis Productions Ltd.
Karen Rollins graduated in, and subsequently taught, Business Studies with Economics, Accountancy and Behavioural Sciences. At age 21, she joined Scottish Television where, initially as a Production Assistant, and subsequently as Production Manager, Researcher and Associate Producer, she worked in a wide range of television genres including Documentary, Drama, Sport, the Arts, Education, Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Children’s programming.
In ITV, her professional skills, honed to a high level, included:
In 1993, Karen moved to independent production house Scope Productions working under the leadership of Iain Morris in Education, Religion and Broadcast. Her central role was in the Production Management of scores of series for the company. Her work included management of productions in languages other than English; casting and management of up to one hundred actors in a multimedia training resource for Headteachers in England and Wales; the co-ordination of international productions; associate producing and budgetary responsibility for the feature film “Stripes of the Zebra” shot in South Africa; and directing educational programmes such as “Sounds Cool” – a programme to encourage young people to make music and “Children with DCD”, a sensitive and highly informative documentary programme featuring the latest research into Development Co-ordination Disorder.
- organisation and management relating to all aspects of pre-production, production and post production of an extensive range of TV programmes
- public relations and interpersonal qualities involved in working with high profile personalities such as Sean Connery - in the one hour internationally acclaimed documentary “Connery”; Edna Healey - in “One More River”, a documentary on the life of Scottish missionary Mary Slessor in Nigeria; and others such as Michael Caine, Dennis Waterman, Rick Wakeman, Mica Paris, Roger Daltrey, Carol Kidd, Carol Smillie, in a range of Entertainment series as well as US President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in a political documentary
- huge organisational responsibilities such as for Scottish Television’s 27 hour charity programme, “Telethon”, broadcast in conjunction with all other companies on the ITV network. In support of Telethon, Karen produced four musical theatre charity events featuring most amateur theatre companies in central Scotland and consequently raising substantial contributions for Telethon.
- the management of large teams and substantial budgets.
For film production, Iain Morris and Karen Rollins set up MakMovies Ltd (a sister company of Kharis Productions Ltd). The most recent feature film, The Eastern Bride, won a prestigious national award and was a finalist in an international film festival in Milan. The Eastern Bride featured an international cast while its specially composed soundtrack was performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Within Scottish television and subsequently as independent producers with Scope Productions and Kharis Productions, Iain Morris and Karen Rollins have also developed specialist skills in the production of educational and training programmes, some of which have been commissioned by broadcasters (BBC, Scottish Television and Channel 4) and some of which have been requested by other agencies (such as the Department for Education and Science; Teacher Training Agency; the Scottish Executive; the Scottish Education Department; Scottish Parliament; and a variety of local government bodies).
Educational broadcast productions for the BBC alone have included series on Language, Wildlife, Relationships, History, Drama, the Environment.
Training programmes have been a major strand of educational output. Among the most prominent have been multimedia interactive productions used in training for the qualification of National Professional Qualification for Headship by the Teacher Training Agency for England and Wales.
Beyond the production of programmes, Kharis.Comms, a division of Kharis Productions, was initiated in 2004 as a Communications Consultancy, firstly in order to promote effective use of television resources on communication but, subsequently, to offer training in a wide range of internal and external communications issues. The clients of Kharis.Comms have included a number of leading London comprehensive schools and the Headteachers’ Association of Scotland.
Outside of production, Iain Morris and Karen Rollins maintain extensive interest in music. Karen has taught piano as well as produced, musically directed and performed in musical/theatrical productions. Iain has written for the stage, composed music and directed choral groups for more than 20 years. He has also regularly lectured in the Education and Arts faculties of Glasgow University, written educational articles and ghost-written the biography of a local personality, Wallace Kirkland. Iain has been a consultant to the BBC, Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools and the Teacher Training Agency.