Buzzing from Birmingham BBC

21 Oct

Hi Mediadreamzers

I have just got back having had to put up with a 45mins delay on getting back, despite that the amount of travel I do these days I should invest in a Bradshaw book going on the trains back and forth. My latest venture was to Birmingham, to the Mailbox for a course titled ‘Get Your Next Job in TV Drama’, I must say thank you to my friend William Gallagher for passing on the course details and letting me know about it. Once inside the Mailbox I was greeted by a large number in the entrance, some I struck up a conversation with before heading into the delegated area for the course introduction and the numerous courses.

Once at the venue, tea and coffee was on tap and individuals began talking to people, I got chatting to had recently come back from Milan, was a producer of daytime TV, mainly cooking programmes and was looking to get into Drama. Everyone took seats and were greeted by a panel of well distinguished individuals who have worked in the industry for many years. The host of the panel was Marvarine Cole who is now a presenter on QVC but was previously a presenter on BBC, ITV and SKY NEWS, who operated a Q&A to the individuals who either work for independent companies and BBC, and mentioning how Drama is really making its presence known in Birmingham. When the hour’s panel had finished we all separated to attend our chosen workshops, for me the first was ‘Moving on from a Runner’, this was delivered by a guy called Andy, who now works as a 1st AD, previously a 2nd, 3rd and runner. The beginning of the session was Andy presenting his background in media and why he chose to go down the route of media, and all of us saying what career we are working towards. Andy even shared stories of individuals making mistakes and that ending their media careers, something that many of us made notes on the dangers and factors to be aware of.

 

During the lunch break I and those who attend were networking as much as we all could before the next selection of workshops started. I came prepared with a so many business cards that I was handing them out like sweets, and many remarked on the design I ‘d gone for- Paul Smith stripes. Soon it was time to attend the next selection of workshops and I opted for Script Supervisor, where a lady called Lisa who shared her experiences and how she got her break in TV, and how from there on she has worked on a multitude of productions ranging from ‘Death in Paradise’, ‘Midsomer Murders’ (a programme I love watching on repeat), ‘Hustle’ to ‘Minder’ ‘Father Brown’ and many more. We were shown a series of examples and templates of the documents a Script Supervisor uses when preparing for a TV series, and I must say it is A LOT of paperwork. One topic that Lisa made us all aware of was continuity where the script matches what is on presented on the screen from start to finish. To emphasis this we were all shown a series of clips from films where there mistakes; I have never stared at a TV screen so hard in my life in order to see and discover flaws, something I will be doing in the future. Soon that session ended and it was time for another break and more chatting before going onto the third and final class- Networking face to face and online and addressing the fears and myths; one exercise involved the room being split into two and one side saying why networking is bad and why is is good and answering simple questions, studying pictures and just giving our overall opinions on networking as a whole. From the set up of the room this was a masterclass that practically everyone wanted to attend and get as much insight into the best methods, approaches and results gained at the end.

 

The final part of the day was a closing Q&A session titled ‘Making great Drama in the Midlands’, delivered by Jamie Glazebrook who is the Executive Producer on the second series of ‘Peaky Blinders’. The questions were asked by the Marvarine who opened the event it felt appropriate that she should close it, with a combination of clips from the series and a preview of the next episode. It was then time for us to let our hair down and have drinks and continue to network, something I did for a short time as I had to dash to catch my train. I came away with a lot of useful advice, tips and information which I will be acting in the next couple of days. I was glad to have had a chance to speak to the guest panel of media representatives all except Will who had to leave during the lunch break because of a media meeting.

 

My next event all being well will be the 5th November and I am looking forward to the fact I will be catching up with a media friend/ contact I have known for 4 years. That combined with media activities in between.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Productive with Pinewood & PROCAM

16 Oct

Hi Mediadreamzers

I now sit and write about the past couple of weeks, much of which has been filled with great excitement. The first is an event I had the privilege of attending at Pinewood Studios; a friend of mine put on a one man comedy show at Pinewood Studios last Friday and I and about 150 other people were blown away by the humour. I now make this my 6th visit to Pinewood and as I keep saying it is like my 2nd home, it is always nice to head down to the greatest place in the world. Once there I was directed to the John Barry Theatre and as soon as I entered I was greeting by an enormous room and suddenly one of my Facebook friends saw me and called me over, and it was great catching up with other people I know in the industry. The show was amazing, which was mirrored by the fact that it was a sell out! It was so funny that my cheeks were hurting at the end of the hour and half and my sides ached from pain of laughter. There was a scene that was re-enacted by my friend Terry and a SFX guy I know called Alex involved trick wire, a pair of glasses and a fake treadmill, and the was funny, especially the reaction from the other people in the gym. Soon the time went by and it was time for us to leave John Barry’s theatre, not before  One thing that did knock me for 6 was some of the people that attended came up to me after the show and said ‘Hi’ something I did not expect, but it made my day, or in this case evening. The rest of the night and the early hours of Saturday morning was spent at a restaurant called ‘Palm Suite’, not only was the food great (if your ever down at Pinewood go for the Piri Piri Chicken, it does not disappoint), but the company was bloody marvellous, especially when a friend I met and know on Facebook bought his dog in just as the restaurant were closing and there were all a handful of us left; Shelby, a very affectionate dog and very photogenic/ affectionate dog. Eventually it was time to leave as the owners of the suite needed to go home. Great event, wonderful night, brilliant people.

Following the event, I then packed my case again to travel to Manchester for 2 days working shadowing with a company that hires  camera and sound equipment. I traveled up the day before ready for the 2 days arranged, and after a 45mins walk I found the location, and after meeting the crew in the warehouse on the Tuesday I spent the 1st part of the day working with a guy called Jake who showed me how to set up a camera that is commonly used in the industry, checking equipment back in from production companies that were returning equipment from shoots. I was then rotated to another area of the warehouse with a guy called Rich. I learnt a lot from Rich and I learnt that there are no stupid questions as I had so many about camera, sound, their system checking in and out, usage of equipment and anything else that sprung to mind. First day a lot was covered and the first ended quickly, then 2nd day was just was fast and I surprised remembered a majority of what I had been taught and I was trusted enough to set up lighting panels for testing and how to check and set up a monitor. Sadly I had to leave to catch my train and during the 2hr 30mins train journey, I reflected on everything I had learned and hoping that everything I have learned helps me progress further forward and hoping to put what I have learned to good use. Maybe my next opportunity will let me show of my training and experience.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Run Runner Run, Runner Run Run Run

25 Sep
The Poster

The Poster

Well I have certainly been doing a lot of that over the past couple of days and in between that went for an interview to a very special place in my heart; pinewood Studios for an interview for a role on a film. Here is a clue 007. Unfortunately I did not get the role I had been put forward for but at least it is a step further than last time when I applied for a production role on ‘Skyfall’. My motto ‘Never Surrender, Never Retreat’ applies here and for everything else I have been unsuccessful with, but still it is nice to visit the place I like to call my second home.

Despite the unsuccessful outcome, I am having a blast working with a production company in Derby called LightFilms on a really cool (Well I think it is) trailer for an upcoming feature to be shot in 2015. I have completed a lot of tasks so far and have managed to get results at the end of them.

The advice I will give those starting out in the industry is have contingencies places encase something unexpected happens or falls through. The work has entailed researching places that meet the necessary requirements of the director and SFX team for filming, sourcing props suitable for the characters and the background, liaising and hunting down costumes and accessories for the characters, getting call sheets finalised, calling lots and lots and LOTS of people (the phone doesn’t stop ringing, which is good).

In my case it was running around from four regions to get everything done before the day ended; finalising a location in one area, calling and collecting an essential prop from another, calling another person in another area and finally getting a prop personalised.

All of this work I have found has also caused me to have moments I consider fluxes, especially when finding props as half the things the production team will need I would assume were so far away, like down in London or Manchester but no by chance I found everything on the doorstep, more convenient I say.

I pressed on and although I had to deal with an evasive obstacle, I overcame it and got the outcome that I wanted, and everything else afterwards fell into place. Although there was nearly another a solution was found and all was right with the world, and this was near the end of the day.

I only wish that was going to be on set at the weekend for filming of the trailer, but alas I won’t be free, but I am hoping that I have done a good job with the call sheet and getting all info out the to cast and crew and hopefully will see the trailer in a few weeks after it has been shot. To date I am loving every single minute of my time I am spending with lightFilms. More info to follow shortly or at a later time, who know.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

How productive a week can be

11 Sep

Well, what a whirl-wind week it has been for media work and activities.

I spent Monday in a production meeting bringing the producer and director up to speed on everything I have done and what is remaining left to be completed. This was everything to sourcing locations to finding a generator, to contacting the actors, liaising with a company that hires out equipment to a million other tasks to see to and others to add to my list. God I love this business!

Tuesday was devoted to more media work, both pre-production work on the two productions I am working on, and co-presenting a radio show with another person who has more experience than me, and I will say two hours does go by really fast when your having fun, and the fun continued for me having my very first fitness class and although I was the newbie in the group no prisoners were taken so I did everything at the same intensity as everyone else and afterwards my legs felt like jelly.

Wednesday was spent at my local news station learning the art of data wrangling ( taking footage captured and adding them to the system and catalogued on editing software). I met the tech manager, Paul Magor, who allowed me to spend the day with three techno guys, before being invited to watch the news output in the gallery at lunchtime. Afterwards I was taken to the archive department to see how everything is added to the system and retrieved years down the line and the methods used to record footage. It amazes me to see that really big chunky tapes were used then it was CDs to small tapes to memory cards, how technology has certainly evolved. One thing that really surprised me I was invited to a meeting with the days news producer, the director, techno guy and editors for the days output and the East Midlands presenters for news, sports and weather. The surprise was seeing Anne Davis one of the presenters who I know really well, and after the meeting when I was in one of the editing suites Anne came to find me for a catch up chat and to see how I was and of course vice versa.

Before the news feed went out for the evening which I went into the gallery to see Paul took me to the Inside Out team, who invited me to come back in on Thursday to send the day with them to learn how they data wrangle footage they capture, log, duplicate, and using prelude software (excessive notes were taken so I did not forget anything).

Friday would have been a day working on a production in Leicester but they did not need me, however, I was asked to send a copy of my CV for future work with the production company as they are always looking for crew to work with them on productions.

And now I must resume my media work with Light Films, as there is a lot to do. One final note to fore-warn everyone that a month from today I will be writing to my hearts delight about a visit I will be making to the home of hammer horror, carry on and James Bond. Keep you eyes peeled

 

Nunquam Deditioneum- Never Surrender, Never Retreat

What a Gem Stone

26 Aug

Well, mediadreamz readers

It is a week where I am not standing still, despite the weather being that of winter did not stop me from heading to my interview destination with GemsTV. In all honesty I had forgotten about the job vacancy I had applied for as it has been a lifetime ago that I applied for the role of junior producer. I made it to the studio well before my interview time and met my interviewer, Ben. After being given a tour of the studio and seeing the various studios broadcasting live, as well as the being show a very fine collection of gemstones and rocks that would the studios version of a museum one stone was so big and striking it was over 900 carats (try putting that on a ring). After the tour, the interview began and from what I remember it was four questions and it lasted, well it felt like it lasted 15mins one thing I noted was I asked more questions than I have ever asked in any interview, which is a first for me.

Now all I need do now is wait to see if I hear anything. Until then I am busy with other media work and I am still enjoying it and I am hoping to be taking a trip in October to the lovely place in Iver Heath (I won’t say anymore, not till nearer the time when things are in motion).

So I will sign off this post with the usual last line, Nunquam Deditioneum Never Surrender, Never Retreat

Cosmopolitan Carnival Creativity

24 Aug

Hi Mediadreamz readers

What a day I have had, luckily not stuck on a checkout but something much more interesting. A few weeks back I was contacted by a company, through a recommendation, to help film an event happening in Leicester this weekend. The event is as you see above the Cosmopolitan Carnival and the purpose of the event is and was to Celebrate Leicester’s culturally diverse city through every imaginable art form. Everything from dancing of all forms to graffiti art, to music to singing and I along with a friend of mine, Raj, who I have worked with before on episodes of ‘Dickinson’s Real Deal’ were given the role of filming the setting up of the events, the reactions of people, the performances throughout the day and the closing aftermath of the events on the day.

 

                                    cosmopolitan

 

Prior to the event starting all the people involved we all met at Red Hot World Buffet where everyone had a complimentary lunch before getting ready to work. After getting the cameras Raj and I started filming, though the first half hour the cameras died so whilst they were charging we improvised (I used a spare Flip camera that I bought with me, and Raj used his phone). When all cameras had died it was a case of taking shifts to monitor the charging and guarding the tripods in half hourly intervals, in order to get some incredible footage. The main stage was mainly musical acts and the high st was dedicated to a mixture of dancing everything from tribal to zumba that encouraged other people to get involved too. I also thought the people on stilts was very creative. I made a couple of trips to st. Martin’s sq to listen to the random musical acts too, as well as getting people’s reactions. Personally my favourite bit was the dancing Chinese dragon, it was certainly something the children who came to the event found really interesting).

Areas were designated for the following
– Jubilee Square MAIN STAGE- MUSIC
– High Street DANCE ZONE
– St Martin’s Sq PERFORMANCE AREA-MUSIC

and not forgetting the Silver Arcade ARTS HUB & WORKSHOP DISPLAYS

Soon time grew closer to the fact that the dancing had finished and that everything was to end at Jubilee Sq with a few final acts before it all ended with a film projection on the wall of BBC Radio Leicester, so of the members of staff I met during the days events, and the footage was very interesting and cleverly constructed. And as usual the day went by so fast, this one of the disadvantages I have when involved in media work, that when I am enjoying something so much time just goes by, that is why it is so precious to any and all productions.

I am also having fun working on the feature film I mentioned before, which I resume work on in the next few days.

Production Progress

18 Aug

Hi guys

It was been a little quiet on my side having a day or two of boring days after filming the baton twirling event (will add another picture shortly), but for now I am involved in another production.

photo to end all shoots on Baton Twirling

The production is with a local company is working on a thriller film cannot say too much because things are still in motion, but I am loving the plot so far and I am immensely surprised by the fact that I have been given a role of huge responsibility- Line Producer. Never worked in this role, but I am gonna give it my all (hopefully I won’t mess up but if I do I will go down all guns blazing, but it won’t happen). So far I have had 2 meetings, location scouting, looking into hiring vehicles including a bus, booking venue(s) for auditions and all matters that require release forms.

The other film ‘RatCatcher’ that was scheduled for filming this year will commence in January and I am hoping to be involved with this film again too. So it appears things are going o.k at present and at the weekend I am working as a camera assistant on the Cosmopolitan Carnival so busy busy busy. Interested in knowing more then check out

https://kaleidoscopyarts.wordpress.com/cosmopolitan-carnival-the-high-street-dance-area/

 

Plus a really cool event in October that I am really, REALLY looking forward to

 

I am immensely surprised by the fact that on 15th Aug I had 175 views- so I want to say thank you guys for looking and reading my blog, means a lot x

 

Still use my motto Never Surrender, Never Retreat

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