Shoot, Create, Screen

24 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

Two posts in two days, that’s a first but as promised a follow up from the last one. Only this one is more to do with the Film Festival events that has been sweeping up and down the UK, in a nutshell the 48 hour Film Challenge.MKChallenge. So the mission which many people chose to accept was to shoot a short film in the space of two days and to submit it for the event within the set deadline. This was all part of the International Festival Fringe of Summer Shorts; one could say this is our equivalent to Cannes minus travelling abroad.

Summer Shorts

I was surprised at the number of people who turned up a mixture of those who worked on the shorts and those supporting the films themselves. The films running order stood thus:

The Interview – Directed by Adam Jeayes Comedy with a double meaning in the title

Marmeladas – Directed by Rosemary Hill that means Cheese which language I can’t remember

Five Pound Note – Directed by Ana Diego Silent film with only background noises.

Spirit Cleanser – Directed by Julie Cuthbert

West Ham, Farewell Boleyn – Directed by Roger Stotesbury I really enjoyed this documentary and I’m sure those who are West Ham fans would too. Got to speak to the director on this film too.

Product Placement – Directed by Ana Diego focusing on the issue of trafficking

First Response – Directed by Carl Mason Zombie police film

Silently Within Your Shadow – Directed by Scott Lyus a Ventriloquist’s dummy that comes to live and has a connection with the Ventriloquist. One thing that surprised me was that people were asking me was I the Ventriloquist in the film because the actress who played her had the same hair color and length as me. Was flattered but not pretty enough to be an actress.

In Tents – Directed by MJ Dixon Thriller by a director I know very well and it does make you jump out of your skin.

Avant Macabre – Directed by John H Shelton

Nightman – Directed by Kieran Johnston

The Night Walker – Directed by Michael Hallett

There were some films that were creatively done, a genuine thinking outside the box short and then there were 1-2 that once you watched them you thought what the hell that doesn’t make sense or was just awful no doubt about it. Overall the night was great seeing something on screen and as I sat there a film idea for a short came to mind whether I suggest it to someone and it gets made for the next shorts festival who knows.

Hopefully more media activities to share soon when the next is I don’t know at all.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Gallery Shadow

24 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

Feels like I have been away for an eternity, have missed having something media related to share. Now the wait is over as Friday I did something fun; Friday was spent in the production gallery with an Assistant Producer, Director, Graphics guy, Screen Controller, EVS guy and finally Sound. I will be honest being an AP in a gallery with LIVE broadcasting makes you feel like an Octopus; need lots of hands to be doing so many things all at once and trying to get everything so precise I guess takes practice. And that is where my work shadowing started at the front desk and working my way to the back of the room and then into the Sound room.

The role for an AP from what I have seen so far is looking at bulletin schedules, filling in sheets about music and medias used in broadcasting that has copyright clearance, calculating the times for programs to start, end, subtracting advert showing times, cuing when each media piece is gonna be shown and counting down from beginning to end. I also got to see and use the control panel and there were more buttons there than on a spaceship would have. This is why they have three stopwatches in order to work this out and to also workout airtime to avoid over running. There is so much more that I saw but there is a lot more to see so this is one area in the gallery that interests me to see more about.

Graphics was using a specific program to get the shots of the afternoons broadcasting which is a mixture of being simple but hard with the process of creating them, but was fun all the same. This combined with the seeing how they are found and added to the TV screens during broadcasting was clever, fast and in a way pretty easy.

Eventually I was at the back of the room with the EVS guy and as a second place job that looks hard this has to be it. As this roles you have two computers screens to find media footage, two box controls for selecting and broadcasting clips, four screens showing a prev and a current broadcasting on what is happening live. The key thing in this role is to have very good hears when the AP or Director shouts out what clip or piece they want to show next. I have been told that there is a user manual you can download for this, so I will have a lot of reading to do there.

Finally, the Sound room, which in itself is like a private box at Ascot; spacious, private and quiet too. Again looks simple but when your in the seat you wonder which fader is set to control what if not marked, taking calls ready for phone in interview and making sure that sound doesn’t peak 7 decibels. Day end really fast and the AP and Direcotr of the day said that I am welcome back anytime, just come through to the gallery and take it from there. So definitely gonna go back but will of course give an advanced heads up.

Next media posting will be that of the Summer Film Fringe Fest.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Back to BAFTA

21 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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I wish I could have written a post about a Media Summer Party with the Crewing Company but as it was raining and thundering it didn’t happen. So I’ll share with you my night at the BAFTA House for a preview screening on an updated adaptation of the Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. Initially I thought the first day of Summer being yesterday was gonna be one of rain, rain and more rain but the afternoon sunshine all around thank you god. Managed to get to the Capital o.k and the one thing I like about the London Underground is that Oxford Circus has really cool coloured titles on the walls, sort of reminds me of a Kaleidoscope. As much as I wanted to admire the walls I had to get to Piccadilly Circus and I made it the sun was out and the Paparazzi were outside waiting for celebs and special guests. I was surprised by the how many people turned up for the screening, granted that the theatre wasn’t full to burst but it was full-ish.

 

After introductions from the BBC head of Communications and BAFTA President the screening commenced.  I admit I don’t remember the whole of the synopsis for Secret Agent but the hour segment was brilliant and saw a lot of British talent on screen; Toby Jones, Vicky McClure, Ian Hart, Stephen Graham, David Dawson just to name a few. The bare bones of the story is this Shopkeeper Verloc is instructed to bomb Greenwich Observatory and provoke the British government into cracking down on violent extremists. Caught between the Russians and the British police, Verloc drags his unsuspecting family into a tragic terror plot.

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BAFTA 3

 

BAFTA 7

After the screening a Q&A followed which was chaired by Mark Lawson; Journalist, Broadcaster and Author, many remember him from Radio 4, well tonight he put his questions to the guests on stage; Toby Jones and Vicky McClure, Writer Tony Marchant and Director Charles McDougall. The floor was opened up to audience members and then the night came to an end, though the funny thing, well two funny things were this; first was Toby Jones walking right past me and the other was that as I was leaving the BAFTA House I encountered Mark and spoke to him before heading towards the Underground.

The journey out of London wasn’t as long as I thought it was gonna be I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that Tuesday is and was the longest day on the calendar, either way I made it back and had a blast that night. My next media event is looking to be in July where I will be heading out to Elstree and Borehamwood the land of EastEnders and Harry Potter territory (nothing to do with these guys but something else coming up).

Nunquam Deditioneum

Ladies and Gentleman, day in the Capital, and a talk-show host

11 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

One thing I have never done before, and that is go into London on a Sunday. Granted its not breaking world headline news but it makes the weekend a whole lot more interesting and I guess it gets one through to Monday smiling about the day.

The morning was pretty slow before heading in to meet one of my friends for a catch up and just hanging out, but mainly for something really cool planned for the evening. Surprisingly London was not only busy for a Sunday but also bloody hot. Oh my we actually had what we call Summer, so everyone hopefully up and down the UK made the most of it.

Afternoon was going to Madam Tussaud’s, and I admit it was the first time I have been there; tried going years ago and I remember the queue stretching for three streets. It was a a lot cooler in M.T than outside. I admit it was nice to be papped with ‘celebrities’, seeing Star Wars and a bunch of other things housed inside. Following that it was a quick look round Baker Street Sherlock Holmes Museum before getting the tube all the way out to Waterloo and yes Abba song, of course. You may ask/ wonder why we were heading all the way out to Waterloo for 6pm, and the answer to that question L’s and G’s is to go to the ITV Studios; to be in the audience for one of the shows filmed there.

Here is the clue for the show it is on BBC One on Friday nights at about 10.35pm. And the seats we had in the audience were brilliant, you know when you go out and you find there is always someone in front of you who is taller than you and you can’t see well luckily that didn’t happen.
Before filming kicked off we were all entertained my a stand up comedian and by the time he had to come off the set my face was hurting from laughing. And then of course the host arrived, await for it, Graham Norton.

Following his entrance were Jeff Goldblum who many know him from Jurassic Park, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Independence Day and of course the follow up Independence Day two. Which Jeff discussed with fellow co-actor and another guest on the couch Liam Hemsworth. Yes the guy from the Hunger Games trilogy and completing the line up for the first part of the show was Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson talking about his upcoming movie ‘Central Intelligence’.

The first part of each of the actors talking about there upcoming films, fun and funny banter and stories, Dwayne creating an app alarm clock system, looking at photos of what each of the actors looked like at certain stages in their lives, looking at clips for the films and laughing at various points.

My phone got its 15 seconds of fame, well rather 20 minutes but whose counting, well I wasn’t much.

Another guest on the show was who is representing the UK at the Rio Olympics. Go team GB. Finally we were all granted a performance from Tom Odell performing his latest song ‘Magnetised’, and it was an awesome song.

The show wrapped and it went like clock-work, afterwards James and I got access to the Green Room one of the places where guests, celebs and Graham Norton head to for drinks and food. But before that we both got pictures taken with Jeff Goldblum and I must say he is a very friendly very approachable person. Just a shame that the person taking the photo made it blurry, I guess I should have thought to use my actual camera. At least I got a picture with a legend.

Jeff Goldblum Me and Jeff Goldblum

 

 

I even got to say hi to Liam after the show. Though before leaving James and I needed to sign release form as we had appeared on camera and of course ITV/ Graham Norton show did not want to get sued by us, not that I would but there are people out there that do.

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After filming it was a visit, like VIP visit to the Green Room, but before that I had the honour of meeting Jeff and getting a photo with him was the highlight to end the day (just a shame the guy taking the photo on my phone made it really blurry; note to self I should have used my normal camera). Headed into the Green Room, spoke to a few people and Graham came in and spoke to a few people. It got a bit hot at one point so my friend and I headed outside where some of the people who work for ITV and on the show were chatting. I had a blast today and I owe my friend a big thank you for such an awesome Sunday, normally I am pretty boring on that day so it was nice to shake it up a bit.

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Made it back home just after midnight and prepped myself for getting up to go on a defibrillator training course as part of what I already know. Hopefully, I will still be awake later that morning given the fact I went to bed at 1am and got up at 5am.

 

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More opportunities in the next couple of weeks so I am hoping the weather holds up for these.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

And the BAFTA goes to… Oh I’m so overwhelmed

27 May

Hey Mediadreamzers

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Well, I didn’t  per se win a BAFTA but I have seen two films that are contenders for winning the theatrical mask award. Who would have thought that I would be siting at my MAC composing my latest post at 1.15am, but I guess I am wired up from such a great night meeting new people and catching up with some familiar faces. This has what got me through my day, I initially didn’t think I was gonna get to the second place I love going to is the BAFTA House in Piccadilly again, until tonight. This was for the premiere screening of two films directed by one of my friends Sean Cronin; not only a talented director but also an actor who has been in quite a few well known films, James Bond, M:I 5 and recently Hard Tide which I still think was brilliant. Once I arrived at BAFTA House it was meeting a few people I know on FB, having a catch up chat and walking round the room before going into take a seat ready for the screenings, and it was a success as the event was sold out. And of course there are photos from the night.

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The two films were both hard gritty action films; one called Unborn Justice and the other Jack Mulligan. Unborn Justice focuses on a Allen, an ex special forces, who goes on a weekend break with his wife Lisa to London, unaware of the surprise Lisa has for him. Lisa ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, only for her surprise to be short lived. Allen sets out on a path of revenge to find those involved only to realise his target is a high profile organisation dealing in weapons and drugs. Determined to find his man Allen realise’s the hard way there are more hurdles to overcome before he can get to the worlds most wanted. The fight scenes definitely were choreographed to a very cool style and the ending at present is that of a cliff hanger seeing that actions speak louder than words. When Unborn justice had been screened it was a Q&A session with the cast and director, which lead nicely into the second film Jack Mulligan. Jack Mulligan within the same genre as Unborn justice, the plot is of course about the titled character, who decides to confront the man who was responsible for attacking his girlfriend. After receiving a threatening call Jack has flashbacks that paint the picture to why Jack resorts to doing what he has chosen to do. Like the first film Q&A followed which then lead to the rest of the evening to drinking, chatting to new people standing by the BAFTA statues, on the red carpet and with other people to be papped or photo bombing shots. One thing that surprised me was that during the meet, greet and chat people were asking me if I was an actress, followed by my age, the look of surprise, commenting on my dress and saying that I should be an actress, or consider going in front of the camera more. I’m guess these people were being kind to me in that sense, though some people said that my dress looked great had seen it when I walked in and were waiting to say it to me. I also got a chance to have a picture of 2 which Sean Cronin, I look forward to seeing future films from Sean and the team.

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It was great meeting new people and saying hi face to face with people I know on FB and actually meeting them in the flesh. One thing that ticks me about Media work and activities as I will constantly say is that time flies; what feels like 10mins equals 3 hours. I made it back home a little after 1am wide awake with throbbing feet. My guess is that I will crash like the Titanic later today (Friday), so I will be making very good friends caffeine to try to stay awake and find someway of staying awake. I need to say a thank you to Sean Cronin, and Alan Nolan on the two excellent films and how much I enjoyed meeting so many cool people and here are some pictures from the fun night. I am sitting as I type whilst my feet are throbbing from my heels, I admit I have done really well from wearing these for 5 1/2 hours before the pain start to set in, and it got to the stage where I ended up watching up and down Piccadilly Circus (Wayne’s World Quote here) in my tights in order to try and regain some feeling. I do love London at night, seeing it all lit up like a Christmas Tree. Please let there be another BAFTA screening/ premiere soon as it is always nice to visit the Capital.

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Train home 1 Train home 2 Train home 3

Hopefully more things to share and attend in the next few weeks.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum.

The Tide is Hard, but we’re hanging in there

10 May

Hey Mediadreamzers

Hard Tide

 

Time to post another blog post on media activities, and I thought I’d start of a networking event, well the first one to go to this month. This event was a Q&A session with the director of a recently released film called ‘Hard Tide’. This is a film that stars two actors who I am friends with on Facebook and see from time to time at other events. The Director has worked in a variety of roles ranging from Producer, Writer, Actor (yes his CV and IMDB is from the sounds of this very impressive).

 

I won’t give too much away on ‘Hard Tide’ encase you are still waiting to see it but the film is based on real events and centres on a man who comes to care for a little girl when he is trying to escape a life of drugs and drug dealing. As any film you watch where children are starring in it there are moments where you laugh and smile at what is being discussed, and yes there were moments. After the film, once all the credits had rolled  the Q&A session opened up; most of the questions ranged from time taken to shoot the film to where the best ideas come from one making films, along with a multitude of others asked. I also had the opportunity to speak to the Director afterwards, mentioned the actors and people I know who starred in the film, as well as passing on one of my business cards; I never leave home without them, even if I’m going to the supermarket.

Q&A

 

Q&A 2 Q&A 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was also great to catch up with people I have seen at these events in the past, and finding the status of films I am hoping to get involved in pretty soon. Hopefully the next event will be as exciting, or when my next media opportunity will be something soon as I am eager to get into a production. I also wish my friends luck and success out in Cannes as the festivities begin tomorrow.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Before Tilbury A Dream

16 Apr

Hey Mediadreamerz

Time seems to be going by so fast that I’m frightened to blink too often. Though I have used my time wisely over the last couple of weeks learning new skills and taking on new activities. I’m enjoying fencing, something I have been doing for the past 6 weeks and although it is exhausting I am loving it. The other activity is self defence classes, which is taught by Army cadets so I will know how to kick someones ass if they try to attack me, I write this in a jokey tone. One main important point is that both of these skills will bulk up my CV, specifically for work as an extra/ SA as any unusual skills, hobbies, traits can enhance your changes for particular roles. It is also a good ice-breaker for meeting people in the future.

 

I digress, must get back on track, back to the topic of my post which was a meeting of writers and production crew on the above planned project. Getting into the venue was a challenge but found a way inside before heading to the meeting room. Alan the Director, introduced everyone there and I learned that some of the writers have worked with the BBC and other well-known production companies, so a lot of credits and merits to their names. The idea was explained by Alan that he wanted three types of media into the production, though the issue was distracting and confusing audiences with too much with a short running time. Once the writers had discussed their suggestions on what could be done instead it was agreed that individual meetings with each group of people needed to be arranged for us all to move forward onto the next stage. It was great meeting new people who asked me for one of my Paul Smith inspired- styled business cards (I need to restock my card case now). It is always good to have meetings in order to share creative ideas and to eliminate issues and find solutions to approaches that won’t work.

 

So I have my extra curriculum activities to keep me busy, and looking to learn so much more, it maybe something I do next year as part of my next set of goals/ challenges to try my hand at; makes my year much more interesting. I just hope I can remember what I was taught last Sunday if we are asked to re-cap everything.

Nunquam Deditioneum

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