Back to the Film Industry

20 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

The follow-up to yesterdays media/ film related fun that I had; yesterday the activity today the film work. It was an early rise for me, in order to make a 2 1/2 hour journey down to Dover for my next film product. I got to work with a Director who I worked with last year on a film called ‘Borstal’ (post dated round about October time). Driving to Dover was long and lengthy and I got to do something I have never done before; drive over the Dartford crossing and I confess seeing the height of the bridge does make you think oh my God this is enormous; one thing I made sure not to forget to do once I got back was to pay the toll. Word of advice pay the toll either in advance or as soon as you get to a computer otherwise you have the fine to contend with.

I digress, I made it to Dover in good time and got a marvelous view of the castle, breath-taking, and did I see the white cliffs of Dover; I did as I drove home 8 hours later. The location a boxing venue, the film a hard-core action adrenaline pumping Brit spit and grit film, the title Red Army Hooligan. I will not share the plot yet, but the focus is on fighting. One thing that was handy about the location was that it was across the street from 2 supermarkets so no-one went hungry or thirsty on the day. Once inside it was hugs and hi’s from those I have worked with before and I got started on my Production tasks, well that was after I bought in the baked treats I promised the crew I would bring and they were VERY happy after that and got everyone through working on a Sunday. I got high praise for thinking ahead and being on hand to the usual things and I was surprised when the Director referred to me as the Production Coordinator, usually I go along with assistant but coordinator is even better.

We got most of the scenes shot at different angles, and the extras were brilliant with what they needed to do. Managed to mark all the scenes and ensure that we stayed on track with time and thanks to Gaz the D.O.P got a lot of great photos, which will appear soon. There was a moment where I was asked by JP one of the actors and Producer on the film asked if I minded being in the film as a hooded faceless character. So I made my faceless debut just before we wrapped for the day, which was both a surprise and a fun thing to be a part of. Hopefully I will see myself on screen when the film premieres next year in London. We then wrapped at a good time and I was happy to see that the containers that I had bought the baked treats down in were nearly empty. And what was left I made sure that the crew took what was left home to get them through the long journeys home. Driving out of Dover was fine and one little tip to anyone, makes sure you pay the Dartford toll as soon as you can. It is a shame that I can’t help out on additional days but it was fun and great working with crew I have worked with before, and I look forward to the next series of films that are in the pipeline in the next 2-3 months.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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You Only Drive Twice

16 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

This latest post is about the day I had with a James Bond group I am part of going all around Staines/ Buckinghamshire. This weekend of activities was organized months in advance and split over two days. I joined the group for the events of today, would join them on Sunday but I am in Dover working on a film. Up early to meet everyone in Wraysbury for a briefing and to meet everyone. I decided to go in somewhat disguise in when I say that I mean that I wore a wig for fun, was nice to be a red-haired again.

Once I met with everyone there were a few props and symbolic items the balloons from the living daylights, the milk bottles, top secret envelopes and anything to do with Spectre. After everyone had had there breakfasts at McDonald’s it was on to the first location; RK Leisure park, which featured in A View to a Kill. The second location was to Bedfont Park which was an industrial corporation site that featured in Tomorrow Never Dies, and of course we got a few shots of the buildings before driving to Ashford FC which was fun watching a amateur match and everyone had tea, coffee and breakfast baps. The best location that followed this was, wait for it….. Pinewood Studios. This is my 10th visit and it is always good going back to my favourite place. We took advantage of the nice weather to get what pictures we could get, before it rained and in areas that security didn’t have a problem with; thought at one point security said to us to get behind the lamp post and that we were only allowed to take pictures of the Pinewood sign. I even got into the spirit of Bond by humorously doing a Bond Girl pose on a Bond car, and an assassinated pose.

         

We then took a break from location scouting and taking pictures to have lunch and the pub we went to had some brilliant art on the wall of Ian Fleming book covers and pictures of Sean Connery, the Carry On Crew and other well known people.

We also took time to do a Picture Quiz before heading out to an auspicious Golf Club; Stoke Poges. All I can say is that it took my breathe away seeing it, and thinking about Goldfinger being shot there. One thing that we did was re-enacted a scene where someone’s hat is used pretending it’s odd-jobs hat when he throws it at a statue, whereas in this case it is thrown at me and I fall to the ground. Was a fun scene to be in.

We were originally going to be to various parts of the course but because there was a wedding on but we still got to explore. And we went into a part of the golf club where the walls are dedicated to posters from Goldfinger and Tomorrow Never Dies as well as DOP shots and call-sheets and casual shots of the actors relaxing. I am taken aback that you need a Pin to access the visitors restrooms; something I have never done before- was like trying to break into Fort Knox bank, and the restrooms are so fancy that there a 6 types of Golf magazines.

 

We then moved onto the final location which was St Giles Church which is the opening scene in For Your Eyes Only where Roger Moore is laying flowers at a grave before jumping into a helicopter. This is where this scene was re-enacted before the heavens opened up a second time before we said our goodbyes and head out of Buckinghamshire to hotels, homes and temporary accommodation.

It was a challenge getting back home as monsoon rain came down non-stop and traffic was bad that I was crawling for about 30mins. It was a great day and I have photos to share; will be added later, one of which I am on the hood of a car that was covered in James Bond logos. Tomorrow will be a long day going back and forth to Dover, so wish me luck on my filming there.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Let Me Go Premiere

8 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

When one media event ends, another event begins and one must as promised share it. It is nice to be back sharing experiences, and getting involved in different projects. This one involved getting all dressed up for as mentioned in my latest posting going to the premiere of a film called Let Me Go. This is based on a true story written by Helga Schneider. Before I even got to London I thought it was ‘gonna be one of those days’; I had originally booked a taxi via an app for what I thought was to take me to the train station, only for me to tell the app that I wanted to be picked up FROM the train station. Only a brief moment of panic in thinking that I was gonna miss my train, and be late. Thankfully, that did not happen, and I made it to Leicester Square 25 minutes early, whilst stomping around on the underground in nude coloured heels to get to the Vue, and it was great that so many people turned up to the screening.

            

       

I got chatting to a mum and daughter and managed to get a few snaps taken against the backdrop and tweeting #LetMeGo. It was great seeing my friend Ross, the man behind the Production company in partnership with in trust productions who filmed the project. Once upstairs, champagne in hand, it was taking more snaps and seeing a few famous faces and I managed to get my picture taken with Douglas Henall  and talking to others before staff asked everyone to take their seats. My seat was Row C Seat 3 and although I had no idea what I would be in store for booking this, it turns out I chose a seat where no one blocked my view I was close to the open floor area where the Q&A session and within feet of one particular actress, JULIET STEVENSON, who starred in the film, but said a few words before needing to leave due to being on stage in a play and needing to leave. One thing the audience was given was bags of popcorn and bottled water; I took mine with me and gave it to my colleagues to enjoy on Friday.

  

  

 

Encase you come across this film I avoid giving away too much of the plot but the structure of the film focuses on mother and daughter relationship, which explores not only the relationship Helga Schneider (Juliet Stevenson), had with her mother Traudi (played by Karin Bertling) who has a dark secret, but also the relationship Helga’s daughter, Beth (Jodhi May), has with her daughter Emily (Lucy Boynter).  Hearing that Traudi is dying, Helga travels with her granddaughter to see her to confront her about how her actions had serious consequences.

 

With having a degree in History, and the subject area being one that is a favourite of mine I found the film very moving and heart-felt. The score to the film was something you that was in the same field as Schindler’s List. The Q&A with the Producer Polly Steele, the composer Phil Selway, Karin Bertling and Jodhi May and once all questions had been answered I would have loved to stay for some of the afterparty but I had a train to catch. One thing I wondered during the evening was when I saw Richard Wilson at the event; as many of you know he is famous for his phrase ‘I don’t believe it’, would our paths across and prior to me leaving they did as I was getting ready to leave the Vue, we walked past each other and Richard said Hello and smiled, so that was a cool highlight to end the evening.

I was impressed by how I made it to London Euston in heels and that my feet weren’t hurting at all, once on the train I got chatting to a guy called Bradley who had been out with his work colleagues to the Hippodrome casino to celebrate success at work, and the thing I discovered was that he is a graphic web designer for the Hippodrome Casino. One thing I have learned and I hope you agree with me on this is that the best conversations you have are with strangers on a train, you learn so much. My conversation with Bradley ended at Watford Junction which was his stop, for me I had about 6-7 more before getting home. I was still wide awake even at 2am, and even more when at work when I got up at 5.30am.

Next activity/ work related opportunity is in 2 weeks so that will keep me busy, I do love working in Media and networking with others.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Milton Keynes & Me 50 Years in an evening

7 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

God it has been practically years since I lasted posted. I have been waiting and waiting for my next media related event to happen, and now it has.

Some of you many have seen on BBC 4 a few weeks back the film titled Milton Keynes and Me by Director Richard Macer. I admit I was kicking myself for missing it when it was on TV, but had a second chance to see it when a screening of it was arranged, followed by a Q &A session with the Director himself.

For those of you haven’t seen Milton Keynes and Me the story is told and see through the eyes of Richard Macer who grew up in MK and left when he was 18 to go to University. With it being 50 years in 2017 that MK was created, Richard returned to his hometown to look back into to how MK was created and established as a New-town place, the Fred Roche Foundation which was responsible for the planning and constructing and houses, shopping centre and sculptures depicting the creativity and uniqueness of MK. And yes that includes reference to the cow sculptures created by Canadian Liz Leyh. It was cool that Richard was able to track Liz down and ask her what she thought 50 years on from when they were placed in MK.

The beginning of the film looked at the memories of MK through the eyes of his mum and dad and how MK was the UK’s equivalent to the American Dream when it came to the housing crisis that hit London in the 1950’s and 60’s. One other aspect of MK that was shown and talked about was when people think of MK besides the cows that they comment on the number of roundabouts and there is one thing I discovered whilst watching the film and that is that there is a roundabout appreciation society, something I never knew existed until that night. Following on from that there the society has given certain named roundabouts and one of the roundabouts in Fox Milne is known and named as a bonking roundabout because it was a roundabout where people used to make love and have rendezvous. One thing that is being added to Fox Milne roundabout soon is a sculpture, commemorating 50 years.

I also discovered that years ago a commercial was created advertising MK as a New-town haven and what was memorable about the commercial was that there was a boy carrying a red balloon and how everyone at the end had balloons and let them go. I admit when I saw the red balloon at first my mind immediately ran to thinking of Stephen King IT. It also got my thinking whether to not it would be possible or a good idea to make an updated commercial on what MK has for people to see. There was a generation aspect to the film where Richard headed to his old school where he talked to the current students at Stantonbury Campus. I did not know that there was something called ‘Day 10’ where students spent to entire day focusing on one subject. Would be interesting if schools today could bring that back, might make a difference.

Granted there was some negative moments in the film, that was probably down to when it was shot (Jan/ Feb) when it isn’t exactly scorching like Ibiza. But you need somewhat of a place in a film to make it work.

At the end there was the Q&A with Richard with the help of his friend and many people got to share their views, saying whether they liked it, hate it, what they thought would have been nice to have included. One thing that was somewhat annoying was that a member of the council was there and I felt that he was using it as a self promotional platform on what he could do to make things better or changes to bring about if we/ people get in touch with their local Councillors. At the eventual end I got the chance to meet and speak to Richard and share my thoughts on the film itself.

It is nice to be back on the grid of sharing, and the good news is that there will be a follow up as tonight I am off to a red carpet premiere at the Vue, Leicester Square. So I am getting all dressed up and hopefully get the chance to meet the actors and catch up with some of my media friends.

My work as a Gallery Production Assistant is going very well, and my next series of freelance opportunities are happening in the next few weeks that I am looking forward to.

Nunquam Deditioneum.

Taking Pride by storm in Media

13 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

When Summer arrives, make the most of being out and about, and I did just that. Headed to London yesterday to attend the Royal Television Society event that addressed the issue of LBGT portrayed in TV soap storylines. Made it to London without any delays; it’s S’s-Law and I’m sure you will agree with me that when you are traveling to events, something usually happens; delays, cancellations, stormy weather the list goes on. Either way, made it to the Hospital Club and was early, so waited until the event was open to attendees. Found a seat in the gallery room and others started arriving and there was a group of 3 who sat next to me and we got chatting and I learned that they worked for ITV & BBC. So for me, that was a good surprise and we all chatted on what areas of media we work in, how we found out about the event and what our passions are.

 

Soon the speakers on the events panel arrived and took their seats on stage. The speakers were, wait for it, Oliver Kent- Head of Continuity in Drama series, BBC Studios, Pete Lawson Writer on EastEnders, Bryan Kirkwood- Executive Producer Hollyoaks, Iain MacLeod- Series Producer Emmerdale, and some of the actors from the soaps; Daniel Brocklebank- Corrie, Annie Wallace & Krupa Pattani -Hollyoaks. The panel was chaired by June Sarpong MBE- who is known for being a presenter on ‘Loose Women’, and also a panelist on Sky’s The Pledge program.

The topics discussed and questions asked, combined with a series of clips depicting LGBT storylines made the event as a whole really interesting and also a huge eye opener, with the actors, characters, and impact, they have on society as a whole. One story that was shared was Daniel mentioning an encounter he had with a lady in a supermarket saying very hurtful things, to which he gave a response that totally shut this woman up.  Other issues that were discussed were the Ofcom complaints, watershed time showings, relationships, cultural communities and the about individuals in the series and in real life coming out to their parents and loved ones and the psychological effect and the fear they have, especially with family traditions, religion, and social acceptance. Other areas that haven’t or have been touched on briefly were discussed and how there is still time in the future to create and develop those ideas for television audiences to see.

     

 

              

 

The floor was then open up to questions from the audience, followed by thank yous to the guest speakers, June and the CEO of the Royal Television Society Theresa Wise. Then, of course, the networking started and people started walking up to the guest speakers saying how much they enjoyed the discussion and topics/ opinions they felt about the series, storylines and their perceptions on certain issues. I admit for me it was really cool getting to speak to Annie, Krupa and Bryan and I asked him a question about one of the characters in Hollyoaks and his response was ‘I’m glad you didn’t ask that question on the mic’ as that character is still being developed. Also speaking the Emmerdale and EastEnders Producers was great too, meeting the people behind these soaps is one of those moments in life where you think ‘I never thought this would happen to me, meeting you’. I say that because although I work in this industry I sometimes think that there is a line or a barrier I am one side and those well known and established are on the other side and there is a ‘Do Not Cross this line’ sign in the middle. But every once in awhile it is nice to step over even if it is for a minute, an evening or a day to talk to individuals and say who you are.

Soon the numbers started to diminish as people left and I decided to head back out of London, had a fun evening and I learned a clever lesson when traveling to Euston station if you are going somewhere don’t get a tube train going the opposite direction. my trick getting on the wrong compass bound tube and ending up in Kensington. No matter, a simple walking over to the other side fixed everything.

 

I have also heard back from a director I worked with last year who mentioned a production that is being filmed in September, so I am hoping I am free to help out even if it is for a few days. He has also put in a requested for baked treats, moral booster for the cast and crew, well it helps when filming in the sticks and it’s cold and people have been working long days. September will soon be here.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

 

 

 

An evening with James… and a famous feline

25 Jun

Hey Mediadreamerz

It certainly has been a long time since I last posted. I admit I have spent the last few weeks getting ready and trained for the production department I am moving into; live broadcasting television. Role being a Production Gallery Assistant.

But I have managed to find time to escape my media domain and go to an event I have been looking forward to for weeks. I travelled to London to hear a chat from James Bowen and see A Street Cat Named Bob. Whilst on the train I got chatting to a couple going to a Robbie Williams concert and other topics; I always think the best conversations are with strangers, you lern a lot. I had a feeling that it was going to be a popular event and it was; people were queueing at 5.45pm and the event wasn’t starting till 7 pm. It was a Hammersmith town hall and I only wish that the venue had air condition as it was really hot inside.

          

 

Soon the room was a buzz when James and Bob arrived and everyone stood up and applauded. Before the Q&A session started there was performances from a group called Burbank who were really good, and they even performed afterwards. It amazed me that people had travelled from Switzerland, Germany, Poland Greece and other parts of Europe had come across to the UK to see Bob and listen to James.

          

 

For those who do not know about James and Bob, focuses on James who was a homeless individual who was on a methadone program. After struggling for so long James was able to get a place to stay and one day Bob was sitting in the corridor of where James was staying. After 3 days, Bob was still there and James decided to take Bob to a charity vet and after that decided to look after Bob, who gave him a focus point to get clean and get back on his feet. James was also busking at this time and with Bob going out with James, it attracted attention from the masses. Soon James was approached by a publishing company who wanted to turn his story into a book, or rather a series of books. And then into a film as I guess some of you have seen.

              

 

James and Bob sat down and the person hosting asked James about the film, his books/ story, questions about Bob’s likes/ dislikes and facts about him and getting involved with the charity Baron Court. During this time also Bob was wearing his scarf, falling asleep and being fussed and fed treats at various times. One thing that gets me is how he stays on James’ shoulders when he jumps on him?

Barons Court Project is a homeless charity that focuses on helping those find somewhere to live, provides them with meals, social events, a place to get a haircut, hot shower, IT facilities to print off their CVs and learn new skills, postal mail address and much more. The charity’s main organizer also mentioned how others can get involved and how James and other celebrities have also given up their time to assist others.

There were questions from those that had submitted ones to the event organizers, and some of us got to ask questions afterwards, followed by getting loads of photos of Bob and James. The only annoying part at the end was queueing to get books and merchandise signed, oh don’t get me wrong the queueing wasn’t the annoying part, it was people buying books and items at the top of the hall and cutting in line! The rule is this- No butts, No cuts, No coconuts! And again best conversations are with strangers, something many of us did when waiting and waiting.

4o minutes later and I got a book signed, but not to me; I got it signed to my mum and I am gonna break a cardinal sin here and say the book is going to be one of my mum’s Christmas presents. I wanted to high-5 Bob as that is signature greeting, but because he was getting grumpy and tired he went to rest, so I gave James a high-5 instead. Was a relief to get outside as it was na oven in the hall, and as I walked back to Hamersmith underground I got an enormous shock; Bill Bailey was walking towards me with his son, whistling. Wow what a cool moment, first James and Bob, now Bill Bailey. I’ve heard stories of people meeting and seeing well known people on buses and on the underground but for me that was totally awesome.

I have recently been asked about helping out on some films in Spetember, which I am hoping fingers crossed I can even if it is for a few days I still love my freelance work, so that will soon be upon me.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Media moving and shaking

3 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

I know it has been a while since my last post (gosh that sounds a little bit like it’s been X number of days, moths, years since my last confession). Either way, I’m sitting in front of my computer ready to update. I have been quiet for the past few weeks because I was preparing myself for a job interview, for a new role in the media company I work at. The role is that of a Production Assistant in the Sports gallery, I had my interview and although I was informed it was last roughly an hour it was actually 1/2. I guess that’s because some of the answers I’d given to some of the questions answered other questions they wanted to ask me. Well, the top and bottom of it is, I was offered the job.
So, I will be working as a PA in the Sports gallery when my start date will be I do not know, but I am hoping to continue with my media activities on my days off.

The other news to share is I went for an informal chat with a media group who are launching a potential idea that is still in the early stages of funding and approval and have asked me to get involved with the media-related production work side too. It’s mainly and in some way mostly Virtual Reality related with me appearing on a mirror screen, that is all I can say for the time being.

 

That in additional to directors and producers I have worked with saying that they have projects coming up and want me back on set, with home-baked treats of course. One of which has said his next project is Sept/ Oct, so looking forward to that, whatever it is. Well, I can’t let the crew down. So that has given me something to think about, in addition to a project that is being filmed not far from me in September. Granted it is 2 months away, but an early bid to get involved for a few days would be awesome so that I am sort of looking forward to, I’ve emailed the team and all I can do is wait.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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