Archive | November, 2012

Trains, Trams and Fast Track

21 Nov

Well, it wasn’t fast trains, or a barrel of laughs for me this morning. What a nightmare it was getting back from Manchester with the flooding, delays, signalling problems and everything else that has been going on. Despite that I had a great day yesterday at MediaCity UK at the very first BBC Fast Train Track workshop day. It was basically a day where those who have worked in the industry for two years, or had a least three well established credits on their CV could attend various masterclasses, seminars, workshops and LIVE interactive sessions in all things media that ranged from TV to Film, Radio to pitching, Screenwriting to editing and much much more. As it was a day that started at 9am and ended at 7pm, I went for three classes and the networking event for afters, and because it being a trek from the East midlands it was afternoon classes all around. Once I’d made it to manchester, drop my case at the hotel and jumped on the MetroLink it was easy sailing to the North. The first class of the day was ‘How to Crack Careers’, which of course the title answers for itself what it is about. The session consisted of a chair woman who introduced the speakers of the day, one of which I know through another one of my media contacts up North. It was interesting learning how each person had got into this industry through various routes, means and connections and all the advice they passed on to us was so helpful that everyone was scribbling away so hard on their pads of paper that I thought they were going to start a fire. Though that wouldn’t have lasted long as it was pouring with rain, and as everyone always says to me ‘It always rains up North’.

 

Before my next session I decided to kill some time in the careers corner, where I and so many other people wondered round the different tables/ stalls of all media training companies, ITV, unions, Creative England and loads more. I was drawn to the ITV tables, as the had loads of give aways not just the typical pens and paper but also ‘TEXT SANTA’ Christmas hats, key-rings, and stuffed animal toys that unfortunately I and no-one else could take away though it would have been so cool to walk away with a toy kangaroo, or dragon. I got a surprise when I saw a familiar face at the Creative England table, Nicky, who I had seen only a week ago at a previous event and it was great to have a catch up before going to the next session on my agenda….

This was Drama Management, mainly learning about the work and roles of Line Producer/ Production Managers. Now I know how much work my friend Terry has to put in on a daily basis with TV and Films he works on, but I guess its all part and parcel of the game. One thing I will not forget immediately about the area we had our session in is the flamboyantly striking chairs,  that immediately made me think that Paul Smith had designed them, maybe he did? After whizzing through so much in an hour it was a quick dash to the next building for the final session; Cutting Edge look into Current Affairs. meeting the people behind the numerous programmes, only to name a few ‘Dispatches, Panorama, BBC 3 docs and loads more. Although most of the discussion centred on trust issues because of the news night programme about Jimmy Savile, everything that each spokesperson said was brilliant and the questions that followed and all the advice that was given.

Of course the overall highlight of the evening was the networking, and the drinks and trust me there was lots and lots of it, I would say enough to sink a battleship. After a few words from the boss of BBC North, Peter Salmon who thanked everyone for attending, the speakers and awarded a person who had pitched an idea to a panel of BBC Execs a cheques for 5K, all I can say is well one to that person and hope her idea develops and is a success. I even got the opportunity to shake hands with Peter Salmon and other people as well as hand out a few business cards. As I was completely shattered from the travel and the whole day I just got on the MLink and just went back to the hotel and chilled from the day. Next mission on the cards is to get home, forward copies of my CV to my new found friends and doing everything else I couldn’t do before I left (despite being hindered by the rain I made it back annoyed but ok). I just hope there are more and future events I can go to as I have so much fun going to these gatherings, and hope that my next activity is just as good. There is something in the pipeline but I don’t want to say yet, no spoilers yet folks, not until I have all confirmed.

Keeping reading and enjoy x

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What an eventful night

14 Nov

Hi guys

Well, what a night I had yesterday in Manchester, and why you may ask was there? Answer: At a networking event. Networking events are something relatively new to me, as in the past there haven’t been many that I have been made aware of, or are close enough for me to travel to. This networking event was called ironically ‘The Event’ where many people in the TV and Film industry came to chat, hand out business cards and socialise with those wanting to find the next opportunity. Made it to Manchester before the event started to check into my hotel and it took me roughly 10mins to get there. Once at the Midland hotel (which is where it was held) I found the function room where it was being held, and as soon as I got my name badge and free drink, the networking commenced.

I met a mixture of people from different media areas (directors, location managers, PR agencies, composers, sound mixers etc). During part of the evening we were introduced to Nick Ball head of the organisation behind the event and each member of staff who are responsible for the different regions of the UK,  and I spoke to the guys who deals with the Midlands. I admit that was the one thing that annoys me is that there are not many opportunities in the Midlands, always up North or down South. It was great meeting so many people and handing out business cards, I only hope that I hear of more opportunities.

The event wrapped at 9pm and once people started leaving I followed suit. Whilst walking back to my hotel I thought about how great the evening had been and hoped that the next event I head to in Manchester next Tuesday is just as god as this one. Lets see what happens after this.

It will be all underwired on the night

9 Nov

The reason for the title of this latest post is all to do with another networking event I attended, and was surprised that it was held at Broadway Cinema. It felt strange, as I had been there nearly a week ago, but at least I there ok this time round. The event I am referring to is the UnderWire Festival, which is tailored to solely encouraging and showcasing the talent and work of women in the film industry.

As this didn’t start till 6.30pm, I left at what I thought was in plenty of time and made it to the Broadway Cinema, and once there there was some delay with the event starting, as some people had been told it started at 6.30pm, and others 7pm. Once we were given the green light to go into screen 4, and we all ventured in, I saw the coolest cinema chairs I have ever seen and had the honour to sit in. The reason I was honoured was because they were designed by none other than the Midlands greatest fashion designer; Paul Smith. Paul Smith to me is one of the Midlands greatest assets and I think his praises need to be spoken here for not only fashion, but also for furniture, great man. So if anyone ever visits Nottingham please visit one of the numerous shops he has in Nottingham, as the fashion is amazing (and if you visit the Broadway cinema and go into screen 4 then you’ll have the chance to sit in a Paul Smith chair). We were introduced to the founders of the Underwire Film Festival and were shown a series of films that had been into the programme, some were good others bordered on the level of insanity, but were interesting.

After about an hour, it was a case of us having a break, with a free drink, and a chat with others there. I chatted with a few people and handed out business cards, before leaving to get back home, as I had a 6am start at work to next day. What surprised me was the number of guys that attended the event, as the whole thing was emphasising the work and trials faced by women in the working world of TV and Film.

With this in mind, I can’t wait till the 13th and 20th Nov, as I am off to two other networking events which I am so looking forward too. I just hope I make the right impression (as people would jokingly say I’m sorry I don’t do impressions) on those attending and those in the working world of TV and Film. Fingers crossed something helps from these social gatherings.

A week of Mayhem in Nottingham

4 Nov

 

 

Lets start with a cheesy joke; ‘Knock,knock, who’s there?, Dr, Dr Who?, Yes thats right. If you are wondering why this joke has been used, the answer is this; I attended a networking event that involved a Q & A event at Nottingham’s broadway from Joe Ahearne. This was all part of the the ‘Mayhem Horror Film Festival’, a five day event that of course started on 31st October, and ends on 4th november. The funny think about this is I only came across reading the Metro when I was travelling to London on the 30th Oct, one event I saw was a preview screening of a BBC series called ‘The Secret of Crickley Hall’. This series was part of the BAFTA UK learning and networking events, and as I was free on the Saturday, I decided to venture out to the broadway.   As I had never been to this cinema before I kept thinking will I find it in time, and surprisingly I did. When I got into screen 2 I saw roughly about 20 odd people, which was good as there were too many people to fight a seat for. I admit I haven’t read the secret of Crickely Hall, though I was impressed about what I saw. The plot summary, in brief, centres on a family called the Caleighs who have been through a terrible ordeal; their son Cam has gone missing. In order to escape the dreadful remainder on the anniversary of his disappearance, Gabe takes his wife Eve and two daughters, Loren and Cally, away to Crickely Hall, a house on the outskirts of the village Devil’s Cleave. Once in the house, Eve begins to hear Cam’s voice, Loren and Cally seen the ghosts of past children who lived in the house, when it was once an orphanage of strict discipline.

This is a three part series and from what I saw I thought it was brilliant, especially the time shift from past to present and how each of the characters expressed their sadness and despair in wanting answers to questions about Cam, the house and what happened to the children in the house.

Once the episode had finished it was a Q & A session with the man behind the programme, writer and director Joe Ahearne. Although I mentioned he has worked on Doctor Who, Joe also created ULTRAVIOLET; a British TV Series about Vampires and supernatural happenings, I haven’t seen this series, though I will try to watch it on 4OD.  before leaving I went to meet the man behind the adaptation and asked a few questions of my own about the series, filming on location, how to get into TV and Film and mentioned my past experiences and to my surprise Joe said everything I was doing was right and that it took him till his late 20’s early 30’s to full get into the industry. And of course, before parting, I passed on a business card and asked that if there are any future projects Joe Ahearne will be involved in, if he would consider me as a potential runner.

 

All in all the event was great, and made it out of Nottingham no problem, though I did feel sorry for one woman who was trying to manoeuvre into a parking space right next to to cement pillar and unfortunately she scrapped it numerous times. Eventually she got into the space, but all down the passenger side a long line of grey scratches. Overall, I enjoyed the BAFTA BBC MAYHEM FILM FESTIVAL I guess its because there are never really that many events like this that I am aware of in the East Midlands, so I will see if I hear of anymore events, and if I can attend them. Next event is in Manchester in two weeks, and all I need to do is book my hotel and then I’m off. Really enjoyed meeting Joe and fingers crossed this leads to more opportunities.

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