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Superhero in the Studio with SuperStars

5 Feb

What a great weekend, well Saturday I had (beats standing at a checking and being a robot!). What did I do you may ask the answer Media work of course. I got up really early to head out to a film studio in Nottingham called Giltbrook a place that I have been and worked at before (post on TRISTAR day). My role for the day was working as a runner at the studio with a company that had come all the way from London; Superhero Screen.

I arrived at 7.30am, even though the call time was 8am it was to get started with everything that needed doing in prep. Very soon the crew arrived and one of them I remembered Amy Nicolson, an Art Department supervisor who I’d worked with before, so it was great to work on another project and get to have a catch-up. Once equipmet had been set up, the props arrived and the 10 children who were going to be appearing in the project arrived from Lincoln, filming commenced. Shortly after we were greeted with Lillie, the dog who would be making her debut appearance in the afternoon with the children. We all kept Lillie entertained with treats; biscuits and cakes before she went onto set at 3.30pm. Whilst helping to look after the studios special guests, I also had a chat with the chaperones to the 10 children, and heard about the various productions and other media activities they had all been involved in and what was coming up for them later in the year. One rising star I heard about was Samuel Mckrone who I was surprised to hear had recently featured in ‘The Invisible Woman’ (a film directed and starring Ralph Fiennes), so I and others will have to keep their eyes out for him.

Then at lunchtime a well-known famous person local to Nottingham arrived to be filmed for her role; Su Pollard and what a truly wonderful person she is. She was full of energy and enthusiasum from the word go and after getting her a cup of tea she was straight into make-up. It was great to have a chat with her, and with the children involved in the filming. Su shared tales of her past work in the media industry and told us about her time involved in the Christmas pant with David Hasselhoff (who I hear is a legend in Germany). Soon those sad words were uttered; ‘That’s a wrap’,and with any and all media activities I am involved in the time always goes by so fast , there should a law that prevents this from happening as this never happens when I am standing at a checkout in a supermarket. I thanked Tom, Malcolm, Ken and Dom and all the other members of the team at Superhero Screen for having me on board with the filming, and that I had had a blast. I hope to work with Superhero Screen again as they are a really great team to work with, though my next opportunity is helping out on a music video at the same studio Giltbrook Studios.

 

If you have a moment check out Giltbrook Studios and see what you think

http://new.giltbrookstudios.co.uk/

 

 

A series of unexpected events

22 Oct

I had a surprise phone call last night inviting me to an interview at a production company in Leeds. My initial thought was to drive up to, but because there had been an accident on the route I was going to take I decided on the train. I had my route planned only to find out when I got to the ticket office that my tickets would not be valid. So I went via a different course, and had the greatest pleasure telling some guy who was smoking that this was a non-smoking station. ‘Oh, I didn’t know that’, to which I said ‘Well, there is a sign next to you saying no smoking’. I sometimes worry about the intellect of some people.

I have also come to the conclusion that CrossCountry are the worst rail line ever; there trains are irregular, the prices are ridiculous and whenever I and others travel on them you feel like a sardine. I think that these fat cats that hike the prices up on essentials should spent a day, or even better a month surviving on a minimum wage and see what others struggle.

Made it to Leeds o.k and found the studio without any problems, worked to my advantage as I arrived earlier than my scheduled time. Once I had been buzzed in I walked up the stairs and saw the whole of fame for programmes that have been made in the north of England. I met Dan and the other ADs working in the office, and after showing Dan my CV and answering and asking all the questions I could think of my interview was over (I have learned that if an interview last between 20-30 mins) then that is a good sign.

As I had finished earlier than expected, I caught a East Coast train and they are by far the best train service; the staff are friendly, the carriages are clean, bright, spacious and there is plenty of space to put your luggage.

All I can do is wait and see if I am successful.

I need a Job, Job, Job is what I need

22 Jul

Well not me personally as I work part time and work freelance. This is in reference to my latest media opportunity that I have been working; a sitcom in the Midlands. This was with a company called YSP Media, and although the opportunity was for a week I was only able to do three days, which was sad but I loved very minute, or rather day of it. This was last week just gone, time does go by fast when you enjoy something so great.

Of course my role was that of a production runner, and I was one of 4-5 and then that changed (which I will mention later). The first day was heading to one of the locations and meeting the YSP Media in the car park. After the meet and greet it was a case of helping unload the vans, set up tea, coffee and a food station ready for the crew and extras arriving. I met the A.Ds (Melissa, Joshua and Alec) who made me feel like a member of the team, the producer Belinda who throughout my three days praised me for everything I was doing and using my initiative and being attentive. Later I met the camera crew and one of the guys wore different T-Shirts, so I nick-named him with whatever logo was on them (Batman, Danger mouse etc) Phil the DOP, who I called Dr Phil and Chris the Director who was a great guy to work with and for.

Whilst the crew focused on getting the necessary shots, I and the other runners I was supervising focused on looking after the extras and any other activities that needed our attention. First day came and went in the blink of an eye and this always makes me sad. During the afternoon when filming continued I found out that Belinda and I share a mutual friend (I know title of a Dicken’s novel) Terry. I also learned one of the crew members had worked on some really cool films Fast and Furious films.

Second day was on an industrial site and as soon as I got out of the car (and was handed a florescent vest) Belinda praised me again for my work yesterday, and I was surprised to learn that I was promoted to role of production assistant (second to Emma who was the main production assistant), and it was doing the same things as yesterday except keeping the extras and crew topped up with suncream as I was the only one who had a bottle factor 30 Max, and making make shift paper fans for those roasting outside. I even offered one of the guys working on the site who was started to get sunburned some sun cream and he accepted (he even told Belinda and Chris, both of whom praised me to the guy in question). We then moved to the next location and spent part of the evening filming on a street, and as you can imagine that is not easy, especially when traffic is constantly coming towards you form both angles. So some of the runners stood at either ends of street to forewarn of cars, bikes and people approaching, me being one of them as I was wearing the jacket. One thing many of us couldn’t escape was the sun and intense heat and even after being in the sun for hours and hours I didn’t even brown.

My third and final day was in a wine bar, bet most people would be thrilled to be filming in a place like that. Before coming to the location, I had to pick up the costume supervisor and one of the runners before parking up. Initially, I was advised to park in a place that was a 15 minute walk away, then an idea came to me; to ask to park at my old university digs as that would mean I would only be 5-8 minute walk away from location, and helped if I needed to drive off to fetch or take someone somewhere. I was immensely grateful to the site staff for allowing me to park on site whilst filming for that day. This decision was praised by Belinda and Josh for my thinking ahead.

I received an enormous surprise when I opened the door to the bar everyone started shouting my name and started saying that they really missed me on Wednesday as I had to work an afternoon evening shift. Even one of the cast members Ed was thrilled to see me, all I can say is that I was glad to be back on set. I resumed work as usual, met a new runner called Beth (who I later learned worked on Everything or Nothing James bond Documentary, which was AWESOME). I also sourced out props, went to collect refreshments, and just being on hand as usual. The afternoon soon arrived and I got the chance to chat to Sammy, one of the other runners and Alec the 3rd AD about films, experiences and topics of general interest. Soon some of the runners were told they could go home, and I stayed on stand-by with some of the other crew members whist the main team filmed a scene on a street. Eventually, Josh came back to the bar and said that I could go home as the filming on the street was nearly done, and I was sad to go as I had a really great time with YSP Media and I appreciated them making me feel like part of the team.

Overall, it was an amazing experience I wish it could last forever, I am certainly gonna stay in contact with YSP Media about future work as they said I did a great job, to the point where after a day I was promoted. I hope to work with YSP Media in the foreseeable future as they are not many media production companies in the Midlands and that most of them are London or Manchester based, so it is an advantage.

I have more media opportunities to add to the blog, in the weeks to so many months one of which will be working on a film in October which was confirmed last night (Tuesday 16th July).

I was surprised to find a message on my phone the next day from Belinda saying thank you, I just have to find a way to save or print the text message off my phone.

This is your Captain speaking, please return to your seats and prepare yourselves for filming

4 Jul

Hi guys

The clue is in the title of the post what I have been doing.

I am having a blast working on ‘Brothers’, will be sad when it come to an end, though between that I heard that there was a film company looking for extras for a film on aviation safety looking for extras and production runners. I contacted them through their website and forwarded my CV and wanted to hire for me for the two days they were in my hometown. This was both unexpected and an enormous surprise for me. The film crew also asked me to spread the word for in and around my hometown to be extras, and what better way to do this then via Facebook and Twitter (you gotta love the internet). On my first day I met several members of the cast and crew and decided to get started by helping Jo set up tea, coffee and food table. In addition to this, I did a few tasks in the office and drove to set a couple of times, and the first time I did it was a great surprise seeing so many planes. It was so cool going on a plane, and after meeting Tristan, the Director,  I even got a chance to go into the cockpit and had fun seeing how to fly a plane. Soon it was time to wrap first day and it had gone in the blink of an eye.

The next day it was all hands on deck as there were lots of extras to look after. Once they were all on site, it was a case of them all going to the location for filming, and I followed as I was going to be on the plane as a passenger during filming which was really cool. During the breaks between filming I got the chance to have a chat with some of the other extras who had come from all over to be involved. Soon the day came to an end, like yesterday, so quickly and it was that time to wrap so the crew could move onto the next location for filming. Overall, I have enjoyed my two days working with ‘Fact Not Fiction Films’, and working with a great team Emily Production manager, Giuseppe 2nd AD, Sarah Assistant Producer, Christianne 1st AD, Nick DOP,  Emma, Leah, Kat the actresses and Location Manager, Jo who did an awesome job with catering, Pete, Sam, Tristan the Director who like everyone else (Camera crew and rest of the team) made me feel very welcomed on set and during the two days. I hope I get to work with the team again in the foreseeable future.

Whilst filming was happening for the two days, I got the chance to see lots of cars mainly BMW s racing round the aerodrome track, and I thought how cool it would be if I could do that one day. Or it could be an idea for someones birthday/ Christmas gift.

At least I am starting to fulfill my New Years Resolution; to get experience/ work in films as I have more in TV than film, so I have more areas of experience and come more symmetrical.

I hope I have more great news to share with you all. Hope you all enjoy my posts. I hope I get to work with the team again on future productions.

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