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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.

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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

We Cain, we saw, we after partied

22 Apr

Hey Mediadreamerz

What a day, and night it was yesterday, after a long worthwhile wait, after so much hard work, time and commitment by the Producer and Director the week and day had arrived for the premiere of Cain hill.
Of course, during this week some of the crew had specific/ set tasks to do, mine was collecting the running order schedule, the cinema seating plan, VIP tickets, spares and film promo leaflets. My instructions were ‘Guard this box with your life’

Friday morning was up early, pack my case with my outfit in, check that all the important items were with me and get to London to the Prince Charles Cinema without any hiccups; luckily there were no problems. Once there I met Gene, Tony and Adam for a verbal debriefing of the day’s running order. Once all was sorted and we knew what to do went hunting for the after party venue, which was found o.k. and after Adam did a recce of the place and as everything else had been done before everything started, it was time for me to get glammed up.

Things started to roll, well they did once the red carpet was rolled out and the Cain Hill film backdrop was set up inside the cinema, before getting leaflets and sweets added to the seats along with the Hello Gorgeous goody bags. Once that was sorted, with the help of Adam’s guests, it was then checking tickets and marking everyone who’d arrived and what a brilliant turnout it was, and even more of a surprise seeing people I know who I didn’t know were attending the premiere. It was also amazing meeting Alex Zane and other great people in the industry, before settling inside to watch the film. All I can say is what a film, you laughed at the right places, you jumped at the right places and the storyline flowed from start to finish. One surprise for everyone was the additional stuff at the end photos and comments and there was a video of me trying to show my self-defense moves against George the makeup artist; I seriously had no idea that it was being filmed! So that WAS a surprise. After saying hi to lots of the attendees it was informing everyone where the afterparty was and hanging around encase I was needed to help with anything.

Made it to the afterparty downstairs in Scarlett’s and it was an epic afterparty. Chatting to lots of people, mentioning parts of the film that were people’s favourite bits, what people do in the industry or what their careers are and much more. Spent part of the evening going round getting photos of everyone at the after party, and I’m hoping I have lots that look good. It was a shame that the day ended so fast, there should be a law that when things like this happen, time so go by really slowly.

          

                             

 

All that is left for me to say is thank you Gene and Tony for letting me be part of a brilliantly awesome film, even though it was only for a few days I had so much fun and wish we could do it all over again. I hope I get the chance to work with you and the rest of the production team in the future as you guys are fab to work with and everyone had a laugh on set.

I look forward to sharing with you my next outing, which will be Romford on Thursday; a premiere of another film I was involved in and then after that back to London to the BAFTA House. It’s all go and good so far.

Nunquam Deditioneum

RTS London Night

26 Jan

Hey Mediadreamzers

Belated Happy New Year, it has been what feels like an eternity since I last posted on my blog. I kept wondering when I would be sitting on my laptop sharing my latest news, and now I am happy to say I can.

I had a fabtastic night in London where I had been at ITV Studios, my second visit there, and it really was fabtastic. I was attending an event organized by the Royal Television Society looking at Prosthetics and CGI used in TV/ Film productions.

 

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I admit I got to ITV a lot earlier than I thought I was gonna initially arrive, though when I got there and checked in at reception the lady at the desk ask me if I was Lily. I guess Lily was someone who was to feature on a TV program or there for some media related broadcasting. Got chatting to a few people also at the event, passing on advice and tips to them, before sitting down with teas and coffees to hear from individuals who work within this field of the industry. The panel was chaired by Muki Kuhlan-Digital Executive Producer who has been involved in shows like The Voice UK creating VR experiences. Muki’s company has been responsible for running a digital production company; Muki-international, creating social content, videos, apps, websites, animation, gfx, streaming, record labels.

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The guest speakers on the panel were Neill Gorton, Graeme Harper, Will Cohen and Gary Negus. Once Muki had introduced and welcomed everyone the event followed this sequence going from left to right each person was introduced a a showreel/ series of clips were shown of the different medias and projects ech person has worked on, then followed by each person talking about how they started in the industry, what its like working with prosthetics and CGI, actors, production, their views on the impact these elements have in media and how it has changed over the years.

Neill is the the Director of Millennium FX and Gorton Studios, a visiting professor at University of Bolton. Neill has worked on a wide variety of TV and Films here are some just to name a few Doctor Who, Being Human, Silent Witness, Little Britain, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, From Hell and many more.

Graeme started in the industry as an actor working on memorable shows and well known film; he worked on Doctor Who in the 1970s; was awesome to hear that he has worked with the likes of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker before becoming a director/ producer and working on shows like Hollyoaks, The Bill, Casualty, House of Elliott.

Will is head of CGI company and it was funny but not in a way that Will has collaborated with Neill and Graeme in these productions; I guess it is who not what you know and learning about what it is typically like to work on a project or an idea, being round a table and throwing ideas and suggestions on what a director or producer wants to show.

Gary is the VP sales at Sohonet, I admit I have never heard of this company that provides high speed connectivity, telecommunications, workflow methods; accessing work from one computer from another in different locations. Primarily working in post production field enabling work to be shared to be a group of people whether your in the same or another country.

The floor was opened up for questions and after that people started leaving in groups and I like some other people stayed to chat to the speakers. It was great chatting to Graeme and Neill and before saying bye to each of them I passed on one of my business cards whether I will hear from them in the future I don’t know. Neill said a lot of helpful tips and advice about getting into special effects, the best ways to get noticed and to avoid the as he called it Robin letter. I also got chatting to someone else who was there and I learned that she was originally from my home county! How cool is that.

Getting back wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be it wasn’t late and there were no train delays which is never good when it is late at night, and whilst waiting on the train I decided to take a selfie.

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Looking forward to my next event with RTS which is going to be in March. But my next media activity is 15th Feb where I will be sharing a potential idea with media enthusiasts on creating a media platform. I’ve also been hearing about upcoming projects and waiting to see when they are going to be starting.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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

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.

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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

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