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Banged-up in ‘Borstal’

8 Nov

Hey Mediadreamzers

Its been awhile since I sat in front of my laptop and composed a post, last being the James Bond event, and there is another on the horizon. In between then and now I have been work-shadowing in the various departments at work, again in the studio gallery specifically with the Production Assistant and with the Assistant Producer focusing on the paperwork side of things.

You may think from the title of the post ‘oh Lord, what has she done’, and quite possibly your mind might wonder onto the opening titles and dialogue of ‘Porridge’ quoting Norman Stanley Fletcher being grilled by the Judge. Unfortunately not, I am not doing Porridge, but was involved in a film that wasn’t as comical as the sitcom; the opportunity I was involved was a film called ‘Borstal’.  You can guess from the title what the film is about. What surprised about getting involved as production crew was a week ago I received a phone call from the Director, Steven, asking if I was free on any days the last week of October/ first week of November. I was touched by being contacted and asked to help out if I was free.

There was also a request for me to bring and bake cakes, as on my days off from production work, and keeping active I bake, and I bake a lot.

Although filming started a few weeks ago I have been helping out for a few days during Halloween half-term week. It was a bit of a journey getting to location, and luckily I found the site where filming was happening. When I arrived I met some of the actors and crew and then met Ruth the Line Producer and Steven, the Director. First day was getting used to the site we were filming on and meeting the rest of the team, and it was great fun. Getting areas set up for filming, relaying messages, thinking ahead, all that jazz.
As the first day went by, a phrase I had heard before was said again ‘Where was this girl when we first started filming?’. I always smile when this, as I find it hard to get that others think I do a good job on sets. I couldn’t believe how quick the first day for me on set had gone and even with the clocks going back an hour. Would have liked to have gone back on Halloween and on the 1st Nov. but couldn’t make it, so my second day back was on 2nd Nov. and it was just as good as the first.

Although it was great to be heading back to location, and seeing the cast and crew again, despite it being cold outside when we were filming, at least the sun was shining. I also got to meet Chris the Production Runner on ‘Borstal’, and I think we made a great team. When I arrived and the rest of the crew saw me, I got ‘Did you bring anymore cakes’, and the answe to that was afraid not.

The one thing I still hate about productions is that time goes by really fast even before you have a chance to take it all in. Working with everyone on ‘Borstal’ was a blast and I always hope and wonder if I have done a good job as a Production Assistant. Everyone from the Still Photographer to the Line Producer, from the enthusiastic actors to the stunt Coordinator to the Director who was awesome from the start made me feel like part of the team. It was a long drive back to Buckinghamshire, but it was worth it getting to work with so many great people in Media, and I really hope I get to work on future productions with everyone again as it was so much fun.

Not sure when my next opportunity will be media work wise but as mentioned above it’s gonna be a bond weekend and god I am so on board with it and will be like a 12 days till Xmas event from the team behind James Bond. That and doing lots of practice baking for Xmas as I am gonna be making Xmas Continental treats and even Black Russian Cupcakes.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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Cain Hill and Able for three days

25 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

I know the last post I mentioned about an upcoming event but I decided to add my latest media production work. I have spent three days working on a horror film called ‘Cain Hill’ and although it was only three days, and I wished it was longer, I had an awesome time on set. You maybe wondering what ‘Cain Hill’ is all about and here it is; ‘Cain Hill’ is about a group of documentary filmmakers who are shooting a TV special about the events of Cain Hill, an asylum famous and mysterious going on’s, and the unexplained abductions and murders that occurred at the site since then. Soon the group learn that one of the inmates never left Cain Hill at all. DUN-DUN-DUUUUN, makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up just reading the plot.

Day one of my three days on location was great filming at a pub/ social club, met the crew and got started with the usual tasks and after 20 mins I kept hearing ‘Where have you been hiding, we could have done with you at the start of filming’ (unfortunately I had to work; sad face) Everyone was friendly and welcoming on my first day Adam the Production Manager, Andy the DOP, Gene the Director, Soroosh the Sound Recordist, George the Make-up man, Ciara the Script Supervisor, Austin who was learning DOP work and Sheldon a runner and also assisting Andy too. Along with the usual tasks I do as a PA, I also got to have fun being an extra in a pair seen, this is my fourth time being an extra. Speaking of extras there were a lot more that arrived during the afternoon/ evening filming and one thing many of us noticed was one of the extras was the spitting image of, wait for it, Daniel Craig. I am not joking it was uncanny. Day flew by leading to the night scenes to be shot and another actor arrived on set, Michael Parr. The name may sound familiar an that is because Michael is known for playing Ross Barton in Emmerdale, and has also been in Hollyoaks, Doctors just to name a few. Day one went by really fast and ‘Wrap’ was shouted so it was time to get kit packed and rooms back to the way they were before.

Day two and three were at the same place, before leaving from the social club/ pub Sheldon, me and others were de-briefed on what needed to be done as soon as we arrived on set and that’s what we did when we arrived. There was somewhat of a delay filming in the afternoon due to a guy nearby using a chainsaw to cut down trees and main crew trying to film whilst that happened, but they got it and everyone was happy. It was fun during these few days to shadow Ciara with Script Supervisor on what happens in that role, hope I get to do more of that in the future, as well as using the Clapperboard amongst other tasks. The final day was great but a sad one, not in a bad way but in the way that it was the last day of filming, pet peeve of mine is working on a project and it coming to an end really fast. The last part to shoot was a scene that involved fire, so my fire marshall training came into play here, so everything was set for that; water, towels, soil. Got a lot filmed on day three and wrap was at 6.15pm, so all hands to the pump for clearing and packing everything away ready for the wrap party at 7.30 pm at the social club. The fun part of the evening was everyone being given an award for categories they were nominated for; mine was the Steven Segals Award for Best Martial Artist. Reason behind that award is on day two I mentioned that I knew self defense training and was challenged to taking George down, although that didn’t happen at least I had fun showing how to defend myself. Other categories for crew were funny and cleverly done too. Wrap party was great fun wish I could have stayed later and longer but had to travel back home. I hope I get the chance to work with Gene, Cupsogue Pictures and everyone else on the crew in the future as they are awesome people.

As I was given a trophy it is only fitting to share with you that and an wrap party photo

trophy-cain-hill

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.

P1040918

 

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.

P1040920 P1040921

 

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.

 

P1040923

 

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

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

3rd Up, that’s entertainment

7 Jul

Hey fellow Mediadreamzers

I guess if you are in the UK, like me, you’ll have been lapping up the sun and enjoying the fact that Summer is actually here. Getting up to 30C+ is a blue-moon moment in all honesty, quick someone say Twilight Zone. Although it has taken a turn; raining and then being humid, it is so worth it.

This turn of the tide with the weather did not hinder me getting involved with my latest freelance project and the good news ladies and gents is this time I was not a production assistant, but a 3rd AD. Small step up he ladder, but in the right direction. The production I was working on was with YSP Media, a production company I have had the honor and privilege to work with again, as it only felt like yesterday that I worked with YSP on ‘Jobseekers’. To find this post scroll through my timeline, where I spent a week working with a wonderful director- Chris Bevan, Cameraman- Karl Poyer, Assistant Director- Alex Withers, MUA- Charlotte Price (we had a good and long catch up) and a lot of brilliant people. The production is a comedy, unfortunately I cannot say anymore at present. So its a cliff hanger moment…. Hold On!

Made it to the location stated on the call sheet and I admit at first I was doubting whether or not I was in the right place. This changed when extras and other crew arrived too, especially when the director arrived. As soon as I stepped out of the car, work commenced; helping set up food and drink for crew and cast, picking up a poly board for the camera crew, supervising the runner on set and just generally being on hand to help. I was later given the task as the clapper too and holding the poly board to created more light for filming certain scenes. Time always goes by really fast when I’m working on productions, it feels like a conspiracy.

The day started out perfectly until the heavens opened up at about 2pm where it was everyone for themselves to get under shelter and protect the equipment. It did stop and filming resumed then rained again. It was a moment where you felt that the elements were against you, as soon as we were under shelter it stopped then we we came out it start to get ready to rain again. The good news was that all scenes were shot, interviews were captured and everyone was happy. It was a battle making sure all release forms were signed off as some of the extras were all over the place but I got everyone before they were needed on camera or had to go. I’ve found thinking and planning ahead are two traits to have when filming, means that the crew can focus on their jobs, saves having someone to tell you what needs doing and it cuts down on time when your gonna wrap.

The words that’s a wrap soon rung around and production for the day ended. All I can say is it was a blast being a third and I’m gonna push to do more third work and then work up the ladder.

Where my next freelance work will be in between my other media work, who knows.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Bend it like pros

17 May

Charity football

 

Hi Mediadreamzers

Glad I have the weekend to sit and type with going back and forth to MK, though for the next two weekends I am working and then the challenge I have been training for will be upon me; R4L. Though this weekend was certainly busy in Nottingham; There was a charity football event on a Meadow Lane ground which had been organised by a known artist. I will give you a clue- His first song was called Lightning Bolt, his music has featured in the film ‘The Fault in your Star’ and he has performed on the Jay Leno show. Answer is Jake Bugg. This was in aid of the British Heart Foundation, and the name for the event ‘Football Rocks’, something I believe the majority of the male population will agree with.

It was great that the weather held up for the day and that there were other local celebrities that attend, one being Vicky McClure who is in well known in programmes like Line of Duty, This is England, Broadchurch and a few more.

Normally I am not one to immediately watch football, but I always make sure I watch charity matches both local and well known, specifically soccer aid (can’t wait for the next one). I always wondered why do days that when your having fun the day goes by so fast. The more events like this the better and I am looking forward for other events her, there and all over the UK.

Nunquam Deditioneum

All ‘Adrift in Soho’

21 Nov

Hi Mediadreamzers

I can now sit and share with you what I have been up to for the past three weeks, which involved traveling back and forth a lot. Why you may ask, and the answer is from working on a film not as a runner but as a 3rd Camera Assistant. It felt strange not being a runner as that is what my role has been on most shoots so it was nice to be working on a film with more responsibilities. The film ‘Adrift in Soho’ is a novel by Colin Wilson and the plot focuses on Five individuals from different backgrounds are brought together by chance to take one last look at a world that is about to collapse in front of their eyes.

During my first week it was a case of getting to know the crew and familiarising myself with the equipment, how to fill in camera reports for each days collected shots. Most of the filming ended late at night but I never noticed how fast time went until I looked at my watch.

The second week was something an interesting week; I was crew and I was asked at one point about an extra when we were filming in a bar for nearly 12 hours, so I was taken away by the costume department and dressed in 1950s clothes and was given a beret and a drink of flat ‘alcohol’. It felt strange that when I was not needed on set I was working and I sort of felt like I was out of my comfort zone, but was great fun.

The third and final week was pretty much the same thing going to a lot more locations and filming everything within a 12-13 hour days. Granted it was exhausting and I ended getting back to my accommodation near to 10-11pm it was so worth it. I did notice when I was helping out each day I was greeted by hugs and kisses from the camera team, the sparks and from the director too. I was just said when everything ended each week so quickly, I just hope that I get to work with everyone again the future. I am looking forward to the next film I am working on in Derby. I have also found a way of adding film credits to media productions I have worked on onto my IMDB page and it worked.

I think before I do anything else will be to catch up on some sleep before I start my next project.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Adrift in the Midlands

5 Nov

Hi Mediadreamzers

I have been all over the place this week and boy do I love it. I am working on three films at present; one called ‘Adrift in Soho’, which is on the IMDB website, feel free to check it out, and 2 in Derby with LightFilms; ‘RatCatcher’ and a film that has now been christened with a new name that many of you may remember was called ‘Meat’.

In between this I attend a lecture today delivered by a very good friend of mine; Terry Bamber, who always knows how to entertain and capture the attention of an audition.

Yesterday and Monday and until 20th Nov I am a camera assistant on ‘Adrift in Soho’, and I must say it is one of a few films to date where I have been focusing on one area of production and moved up the ladder of important roles. I have been working a mixture of 10-14 hours and although it is exhausting it is so worth it; learning skills about the camera, clapping and recording information on the scenes being shot and learning how to fill in continuity camera forms. One thing I am enjoying is learning new skills one of which is filling in continuity reports for the shots captured on camera using the clapper board notes for cameras used. Different but I think I got the hang of it, I am looking forward to the next few days doing more work.

In between that I am getting audition dates ready for ‘Meat’ and getting a few things in motion for ‘RatCatcher’ for next year. I have for the past couple of weeks emailing actors who fit the bill and inviting them to an audition and formulating ideas for other things to do. I am learning on the job for a general assistant/ Line Producer and gosh its fun.

I decided to have a day off and what better way to send it is going to a lecture in the East Midlands to attend the opening of the new Media School. Apart form being directed to the wrong building at first I managed to get to the Bede Island Building and the lecture was enjoyable from start to finish. It was good to have a catch up with Terry and also see his friend who was helping with the day, Paul Sacks. After the lecture I and a group of students who attended headed to the media school to see the new facilities, and then this was followed by a drink and chat at Trinity house which was not only refurbished but full of food and drink. I got to meet a lot of interesting people and it was good to catch up with my Terry and Paul and hopefully next year I will see them both and have lots more media work.

For now I am going to relax and catch up on some me time after long days of filming, more to follow.

Nunquam Deditioneum

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