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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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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.

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

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

A shot on the Screen Northants

3 Oct

Hey Mediadreamzers

As I mentioned in my last post I didn’t know when my next opportunity was gonna be and I was SO right. This was a last minute opportunity that I heard about, applied to help out and was taken on, as a 3rd AD. This was my third time being a 3rd and it was nice to taken on the role again.

So the day, well Sunday, was an early call time of 8am to travel to Northampton to work with Screen Northants on a production titled veto’d trailer to promote parts of Northampton. Made it to the location and met the main crew, spoke to Becky the production manager and person who allowed me to get involved in the production. I then met Lucas, the 1st AD who I liaised with during the whole day and then met the runners who I was taking care of and assigning jobs to. Then things started to get ready for the background extras and actors to arrive, and there were a lot of extras; the more the merrier as part of the street needed to be filled with a lot of people. After the rehearsals with the main actors, getting release forms filled in and guiding the 2nd AD, filming started (well after showing the extras what the sequence of events that were going to be filmed) then everything started. The weather held up for filming outside and it was a blessing, there is nothing worse than the weather being cold and damp when outside filming.

Lucas instructed everyone on what was going to happen and I with the help of Zach looked after the extras and cued them for the timings for when they would need to go on set and where they needed to be with the filming. There were several takes captured by the director and camera crew and time just flew by when ‘That’s a wrap’ and it was all hands to the pump for clearing the street as Screen Northants were given the street till 2.30pm getting the camera, extras, tables and other equipment so the people of Northampton could walk freely through. It was a great day it went by really fast and extras were happy to have been involved and were asking when and where the footage will go when it had been edited together; at a guess Facebook, Twitter and/ or Screen Northants page.

Hopefully, there will opportunities to work with Screen Northants again on any upcoming media related work and more as a 3rd AD. Until next time

Nunquam Deditioneum

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

TWFP Party

1 Aug

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

P1040957

My latest media activity came round sooner than I expected and it was a great way to spend a Sunday evening. Normally I use Sundays to recover from combat training but decided to go and do something fun. As it was a dress to impress event I kept chopping and changing what I was gonna wear and eventually settle on something. Even though it didn’t start till 5pm, and because I was meeting a friend for coffee and catch up I left that house as I was.

Headed to London at what you’d call an early time, but needed to as I was heading to Elstree & Borehamwood; didn’t help that certain lines on the underground were closed off but found a way round on it. The welcome sign to E & B was showing all the programs filmed at BBC; Strictly Come Dancing, EastEnders, Children In Need and Holby City. When I got there I saw that Elstree & Borehamwood had its own Hollywood walk of fame and a wall that had film reels, director’s chair, clapper board, film count down timer, stars and awards. I also saw star display boards one of which was for Christopher Lee, Sidney James, Gregory Peck just to name a few.

It would have been cool to have had the event at BBC studios but it was across the street but it was nice to be 30 seconds from the studio. The event I went to was a networking event for actors and crew, well mostly for actors as it was a casting party for a production company called The Way Forward Productions. Met one of my friends who’d I’d met at a previous event and had a catch up before meeting other people that I am FB friends with and others who I was meeting for the first time. Whilst there people were filling in registration forms for people to be actors, supporting roles or extras; it was hard for people to add details but managed to get everything sorted. We all headed to the hall where DJ food, drink and other events were arranged, one of which was a magician. He did a load of really cool tricks one of which involved 6 of us and a pack of invisible cards. The deck ended up in my hands and after the color of the card and suit had been chosen by 2 other people I said that the number of the card was a 5 and told me to draw a cross on the back and to blow a kiss in the air. Magician pulled out a pack of cards and shuffled through to the last one and there was a card with an X on it and it was the 5 of Diamonds. There were other tricks that involved cards, guessing images from passages read from books and what people had read on word cards.

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Local singers performed and the DJ took over after Jason Cook; the founder of The Way Forward Productions showed a short video on the charity that the production company supports; Downs Syndrome. After some introductions from Jason and Mark Sears, everyone started to mingle, chat, catch up with those they ‘d met before and hand out business cards. Later people headed up to where the photographer to have head shots to be added to profile pages that were and are going to be added to the production pages website, which also lists the upcoming films that are in pre-production.  Had a laugh during hte night taking pictures with props used in films past and present; balaclavas, guns, night googles, hats and having a laugh in the build up to a raffle draw to raise money for Drowns Syndrome charity.

 

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Although the event ended at 11pm, I left at about 9ish because of trains getting out of London and it was a good thing that I did as the next 2 trains had been cancelled and then next one was scheduled for 22.47pm. One thing I find when travelling on trains is that people ended up having conversations with me; maybe I have one of those faces that invites conversations, not that I am complaining but interests conversations happen. Made it back just before midnight would have been back sooner despite booking my taxi for when I arrived back it was 20mins late and made it back the next day. I hope I am not too shattered today when daylight breaks because I am back in the broadcasting gallery shadowing again and focusing on specific roles; the mix control panel and Assistant Producers roles.

Thought round off the night with an attempt of a selfie

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The only thing I hate about events like this is they start and end so fast.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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