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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

Event is Bond, Bondstars

25 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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As promised this post is one that is a must to share, I have been waiting for months for this day and it finally arrived. It was an early rise to get to Pinewood Studios for a Bondstars event ‘Designs on Bond’ honoring Peter Lamont, Art Director for the Bond films from Goldfinger to Spectre. Apart from a nightmare getting to Pinewood due to road closures I made it and once there it was like film heaven, going in and getting a goodie bag of Peter Lamont’s book (which I got autographed) and other items it was a case of touring the Heatherden Hall seeing the Special guests many of whom I met during the day. The special guests were at tables with autographed photos and other items, next to tables of dealers selling merchandise, one thing I came away with was a Moneypenny signed t-shirt. Well if people are gonna christen you with that name you might as well have the t-shirt to go with it. It was great to see and meet many of my Bond Facebook friends in person and we had a great chat and catch up before the event officially kicked off. We were introduced to the work of Peter Lamont, his work and him answering questions from the Bondstars.com organizers. We saw a tribute program to his work on the Bond films and everyone sharing their memories of Peter Lamont, it was interesting to learn that Peter’s brother and also his were also part of the Bond franchise. After the documentary many of Peter’s colleagues got on the stage and shared their memories of Peter and the Bond films they had worked on, really interesting to hear.

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When there is a break before the next surprise, I decided to wonder round and get some autographs from many of the well-know crew from Bond, one of whom was Terry Madden (and I also saw Terry Bamber-The man and legend), as well as Terry Ackland-snow, Chris Corbould, John Richardson, John Grover and many other people. I got to sit with many Bond Facebook friends, and got to meet the guys behind James Bond Radio for a chat and lunch which was really enjoyable. After this it was a Q&A session with Peter Lamont and seeing tributes on the big screen from Sir Roger Moore, James Cameron and other well know stars looking over the film sets he has created and the Oscar he won working on Titanic, as well as showing other iconic films he has been part of. Some of the Bond writers came to pay tribute to Peter as a surprise too which was great. There were some apologises said, one of which came from Barbara B and Michael W, and other individuals who could not make it. After the Q&A we all got a break and got to wonder round the memorabilia room to see what else was there and other guests had arrived too. I got to have my picture with some of the Bond Girl stars, I particularly had a really enjoyable conversation with Madeline Smith and Caroline Munroe both of them were very kind in saying that I was very pretty and yes they were being very kind. There was a garden tour of Pinewood but as I have had a tour of Pinewood before I stayed to continue chatting to Madeline and Caroline as well as talking to the other Bond stars/ girls as they had taken the day to come to Pinewood I thought it would be rude to not go and say hi. It was an incredible day involving tea and scones that everyone enjoyed, before going to listen to Q The Music tribute to Peter and the Bond films he has worked on. I continued to chat to Caroline and Madeline and other stars. I was flattered beyond measure by Caroline saying to other Bond special guests about me and how pretty I am and said that I should consider being in a Bond film. One can only dream.

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Q the Music was brilliant like it was the first time I heard it and seeing with others was incredible. I was said when the day came to an end, and we all needed to leave. I said my goodbyes and thanks to everyone I got to meet, especially Peter and I also got to see his grandson too. Got many hugs and kisses from people I met, I really hope I get to go to the next Bondstars.com event next year, fingers crossed that there gonna be other Bond events in the future.

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When my next opportunity is going to be I do not know but I am looking forward to it, next on my list is to bake for the Macmillan coffee morning this week coming up so I will see how this goes and if everything turns out o.k.

 

All that is left to say is Thank you Peter Lamont, Bondstars and all other special guests- crew and Bond Girls who came to Pinewood Studios.

 

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

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Nunquam Deditioneum

Having a Hollower of a time

14 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

Its that time again to share another media moment, this is another networking event. Normally these events are generic films or discussions but tonight was a showcasing of a horror film some of my friends had worked on. Granted it isn’t Halloween for well over a month (and there being costumes and candy in shops right now) it was something to look forward to. Once at the venue it was catching up with people who I usually meet at these events before the film started. The film being shown was called Hollower, and the quick plot on it is. This was followed with a Q&A with the director MJ Dixon and one of the stars Nicholas Vince, the name might ring that metaphorical bell as he is known for appearing in ‘Hellraiser’ the first film and second.

Here is a trailer of the film

As I don’t want to give too much away encase anyone wants to buy or if anyone comes across this film I’ll try to summarize best I can. The film focuses on a guy called Nathan who at the beginning of the film is in a police interview room, covered in blood. The detective inspector, (Nicholas Vince’s character) enters the room and begins asking Nathan questions (as you would do in an interview room). The begin discussing events that have happened in the last 24 hours, and Nathan having no recollection of what has happened tries to piece events together, going back over his daily routine in the build up to meeting his new single female neighbor. Most of the reconstruction falls into the theme of groundhog day; doing the same things every single morning, but the rest of the day is unplanned and unpredictable. During these moments Nathan’s character experience strange things happen; a sketchpad is always on the table no matter how many times it is put in a draw and a picture of him with his mum as a child is always facing down. It is also established that Nathan has Agoraphobia; fear of open spaces, so his life is dedicated by this fear.

We later learn that Nathan and his neighbor form a friendship which later becomes a relationship, Nathan is happier than his has ever been, and from there on everything changes…. Well I did say I wasn’t going to give too much away, that would spoil everything. The film picks up pace and from the moments where you question what has happened or why something occurred no doubt there is gonna be a follow up (this was answered during the Q&A session- YES, I asked the question).

 

Following the film the questions came so the game of ‘pass the mic’ started and I played along with a few other people. Whilst I was waiting for the film to start I got chatting to 2 new people and I learned that one of them is involved in media, unfortunately I can’t remember if she said she used to or still works for the BBC. Afterwards it was great to talk to a few people, especially MJ and Nicholas before leaving as the venue was closing up.

 

My next event is gonna be in about two weeks and I am so psyched about it for numerous reasons; it involves going back to my second home-Pinewood Studios and an licence to be unbelievably wowed and starstruck, for really. So in under two weeks I am gonna be ‘home’.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Gallery Shadow

24 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

Feels like I have been away for an eternity, have missed having something media related to share. Now the wait is over as Friday I did something fun; Friday was spent in the production gallery with an Assistant Producer, Director, Graphics guy, Screen Controller, EVS guy and finally Sound. I will be honest being an AP in a gallery with LIVE broadcasting makes you feel like an Octopus; need lots of hands to be doing so many things all at once and trying to get everything so precise I guess takes practice. And that is where my work shadowing started at the front desk and working my way to the back of the room and then into the Sound room.

The role for an AP from what I have seen so far is looking at bulletin schedules, filling in sheets about music and medias used in broadcasting that has copyright clearance, calculating the times for programs to start, end, subtracting advert showing times, cuing when each media piece is gonna be shown and counting down from beginning to end. I also got to see and use the control panel and there were more buttons there than on a spaceship would have. This is why they have three stopwatches in order to work this out and to also workout airtime to avoid over running. There is so much more that I saw but there is a lot more to see so this is one area in the gallery that interests me to see more about.

Graphics was using a specific program to get the shots of the afternoons broadcasting which is a mixture of being simple but hard with the process of creating them, but was fun all the same. This combined with the seeing how they are found and added to the TV screens during broadcasting was clever, fast and in a way pretty easy.

Eventually I was at the back of the room with the EVS guy and as a second place job that looks hard this has to be it. As this roles you have two computers screens to find media footage, two box controls for selecting and broadcasting clips, four screens showing a prev and a current broadcasting on what is happening live. The key thing in this role is to have very good hears when the AP or Director shouts out what clip or piece they want to show next. I have been told that there is a user manual you can download for this, so I will have a lot of reading to do there.

Finally, the Sound room, which in itself is like a private box at Ascot; spacious, private and quiet too. Again looks simple but when your in the seat you wonder which fader is set to control what if not marked, taking calls ready for phone in interview and making sure that sound doesn’t peak 7 decibels. Day end really fast and the AP and Direcotr of the day said that I am welcome back anytime, just come through to the gallery and take it from there. So definitely gonna go back but will of course give an advanced heads up.

Next media posting will be that of the Summer Film Fringe Fest.

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

And the BAFTA goes to… Oh I’m so overwhelmed

27 May

Hey Mediadreamzers

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Well, I didn’t  per se win a BAFTA but I have seen two films that are contenders for winning the theatrical mask award. Who would have thought that I would be siting at my MAC composing my latest post at 1.15am, but I guess I am wired up from such a great night meeting new people and catching up with some familiar faces. This has what got me through my day, I initially didn’t think I was gonna get to the second place I love going to is the BAFTA House in Piccadilly again, until tonight. This was for the premiere screening of two films directed by one of my friends Sean Cronin; not only a talented director but also an actor who has been in quite a few well known films, James Bond, M:I 5 and recently Hard Tide which I still think was brilliant. Once I arrived at BAFTA House it was meeting a few people I know on FB, having a catch up chat and walking round the room before going into take a seat ready for the screenings, and it was a success as the event was sold out. And of course there are photos from the night.

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The two films were both hard gritty action films; one called Unborn Justice and the other Jack Mulligan. Unborn Justice focuses on a Allen, an ex special forces, who goes on a weekend break with his wife Lisa to London, unaware of the surprise Lisa has for him. Lisa ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, only for her surprise to be short lived. Allen sets out on a path of revenge to find those involved only to realise his target is a high profile organisation dealing in weapons and drugs. Determined to find his man Allen realise’s the hard way there are more hurdles to overcome before he can get to the worlds most wanted. The fight scenes definitely were choreographed to a very cool style and the ending at present is that of a cliff hanger seeing that actions speak louder than words. When Unborn justice had been screened it was a Q&A session with the cast and director, which lead nicely into the second film Jack Mulligan. Jack Mulligan within the same genre as Unborn justice, the plot is of course about the titled character, who decides to confront the man who was responsible for attacking his girlfriend. After receiving a threatening call Jack has flashbacks that paint the picture to why Jack resorts to doing what he has chosen to do. Like the first film Q&A followed which then lead to the rest of the evening to drinking, chatting to new people standing by the BAFTA statues, on the red carpet and with other people to be papped or photo bombing shots. One thing that surprised me was that during the meet, greet and chat people were asking me if I was an actress, followed by my age, the look of surprise, commenting on my dress and saying that I should be an actress, or consider going in front of the camera more. I’m guess these people were being kind to me in that sense, though some people said that my dress looked great had seen it when I walked in and were waiting to say it to me. I also got a chance to have a picture of 2 which Sean Cronin, I look forward to seeing future films from Sean and the team.

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It was great meeting new people and saying hi face to face with people I know on FB and actually meeting them in the flesh. One thing that ticks me about Media work and activities as I will constantly say is that time flies; what feels like 10mins equals 3 hours. I made it back home a little after 1am wide awake with throbbing feet. My guess is that I will crash like the Titanic later today (Friday), so I will be making very good friends caffeine to try to stay awake and find someway of staying awake. I need to say a thank you to Sean Cronin, and Alan Nolan on the two excellent films and how much I enjoyed meeting so many cool people and here are some pictures from the fun night. I am sitting as I type whilst my feet are throbbing from my heels, I admit I have done really well from wearing these for 5 1/2 hours before the pain start to set in, and it got to the stage where I ended up watching up and down Piccadilly Circus (Wayne’s World Quote here) in my tights in order to try and regain some feeling. I do love London at night, seeing it all lit up like a Christmas Tree. Please let there be another BAFTA screening/ premiere soon as it is always nice to visit the Capital.

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Hopefully more things to share and attend in the next few weeks.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum.

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