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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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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

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

Run Runner Run, Runner Run Run Run

25 Sep
The Poster

The Poster

Well I have certainly been doing a lot of that over the past couple of days and in between that went for an interview to a very special place in my heart; pinewood Studios for an interview for a role on a film. Here is a clue 007. Unfortunately I did not get the role I had been put forward for but at least it is a step further than last time when I applied for a production role on ‘Skyfall’. My motto ‘Never Surrender, Never Retreat’ applies here and for everything else I have been unsuccessful with, but still it is nice to visit the place I like to call my second home.

Despite the unsuccessful outcome, I am having a blast working with a production company in Derby called LightFilms on a really cool (Well I think it is) trailer for an upcoming feature to be shot in 2015. I have completed a lot of tasks so far and have managed to get results at the end of them.

The advice I will give those starting out in the industry is have contingencies places encase something unexpected happens or falls through. The work has entailed researching places that meet the necessary requirements of the director and SFX team for filming, sourcing props suitable for the characters and the background, liaising and hunting down costumes and accessories for the characters, getting call sheets finalised, calling lots and lots and LOTS of people (the phone doesn’t stop ringing, which is good).

In my case it was running around from four regions to get everything done before the day ended; finalising a location in one area, calling and collecting an essential prop from another, calling another person in another area and finally getting a prop personalised.

All of this work I have found has also caused me to have moments I consider fluxes, especially when finding props as half the things the production team will need I would assume were so far away, like down in London or Manchester but no by chance I found everything on the doorstep, more convenient I say.

I pressed on and although I had to deal with an evasive obstacle, I overcame it and got the outcome that I wanted, and everything else afterwards fell into place. Although there was nearly another a solution was found and all was right with the world, and this was near the end of the day.

I only wish that was going to be on set at the weekend for filming of the trailer, but alas I won’t be free, but I am hoping that I have done a good job with the call sheet and getting all info out the to cast and crew and hopefully will see the trailer in a few weeks after it has been shot. To date I am loving every single minute of my time I am spending with lightFilms. More info to follow shortly or at a later time, who know.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Beyond the call of duty… in more ways than one

7 Mar

To those that follow me and those that stumble onto my blog, hello.

I haven’t had the chance to write anything for the past couple of days because I have been all over the place. I have been working on two short indie feature films; one was filmed in a cabin out in Derby and I admit if someone wanted to do a remake of ‘Friday the 13th’ in Britain, then thats the best place to go. I was the boom operator on that shoot and I laughed at one point, and you may too at this; there was a car scene where audio had to be recorded of the person in the car, so I had to go into the back of the car and hide myself. I was in the car for 40mins before the crew realised that I was still there; they had all forgotten me. Of course we laughed about it.

The next film I was involved in was being shot at Newstead Abbey and I must say what a beautiful place. Although in my first day of helping the crew DIY one of the houses I couldn’t find any parking, I did eventually. The shot was for 6 days and the first 3 days devoted to cleaning and painting a house for key scenes. When filming commenced on the fourth day I was one of the runners to be selected to go down to the lake to shot some really cool scenes. We were there for 5 hours and whilst there I learned from some of the professional canoeists who were helping with the scenes that Roger Moore once lived in the area. One thing that shocked me was the number of properties around Newstead Abbey. I also thought it was cool that I saw a Fox when on site. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to see the trailer for the film.

Following that I went to a school to help a production crew film a corporate film for school supplies that are tested out by children. One thing that made me sad was the fact that the day went by so fast. I laughed during the day when the director wanted to borrow my hoodie for the actress playing a teacher. Whilst I was taking off my hoodie I jokingly said that they could have my long sleeve top (which was cream with red strips). Everyone looked at each other and the look signalled a yes please.
So it is the second production I have worked on where a production has had the shirt/ top off my back. It was a great day and I have more still come ranging from networking events to upcoming film project. When there is more more will be revolted.

I just have to say that I have loved working with the different production crews and hope to work with them again, soon.

Filming in ‘The Cabin’

25 Feb

Normally I am not filming on a Sunday, but this weekend was certainly different. i was heading out to Derby to help Darren (a director I had worked with on ‘Brothers’) who has a new production, a horror move. So it was a case of travelling out to a secluded area where there were fields, bridges and of course a pub! and on the site where the pub was were a selection of wooden cabins. I took one look at the cabins and thought gosh we are doing a remark of ‘Friday 13th’ the british way.

Once on site and seeing everyone in the cabin, prepping began with the actors in make-up and everyone going through scenes and scripts for filming. I got chatting to the actresses and learned they had all come from all corners of the UK; Wakefield, Surrey, Slough and Southampton. I took on my role that I did on the last film; Sound Recordist, and it was great having a catch up with everyone about what we have all been doing since the Summer last year.

We had to wait a few hours for darkness to film the rest of the scenes, one point I had to crawl into the back of a car to record the sound for a scene, and I ended being in the car for 40mins partially because they all forgot I was in the car (this was captured by Connor on his camera, lol). Eventually it was wrap time and we all left, one thing I will say was the cabins were really nice and if I want to at some point have a break and escape the hustle and bustle of a city of have some me time then that is where I will probably go. So Derby today, Nottingham tomorrow where I am helping out prepping a set of a gothic horror for this week and thereafter more work to come.

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