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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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You Only Drive Twice

16 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

This latest post is about the day I had with a James Bond group I am part of going all around Staines/ Buckinghamshire. This weekend of activities was organized months in advance and split over two days. I joined the group for the events of today, would join them on Sunday but I am in Dover working on a film. Up early to meet everyone in Wraysbury for a briefing and to meet everyone. I decided to go in somewhat disguise in when I say that I mean that I wore a wig for fun, was nice to be a red-haired again.

Once I met with everyone there were a few props and symbolic items the balloons from the living daylights, the milk bottles, top secret envelopes and anything to do with Spectre. After everyone had had there breakfasts at McDonald’s it was on to the first location; RK Leisure park, which featured in A View to a Kill. The second location was to Bedfont Park which was an industrial corporation site that featured in Tomorrow Never Dies, and of course we got a few shots of the buildings before driving to Ashford FC which was fun watching a amateur match and everyone had tea, coffee and breakfast baps. The best location that followed this was, wait for it….. Pinewood Studios. This is my 10th visit and it is always good going back to my favourite place. We took advantage of the nice weather to get what pictures we could get, before it rained and in areas that security didn’t have a problem with; thought at one point security said to us to get behind the lamp post and that we were only allowed to take pictures of the Pinewood sign. I even got into the spirit of Bond by humorously doing a Bond Girl pose on a Bond car, and an assassinated pose.

         

We then took a break from location scouting and taking pictures to have lunch and the pub we went to had some brilliant art on the wall of Ian Fleming book covers and pictures of Sean Connery, the Carry On Crew and other well known people.

We also took time to do a Picture Quiz before heading out to an auspicious Golf Club; Stoke Poges. All I can say is that it took my breathe away seeing it, and thinking about Goldfinger being shot there. One thing that we did was re-enacted a scene where someone’s hat is used pretending it’s odd-jobs hat when he throws it at a statue, whereas in this case it is thrown at me and I fall to the ground. Was a fun scene to be in.

We were originally going to be to various parts of the course but because there was a wedding on but we still got to explore. And we went into a part of the golf club where the walls are dedicated to posters from Goldfinger and Tomorrow Never Dies as well as DOP shots and call-sheets and casual shots of the actors relaxing. I am taken aback that you need a Pin to access the visitors restrooms; something I have never done before- was like trying to break into Fort Knox bank, and the restrooms are so fancy that there a 6 types of Golf magazines.

 

We then moved onto the final location which was St Giles Church which is the opening scene in For Your Eyes Only where Roger Moore is laying flowers at a grave before jumping into a helicopter. This is where this scene was re-enacted before the heavens opened up a second time before we said our goodbyes and head out of Buckinghamshire to hotels, homes and temporary accommodation.

It was a challenge getting back home as monsoon rain came down non-stop and traffic was bad that I was crawling for about 30mins. It was a great day and I have photos to share; will be added later, one of which I am on the hood of a car that was covered in James Bond logos. Tomorrow will be a long day going back and forth to Dover, so wish me luck on my filming there.

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

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

Ready, set get Bond In Motion

4 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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It’s been awhile since I wrote a post, granted it isn’t media production related but it is media related. Have had a few days going round London seeing sights and shows, but the most fun and important was going to the London Film Museum, to see the ‘Bond in Motion’ exhibition. I had been meaning to go for ages and finally managed to find time to go and during a week where the temperature was in the 30’s, so my mission, which I accepted for Queen and Country in the spirit of British duty, and because I wanted to go. My driver’s licence was at the ready, just a shame that I couldn’t drive any of the cars, though if I was to pick one I would find it really difficult as they are all so cool and have there own signature mark from each featuring in their own film.

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There were two floors to the exhibition; upstairs there were sketches and some of the props from the films, and of course on the lower level all the cars and devices used/ featured in the film. There were also cabinet displays of a mixture of things in, clapper board, passports etc. Next to the cars were TV screens playing snippets from the films & info screens with ‘did you know’ facts, and it got a lot more interesting.

There was a photo booth where you could be 007; wearing a tuxedo top and bow tie standing in the background frame of a barrel of a gun making the Bond pose. In answer to any question here yes I had some fun and had a few shots taken, just for a laugh. At the end of the exhibition you could sit in the cafe before going to the gift shop and of course it would be rude not to leave without getting something, so of course I got what everyone usually gets when they say ‘been there, done that’; a t-shirt. Something else to add to my Bond collection. I suggest if you haven’t been go it is a brilliant exhibition to go to and if your passing through Borough market then go for it.

Have a few events coming up this month but the most important one is at the end of the month and it is at my second-home; Pinewood, so keep your eyes on my blog and you will see something in about three from today. Also I had fun taking a selfie shot on the London Tour bus.

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Nunquam Deditionem

Festive Film Fever Round Two

18 Dec

Hey Mediadreamzers

What a crazy few days, work, gift wrapping and heading off to all sorts of Christmas parties and events. My latest was a Christmas dinner outing with people I know who work in different fields of Media; ranging from SFX (Basically blowing stuff up) to Production Managers who work on Game of Thrones. I’m jealous these guys have sat on the iron throne, I guess one can dream to work or be a part of G.O.T or something on those lines in the future.

One of the challenges I had was driving down the motorway in the lashing rain in a dress as long as the Effiel Tower and the battling to change my shoes into sky- scrappers when I arrived. It was both a catch-up and a laugh, and at one point the conversation shifted to talking about Cosplay and talking about events and films based on it whole phenomena effect on people. One of the guys at the dinner decided to look more into Cosplay and after searching Google images found what he was looking for and he came across one picture that according to him and everyone else at the table looked like me. After that it was compare each photo to me and at the end of it 27 photos out of a possible 100+ seemed to look like me. Funny old world.

Next Christmas gathering is soon to be happening but as I wait, I’m making my Media goals for next year, building food bank boxes at work and decanting my Christmas alcohol. Merry times, v.merry times.

Nunquam deditioneum

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