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Production in Deep

25 Apr

 

Hey Mediadreamzers

OMG! Seriously how long has it been since I lasted posted on my blog. I feel like I have been on the Channel 4 show ‘The Hunted’, where you disappear off the grid. My reason for not posting for such a long time is one of my colleagues was signed off with stress a few months ago, so I have been working a lot of shifts in the production gallery. With working a lot I haven’t been able to attend networking events or do as much as other media work; my colleagues health is more important and was happy to hep out. With the amount of work I did in the gallery I think I was on course for getting a blue plaque, or even an OBE.

I digress a little, so back on track after so long I attended a RTS event in London and it was a lot closer to the main train stations in London and I shocked myself in finding it and not needing to resort to Google Maps.
The venue for the networking event was practically round the corner from Kings Cross so not far from Platform 9 3/4 shop for those who like Harry Potter. Made it to Kings Place in plenty of time and I also discovered that there are a lot of publishing houses not far from Kings Cross station, and I now know where The Guardian and The Observer are in London.

 

 

 

 

 

The event I was going to was ‘Diving beneath the Waves:The Making of Blue Planet II’. Yes the natural documentary series narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough (wish he could have been there too). However, the special speakers were an Assistant Producer called Sarah, Executive Producer James and the Natural documentaries Series Producer Mark with the event chaired by Torin Douglas.

 

 

Once we were in the hall, the whole place was illuminated with guess what colour light, o.k I’ll tell you-Blue. Once in Torin introduced the guests who said a little about themselves and their work background on projects and how they got involved in this area of media. The questions that were asked were things that I guess we have thought about when watching these types of programs how certain things are filmed, how production teams capture certain shots and clips; are they planned or is it just by sheer luck, locations, scripting, choosing music, the work relationship between the scientists and the media teams in creating the episodes etc.This was interspersed with clips chosen by the panel that they said where there favourite. One clip was Sharks enjoying seafood spoils, seeing a media sub and attacking it (Sharks thought the sub was a threat to the food they had and were constantly colliding with the sub) Luckily the people in the sub were unharmed and the Sharks then realised the sub was no threat (clip chosen by Mark).

The next clip was narrated by Sir David about a sea creature called the Bobbet, I admit I had never heard of a Bobbet and knew nothing about it. Well, a Bobbet is a sea worm that eats fish- yes there s=is such a thing. Seeing the clip made people jump when it went in for the kill. (clip chosen by Sarah).

      

The final clip shown was again narrated by Sir David and it showed a cluster of small fish were forced to clustered together by dolphins and how this attracted not just dolphins but birds, swordfish and other bigger fish to eat the smaller fish and how in less than 20 mins they are gone.

        

The audience was then invited to ask questions and there was a mixed bag of things people were asking the panel and it was interesting to hear and learn more about. Before this ended we were treated to clips featuring other members of the production crew and their contributions to creating the series. One clip really amazed me; how crew manage to get the cameras onto the animals in order to capture footage of what they see and where they go and how the footage is used in the series.

  

  

 

Afterwards, the bar was open and time to network was everyone. Before leaving to head home, I got the chance to chat the the people on the panel and was a great evening.

 

 

I am happy to say that the next event will be in about 2 weeks and I am happy to say that I am off work on that day so more to follow. Hopefully there will be more events coming up to share, and it won’t be a long gap before my postings.

Nuquam Deditionem

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

Cain Hill Campaign

5 Feb

Hey Mediadreamzers

Nice to be able to sit in front of my mac and type, there will be another post next week to share. This post is one of promoting and sharing; This is a film that a friend of mine shot last year and trying to reach a set target if any of could take a few minutes to check out the IndieGoGo page and help in anyway, shape or form that would be a great help. This film has had actors such as Gemma Atkinson, Michael Parr (Ross from Emmerdale) and Alex Zane has also been on set.

cain-hill

 

 

c-h-actors

Here is the link
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cain-hill-post-production-movie-film#/

If you can look, share and help that would be great.

Next post to follow will hopefully be positive regarding an idea I am hoping has a positive impact/ reaction.

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

My Week at New job

10 Apr

Well half a week if I am going to be picky.

Hey Mediadreamzers

Thank you to the people who have started following me, I hope what I have written and with upcoming posts interest you. I now have a chance to sit and share with you what my first week has gone.

It was great starting after Easter (I hope everyone had a fab Easter break, I know I did especially not working Good Friday or the Monday). I got to the office and met Rory and after another tour and getting ID and paperwork sorted it was off to the VT Library where work and my training began. Rory showed me the main jobs that need to be done each day; morning archiving sports footage and adding metadata to various clips, sourcing footage and getting to grips with the software and other really cool features that are part and parcel of the job. The first day ended so far I left like I had been in the building for 10mins, I guess that feels like that when your enjoying yourself.

The majority of my work is archiving, sourcing footage, responding to emails, ordering supplies etc. I’m hoping that everything I am trying learning goes in and stays there, I have objectives to complete. I also got to chat to my production manager/ mentor, Richard, about other factors and jobs I will be doing too.

I have also decided that I am going to look into the courses and qualifications available, and that interest me. Add a few more strings to my bow and open many doors.

One thing I am looking forward to is not having to work part time anymore and doing something that I really enjoy and love. Roll on next week for more learning, work, media oh did I say work.

Nunquam deditioneum

The outcome

31 Mar

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

Forgive the late response regarding what I said in my last post on my interviews, I did not want to jinx the outcome of either one, now I feel can share.

As promised I said I would let you know the outcome of my interviews.

The first interview for the assistant producers role was with Psychic Today and with it only taking me an hour and 10 mins to get my interview I used the extra 40mins I had to read my notes and ready myself for the type of question I could potentially be asked. I met my interviewer, Joanne, and the questions commenced; ranging from what makes a good producer, what did you think to the shows structure and style of Psychic Today, what could be done differently/ what are my thoughts on the shows I watched. I answered all questions with so much detail that I made poor Joanne use so much paper, I even added ideas and suggestions for the channel and the website. I was then told a little more about the role, my responsibilities, the hours and where that could lead to. Interview lasted 30mins and I was informed that I would hear something soon.

Result- I was offered one of the assistant producer roles, and a training date, but because of the position being freelance based and other factors coming to light I had to decline the opportunity.

 

The Second interview was with a non-production based company called SIS(not to get confused with the Secret Service), which stands for Satellite Information Services; the company has contracts with BBC, ITN and SKY NEWS & SPORTS. The interview was for a media assistant position, and is a permanent position. One thing I arrived 50mins early and read through the meticulous notes I had made about SIS as it had been advised that I do my research (planned to read up on the company anyway). I also looked at competencies/ situations and planned answers to potential questions I could be asked, so I am not surprised like a deer in the headlights. Once in the building I met Richard and Rory where I was taken to a conference room and the interview commenced. Rory asked the questions, there were four pages of questions and situations that I have demonstrated certain skills in, whilst Richard took notes of everything I said (I was asked other questions like what do I do in my spare time, what takes priority in my life, if I could do something spontaneous what would I do; I said have a party in the style of James Bond. I then asked my questions before being given a tour of the various buildings on site, where I met the sound mixers, graphics, producers, production managers, editors and all people in media. The total time I spent at SIS was an hour 35mins interview and the remaining time taking the tour.

Result- I received a phone call on Friday 13th of all days I hear you cry and the day I learned of the outcome. The conversation began with SIS thanking me for attending my interview and that they enjoyed meeting me, in the back my my mind I could hear the cliche sentence in my head and the word unsuccessful. However, it was not to be; because Richard and Rory enjoyed meeting me I have been invited back to Milton Keynes for a second interview.

At first I did not know the criteria for the second one, then I learned to read up more information on the company, and read up on my competencies as the interview is going to be mainly scenarios and situations I could be asked. So I spent two days before my interview reading and researching everything I could find. You may think me over-prepared but it meant that I didn’t forget anything. Well, I went for the interview this time with Richard and a lady from HR and it was roughly the same questions as before giving examples of my competencies and any questions I had. What I felt was 5 mins was in fact a 35 mins interview, and before I left I was informed that a decision would be made either tomorrow, or near to the end of the week.

Result- Tuesday I received the phone call saying that SIS wish to offer me the job. That certainly knocked me for 6 as it was an enormous surprise. As I mentioned it is a non-production job, but it gives the opportunity of using my degree, learning technical and broadcasting skills with the chance of career progression. Plus the bonus with the opportunity is it is stepping stone in the right directions and I am not too far away from the capital for future work as a researcher/ assistant director, and of course there is the potential to progress further, or work at Pinewood in the future. So I was immensely surprised and happy, and I have accepted the offer which I start on 8th April thinking it best to let Easter come and go.

The next step I am taking is to sort out accommodation in the area, researching the areas and what I am looking for, registering with estate agents and then going to viewings. If I am lucky enough to find a property before I start then that will be a bonus in my favour, but I guess its a case of wait and see.

As I mentioned this is a non-production role, but that will not stop me from continuing to work in productions if and when I can, certainly refusing to give up that dream. So most of what you see from now on will be what I am doing and learning from SIS and any upcoming opportunities.

In between all this I am planning and organising fundraising activities for Race For Life (R4L is what I call it). At least it gives me something to focus on. The good news with that is I have to quote Harry Potter ‘Exceeded Expectation’ on my fundraising target and will continue until the race, please feel free to checkout my just giving page http://www.justgiving.com/kathrynsmith7.

I will still share what I am doing and learning and progressing with SIS, and the future.

 

Nunquam Deditionem

All ‘Adrift in Soho’

21 Nov

Hi Mediadreamzers

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

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

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

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

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

Nunquam Deditioneum

Cosmopolitan Carnival Creativity

24 Aug

Hi Mediadreamz readers

What a day I have had, luckily not stuck on a checkout but something much more interesting. A few weeks back I was contacted by a company, through a recommendation, to help film an event happening in Leicester this weekend. The event is as you see above the Cosmopolitan Carnival and the purpose of the event is and was to Celebrate Leicester’s culturally diverse city through every imaginable art form. Everything from dancing of all forms to graffiti art, to music to singing and I along with a friend of mine, Raj, who I have worked with before on episodes of ‘Dickinson’s Real Deal’ were given the role of filming the setting up of the events, the reactions of people, the performances throughout the day and the closing aftermath of the events on the day.

 

                                    cosmopolitan

 

Prior to the event starting all the people involved we all met at Red Hot World Buffet where everyone had a complimentary lunch before getting ready to work. After getting the cameras Raj and I started filming, though the first half hour the cameras died so whilst they were charging we improvised (I used a spare Flip camera that I bought with me, and Raj used his phone). When all cameras had died it was a case of taking shifts to monitor the charging and guarding the tripods in half hourly intervals, in order to get some incredible footage. The main stage was mainly musical acts and the high st was dedicated to a mixture of dancing everything from tribal to zumba that encouraged other people to get involved too. I also thought the people on stilts was very creative. I made a couple of trips to st. Martin’s sq to listen to the random musical acts too, as well as getting people’s reactions. Personally my favourite bit was the dancing Chinese dragon, it was certainly something the children who came to the event found really interesting).

Areas were designated for the following
– Jubilee Square MAIN STAGE- MUSIC
– High Street DANCE ZONE
– St Martin’s Sq PERFORMANCE AREA-MUSIC

and not forgetting the Silver Arcade ARTS HUB & WORKSHOP DISPLAYS

Soon time grew closer to the fact that the dancing had finished and that everything was to end at Jubilee Sq with a few final acts before it all ended with a film projection on the wall of BBC Radio Leicester, so of the members of staff I met during the days events, and the footage was very interesting and cleverly constructed. And as usual the day went by so fast, this one of the disadvantages I have when involved in media work, that when I am enjoying something so much time just goes by, that is why it is so precious to any and all productions.

I am also having fun working on the feature film I mentioned before, which I resume work on in the next few days.

Baton Battle Day The Grand Final

11 Aug

Well fellow Mediadreamzers readers

The day has come for the final of the world baton twirling championship, and although I missed the actual performances of the finalists because I work (through the rest of the production crew told me the best highlight moments, one of which was Keisuke Komada, of Japan scoring a perfect 10 across the board again)  I made it in time for the team event and I made sure I did not miss it. Luckily I arrived just as the last few senior men were performing their routines and then work started. The team performances from each country were spectacular, it got to the point where I tried not to blink for fear of missing anything. After the last performance from France there was a break so the judges could total up all the scores for each country and I guess for everyone to stretch their legs, and it was dying this time I was sent on a secret mission by Myra Kirk, Head of the Baton Biz, that the rest of the crew could not know about; and all was revealed 20mins later- I was instructed to go and get 7 little batons with the UK flag on as a souvenir from us all working on recording and streaming the event.

Though one thing that surprised me was the announcer for the championship did a thank you shout out the production crew- Owen Tooth- Director, David Wayman-Camera operator, Ola Meser-Camera operator, Phil Arnold-Camera operator, Brett Turner-Editor (who heard the announcement and got up and  raised his arms in the air, and I was very surpassed that they announced my name- Production runner WOW.

Soon the winners were announced for each country and to show who won I have included pictures

Junior Women Winners- 1st Japan, 2nd Japan, 3rd Japan

Junior Women Winners 2014

Junior Men Winners- 1st Japan, 2nd France, 3rd Italy

Junior Men Winners 2014

Senior Women Winners- 1st Japan, 2nd USA, 3rd Japan

Senior Women Winner 2014             Senior Women Winners

 

Senior Men Winners (though I think you can guess the winner on this one)

Winners-1st Japan, 2nd-France, 3rd-Japan

Senior Men Winners 2014

 

Junior Pairs Winners- 1st Japan, 2nd Italy, 3rd USA, 4th France

Junior Pairs Winners 2014

 

Senior Pairs Winners-1st USA, 2nd Japan, 3rd France

Senior pairs winners 2014

 

World Team Event Winners-1st France, 2nd Japan, 3rd USA

World Team Winners 2014

The country that won the World Baton Twirling Championship 2014 cup and trophy

1st Japan, 2nd France, 3rd USA

Overall Winners 2014

 

Before the championship was officially closed there were additional certificates and merits handed out to those competing for 5 years and 10 years as well as some members being given lifetime achievement awards. Then the party really got started for the athletes as I heard it was a tradition that they celebrate by dancing to great tracks- traditional song of Nottingham ‘Robin Hood’, the Macarena (and at one point I thought our director when he got up and walked round the desk was gonna go onto the floor to dance, unfortunately not), Cotton-Eye Joe, Gangnam Style and YMCA and a few other tracks. And it was a wrap for us, taking equipment apart of packing it away and doing all the usual things after a production. One thing that I got for Myra that was from all the team was a box of chocolates, that she was surprised about. One cool thing we all got was a photo was the Senior Men’s winner (courtesy of Owen’s phone)

 

photo to end all shoots on Baton Twirling

A fitting way to end the 5 days filming such a cool and breath-taking championship. Next years tournament will be in Canada and the following year will be in Sweden, I hope we are lucky enough to be chosen to go to these countries to capture it on film and stream it LIVE.

I hope I work with everyone again soon, as I had a blast and it certainly kept me fit, forget gym membership

Next on the production list is Line Producer with LightFilms, which I am looking forward to.

 

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