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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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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

MK Media Networking

9 Feb

Hey Mediadreamzers

Its been quiet on my side of the computer screen; was in a road collision a few weeks back and have been in the process of recovering and getting car fixed. Now back on track, and the first thing to share with you is my first networking event of the year; MKNF. This being a monthly event held for filmmakers, actors and anyone who works in Media.

When I got to the venue I thought it had been cancelled as the shutters to the doors going in were down, to only realise that the networking night was across the way in another gallery. Once inside and others had arrived it was a case of saying hi and striking up a conversation, with a few ice breakers along the way. I and others who attended took the opportunity to meet and network, I especially got to meet people I am friends with on Facebook who live in the same district/ region as me. I went prepared; a tree stump of business cards at the ready to hand out. When it got started the guy who had arranged the night noted that there were a few me people, specifically me and I had to go first in introducing myself. I asked if I should stand up and some of the guys joked/ suggested that I should stand on the bar and introduce myself, oh the wit of many and yes I did laugh at the idea.

This month’s event was a mixture of video clips covering different aspects of filmmaking, such as acting, directing and editing, all featuring professionals from the industry; specifically from BAFTA. These were delivered interviews from Idris Elba, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch and my favourite was from Andrew Lincoln from the ‘Walking Dead’. During Andrew’s interview he revealed how he had to change his last name, under the advice of his agent as the agent said his last name ‘sound like something out of Lord of the Rings; Clutterbuck (what a name). There was also a video clip called a Recipe for Disaster on what you need and is part and parcel of making films, which many of us can and could relate too. We cracked jokes about that; I notice there was not enough emphasis on booze, nothing on swearing or anything on smoking as it is stressful at times.

When I walked back in I felt great having met so many people who are in the same industry as me and fingers crossed I get to work with some or even all of the people that I have met tonight later down the line this year or in the foreseeable future. Well that goal/ challenge is gonna be on hold for a week as I am abroad for a break, a break abroad that I haven’t taken in, wait for it, 11 years. hopefully the people I have met face to face rather than just on Facebook and others who are not on my Facebook get the chance to work together this year or next year on upcoming productions, only time will tell.

Nunquam Deditioneum.

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

I need a Job, Job, Job is what I need

22 Jul

Well not me personally as I work part time and work freelance. This is in reference to my latest media opportunity that I have been working; a sitcom in the Midlands. This was with a company called YSP Media, and although the opportunity was for a week I was only able to do three days, which was sad but I loved very minute, or rather day of it. This was last week just gone, time does go by fast when you enjoy something so great.

Of course my role was that of a production runner, and I was one of 4-5 and then that changed (which I will mention later). The first day was heading to one of the locations and meeting the YSP Media in the car park. After the meet and greet it was a case of helping unload the vans, set up tea, coffee and a food station ready for the crew and extras arriving. I met the A.Ds (Melissa, Joshua and Alec) who made me feel like a member of the team, the producer Belinda who throughout my three days praised me for everything I was doing and using my initiative and being attentive. Later I met the camera crew and one of the guys wore different T-Shirts, so I nick-named him with whatever logo was on them (Batman, Danger mouse etc) Phil the DOP, who I called Dr Phil and Chris the Director who was a great guy to work with and for.

Whilst the crew focused on getting the necessary shots, I and the other runners I was supervising focused on looking after the extras and any other activities that needed our attention. First day came and went in the blink of an eye and this always makes me sad. During the afternoon when filming continued I found out that Belinda and I share a mutual friend (I know title of a Dicken’s novel) Terry. I also learned one of the crew members had worked on some really cool films Fast and Furious films.

Second day was on an industrial site and as soon as I got out of the car (and was handed a florescent vest) Belinda praised me again for my work yesterday, and I was surprised to learn that I was promoted to role of production assistant (second to Emma who was the main production assistant), and it was doing the same things as yesterday except keeping the extras and crew topped up with suncream as I was the only one who had a bottle factor 30 Max, and making make shift paper fans for those roasting outside. I even offered one of the guys working on the site who was started to get sunburned some sun cream and he accepted (he even told Belinda and Chris, both of whom praised me to the guy in question). We then moved to the next location and spent part of the evening filming on a street, and as you can imagine that is not easy, especially when traffic is constantly coming towards you form both angles. So some of the runners stood at either ends of street to forewarn of cars, bikes and people approaching, me being one of them as I was wearing the jacket. One thing many of us couldn’t escape was the sun and intense heat and even after being in the sun for hours and hours I didn’t even brown.

My third and final day was in a wine bar, bet most people would be thrilled to be filming in a place like that. Before coming to the location, I had to pick up the costume supervisor and one of the runners before parking up. Initially, I was advised to park in a place that was a 15 minute walk away, then an idea came to me; to ask to park at my old university digs as that would mean I would only be 5-8 minute walk away from location, and helped if I needed to drive off to fetch or take someone somewhere. I was immensely grateful to the site staff for allowing me to park on site whilst filming for that day. This decision was praised by Belinda and Josh for my thinking ahead.

I received an enormous surprise when I opened the door to the bar everyone started shouting my name and started saying that they really missed me on Wednesday as I had to work an afternoon evening shift. Even one of the cast members Ed was thrilled to see me, all I can say is that I was glad to be back on set. I resumed work as usual, met a new runner called Beth (who I later learned worked on Everything or Nothing James bond Documentary, which was AWESOME). I also sourced out props, went to collect refreshments, and just being on hand as usual. The afternoon soon arrived and I got the chance to chat to Sammy, one of the other runners and Alec the 3rd AD about films, experiences and topics of general interest. Soon some of the runners were told they could go home, and I stayed on stand-by with some of the other crew members whist the main team filmed a scene on a street. Eventually, Josh came back to the bar and said that I could go home as the filming on the street was nearly done, and I was sad to go as I had a really great time with YSP Media and I appreciated them making me feel like part of the team.

Overall, it was an amazing experience I wish it could last forever, I am certainly gonna stay in contact with YSP Media about future work as they said I did a great job, to the point where after a day I was promoted. I hope to work with YSP Media in the foreseeable future as they are not many media production companies in the Midlands and that most of them are London or Manchester based, so it is an advantage.

I have more media opportunities to add to the blog, in the weeks to so many months one of which will be working on a film in October which was confirmed last night (Tuesday 16th July).

I was surprised to find a message on my phone the next day from Belinda saying thank you, I just have to find a way to save or print the text message off my phone.

This is your Captain speaking, please return to your seats and prepare yourselves for filming

4 Jul

Hi guys

The clue is in the title of the post what I have been doing.

I am having a blast working on ‘Brothers’, will be sad when it come to an end, though between that I heard that there was a film company looking for extras for a film on aviation safety looking for extras and production runners. I contacted them through their website and forwarded my CV and wanted to hire for me for the two days they were in my hometown. This was both unexpected and an enormous surprise for me. The film crew also asked me to spread the word for in and around my hometown to be extras, and what better way to do this then via Facebook and Twitter (you gotta love the internet). On my first day I met several members of the cast and crew and decided to get started by helping Jo set up tea, coffee and food table. In addition to this, I did a few tasks in the office and drove to set a couple of times, and the first time I did it was a great surprise seeing so many planes. It was so cool going on a plane, and after meeting Tristan, the Director,  I even got a chance to go into the cockpit and had fun seeing how to fly a plane. Soon it was time to wrap first day and it had gone in the blink of an eye.

The next day it was all hands on deck as there were lots of extras to look after. Once they were all on site, it was a case of them all going to the location for filming, and I followed as I was going to be on the plane as a passenger during filming which was really cool. During the breaks between filming I got the chance to have a chat with some of the other extras who had come from all over to be involved. Soon the day came to an end, like yesterday, so quickly and it was that time to wrap so the crew could move onto the next location for filming. Overall, I have enjoyed my two days working with ‘Fact Not Fiction Films’, and working with a great team Emily Production manager, Giuseppe 2nd AD, Sarah Assistant Producer, Christianne 1st AD, Nick DOP,  Emma, Leah, Kat the actresses and Location Manager, Jo who did an awesome job with catering, Pete, Sam, Tristan the Director who like everyone else (Camera crew and rest of the team) made me feel very welcomed on set and during the two days. I hope I get to work with the team again in the foreseeable future.

Whilst filming was happening for the two days, I got the chance to see lots of cars mainly BMW s racing round the aerodrome track, and I thought how cool it would be if I could do that one day. Or it could be an idea for someones birthday/ Christmas gift.

At least I am starting to fulfill my New Years Resolution; to get experience/ work in films as I have more in TV than film, so I have more areas of experience and come more symmetrical.

I hope I have more great news to share with you all. Hope you all enjoy my posts. I hope I get to work with the team again on future productions.

First Feature Film Fantastic

23 Jun

Hi Guys

I have some good news to share at last; I am working on a feature film that is being filmed in the East Midlands. I am excited because it is the first feature I have worked on, as most of my experience is engulfed in TV, so it is pretty cool to be given the chance to be part of something great. It is an action film that focuses on two brothers and the lengths they will go to for justice, in their own way.

My first day with filming had to be on a day where it rained, though it did stop after 3pm, which was a bonus. When I got to the location I met some of the actors and extras who would be appearing in the film. I then met our director; Darren Lynch and after meeting everyone else I was ready to get started. Although my role is production runner, I also was the Sound Recordist something I have never done before, but it was awesome trying something new, so I am taking on two roles.

Filming finished late afternoon and we got most of the days scenes shot, I just hope I did a good job mainly as the sounds person, and that I can be for the rest of filming.

At least I have fulfilled my new years resolution to gain experience in films, in order to have more dimensions to my experiences. For now enjoy this poster of the film ‘Brothers’, synopsis will either follow, or can be found on the internet.
Hopefully over the next couple of days there will be photos and film footage of behind the scenes filming of this really cool feature. More to follow.

Brothers Promo poster 2013

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