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TWFP Party

1 Aug

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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My latest media activity came round sooner than I expected and it was a great way to spend a Sunday evening. Normally I use Sundays to recover from combat training but decided to go and do something fun. As it was a dress to impress event I kept chopping and changing what I was gonna wear and eventually settle on something. Even though it didn’t start till 5pm, and because I was meeting a friend for coffee and catch up I left that house as I was.

Headed to London at what you’d call an early time, but needed to as I was heading to Elstree & Borehamwood; didn’t help that certain lines on the underground were closed off but found a way round on it. The welcome sign to E & B was showing all the programs filmed at BBC; Strictly Come Dancing, EastEnders, Children In Need and Holby City. When I got there I saw that Elstree & Borehamwood had its own Hollywood walk of fame and a wall that had film reels, director’s chair, clapper board, film count down timer, stars and awards. I also saw star display boards one of which was for Christopher Lee, Sidney James, Gregory Peck just to name a few.

It would have been cool to have had the event at BBC studios but it was across the street but it was nice to be 30 seconds from the studio. The event I went to was a networking event for actors and crew, well mostly for actors as it was a casting party for a production company called The Way Forward Productions. Met one of my friends who’d I’d met at a previous event and had a catch up before meeting other people that I am FB friends with and others who I was meeting for the first time. Whilst there people were filling in registration forms for people to be actors, supporting roles or extras; it was hard for people to add details but managed to get everything sorted. We all headed to the hall where DJ food, drink and other events were arranged, one of which was a magician. He did a load of really cool tricks one of which involved 6 of us and a pack of invisible cards. The deck ended up in my hands and after the color of the card and suit had been chosen by 2 other people I said that the number of the card was a 5 and told me to draw a cross on the back and to blow a kiss in the air. Magician pulled out a pack of cards and shuffled through to the last one and there was a card with an X on it and it was the 5 of Diamonds. There were other tricks that involved cards, guessing images from passages read from books and what people had read on word cards.

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Local singers performed and the DJ took over after Jason Cook; the founder of The Way Forward Productions showed a short video on the charity that the production company supports; Downs Syndrome. After some introductions from Jason and Mark Sears, everyone started to mingle, chat, catch up with those they ‘d met before and hand out business cards. Later people headed up to where the photographer to have head shots to be added to profile pages that were and are going to be added to the production pages website, which also lists the upcoming films that are in pre-production.  Had a laugh during hte night taking pictures with props used in films past and present; balaclavas, guns, night googles, hats and having a laugh in the build up to a raffle draw to raise money for Drowns Syndrome charity.

 

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Although the event ended at 11pm, I left at about 9ish because of trains getting out of London and it was a good thing that I did as the next 2 trains had been cancelled and then next one was scheduled for 22.47pm. One thing I find when travelling on trains is that people ended up having conversations with me; maybe I have one of those faces that invites conversations, not that I am complaining but interests conversations happen. Made it back just before midnight would have been back sooner despite booking my taxi for when I arrived back it was 20mins late and made it back the next day. I hope I am not too shattered today when daylight breaks because I am back in the broadcasting gallery shadowing again and focusing on specific roles; the mix control panel and Assistant Producers roles.

Thought round off the night with an attempt of a selfie

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The only thing I hate about events like this is they start and end so fast.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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Gallery Shadow

24 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nunquam Deditioneum

Ladies and Gentleman, day in the Capital, and a talk-show host

11 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

One thing I have never done before, and that is go into London on a Sunday. Granted its not breaking world headline news but it makes the weekend a whole lot more interesting and I guess it gets one through to Monday smiling about the day.

The morning was pretty slow before heading in to meet one of my friends for a catch up and just hanging out, but mainly for something really cool planned for the evening. Surprisingly London was not only busy for a Sunday but also bloody hot. Oh my we actually had what we call Summer, so everyone hopefully up and down the UK made the most of it.

Afternoon was going to Madam Tussaud’s, and I admit it was the first time I have been there; tried going years ago and I remember the queue stretching for three streets. It was a a lot cooler in M.T than outside. I admit it was nice to be papped with ‘celebrities’, seeing Star Wars and a bunch of other things housed inside. Following that it was a quick look round Baker Street Sherlock Holmes Museum before getting the tube all the way out to Waterloo and yes Abba song, of course. You may ask/ wonder why we were heading all the way out to Waterloo for 6pm, and the answer to that question L’s and G’s is to go to the ITV Studios; to be in the audience for one of the shows filmed there.

Here is the clue for the show it is on BBC One on Friday nights at about 10.35pm. And the seats we had in the audience were brilliant, you know when you go out and you find there is always someone in front of you who is taller than you and you can’t see well luckily that didn’t happen.
Before filming kicked off we were all entertained my a stand up comedian and by the time he had to come off the set my face was hurting from laughing. And then of course the host arrived, await for it, Graham Norton.

Following his entrance were Jeff Goldblum who many know him from Jurassic Park, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Independence Day and of course the follow up Independence Day two. Which Jeff discussed with fellow co-actor and another guest on the couch Liam Hemsworth. Yes the guy from the Hunger Games trilogy and completing the line up for the first part of the show was Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson talking about his upcoming movie ‘Central Intelligence’.

The first part of each of the actors talking about there upcoming films, fun and funny banter and stories, Dwayne creating an app alarm clock system, looking at photos of what each of the actors looked like at certain stages in their lives, looking at clips for the films and laughing at various points.

My phone got its 15 seconds of fame, well rather 20 minutes but whose counting, well I wasn’t much.

Another guest on the show was who is representing the UK at the Rio Olympics. Go team GB. Finally we were all granted a performance from Tom Odell performing his latest song ‘Magnetised’, and it was an awesome song.

The show wrapped and it went like clock-work, afterwards James and I got access to the Green Room one of the places where guests, celebs and Graham Norton head to for drinks and food. But before that we both got pictures taken with Jeff Goldblum and I must say he is a very friendly very approachable person. Just a shame that the person taking the photo made it blurry, I guess I should have thought to use my actual camera. At least I got a picture with a legend.

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I even got to say hi to Liam after the show. Though before leaving James and I needed to sign release form as we had appeared on camera and of course ITV/ Graham Norton show did not want to get sued by us, not that I would but there are people out there that do.

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After filming it was a visit, like VIP visit to the Green Room, but before that I had the honour of meeting Jeff and getting a photo with him was the highlight to end the day (just a shame the guy taking the photo on my phone made it really blurry; note to self I should have used my normal camera). Headed into the Green Room, spoke to a few people and Graham came in and spoke to a few people. It got a bit hot at one point so my friend and I headed outside where some of the people who work for ITV and on the show were chatting. I had a blast today and I owe my friend a big thank you for such an awesome Sunday, normally I am pretty boring on that day so it was nice to shake it up a bit.

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Made it back home just after midnight and prepped myself for getting up to go on a defibrillator training course as part of what I already know. Hopefully, I will still be awake later that morning given the fact I went to bed at 1am and got up at 5am.

 

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More opportunities in the next couple of weeks so I am hoping the weather holds up for these.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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

How productive a week can be

11 Sep

Well, what a whirl-wind week it has been for media work and activities.

I spent Monday in a production meeting bringing the producer and director up to speed on everything I have done and what is remaining left to be completed. This was everything to sourcing locations to finding a generator, to contacting the actors, liaising with a company that hires out equipment to a million other tasks to see to and others to add to my list. God I love this business!

Tuesday was devoted to more media work, both pre-production work on the two productions I am working on, and co-presenting a radio show with another person who has more experience than me, and I will say two hours does go by really fast when your having fun, and the fun continued for me having my very first fitness class and although I was the newbie in the group no prisoners were taken so I did everything at the same intensity as everyone else and afterwards my legs felt like jelly.

Wednesday was spent at my local news station learning the art of data wrangling ( taking footage captured and adding them to the system and catalogued on editing software). I met the tech manager, Paul Magor, who allowed me to spend the day with three techno guys, before being invited to watch the news output in the gallery at lunchtime. Afterwards I was taken to the archive department to see how everything is added to the system and retrieved years down the line and the methods used to record footage. It amazes me to see that really big chunky tapes were used then it was CDs to small tapes to memory cards, how technology has certainly evolved. One thing that really surprised me I was invited to a meeting with the days news producer, the director, techno guy and editors for the days output and the East Midlands presenters for news, sports and weather. The surprise was seeing Anne Davis one of the presenters who I know really well, and after the meeting when I was in one of the editing suites Anne came to find me for a catch up chat and to see how I was and of course vice versa.

Before the news feed went out for the evening which I went into the gallery to see Paul took me to the Inside Out team, who invited me to come back in on Thursday to send the day with them to learn how they data wrangle footage they capture, log, duplicate, and using prelude software (excessive notes were taken so I did not forget anything).

Friday would have been a day working on a production in Leicester but they did not need me, however, I was asked to send a copy of my CV for future work with the production company as they are always looking for crew to work with them on productions.

And now I must resume my media work with Light Films, as there is a lot to do. One final note to fore-warn everyone that a month from today I will be writing to my hearts delight about a visit I will be making to the home of hammer horror, carry on and James Bond. Keep you eyes peeled

 

Nunquam Deditioneum- Never Surrender, Never Retreat

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