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21 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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I wish I could have written a post about a Media Summer Party with the Crewing Company but as it was raining and thundering it didn’t happen. So I’ll share with you my night at the BAFTA House for a preview screening on an updated adaptation of the Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. Initially I thought the first day of Summer being yesterday was gonna be one of rain, rain and more rain but the afternoon sunshine all around thank you god. Managed to get to the Capital o.k and the one thing I like about the London Underground is that Oxford Circus has really cool coloured titles on the walls, sort of reminds me of a Kaleidoscope. As much as I wanted to admire the walls I had to get to Piccadilly Circus and I made it the sun was out and the Paparazzi were outside waiting for celebs and special guests. I was surprised by the how many people turned up for the screening, granted that the theatre wasn’t full to burst but it was full-ish.

 

After introductions from the BBC head of Communications and BAFTA President the screening commenced.  I admit I don’t remember the whole of the synopsis for Secret Agent but the hour segment was brilliant and saw a lot of British talent on screen; Toby Jones, Vicky McClure, Ian Hart, Stephen Graham, David Dawson just to name a few. The bare bones of the story is this Shopkeeper Verloc is instructed to bomb Greenwich Observatory and provoke the British government into cracking down on violent extremists. Caught between the Russians and the British police, Verloc drags his unsuspecting family into a tragic terror plot.

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After the screening a Q&A followed which was chaired by Mark Lawson; Journalist, Broadcaster and Author, many remember him from Radio 4, well tonight he put his questions to the guests on stage; Toby Jones and Vicky McClure, Writer Tony Marchant and Director Charles McDougall. The floor was opened up to audience members and then the night came to an end, though the funny thing, well two funny things were this; first was Toby Jones walking right past me and the other was that as I was leaving the BAFTA House I encountered Mark and spoke to him before heading towards the Underground.

The journey out of London wasn’t as long as I thought it was gonna be I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that Tuesday is and was the longest day on the calendar, either way I made it back and had a blast that night. My next media event is looking to be in July where I will be heading out to Elstree and Borehamwood the land of EastEnders and Harry Potter territory (nothing to do with these guys but something else coming up).

Nunquam Deditioneum

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And the BAFTA goes to… Oh I’m so overwhelmed

27 May

Hey Mediadreamzers

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Well, I didn’t  per se win a BAFTA but I have seen two films that are contenders for winning the theatrical mask award. Who would have thought that I would be siting at my MAC composing my latest post at 1.15am, but I guess I am wired up from such a great night meeting new people and catching up with some familiar faces. This has what got me through my day, I initially didn’t think I was gonna get to the second place I love going to is the BAFTA House in Piccadilly again, until tonight. This was for the premiere screening of two films directed by one of my friends Sean Cronin; not only a talented director but also an actor who has been in quite a few well known films, James Bond, M:I 5 and recently Hard Tide which I still think was brilliant. Once I arrived at BAFTA House it was meeting a few people I know on FB, having a catch up chat and walking round the room before going into take a seat ready for the screenings, and it was a success as the event was sold out. And of course there are photos from the night.

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The two films were both hard gritty action films; one called Unborn Justice and the other Jack Mulligan. Unborn Justice focuses on a Allen, an ex special forces, who goes on a weekend break with his wife Lisa to London, unaware of the surprise Lisa has for him. Lisa ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, only for her surprise to be short lived. Allen sets out on a path of revenge to find those involved only to realise his target is a high profile organisation dealing in weapons and drugs. Determined to find his man Allen realise’s the hard way there are more hurdles to overcome before he can get to the worlds most wanted. The fight scenes definitely were choreographed to a very cool style and the ending at present is that of a cliff hanger seeing that actions speak louder than words. When Unborn justice had been screened it was a Q&A session with the cast and director, which lead nicely into the second film Jack Mulligan. Jack Mulligan within the same genre as Unborn justice, the plot is of course about the titled character, who decides to confront the man who was responsible for attacking his girlfriend. After receiving a threatening call Jack has flashbacks that paint the picture to why Jack resorts to doing what he has chosen to do. Like the first film Q&A followed which then lead to the rest of the evening to drinking, chatting to new people standing by the BAFTA statues, on the red carpet and with other people to be papped or photo bombing shots. One thing that surprised me was that during the meet, greet and chat people were asking me if I was an actress, followed by my age, the look of surprise, commenting on my dress and saying that I should be an actress, or consider going in front of the camera more. I’m guess these people were being kind to me in that sense, though some people said that my dress looked great had seen it when I walked in and were waiting to say it to me. I also got a chance to have a picture of 2 which Sean Cronin, I look forward to seeing future films from Sean and the team.

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It was great meeting new people and saying hi face to face with people I know on FB and actually meeting them in the flesh. One thing that ticks me about Media work and activities as I will constantly say is that time flies; what feels like 10mins equals 3 hours. I made it back home a little after 1am wide awake with throbbing feet. My guess is that I will crash like the Titanic later today (Friday), so I will be making very good friends caffeine to try to stay awake and find someway of staying awake. I need to say a thank you to Sean Cronin, and Alan Nolan on the two excellent films and how much I enjoyed meeting so many cool people and here are some pictures from the fun night. I am sitting as I type whilst my feet are throbbing from my heels, I admit I have done really well from wearing these for 5 1/2 hours before the pain start to set in, and it got to the stage where I ended up watching up and down Piccadilly Circus (Wayne’s World Quote here) in my tights in order to try and regain some feeling. I do love London at night, seeing it all lit up like a Christmas Tree. Please let there be another BAFTA screening/ premiere soon as it is always nice to visit the Capital.

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Hopefully more things to share and attend in the next few weeks.

 

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.

I’ve been expected you Miss Smith, for Dinner

26 Oct

Hi Mediadreamzers

As promised I said I would tell you about my very exciting and wonderful news. My day wasn’t anything special, but the evening was worth the wait. Having gotten changed, it was a case of driving to the place I call my second home, well maybe an extension of that is the Pinewood Hotel.

 

 

 

Why? Answer to attend a dinner and music event in honor of the Bond franchise. The event was called Q the Music, a night listening to and appreciating the music composed and played for the James Bond films. Although I had to work in the morning, the event definitely got me through my shift, and I admit I nearly missed the dinner because of being stuck at three congestion points on the M1, 2 breakdowns and an accident, but I didn’t give up and I made it. Once I got in I was greeted by a group of other James Bond enthusiasts have the privilege of trying meals that have featured in the Bond films; it was a three course dinner. For me stater was Salmon, Watercress and creme Fraiche from Tomorrow Never Dies, Main Chicken Supreme, potato rosti and red wine jus from Casino Royale and Desert Chocolate Torte with Hazelnut cream (normally I don’t eat sweets, but it was amazing). It was great catching up with people I have met before and those I have worked with as it has been ages. One thing I also did that I have never done before was try a cigar and my initial thoughts were that it was not bad. Once dinner was over the room was transformed into a venue for enjoying the Q the Music team; there were two singers and I have to say that some of the theme songs they song were way better than what some of the artists have produced over the years (not wanting to name names but you can probably guess). In between the music there was Terry Bamber’s stand up comedy and commentary on the facts about the various Bond films, songs and his and his dad’s experience in the film industry. Both witty and interesting. I couldn’t believe how quickly the night had come to an end, and I had the honor of meeting so many great people and catching up with others I had met and have known for a longtime. It was so good that I got back at 2.15am and was still wide awake from all the excitement.

 

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The night was one I will not be forgetting in a hurry and it is also a pre treat for me considering I will be where most of the world’s media will be tomorrow night, the capital for a mind-blowing event. I hope you have all guessed correctly. You will see anyway, especially me all dressed for the nights fun.

Here is my score for the whole night

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Nunquam Deditioneum

3rd Up, that’s entertainment

7 Jul

Hey fellow Mediadreamzers

I guess if you are in the UK, like me, you’ll have been lapping up the sun and enjoying the fact that Summer is actually here. Getting up to 30C+ is a blue-moon moment in all honesty, quick someone say Twilight Zone. Although it has taken a turn; raining and then being humid, it is so worth it.

This turn of the tide with the weather did not hinder me getting involved with my latest freelance project and the good news ladies and gents is this time I was not a production assistant, but a 3rd AD. Small step up he ladder, but in the right direction. The production I was working on was with YSP Media, a production company I have had the honor and privilege to work with again, as it only felt like yesterday that I worked with YSP on ‘Jobseekers’. To find this post scroll through my timeline, where I spent a week working with a wonderful director- Chris Bevan, Cameraman- Karl Poyer, Assistant Director- Alex Withers, MUA- Charlotte Price (we had a good and long catch up) and a lot of brilliant people. The production is a comedy, unfortunately I cannot say anymore at present. So its a cliff hanger moment…. Hold On!

Made it to the location stated on the call sheet and I admit at first I was doubting whether or not I was in the right place. This changed when extras and other crew arrived too, especially when the director arrived. As soon as I stepped out of the car, work commenced; helping set up food and drink for crew and cast, picking up a poly board for the camera crew, supervising the runner on set and just generally being on hand to help. I was later given the task as the clapper too and holding the poly board to created more light for filming certain scenes. Time always goes by really fast when I’m working on productions, it feels like a conspiracy.

The day started out perfectly until the heavens opened up at about 2pm where it was everyone for themselves to get under shelter and protect the equipment. It did stop and filming resumed then rained again. It was a moment where you felt that the elements were against you, as soon as we were under shelter it stopped then we we came out it start to get ready to rain again. The good news was that all scenes were shot, interviews were captured and everyone was happy. It was a battle making sure all release forms were signed off as some of the extras were all over the place but I got everyone before they were needed on camera or had to go. I’ve found thinking and planning ahead are two traits to have when filming, means that the crew can focus on their jobs, saves having someone to tell you what needs doing and it cuts down on time when your gonna wrap.

The words that’s a wrap soon rung around and production for the day ended. All I can say is it was a blast being a third and I’m gonna push to do more third work and then work up the ladder.

Where my next freelance work will be in between my other media work, who knows.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Buzzing from Birmingham BBC

21 Oct

Hi Mediadreamzers

I have just got back having had to put up with a 45mins delay on getting back, despite that the amount of travel I do these days I should invest in a Bradshaw book going on the trains back and forth. My latest venture was to Birmingham, to the Mailbox for a course titled ‘Get Your Next Job in TV Drama’, I must say thank you to my friend William Gallagher for passing on the course details and letting me know about it. Once inside the Mailbox I was greeted by a large number in the entrance, some I struck up a conversation with before heading into the delegated area for the course introduction and the numerous courses.

Once at the venue, tea and coffee was on tap and individuals began talking to people, I got chatting to had recently come back from Milan, was a producer of daytime TV, mainly cooking programmes and was looking to get into Drama. Everyone took seats and were greeted by a panel of well distinguished individuals who have worked in the industry for many years. The host of the panel was Marvarine Cole who is now a presenter on QVC but was previously a presenter on BBC, ITV and SKY NEWS, who operated a Q&A to the individuals who either work for independent companies and BBC, and mentioning how Drama is really making its presence known in Birmingham. When the hour’s panel had finished we all separated to attend our chosen workshops, for me the first was ‘Moving on from a Runner’, this was delivered by a guy called Andy, who now works as a 1st AD, previously a 2nd, 3rd and runner. The beginning of the session was Andy presenting his background in media and why he chose to go down the route of media, and all of us saying what career we are working towards. Andy even shared stories of individuals making mistakes and that ending their media careers, something that many of us made notes on the dangers and factors to be aware of.

 

During the lunch break I and those who attend were networking as much as we all could before the next selection of workshops started. I came prepared with a so many business cards that I was handing them out like sweets, and many remarked on the design I ‘d gone for- Paul Smith stripes. Soon it was time to attend the next selection of workshops and I opted for Script Supervisor, where a lady called Lisa who shared her experiences and how she got her break in TV, and how from there on she has worked on a multitude of productions ranging from ‘Death in Paradise’, ‘Midsomer Murders’ (a programme I love watching on repeat), ‘Hustle’ to ‘Minder’ ‘Father Brown’ and many more. We were shown a series of examples and templates of the documents a Script Supervisor uses when preparing for a TV series, and I must say it is A LOT of paperwork. One topic that Lisa made us all aware of was continuity where the script matches what is on presented on the screen from start to finish. To emphasis this we were all shown a series of clips from films where there mistakes; I have never stared at a TV screen so hard in my life in order to see and discover flaws, something I will be doing in the future. Soon that session ended and it was time for another break and more chatting before going onto the third and final class- Networking face to face and online and addressing the fears and myths; one exercise involved the room being split into two and one side saying why networking is bad and why is is good and answering simple questions, studying pictures and just giving our overall opinions on networking as a whole. From the set up of the room this was a masterclass that practically everyone wanted to attend and get as much insight into the best methods, approaches and results gained at the end.

 

The final part of the day was a closing Q&A session titled ‘Making great Drama in the Midlands’, delivered by Jamie Glazebrook who is the Executive Producer on the second series of ‘Peaky Blinders’. The questions were asked by the Marvarine who opened the event it felt appropriate that she should close it, with a combination of clips from the series and a preview of the next episode. It was then time for us to let our hair down and have drinks and continue to network, something I did for a short time as I had to dash to catch my train. I came away with a lot of useful advice, tips and information which I will be acting in the next couple of days. I was glad to have had a chance to speak to the guest panel of media representatives all except Will who had to leave during the lunch break because of a media meeting.

 

My next event all being well will be the 5th November and I am looking forward to the fact I will be catching up with a media friend/ contact I have known for 4 years. That combined with media activities in between.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Productive with Pinewood & PROCAM

16 Oct

Hi Mediadreamzers

I now sit and write about the past couple of weeks, much of which has been filled with great excitement. The first is an event I had the privilege of attending at Pinewood Studios; a friend of mine put on a one man comedy show at Pinewood Studios last Friday and I and about 150 other people were blown away by the humour. I now make this my 6th visit to Pinewood and as I keep saying it is like my 2nd home, it is always nice to head down to the greatest place in the world. Once there I was directed to the John Barry Theatre and as soon as I entered I was greeting by an enormous room and suddenly one of my Facebook friends saw me and called me over, and it was great catching up with other people I know in the industry. The show was amazing, which was mirrored by the fact that it was a sell out! It was so funny that my cheeks were hurting at the end of the hour and half and my sides ached from pain of laughter. There was a scene that was re-enacted by my friend Terry and a SFX guy I know called Alex involved trick wire, a pair of glasses and a fake treadmill, and the was funny, especially the reaction from the other people in the gym. Soon the time went by and it was time for us to leave John Barry’s theatre, not before  One thing that did knock me for 6 was some of the people that attended came up to me after the show and said ‘Hi’ something I did not expect, but it made my day, or in this case evening. The rest of the night and the early hours of Saturday morning was spent at a restaurant called ‘Palm Suite’, not only was the food great (if your ever down at Pinewood go for the Piri Piri Chicken, it does not disappoint), but the company was bloody marvellous, especially when a friend I met and know on Facebook bought his dog in just as the restaurant were closing and there were all a handful of us left; Shelby, a very affectionate dog and very photogenic/ affectionate dog. Eventually it was time to leave as the owners of the suite needed to go home. Great event, wonderful night, brilliant people.

Following the event, I then packed my case again to travel to Manchester for 2 days working shadowing with a company that hires  camera and sound equipment. I traveled up the day before ready for the 2 days arranged, and after a 45mins walk I found the location, and after meeting the crew in the warehouse on the Tuesday I spent the 1st part of the day working with a guy called Jake who showed me how to set up a camera that is commonly used in the industry, checking equipment back in from production companies that were returning equipment from shoots. I was then rotated to another area of the warehouse with a guy called Rich. I learnt a lot from Rich and I learnt that there are no stupid questions as I had so many about camera, sound, their system checking in and out, usage of equipment and anything else that sprung to mind. First day a lot was covered and the first ended quickly, then 2nd day was just was fast and I surprised remembered a majority of what I had been taught and I was trusted enough to set up lighting panels for testing and how to check and set up a monitor. Sadly I had to leave to catch my train and during the 2hr 30mins train journey, I reflected on everything I had learned and hoping that everything I have learned helps me progress further forward and hoping to put what I have learned to good use. Maybe my next opportunity will let me show of my training and experience.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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