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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

The Decision

19 Jan

Well, as promised I would say what the outcome was of my interview on Tuesday. I was out shopping when I got the call from PRO CAM, and it was unsuccessful. The reason for their decision was that they felt that because of where I want to go with my career path, they feel that working at PRO CAM would not put me in the right direction. Although I was disheartened by the decision, Jonathan (the guy on the phone and who interviewed me with his colleague) said that they both enjoyed meeting me, that everything I said in my interview was brilliant and ticked all the right boxes there was an enormous ‘BUT/ HOWEVER, you showed a lot of enthusiasm and passion that we want to help you on the right career path, so we will send your details out to the various production companies that we know and work with in Manchester, if you are happy for us to do that’. You can of course guess my response which was yes, definitely. The only thing I had to do was make some changes to my CV and then it would be sent out. So there was bad news, followed by good news.

I will be honest, what I was glad that I got from my interview was constructive feedback on my CV, interview and everything else. So I am happy with the new CV at least it isn’t War and Peace, as it used to be with too much info and not enough of the crucial stuff. The hardest part was cutting my personal statement down to the bare bones, but I did it. Before my conversation ended with Jonathan, he said that I showed a lot of enthusiasm, passion and drive from what I have done and am currently working towards, and that he has a feeling that I will make it and to not give up. So we are back to the its not what you know, but who you know situation, and it totally works.

My Motto is ‘Never Surrender’, and that is something that I won’t give up on.

Hopefully, I will hear from the different companies, and see what happens.

First thing to start the year

16 Jan

Hey one and all

Gosh I haven’t blogged in awhile, well not since Christmas, but it was great to have a break and I guess everyone I know in TV and Film was glad for the break too. Over the Christmas break I have been planning what to do in the New Year as well as making corny New Years Resolutions. My first media activity of the year was going for an interview in Manchester with a company called PRO CAM, and although my interview was in the late afternoon I got up to Manchester earlier than expected.

After looking on Google Maps for a street view of the location I was going to, I eventually made it after a 35mins walk. It certainly felt a lot longer than 35mins, once one site I was surprised at how quickly I found PRO CAM’s offices. Although I was half and hour early I had my interview earlier than planned, and of course it began with the traditional questions; tell us a bit about yourself, what can you bring to the company, why should we hire you, etc. That couple with the a series of scenarios and how I would handle them, then it was finished off with my career ambitions and if I had any questions.

From where I was sitting I think it went o.k I just have to wait till the end of the week beginning of next week to see what the outcome was. I have some planned projects to be getting involved in, everything form indie films to BBC/ ITV/ C4 programmes. In my spare time I will be making a lot of things too with the really cool sewing machine I got for Christmas and planning things to make next year, one of which is flavoured Brandy and more alcoholic ice cream (maybe I should ask Heston if he is interested in some of my ideas).

Until my next posting, happy reading and New Year to you all, and on a personal note I think it is ridiculous that Eater eggs are being sold this early and we haven’t even had Valentines Day or Mothers Day. Crazy.

Rocks, Roll and co

10 Oct

Hi fellow mediadreamz readers

Autumn is certainly here with the leaves going that beautiful colour and falling. This is something I noticed when I was driving to Leamington Spa for an interview with Rocks & co.

You may ask who are these people and the answer is they are a channel that broadcast on SKY, Freeview and Freesat jewellery at a falling-price. I admit getting to the building was a nightmare as it is not very well sign posted, so I ended up driving up and down the street, until I managed to work out where to go. Although I was an hour earlier that my scheduled time I wanted to avoid traffic and roadworks. Because of this I was seen earlier, which was a bonus and as usual I treated the interview like a normal conversation (helps this way as you feel more relaxed). I was also given a tour of the studio and behind the scenes of the place. So I need to wait a few days before I hear anything back form them.

Once back it was a case of contacting all the people I know in the industry for vacancies and anything that is upcoming. I am waiting to hear back on a local contact I have about helping out on a film he is shooting, I hope he hasn’t forgotten me as I really love the sound of his project and it would be so cool to get involved.

So when I hear from him, I will of course share with the rest of you. In the meantime I am making my Christmas list for cards and gifts and trying to find places that sell empty perfume bottles as I am attempting to make some as present, wish me luck.

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.

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