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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.

Festive Film Fever Round Two

18 Dec

Hey Mediadreamzers

What a crazy few days, work, gift wrapping and heading off to all sorts of Christmas parties and events. My latest was a Christmas dinner outing with people I know who work in different fields of Media; ranging from SFX (Basically blowing stuff up) to Production Managers who work on Game of Thrones. I’m jealous these guys have sat on the iron throne, I guess one can dream to work or be a part of G.O.T or something on those lines in the future.

One of the challenges I had was driving down the motorway in the lashing rain in a dress as long as the Effiel Tower and the battling to change my shoes into sky- scrappers when I arrived. It was both a catch-up and a laugh, and at one point the conversation shifted to talking about Cosplay and talking about events and films based on it whole phenomena effect on people. One of the guys at the dinner decided to look more into Cosplay and after searching Google images found what he was looking for and he came across one picture that according to him and everyone else at the table looked like me. After that it was compare each photo to me and at the end of it 27 photos out of a possible 100+ seemed to look like me. Funny old world.

Next Christmas gathering is soon to be happening but as I wait, I’m making my Media goals for next year, building food bank boxes at work and decanting my Christmas alcohol. Merry times, v.merry times.

Nunquam deditioneum

More Mayhem to shake you to the core

18 Oct

If you though one event was exciting then several will get you buzzing.

Well, in my case that’s what happened, every year near to Halloween at the Broadway Cinema the Mayhem Festival kicks off and although I did not go for the whole sch-bang I did enjoy the ones I chose to go to, and my all time favorite was the watching and hearing an Hammer Horror script that had NEVER been read before. The script was titled ‘The Unquenchable Thirst of Dracula’ and honestly if Christopher Lee was alive and it were the 1970’s I would strongly suggest that he play Dracula. Majority of the event was listening to a series of actors read their allocated parts and the Narrator Johnathan Rigby reading too.
The plot in short is this; Count Dracula escape to India where his evil influence is just as insidious and powerful. This script would also stand as a great horror story round a campfire for those wanting to spook one another.

It is definitely a big thank you that needs to be given to the Hammer Films and The Cinema & Television History Research Centre. Only wish that there were more Hammer Horror scripts like this, fingers crossed for the future though.

Following on from the night a sheer terror came the next master class to go to with the guest speaker being Michael Eaton, who is a English playwright and scriptwriter. He is best known for his television docudrama scripts, including Shipman, Why Lockerbie and Shoot to Kill, and for writing the feature film Fellow Traveller (1989), which won best screenplay in the British Film Awards.
In recent years, he has become known for stage plays and his radio dramas for the BBC. Listening and taking notes on the various productions he has been part of and why he go into the industry as many of us have a reason or some form of inspiration/ goal for choosing this career path. I am looking forward to hearing about his next or future works as it was inspiring to listen to someone from the region I grew up in make it in the Media. I only hope I can get as far as I want to go, only time will tell.

Well, I am getting excited about next weekend, granted I am working but as soon as I am done its a case of getting changed and driving to the second place I like to call my home. I do not wish to give too much away as I will ruin it, all to be revealed next Sunday. And yes there will be photos as it is very rare I put pictures up of my Media activities and events, I seriously need to correct that.

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

Interview 1, Interview 2, Interview 3

3 Mar

Hey fellow mediadreamzers

First let me say thank you to the people and blogs that have started following mine. If I have not visited your blog site yet, I apologise and will try to do so very soon. Most of my time has been dedicated to training for R4L (Race For Life), I think it looks cool abbreviated like that. In addition, I have been making little short films and editing them on the progress of my training and ideas for raising money towards a cause close to my heart. I have made earrings, necklaces and metal bookmarks.

I know I am digressing a little, so I will get back on track. I have been applying for a variety of jobs, and heard back from a media company in Milton Keynes for a roles as an assistant producers role which I am going for an interview for tomorrow so I am reading up on the company. This role is permanent/ freelance so if I am successful I can fit the work round other media work that I am or could be working on. Another was an out of the blue opportunity with another company also based in Milton Keynes for next Monday that is permanent. Although this role isn’t production based it is with a media company with the potential of learning broadcasting and production technology. There are other interviews lined up but these are going to be upcoming.

There are other projects lined up hopefully for the Spring, which I am looking forward to hopefully getting involved in if I can. I am hoping to get something permanent or frequent media work, if I do end up moving to MK I won’t be too far from my media contacts near the capital. When I have heard back on these I will share.

Nunquam Deditionem

New Year Begins-BAFTA Birmingham

31 Jan

Hi fellow Mediadreamzers

Forgive the lack of posts for the first month of the year; not much happens in January with pre-production. Which could be interpreted as a good thing as individuals can plan to go on holiday and/ find out what is coming up. I do have productions lined up for the upcoming months to keep me busy, one of which was a meeting in Birmingham Drama Village I met last year. Some of the production team I saw mentioned upcoming opportunities which I am hoping and looking forward to getting involved in, in addition to upcoming features.

Until these begin, it is networking events. My first one started off with a BAFTA Masterclass with a well renowned Cinematographer- Haris Zambarloukos. From my research, the man has worked on a great number of films, the latest being ‘Cinderella’. I admit within the research I was not sure what Cinematography was all about, and now I understand the time consuming and enormous task on such individual must do.

It was a good thing we had a huge lecture theatre as so many people attend the lecture. It of course involved questions from a BAFTA speaker, with a series of case clips from films Haris had worked on; ‘Enduring Love’, ‘Thor’ and ‘Locke’ all great films. Soon the session ended and it was everyone networking and I was glad to meet Haris after the session and seeing some people I have worked with on productions from last year, so it was good to catch up.

I know we are well into the New Year, but I have made about 4 resolutions one of which is to get experience as an assistant director and researcher which I am determined to achieve. I maybe heading to another event about Script Supervising, will know more next week, until I have plans in motion and people to contact.

Until then….
Nunquam Deditioneum

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