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Taking Pride by storm in Media

13 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

When Summer arrives, make the most of being out and about, and I did just that. Headed to London yesterday to attend the Royal Television Society event that addressed the issue of LBGT portrayed in TV soap storylines. Made it to London without any delays; it’s S’s-Law and I’m sure you will agree with me that when you are traveling to events, something usually happens; delays, cancellations, stormy weather the list goes on. Either way, made it to the Hospital Club and was early, so waited until the event was open to attendees. Found a seat in the gallery room and others started arriving and there was a group of 3 who sat next to me and we got chatting and I learned that they worked for ITV & BBC. So for me, that was a good surprise and we all chatted on what areas of media we work in, how we found out about the event and what our passions are.

 

Soon the speakers on the events panel arrived and took their seats on stage. The speakers were, wait for it, Oliver Kent- Head of Continuity in Drama series, BBC Studios, Pete Lawson Writer on EastEnders, Bryan Kirkwood- Executive Producer Hollyoaks, Iain MacLeod- Series Producer Emmerdale, and some of the actors from the soaps; Daniel Brocklebank- Corrie, Annie Wallace & Krupa Pattani -Hollyoaks. The panel was chaired by June Sarpong MBE- who is known for being a presenter on ‘Loose Women’, and also a panelist on Sky’s The Pledge program.

The topics discussed and questions asked, combined with a series of clips depicting LGBT storylines made the event as a whole really interesting and also a huge eye opener, with the actors, characters, and impact, they have on society as a whole. One story that was shared was Daniel mentioning an encounter he had with a lady in a supermarket saying very hurtful things, to which he gave a response that totally shut this woman up.  Other issues that were discussed were the Ofcom complaints, watershed time showings, relationships, cultural communities and the about individuals in the series and in real life coming out to their parents and loved ones and the psychological effect and the fear they have, especially with family traditions, religion, and social acceptance. Other areas that haven’t or have been touched on briefly were discussed and how there is still time in the future to create and develop those ideas for television audiences to see.

     

 

              

 

The floor was then open up to questions from the audience, followed by thank yous to the guest speakers, June and the CEO of the Royal Television Society Theresa Wise. Then, of course, the networking started and people started walking up to the guest speakers saying how much they enjoyed the discussion and topics/ opinions they felt about the series, storylines and their perceptions on certain issues. I admit for me it was really cool getting to speak to Annie, Krupa and Bryan and I asked him a question about one of the characters in Hollyoaks and his response was ‘I’m glad you didn’t ask that question on the mic’ as that character is still being developed. Also speaking the Emmerdale and EastEnders Producers was great too, meeting the people behind these soaps is one of those moments in life where you think ‘I never thought this would happen to me, meeting you’. I say that because although I work in this industry I sometimes think that there is a line or a barrier I am one side and those well known and established are on the other side and there is a ‘Do Not Cross this line’ sign in the middle. But every once in awhile it is nice to step over even if it is for a minute, an evening or a day to talk to individuals and say who you are.

Soon the numbers started to diminish as people left and I decided to head back out of London, had a fun evening and I learned a clever lesson when traveling to Euston station if you are going somewhere don’t get a tube train going the opposite direction. my trick getting on the wrong compass bound tube and ending up in Kensington. No matter, a simple walking over to the other side fixed everything.

 

I have also heard back from a director I worked with last year who mentioned a production that is being filmed in September, so I am hoping I am free to help out even if it is for a few days. He has also put in a requested for baked treats, moral booster for the cast and crew, well it helps when filming in the sticks and it’s cold and people have been working long days. September will soon be here.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

 

 

 

An evening with James… and a famous feline

25 Jun

Hey Mediadreamerz

It certainly has been a long time since I last posted. I admit I have spent the last few weeks getting ready and trained for the production department I am moving into; live broadcasting television. Role being a Production Gallery Assistant.

But I have managed to find time to escape my media domain and go to an event I have been looking forward to for weeks. I travelled to London to hear a chat from James Bowen and see A Street Cat Named Bob. Whilst on the train I got chatting to a couple going to a Robbie Williams concert and other topics; I always think the best conversations are with strangers, you lern a lot. I had a feeling that it was going to be a popular event and it was; people were queueing at 5.45pm and the event wasn’t starting till 7 pm. It was a Hammersmith town hall and I only wish that the venue had air condition as it was really hot inside.

          

 

Soon the room was a buzz when James and Bob arrived and everyone stood up and applauded. Before the Q&A session started there was performances from a group called Burbank who were really good, and they even performed afterwards. It amazed me that people had travelled from Switzerland, Germany, Poland Greece and other parts of Europe had come across to the UK to see Bob and listen to James.

          

 

For those who do not know about James and Bob, focuses on James who was a homeless individual who was on a methadone program. After struggling for so long James was able to get a place to stay and one day Bob was sitting in the corridor of where James was staying. After 3 days, Bob was still there and James decided to take Bob to a charity vet and after that decided to look after Bob, who gave him a focus point to get clean and get back on his feet. James was also busking at this time and with Bob going out with James, it attracted attention from the masses. Soon James was approached by a publishing company who wanted to turn his story into a book, or rather a series of books. And then into a film as I guess some of you have seen.

              

 

James and Bob sat down and the person hosting asked James about the film, his books/ story, questions about Bob’s likes/ dislikes and facts about him and getting involved with the charity Baron Court. During this time also Bob was wearing his scarf, falling asleep and being fussed and fed treats at various times. One thing that gets me is how he stays on James’ shoulders when he jumps on him?

Barons Court Project is a homeless charity that focuses on helping those find somewhere to live, provides them with meals, social events, a place to get a haircut, hot shower, IT facilities to print off their CVs and learn new skills, postal mail address and much more. The charity’s main organizer also mentioned how others can get involved and how James and other celebrities have also given up their time to assist others.

There were questions from those that had submitted ones to the event organizers, and some of us got to ask questions afterwards, followed by getting loads of photos of Bob and James. The only annoying part at the end was queueing to get books and merchandise signed, oh don’t get me wrong the queueing wasn’t the annoying part, it was people buying books and items at the top of the hall and cutting in line! The rule is this- No butts, No cuts, No coconuts! And again best conversations are with strangers, something many of us did when waiting and waiting.

4o minutes later and I got a book signed, but not to me; I got it signed to my mum and I am gonna break a cardinal sin here and say the book is going to be one of my mum’s Christmas presents. I wanted to high-5 Bob as that is signature greeting, but because he was getting grumpy and tired he went to rest, so I gave James a high-5 instead. Was a relief to get outside as it was na oven in the hall, and as I walked back to Hamersmith underground I got an enormous shock; Bill Bailey was walking towards me with his son, whistling. Wow what a cool moment, first James and Bob, now Bill Bailey. I’ve heard stories of people meeting and seeing well known people on buses and on the underground but for me that was totally awesome.

I have recently been asked about helping out on some films in Spetember, which I am hoping fingers crossed I can even if it is for a few days I still love my freelance work, so that will soon be upon me.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Borstal Breakout premiere

28 Apr

Hey Mediadreamzers

Boy am I tired, but it is so worth it after getting back at 1 am from the premiere of a film I was lucky to work on last year; ‘Borstal’. What a journey it was getting there, but I made it, one well two things I noticed on my way to Romford station was that there’s a tunnel and underground construction academy; never knew one existed. Second got to see Romford greyhound track always seen it but never been near the track. Got to the cinema and was great catching up with everyone and seeing Gaz and Steven and promising that the next film I get the chance to work with Steven on there will be cake. When I worked on the ‘Borstal’ film I made a mixture of cakes for cast and crew so next time I will see what I can make to surprise everyone. After welcome drinks and press coverage of the film for Channel 5, we headed into the cinema screening where a series of trailers were shown before the film.

           

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The film itself is about the memoir of Kris Gray being sent to Borstal for X number of months and how he manages to survive whilst having to contend with some of the prisoners and prison officer by the name Forshaw who take a dislike to Kris. I enjoyed seeing the finished piece on the big screen and thought that adding a narrative/ soliloquy effect of the main character Kris ass that personal touch too. Once the film finished, an auction was held to raise money for a worthy cause; there was one of the Borstal outfits, signed pictures, and posters, and other film-related merchandise.

            

 

I would have loved to have stayed longer for the after party but need to get my trains back to Buckinghamshire. It was a great night and I had so much fun and something out of the ordinary happened; on my way to Romford station, I saw a fox and as clear as daylight (ironic as it was night time) the fox walked past me as if it was a pedestrian on his way so where.
Journey back was o.k. and made it back in the early hours of this morning, it will catch up with me, but I’m not gonna let that stop me from going to my next media event today, well later this afternoon at the BAFTA House. One surprise for me but not people that live in cities is seeing a fox when I was heading to Romford station.

Nunquam Deditionem

London Calling 007 Agents

12 Dec

Hey Mediadreamzers

Beginning of the month has been a little quiet and although this isn’t a media job, but more of a media activity, and it was an awesome one. And what better way to count down the 12 days till Christmas than heading into London for a James Bond weekend. This was a 2-day activity, I only went for one day and boy did I love it. Mission accepted and up early to get the train into London and made it to one of the film locations earlier than I thought I would. Once in the Capital, I met up with other Bond fans outside Barbican tube station, and from that point on there were iconic coincidences throughout the day, something that I jinxed; outside the station a lady passed us carrying a Cello (The Living Daylights), when walking towards the Barbican there were painted Qs in the cycle lines, construction of a tall building (Casino Royale; minus the climbing the building or free-running) there were others but these are just a few I wanted to share.

 

The day started off by heading to the Barbican where one of the scenes from Quantum of Solace was shot. At one stage we were wondering around the Barbican trying to find the part where the scene was shot, but we did. One of the fun things about the day was the group got separated, 3 times and I find that that is the best part of touring London, its part of the fun. From the Barbican we moved onto the Smithfield Carpark to where Skyfall was shot; the scene where Bond has been de-briefed and is in the car with Tanner going to the new Mi6.

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The rest of the day was going around and across London on the underground to different points; next location was to Liverpool Street to Broadgate Tower; again Skyfall- The scene where Bond falls the assassin and is hanging from the bottom of the elevator. From Broadgate Tower it was travelling to the College of Arms; where George Lazenby got his ‘Coat of Arms’ in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The building was really interesting and had a mixture of different coats of arms on the walls, and met up with other Bond enthusiasts before heading to Pret for lunch, and a chance to chat.

 

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From Pret we headed to Trinty Square from Skyfall where M arrives to meet Mallory and I think also when Bond chased after Silver to M’s hearing. It was fun re-enacting the walking into the building scene one by one.

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From Trinty Sq. we moved onto Ornamental Canal (and this was the second time we got separated from the others). When we did get to Ornamental Canal, which was from The World is Not Enough; Bond chasing the assassin towards the Millenium Dome, which continued onto Shadwell to Crossharbour.

 

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Once there  it was getting shots of the canal the moment came to take group pictures and selfies, as the light was just right. Back to the station, the group slowly started to diminish as people needed to travel back home, so the phrase ‘Agent Down’ was said each time a member of the group left (Although at first, I said ‘Another agent has died, which got a few laughs). We travelled to Mi6 HQ, which has been used in numerous Bond films; GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Skyfall and Spectre. Whilst there we got group pics of us outside ‘our place of work’, and we talked about how Mi6 used to recruit people and how it has all changed.

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During the day people in the group asked what it is I do for work, or said that they noticed on my Facebook page that I work for SIS; the initials as of the secret service. Before moving onto Buckingham Palace, unfortunately not to get knighted by the Queen, more agents left the group; ‘agents down’ to head home the group then became 7. There was a slight detour to see Ian Fleming’s blue Plaque and one of the houses that he owned. Once at Buckingham Palace, we captured the last leg of the tour with a group photo before going to Greenwich tube station and all agents heading home. All Agents down.

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What a fabtastic day meeting so many people and catching up with those I have met before, I so hope there is another 007 event next year, maybe a casino royale night at the Hippodrome, or going to one of the many countries used in Bond films and making it into a holiday of some form. Although getting the train home was a bit of a nightmare, it was still a great day. I think as a group we walked about 17,000 steps from the whole day itself. Meeting everyone who had been allocated a 00 status was fun, and of course, there were 2 people known as Q, and I stuck with Moneypenny within the group.

My next post for the weekend being 17th/18th December would have been posting about Peter Vaugh but with him, unfortunately passing away, the Museum of Comedy had to cancel the event. Though the next time I will be back in London is for another Christmas party; had one last Friday in London and saw Al Murray when we at one of the pubs. Could have gone to another party that same night but didn’t know about it, until the last minute.

Lets seen what is next on the cards, and hope I get to meet everyone again soon

Nunquam Deditioneum

Banged-up in ‘Borstal’

8 Nov

Hey Mediadreamzers

Its been awhile since I sat in front of my laptop and composed a post, last being the James Bond event, and there is another on the horizon. In between then and now I have been work-shadowing in the various departments at work, again in the studio gallery specifically with the Production Assistant and with the Assistant Producer focusing on the paperwork side of things.

You may think from the title of the post ‘oh Lord, what has she done’, and quite possibly your mind might wonder onto the opening titles and dialogue of ‘Porridge’ quoting Norman Stanley Fletcher being grilled by the Judge. Unfortunately not, I am not doing Porridge, but was involved in a film that wasn’t as comical as the sitcom; the opportunity I was involved was a film called ‘Borstal’.  You can guess from the title what the film is about. What surprised about getting involved as production crew was a week ago I received a phone call from the Director, Steven, asking if I was free on any days the last week of October/ first week of November. I was touched by being contacted and asked to help out if I was free.

There was also a request for me to bring and bake cakes, as on my days off from production work, and keeping active I bake, and I bake a lot.

Although filming started a few weeks ago I have been helping out for a few days during Halloween half-term week. It was a bit of a journey getting to location, and luckily I found the site where filming was happening. When I arrived I met some of the actors and crew and then met Ruth the Line Producer and Steven, the Director. First day was getting used to the site we were filming on and meeting the rest of the team, and it was great fun. Getting areas set up for filming, relaying messages, thinking ahead, all that jazz.
As the first day went by, a phrase I had heard before was said again ‘Where was this girl when we first started filming?’. I always smile when this, as I find it hard to get that others think I do a good job on sets. I couldn’t believe how quick the first day for me on set had gone and even with the clocks going back an hour. Would have liked to have gone back on Halloween and on the 1st Nov. but couldn’t make it, so my second day back was on 2nd Nov. and it was just as good as the first.

Although it was great to be heading back to location, and seeing the cast and crew again, despite it being cold outside when we were filming, at least the sun was shining. I also got to meet Chris the Production Runner on ‘Borstal’, and I think we made a great team. When I arrived and the rest of the crew saw me, I got ‘Did you bring anymore cakes’, and the answe to that was afraid not.

The one thing I still hate about productions is that time goes by really fast even before you have a chance to take it all in. Working with everyone on ‘Borstal’ was a blast and I always hope and wonder if I have done a good job as a Production Assistant. Everyone from the Still Photographer to the Line Producer, from the enthusiastic actors to the stunt Coordinator to the Director who was awesome from the start made me feel like part of the team. It was a long drive back to Buckinghamshire, but it was worth it getting to work with so many great people in Media, and I really hope I get to work on future productions with everyone again as it was so much fun.

Not sure when my next opportunity will be media work wise but as mentioned above it’s gonna be a bond weekend and god I am so on board with it and will be like a 12 days till Xmas event from the team behind James Bond. That and doing lots of practice baking for Xmas as I am gonna be making Xmas Continental treats and even Black Russian Cupcakes.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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

Event is Bond, Bondstars

25 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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As promised this post is one that is a must to share, I have been waiting for months for this day and it finally arrived. It was an early rise to get to Pinewood Studios for a Bondstars event ‘Designs on Bond’ honoring Peter Lamont, Art Director for the Bond films from Goldfinger to Spectre. Apart from a nightmare getting to Pinewood due to road closures I made it and once there it was like film heaven, going in and getting a goodie bag of Peter Lamont’s book (which I got autographed) and other items it was a case of touring the Heatherden Hall seeing the Special guests many of whom I met during the day. The special guests were at tables with autographed photos and other items, next to tables of dealers selling merchandise, one thing I came away with was a Moneypenny signed t-shirt. Well if people are gonna christen you with that name you might as well have the t-shirt to go with it. It was great to see and meet many of my Bond Facebook friends in person and we had a great chat and catch up before the event officially kicked off. We were introduced to the work of Peter Lamont, his work and him answering questions from the Bondstars.com organizers. We saw a tribute program to his work on the Bond films and everyone sharing their memories of Peter Lamont, it was interesting to learn that Peter’s brother and also his were also part of the Bond franchise. After the documentary many of Peter’s colleagues got on the stage and shared their memories of Peter and the Bond films they had worked on, really interesting to hear.

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When there is a break before the next surprise, I decided to wonder round and get some autographs from many of the well-know crew from Bond, one of whom was Terry Madden (and I also saw Terry Bamber-The man and legend), as well as Terry Ackland-snow, Chris Corbould, John Richardson, John Grover and many other people. I got to sit with many Bond Facebook friends, and got to meet the guys behind James Bond Radio for a chat and lunch which was really enjoyable. After this it was a Q&A session with Peter Lamont and seeing tributes on the big screen from Sir Roger Moore, James Cameron and other well know stars looking over the film sets he has created and the Oscar he won working on Titanic, as well as showing other iconic films he has been part of. Some of the Bond writers came to pay tribute to Peter as a surprise too which was great. There were some apologises said, one of which came from Barbara B and Michael W, and other individuals who could not make it. After the Q&A we all got a break and got to wonder round the memorabilia room to see what else was there and other guests had arrived too. I got to have my picture with some of the Bond Girl stars, I particularly had a really enjoyable conversation with Madeline Smith and Caroline Munroe both of them were very kind in saying that I was very pretty and yes they were being very kind. There was a garden tour of Pinewood but as I have had a tour of Pinewood before I stayed to continue chatting to Madeline and Caroline as well as talking to the other Bond stars/ girls as they had taken the day to come to Pinewood I thought it would be rude to not go and say hi. It was an incredible day involving tea and scones that everyone enjoyed, before going to listen to Q The Music tribute to Peter and the Bond films he has worked on. I continued to chat to Caroline and Madeline and other stars. I was flattered beyond measure by Caroline saying to other Bond special guests about me and how pretty I am and said that I should consider being in a Bond film. One can only dream.

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Q the Music was brilliant like it was the first time I heard it and seeing with others was incredible. I was said when the day came to an end, and we all needed to leave. I said my goodbyes and thanks to everyone I got to meet, especially Peter and I also got to see his grandson too. Got many hugs and kisses from people I met, I really hope I get to go to the next Bondstars.com event next year, fingers crossed that there gonna be other Bond events in the future.

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When my next opportunity is going to be I do not know but I am looking forward to it, next on my list is to bake for the Macmillan coffee morning this week coming up so I will see how this goes and if everything turns out o.k.

 

All that is left to say is Thank you Peter Lamont, Bondstars and all other special guests- crew and Bond Girls who came to Pinewood Studios.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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