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Back to the Film Industry

20 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

The follow-up to yesterdays media/ film related fun that I had; yesterday the activity today the film work. It was an early rise for me, in order to make a 2 1/2 hour journey down to Dover for my next film product. I got to work with a Director who I worked with last year on a film called ‘Borstal’ (post dated round about October time). Driving to Dover was long and lengthy and I got to do something I have never done before; drive over the Dartford crossing and I confess seeing the height of the bridge does make you think oh my God this is enormous; one thing I made sure not to forget to do once I got back was to pay the toll. Word of advice pay the toll either in advance or as soon as you get to a computer otherwise you have the fine to contend with.

I digress, I made it to Dover in good time and got a marvelous view of the castle, breath-taking, and did I see the white cliffs of Dover; I did as I drove home 8 hours later. The location a boxing venue, the film a hard-core action adrenaline pumping Brit spit and grit film, the title Red Army Hooligan. I will not share the plot yet, but the focus is on fighting. One thing that was handy about the location was that it was across the street from 2 supermarkets so no-one went hungry or thirsty on the day. Once inside it was hugs and hi’s from those I have worked with before and I got started on my Production tasks, well that was after I bought in the baked treats I promised the crew I would bring and they were VERY happy after that and got everyone through working on a Sunday. I got high praise for thinking ahead and being on hand to the usual things and I was surprised when the Director referred to me as the Production Coordinator, usually I go along with assistant but coordinator is even better.

We got most of the scenes shot at different angles, and the extras were brilliant with what they needed to do. Managed to mark all the scenes and ensure that we stayed on track with time and thanks to Gaz the D.O.P got a lot of great photos, which will appear soon. There was a moment where I was asked by JP one of the actors and Producer on the film asked if I minded being in the film as a hooded faceless character. So I made my faceless debut just before we wrapped for the day, which was both a surprise and a fun thing to be a part of. Hopefully I will see myself on screen when the film premieres next year in London. We then wrapped at a good time and I was happy to see that the containers that I had bought the baked treats down in were nearly empty. And what was left I made sure that the crew took what was left home to get them through the long journeys home. Driving out of Dover was fine and one little tip to anyone, makes sure you pay the Dartford toll as soon as you can. It is a shame that I can’t help out on additional days but it was fun and great working with crew I have worked with before, and I look forward to the next series of films that are in the pipeline in the next 2-3 months.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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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

Milton Keynes & Me 50 Years in an evening

7 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

God it has been practically years since I lasted posted. I have been waiting and waiting for my next media related event to happen, and now it has.

Some of you many have seen on BBC 4 a few weeks back the film titled Milton Keynes and Me by Director Richard Macer. I admit I was kicking myself for missing it when it was on TV, but had a second chance to see it when a screening of it was arranged, followed by a Q &A session with the Director himself.

For those of you haven’t seen Milton Keynes and Me the story is told and see through the eyes of Richard Macer who grew up in MK and left when he was 18 to go to University. With it being 50 years in 2017 that MK was created, Richard returned to his hometown to look back into to how MK was created and established as a New-town place, the Fred Roche Foundation which was responsible for the planning and constructing and houses, shopping centre and sculptures depicting the creativity and uniqueness of MK. And yes that includes reference to the cow sculptures created by Canadian Liz Leyh. It was cool that Richard was able to track Liz down and ask her what she thought 50 years on from when they were placed in MK.

The beginning of the film looked at the memories of MK through the eyes of his mum and dad and how MK was the UK’s equivalent to the American Dream when it came to the housing crisis that hit London in the 1950’s and 60’s. One other aspect of MK that was shown and talked about was when people think of MK besides the cows that they comment on the number of roundabouts and there is one thing I discovered whilst watching the film and that is that there is a roundabout appreciation society, something I never knew existed until that night. Following on from that there the society has given certain named roundabouts and one of the roundabouts in Fox Milne is known and named as a bonking roundabout because it was a roundabout where people used to make love and have rendezvous. One thing that is being added to Fox Milne roundabout soon is a sculpture, commemorating 50 years.

I also discovered that years ago a commercial was created advertising MK as a New-town haven and what was memorable about the commercial was that there was a boy carrying a red balloon and how everyone at the end had balloons and let them go. I admit when I saw the red balloon at first my mind immediately ran to thinking of Stephen King IT. It also got my thinking whether to not it would be possible or a good idea to make an updated commercial on what MK has for people to see. There was a generation aspect to the film where Richard headed to his old school where he talked to the current students at Stantonbury Campus. I did not know that there was something called ‘Day 10’ where students spent to entire day focusing on one subject. Would be interesting if schools today could bring that back, might make a difference.

Granted there was some negative moments in the film, that was probably down to when it was shot (Jan/ Feb) when it isn’t exactly scorching like Ibiza. But you need somewhat of a place in a film to make it work.

At the end there was the Q&A with Richard with the help of his friend and many people got to share their views, saying whether they liked it, hate it, what they thought would have been nice to have included. One thing that was somewhat annoying was that a member of the council was there and I felt that he was using it as a self promotional platform on what he could do to make things better or changes to bring about if we/ people get in touch with their local Councillors. At the eventual end I got the chance to meet and speak to Richard and share my thoughts on the film itself.

It is nice to be back on the grid of sharing, and the good news is that there will be a follow up as tonight I am off to a red carpet premiere at the Vue, Leicester Square. So I am getting all dressed up and hopefully get the chance to meet the actors and catch up with some of my media friends.

My work as a Gallery Production Assistant is going very well, and my next series of freelance opportunities are happening in the next few weeks that I am looking forward to.

Nunquam Deditioneum.

We Cain, we saw, we after partied

22 Apr

Hey Mediadreamerz

What a day, and night it was yesterday, after a long worthwhile wait, after so much hard work, time and commitment by the Producer and Director the week and day had arrived for the premiere of Cain hill.
Of course, during this week some of the crew had specific/ set tasks to do, mine was collecting the running order schedule, the cinema seating plan, VIP tickets, spares and film promo leaflets. My instructions were ‘Guard this box with your life’

Friday morning was up early, pack my case with my outfit in, check that all the important items were with me and get to London to the Prince Charles Cinema without any hiccups; luckily there were no problems. Once there I met Gene, Tony and Adam for a verbal debriefing of the day’s running order. Once all was sorted and we knew what to do went hunting for the after party venue, which was found o.k. and after Adam did a recce of the place and as everything else had been done before everything started, it was time for me to get glammed up.

Things started to roll, well they did once the red carpet was rolled out and the Cain Hill film backdrop was set up inside the cinema, before getting leaflets and sweets added to the seats along with the Hello Gorgeous goody bags. Once that was sorted, with the help of Adam’s guests, it was then checking tickets and marking everyone who’d arrived and what a brilliant turnout it was, and even more of a surprise seeing people I know who I didn’t know were attending the premiere. It was also amazing meeting Alex Zane and other great people in the industry, before settling inside to watch the film. All I can say is what a film, you laughed at the right places, you jumped at the right places and the storyline flowed from start to finish. One surprise for everyone was the additional stuff at the end photos and comments and there was a video of me trying to show my self-defense moves against George the makeup artist; I seriously had no idea that it was being filmed! So that WAS a surprise. After saying hi to lots of the attendees it was informing everyone where the afterparty was and hanging around encase I was needed to help with anything.

Made it to the afterparty downstairs in Scarlett’s and it was an epic afterparty. Chatting to lots of people, mentioning parts of the film that were people’s favourite bits, what people do in the industry or what their careers are and much more. Spent part of the evening going round getting photos of everyone at the after party, and I’m hoping I have lots that look good. It was a shame that the day ended so fast, there should be a law that when things like this happen, time so go by really slowly.

          

                             

 

All that is left for me to say is thank you Gene and Tony for letting me be part of a brilliantly awesome film, even though it was only for a few days I had so much fun and wish we could do it all over again. I hope I get the chance to work with you and the rest of the production team in the future as you guys are fab to work with and everyone had a laugh on set.

I look forward to sharing with you my next outing, which will be Romford on Thursday; a premiere of another film I was involved in and then after that back to London to the BAFTA House. It’s all go and good so far.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Cain Hill Campaign

5 Feb

Hey Mediadreamzers

Nice to be able to sit in front of my mac and type, there will be another post next week to share. This post is one of promoting and sharing; This is a film that a friend of mine shot last year and trying to reach a set target if any of could take a few minutes to check out the IndieGoGo page and help in anyway, shape or form that would be a great help. This film has had actors such as Gemma Atkinson, Michael Parr (Ross from Emmerdale) and Alex Zane has also been on set.

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Here is the link
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cain-hill-post-production-movie-film#/

If you can look, share and help that would be great.

Next post to follow will hopefully be positive regarding an idea I am hoping has a positive impact/ reaction.

Nunquam Deditioneum

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

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