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Dotting the I’s and Crossing Paths

27 Mar

Poster pic

Hey Mediadreamerz

What a bit of a quiet time I have had so far, at guess because of Easter being upon us tomorrow in UK. It is scary as to how early it is this year and someone kindly pointing out on Facebook that yesterday marked 9 months till Christmas. Yes that will be the first thing on people’s mind.

Well, Easter for me is normally spent working part in a supermarket (something I no longer do I say as I sit typing away here) and having a day where I could simply do without the questions, and the long hours. Only this year I got to enjoy part of my Easter going to see and support a friend’s introductory premiere of a film that he has worked on, and is hoping to develop it a step further. I admit on the morning of the screening I had this feeling that public transport would be against me what with it being Easter Saturday but I made it with 15 minutes to spare. After meeting up with the cast, are and others who had come to support the production it was nice to have a few minutes to catch with people I have worked with in the past on various projects and with others who I am friends with on Facebook but haven’t actually met face-to-face, until now.

One thing I enjoy about the Broadway Cinema is screen room 4, granted that is a strange thing to say but the reason for that is it is called the Paul Smith and of course the chairs and inside and designed and inspired by him; love those striped chairs you get to sit in. Once in and the introductions had been done by Michael Sales from Midland Movies and Ben the Director of the film and of the company that made the film; B Squared. B Squared is local production company in the Midlands, so anyone in the East needing a production filming go to this one. Once all introduction were done and dusted, the screening commenced.

Afterwards it was a Q&A session with the actors and the director and the production, their experiences, the ideas and everything and anything related to the whole experience. The fun part was seeing the cast and crew signing the big banner poster that was outside as it moved each time someone wanted to write something, and before going in we got to have our pictures taken with it. 

My pic with poster

 

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And one thing I remember taking away from the day was being called a ‘Fountain of Youth’; reason because I told a few people in conversation how old I am and watching the look of sheer surprise on their faces with them thinking I was somewhere in the region of 19-22, how kind people cane be.

I’m waiting for the next media event or project something that might be happening once Easter has come and gone; Happy Easter to all.

Nunquam Deditioneum

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Bend it like pros

17 May

Charity football

 

Hi Mediadreamzers

Glad I have the weekend to sit and type with going back and forth to MK, though for the next two weekends I am working and then the challenge I have been training for will be upon me; R4L. Though this weekend was certainly busy in Nottingham; There was a charity football event on a Meadow Lane ground which had been organised by a known artist. I will give you a clue- His first song was called Lightning Bolt, his music has featured in the film ‘The Fault in your Star’ and he has performed on the Jay Leno show. Answer is Jake Bugg. This was in aid of the British Heart Foundation, and the name for the event ‘Football Rocks’, something I believe the majority of the male population will agree with.

It was great that the weather held up for the day and that there were other local celebrities that attend, one being Vicky McClure who is in well known in programmes like Line of Duty, This is England, Broadchurch and a few more.

Normally I am not one to immediately watch football, but I always make sure I watch charity matches both local and well known, specifically soccer aid (can’t wait for the next one). I always wondered why do days that when your having fun the day goes by so fast. The more events like this the better and I am looking forward for other events her, there and all over the UK.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Adrift in the Midlands

5 Nov

Hi Mediadreamzers

I have been all over the place this week and boy do I love it. I am working on three films at present; one called ‘Adrift in Soho’, which is on the IMDB website, feel free to check it out, and 2 in Derby with LightFilms; ‘RatCatcher’ and a film that has now been christened with a new name that many of you may remember was called ‘Meat’.

In between this I attend a lecture today delivered by a very good friend of mine; Terry Bamber, who always knows how to entertain and capture the attention of an audition.

Yesterday and Monday and until 20th Nov I am a camera assistant on ‘Adrift in Soho’, and I must say it is one of a few films to date where I have been focusing on one area of production and moved up the ladder of important roles. I have been working a mixture of 10-14 hours and although it is exhausting it is so worth it; learning skills about the camera, clapping and recording information on the scenes being shot and learning how to fill in continuity camera forms. One thing I am enjoying is learning new skills one of which is filling in continuity reports for the shots captured on camera using the clapper board notes for cameras used. Different but I think I got the hang of it, I am looking forward to the next few days doing more work.

In between that I am getting audition dates ready for ‘Meat’ and getting a few things in motion for ‘RatCatcher’ for next year. I have for the past couple of weeks emailing actors who fit the bill and inviting them to an audition and formulating ideas for other things to do. I am learning on the job for a general assistant/ Line Producer and gosh its fun.

I decided to have a day off and what better way to send it is going to a lecture in the East Midlands to attend the opening of the new Media School. Apart form being directed to the wrong building at first I managed to get to the Bede Island Building and the lecture was enjoyable from start to finish. It was good to have a catch up with Terry and also see his friend who was helping with the day, Paul Sacks. After the lecture I and a group of students who attended headed to the media school to see the new facilities, and then this was followed by a drink and chat at Trinity house which was not only refurbished but full of food and drink. I got to meet a lot of interesting people and it was good to catch up with my Terry and Paul and hopefully next year I will see them both and have lots more media work.

For now I am going to relax and catch up on some me time after long days of filming, more to follow.

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

How productive a week can be

11 Sep

Well, what a whirl-wind week it has been for media work and activities.

I spent Monday in a production meeting bringing the producer and director up to speed on everything I have done and what is remaining left to be completed. This was everything to sourcing locations to finding a generator, to contacting the actors, liaising with a company that hires out equipment to a million other tasks to see to and others to add to my list. God I love this business!

Tuesday was devoted to more media work, both pre-production work on the two productions I am working on, and co-presenting a radio show with another person who has more experience than me, and I will say two hours does go by really fast when your having fun, and the fun continued for me having my very first fitness class and although I was the newbie in the group no prisoners were taken so I did everything at the same intensity as everyone else and afterwards my legs felt like jelly.

Wednesday was spent at my local news station learning the art of data wrangling ( taking footage captured and adding them to the system and catalogued on editing software). I met the tech manager, Paul Magor, who allowed me to spend the day with three techno guys, before being invited to watch the news output in the gallery at lunchtime. Afterwards I was taken to the archive department to see how everything is added to the system and retrieved years down the line and the methods used to record footage. It amazes me to see that really big chunky tapes were used then it was CDs to small tapes to memory cards, how technology has certainly evolved. One thing that really surprised me I was invited to a meeting with the days news producer, the director, techno guy and editors for the days output and the East Midlands presenters for news, sports and weather. The surprise was seeing Anne Davis one of the presenters who I know really well, and after the meeting when I was in one of the editing suites Anne came to find me for a catch up chat and to see how I was and of course vice versa.

Before the news feed went out for the evening which I went into the gallery to see Paul took me to the Inside Out team, who invited me to come back in on Thursday to send the day with them to learn how they data wrangle footage they capture, log, duplicate, and using prelude software (excessive notes were taken so I did not forget anything).

Friday would have been a day working on a production in Leicester but they did not need me, however, I was asked to send a copy of my CV for future work with the production company as they are always looking for crew to work with them on productions.

And now I must resume my media work with Light Films, as there is a lot to do. One final note to fore-warn everyone that a month from today I will be writing to my hearts delight about a visit I will be making to the home of hammer horror, carry on and James Bond. Keep you eyes peeled

 

Nunquam Deditioneum- Never Surrender, Never Retreat

Cosmopolitan Carnival Creativity

24 Aug

Hi Mediadreamz readers

What a day I have had, luckily not stuck on a checkout but something much more interesting. A few weeks back I was contacted by a company, through a recommendation, to help film an event happening in Leicester this weekend. The event is as you see above the Cosmopolitan Carnival and the purpose of the event is and was to Celebrate Leicester’s culturally diverse city through every imaginable art form. Everything from dancing of all forms to graffiti art, to music to singing and I along with a friend of mine, Raj, who I have worked with before on episodes of ‘Dickinson’s Real Deal’ were given the role of filming the setting up of the events, the reactions of people, the performances throughout the day and the closing aftermath of the events on the day.

 

                                    cosmopolitan

 

Prior to the event starting all the people involved we all met at Red Hot World Buffet where everyone had a complimentary lunch before getting ready to work. After getting the cameras Raj and I started filming, though the first half hour the cameras died so whilst they were charging we improvised (I used a spare Flip camera that I bought with me, and Raj used his phone). When all cameras had died it was a case of taking shifts to monitor the charging and guarding the tripods in half hourly intervals, in order to get some incredible footage. The main stage was mainly musical acts and the high st was dedicated to a mixture of dancing everything from tribal to zumba that encouraged other people to get involved too. I also thought the people on stilts was very creative. I made a couple of trips to st. Martin’s sq to listen to the random musical acts too, as well as getting people’s reactions. Personally my favourite bit was the dancing Chinese dragon, it was certainly something the children who came to the event found really interesting).

Areas were designated for the following
– Jubilee Square MAIN STAGE- MUSIC
– High Street DANCE ZONE
– St Martin’s Sq PERFORMANCE AREA-MUSIC

and not forgetting the Silver Arcade ARTS HUB & WORKSHOP DISPLAYS

Soon time grew closer to the fact that the dancing had finished and that everything was to end at Jubilee Sq with a few final acts before it all ended with a film projection on the wall of BBC Radio Leicester, so of the members of staff I met during the days events, and the footage was very interesting and cleverly constructed. And as usual the day went by so fast, this one of the disadvantages I have when involved in media work, that when I am enjoying something so much time just goes by, that is why it is so precious to any and all productions.

I am also having fun working on the feature film I mentioned before, which I resume work on in the next few days.

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