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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.

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Happening in Hatton now on the big screen

15 Apr

Hey Mediadreamzers

It’s Easter weekend so let me begin by saying Happy Easter to you all, hope you all have a great break. I’m certainly grateful for having Sunday off as I’ve been baking Easter treats and making Easter eggs; made a total of 82, yes I’m mad but I enjoy it.

One thing that you hear people say is that things happen in threes; the first being winning tickets to go and see the screening of the Hatton Garden Job in Wandsworth, the second seeing a Q&A session afterwards with well-known actors and the third having a photo with them. I will explain;

        

I retweeted a tweet from the Hatton Garden Job page and was offered tickets to the screening and although I first thought I wouldn’t be able to make it due to trains being the way they are, I made it no problems. Made it to Wandsworth and met the people running the competition and once in and seated the film started. Although I have heard and read only one negative review all I can say is that I certainly wasn’t disappointed. There plot/ storyline was interesting, the actors were brilliant and Clive Russell’s character and David Calder made me laugh with what they said and did. Of course Larry Lamb, Matthew Goode and Phil Daniels added to the cast made the film great. In a nut shell it’s very British heist film like many created before, and Ocean’s 11 but British style and with a smaller team to work with. Had the right level of humour, got me interested from start to finish and ticks the boxes for me.

After the film, we were surprised by a Q&A session with Larry Lamb and Phil Daniels and during this time Larry announced that one of the Producers was in the audience; so we all turned and clapped at the surprise. I can’t remember his name, but it will probably come back to me when I’m not thinking about it. Once outside I and others got the chance to have photos taken with Larry and Phil and I have something to confess here; I met Larry back in 2009 when I was on a work placement with the BBC, this is when he played Archie and his character was going to be killed off. This was certainly a surprised to Larry and meeting Phil was brilliant too.

            

 

 

The phrase ‘There old school, and then there’s just… old’ was pretty funny and try but there’s no old school like the old school. Clive Russell’s lines are still making me laugh now thinking about them.

So my Easter Saturday has been one that was truly awesome, and I am so glad to have Sunday off to catch my breath before my next media event starts next Friday.

Once again Happy Easter all and enjoy

Nunquam Deditioneum

RTS London Night

26 Jan

Hey Mediadreamzers

Belated Happy New Year, it has been what feels like an eternity since I last posted on my blog. I kept wondering when I would be sitting on my laptop sharing my latest news, and now I am happy to say I can.

I had a fabtastic night in London where I had been at ITV Studios, my second visit there, and it really was fabtastic. I was attending an event organized by the Royal Television Society looking at Prosthetics and CGI used in TV/ Film productions.

 

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I admit I got to ITV a lot earlier than I thought I was gonna initially arrive, though when I got there and checked in at reception the lady at the desk ask me if I was Lily. I guess Lily was someone who was to feature on a TV program or there for some media related broadcasting. Got chatting to a few people also at the event, passing on advice and tips to them, before sitting down with teas and coffees to hear from individuals who work within this field of the industry. The panel was chaired by Muki Kuhlan-Digital Executive Producer who has been involved in shows like The Voice UK creating VR experiences. Muki’s company has been responsible for running a digital production company; Muki-international, creating social content, videos, apps, websites, animation, gfx, streaming, record labels.

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The guest speakers on the panel were Neill Gorton, Graeme Harper, Will Cohen and Gary Negus. Once Muki had introduced and welcomed everyone the event followed this sequence going from left to right each person was introduced a a showreel/ series of clips were shown of the different medias and projects ech person has worked on, then followed by each person talking about how they started in the industry, what its like working with prosthetics and CGI, actors, production, their views on the impact these elements have in media and how it has changed over the years.

Neill is the the Director of Millennium FX and Gorton Studios, a visiting professor at University of Bolton. Neill has worked on a wide variety of TV and Films here are some just to name a few Doctor Who, Being Human, Silent Witness, Little Britain, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, From Hell and many more.

Graeme started in the industry as an actor working on memorable shows and well known film; he worked on Doctor Who in the 1970s; was awesome to hear that he has worked with the likes of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker before becoming a director/ producer and working on shows like Hollyoaks, The Bill, Casualty, House of Elliott.

Will is head of CGI company and it was funny but not in a way that Will has collaborated with Neill and Graeme in these productions; I guess it is who not what you know and learning about what it is typically like to work on a project or an idea, being round a table and throwing ideas and suggestions on what a director or producer wants to show.

Gary is the VP sales at Sohonet, I admit I have never heard of this company that provides high speed connectivity, telecommunications, workflow methods; accessing work from one computer from another in different locations. Primarily working in post production field enabling work to be shared to be a group of people whether your in the same or another country.

The floor was opened up for questions and after that people started leaving in groups and I like some other people stayed to chat to the speakers. It was great chatting to Graeme and Neill and before saying bye to each of them I passed on one of my business cards whether I will hear from them in the future I don’t know. Neill said a lot of helpful tips and advice about getting into special effects, the best ways to get noticed and to avoid the as he called it Robin letter. I also got chatting to someone else who was there and I learned that she was originally from my home county! How cool is that.

Getting back wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be it wasn’t late and there were no train delays which is never good when it is late at night, and whilst waiting on the train I decided to take a selfie.

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Looking forward to my next event with RTS which is going to be in March. But my next media activity is 15th Feb where I will be sharing a potential idea with media enthusiasts on creating a media platform. I’ve also been hearing about upcoming projects and waiting to see when they are going to be starting.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Shoot, Create, Screen

24 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

Two posts in two days, that’s a first but as promised a follow up from the last one. Only this one is more to do with the Film Festival events that has been sweeping up and down the UK, in a nutshell the 48 hour Film Challenge.MKChallenge. So the mission which many people chose to accept was to shoot a short film in the space of two days and to submit it for the event within the set deadline. This was all part of the International Festival Fringe of Summer Shorts; one could say this is our equivalent to Cannes minus travelling abroad.

Summer Shorts

I was surprised at the number of people who turned up a mixture of those who worked on the shorts and those supporting the films themselves. The films running order stood thus:

The Interview – Directed by Adam Jeayes Comedy with a double meaning in the title

Marmeladas – Directed by Rosemary Hill that means Cheese which language I can’t remember

Five Pound Note – Directed by Ana Diego Silent film with only background noises.

Spirit Cleanser – Directed by Julie Cuthbert

West Ham, Farewell Boleyn – Directed by Roger Stotesbury I really enjoyed this documentary and I’m sure those who are West Ham fans would too. Got to speak to the director on this film too.

Product Placement – Directed by Ana Diego focusing on the issue of trafficking

First Response – Directed by Carl Mason Zombie police film

Silently Within Your Shadow – Directed by Scott Lyus a Ventriloquist’s dummy that comes to live and has a connection with the Ventriloquist. One thing that surprised me was that people were asking me was I the Ventriloquist in the film because the actress who played her had the same hair color and length as me. Was flattered but not pretty enough to be an actress.

In Tents – Directed by MJ Dixon Thriller by a director I know very well and it does make you jump out of your skin.

Avant Macabre – Directed by John H Shelton

Nightman – Directed by Kieran Johnston

The Night Walker – Directed by Michael Hallett

There were some films that were creatively done, a genuine thinking outside the box short and then there were 1-2 that once you watched them you thought what the hell that doesn’t make sense or was just awful no doubt about it. Overall the night was great seeing something on screen and as I sat there a film idea for a short came to mind whether I suggest it to someone and it gets made for the next shorts festival who knows.

Hopefully more media activities to share soon when the next is I don’t know at all.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Back to BAFTA

21 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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I wish I could have written a post about a Media Summer Party with the Crewing Company but as it was raining and thundering it didn’t happen. So I’ll share with you my night at the BAFTA House for a preview screening on an updated adaptation of the Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. Initially I thought the first day of Summer being yesterday was gonna be one of rain, rain and more rain but the afternoon sunshine all around thank you god. Managed to get to the Capital o.k and the one thing I like about the London Underground is that Oxford Circus has really cool coloured titles on the walls, sort of reminds me of a Kaleidoscope. As much as I wanted to admire the walls I had to get to Piccadilly Circus and I made it the sun was out and the Paparazzi were outside waiting for celebs and special guests. I was surprised by the how many people turned up for the screening, granted that the theatre wasn’t full to burst but it was full-ish.

 

After introductions from the BBC head of Communications and BAFTA President the screening commenced.  I admit I don’t remember the whole of the synopsis for Secret Agent but the hour segment was brilliant and saw a lot of British talent on screen; Toby Jones, Vicky McClure, Ian Hart, Stephen Graham, David Dawson just to name a few. The bare bones of the story is this Shopkeeper Verloc is instructed to bomb Greenwich Observatory and provoke the British government into cracking down on violent extremists. Caught between the Russians and the British police, Verloc drags his unsuspecting family into a tragic terror plot.

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After the screening a Q&A followed which was chaired by Mark Lawson; Journalist, Broadcaster and Author, many remember him from Radio 4, well tonight he put his questions to the guests on stage; Toby Jones and Vicky McClure, Writer Tony Marchant and Director Charles McDougall. The floor was opened up to audience members and then the night came to an end, though the funny thing, well two funny things were this; first was Toby Jones walking right past me and the other was that as I was leaving the BAFTA House I encountered Mark and spoke to him before heading towards the Underground.

The journey out of London wasn’t as long as I thought it was gonna be I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that Tuesday is and was the longest day on the calendar, either way I made it back and had a blast that night. My next media event is looking to be in July where I will be heading out to Elstree and Borehamwood the land of EastEnders and Harry Potter territory (nothing to do with these guys but something else coming up).

Nunquam Deditioneum

The Tide is Hard, but we’re hanging in there

10 May

Hey Mediadreamzers

Hard Tide

 

Time to post another blog post on media activities, and I thought I’d start of a networking event, well the first one to go to this month. This event was a Q&A session with the director of a recently released film called ‘Hard Tide’. This is a film that stars two actors who I am friends with on Facebook and see from time to time at other events. The Director has worked in a variety of roles ranging from Producer, Writer, Actor (yes his CV and IMDB is from the sounds of this very impressive).

 

I won’t give too much away on ‘Hard Tide’ encase you are still waiting to see it but the film is based on real events and centres on a man who comes to care for a little girl when he is trying to escape a life of drugs and drug dealing. As any film you watch where children are starring in it there are moments where you laugh and smile at what is being discussed, and yes there were moments. After the film, once all the credits had rolled  the Q&A session opened up; most of the questions ranged from time taken to shoot the film to where the best ideas come from one making films, along with a multitude of others asked. I also had the opportunity to speak to the Director afterwards, mentioned the actors and people I know who starred in the film, as well as passing on one of my business cards; I never leave home without them, even if I’m going to the supermarket.

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It was also great to catch up with people I have seen at these events in the past, and finding the status of films I am hoping to get involved in pretty soon. Hopefully the next event will be as exciting, or when my next media opportunity will be something soon as I am eager to get into a production. I also wish my friends luck and success out in Cannes as the festivities begin tomorrow.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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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