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Coming this fall

26 Sep

Hi one and all who read and stumble on my blog. I know I have been away for years (I think fire has been discovered, the wheel was invented and we then got electricity). I have been busy applying for different media jobs both in TV and film, one of which I went for an interview for yesterday and I just need to keep my eyes on my emails to see if I have been selected for the opportunity. I have also applied for local film work and I await to hear back about whether I have been successful there too.

I have also ordered a ticket to a BAFTA networking night on Monday, which I look forward to going to, hopefully I will get decent parking and enjoy the talk and Q&A. I will of course posted how the networking night goes and if I have made a new contact or two. Some advice I part with and live by go to as many networking events in your area as possible as it is not what you know, but who you know. I just that it doesn’t rain that night, and I have a week off work to look forward to, so I hope to be busy with other activities too, if and when I am I will add that to the site.

Happy reading

Two weeks Work

28 Aug

Hi all that follow my blog, and those that stumble upon it

I have spent these last two weeks going back and forth to a production office, helping work on a programme as a locations assistant/ office runner. I cannot tell you the name of the programme only that it is shown on C4, sorry for being vague but official secrets act and all.

I have been covering for the current runner whilst she was away on holiday and met her this week (which was my final week) and she is both very nice and very tanned from where she has been on her hols. The rest of the production team were brilliant, they all made me feel very welcome and part of the team itself. My production manager was a real gem looking after me and offering me the two weeks slot that needed covering.

I decided on my last day to take in a hand made thank you card, and as we ended up talking about cake one day I decided to take one in; Black Forest Gateau, and as an added treat different types of sprinkles so everyone could jazz up their slices and make them look pretty.

One thing I nearly forgot to mention is that I have recently been taken on and completed my registration links with different extras agencies I figured that whilst production crew is and would be quiet in the near future to keep busy and gain experience as an extra. I also through an dare/ out of my mind experience contacted a modeling agency who invited me for a ‘GO-SEE’ appointment and after 20 minutes to a days discussion said to me there and then that they wanted to offer me representation for a year. Whether it was flattery or not they said to me that I would be ideal for modeling and appearing in feature films and commercials so after weighing up the options I have decided to sign with them as it is another avenue for gaining work, experience and even work experience.

Once the bank holiday is out of the way and I have completed everything I need to do my upcoming plans and work can be put in motion. I hope my posts do not sound self-centred, or very big headed in anyway if they do please feel free to say and I will change my style of writing, or rather typing.

Have a happy bank holiday if you are in the UK, if not have a great to all who read.

I need a Job, Job, Job is what I need

22 Jul

Well not me personally as I work part time and work freelance. This is in reference to my latest media opportunity that I have been working; a sitcom in the Midlands. This was with a company called YSP Media, and although the opportunity was for a week I was only able to do three days, which was sad but I loved very minute, or rather day of it. This was last week just gone, time does go by fast when you enjoy something so great.

Of course my role was that of a production runner, and I was one of 4-5 and then that changed (which I will mention later). The first day was heading to one of the locations and meeting the YSP Media in the car park. After the meet and greet it was a case of helping unload the vans, set up tea, coffee and a food station ready for the crew and extras arriving. I met the A.Ds (Melissa, Joshua and Alec) who made me feel like a member of the team, the producer Belinda who throughout my three days praised me for everything I was doing and using my initiative and being attentive. Later I met the camera crew and one of the guys wore different T-Shirts, so I nick-named him with whatever logo was on them (Batman, Danger mouse etc) Phil the DOP, who I called Dr Phil and Chris the Director who was a great guy to work with and for.

Whilst the crew focused on getting the necessary shots, I and the other runners I was supervising focused on looking after the extras and any other activities that needed our attention. First day came and went in the blink of an eye and this always makes me sad. During the afternoon when filming continued I found out that Belinda and I share a mutual friend (I know title of a Dicken’s novel) Terry. I also learned one of the crew members had worked on some really cool films Fast and Furious films.

Second day was on an industrial site and as soon as I got out of the car (and was handed a florescent vest) Belinda praised me again for my work yesterday, and I was surprised to learn that I was promoted to role of production assistant (second to Emma who was the main production assistant), and it was doing the same things as yesterday except keeping the extras and crew topped up with suncream as I was the only one who had a bottle factor 30 Max, and making make shift paper fans for those roasting outside. I even offered one of the guys working on the site who was started to get sunburned some sun cream and he accepted (he even told Belinda and Chris, both of whom praised me to the guy in question). We then moved to the next location and spent part of the evening filming on a street, and as you can imagine that is not easy, especially when traffic is constantly coming towards you form both angles. So some of the runners stood at either ends of street to forewarn of cars, bikes and people approaching, me being one of them as I was wearing the jacket. One thing many of us couldn’t escape was the sun and intense heat and even after being in the sun for hours and hours I didn’t even brown.

My third and final day was in a wine bar, bet most people would be thrilled to be filming in a place like that. Before coming to the location, I had to pick up the costume supervisor and one of the runners before parking up. Initially, I was advised to park in a place that was a 15 minute walk away, then an idea came to me; to ask to park at my old university digs as that would mean I would only be 5-8 minute walk away from location, and helped if I needed to drive off to fetch or take someone somewhere. I was immensely grateful to the site staff for allowing me to park on site whilst filming for that day. This decision was praised by Belinda and Josh for my thinking ahead.

I received an enormous surprise when I opened the door to the bar everyone started shouting my name and started saying that they really missed me on Wednesday as I had to work an afternoon evening shift. Even one of the cast members Ed was thrilled to see me, all I can say is that I was glad to be back on set. I resumed work as usual, met a new runner called Beth (who I later learned worked on Everything or Nothing James bond Documentary, which was AWESOME). I also sourced out props, went to collect refreshments, and just being on hand as usual. The afternoon soon arrived and I got the chance to chat to Sammy, one of the other runners and Alec the 3rd AD about films, experiences and topics of general interest. Soon some of the runners were told they could go home, and I stayed on stand-by with some of the other crew members whist the main team filmed a scene on a street. Eventually, Josh came back to the bar and said that I could go home as the filming on the street was nearly done, and I was sad to go as I had a really great time with YSP Media and I appreciated them making me feel like part of the team.

Overall, it was an amazing experience I wish it could last forever, I am certainly gonna stay in contact with YSP Media about future work as they said I did a great job, to the point where after a day I was promoted. I hope to work with YSP Media in the foreseeable future as they are not many media production companies in the Midlands and that most of them are London or Manchester based, so it is an advantage.

I have more media opportunities to add to the blog, in the weeks to so many months one of which will be working on a film in October which was confirmed last night (Tuesday 16th July).

I was surprised to find a message on my phone the next day from Belinda saying thank you, I just have to find a way to save or print the text message off my phone.

An ‘Outland’ experience

8 Jul

Hi Guys,

In addition to one film I am helping out on, I am also helping out on another, this one is called ‘Outland’. Its a local low budget film, that is produced and directed by Jonathan Lee Millward. The film itself without giving too much away is on the lines of ‘The Hobbit’/ ‘Lord of the Rings’. Initially I and the rest of the team thought the temperature on the day would be average. Yesterday we were filming at a castle and country park, which was full of people coming to a county fair event. Oh, no we had a massive heatwave, of say 30C (I wasn’t complaining about it as the UK has had some pretty disappointing weather over what is SUPPOSE to be Sumer). At one point during filming I had to take my shirt off (don’t worry I had a vest on underneath). Most of today was rehearsal and filming of one scene at various angles, which was pretty cool. Prior to that Martin, the actor for the day was in costume and make-up and it took a while to get everything done and on him by the make-up costume team, especially putting in the contact lenses that made his eyes go yellow. Now that, after seeing it done was awesome. During this time I acted as one of the runners as well as helping the camera people focus their wide angel shots by filling in for Martin during rehearsals, and taking over the logging of shoots. I even got to play with the clapper board (I wonder if that makes me a AD?). As part of the first day I managed to get some happy snappy shots of the team, and some video content of our time in the woods of the park at Elvaston Castle, though I have decided if I ever win the lottery I will either buy or build a castle.

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Eventually it was time to call it a day, well for me it was, as I had a BBQ to help put together and that was one of the highlights enjoying Smokey Texan Chicken. Although the next film date for this project is Saturday I cannot make it, though I have more dates for filming with Darren and helping finish off ‘Brothers’. I have heard from a few people and applied for other opportunities for work and one of which I need to chase up Monday. If you wish to know more about the film feel free to check the directors page Jonathan Lee Millward https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.l.millward?fref=ts or search for Outland via Google.

This is your Captain speaking, please return to your seats and prepare yourselves for filming

4 Jul

Hi guys

The clue is in the title of the post what I have been doing.

I am having a blast working on ‘Brothers’, will be sad when it come to an end, though between that I heard that there was a film company looking for extras for a film on aviation safety looking for extras and production runners. I contacted them through their website and forwarded my CV and wanted to hire for me for the two days they were in my hometown. This was both unexpected and an enormous surprise for me. The film crew also asked me to spread the word for in and around my hometown to be extras, and what better way to do this then via Facebook and Twitter (you gotta love the internet). On my first day I met several members of the cast and crew and decided to get started by helping Jo set up tea, coffee and food table. In addition to this, I did a few tasks in the office and drove to set a couple of times, and the first time I did it was a great surprise seeing so many planes. It was so cool going on a plane, and after meeting Tristan, the Director,  I even got a chance to go into the cockpit and had fun seeing how to fly a plane. Soon it was time to wrap first day and it had gone in the blink of an eye.

The next day it was all hands on deck as there were lots of extras to look after. Once they were all on site, it was a case of them all going to the location for filming, and I followed as I was going to be on the plane as a passenger during filming which was really cool. During the breaks between filming I got the chance to have a chat with some of the other extras who had come from all over to be involved. Soon the day came to an end, like yesterday, so quickly and it was that time to wrap so the crew could move onto the next location for filming. Overall, I have enjoyed my two days working with ‘Fact Not Fiction Films’, and working with a great team Emily Production manager, Giuseppe 2nd AD, Sarah Assistant Producer, Christianne 1st AD, Nick DOP,  Emma, Leah, Kat the actresses and Location Manager, Jo who did an awesome job with catering, Pete, Sam, Tristan the Director who like everyone else (Camera crew and rest of the team) made me feel very welcomed on set and during the two days. I hope I get to work with the team again in the foreseeable future.

Whilst filming was happening for the two days, I got the chance to see lots of cars mainly BMW s racing round the aerodrome track, and I thought how cool it would be if I could do that one day. Or it could be an idea for someones birthday/ Christmas gift.

At least I am starting to fulfill my New Years Resolution; to get experience/ work in films as I have more in TV than film, so I have more areas of experience and come more symmetrical.

I hope I have more great news to share with you all. Hope you all enjoy my posts. I hope I get to work with the team again on future productions.

Lights, camera, Shoot

24 Jun

Day two and it was a really intense full on day of filming. Made it to the location; a hotel where loads of scenes were going to be shot. Before we started we had release forms to fill in before doing anything film-wise. This was to say it we hurt ourselves then its not the hotels fault, nor the owners. Though I did give the lady who owns the hotel some advice; to register the property with Creative England. We also had the privilege of having a tour and it was interesting what we saw rooms with kitchens, bathrooms and even a dumb waiter.

We then cracked on getting one of the rooms ready for the first scene to be shot and once that was done it was back to being the runner/ sound recordist. Darren and Conner resumed their roles as director and actors for the day with their scenes. Today was great as we had a make-up artist in and two guys with choreographic the fight scenes.
We also saw a lot of the actors with blood, we made the joke with Jane one of the actresses who had a bullet mark on her forehead, which she instagramed about and I said she should tell people she was in a fight with a pigeon, and lost.

Afternoon was spent filming Darren and Connor preparing for a showdown, and getting the fight scenes done and they were really full on, no holding back on punches, and then it was time to leave. So my next day for filming is on 1st July, which I am looking forward to. I will be sad when filming finishes as I am seriously enjoying myself. Hopefully, it will lead to more work in this area too.

Here are some snaps from the day

 

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First Feature Film Fantastic

23 Jun

Hi Guys

I have some good news to share at last; I am working on a feature film that is being filmed in the East Midlands. I am excited because it is the first feature I have worked on, as most of my experience is engulfed in TV, so it is pretty cool to be given the chance to be part of something great. It is an action film that focuses on two brothers and the lengths they will go to for justice, in their own way.

My first day with filming had to be on a day where it rained, though it did stop after 3pm, which was a bonus. When I got to the location I met some of the actors and extras who would be appearing in the film. I then met our director; Darren Lynch and after meeting everyone else I was ready to get started. Although my role is production runner, I also was the Sound Recordist something I have never done before, but it was awesome trying something new, so I am taking on two roles.

Filming finished late afternoon and we got most of the days scenes shot, I just hope I did a good job mainly as the sounds person, and that I can be for the rest of filming.

At least I have fulfilled my new years resolution to gain experience in films, in order to have more dimensions to my experiences. For now enjoy this poster of the film ‘Brothers’, synopsis will either follow, or can be found on the internet.
Hopefully over the next couple of days there will be photos and film footage of behind the scenes filming of this really cool feature. More to follow.

Brothers Promo poster 2013

Next steps

15 Jun

I have managed to finish the music for my montage film from the Radio Fox Birthday night. I thought the music would take me forever to do as it normally takes me a long time to put something together. On this occasion it took a matter of an hour and half, which surprised me, maybe I should adopt the method I used here; finding random loops, listen to them and then add them.

Well here is the film, nothing too fancy.

My next objective is to make a film for a friend of mine, who after seeing my radio film wants my help, which I have agreed to. In addition, I will be helping out a director shot a film in the region. This is to start next week, hopefully lots to report.

Music to my ears

6 Mar

Its certainly been an experience these last two days, working as a Production Assistant, on a music video. Something I have never done before, as most of my previous work has been on docs/ factual, entertainment and drama so having a music video on the CV is definitely different. I found about the opportunity through a previous contact and as I was free I thought why not.

Day One was spent meeting the crew and Art Department as the whole setting was a forest with puppets. When I say puppets think the Muppets. The role was the same as if I were working on a TV programme, as well as helping the Art people with the puppets and scenery.

Day two was more of the same thing, only difference was I had to be a dancing puppet when shooting certain scenes, and that was fun I must say. Soon the day ended quicker than it began, though I hope the director I worked with has future work opportunities for me to get involved in, as I enjoyed working with the team to help make the video for a local band. Although I have a networking night in April I am looking forward to at Pinewood Studios, provided the weather doesn’t turn and we have hurricanes or something even more extreme.

Visiting Olympic Capital

5 Aug

Hi one and all

Now I have caught my breathe from the events of the weekend I can share with you the great day I had on Friday, going to London. My reason for going down was to meet up with Terry, someone I had previously met and mentioned in one of my posts, who had recently come back from working on a film. When he came back to the UK, I’d arrange to meet up with him in London, so we could talk about any upcoming films/ projects that he knew about that would be recruiting production crew. I admit I was worried I won’t get to London in time, what with the Olympics and possible delays, but made it to St Pancras in plenty of time, and when I saw Terry at Costa coffee it was all go go. When I arrived, Terry informed me he had invited someone who he had not only worked with in the industry, but also someone who could potentially help with production running opportunities. It was great having a catch up and finding out how Terry had been since we last spoke, as well as having a chat in general over coffee with his friend/ colleague, Saloum.

After coffee it was a trip to Carluccios where the three of us talked more about films in the cinema that were coming out and we were all going to see, pre-production films and colleagues that they have worked with, who maybe able to help me get my foot in the door more. I did talk about my time at Pinewood Studios and how I had had an awesome time, and how I had tried to find Terry’s parking space, but without success. It was really interesting everything that was discussed and I learnt a lot from the day.

I admit it was sad having to leave London to head back to the East Midlands, but the good news is I am heading back to London near to the end of the month, to the Barbican to see the James Bond Exhibiton. The one thing I’m gonna see if they have is a bar and if I can order a Vesper drink and see what it is like. One thing that caught my attention coming into London was seeing the Olympic Stadium and at the time I wonder what events were taking place there, and it was only after I was waiting for my train, and with the 2012 Olympic support volunteers handing out ice creams that I heard that Great Britain had won gold and silver medals what I can’t remember. So fingers all systems go for upcoming media work, I can’t wait and will hopefully have more news to share with you when the time comes.

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