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I feel it is my ‘Line of Duty’ to attend

16 May

Hi Mediadreamzers

I hope that if you are in the UK you have been making the most of the sunshine and hot weather; we’re actually getting a Summer. I certainly felt the Summer sun yesterday when I was heading to another Royal Television Society event, on as the title of my latest post was about the BBC Drama ‘Line of Duty’. Despite the trains being delayed, I made it to Millbank Tower out in Pimlico in plenty of time. Before heading the the venue I saw that MI6 was across the the water. Well, you can’t walk past MI6 and not take a picture; though I wonder if they got a picture of me over the bridge taking a photo, who knows.

 

           

 

 

Once inside Millbank Tower got chatting to a few people before the event started and the it was a very popular event, and luckily the air conditioning was on. The guests on the panel were the Creator, writer, director, Executive Producer Jed, the Executive Producer Simon, Script Executive Priscilla and one of the lead actors Adrian Dunbar. The cherry on the sundae was that the discussion was chaired by, wait for it, Anne Robinson. Yes THAT Anne Robinson; Watchdog and Weakest Link presenter, and I admit when I saw Anne I was very surprised. The event was a mixture of questions directed to each of the guests and in between this there were a series of clips played in between, chosen by each person who said that certain clips were their favourite scenes and shots and why that was the case. There were discussions on the next series and it hopefully being set for 3 more series.

        

 

 

For me it was interesting to hear that the series is filmed in Birmingham and not London; when you watch programs like this, it is a cliche that they are filmed in the capital, so it made a nice change. It was also interesting to hear about the time it takes to film so many minutes of scene and the process/ approach the actors use to their characters and that the rehearse of scenes and episodes would consist of anywhere to 8-12 hours that is some dedication. I confess I have yet to watch a whole series but I will eventually get there, looking forward to the story lines and issues explored.

After the sessions was opened up to the audience to ask questions it was time for everyone to head to the bar, as with all events like this they always end at the bar or a bar. Just as I wondered to one part of the room I ran into Anne Robinson and I thought you can’t end the day without a photo and I was glad that Anne was o.k with this. I apologise on the way I look in this photo; I look awful in photos, and this is why I very rarely posted pictures of me on my blog, saving everyone from the nightmares.

 I guess in this photo I’m the weakest link.

On my train journey home I thought was gonna have a boring journey back but it was a fun trip out of London as their was an enthusiastic train conductor named Marc getting the whole train to sing Happy Birthday to a passenger, whose Birthday was gonna be the next day, so today (Wednesday).

I have seen a few more upcoming events that I am hoping to go to provided I am not working so hopefully more to share in the next few weeks. Still keeping my skills and work as a Production Assistant sharp and up to date.

Nunquam Deditioneum

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Production in Deep

25 Apr

 

Hey Mediadreamzers

OMG! Seriously how long has it been since I lasted posted on my blog. I feel like I have been on the Channel 4 show ‘The Hunted’, where you disappear off the grid. My reason for not posting for such a long time is one of my colleagues was signed off with stress a few months ago, so I have been working a lot of shifts in the production gallery. With working a lot I haven’t been able to attend networking events or do as much as other media work; my colleagues health is more important and was happy to hep out. With the amount of work I did in the gallery I think I was on course for getting a blue plaque, or even an OBE.

I digress a little, so back on track after so long I attended a RTS event in London and it was a lot closer to the main train stations in London and I shocked myself in finding it and not needing to resort to Google Maps.
The venue for the networking event was practically round the corner from Kings Cross so not far from Platform 9 3/4 shop for those who like Harry Potter. Made it to Kings Place in plenty of time and I also discovered that there are a lot of publishing houses not far from Kings Cross station, and I now know where The Guardian and The Observer are in London.

 

 

 

 

 

The event I was going to was ‘Diving beneath the Waves:The Making of Blue Planet II’. Yes the natural documentary series narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough (wish he could have been there too). However, the special speakers were an Assistant Producer called Sarah, Executive Producer James and the Natural documentaries Series Producer Mark with the event chaired by Torin Douglas.

 

 

Once we were in the hall, the whole place was illuminated with guess what colour light, o.k I’ll tell you-Blue. Once in Torin introduced the guests who said a little about themselves and their work background on projects and how they got involved in this area of media. The questions that were asked were things that I guess we have thought about when watching these types of programs how certain things are filmed, how production teams capture certain shots and clips; are they planned or is it just by sheer luck, locations, scripting, choosing music, the work relationship between the scientists and the media teams in creating the episodes etc.This was interspersed with clips chosen by the panel that they said where there favourite. One clip was Sharks enjoying seafood spoils, seeing a media sub and attacking it (Sharks thought the sub was a threat to the food they had and were constantly colliding with the sub) Luckily the people in the sub were unharmed and the Sharks then realised the sub was no threat (clip chosen by Mark).

The next clip was narrated by Sir David about a sea creature called the Bobbet, I admit I had never heard of a Bobbet and knew nothing about it. Well, a Bobbet is a sea worm that eats fish- yes there s=is such a thing. Seeing the clip made people jump when it went in for the kill. (clip chosen by Sarah).

      

The final clip shown was again narrated by Sir David and it showed a cluster of small fish were forced to clustered together by dolphins and how this attracted not just dolphins but birds, swordfish and other bigger fish to eat the smaller fish and how in less than 20 mins they are gone.

        

The audience was then invited to ask questions and there was a mixed bag of things people were asking the panel and it was interesting to hear and learn more about. Before this ended we were treated to clips featuring other members of the production crew and their contributions to creating the series. One clip really amazed me; how crew manage to get the cameras onto the animals in order to capture footage of what they see and where they go and how the footage is used in the series.

  

  

 

Afterwards, the bar was open and time to network was everyone. Before leaving to head home, I got the chance to chat the the people on the panel and was a great evening.

 

 

I am happy to say that the next event will be in about 2 weeks and I am happy to say that I am off work on that day so more to follow. Hopefully there will be more events coming up to share, and it won’t be a long gap before my postings.

Nuquam Deditionem

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

 

 

 

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

RTS on the road for a summer show

29 Jun

Hi Fellow Mediadreamerz

I do have a posting to add about my experience on a really awesome film, but cannot post until I have the green light from the team. Hopefully, very soon. Until here is my latest news.

The comment Summer is mentioned loosely as the day the above mentioned event was on a miserable day. This is the third event I have been to run by the Royal Television Society, and as it was in Nottingham I thought lets go!

I made it to the venue; BBC EMT Studios and as soon as I walked through the sliding doors I saw William Gallagher, the writer and guy I met at the event in Birmingham. We had a great catch up in the reception before the speakers arrived and instructed us to follow them up to the venue. Once there more people arrived and introducing ourselves to everyone else the speakers; Jayne Greene, Isobel Clark, Stuart Hall (head of BBC EMT). I met a lady there who told me that her son’s girlfriend is currently working on a ITV Drama so I will try to track her down and contact her. I managed to mingle with others and William and I got to chat about his works, past and present, career paths and life in general. We saw how the news and weather is transmitted with the newsroom producers and editors trying to keep the news within the allocated time at lunchtime.

As there was a great spread putting on for everyone as people we starting to leave, we were advised to take stuff with us (I pinched the sparkling water and let the others who were travelling on the train to take the food). Soon we left and couldn’t get over how quickly everything had gone, and I got lots of contacts from the day and even got the name of a accommodation company to contact if I need help for places in the future regarding media work.

The cool thing is I have another networking event 19th July for BAFTA, so more news and info to come.

One last thing; Nunquam Deditionem, Never Surrender, never retreat

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