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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.

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