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TWFP Party

1 Aug

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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My latest media activity came round sooner than I expected and it was a great way to spend a Sunday evening. Normally I use Sundays to recover from combat training but decided to go and do something fun. As it was a dress to impress event I kept chopping and changing what I was gonna wear and eventually settle on something. Even though it didn’t start till 5pm, and because I was meeting a friend for coffee and catch up I left that house as I was.

Headed to London at what you’d call an early time, but needed to as I was heading to Elstree & Borehamwood; didn’t help that certain lines on the underground were closed off but found a way round on it. The welcome sign to E & B was showing all the programs filmed at BBC; Strictly Come Dancing, EastEnders, Children In Need and Holby City. When I got there I saw that Elstree & Borehamwood had its own Hollywood walk of fame and a wall that had film reels, director’s chair, clapper board, film count down timer, stars and awards. I also saw star display boards one of which was for Christopher Lee, Sidney James, Gregory Peck just to name a few.

It would have been cool to have had the event at BBC studios but it was across the street but it was nice to be 30 seconds from the studio. The event I went to was a networking event for actors and crew, well mostly for actors as it was a casting party for a production company called The Way Forward Productions. Met one of my friends who’d I’d met at a previous event and had a catch up before meeting other people that I am FB friends with and others who I was meeting for the first time. Whilst there people were filling in registration forms for people to be actors, supporting roles or extras; it was hard for people to add details but managed to get everything sorted. We all headed to the hall where DJ food, drink and other events were arranged, one of which was a magician. He did a load of really cool tricks one of which involved 6 of us and a pack of invisible cards. The deck ended up in my hands and after the color of the card and suit had been chosen by 2 other people I said that the number of the card was a 5 and told me to draw a cross on the back and to blow a kiss in the air. Magician pulled out a pack of cards and shuffled through to the last one and there was a card with an X on it and it was the 5 of Diamonds. There were other tricks that involved cards, guessing images from passages read from books and what people had read on word cards.

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Local singers performed and the DJ took over after Jason Cook; the founder of The Way Forward Productions showed a short video on the charity that the production company supports; Downs Syndrome. After some introductions from Jason and Mark Sears, everyone started to mingle, chat, catch up with those they ‘d met before and hand out business cards. Later people headed up to where the photographer to have head shots to be added to profile pages that were and are going to be added to the production pages website, which also lists the upcoming films that are in pre-production.  Had a laugh during hte night taking pictures with props used in films past and present; balaclavas, guns, night googles, hats and having a laugh in the build up to a raffle draw to raise money for Drowns Syndrome charity.

 

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Although the event ended at 11pm, I left at about 9ish because of trains getting out of London and it was a good thing that I did as the next 2 trains had been cancelled and then next one was scheduled for 22.47pm. One thing I find when travelling on trains is that people ended up having conversations with me; maybe I have one of those faces that invites conversations, not that I am complaining but interests conversations happen. Made it back just before midnight would have been back sooner despite booking my taxi for when I arrived back it was 20mins late and made it back the next day. I hope I am not too shattered today when daylight breaks because I am back in the broadcasting gallery shadowing again and focusing on specific roles; the mix control panel and Assistant Producers roles.

Thought round off the night with an attempt of a selfie

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The only thing I hate about events like this is they start and end so fast.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

An evening in 5 M’s

9 Mar

Evening Mediadreamzers

Still can’t gt enough of events I always seem to enjoy myself to the max, love it. This latest event was with the MKFN, sounds like a rado station name, well here is a tongue tied title to ad onto MKFN- Mycho MicroBudget Massacre MasterClass 2016. This was the title and focus of this evening Media networking. Mycho is a production company run by MJ Dixon, a local film director whose genre focus is horror thriller films. To name a few that you can find on IMDB; Slasher House, Cleaver Killer Clown, Legacy of Thorn, trailers and footage for these films were shown during presentation giving. MJ’s presentation was a mixture of his background History and the stages and processes of making a film starting from getting ideas to the final stage of distribution and showcasing the film at film festivals and the highs and lows in between. There were a few funny stories shared during the presentation on getting locations, crew not doing as they were instructed to do and something I like to call ‘life lessons’; learning from mistakes and avoiding the repeating of these mistakes down the line.

At the end there was the usual Q&A and then the socializing with other budding film makers, actors, writers, composers and all the guys in the band. I got chatting to a film maker and a producer, who I shocked by telling him my age and him thinking I was a young individual just entering into the sphere of media and film production. From this discovery he gave me his card and mentioning that he could do with someone like me on his next production project. I like him already, and I am surprised that I surprised him, but I was reassured that it was a good surprise.

Only thing I dislike about these sessions is that they end so quick, should be a rule against this, but all I can say is keep pressing forward.

Nunquam Deditioneum

All Rise for High-Rise

3 Mar

Hey Mediadreamzers

I’m back from Paris batteries recharged and 5 euros richer when I went out to Versailles. First media activity/ event for me being back is a film screening of the film ‘High-Rise’ and a Q+A with the director Ben Wheatley. I won’t give too much of the plot away encase you haven’t seen it but the cast consists of Tom Hiddleston (possible candidate for the next 007 franchise after seeing ‘The Night Manager’), Jeremy Irons, Keeley Hawes, Sienna Miller just to name a few.

The film is set in London in 1975 and focuses on Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston), who plays a young doctor seduced by a lifestyle of luxury and wealth in a isolated community known as High-Rise. Spending time in this community it is soon discovered that all is not well behind the shiny façade of this building: the residents are plagued by mysterious sleep disorders and constant technical faults. It’s not long before increasing tensions between the upper and lower floors turn into open violence, and Laing must decide on which side – up or down – he belongs. The film made me think that it was a modern and kinder version of 1984, but that is my view from that angle.

Though one thing I thought seeing Tom Hiddleston on screening and I am guessing that many will probably agree with me on this; the next 007 is staring right at us and the only question is will he accept and will others agree that Tom should step into the shoes when Daniel Craig says no more.

It was such a popular film and event that it lead to it being a sold out screening. This compared to other past events is a first, for media and networking on that part being in such a success. This success was followed by a multitude of questions on the film, past and future productions, the challenges of the industry about what is likely to occur in the film industry and so forth.

The next screening is for a local film, sounds exciting.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

New Year Begins-BAFTA Birmingham

31 Jan

Hi fellow Mediadreamzers

Forgive the lack of posts for the first month of the year; not much happens in January with pre-production. Which could be interpreted as a good thing as individuals can plan to go on holiday and/ find out what is coming up. I do have productions lined up for the upcoming months to keep me busy, one of which was a meeting in Birmingham Drama Village I met last year. Some of the production team I saw mentioned upcoming opportunities which I am hoping and looking forward to getting involved in, in addition to upcoming features.

Until these begin, it is networking events. My first one started off with a BAFTA Masterclass with a well renowned Cinematographer- Haris Zambarloukos. From my research, the man has worked on a great number of films, the latest being ‘Cinderella’. I admit within the research I was not sure what Cinematography was all about, and now I understand the time consuming and enormous task on such individual must do.

It was a good thing we had a huge lecture theatre as so many people attend the lecture. It of course involved questions from a BAFTA speaker, with a series of case clips from films Haris had worked on; ‘Enduring Love’, ‘Thor’ and ‘Locke’ all great films. Soon the session ended and it was everyone networking and I was glad to meet Haris after the session and seeing some people I have worked with on productions from last year, so it was good to catch up.

I know we are well into the New Year, but I have made about 4 resolutions one of which is to get experience as an assistant director and researcher which I am determined to achieve. I maybe heading to another event about Script Supervising, will know more next week, until I have plans in motion and people to contact.

Until then….
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

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

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.

 

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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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