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Paradise in the land of Pinewood Studios

18 Apr

I have just got back to the midlands, having spent the last two hours driving up the M25 having driven down it yesterday. Reason for this? Answer attending a networking event organised by an agency that I am registered with. The event was meant to be in January but as many of you know about the freaky weather we had at that time, it got cancelled. Now that was a bummer! However the sun shone the sky was clear and there were no accidents when I left at lunchtime.

Made it on site about two hours before the event kicked off, which worked in my favour; I decided to go and say ‘Hi’ to the security guys I met last year when working as an usher, and I must say they were very happy to see me. It was great having a catch up as they know everything that is going on on all the different sites. They also suggested I visit the mail room, which I did before heading to Heatherden Hall. I learned that that building was used as the Governors residency in the film ‘Carry On Up The Khyber’. Funny thought crossed my mind; we should all reenact the scene where they are all sitting down to dinner then we could all get ‘Plastered’.

When the event kicked off at 6pm, it was a case of doing what I’d done at previous events; walking up to people, talk and then give them a business card. It was really cool that I met up with some of the people I had seen at previous events and we had a great catch up, which made my day even better.

Though one woman who I met saw my CV and was excited at the fact that I had a degree in History, insisted on taking my business card and saying she wanted to hire me on a project that is currently in pre-production. One thing she said to me was that I should be looking for AD work and for Junior Researcher roles too as I have way too much experience as a runner now to still be one, so that’s a thought to consider.The person she was standing next to took my card too as she said she knows someone who is looking for runners.

Eventually we had to wrap up our conversations with everyone else and leave as 8.30pm came round so fast, all in all it was a great night. I hope I can go back to Pinewood for future events or for work fingers crossed. I hope the next posting I add to my site is one of interest and intriguing. Happy reading 🙂 x

Trains, Trams and Fast Track

21 Nov

Well, it wasn’t fast trains, or a barrel of laughs for me this morning. What a nightmare it was getting back from Manchester with the flooding, delays, signalling problems and everything else that has been going on. Despite that I had a great day yesterday at MediaCity UK at the very first BBC Fast Train Track workshop day. It was basically a day where those who have worked in the industry for two years, or had a least three well established credits on their CV could attend various masterclasses, seminars, workshops and LIVE interactive sessions in all things media that ranged from TV to Film, Radio to pitching, Screenwriting to editing and much much more. As it was a day that started at 9am and ended at 7pm, I went for three classes and the networking event for afters, and because it being a trek from the East midlands it was afternoon classes all around. Once I’d made it to manchester, drop my case at the hotel and jumped on the MetroLink it was easy sailing to the North. The first class of the day was ‘How to Crack Careers’, which of course the title answers for itself what it is about. The session consisted of a chair woman who introduced the speakers of the day, one of which I know through another one of my media contacts up North. It was interesting learning how each person had got into this industry through various routes, means and connections and all the advice they passed on to us was so helpful that everyone was scribbling away so hard on their pads of paper that I thought they were going to start a fire. Though that wouldn’t have lasted long as it was pouring with rain, and as everyone always says to me ‘It always rains up North’.

 

Before my next session I decided to kill some time in the careers corner, where I and so many other people wondered round the different tables/ stalls of all media training companies, ITV, unions, Creative England and loads more. I was drawn to the ITV tables, as the had loads of give aways not just the typical pens and paper but also ‘TEXT SANTA’ Christmas hats, key-rings, and stuffed animal toys that unfortunately I and no-one else could take away though it would have been so cool to walk away with a toy kangaroo, or dragon. I got a surprise when I saw a familiar face at the Creative England table, Nicky, who I had seen only a week ago at a previous event and it was great to have a catch up before going to the next session on my agenda….

This was Drama Management, mainly learning about the work and roles of Line Producer/ Production Managers. Now I know how much work my friend Terry has to put in on a daily basis with TV and Films he works on, but I guess its all part and parcel of the game. One thing I will not forget immediately about the area we had our session in is the flamboyantly striking chairs,  that immediately made me think that Paul Smith had designed them, maybe he did? After whizzing through so much in an hour it was a quick dash to the next building for the final session; Cutting Edge look into Current Affairs. meeting the people behind the numerous programmes, only to name a few ‘Dispatches, Panorama, BBC 3 docs and loads more. Although most of the discussion centred on trust issues because of the news night programme about Jimmy Savile, everything that each spokesperson said was brilliant and the questions that followed and all the advice that was given.

Of course the overall highlight of the evening was the networking, and the drinks and trust me there was lots and lots of it, I would say enough to sink a battleship. After a few words from the boss of BBC North, Peter Salmon who thanked everyone for attending, the speakers and awarded a person who had pitched an idea to a panel of BBC Execs a cheques for 5K, all I can say is well one to that person and hope her idea develops and is a success. I even got the opportunity to shake hands with Peter Salmon and other people as well as hand out a few business cards. As I was completely shattered from the travel and the whole day I just got on the MLink and just went back to the hotel and chilled from the day. Next mission on the cards is to get home, forward copies of my CV to my new found friends and doing everything else I couldn’t do before I left (despite being hindered by the rain I made it back annoyed but ok). I just hope there are more and future events I can go to as I have so much fun going to these gatherings, and hope that my next activity is just as good. There is something in the pipeline but I don’t want to say yet, no spoilers yet folks, not until I have all confirmed.

Keeping reading and enjoy x

What an eventful night

14 Nov

Hi guys

Well, what a night I had yesterday in Manchester, and why you may ask was there? Answer: At a networking event. Networking events are something relatively new to me, as in the past there haven’t been many that I have been made aware of, or are close enough for me to travel to. This networking event was called ironically ‘The Event’ where many people in the TV and Film industry came to chat, hand out business cards and socialise with those wanting to find the next opportunity. Made it to Manchester before the event started to check into my hotel and it took me roughly 10mins to get there. Once at the Midland hotel (which is where it was held) I found the function room where it was being held, and as soon as I got my name badge and free drink, the networking commenced.

I met a mixture of people from different media areas (directors, location managers, PR agencies, composers, sound mixers etc). During part of the evening we were introduced to Nick Ball head of the organisation behind the event and each member of staff who are responsible for the different regions of the UK,  and I spoke to the guys who deals with the Midlands. I admit that was the one thing that annoys me is that there are not many opportunities in the Midlands, always up North or down South. It was great meeting so many people and handing out business cards, I only hope that I hear of more opportunities.

The event wrapped at 9pm and once people started leaving I followed suit. Whilst walking back to my hotel I thought about how great the evening had been and hoped that the next event I head to in Manchester next Tuesday is just as god as this one. Lets see what happens after this.

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