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New Year, New Challenges

25 Feb

Hey Mediadreamzers

Granted it is very much into the New Year and I have been hibernating for the last few months, but I can share as to why that is. I discovered back in Nov/ Dec that I was being made redundant from my role as a Production Assistant due to my place of work moving. So, part of last year and close to end of was spent job hunting and going for interviews and I won’t lie to you it was worrying as to whether I would succeed in getting a job by or before the New Year. The end result was.. SUCCESS I managed to get a job as a Replay Operator, something very different to what I previously was doing. With most TV Media going one of 2 ways, automated or technical I fell into the latter and I am always eager to learn new skills.

Explanation for being gone was spending my time locking this role down, going on training courses and I’ve recently started training some newbies. I have only been doing this role for a little over 2 months and I an learning a lot and so far so good. New things are being added to my role, so constantly on my toes. I am interested in going into the other Media departments to see and understand more of what they do everywhere from MCR to the other galleries. One of my New Year goals/ challenges is underway, there are others and one of them is learning how to ride a horse, just for the experience.

I do hope to go to and be involved in other Media related activities for 219 and see how things progress. Though one good thing to happen before the end of the year was that I got engaged.

You can call me corny but I see years as empty books with pages to be filled and chapters to be added to.

Numquam dedite

Back to the Film Industry

20 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

The follow-up to yesterdays media/ film related fun that I had; yesterday the activity today the film work. It was an early rise for me, in order to make a 2 1/2 hour journey down to Dover for my next film product. I got to work with a Director who I worked with last year on a film called ‘Borstal’ (post dated round about October time). Driving to Dover was long and lengthy and I got to do something I have never done before; drive over the Dartford crossing and I confess seeing the height of the bridge does make you think oh my God this is enormous; one thing I made sure not to forget to do once I got back was to pay the toll. Word of advice pay the toll either in advance or as soon as you get to a computer otherwise you have the fine to contend with.

I digress, I made it to Dover in good time and got a marvelous view of the castle, breath-taking, and did I see the white cliffs of Dover; I did as I drove home 8 hours later. The location a boxing venue, the film a hard-core action adrenaline pumping Brit spit and grit film, the title Red Army Hooligan. I will not share the plot yet, but the focus is on fighting. One thing that was handy about the location was that it was across the street from 2 supermarkets so no-one went hungry or thirsty on the day. Once inside it was hugs and hi’s from those I have worked with before and I got started on my Production tasks, well that was after I bought in the baked treats I promised the crew I would bring and they were VERY happy after that and got everyone through working on a Sunday. I got high praise for thinking ahead and being on hand to the usual things and I was surprised when the Director referred to me as the Production Coordinator, usually I go along with assistant but coordinator is even better.

We got most of the scenes shot at different angles, and the extras were brilliant with what they needed to do. Managed to mark all the scenes and ensure that we stayed on track with time and thanks to Gaz the D.O.P got a lot of great photos, which will appear soon. There was a moment where I was asked by JP one of the actors and Producer on the film asked if I minded being in the film as a hooded faceless character. So I made my faceless debut just before we wrapped for the day, which was both a surprise and a fun thing to be a part of. Hopefully I will see myself on screen when the film premieres next year in London. We then wrapped at a good time and I was happy to see that the containers that I had bought the baked treats down in were nearly empty. And what was left I made sure that the crew took what was left home to get them through the long journeys home. Driving out of Dover was fine and one little tip to anyone, makes sure you pay the Dartford toll as soon as you can. It is a shame that I can’t help out on additional days but it was fun and great working with crew I have worked with before, and I look forward to the next series of films that are in the pipeline in the next 2-3 months.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Cain Hill Campaign

5 Feb

Hey Mediadreamzers

Nice to be able to sit in front of my mac and type, there will be another post next week to share. This post is one of promoting and sharing; This is a film that a friend of mine shot last year and trying to reach a set target if any of could take a few minutes to check out the IndieGoGo page and help in anyway, shape or form that would be a great help. This film has had actors such as Gemma Atkinson, Michael Parr (Ross from Emmerdale) and Alex Zane has also been on set.

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Here is the link
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cain-hill-post-production-movie-film#/

If you can look, share and help that would be great.

Next post to follow will hopefully be positive regarding an idea I am hoping has a positive impact/ reaction.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Event is Bond, Bondstars

25 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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As promised this post is one that is a must to share, I have been waiting for months for this day and it finally arrived. It was an early rise to get to Pinewood Studios for a Bondstars event ‘Designs on Bond’ honoring Peter Lamont, Art Director for the Bond films from Goldfinger to Spectre. Apart from a nightmare getting to Pinewood due to road closures I made it and once there it was like film heaven, going in and getting a goodie bag of Peter Lamont’s book (which I got autographed) and other items it was a case of touring the Heatherden Hall seeing the Special guests many of whom I met during the day. The special guests were at tables with autographed photos and other items, next to tables of dealers selling merchandise, one thing I came away with was a Moneypenny signed t-shirt. Well if people are gonna christen you with that name you might as well have the t-shirt to go with it. It was great to see and meet many of my Bond Facebook friends in person and we had a great chat and catch up before the event officially kicked off. We were introduced to the work of Peter Lamont, his work and him answering questions from the Bondstars.com organizers. We saw a tribute program to his work on the Bond films and everyone sharing their memories of Peter Lamont, it was interesting to learn that Peter’s brother and also his were also part of the Bond franchise. After the documentary many of Peter’s colleagues got on the stage and shared their memories of Peter and the Bond films they had worked on, really interesting to hear.

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When there is a break before the next surprise, I decided to wonder round and get some autographs from many of the well-know crew from Bond, one of whom was Terry Madden (and I also saw Terry Bamber-The man and legend), as well as Terry Ackland-snow, Chris Corbould, John Richardson, John Grover and many other people. I got to sit with many Bond Facebook friends, and got to meet the guys behind James Bond Radio for a chat and lunch which was really enjoyable. After this it was a Q&A session with Peter Lamont and seeing tributes on the big screen from Sir Roger Moore, James Cameron and other well know stars looking over the film sets he has created and the Oscar he won working on Titanic, as well as showing other iconic films he has been part of. Some of the Bond writers came to pay tribute to Peter as a surprise too which was great. There were some apologises said, one of which came from Barbara B and Michael W, and other individuals who could not make it. After the Q&A we all got a break and got to wonder round the memorabilia room to see what else was there and other guests had arrived too. I got to have my picture with some of the Bond Girl stars, I particularly had a really enjoyable conversation with Madeline Smith and Caroline Munroe both of them were very kind in saying that I was very pretty and yes they were being very kind. There was a garden tour of Pinewood but as I have had a tour of Pinewood before I stayed to continue chatting to Madeline and Caroline as well as talking to the other Bond stars/ girls as they had taken the day to come to Pinewood I thought it would be rude to not go and say hi. It was an incredible day involving tea and scones that everyone enjoyed, before going to listen to Q The Music tribute to Peter and the Bond films he has worked on. I continued to chat to Caroline and Madeline and other stars. I was flattered beyond measure by Caroline saying to other Bond special guests about me and how pretty I am and said that I should consider being in a Bond film. One can only dream.

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Q the Music was brilliant like it was the first time I heard it and seeing with others was incredible. I was said when the day came to an end, and we all needed to leave. I said my goodbyes and thanks to everyone I got to meet, especially Peter and I also got to see his grandson too. Got many hugs and kisses from people I met, I really hope I get to go to the next Bondstars.com event next year, fingers crossed that there gonna be other Bond events in the future.

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When my next opportunity is going to be I do not know but I am looking forward to it, next on my list is to bake for the Macmillan coffee morning this week coming up so I will see how this goes and if everything turns out o.k.

 

All that is left to say is Thank you Peter Lamont, Bondstars and all other special guests- crew and Bond Girls who came to Pinewood Studios.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Having a Hollower of a time

14 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

Its that time again to share another media moment, this is another networking event. Normally these events are generic films or discussions but tonight was a showcasing of a horror film some of my friends had worked on. Granted it isn’t Halloween for well over a month (and there being costumes and candy in shops right now) it was something to look forward to. Once at the venue it was catching up with people who I usually meet at these events before the film started. The film being shown was called Hollower, and the quick plot on it is. This was followed with a Q&A with the director MJ Dixon and one of the stars Nicholas Vince, the name might ring that metaphorical bell as he is known for appearing in ‘Hellraiser’ the first film and second.

Here is a trailer of the film

As I don’t want to give too much away encase anyone wants to buy or if anyone comes across this film I’ll try to summarize best I can. The film focuses on a guy called Nathan who at the beginning of the film is in a police interview room, covered in blood. The detective inspector, (Nicholas Vince’s character) enters the room and begins asking Nathan questions (as you would do in an interview room). The begin discussing events that have happened in the last 24 hours, and Nathan having no recollection of what has happened tries to piece events together, going back over his daily routine in the build up to meeting his new single female neighbor. Most of the reconstruction falls into the theme of groundhog day; doing the same things every single morning, but the rest of the day is unplanned and unpredictable. During these moments Nathan’s character experience strange things happen; a sketchpad is always on the table no matter how many times it is put in a draw and a picture of him with his mum as a child is always facing down. It is also established that Nathan has Agoraphobia; fear of open spaces, so his life is dedicated by this fear.

We later learn that Nathan and his neighbor form a friendship which later becomes a relationship, Nathan is happier than his has ever been, and from there on everything changes…. Well I did say I wasn’t going to give too much away, that would spoil everything. The film picks up pace and from the moments where you question what has happened or why something occurred no doubt there is gonna be a follow up (this was answered during the Q&A session- YES, I asked the question).

 

Following the film the questions came so the game of ‘pass the mic’ started and I played along with a few other people. Whilst I was waiting for the film to start I got chatting to 2 new people and I learned that one of them is involved in media, unfortunately I can’t remember if she said she used to or still works for the BBC. Afterwards it was great to talk to a few people, especially MJ and Nicholas before leaving as the venue was closing up.

 

My next event is gonna be in about two weeks and I am so psyched about it for numerous reasons; it involves going back to my second home-Pinewood Studios and an licence to be unbelievably wowed and starstruck, for really. So in under two weeks I am gonna be ‘home’.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Gallery Shadow

24 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

Feels like I have been away for an eternity, have missed having something media related to share. Now the wait is over as Friday I did something fun; Friday was spent in the production gallery with an Assistant Producer, Director, Graphics guy, Screen Controller, EVS guy and finally Sound. I will be honest being an AP in a gallery with LIVE broadcasting makes you feel like an Octopus; need lots of hands to be doing so many things all at once and trying to get everything so precise I guess takes practice. And that is where my work shadowing started at the front desk and working my way to the back of the room and then into the Sound room.

The role for an AP from what I have seen so far is looking at bulletin schedules, filling in sheets about music and medias used in broadcasting that has copyright clearance, calculating the times for programs to start, end, subtracting advert showing times, cuing when each media piece is gonna be shown and counting down from beginning to end. I also got to see and use the control panel and there were more buttons there than on a spaceship would have. This is why they have three stopwatches in order to work this out and to also workout airtime to avoid over running. There is so much more that I saw but there is a lot more to see so this is one area in the gallery that interests me to see more about.

Graphics was using a specific program to get the shots of the afternoons broadcasting which is a mixture of being simple but hard with the process of creating them, but was fun all the same. This combined with the seeing how they are found and added to the TV screens during broadcasting was clever, fast and in a way pretty easy.

Eventually I was at the back of the room with the EVS guy and as a second place job that looks hard this has to be it. As this roles you have two computers screens to find media footage, two box controls for selecting and broadcasting clips, four screens showing a prev and a current broadcasting on what is happening live. The key thing in this role is to have very good hears when the AP or Director shouts out what clip or piece they want to show next. I have been told that there is a user manual you can download for this, so I will have a lot of reading to do there.

Finally, the Sound room, which in itself is like a private box at Ascot; spacious, private and quiet too. Again looks simple but when your in the seat you wonder which fader is set to control what if not marked, taking calls ready for phone in interview and making sure that sound doesn’t peak 7 decibels. Day end really fast and the AP and Direcotr of the day said that I am welcome back anytime, just come through to the gallery and take it from there. So definitely gonna go back but will of course give an advanced heads up.

Next media posting will be that of the Summer Film Fringe Fest.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Ladies and Gentleman, day in the Capital, and a talk-show host

11 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

One thing I have never done before, and that is go into London on a Sunday. Granted its not breaking world headline news but it makes the weekend a whole lot more interesting and I guess it gets one through to Monday smiling about the day.

The morning was pretty slow before heading in to meet one of my friends for a catch up and just hanging out, but mainly for something really cool planned for the evening. Surprisingly London was not only busy for a Sunday but also bloody hot. Oh my we actually had what we call Summer, so everyone hopefully up and down the UK made the most of it.

Afternoon was going to Madam Tussaud’s, and I admit it was the first time I have been there; tried going years ago and I remember the queue stretching for three streets. It was a a lot cooler in M.T than outside. I admit it was nice to be papped with ‘celebrities’, seeing Star Wars and a bunch of other things housed inside. Following that it was a quick look round Baker Street Sherlock Holmes Museum before getting the tube all the way out to Waterloo and yes Abba song, of course. You may ask/ wonder why we were heading all the way out to Waterloo for 6pm, and the answer to that question L’s and G’s is to go to the ITV Studios; to be in the audience for one of the shows filmed there.

Here is the clue for the show it is on BBC One on Friday nights at about 10.35pm. And the seats we had in the audience were brilliant, you know when you go out and you find there is always someone in front of you who is taller than you and you can’t see well luckily that didn’t happen.
Before filming kicked off we were all entertained my a stand up comedian and by the time he had to come off the set my face was hurting from laughing. And then of course the host arrived, await for it, Graham Norton.

Following his entrance were Jeff Goldblum who many know him from Jurassic Park, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Independence Day and of course the follow up Independence Day two. Which Jeff discussed with fellow co-actor and another guest on the couch Liam Hemsworth. Yes the guy from the Hunger Games trilogy and completing the line up for the first part of the show was Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson talking about his upcoming movie ‘Central Intelligence’.

The first part of each of the actors talking about there upcoming films, fun and funny banter and stories, Dwayne creating an app alarm clock system, looking at photos of what each of the actors looked like at certain stages in their lives, looking at clips for the films and laughing at various points.

My phone got its 15 seconds of fame, well rather 20 minutes but whose counting, well I wasn’t much.

Another guest on the show was who is representing the UK at the Rio Olympics. Go team GB. Finally we were all granted a performance from Tom Odell performing his latest song ‘Magnetised’, and it was an awesome song.

The show wrapped and it went like clock-work, afterwards James and I got access to the Green Room one of the places where guests, celebs and Graham Norton head to for drinks and food. But before that we both got pictures taken with Jeff Goldblum and I must say he is a very friendly very approachable person. Just a shame that the person taking the photo made it blurry, I guess I should have thought to use my actual camera. At least I got a picture with a legend.

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I even got to say hi to Liam after the show. Though before leaving James and I needed to sign release form as we had appeared on camera and of course ITV/ Graham Norton show did not want to get sued by us, not that I would but there are people out there that do.

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After filming it was a visit, like VIP visit to the Green Room, but before that I had the honour of meeting Jeff and getting a photo with him was the highlight to end the day (just a shame the guy taking the photo on my phone made it really blurry; note to self I should have used my normal camera). Headed into the Green Room, spoke to a few people and Graham came in and spoke to a few people. It got a bit hot at one point so my friend and I headed outside where some of the people who work for ITV and on the show were chatting. I had a blast today and I owe my friend a big thank you for such an awesome Sunday, normally I am pretty boring on that day so it was nice to shake it up a bit.

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Made it back home just after midnight and prepped myself for getting up to go on a defibrillator training course as part of what I already know. Hopefully, I will still be awake later that morning given the fact I went to bed at 1am and got up at 5am.

 

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More opportunities in the next couple of weeks so I am hoping the weather holds up for these.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Indie- to the New Year

10 Jan

Hi fellow Mediadreamzers

What a fun New Year I have had; I worked both New Years Eve and Day, first time ever to work the Day part but I was doing something that I love, so no complaining from me. One thing I have done is set myself a series of goals/ challenges for the year ahead. I say goals/ challenges and not Resolutions because I find, if anyone else does too that people say this a lot and then by February/ March they break them. Plus I find goals/ challenges has more weight as a word, I digress.

Before I share these the afternoon was filled with fun and excitement as a writer that I worked with a TV Pilot called ‘Jobseekers’ has opened up a film studio in Derby called of course ‘Indie Studios’. This is a studio where creative individuals can hire out space for their numerous projects and productions and a chance for people in this industry to network and for old friends to catch up. The studio is 20×20 metre offering 24/7 hire, free internet access, motion capture, soundproof room, green-screen, crash mats, dressing room, stunt scaffolding, restroom and showers, free parking, onsite support and more… So if anyone is interested then hunt them down on the net or FB.

2016 I am hoping to be a promising year both media and personally. I have decided to get back into the groove of Zumba and try my hand at fencing, not the painting kind but the one with epee, sabers and all that jazz. To try to get onto the property ladder in say a year to 18 months (granted I can’t achieve this this year but I can focus on this). Visit the Capital more, take a holiday abroad as I haven’t left the UK’s sunny shores in, wait for it, 11 years. Crazy as it may sound but my reason was because I did not think or feel like a deserved a holiday as I did not achieve much in the past and now I have so time to take a break.

Media wise its work-shadowing with Assistant producers, Editors and going out into the field more with camera crew, learning the art of Script-reading, doing more work as an extra and becoming an extra in the next Bond film whether this will happen this year or next I can’t say but again another one to focus on. Going to more networking events and expanding my media circle of contacts.

These are just some of the things I have planned for 2016 and later down the line. How many chapters will I write and memories will I create, who knows. Before I sign off on this post; belated Happy New Year to you all and I wish you the best for the year to come.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Your presence is requested at the Royal Albert Hall

27 Oct

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Hi Mediadreamzers

In the space of two days I have only had a total of 5 hours sleep, but god it was worth it for the opportunities and fun I have had. Two sort of followed day one as I got back from the James Bond Dinner and Music night at 2.15am Monday morning, before getting the train to the capital and arriving at my hotel where I spent the next hour and half getting ready for, wait for it, The London Premiere of ‘Spectre’, at the Royal Albert Hall. That’s right I had had the honor and privilege of walking down the red carpet.

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Before that a group of us met up at my hotel, funny how many of us were staying there, and we had a drink or two before jumping into a people carrier to the Hall. Whilst we were heading down that way Mike was preping us on what will happen the second we step out of the carrier, talking about how we all knew one another, the James Bond dinner some of us had gone to, everyone got into the swing of saying ‘I can’t believe….’ XYZ about James Bond, London, then I decided to add to the mix ‘I can’t believe there’s a great big Sainsburys over there’. And the carrier erupted with laughter at the random comment before we all got out and headed up the cornered off area for V.I.Ps and guests. It was torture standing around in my sandals and then we got to step onto the red carpet and it was awesome. I saw a lot of famous faces and I my friend Damian pointed Adele out to me but I didn’t get the chance to take a picture of her as security and staff were steering us all in.

 

 

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Once inside and we made our way to our seats, something I owe my friend to a thank you for; he got us the BEST seats in the Royal Albert Hall at the very very back at the top. Once the Duke, Duchess and Harry had done their meet and greet, Sam Mendes and Barbara Broccoli came onto the stage and began introducing the actors and the lights dimmed down, and it began.

 

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The film was out of this world and I was still finding it hard to believe that I was seating in the Royal Albert Hall watching it on the big screen. We were going to go to the after party but because the venue was full to burst a group of us decided to have our own after party and in style, in a casino. And I can share you my Mediadreamzers darlings that in the early hours of this morning (00.24am and 01.23am) I was enjoying two Vesper Martinis. So in a way I was having a pre breakfast, whilst I got chatting to some Americans who had come over to see the film and other film enthusiasts. We were in the casino till 2.30am and after being dropped off by Mike and Pip, two amazing people, at my hotel at 3am I was too wide awake to go to sleep so I stayed up reading comments about my photos I had posted on Facebook about the night. I will not be forgetting this night for a very longtime and the best thing is I get to keep my ticket and holder that it came in, and I am certainly going to frame these and keep them for the rest of my life. So the next question I need to ask is, after the nights events does this make me a Bond Girl?

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It was such a shame that I had to leave London, it was a brilliant two days just gone, I look forward to my next event/ media related activity. Hopefully back soon. One thing I did laugh at during the nights footloose and fancy free moments was my JB nicknames being used.

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Nunquam Deditioneum

3rd Up, that’s entertainment

7 Jul

Hey fellow Mediadreamzers

I guess if you are in the UK, like me, you’ll have been lapping up the sun and enjoying the fact that Summer is actually here. Getting up to 30C+ is a blue-moon moment in all honesty, quick someone say Twilight Zone. Although it has taken a turn; raining and then being humid, it is so worth it.

This turn of the tide with the weather did not hinder me getting involved with my latest freelance project and the good news ladies and gents is this time I was not a production assistant, but a 3rd AD. Small step up he ladder, but in the right direction. The production I was working on was with YSP Media, a production company I have had the honor and privilege to work with again, as it only felt like yesterday that I worked with YSP on ‘Jobseekers’. To find this post scroll through my timeline, where I spent a week working with a wonderful director- Chris Bevan, Cameraman- Karl Poyer, Assistant Director- Alex Withers, MUA- Charlotte Price (we had a good and long catch up) and a lot of brilliant people. The production is a comedy, unfortunately I cannot say anymore at present. So its a cliff hanger moment…. Hold On!

Made it to the location stated on the call sheet and I admit at first I was doubting whether or not I was in the right place. This changed when extras and other crew arrived too, especially when the director arrived. As soon as I stepped out of the car, work commenced; helping set up food and drink for crew and cast, picking up a poly board for the camera crew, supervising the runner on set and just generally being on hand to help. I was later given the task as the clapper too and holding the poly board to created more light for filming certain scenes. Time always goes by really fast when I’m working on productions, it feels like a conspiracy.

The day started out perfectly until the heavens opened up at about 2pm where it was everyone for themselves to get under shelter and protect the equipment. It did stop and filming resumed then rained again. It was a moment where you felt that the elements were against you, as soon as we were under shelter it stopped then we we came out it start to get ready to rain again. The good news was that all scenes were shot, interviews were captured and everyone was happy. It was a battle making sure all release forms were signed off as some of the extras were all over the place but I got everyone before they were needed on camera or had to go. I’ve found thinking and planning ahead are two traits to have when filming, means that the crew can focus on their jobs, saves having someone to tell you what needs doing and it cuts down on time when your gonna wrap.

The words that’s a wrap soon rung around and production for the day ended. All I can say is it was a blast being a third and I’m gonna push to do more third work and then work up the ladder.

Where my next freelance work will be in between my other media work, who knows.

Nunquam Deditioneum

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