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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

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.

 

                                    cosmopolitan

 

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.

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.

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