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Taking Pride by storm in Media

13 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

When Summer arrives, make the most of being out and about, and I did just that. Headed to London yesterday to attend the Royal Television Society event that addressed the issue of LBGT portrayed in TV soap storylines. Made it to London without any delays; it’s S’s-Law and I’m sure you will agree with me that when you are traveling to events, something usually happens; delays, cancellations, stormy weather the list goes on. Either way, made it to the Hospital Club and was early, so waited until the event was open to attendees. Found a seat in the gallery room and others started arriving and there was a group of 3 who sat next to me and we got chatting and I learned that they worked for ITV & BBC. So for me, that was a good surprise and we all chatted on what areas of media we work in, how we found out about the event and what our passions are.

 

Soon the speakers on the events panel arrived and took their seats on stage. The speakers were, wait for it, Oliver Kent- Head of Continuity in Drama series, BBC Studios, Pete Lawson Writer on EastEnders, Bryan Kirkwood- Executive Producer Hollyoaks, Iain MacLeod- Series Producer Emmerdale, and some of the actors from the soaps; Daniel Brocklebank- Corrie, Annie Wallace & Krupa Pattani -Hollyoaks. The panel was chaired by June Sarpong MBE- who is known for being a presenter on ‘Loose Women’, and also a panelist on Sky’s The Pledge program.

The topics discussed and questions asked, combined with a series of clips depicting LGBT storylines made the event as a whole really interesting and also a huge eye opener, with the actors, characters, and impact, they have on society as a whole. One story that was shared was Daniel mentioning an encounter he had with a lady in a supermarket saying very hurtful things, to which he gave a response that totally shut this woman up.  Other issues that were discussed were the Ofcom complaints, watershed time showings, relationships, cultural communities and the about individuals in the series and in real life coming out to their parents and loved ones and the psychological effect and the fear they have, especially with family traditions, religion, and social acceptance. Other areas that haven’t or have been touched on briefly were discussed and how there is still time in the future to create and develop those ideas for television audiences to see.

     

 

              

 

The floor was then open up to questions from the audience, followed by thank yous to the guest speakers, June and the CEO of the Royal Television Society Theresa Wise. Then, of course, the networking started and people started walking up to the guest speakers saying how much they enjoyed the discussion and topics/ opinions they felt about the series, storylines and their perceptions on certain issues. I admit for me it was really cool getting to speak to Annie, Krupa and Bryan and I asked him a question about one of the characters in Hollyoaks and his response was ‘I’m glad you didn’t ask that question on the mic’ as that character is still being developed. Also speaking the Emmerdale and EastEnders Producers was great too, meeting the people behind these soaps is one of those moments in life where you think ‘I never thought this would happen to me, meeting you’. I say that because although I work in this industry I sometimes think that there is a line or a barrier I am one side and those well known and established are on the other side and there is a ‘Do Not Cross this line’ sign in the middle. But every once in awhile it is nice to step over even if it is for a minute, an evening or a day to talk to individuals and say who you are.

Soon the numbers started to diminish as people left and I decided to head back out of London, had a fun evening and I learned a clever lesson when traveling to Euston station if you are going somewhere don’t get a tube train going the opposite direction. my trick getting on the wrong compass bound tube and ending up in Kensington. No matter, a simple walking over to the other side fixed everything.

 

I have also heard back from a director I worked with last year who mentioned a production that is being filmed in September, so I am hoping I am free to help out even if it is for a few days. He has also put in a requested for baked treats, moral booster for the cast and crew, well it helps when filming in the sticks and it’s cold and people have been working long days. September will soon be here.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

 

 

 

We Cain, we saw, we after partied

22 Apr

Hey Mediadreamerz

What a day, and night it was yesterday, after a long worthwhile wait, after so much hard work, time and commitment by the Producer and Director the week and day had arrived for the premiere of Cain hill.
Of course, during this week some of the crew had specific/ set tasks to do, mine was collecting the running order schedule, the cinema seating plan, VIP tickets, spares and film promo leaflets. My instructions were ‘Guard this box with your life’

Friday morning was up early, pack my case with my outfit in, check that all the important items were with me and get to London to the Prince Charles Cinema without any hiccups; luckily there were no problems. Once there I met Gene, Tony and Adam for a verbal debriefing of the day’s running order. Once all was sorted and we knew what to do went hunting for the after party venue, which was found o.k. and after Adam did a recce of the place and as everything else had been done before everything started, it was time for me to get glammed up.

Things started to roll, well they did once the red carpet was rolled out and the Cain Hill film backdrop was set up inside the cinema, before getting leaflets and sweets added to the seats along with the Hello Gorgeous goody bags. Once that was sorted, with the help of Adam’s guests, it was then checking tickets and marking everyone who’d arrived and what a brilliant turnout it was, and even more of a surprise seeing people I know who I didn’t know were attending the premiere. It was also amazing meeting Alex Zane and other great people in the industry, before settling inside to watch the film. All I can say is what a film, you laughed at the right places, you jumped at the right places and the storyline flowed from start to finish. One surprise for everyone was the additional stuff at the end photos and comments and there was a video of me trying to show my self-defense moves against George the makeup artist; I seriously had no idea that it was being filmed! So that WAS a surprise. After saying hi to lots of the attendees it was informing everyone where the afterparty was and hanging around encase I was needed to help with anything.

Made it to the afterparty downstairs in Scarlett’s and it was an epic afterparty. Chatting to lots of people, mentioning parts of the film that were people’s favourite bits, what people do in the industry or what their careers are and much more. Spent part of the evening going round getting photos of everyone at the after party, and I’m hoping I have lots that look good. It was a shame that the day ended so fast, there should be a law that when things like this happen, time so go by really slowly.

          

                             

 

All that is left for me to say is thank you Gene and Tony for letting me be part of a brilliantly awesome film, even though it was only for a few days I had so much fun and wish we could do it all over again. I hope I get the chance to work with you and the rest of the production team in the future as you guys are fab to work with and everyone had a laugh on set.

I look forward to sharing with you my next outing, which will be Romford on Thursday; a premiere of another film I was involved in and then after that back to London to the BAFTA House. It’s all go and good so far.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Media; Moments & Making things happen

30 Mar

Hey Mediadreamerz

OMG where does the time go these days? Can’t believe it was over a month ago that I posted anything. But it’s been a fun few weeks so now I have time to sit and type away. My other reasons for this are from baking for the last so many weeks; Red Nose Day, socially and I’m still baking and have started making Easter eggs for work and friends. As I mention RND regarding work it was fun and interesting going into a production company on that Friday wearing red cosplay wig and getting a combination of ‘I didn’t recognise you’, ‘Red hair suits you’ and ‘You should wear this and other wigs to work more often’- That last comment IS tempting I admit.

For those who are curious as to what the wig looked like, here is a shot; please feel free to comment on what you think on that.

I was glad last month to be having a break in Paris for a few days and seeing a lot of media out there was very interesting to observe and speaking French too was great especially using certain phrases; Can I have a lawyer who speaks English, Where is the British embassy, I’m drunk, I’ve lost my wife (not that I need to really use that one but it’s funny to know. Amongst those phrases, I did learn others.

Once back I got straight into media work most of which is related to my job itself, I’ve spent part of my holiday days off work WORK work-shadowing in the Production Gallery and from the past 5-6 days doing this I am starting to get the hand of everything that is going on.
There is also the upcoming 48-hour film challenge that I am hoping to be getting involved in and also hopefully a film called the Mask of thorn next month which is gonna be great working with people I know and haven’t worked with yet.

I am happy to share that next month I am going to the premiere of 2 films I worked on one in London and the other in Romford which I am looking forward to and already have my outfits for those nights. The film in Romford is called Borstal, and it is on sale now, and the other is Cain Hill both of which were awesome experiences. So I will be looking forward to blogging about those nights.

Most current experience to share is being at Elstree Studios at a Creative England for the launch a something ProConnect event. As you have heard and seen that Elstree is known for TV shows like Pointless, Big Brother, The Voice just to name some nd with films like Paddington Bear, The King’s Speech, The Danish Girl and much more.

ProConnect is a program that supports creative businesses, freelance individuals, entrepreneurs. Offering workshops that cover topics like Government tax breaks and incentives, Marketing, Funding, etc. ProConnect is covering two regions; Manchester and Hertfordshire, so people in the North and the South are covered. It was interesting to hear what they offer media companies and freelance individuals and having received an email on what workshops that are happening from Summer to Autumn, so that’s something else to look forward to.

Once Easter is over and I have distributed my continental Easter treats and Easter Eggs I will be back on track to work on films and other activities for the Summer.

Nunquam Deditioneum

London Calling 007 Agents

12 Dec

Hey Mediadreamzers

Beginning of the month has been a little quiet and although this isn’t a media job, but more of a media activity, and it was an awesome one. And what better way to count down the 12 days till Christmas than heading into London for a James Bond weekend. This was a 2-day activity, I only went for one day and boy did I love it. Mission accepted and up early to get the train into London and made it to one of the film locations earlier than I thought I would. Once in the Capital, I met up with other Bond fans outside Barbican tube station, and from that point on there were iconic coincidences throughout the day, something that I jinxed; outside the station a lady passed us carrying a Cello (The Living Daylights), when walking towards the Barbican there were painted Qs in the cycle lines, construction of a tall building (Casino Royale; minus the climbing the building or free-running) there were others but these are just a few I wanted to share.

 

The day started off by heading to the Barbican where one of the scenes from Quantum of Solace was shot. At one stage we were wondering around the Barbican trying to find the part where the scene was shot, but we did. One of the fun things about the day was the group got separated, 3 times and I find that that is the best part of touring London, its part of the fun. From the Barbican we moved onto the Smithfield Carpark to where Skyfall was shot; the scene where Bond has been de-briefed and is in the car with Tanner going to the new Mi6.

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The rest of the day was going around and across London on the underground to different points; next location was to Liverpool Street to Broadgate Tower; again Skyfall- The scene where Bond falls the assassin and is hanging from the bottom of the elevator. From Broadgate Tower it was travelling to the College of Arms; where George Lazenby got his ‘Coat of Arms’ in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The building was really interesting and had a mixture of different coats of arms on the walls, and met up with other Bond enthusiasts before heading to Pret for lunch, and a chance to chat.

 

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From Pret we headed to Trinty Square from Skyfall where M arrives to meet Mallory and I think also when Bond chased after Silver to M’s hearing. It was fun re-enacting the walking into the building scene one by one.

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From Trinty Sq. we moved onto Ornamental Canal (and this was the second time we got separated from the others). When we did get to Ornamental Canal, which was from The World is Not Enough; Bond chasing the assassin towards the Millenium Dome, which continued onto Shadwell to Crossharbour.

 

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Once there  it was getting shots of the canal the moment came to take group pictures and selfies, as the light was just right. Back to the station, the group slowly started to diminish as people needed to travel back home, so the phrase ‘Agent Down’ was said each time a member of the group left (Although at first, I said ‘Another agent has died, which got a few laughs). We travelled to Mi6 HQ, which has been used in numerous Bond films; GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Skyfall and Spectre. Whilst there we got group pics of us outside ‘our place of work’, and we talked about how Mi6 used to recruit people and how it has all changed.

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During the day people in the group asked what it is I do for work, or said that they noticed on my Facebook page that I work for SIS; the initials as of the secret service. Before moving onto Buckingham Palace, unfortunately not to get knighted by the Queen, more agents left the group; ‘agents down’ to head home the group then became 7. There was a slight detour to see Ian Fleming’s blue Plaque and one of the houses that he owned. Once at Buckingham Palace, we captured the last leg of the tour with a group photo before going to Greenwich tube station and all agents heading home. All Agents down.

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What a fabtastic day meeting so many people and catching up with those I have met before, I so hope there is another 007 event next year, maybe a casino royale night at the Hippodrome, or going to one of the many countries used in Bond films and making it into a holiday of some form. Although getting the train home was a bit of a nightmare, it was still a great day. I think as a group we walked about 17,000 steps from the whole day itself. Meeting everyone who had been allocated a 00 status was fun, and of course, there were 2 people known as Q, and I stuck with Moneypenny within the group.

My next post for the weekend being 17th/18th December would have been posting about Peter Vaugh but with him, unfortunately passing away, the Museum of Comedy had to cancel the event. Though the next time I will be back in London is for another Christmas party; had one last Friday in London and saw Al Murray when we at one of the pubs. Could have gone to another party that same night but didn’t know about it, until the last minute.

Lets seen what is next on the cards, and hope I get to meet everyone again soon

Nunquam Deditioneum

A shot on the Screen Northants

3 Oct

Hey Mediadreamzers

As I mentioned in my last post I didn’t know when my next opportunity was gonna be and I was SO right. This was a last minute opportunity that I heard about, applied to help out and was taken on, as a 3rd AD. This was my third time being a 3rd and it was nice to taken on the role again.

So the day, well Sunday, was an early call time of 8am to travel to Northampton to work with Screen Northants on a production titled veto’d trailer to promote parts of Northampton. Made it to the location and met the main crew, spoke to Becky the production manager and person who allowed me to get involved in the production. I then met Lucas, the 1st AD who I liaised with during the whole day and then met the runners who I was taking care of and assigning jobs to. Then things started to get ready for the background extras and actors to arrive, and there were a lot of extras; the more the merrier as part of the street needed to be filled with a lot of people. After the rehearsals with the main actors, getting release forms filled in and guiding the 2nd AD, filming started (well after showing the extras what the sequence of events that were going to be filmed) then everything started. The weather held up for filming outside and it was a blessing, there is nothing worse than the weather being cold and damp when outside filming.

Lucas instructed everyone on what was going to happen and I with the help of Zach looked after the extras and cued them for the timings for when they would need to go on set and where they needed to be with the filming. There were several takes captured by the director and camera crew and time just flew by when ‘That’s a wrap’ and it was all hands to the pump for clearing the street as Screen Northants were given the street till 2.30pm getting the camera, extras, tables and other equipment so the people of Northampton could walk freely through. It was a great day it went by really fast and extras were happy to have been involved and were asking when and where the footage will go when it had been edited together; at a guess Facebook, Twitter and/ or Screen Northants page.

Hopefully, there will opportunities to work with Screen Northants again on any upcoming media related work and more as a 3rd AD. Until next time

Nunquam Deditioneum

Cain Hill and Able for three days

25 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

I know the last post I mentioned about an upcoming event but I decided to add my latest media production work. I have spent three days working on a horror film called ‘Cain Hill’ and although it was only three days, and I wished it was longer, I had an awesome time on set. You maybe wondering what ‘Cain Hill’ is all about and here it is; ‘Cain Hill’ is about a group of documentary filmmakers who are shooting a TV special about the events of Cain Hill, an asylum famous and mysterious going on’s, and the unexplained abductions and murders that occurred at the site since then. Soon the group learn that one of the inmates never left Cain Hill at all. DUN-DUN-DUUUUN, makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up just reading the plot.

Day one of my three days on location was great filming at a pub/ social club, met the crew and got started with the usual tasks and after 20 mins I kept hearing ‘Where have you been hiding, we could have done with you at the start of filming’ (unfortunately I had to work; sad face) Everyone was friendly and welcoming on my first day Adam the Production Manager, Andy the DOP, Gene the Director, Soroosh the Sound Recordist, George the Make-up man, Ciara the Script Supervisor, Austin who was learning DOP work and Sheldon a runner and also assisting Andy too. Along with the usual tasks I do as a PA, I also got to have fun being an extra in a pair seen, this is my fourth time being an extra. Speaking of extras there were a lot more that arrived during the afternoon/ evening filming and one thing many of us noticed was one of the extras was the spitting image of, wait for it, Daniel Craig. I am not joking it was uncanny. Day flew by leading to the night scenes to be shot and another actor arrived on set, Michael Parr. The name may sound familiar an that is because Michael is known for playing Ross Barton in Emmerdale, and has also been in Hollyoaks, Doctors just to name a few. Day one went by really fast and ‘Wrap’ was shouted so it was time to get kit packed and rooms back to the way they were before.

Day two and three were at the same place, before leaving from the social club/ pub Sheldon, me and others were de-briefed on what needed to be done as soon as we arrived on set and that’s what we did when we arrived. There was somewhat of a delay filming in the afternoon due to a guy nearby using a chainsaw to cut down trees and main crew trying to film whilst that happened, but they got it and everyone was happy. It was fun during these few days to shadow Ciara with Script Supervisor on what happens in that role, hope I get to do more of that in the future, as well as using the Clapperboard amongst other tasks. The final day was great but a sad one, not in a bad way but in the way that it was the last day of filming, pet peeve of mine is working on a project and it coming to an end really fast. The last part to shoot was a scene that involved fire, so my fire marshall training came into play here, so everything was set for that; water, towels, soil. Got a lot filmed on day three and wrap was at 6.15pm, so all hands to the pump for clearing and packing everything away ready for the wrap party at 7.30 pm at the social club. The fun part of the evening was everyone being given an award for categories they were nominated for; mine was the Steven Segals Award for Best Martial Artist. Reason behind that award is on day two I mentioned that I knew self defense training and was challenged to taking George down, although that didn’t happen at least I had fun showing how to defend myself. Other categories for crew were funny and cleverly done too. Wrap party was great fun wish I could have stayed later and longer but had to travel back home. I hope I get the chance to work with Gene, Cupsogue Pictures and everyone else on the crew in the future as they are awesome people.

As I was given a trophy it is only fitting to share with you that and an wrap party photo

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Nunquam Deditioneum

Back to BAFTA

21 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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I wish I could have written a post about a Media Summer Party with the Crewing Company but as it was raining and thundering it didn’t happen. So I’ll share with you my night at the BAFTA House for a preview screening on an updated adaptation of the Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. Initially I thought the first day of Summer being yesterday was gonna be one of rain, rain and more rain but the afternoon sunshine all around thank you god. Managed to get to the Capital o.k and the one thing I like about the London Underground is that Oxford Circus has really cool coloured titles on the walls, sort of reminds me of a Kaleidoscope. As much as I wanted to admire the walls I had to get to Piccadilly Circus and I made it the sun was out and the Paparazzi were outside waiting for celebs and special guests. I was surprised by the how many people turned up for the screening, granted that the theatre wasn’t full to burst but it was full-ish.

 

After introductions from the BBC head of Communications and BAFTA President the screening commenced.  I admit I don’t remember the whole of the synopsis for Secret Agent but the hour segment was brilliant and saw a lot of British talent on screen; Toby Jones, Vicky McClure, Ian Hart, Stephen Graham, David Dawson just to name a few. The bare bones of the story is this Shopkeeper Verloc is instructed to bomb Greenwich Observatory and provoke the British government into cracking down on violent extremists. Caught between the Russians and the British police, Verloc drags his unsuspecting family into a tragic terror plot.

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After the screening a Q&A followed which was chaired by Mark Lawson; Journalist, Broadcaster and Author, many remember him from Radio 4, well tonight he put his questions to the guests on stage; Toby Jones and Vicky McClure, Writer Tony Marchant and Director Charles McDougall. The floor was opened up to audience members and then the night came to an end, though the funny thing, well two funny things were this; first was Toby Jones walking right past me and the other was that as I was leaving the BAFTA House I encountered Mark and spoke to him before heading towards the Underground.

The journey out of London wasn’t as long as I thought it was gonna be I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that Tuesday is and was the longest day on the calendar, either way I made it back and had a blast that night. My next media event is looking to be in July where I will be heading out to Elstree and Borehamwood the land of EastEnders and Harry Potter territory (nothing to do with these guys but something else coming up).

Nunquam Deditioneum

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