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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

 

 

 

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

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.

Jeff Goldblum Me and Jeff Goldblum

 

 

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.

P1040918

 

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.

P1040920 P1040921

 

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.

 

P1040923

 

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

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Interview 1, Interview 2, Interview 3

3 Mar

Hey fellow mediadreamzers

First let me say thank you to the people and blogs that have started following mine. If I have not visited your blog site yet, I apologise and will try to do so very soon. Most of my time has been dedicated to training for R4L (Race For Life), I think it looks cool abbreviated like that. In addition, I have been making little short films and editing them on the progress of my training and ideas for raising money towards a cause close to my heart. I have made earrings, necklaces and metal bookmarks.

I know I am digressing a little, so I will get back on track. I have been applying for a variety of jobs, and heard back from a media company in Milton Keynes for a roles as an assistant producers role which I am going for an interview for tomorrow so I am reading up on the company. This role is permanent/ freelance so if I am successful I can fit the work round other media work that I am or could be working on. Another was an out of the blue opportunity with another company also based in Milton Keynes for next Monday that is permanent. Although this role isn’t production based it is with a media company with the potential of learning broadcasting and production technology. There are other interviews lined up but these are going to be upcoming.

There are other projects lined up hopefully for the Spring, which I am looking forward to hopefully getting involved in if I can. I am hoping to get something permanent or frequent media work, if I do end up moving to MK I won’t be too far from my media contacts near the capital. When I have heard back on these I will share.

Nunquam Deditionem

Buzzing from Birmingham BBC

21 Oct

Hi Mediadreamzers

I have just got back having had to put up with a 45mins delay on getting back, despite that the amount of travel I do these days I should invest in a Bradshaw book going on the trains back and forth. My latest venture was to Birmingham, to the Mailbox for a course titled ‘Get Your Next Job in TV Drama’, I must say thank you to my friend William Gallagher for passing on the course details and letting me know about it. Once inside the Mailbox I was greeted by a large number in the entrance, some I struck up a conversation with before heading into the delegated area for the course introduction and the numerous courses.

Once at the venue, tea and coffee was on tap and individuals began talking to people, I got chatting to had recently come back from Milan, was a producer of daytime TV, mainly cooking programmes and was looking to get into Drama. Everyone took seats and were greeted by a panel of well distinguished individuals who have worked in the industry for many years. The host of the panel was Marvarine Cole who is now a presenter on QVC but was previously a presenter on BBC, ITV and SKY NEWS, who operated a Q&A to the individuals who either work for independent companies and BBC, and mentioning how Drama is really making its presence known in Birmingham. When the hour’s panel had finished we all separated to attend our chosen workshops, for me the first was ‘Moving on from a Runner’, this was delivered by a guy called Andy, who now works as a 1st AD, previously a 2nd, 3rd and runner. The beginning of the session was Andy presenting his background in media and why he chose to go down the route of media, and all of us saying what career we are working towards. Andy even shared stories of individuals making mistakes and that ending their media careers, something that many of us made notes on the dangers and factors to be aware of.

 

During the lunch break I and those who attend were networking as much as we all could before the next selection of workshops started. I came prepared with a so many business cards that I was handing them out like sweets, and many remarked on the design I ‘d gone for- Paul Smith stripes. Soon it was time to attend the next selection of workshops and I opted for Script Supervisor, where a lady called Lisa who shared her experiences and how she got her break in TV, and how from there on she has worked on a multitude of productions ranging from ‘Death in Paradise’, ‘Midsomer Murders’ (a programme I love watching on repeat), ‘Hustle’ to ‘Minder’ ‘Father Brown’ and many more. We were shown a series of examples and templates of the documents a Script Supervisor uses when preparing for a TV series, and I must say it is A LOT of paperwork. One topic that Lisa made us all aware of was continuity where the script matches what is on presented on the screen from start to finish. To emphasis this we were all shown a series of clips from films where there mistakes; I have never stared at a TV screen so hard in my life in order to see and discover flaws, something I will be doing in the future. Soon that session ended and it was time for another break and more chatting before going onto the third and final class- Networking face to face and online and addressing the fears and myths; one exercise involved the room being split into two and one side saying why networking is bad and why is is good and answering simple questions, studying pictures and just giving our overall opinions on networking as a whole. From the set up of the room this was a masterclass that practically everyone wanted to attend and get as much insight into the best methods, approaches and results gained at the end.

 

The final part of the day was a closing Q&A session titled ‘Making great Drama in the Midlands’, delivered by Jamie Glazebrook who is the Executive Producer on the second series of ‘Peaky Blinders’. The questions were asked by the Marvarine who opened the event it felt appropriate that she should close it, with a combination of clips from the series and a preview of the next episode. It was then time for us to let our hair down and have drinks and continue to network, something I did for a short time as I had to dash to catch my train. I came away with a lot of useful advice, tips and information which I will be acting in the next couple of days. I was glad to have had a chance to speak to the guest panel of media representatives all except Will who had to leave during the lunch break because of a media meeting.

 

My next event all being well will be the 5th November and I am looking forward to the fact I will be catching up with a media friend/ contact I have known for 4 years. That combined with media activities in between.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Rocks, Roll and co

10 Oct

Hi fellow mediadreamz readers

Autumn is certainly here with the leaves going that beautiful colour and falling. This is something I noticed when I was driving to Leamington Spa for an interview with Rocks & co.

You may ask who are these people and the answer is they are a channel that broadcast on SKY, Freeview and Freesat jewellery at a falling-price. I admit getting to the building was a nightmare as it is not very well sign posted, so I ended up driving up and down the street, until I managed to work out where to go. Although I was an hour earlier that my scheduled time I wanted to avoid traffic and roadworks. Because of this I was seen earlier, which was a bonus and as usual I treated the interview like a normal conversation (helps this way as you feel more relaxed). I was also given a tour of the studio and behind the scenes of the place. So I need to wait a few days before I hear anything back form them.

Once back it was a case of contacting all the people I know in the industry for vacancies and anything that is upcoming. I am waiting to hear back on a local contact I have about helping out on a film he is shooting, I hope he hasn’t forgotten me as I really love the sound of his project and it would be so cool to get involved.

So when I hear from him, I will of course share with the rest of you. In the meantime I am making my Christmas list for cards and gifts and trying to find places that sell empty perfume bottles as I am attempting to make some as present, wish me luck.

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

Diary of an Usher

25 Jul

Greetings everyone

As I’d mentioned previously that I would be away for a while, working at Pinewood Studios, as an Audience Usher I can now share with my experience and how totally awesome it was being at Pinewood Studios. Went down to Iver Heath on the Thursday and after getting my details sorted at the gate I found where I needed to go and met Mickey Beese, the Studio Manager for numerous programmes and for the one I would be helping out on; ‘Love Machine’. I met her other colleague Emma Kelly, the lady who had originally contacted me about runner vacancies that I was unsuccessful with, and others in the office. I was then given a tour of where I and the other ushers would be taking the audience to during the five days filming would commence, and whilst in the studio I met Neil again (one of the camera crew guys who I’d worked with on Embarrassing Bodies). I then got to meet the rest of the ushers and I learnt that some were newbies to this type of work, like me, and others who had worked as ushers on previous shows. Down in Slough and anywhere South the weather was perfect, no clouds and the sun shone practically everyday. Though I did get an enormous shock during my time at Pinewood; I had heard from Mickey and another usher that a well-known actress was at Pinewood working on a film and I thought when I heard that that I wouldn’e see her. Well, on Friday I was so wrong; whilst I was at my dissignated spot for escorting people to the studio numerous buggies were going by and one in particular had tinted screens down and I saw the silhouette of the person mentioned. At first I wasn’t 100% sure it was her, second time I became 75%sure and on the third time the tinted plastic shades were up and it was confirmed. Unfortunately, like the official secrets act I cannot reveal the name, though if you want to leave me your guesses feel free to.

Although the role of an usher is escorting audience members to and from the car park to the studio, marquee and anywhere else, liasing with staff and security, ensuring there are no problems, observing everything and anything that happens I really did enjoy my time. In a way the role was like an immigration officer (and the role came with a neon jacket and walkie talkie head set) I will confess that I had never considered ushering as another way of gaining experience within TV and Films I will when offered more opportunities I will say yes without a hesitation.

I will also say that having a simple conversation with others who work at the studio can be immensely helpful. This I especially learned when talking to the security guards who parted some very sound advice, and I hope I have remembered their names of the guys I spoke to; Jon, Darren/ Louis, James and Alex. Watching the show was really interesting some of the people who featured in the upcoming series when it will be aired I do not know, though I, the rest of the crew and the different audiences did get a laugh out of Chris Moyles and Stacey Solomon during the five days the were filming.

When my time came to an end with Pinewood I was sad becasue I had really enjoyed myself and I a great time working at the studio. Before leaving to head home to the East Midlands, I said my goodbyes to everyone I had worked with and seen during my time there and Mickey mentioned that if there are any future ushering opportunities that she will will let me know, as she would like to have me back. So that made my day, and I really hope that there are more ushering opportunites soon to come. Before I left, I sotred a few more things out and asked the very nice people in the reception to take my picture to show everyone my time being in Iver Heath.

Before I forget I need to say a thank you to Mickey, as one of the days I was working it was really hot, so I borrowed one of the Pinewood caps in the office and Mickey said to me that I could have it. I thought she met for the next day, oh no, have it to kep for good, which I thought was really kind off her. Another surprise was the guys at the reception saying I could keep my I.D and neck band. So I came away with a few souvenirs of my time and I really hope I get to go back really soon, hope you guys enjoy reading about my time at Pinewood. So I have now decided on other routes of getting into media, not solely as a runner, and with this keep my eyes peeled for other opportunities and will hopefully have more to share with you.

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