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Survival instinct of the fittest

4 Mar

Well two film premieres in the space of two days, boy I am on a role. This premiere is a local film from a Director from my home county, so the more the merrier on support. Screening was at a venue that I have been passed but never really been to before, so new place to explore. Quite a few people attend I can also guess that this is the result of the new report on Notts TV to promote and introduce the film itself. And of course if you watched this then you would have seen the director Steve Lawson, the man behind the film itself and the idea. From what I remember the film once its first screening it will be shown at other venues one of which is the capital.

The film is  ‘Survival Instinct’, and in a nutshell its a thriller that focuses on staying alive and use the skills to outwit someone when they are trying to kill you. I enjoyed the fact that the leader character is a woman as most films I have seen of this style of film where the main character is always a male and everyone else dies. It certainly kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, not likely those films that have a weak ending or are so far-fetched that it isn’t worth putting on a screen to watch.

I am looking forward to the next set or series of screening or events that are coming up, when that will be I don’t know but I’m open to surprises, but until I know when I will get excited about starting to learn how to fence and extreme fitness.

Nunquam Deditioneum

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BAFTA EVENT- Is this thing on?

20 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

The good news things will be back on track with Media posts and work, now that my move will be completed in the last week of the month. Stressful trying to remember everything but soon it will all be done and dusted soon.
For now I will share a BAFTA event held in Birmingham, god I love these events. Last BAFTA event I went to in Birmingham was January 2015 meeting Haris Zambarloukos, nice to experience de ja vu.

Stepping off the train back into the city where Birmingham is London’s version of the big industries. And the bonus was that it was a very short walk to the event venue, so short that the tortoise and hare would be moonwalking it- The Mailbox. The question your asking is who was the guest Media speaker; Answer Andy Kennedy which I’m guessing the next question is who is Andy Kennedy. The answer to that one is Andy is a Sound Designer who has worked on a wide variety of collective films. Do the titles ‘The Imitation Game’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Kick ass’ to name a few well known films. The majority of the BAFTA event was a session where Andy was interviewed with a series of questions that were insightful answers that focused on how he Andy got into the industry, what inspired him to pursue this career path and the moments from working on his first production to the advice to give young people starting out.

Before the event ended it was a Q&A from the audience, surprisingly there was roughly 30 of use, but still a great turn-out. Everything from today blow my mind. These events are great for not to listening to the tales of Andy’s experience and memories from working in both TV and sound.

My next opportunity will be in Oct- events and media jobs to apply for and work, I’m looking forward to the future the filming and walk to do. Travelling back to the Midlands I was reflecting on everything that was said and achieved.

 

Nuquam Deditioneum

The outcome

31 Mar

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

Forgive the late response regarding what I said in my last post on my interviews, I did not want to jinx the outcome of either one, now I feel can share.

As promised I said I would let you know the outcome of my interviews.

The first interview for the assistant producers role was with Psychic Today and with it only taking me an hour and 10 mins to get my interview I used the extra 40mins I had to read my notes and ready myself for the type of question I could potentially be asked. I met my interviewer, Joanne, and the questions commenced; ranging from what makes a good producer, what did you think to the shows structure and style of Psychic Today, what could be done differently/ what are my thoughts on the shows I watched. I answered all questions with so much detail that I made poor Joanne use so much paper, I even added ideas and suggestions for the channel and the website. I was then told a little more about the role, my responsibilities, the hours and where that could lead to. Interview lasted 30mins and I was informed that I would hear something soon.

Result- I was offered one of the assistant producer roles, and a training date, but because of the position being freelance based and other factors coming to light I had to decline the opportunity.

 

The Second interview was with a non-production based company called SIS(not to get confused with the Secret Service), which stands for Satellite Information Services; the company has contracts with BBC, ITN and SKY NEWS & SPORTS. The interview was for a media assistant position, and is a permanent position. One thing I arrived 50mins early and read through the meticulous notes I had made about SIS as it had been advised that I do my research (planned to read up on the company anyway). I also looked at competencies/ situations and planned answers to potential questions I could be asked, so I am not surprised like a deer in the headlights. Once in the building I met Richard and Rory where I was taken to a conference room and the interview commenced. Rory asked the questions, there were four pages of questions and situations that I have demonstrated certain skills in, whilst Richard took notes of everything I said (I was asked other questions like what do I do in my spare time, what takes priority in my life, if I could do something spontaneous what would I do; I said have a party in the style of James Bond. I then asked my questions before being given a tour of the various buildings on site, where I met the sound mixers, graphics, producers, production managers, editors and all people in media. The total time I spent at SIS was an hour 35mins interview and the remaining time taking the tour.

Result- I received a phone call on Friday 13th of all days I hear you cry and the day I learned of the outcome. The conversation began with SIS thanking me for attending my interview and that they enjoyed meeting me, in the back my my mind I could hear the cliche sentence in my head and the word unsuccessful. However, it was not to be; because Richard and Rory enjoyed meeting me I have been invited back to Milton Keynes for a second interview.

At first I did not know the criteria for the second one, then I learned to read up more information on the company, and read up on my competencies as the interview is going to be mainly scenarios and situations I could be asked. So I spent two days before my interview reading and researching everything I could find. You may think me over-prepared but it meant that I didn’t forget anything. Well, I went for the interview this time with Richard and a lady from HR and it was roughly the same questions as before giving examples of my competencies and any questions I had. What I felt was 5 mins was in fact a 35 mins interview, and before I left I was informed that a decision would be made either tomorrow, or near to the end of the week.

Result- Tuesday I received the phone call saying that SIS wish to offer me the job. That certainly knocked me for 6 as it was an enormous surprise. As I mentioned it is a non-production job, but it gives the opportunity of using my degree, learning technical and broadcasting skills with the chance of career progression. Plus the bonus with the opportunity is it is stepping stone in the right directions and I am not too far away from the capital for future work as a researcher/ assistant director, and of course there is the potential to progress further, or work at Pinewood in the future. So I was immensely surprised and happy, and I have accepted the offer which I start on 8th April thinking it best to let Easter come and go.

The next step I am taking is to sort out accommodation in the area, researching the areas and what I am looking for, registering with estate agents and then going to viewings. If I am lucky enough to find a property before I start then that will be a bonus in my favour, but I guess its a case of wait and see.

As I mentioned this is a non-production role, but that will not stop me from continuing to work in productions if and when I can, certainly refusing to give up that dream. So most of what you see from now on will be what I am doing and learning from SIS and any upcoming opportunities.

In between all this I am planning and organising fundraising activities for Race For Life (R4L is what I call it). At least it gives me something to focus on. The good news with that is I have to quote Harry Potter ‘Exceeded Expectation’ on my fundraising target and will continue until the race, please feel free to checkout my just giving page http://www.justgiving.com/kathrynsmith7.

I will still share what I am doing and learning and progressing with SIS, and the future.

 

Nunquam Deditionem

Productive with Pinewood & PROCAM

16 Oct

Hi Mediadreamzers

I now sit and write about the past couple of weeks, much of which has been filled with great excitement. The first is an event I had the privilege of attending at Pinewood Studios; a friend of mine put on a one man comedy show at Pinewood Studios last Friday and I and about 150 other people were blown away by the humour. I now make this my 6th visit to Pinewood and as I keep saying it is like my 2nd home, it is always nice to head down to the greatest place in the world. Once there I was directed to the John Barry Theatre and as soon as I entered I was greeting by an enormous room and suddenly one of my Facebook friends saw me and called me over, and it was great catching up with other people I know in the industry. The show was amazing, which was mirrored by the fact that it was a sell out! It was so funny that my cheeks were hurting at the end of the hour and half and my sides ached from pain of laughter. There was a scene that was re-enacted by my friend Terry and a SFX guy I know called Alex involved trick wire, a pair of glasses and a fake treadmill, and the was funny, especially the reaction from the other people in the gym. Soon the time went by and it was time for us to leave John Barry’s theatre, not before  One thing that did knock me for 6 was some of the people that attended came up to me after the show and said ‘Hi’ something I did not expect, but it made my day, or in this case evening. The rest of the night and the early hours of Saturday morning was spent at a restaurant called ‘Palm Suite’, not only was the food great (if your ever down at Pinewood go for the Piri Piri Chicken, it does not disappoint), but the company was bloody marvellous, especially when a friend I met and know on Facebook bought his dog in just as the restaurant were closing and there were all a handful of us left; Shelby, a very affectionate dog and very photogenic/ affectionate dog. Eventually it was time to leave as the owners of the suite needed to go home. Great event, wonderful night, brilliant people.

Following the event, I then packed my case again to travel to Manchester for 2 days working shadowing with a company that hires  camera and sound equipment. I traveled up the day before ready for the 2 days arranged, and after a 45mins walk I found the location, and after meeting the crew in the warehouse on the Tuesday I spent the 1st part of the day working with a guy called Jake who showed me how to set up a camera that is commonly used in the industry, checking equipment back in from production companies that were returning equipment from shoots. I was then rotated to another area of the warehouse with a guy called Rich. I learnt a lot from Rich and I learnt that there are no stupid questions as I had so many about camera, sound, their system checking in and out, usage of equipment and anything else that sprung to mind. First day a lot was covered and the first ended quickly, then 2nd day was just was fast and I surprised remembered a majority of what I had been taught and I was trusted enough to set up lighting panels for testing and how to check and set up a monitor. Sadly I had to leave to catch my train and during the 2hr 30mins train journey, I reflected on everything I had learned and hoping that everything I have learned helps me progress further forward and hoping to put what I have learned to good use. Maybe my next opportunity will let me show of my training and experience.

 

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.

Baton Battle Day The Grand Final

11 Aug

Well fellow Mediadreamzers readers

The day has come for the final of the world baton twirling championship, and although I missed the actual performances of the finalists because I work (through the rest of the production crew told me the best highlight moments, one of which was Keisuke Komada, of Japan scoring a perfect 10 across the board again)  I made it in time for the team event and I made sure I did not miss it. Luckily I arrived just as the last few senior men were performing their routines and then work started. The team performances from each country were spectacular, it got to the point where I tried not to blink for fear of missing anything. After the last performance from France there was a break so the judges could total up all the scores for each country and I guess for everyone to stretch their legs, and it was dying this time I was sent on a secret mission by Myra Kirk, Head of the Baton Biz, that the rest of the crew could not know about; and all was revealed 20mins later- I was instructed to go and get 7 little batons with the UK flag on as a souvenir from us all working on recording and streaming the event.

Though one thing that surprised me was the announcer for the championship did a thank you shout out the production crew- Owen Tooth- Director, David Wayman-Camera operator, Ola Meser-Camera operator, Phil Arnold-Camera operator, Brett Turner-Editor (who heard the announcement and got up and  raised his arms in the air, and I was very surpassed that they announced my name- Production runner WOW.

Soon the winners were announced for each country and to show who won I have included pictures

Junior Women Winners- 1st Japan, 2nd Japan, 3rd Japan

Junior Women Winners 2014

Junior Men Winners- 1st Japan, 2nd France, 3rd Italy

Junior Men Winners 2014

Senior Women Winners- 1st Japan, 2nd USA, 3rd Japan

Senior Women Winner 2014             Senior Women Winners

 

Senior Men Winners (though I think you can guess the winner on this one)

Winners-1st Japan, 2nd-France, 3rd-Japan

Senior Men Winners 2014

 

Junior Pairs Winners- 1st Japan, 2nd Italy, 3rd USA, 4th France

Junior Pairs Winners 2014

 

Senior Pairs Winners-1st USA, 2nd Japan, 3rd France

Senior pairs winners 2014

 

World Team Event Winners-1st France, 2nd Japan, 3rd USA

World Team Winners 2014

The country that won the World Baton Twirling Championship 2014 cup and trophy

1st Japan, 2nd France, 3rd USA

Overall Winners 2014

 

Before the championship was officially closed there were additional certificates and merits handed out to those competing for 5 years and 10 years as well as some members being given lifetime achievement awards. Then the party really got started for the athletes as I heard it was a tradition that they celebrate by dancing to great tracks- traditional song of Nottingham ‘Robin Hood’, the Macarena (and at one point I thought our director when he got up and walked round the desk was gonna go onto the floor to dance, unfortunately not), Cotton-Eye Joe, Gangnam Style and YMCA and a few other tracks. And it was a wrap for us, taking equipment apart of packing it away and doing all the usual things after a production. One thing that I got for Myra that was from all the team was a box of chocolates, that she was surprised about. One cool thing we all got was a photo was the Senior Men’s winner (courtesy of Owen’s phone)

 

photo to end all shoots on Baton Twirling

A fitting way to end the 5 days filming such a cool and breath-taking championship. Next years tournament will be in Canada and the following year will be in Sweden, I hope we are lucky enough to be chosen to go to these countries to capture it on film and stream it LIVE.

I hope I work with everyone again soon, as I had a blast and it certainly kept me fit, forget gym membership

Next on the production list is Line Producer with LightFilms, which I am looking forward to.

 

‘Allies’, Armed and in Action

11 Jul

Hi fellow followers

Here is a belated posting for a film I worked on. Please read and feel free to comment

 

 

Hi Mediadreamzers

No sooner had my StreamUK opportunity ended, another one arose. You may remember that I mentioned a Q&A session and talking about a film called ‘Allies’, and how the director mentioned about letting me help out on the production, well that time had come.

As a reminder and a refresher to you here is a little info on the film; Set in August 1944, a team of British soldiers led by US Captain are dropped behind enemy lines in France on a mission that could shorten the war. As nothing goes according to plan, commando Sergeant Harry McBain and Captain Gabriel Jackson know they must put aside personal animosity if the mission is to succeed. The film is Inspired by true events; Allies tells the story of friendship and survival during World War Two.
Although I was involved for a few days on the film, it was a brilliant two days.

The first day was an early start, even earlier than when I normally get up in the morning; 5am call time. After collecting the Director, 1st AD and DOP we travelled to the location on day one and once there it was meeting the rest of the production team, getting the call sheet of the day and getting ready to begin filming. I was assigned to unit B which involved going off site to another locations to film the scenes of the day, forests, train stations etc (one thing I have noticed is when your working on a production, time does not stand still, it goes way too fast). Most of the day involved driving backwards and forwards collecting people, supplies and going to the production office. Sooner than expected wrap time was called for everyone to leave the production base, until tomorrow.

The following day was more hands on than Thursday and after driving around in the morning to get more supplies and collect actors from the station, I was invited into set by Unit A by the 3rd AD, Faz. I think at one point I was very popular because it was about 24C I had an ice pack with with me I was letting the crew use it to keep cool until it turned to water (next time I will try to remember my pocket fan. On set it was a case of wearing ear plugs because of the constant gun fire at different stages of filming. The afternoon involved looking after the equipment with another runner called Ian, taking actors to the station, taking rushes to the office and dropping one of the actors off at his accommodation before I needed to leave due to work.

Although filming ended on the film on Monday and I worked on the production for two, it was a brilliant experience. I just want to say an awesome thank you to the following people;

Dominic Burns for letting me get involved in the production
Emma Biggins
Faz Buffery

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