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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

Premiere at the QUAD

17 Dec

Hi Mediadreamzers

It has been a week since I posted and these days I blink and the time goes within that action. Usually my Sundays are plain and quiet, however, Sunday 8th December was certainly an interesting one.

If you scroll back through the archived posts for this Summer I worked on a pilot episode called ‘Jobseekers’ that was being produced by a company called YSP Media and I spent a week helping them film in Derby and all around (thought it feels like that it was yesterday that we were filming the first episode). Well, last night was the premiere of the episode in Derby, at the QUAD, and I must say it was nice to go back to the city. I arrived and was directed up to the Box where the YSP crew were. It was great catching up with Belinda Basson, the producer of the episode who gave me the list of attendees, whilst I saw other members of the crew. During the run round at QUAD, Chris Bevan the great director of the episode was running round making sure all went smoothly and it did. I’m guessing it felt surreal for everyone as it felt that we worked on the project yesterday and yet we were here. Once at the table set up for ‘Jobseekers’, it was a case of helping meet and greet guests, VIPs, sponsors and the cast who had featured in the episode. Once the bulk of guests had arrived, it was a case of travelling to the second floor and walking one the red carpet. I have never walked on a red carpet before, so I savored every moment of it too! (it felt like across between a night at the BAFTA and the Oscars).

I admit it was the first time I have been in the QUAD Cinema of all the time I was at University, well there is a first for everything. Before the screening there was an introduction by Chris who introduced Lee Dilley the writer of the ‘Jobseekers’ episode, and then the episode commenced. It was great watching the final piece on the big screen and seeing how it looked, we all laughed at the right moments and when it finished the screen room was engulfed in non-stop applause. During the rolling of the credits I saw some additional footage and smiled when I saw my name on the runners page, the episode was an ultimate highlight when there was a cameo appearance of Lee, as a tailor. There was a Q & A afterwards where a selection of the cast answered questions, some of which got a few laughs and cheers from.

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Before networking and catching up with a few people everyone was given the chance to have their pictures taken with the cast and crew, in the green room (the ironic thing about the room was that it was Yellow). Hopefully, the planned 5 episodes will be made in the New Year and we can all come back together to make a great series and see if BBC, ITV or C4 are tempted by the series as it is different and local.

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YSP Media are great to work with and if I was offered the chance to do it all again, too right I would do it.

BFI Forever One Year On

9 Nov

I was surprised a few weeks ago to receive an email from BFI informing of a series of roadshows it would be bring across the UK, and one of the venues was Derby. This surprised me as it isn’t exactly top of the list when it comes to the East Midlands, but all the same I signed up to the sessions. It was held at an old hangout of mine when I was at university so it was great going back.

Before the events kicked off we had a networking introduction of tea and coffee with biscuits, lots of biscuits and I got the chance to meet some new people, hand out some business cards and see some familiar faces. These familiar faces I am referring to are the YSP Media team who I worked with on the sitcom episode ‘Jobseekers’ so it was great to catch-up.

Once the sessions began we were introduced to the team behind BFI; Ben Roberts Director of BFI, Eddie Berg Director of BFI partnerships, Nikki Christie BFI Education, Creative England and Film Network attended. The event was split into two the first half focused on education and how BFI and Film network are focusing their attentions on using films to educate young individuals, the programmes they have for 5-19 year olds, the impact and reactions triggered using media in education and the career choices/ placements open to young people. It was another networking session with more tea and coffee and of course more biscuits before going back for the second session which looked at Heritage and Archived films. It was here that I learned about the BFI Player where individuals can watch certain and particular films that are housed, maintained and restored by the BFI; some of which are free and others pay per view. Additionally, references were made also to workshops and future events that BFI are planning for the future.

The session ended quicker than I expected but I won’t be away from Derby/ QUAD for long as I will be going back for another networking session in December, so keep your eye on the blog and will be back soon.

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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