Tag Archives: drama

I feel it is my ‘Line of Duty’ to attend

16 May

Hi Mediadreamzers

I hope that if you are in the UK you have been making the most of the sunshine and hot weather; we’re actually getting a Summer. I certainly felt the Summer sun yesterday when I was heading to another Royal Television Society event, on as the title of my latest post was about the BBC Drama ‘Line of Duty’. Despite the trains being delayed, I made it to Millbank Tower out in Pimlico in plenty of time. Before heading the the venue I saw that MI6 was across the the water. Well, you can’t walk past MI6 and not take a picture; though I wonder if they got a picture of me over the bridge taking a photo, who knows.

 

           

 

 

Once inside Millbank Tower got chatting to a few people before the event started and the it was a very popular event, and luckily the air conditioning was on. The guests on the panel were the Creator, writer, director, Executive Producer Jed, the Executive Producer Simon, Script Executive Priscilla and one of the lead actors Adrian Dunbar. The cherry on the sundae was that the discussion was chaired by, wait for it, Anne Robinson. Yes THAT Anne Robinson; Watchdog and Weakest Link presenter, and I admit when I saw Anne I was very surprised. The event was a mixture of questions directed to each of the guests and in between this there were a series of clips played in between, chosen by each person who said that certain clips were their favourite scenes and shots and why that was the case. There were discussions on the next series and it hopefully being set for 3 more series.

        

 

 

For me it was interesting to hear that the series is filmed in Birmingham and not London; when you watch programs like this, it is a cliche that they are filmed in the capital, so it made a nice change. It was also interesting to hear about the time it takes to film so many minutes of scene and the process/ approach the actors use to their characters and that the rehearse of scenes and episodes would consist of anywhere to 8-12 hours that is some dedication. I confess I have yet to watch a whole series but I will eventually get there, looking forward to the story lines and issues explored.

After the sessions was opened up to the audience to ask questions it was time for everyone to head to the bar, as with all events like this they always end at the bar or a bar. Just as I wondered to one part of the room I ran into Anne Robinson and I thought you can’t end the day without a photo and I was glad that Anne was o.k with this. I apologise on the way I look in this photo; I look awful in photos, and this is why I very rarely posted pictures of me on my blog, saving everyone from the nightmares.

 I guess in this photo I’m the weakest link.

On my train journey home I thought was gonna have a boring journey back but it was a fun trip out of London as their was an enthusiastic train conductor named Marc getting the whole train to sing Happy Birthday to a passenger, whose Birthday was gonna be the next day, so today (Wednesday).

I have seen a few more upcoming events that I am hoping to go to provided I am not working so hopefully more to share in the next few weeks. Still keeping my skills and work as a Production Assistant sharp and up to date.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Near the end, ready for the next chapters

30 Nov

Hi Mediadreamerz

It has been a little quiet regarding media work with the fast approach to Christmas, I do have one more media job next week which I am looking forward to and then its a case of waiting for 2015 and starting planned projects, and see what the future holds too.

Although I had fun on Wednesday travelling in the rain for a chat with members of the BBC Drama Village production team and finding out what is happening in the realm of production next year. As soon as I walked through the door to the building to the reception area the security team saw me and I was greeted with ‘Hello Stranger, longtime no see’. Something I never bargained for, nor expected as the last time I saw them was in January/ February, it was nice that they remembered me.

Once in they asked me what I had been up to and I started talking about productions and how I’d applied for a role on one the the BBC Birmingham productions and how I was unsuccessful, and then I got a bit of a surprise; at that exact moment a member of the drama production team walked by heard what I’d said and asked what area of work I am in, with production and after I told him he said he would get my details from the production team ready for next year. Big surprise there and as they say its all word of mouth and not what you know, but who.

I then met Steve and his colleague Kate and after finding a free office chatted about productions, opportunities, current experiences and recent projects I have worked on, where I see myself in the near distant future, why media/ drama and what the status of production is currently at. Steve and Kate explained a bit about their backgrounds and how they/ BBC Birmingham functions with regard to crew and other projects individuals move to work on so they get additional experiences and progress forward. Although production has ended this year, production resumes second week on January and then they will be scouting crew for new productions and will be selecting people to help out, hopefully I will be one of those individuals.

Until then it is one more media job to complete and then final preparations for Christmas (strange I started in October, but at least I only have a few things left to sort then its all done).

So next week busy but exhausting,

Nunquam Deditioneum

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

Trains, Strangers and a whole lotta networking

13 Mar

Hi fellow mediadreamz readers and those who follow me (to the many that do, thank you, it means a lot).

I have a great day heading to Birmingham for an event at the Library of Birmingham. As the event started at 11am I caught an early train, as I had no idea where I was going, funny thing me doing that as I ended up running into a customer I serve at Tesco and we had a good old catch-up as well as meeting a friend and colleague of his named Chrissy. Before going to find the venue I did my good deed for the day; took a lady to the Mailbox as she didn’t know where it was so I had a lot of time to spare. I then helped a guy find Queensway in Birmingham (if all fails in the TV/ Film industry, I can be a tour guide).

Got the the library in plenty of time and saw a lot of familiar faces and people which I had a great catch-up with. Spent the first hour meeting people and handing out loads of business cards before going to an induction session opened by a guy by the name of James and after being introduced to the guest speakers for the days events. Before everything started it was lunch and networking, though that was a let down of the day, a few trays of finger food and hardly anyone got anything to try. During the lunch break I got to talk to the guests who were attending, and it was during this time that I got a marriage proposal. How and why you may ask, explanation; two guys were looking for where the food was, only thing available was spicy asian cheese tarts, I noticed a tray of satay chicken and mentioned this. I was praised for my observation skills and one of the guys said ‘will you marry me, I won’t take no for an answer’. (Though I later learned both of these guys were both guest speakers and are writers in drama and comedy, guess which genre my proposal came from). It remained our private joke throughout the day.

First session I went to dealt ‘Skills for Success-Keeping your edge in a competitive changing environment’ with Creative Skills set talking about traineeships, opportunities and funding available for training up and down the UK. Second session ‘Film Finance Workshop’ was a Creative England talk where we were informed of film funding and grands to finance productions in and outside of Birmingham. The Third and final session ‘Getting and sustaining a career in the media’. It was here that I received a big shock seeing the two guys who had spoken to me who I later learned were William Gallagher who is famous for radio Doctor Who, ITV’s ‘Crossroads’ and a wide range of other drama programmes. The other guy was Keith R Lindsay, the man who proposed, who is known for working on ‘Birds of a feather’, ‘The green green grass’ which was co-written with John O’Sullivan a legend in himself. Another writer on the panel was Claire Bennett, a drama writer who has worked on ‘Doctors’ and ‘Holby City’. Out of all of these sessions this was my favourite, as it was relaxed and free flowing whereas the other two were regimental. Plus we could speak freely in the session and it was more humorous talking from all panel speakers.

Eventually the day came to an end and after hearing a summary of the day and about coming to future summit events. Then it was time to leave before heading home, and once on the train i met to people who started talking to me (I wonder if I have a face that invites people to talk to me, is there anyone else who had a face like that?) When we started talking one of the ladies told me her son works as a Art Director, and I immediately handed her my business card and it was my last one, which made to journey home even more sweeter.

So a productive day and I have projects in the pipeline and more to come soon, very soon

Keep reading

A series of unexpected events

22 Oct

I had a surprise phone call last night inviting me to an interview at a production company in Leeds. My initial thought was to drive up to, but because there had been an accident on the route I was going to take I decided on the train. I had my route planned only to find out when I got to the ticket office that my tickets would not be valid. So I went via a different course, and had the greatest pleasure telling some guy who was smoking that this was a non-smoking station. ‘Oh, I didn’t know that’, to which I said ‘Well, there is a sign next to you saying no smoking’. I sometimes worry about the intellect of some people.

I have also come to the conclusion that CrossCountry are the worst rail line ever; there trains are irregular, the prices are ridiculous and whenever I and others travel on them you feel like a sardine. I think that these fat cats that hike the prices up on essentials should spent a day, or even better a month surviving on a minimum wage and see what others struggle.

Made it to Leeds o.k and found the studio without any problems, worked to my advantage as I arrived earlier than my scheduled time. Once I had been buzzed in I walked up the stairs and saw the whole of fame for programmes that have been made in the north of England. I met Dan and the other ADs working in the office, and after showing Dan my CV and answering and asking all the questions I could think of my interview was over (I have learned that if an interview last between 20-30 mins) then that is a good sign.

As I had finished earlier than expected, I caught a East Coast train and they are by far the best train service; the staff are friendly, the carriages are clean, bright, spacious and there is plenty of space to put your luggage.

All I can do is wait and see if I am successful.

An ‘Outland’ experience

8 Jul

Hi Guys,

In addition to one film I am helping out on, I am also helping out on another, this one is called ‘Outland’. Its a local low budget film, that is produced and directed by Jonathan Lee Millward. The film itself without giving too much away is on the lines of ‘The Hobbit’/ ‘Lord of the Rings’. Initially I and the rest of the team thought the temperature on the day would be average. Yesterday we were filming at a castle and country park, which was full of people coming to a county fair event. Oh, no we had a massive heatwave, of say 30C (I wasn’t complaining about it as the UK has had some pretty disappointing weather over what is SUPPOSE to be Sumer). At one point during filming I had to take my shirt off (don’t worry I had a vest on underneath). Most of today was rehearsal and filming of one scene at various angles, which was pretty cool. Prior to that Martin, the actor for the day was in costume and make-up and it took a while to get everything done and on him by the make-up costume team, especially putting in the contact lenses that made his eyes go yellow. Now that, after seeing it done was awesome. During this time I acted as one of the runners as well as helping the camera people focus their wide angel shots by filling in for Martin during rehearsals, and taking over the logging of shoots. I even got to play with the clapper board (I wonder if that makes me a AD?). As part of the first day I managed to get some happy snappy shots of the team, and some video content of our time in the woods of the park at Elvaston Castle, though I have decided if I ever win the lottery I will either buy or build a castle.

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Eventually it was time to call it a day, well for me it was, as I had a BBQ to help put together and that was one of the highlights enjoying Smokey Texan Chicken. Although the next film date for this project is Saturday I cannot make it, though I have more dates for filming with Darren and helping finish off ‘Brothers’. I have heard from a few people and applied for other opportunities for work and one of which I need to chase up Monday. If you wish to know more about the film feel free to check the directors page Jonathan Lee Millward https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.l.millward?fref=ts or search for Outland via Google.

Next steps

15 Jun

I have managed to finish the music for my montage film from the Radio Fox Birthday night. I thought the music would take me forever to do as it normally takes me a long time to put something together. On this occasion it took a matter of an hour and half, which surprised me, maybe I should adopt the method I used here; finding random loops, listen to them and then add them.

Well here is the film, nothing too fancy.

My next objective is to make a film for a friend of mine, who after seeing my radio film wants my help, which I have agreed to. In addition, I will be helping out a director shot a film in the region. This is to start next week, hopefully lots to report.

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