Tag Archives: Interviews

Milton Keynes & Me 50 Years in an evening

7 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

God it has been practically years since I lasted posted. I have been waiting and waiting for my next media related event to happen, and now it has.

Some of you many have seen on BBC 4 a few weeks back the film titled Milton Keynes and Me by Director Richard Macer. I admit I was kicking myself for missing it when it was on TV, but had a second chance to see it when a screening of it was arranged, followed by a Q &A session with the Director himself.

For those of you haven’t seen Milton Keynes and Me the story is told and see through the eyes of Richard Macer who grew up in MK and left when he was 18 to go to University. With it being 50 years in 2017 that MK was created, Richard returned to his hometown to look back into to how MK was created and established as a New-town place, the Fred Roche Foundation which was responsible for the planning and constructing and houses, shopping centre and sculptures depicting the creativity and uniqueness of MK. And yes that includes reference to the cow sculptures created by Canadian Liz Leyh. It was cool that Richard was able to track Liz down and ask her what she thought 50 years on from when they were placed in MK.

The beginning of the film looked at the memories of MK through the eyes of his mum and dad and how MK was the UK’s equivalent to the American Dream when it came to the housing crisis that hit London in the 1950’s and 60’s. One other aspect of MK that was shown and talked about was when people think of MK besides the cows that they comment on the number of roundabouts and there is one thing I discovered whilst watching the film and that is that there is a roundabout appreciation society, something I never knew existed until that night. Following on from that there the society has given certain named roundabouts and one of the roundabouts in Fox Milne is known and named as a bonking roundabout because it was a roundabout where people used to make love and have rendezvous. One thing that is being added to Fox Milne roundabout soon is a sculpture, commemorating 50 years.

I also discovered that years ago a commercial was created advertising MK as a New-town haven and what was memorable about the commercial was that there was a boy carrying a red balloon and how everyone at the end had balloons and let them go. I admit when I saw the red balloon at first my mind immediately ran to thinking of Stephen King IT. It also got my thinking whether to not it would be possible or a good idea to make an updated commercial on what MK has for people to see. There was a generation aspect to the film where Richard headed to his old school where he talked to the current students at Stantonbury Campus. I did not know that there was something called ‘Day 10’ where students spent to entire day focusing on one subject. Would be interesting if schools today could bring that back, might make a difference.

Granted there was some negative moments in the film, that was probably down to when it was shot (Jan/ Feb) when it isn’t exactly scorching like Ibiza. But you need somewhat of a place in a film to make it work.

At the end there was the Q&A with Richard with the help of his friend and many people got to share their views, saying whether they liked it, hate it, what they thought would have been nice to have included. One thing that was somewhat annoying was that a member of the council was there and I felt that he was using it as a self promotional platform on what he could do to make things better or changes to bring about if we/ people get in touch with their local Councillors. At the eventual end I got the chance to meet and speak to Richard and share my thoughts on the film itself.

It is nice to be back on the grid of sharing, and the good news is that there will be a follow up as tonight I am off to a red carpet premiere at the Vue, Leicester Square. So I am getting all dressed up and hopefully get the chance to meet the actors and catch up with some of my media friends.

My work as a Gallery Production Assistant is going very well, and my next series of freelance opportunities are happening in the next few weeks that I am looking forward to.

Nunquam Deditioneum.

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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.

 

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

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

The Tide is Hard, but we’re hanging in there

10 May

Hey Mediadreamzers

Hard Tide

 

Time to post another blog post on media activities, and I thought I’d start of a networking event, well the first one to go to this month. This event was a Q&A session with the director of a recently released film called ‘Hard Tide’. This is a film that stars two actors who I am friends with on Facebook and see from time to time at other events. The Director has worked in a variety of roles ranging from Producer, Writer, Actor (yes his CV and IMDB is from the sounds of this very impressive).

 

I won’t give too much away on ‘Hard Tide’ encase you are still waiting to see it but the film is based on real events and centres on a man who comes to care for a little girl when he is trying to escape a life of drugs and drug dealing. As any film you watch where children are starring in it there are moments where you laugh and smile at what is being discussed, and yes there were moments. After the film, once all the credits had rolled  the Q&A session opened up; most of the questions ranged from time taken to shoot the film to where the best ideas come from one making films, along with a multitude of others asked. I also had the opportunity to speak to the Director afterwards, mentioned the actors and people I know who starred in the film, as well as passing on one of my business cards; I never leave home without them, even if I’m going to the supermarket.

Q&A

 

Q&A 2 Q&A 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was also great to catch up with people I have seen at these events in the past, and finding the status of films I am hoping to get involved in pretty soon. Hopefully the next event will be as exciting, or when my next media opportunity will be something soon as I am eager to get into a production. I also wish my friends luck and success out in Cannes as the festivities begin tomorrow.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

An evening in 5 M’s

9 Mar

Evening Mediadreamzers

Still can’t gt enough of events I always seem to enjoy myself to the max, love it. This latest event was with the MKFN, sounds like a rado station name, well here is a tongue tied title to ad onto MKFN- Mycho MicroBudget Massacre MasterClass 2016. This was the title and focus of this evening Media networking. Mycho is a production company run by MJ Dixon, a local film director whose genre focus is horror thriller films. To name a few that you can find on IMDB; Slasher House, Cleaver Killer Clown, Legacy of Thorn, trailers and footage for these films were shown during presentation giving. MJ’s presentation was a mixture of his background History and the stages and processes of making a film starting from getting ideas to the final stage of distribution and showcasing the film at film festivals and the highs and lows in between. There were a few funny stories shared during the presentation on getting locations, crew not doing as they were instructed to do and something I like to call ‘life lessons’; learning from mistakes and avoiding the repeating of these mistakes down the line.

At the end there was the usual Q&A and then the socializing with other budding film makers, actors, writers, composers and all the guys in the band. I got chatting to a film maker and a producer, who I shocked by telling him my age and him thinking I was a young individual just entering into the sphere of media and film production. From this discovery he gave me his card and mentioning that he could do with someone like me on his next production project. I like him already, and I am surprised that I surprised him, but I was reassured that it was a good surprise.

Only thing I dislike about these sessions is that they end so quick, should be a rule against this, but all I can say is keep pressing forward.

Nunquam Deditioneum

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

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

What a Gem Stone

26 Aug

Well, mediadreamz readers

It is a week where I am not standing still, despite the weather being that of winter did not stop me from heading to my interview destination with GemsTV. In all honesty I had forgotten about the job vacancy I had applied for as it has been a lifetime ago that I applied for the role of junior producer. I made it to the studio well before my interview time and met my interviewer, Ben. After being given a tour of the studio and seeing the various studios broadcasting live, as well as the being show a very fine collection of gemstones and rocks that would the studios version of a museum one stone was so big and striking it was over 900 carats (try putting that on a ring). After the tour, the interview began and from what I remember it was four questions and it lasted, well it felt like it lasted 15mins one thing I noted was I asked more questions than I have ever asked in any interview, which is a first for me.

Now all I need do now is wait to see if I hear anything. Until then I am busy with other media work and I am still enjoying it and I am hoping to be taking a trip in October to the lovely place in Iver Heath (I won’t say anymore, not till nearer the time when things are in motion).

So I will sign off this post with the usual last line, Nunquam Deditioneum Never Surrender, Never Retreat

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