Tag Archives: opportunity

A shot on the Screen Northants

3 Oct

Hey Mediadreamzers

As I mentioned in my last post I didn’t know when my next opportunity was gonna be and I was SO right. This was a last minute opportunity that I heard about, applied to help out and was taken on, as a 3rd AD. This was my third time being a 3rd and it was nice to taken on the role again.

So the day, well Sunday, was an early call time of 8am to travel to Northampton to work with Screen Northants on a production titled veto’d trailer to promote parts of Northampton. Made it to the location and met the main crew, spoke to Becky the production manager and person who allowed me to get involved in the production. I then met Lucas, the 1st AD who I liaised with during the whole day and then met the runners who I was taking care of and assigning jobs to. Then things started to get ready for the background extras and actors to arrive, and there were a lot of extras; the more the merrier as part of the street needed to be filled with a lot of people. After the rehearsals with the main actors, getting release forms filled in and guiding the 2nd AD, filming started (well after showing the extras what the sequence of events that were going to be filmed) then everything started. The weather held up for filming outside and it was a blessing, there is nothing worse than the weather being cold and damp when outside filming.

Lucas instructed everyone on what was going to happen and I with the help of Zach looked after the extras and cued them for the timings for when they would need to go on set and where they needed to be with the filming. There were several takes captured by the director and camera crew and time just flew by when ‘That’s a wrap’ and it was all hands to the pump for clearing the street as Screen Northants were given the street till 2.30pm getting the camera, extras, tables and other equipment so the people of Northampton could walk freely through. It was a great day it went by really fast and extras were happy to have been involved and were asking when and where the footage will go when it had been edited together; at a guess Facebook, Twitter and/ or Screen Northants page.

Hopefully, there will opportunities to work with Screen Northants again on any upcoming media related work and more as a 3rd AD. Until next time

Nunquam Deditioneum

Event is Bond, Bondstars

25 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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As promised this post is one that is a must to share, I have been waiting for months for this day and it finally arrived. It was an early rise to get to Pinewood Studios for a Bondstars event ‘Designs on Bond’ honoring Peter Lamont, Art Director for the Bond films from Goldfinger to Spectre. Apart from a nightmare getting to Pinewood due to road closures I made it and once there it was like film heaven, going in and getting a goodie bag of Peter Lamont’s book (which I got autographed) and other items it was a case of touring the Heatherden Hall seeing the Special guests many of whom I met during the day. The special guests were at tables with autographed photos and other items, next to tables of dealers selling merchandise, one thing I came away with was a Moneypenny signed t-shirt. Well if people are gonna christen you with that name you might as well have the t-shirt to go with it. It was great to see and meet many of my Bond Facebook friends in person and we had a great chat and catch up before the event officially kicked off. We were introduced to the work of Peter Lamont, his work and him answering questions from the Bondstars.com organizers. We saw a tribute program to his work on the Bond films and everyone sharing their memories of Peter Lamont, it was interesting to learn that Peter’s brother and also his were also part of the Bond franchise. After the documentary many of Peter’s colleagues got on the stage and shared their memories of Peter and the Bond films they had worked on, really interesting to hear.

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When there is a break before the next surprise, I decided to wonder round and get some autographs from many of the well-know crew from Bond, one of whom was Terry Madden (and I also saw Terry Bamber-The man and legend), as well as Terry Ackland-snow, Chris Corbould, John Richardson, John Grover and many other people. I got to sit with many Bond Facebook friends, and got to meet the guys behind James Bond Radio for a chat and lunch which was really enjoyable. After this it was a Q&A session with Peter Lamont and seeing tributes on the big screen from Sir Roger Moore, James Cameron and other well know stars looking over the film sets he has created and the Oscar he won working on Titanic, as well as showing other iconic films he has been part of. Some of the Bond writers came to pay tribute to Peter as a surprise too which was great. There were some apologises said, one of which came from Barbara B and Michael W, and other individuals who could not make it. After the Q&A we all got a break and got to wonder round the memorabilia room to see what else was there and other guests had arrived too. I got to have my picture with some of the Bond Girl stars, I particularly had a really enjoyable conversation with Madeline Smith and Caroline Munroe both of them were very kind in saying that I was very pretty and yes they were being very kind. There was a garden tour of Pinewood but as I have had a tour of Pinewood before I stayed to continue chatting to Madeline and Caroline as well as talking to the other Bond stars/ girls as they had taken the day to come to Pinewood I thought it would be rude to not go and say hi. It was an incredible day involving tea and scones that everyone enjoyed, before going to listen to Q The Music tribute to Peter and the Bond films he has worked on. I continued to chat to Caroline and Madeline and other stars. I was flattered beyond measure by Caroline saying to other Bond special guests about me and how pretty I am and said that I should consider being in a Bond film. One can only dream.

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Q the Music was brilliant like it was the first time I heard it and seeing with others was incredible. I was said when the day came to an end, and we all needed to leave. I said my goodbyes and thanks to everyone I got to meet, especially Peter and I also got to see his grandson too. Got many hugs and kisses from people I met, I really hope I get to go to the next Bondstars.com event next year, fingers crossed that there gonna be other Bond events in the future.

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When my next opportunity is going to be I do not know but I am looking forward to it, next on my list is to bake for the Macmillan coffee morning this week coming up so I will see how this goes and if everything turns out o.k.

 

All that is left to say is Thank you Peter Lamont, Bondstars and all other special guests- crew and Bond Girls who came to Pinewood Studios.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Cain Hill and Able for three days

25 Sep

Hey Mediadreamzers

I know the last post I mentioned about an upcoming event but I decided to add my latest media production work. I have spent three days working on a horror film called ‘Cain Hill’ and although it was only three days, and I wished it was longer, I had an awesome time on set. You maybe wondering what ‘Cain Hill’ is all about and here it is; ‘Cain Hill’ is about a group of documentary filmmakers who are shooting a TV special about the events of Cain Hill, an asylum famous and mysterious going on’s, and the unexplained abductions and murders that occurred at the site since then. Soon the group learn that one of the inmates never left Cain Hill at all. DUN-DUN-DUUUUN, makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up just reading the plot.

Day one of my three days on location was great filming at a pub/ social club, met the crew and got started with the usual tasks and after 20 mins I kept hearing ‘Where have you been hiding, we could have done with you at the start of filming’ (unfortunately I had to work; sad face) Everyone was friendly and welcoming on my first day Adam the Production Manager, Andy the DOP, Gene the Director, Soroosh the Sound Recordist, George the Make-up man, Ciara the Script Supervisor, Austin who was learning DOP work and Sheldon a runner and also assisting Andy too. Along with the usual tasks I do as a PA, I also got to have fun being an extra in a pair seen, this is my fourth time being an extra. Speaking of extras there were a lot more that arrived during the afternoon/ evening filming and one thing many of us noticed was one of the extras was the spitting image of, wait for it, Daniel Craig. I am not joking it was uncanny. Day flew by leading to the night scenes to be shot and another actor arrived on set, Michael Parr. The name may sound familiar an that is because Michael is known for playing Ross Barton in Emmerdale, and has also been in Hollyoaks, Doctors just to name a few. Day one went by really fast and ‘Wrap’ was shouted so it was time to get kit packed and rooms back to the way they were before.

Day two and three were at the same place, before leaving from the social club/ pub Sheldon, me and others were de-briefed on what needed to be done as soon as we arrived on set and that’s what we did when we arrived. There was somewhat of a delay filming in the afternoon due to a guy nearby using a chainsaw to cut down trees and main crew trying to film whilst that happened, but they got it and everyone was happy. It was fun during these few days to shadow Ciara with Script Supervisor on what happens in that role, hope I get to do more of that in the future, as well as using the Clapperboard amongst other tasks. The final day was great but a sad one, not in a bad way but in the way that it was the last day of filming, pet peeve of mine is working on a project and it coming to an end really fast. The last part to shoot was a scene that involved fire, so my fire marshall training came into play here, so everything was set for that; water, towels, soil. Got a lot filmed on day three and wrap was at 6.15pm, so all hands to the pump for clearing and packing everything away ready for the wrap party at 7.30 pm at the social club. The fun part of the evening was everyone being given an award for categories they were nominated for; mine was the Steven Segals Award for Best Martial Artist. Reason behind that award is on day two I mentioned that I knew self defense training and was challenged to taking George down, although that didn’t happen at least I had fun showing how to defend myself. Other categories for crew were funny and cleverly done too. Wrap party was great fun wish I could have stayed later and longer but had to travel back home. I hope I get the chance to work with Gene, Cupsogue Pictures and everyone else on the crew in the future as they are awesome people.

As I was given a trophy it is only fitting to share with you that and an wrap party photo

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Nunquam Deditioneum

TWFP Party

1 Aug

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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My latest media activity came round sooner than I expected and it was a great way to spend a Sunday evening. Normally I use Sundays to recover from combat training but decided to go and do something fun. As it was a dress to impress event I kept chopping and changing what I was gonna wear and eventually settle on something. Even though it didn’t start till 5pm, and because I was meeting a friend for coffee and catch up I left that house as I was.

Headed to London at what you’d call an early time, but needed to as I was heading to Elstree & Borehamwood; didn’t help that certain lines on the underground were closed off but found a way round on it. The welcome sign to E & B was showing all the programs filmed at BBC; Strictly Come Dancing, EastEnders, Children In Need and Holby City. When I got there I saw that Elstree & Borehamwood had its own Hollywood walk of fame and a wall that had film reels, director’s chair, clapper board, film count down timer, stars and awards. I also saw star display boards one of which was for Christopher Lee, Sidney James, Gregory Peck just to name a few.

It would have been cool to have had the event at BBC studios but it was across the street but it was nice to be 30 seconds from the studio. The event I went to was a networking event for actors and crew, well mostly for actors as it was a casting party for a production company called The Way Forward Productions. Met one of my friends who’d I’d met at a previous event and had a catch up before meeting other people that I am FB friends with and others who I was meeting for the first time. Whilst there people were filling in registration forms for people to be actors, supporting roles or extras; it was hard for people to add details but managed to get everything sorted. We all headed to the hall where DJ food, drink and other events were arranged, one of which was a magician. He did a load of really cool tricks one of which involved 6 of us and a pack of invisible cards. The deck ended up in my hands and after the color of the card and suit had been chosen by 2 other people I said that the number of the card was a 5 and told me to draw a cross on the back and to blow a kiss in the air. Magician pulled out a pack of cards and shuffled through to the last one and there was a card with an X on it and it was the 5 of Diamonds. There were other tricks that involved cards, guessing images from passages read from books and what people had read on word cards.

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Local singers performed and the DJ took over after Jason Cook; the founder of The Way Forward Productions showed a short video on the charity that the production company supports; Downs Syndrome. After some introductions from Jason and Mark Sears, everyone started to mingle, chat, catch up with those they ‘d met before and hand out business cards. Later people headed up to where the photographer to have head shots to be added to profile pages that were and are going to be added to the production pages website, which also lists the upcoming films that are in pre-production.  Had a laugh during hte night taking pictures with props used in films past and present; balaclavas, guns, night googles, hats and having a laugh in the build up to a raffle draw to raise money for Drowns Syndrome charity.

 

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Although the event ended at 11pm, I left at about 9ish because of trains getting out of London and it was a good thing that I did as the next 2 trains had been cancelled and then next one was scheduled for 22.47pm. One thing I find when travelling on trains is that people ended up having conversations with me; maybe I have one of those faces that invites conversations, not that I am complaining but interests conversations happen. Made it back just before midnight would have been back sooner despite booking my taxi for when I arrived back it was 20mins late and made it back the next day. I hope I am not too shattered today when daylight breaks because I am back in the broadcasting gallery shadowing again and focusing on specific roles; the mix control panel and Assistant Producers roles.

Thought round off the night with an attempt of a selfie

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The only thing I hate about events like this is they start and end so fast.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

Shoot, Create, Screen

24 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

Two posts in two days, that’s a first but as promised a follow up from the last one. Only this one is more to do with the Film Festival events that has been sweeping up and down the UK, in a nutshell the 48 hour Film Challenge.MKChallenge. So the mission which many people chose to accept was to shoot a short film in the space of two days and to submit it for the event within the set deadline. This was all part of the International Festival Fringe of Summer Shorts; one could say this is our equivalent to Cannes minus travelling abroad.

Summer Shorts

I was surprised at the number of people who turned up a mixture of those who worked on the shorts and those supporting the films themselves. The films running order stood thus:

The Interview – Directed by Adam Jeayes Comedy with a double meaning in the title

Marmeladas – Directed by Rosemary Hill that means Cheese which language I can’t remember

Five Pound Note – Directed by Ana Diego Silent film with only background noises.

Spirit Cleanser – Directed by Julie Cuthbert

West Ham, Farewell Boleyn – Directed by Roger Stotesbury I really enjoyed this documentary and I’m sure those who are West Ham fans would too. Got to speak to the director on this film too.

Product Placement – Directed by Ana Diego focusing on the issue of trafficking

First Response – Directed by Carl Mason Zombie police film

Silently Within Your Shadow – Directed by Scott Lyus a Ventriloquist’s dummy that comes to live and has a connection with the Ventriloquist. One thing that surprised me was that people were asking me was I the Ventriloquist in the film because the actress who played her had the same hair color and length as me. Was flattered but not pretty enough to be an actress.

In Tents – Directed by MJ Dixon Thriller by a director I know very well and it does make you jump out of your skin.

Avant Macabre – Directed by John H Shelton

Nightman – Directed by Kieran Johnston

The Night Walker – Directed by Michael Hallett

There were some films that were creatively done, a genuine thinking outside the box short and then there were 1-2 that once you watched them you thought what the hell that doesn’t make sense or was just awful no doubt about it. Overall the night was great seeing something on screen and as I sat there a film idea for a short came to mind whether I suggest it to someone and it gets made for the next shorts festival who knows.

Hopefully more media activities to share soon when the next is I don’t know at all.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Gallery Shadow

24 Jul

Hey Mediadreamzers

Feels like I have been away for an eternity, have missed having something media related to share. Now the wait is over as Friday I did something fun; Friday was spent in the production gallery with an Assistant Producer, Director, Graphics guy, Screen Controller, EVS guy and finally Sound. I will be honest being an AP in a gallery with LIVE broadcasting makes you feel like an Octopus; need lots of hands to be doing so many things all at once and trying to get everything so precise I guess takes practice. And that is where my work shadowing started at the front desk and working my way to the back of the room and then into the Sound room.

The role for an AP from what I have seen so far is looking at bulletin schedules, filling in sheets about music and medias used in broadcasting that has copyright clearance, calculating the times for programs to start, end, subtracting advert showing times, cuing when each media piece is gonna be shown and counting down from beginning to end. I also got to see and use the control panel and there were more buttons there than on a spaceship would have. This is why they have three stopwatches in order to work this out and to also workout airtime to avoid over running. There is so much more that I saw but there is a lot more to see so this is one area in the gallery that interests me to see more about.

Graphics was using a specific program to get the shots of the afternoons broadcasting which is a mixture of being simple but hard with the process of creating them, but was fun all the same. This combined with the seeing how they are found and added to the TV screens during broadcasting was clever, fast and in a way pretty easy.

Eventually I was at the back of the room with the EVS guy and as a second place job that looks hard this has to be it. As this roles you have two computers screens to find media footage, two box controls for selecting and broadcasting clips, four screens showing a prev and a current broadcasting on what is happening live. The key thing in this role is to have very good hears when the AP or Director shouts out what clip or piece they want to show next. I have been told that there is a user manual you can download for this, so I will have a lot of reading to do there.

Finally, the Sound room, which in itself is like a private box at Ascot; spacious, private and quiet too. Again looks simple but when your in the seat you wonder which fader is set to control what if not marked, taking calls ready for phone in interview and making sure that sound doesn’t peak 7 decibels. Day end really fast and the AP and Direcotr of the day said that I am welcome back anytime, just come through to the gallery and take it from there. So definitely gonna go back but will of course give an advanced heads up.

Next media posting will be that of the Summer Film Fringe Fest.

Nunquam Deditioneum

Back to BAFTA

21 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

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I wish I could have written a post about a Media Summer Party with the Crewing Company but as it was raining and thundering it didn’t happen. So I’ll share with you my night at the BAFTA House for a preview screening on an updated adaptation of the Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. Initially I thought the first day of Summer being yesterday was gonna be one of rain, rain and more rain but the afternoon sunshine all around thank you god. Managed to get to the Capital o.k and the one thing I like about the London Underground is that Oxford Circus has really cool coloured titles on the walls, sort of reminds me of a Kaleidoscope. As much as I wanted to admire the walls I had to get to Piccadilly Circus and I made it the sun was out and the Paparazzi were outside waiting for celebs and special guests. I was surprised by the how many people turned up for the screening, granted that the theatre wasn’t full to burst but it was full-ish.

 

After introductions from the BBC head of Communications and BAFTA President the screening commenced.  I admit I don’t remember the whole of the synopsis for Secret Agent but the hour segment was brilliant and saw a lot of British talent on screen; Toby Jones, Vicky McClure, Ian Hart, Stephen Graham, David Dawson just to name a few. The bare bones of the story is this Shopkeeper Verloc is instructed to bomb Greenwich Observatory and provoke the British government into cracking down on violent extremists. Caught between the Russians and the British police, Verloc drags his unsuspecting family into a tragic terror plot.

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After the screening a Q&A followed which was chaired by Mark Lawson; Journalist, Broadcaster and Author, many remember him from Radio 4, well tonight he put his questions to the guests on stage; Toby Jones and Vicky McClure, Writer Tony Marchant and Director Charles McDougall. The floor was opened up to audience members and then the night came to an end, though the funny thing, well two funny things were this; first was Toby Jones walking right past me and the other was that as I was leaving the BAFTA House I encountered Mark and spoke to him before heading towards the Underground.

The journey out of London wasn’t as long as I thought it was gonna be I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that Tuesday is and was the longest day on the calendar, either way I made it back and had a blast that night. My next media event is looking to be in July where I will be heading out to Elstree and Borehamwood the land of EastEnders and Harry Potter territory (nothing to do with these guys but something else coming up).

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.

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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

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