Tag Archives: runner

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

Baton Twirling battle commences day 1- Thurs 7th

8 Aug

Well the first day of the championship got into well swing, and quite possibly spin today. Early met with the team and the Baton Biz representatives/ organisers prepping us on today’s events. Every event began with a warm of the Junior and Senior women first then the men before each group performed for their designated judges.

The events of today were compulsories for the Juniors and short programs for the Seniors in the morning, which lead to the performance of the Junior and Senior pairs in the afternoon. I must say it was a lot of skill and co-ordination in baton twirling, and it is a very creative sport. Soon the day came to an end and it was a case of us wrapping and reading the schedules for Friday.

Lets see what the day holds for everyone at Capital FM

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.

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.

The Good, the Bad and the unexpected News

19 Mar

Hi everyone

I know I have been away for a few days, but it is with good reason. For the past couple of days I have been inundated with calls all week about potential opportunities. One of which was from a company in Skipton, and although it is a company that mainly focuses on theatre and a little TV the lady I spoke to said she was mightily impressed with my CV, and if a suitable position arises in the future then she or the company will give me a call.

Following that, (on the same day) I got a call from EndemolUK about helping with an episode for a well-known show that they were filming in my area and would I be free. Thankfully, I had the day off work and leapt at the opportunity and despite the weather I had a great time working with the production team, and spoke to a very nice man who drives celebrities round as he works for Jaguar.

The bad was on Monday when I had agreed to meet a director of a company in Nottingham who I was to meet to to discuss the film project and after spending 20 minutes driving around trying to find the place I gave up as I wasn’t gonna waste an afternoon on a wild goose chase ( no offence to gooses). Despite this setback and sending an email of apology, this was masked by the surprise email I got. A few weeks ago I applied for a job and passed the application questions, this was followed by online assessment and I was wondering if I would hear from the company. And low and behold I did and the news was good; you have successfully passed the verbal reasoning test. Now I await till April to see what happens next as to when and whether I am invited to an assessment centre to have an interview and everything else.

One thing I am looking forward to next month is heading back to Pinewood Studios, to the networking night that was cancelled in January, and hopefully there will be natural disasters no hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes. It will be great going back to one of the best film studios that the UK has ever had, and will be great seeing all of my contacts/ friends too.

Whilst I wait it will seeing what opportunities I can apply for until next month and other activities. So my darlings stay tuned and hopefully I won’t leave it too late to report on whats going on.

Come rain or shine (or even snow)

18 Jan

Well this was certainly the case for me and an enormous amount of the population in the UK. Although everyone was advised to stay in-doors, I braved the ice climate of the beast of the east (thank you Russia) to get my destination; Birmingham. Normally, I venture into this region for my placement at Creative England, this time it was to head to BBC Drama Village. Although my first train was a little late, I got to Birmingham with time to spare to catch my next train out to Selly Oak. Once there I ventured out in the ankle high soon to BBC Drama, for my chat/ interview. I met another guy who was there for the same reasons I was and we shared our stories of the snow and how we nearly never made it in time. Although the team interviewing me were running a little late, I didn’t mind, as it gave me a chance to not only prepare but also saw some of the cast for ‘Doctors’, which was pretty cool, and soon it was my turn.

My chat lasted for 20mins, and it was mainly about my experiences, scenarios and programmes I like, what I know about BBC Birmingham Drama. Hopefully, this moves in a good direction in that I am invited back to work shadow or just be there to see what is going on, or in the pipeline for the future. When it came to walking back to the train station I had this worry I was gonna miss my train for getting home, but thankful for some mercies. The train back in to Birmingham was late by two minutes, and luckily made it back to the East Midlands before the major delays and cancellation of trains started.

 

More to come in the next few days/ weeks so provided the weather clears up then I can fulfil this promise.

Forget opportunity knocks, opportunity calls (well, in my case it does)

16 Aug

Hi everyone

I know it has been awhile since I posted anything, but I have been working on the music for one of my short films. The expression when your left hand itches left to leave, right to receive I thought only referred to money, not everything. I say this because my right knuckle was itching non-stop all, including when I was at work. When I went on my break I found a voicemail on my phone from one of my contacts at a production company in Birmingham, who told me that another production company he is working with are looking for crew for a shoot in the area I live and would I be free to help out. And of course I said yes, and was given the contact details for the lady organising the filming. Surprisingly, after the phone call my knuckle stopped itching, and the ironic thing behind this is I was thinking about when my next media opportunity would be. Even though it is for one day, I am looking forward to getting started with more production work, and it was nice of my contact to do that for me, I guess I made a good expression when I worked on one of the programmes.

Visiting Olympic Capital

5 Aug

Hi one and all

Now I have caught my breathe from the events of the weekend I can share with you the great day I had on Friday, going to London. My reason for going down was to meet up with Terry, someone I had previously met and mentioned in one of my posts, who had recently come back from working on a film. When he came back to the UK, I’d arrange to meet up with him in London, so we could talk about any upcoming films/ projects that he knew about that would be recruiting production crew. I admit I was worried I won’t get to London in time, what with the Olympics and possible delays, but made it to St Pancras in plenty of time, and when I saw Terry at Costa coffee it was all go go. When I arrived, Terry informed me he had invited someone who he had not only worked with in the industry, but also someone who could potentially help with production running opportunities. It was great having a catch up and finding out how Terry had been since we last spoke, as well as having a chat in general over coffee with his friend/ colleague, Saloum.

After coffee it was a trip to Carluccios where the three of us talked more about films in the cinema that were coming out and we were all going to see, pre-production films and colleagues that they have worked with, who maybe able to help me get my foot in the door more. I did talk about my time at Pinewood Studios and how I had had an awesome time, and how I had tried to find Terry’s parking space, but without success. It was really interesting everything that was discussed and I learnt a lot from the day.

I admit it was sad having to leave London to head back to the East Midlands, but the good news is I am heading back to London near to the end of the month, to the Barbican to see the James Bond Exhibiton. The one thing I’m gonna see if they have is a bar and if I can order a Vesper drink and see what it is like. One thing that caught my attention coming into London was seeing the Olympic Stadium and at the time I wonder what events were taking place there, and it was only after I was waiting for my train, and with the 2012 Olympic support volunteers handing out ice creams that I heard that Great Britain had won gold and silver medals what I can’t remember. So fingers all systems go for upcoming media work, I can’t wait and will hopefully have more news to share with you when the time comes.

Is there a doctor in the house?

30 Mar

No I am not sick if that is what you think from the title of my blog, though the focus of this is on my trip to Brimingham. After getting up at the crack of dawn, I took a long drive down the M1, M69 and M6 to head to where I need to be. I had been warned by others that the M6 is a road not to mess with, however I managed it ok, I guess its because I went so early and because it was a great morning. Even though it has been a while since I set foot in Birmingham, it made a change driving into the city, rather than catching a train in. The place is question I was heading to was Archibald House, where the BBC film the TV series ‘Doctors’. All of this came out of the blue yesterday when I received a phone call from one of the producers, who invited me to meet the team behind the series. It was a good thing as I mentioned before that I went earlier than the time I had arranged as I’d heard the motorway can be a nightmare. Despite my satnav constantly telling me to make a u-turn, I felt like I was literally going round the bend until I saw the street near to where I needed to be. I just pulled into one of the car parks and saw a police car with a BBC sign in it, and although I was over an hour early I decided to wait before playing the explorer. Luckily I saw someone who had just pulled up onto the site, and I asked him about where Archibald House was. He then asked me what it was in connection with and after mentioning that I was meant to be meeting one of the producers, the guy introduced himself as one of the dubbing mixers for the series ‘Doctors’, and showed me where I needed to go. So it really was a stroke of luck meeting someone who is part of the team.

I made my way to Archibald House and I was blown away by the beauty of the building, especially the wooden doors, it certainly reminded me of a gothic victorian house and the inside wow the inside was just as beautiful. After getting clearance from security, I was introduced to three really nice guys; Gareth, Hardey and Dan, who were the people who interviewed me. Surprisingly, I spent roughly 15-20mins with the guys, and the interview itself I feel went well, so I just have to wait until Easter has gone, and I can hopefully go back to Birmingham to do some work with Doctors, or any other programmes produced by BBC Birmingham.

So I can safely say that I can pass an interview as well as drive on the M1, M69 AND M6, though halfway heading back to the East Midlands my legs went to sleep and could have kissed the ground when I made it home mid-day because I could actually start walking round and getting the feeling back in them. Hopefully, something will happen after this latest holiday has passed, so in the meantime I will be doing loads of baking and bulking up my CV as much as I can.

The other good thing I need to mention is due to my work with vInspired, I received a certificate on Tuesday assessing my role throughout the night, what skills I had demonstrated and what others thought of me during the night. It played an important role when I went to Birmingham. After all of this I think I need to lay down. Keep checking and you will see more of what is going on.

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