Monthly Archives: July 2011

It’s going to be so full on I’m going to die …I can’t wait.

This is the story of how a 1st year uni student got a job on a major new British sitcom, for one of the country’s leading production companies.

It all began many months ago when I went to a ‘Networking Gathering’ (see this post here for more on that) where I bumped into a 3rd year student ‘E’ who I’d previously met and admired at uni. We exchanged our first business cards with an excited squeak, and a couple of months later she asked me to be an unpaid runner on her graduation film. Obviously, I accepted.

A couple of months after that, the Production Manager of ‘E’s’ film gave me a call. Let’s call him ‘H’. He offered me more running work on another graduate film, also unpaid. None of my friends bothered with these running jobs, as they were unpaid and a hassle and I suppose they just hadn’t bothered to get to know the 3rd years as I had. I was hoping that getting to know them would pay off in the long run, and if I did them a favour running on their films, they’d be more likely when return this favour when I needed work experience and they all had industry jobs etc.

A couple of months later, and guess what happens?

‘H’ messages me on Facebook, asking if I’m free for running work. I wasn’t, but I wanted to know what the job was before I turned it down. Thank God I did – ‘H’ was a Production Assistant on a new British sitcom, to be aired on BBC One this coming December. 

I dropped all my plans for the evening and was on it like a tramp on chips. There was NO WAY I was missing out on this opportunity. The producer of the show rang me on receiving my super-pimped CV and asked if I could get to London before 5pm the next day for an interview. I couldn’t, but I said I could. And then proceeded to book a very expensive train ticket and pray that the gamble would pay off.

The interview was an interesting experience. First, I was introduced to the Line Producer and was quizzed on my experience and enthusiasm, and was then quickly introduced to the 1st AD. His parting comment was that I “said all the right things” and then he walked off with a wink. I kind of thought I was in.

THEN DISASTER struck. I was introduced to another member of the team, and she frankly told me I was too timid and nice for the job. Apparently, I wouldn’t be able to cope with the high-pressure and hostility of such a creative environment. I’m not gonna lie, readers, I was pooping myself at the thought of screwing up/making someone angry/breaking down in tears/being a wimp. But I couldn’t let her think that.

Love the caption on this SO much...

So that evening, after a worried phone call to ‘P’, I sent a text to the doubtful AD in question, expressing how much I was prepared to fight for the job, and left it to fate. There was nothing more I could do.

Monday came around. I knew I would find out today. After a stressful day without any phone signal, an email came through. I didn’t dare open my eyes to read it at first – but when I did I saw those beautiful, sweet, incredible words:

“we would like to offer you the position of…”

Never have I run so fast, right across Bournemouth town centre, through the car park and into my car where I proceeded to SCREEEEAAAM as loudly as I could.

Not even the rush hour traffic could take that cheesy grin off my face. I start on Sunday; wish me luck 😉

Love ‘A’

xxxxx

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Excited about films for all the wrong reasons? Guilty.

THIS FILM LOOKS AMAZING!

I cannot wait to see this and I don’t even particularly like Spiderman. I just have the world’s Biggest crush on Andy Garfield. He. Is. Yummy.

Sorry… Back to serious posts now 😉

Love ‘A’

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“I’m going to use what God gave me. My boobs and a posh British accent.”

I said this jokingly to ‘P’ yesterday, on the subject of job hunting in LA after I graduate. Thing is, I couldn’t help feeling that would be… cheating? I dunno.

Girls who use their bodies to get jobs (from wearing low cut tops to actually doing the deed) get a bad rep. But what if you are super talented and you just need a way to get your foot in the door? I’m not condoning sleeping with your boss to get a raise, but is a little flirting really that bad?

For example, I usually manage to get a discount with mechanics – I just smile, chat, make them feel like they want to help me out. I’m not gonna lie, my F-cup boobs probably do most of work for me. And voila I save quite a bit of money (my car breaks down every 2-3 months…).

I can’t help having big boobs – in fact, I try ridiculously hard to hide them, and sometimes I hate that they attract attention. I just can’t deny I didn’t get my first industry job based (unknowingly) on my bust : I answered all the questions wrong, but the guy hiring me was a total perv and once I’d got my boobs through that door the job was mine.

I know this is wrong. On the other hand, would I have got the job if I hadn’t had the boobs? Would I be where I am now? Guess I’ll never know.

What I do know, is that when I go to LA, I will be keeping my boobs to myself, but if the interviewer is a guy, I wont need to to flaunt them – they do that in a stiff chin-high polo jumper. And if he likes my accent, I’m not gonna change it.

In short, I don’t mind why they give me the job. I do mind how well I do the job, and how much I can impress them as a producer/camera operator/director once I’m hired.

Surely that’s what matters?

Love ‘A’ x

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M-“Do you think if I go in and shake hands with everybody I’ll find someone more interesting then the guy I’m actually meeting?”

The dreaded interview process… And no, I don’t mean attending as the interviewee. I mean actually conducting the things, and making decisions! Big decisions…

You see, after about three years of hiring and picking crew members you’d imagine I would have reached some form of comfort zone with the idea of vetting potential employees… But it turns out, when they’re full-timers for more then one project at a time, it’s damn hard!

I interviewed a few girls the other day for a PA type role, and while all lovely they came across very differently. One was frank and honest about her fairly substantial career as an actress, with sporadic PA experience in between. Sweet and confident, and an almost perfect interview performance.

The second one loved cake, but was slim as a feather. Despite the multi colored nails she came across very confident, funny, charming and with a cool head well screwed on. She wasn’t afraid to share limited personal details to create banter, but also held back on too much. But did she have enough credits on her CV, even though she would be able to do the job?

And then there was the girl who came perfectly polished, dressed to impress (but as it’s an office of converse, jeans and the occasional set of heels… Media people?). Clearly a future journalist, a strong academic background, and eager to express an intense interest for the role. But why was she walking so close I could feel her breath?

Silly little things, tough decisions… After all, it’s not as if we can just try them all or throw one away if it all goes wrong. Recruiting takes time, is hard (and annoying) work, and teaching someone once they’re hired takes even more time! So no pressure on getting it right the first time around… Shockingly I’m not worrying as much about the fact that I’ll make someone’s day and do the opposite to a few other’s, but rather about who will hit the ground running the best. In the right lane… Hmm…

Another day in the somkey city!

xo xo

 

‘P’

 

PS News of The World… Damn!! What’s everyone thinking? That’s a worse ball of crazy than when A and me got stuck in a garage for months on end at a production company!

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“Let me know when your personal life is falling apart: that means it’s time for a pay rise.” The Devil Wears Prada

Moving on, moving up… The progression-line. The scary yet coveted future that makes that beaming light (Oscar/Emmy/Gold *cough*) at the end of the tunnel a bit more realistic and vivid. The promotion.

 

We all work towards our own little goals, and we all struggle to get there. Sometimes some of us reach a place where we’re quite content with life and our career, and we wouldn’t mind staying. Other times we get a taste of even more things worth pushing those long hours and feel inspiration seem through anew.

Personally, I’ve never been scared of responsibility. People seem to sense it and somehow just throw things my way, from admin to company records or scripting or floor managing. But there are moments when it’s daunting.

Like when your local starts telling you to steer clear from certain areas of work because sensitive feet rest there. Or you’re asked to help hire not just the crew for the important tasks, but people to support you. Daily.

Bloody hell…

That’s when it gets scary, because suddenly you’ve gone from being in charge of middle aged men and women who know everything about their camera lenses, or directing preferences, or sound systems… To managing a future you. Which… Hang on, you’re not even quite you yet. And you know what, it’s exciting!!

Bloody… well (Pardon my repeated french, have been watching Buffy re-runs featuring Spike…).

Basically, we’re all in this industry because we have dreams and goals and passions and we love what we do. Some of us are driven by the end result, some by the stories we can tell (real or fictional), some by the magic we use to tell them, and yet others by the figures following the $ sign after the product is launched. Ah ye faithful audiences, be it at your TVs or the cinema or Netflix. Ah…

Anyway, am drifting from the point. The thing is the whole idea of moving closer to your future, your goal, is extremely exciting and it provides a renewed challenge to keep you entertained, but it’s also daunting. Can you meet all the necessary points in the updated contract? Can you charm up those figures? Can you tutor someone and manage twenty new things at once, some of which you’ve never done before (as per usual)? The answer is yes, you will. And you’ll freak out quite constantly, just like before (just with more responsibility and higher fall…).

And funnily enough, it’s true what they say… Just when your personal life is falling apart, or you’re so wary of the present circumstances you’re considering drastic measures for new challenges or just general change… well… It means it’s time for a pay rise ;).

 

xoxo

 

‘P’

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