Monthly Archives: August 2011

“Don’t say the ‘W’ word. Don’t even THINK it. No. No you’re thinking it!!! STOP!”

So my month working on a new BBC comedy drama is almost over. In fact, Monday is my last day. But as I was told four weeks ago, don’t say “Wrap” until it’s a wrap.

Anyway, in case you’re wondering why I haven’t been able to update you on this sooner, it’s because I have been working 13 to 14 hour days, 6 days a week. The rest of my time I spend desperately catching up on sleep and driving to more locations. But do you know what? It has gone by so quickly I honestly can’t believe it happened. I mean, did I dream the whole thing?

I think, maybe, I might seriously miss the crazy when it’s over…. is that wrong?

The stress, the excitement, the pain, the people, the tea making, the wellies, the sunburn, the blisters, the free food, the banter, the practical jokes, the back massages, the portaloos (not as much), the satisfaction of seeing hard work come together… I am going to miss all of this.

Really, REALLY, wish I didn’t have to go back to uni.

At the same time, there are a few things I WON’T miss.

  1. Stroppy Make Up Ladies (“Where are the biscuits? No biscuits? Why? WHY are you doing this??? I can’t work without biscuits. We should have biscuits! GET ME BISCUITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”)
  2. Good Old British Weather (oh no, it wouldn’t matter if Hurricane Irene came to town, we’d still need to get that “quick” close up of so and so giving a melancholy expression in the forest, with sfx mist for extra atmospheric effect).
  3. The Supporting Artistes/Extras (Me: “Erm excuse me, I just saw you stuff a load of coffee sachets into your handbag?” … “Yes we know he is famous. No you cannot get an autograph.”… “Please stay here, you’ll be seen in the next take.” 5mins later… 1st AD: “Where’s that extra gone? Where the fuck is he ‘A’? I need that extra ‘A’! Find me that extra!”).

Don’t get me started on the tantrums…

Over every little thing – in particular FOOD.

If it’s not on time, if there’s no egg and cress sandwiches, if we’re out of the special chocolate biscuits, if the tea isn’t Tetley, if the Starbucks coffee you ran back with for 15 minutes isn’t hot enough, if they don’t eat full fat mayo… Do not be fooled. This may seem like unimportant nonsensical rubbish, but each one of the above can cause World War 3 on a film set.

Gotta love the rest of it though. And I miss the crew already. You won’t find a closer, more dedicated team of people than on a film set – you can laugh with them, shout at them, moan with them, eat with them, help each other, hate each other, love each other all in one day. You’re like a massive family but completely functional and completely insane.

I’m getting nostalgic already and it’s not even over. Not just yet. Won’t be calling it a Wrap officially until Monday evening.

Then there’s the Wrap Party 😉

Love ‘A’ xxx

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Career ladders, film school, friends with benefits, and other things…

I’m in love with Mila Kunis (yes, Friends with benefits was playing on the laptop while I was making dinner ok). Just a little bit. Fast talking, sassy, gorgeous, head strong and most importantly a great career woman (stubborn that lady). Oh and bad ass. Obviously. Honestly, here’s a hot woman with substance and charisma, I’m hooked. Not that the boy needs to know that, but still. Her and Lauren Graham (Lorelai Gilmore – Gilmore Girls, WB & currently starring in ‘Parenthood’ as a single mom/budding playwright). Their humour, sass, and determination is part of what inspires me about women in our industry. The big M of edia. Film. Whatchamacallit…

At the moment I’m in that place in my career where I’ve worked my ass off to get to this stage. It’s like a cliff. Many more are up there before the top comes into view, but I can see quite a few beneath me too so I’m feeling good about it. Progress. Whoop. To be honest though two other things have come up along with it. Worry that I’m not doing enough, and of how to get to the next level/what the next level is in my current job. And that ticking sound women usual associate with babies. (I know. Intimacy/future commitment issues. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t babies, but… Well… clearly a discussion for another time). For me it seems to record time left until I need to give up on that Emmy dream (the dress has been spotted, so at least we’ve got one thing sorted).

Seriously though. I’ve not even hit my mid twenties yet. I should be relaxing. Everyone says so. But then I look around. Yes my career has done well so far, yes I’ve finally landed on comfortable money and good prospects (as long as I don’t fuck up… must stay on path!). All in all life is good. But that’s just it. It’s good but not there. I’m so far away from working with drama I can’t even see it (apart from occasional studio visits to pick up kit for live sports). Again. Live Sports. Who would have thought!

Don’t get me wrong, I love every moment of it and am soaking in the lessons on media distribution, business plans, live producing, wining and dining (and oh boy do they do a lot of big contract works that way!!). But am worrying. Where’s my portfolio. Where’s my creative touch… Is this the business of films equivalent to PA-3rd-2nd-1st? Still… There’s love for it.

So what’s a girl to do? Scour the google-net for evening producing courses and plan summer options. And offer to produce/terrorise with deadlines ‘A’s next film venture. Yes… Well, we’re young, stubborn, funny, and determined. (and gorgeous). So why not. Mila and Lauren did it. It may take a while, it always does, but damn it… I’m holding onto that goal until the ticking is so loud it makes the house move. Damn it.

xo xo

‘P’

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Rioting and greek salads- London style

Close to two weeks ago London life changed dramatically. BBC News became far more exciting and outlet than any action movie on demand, and double locking your doors was no longer a question of whether you had managed to get up in good enough time to not stumble and sprint to the tube.

With fires erupting all over the place, phone calls coming in from concerned family and friends, me and ‘A’, and many more, watched in shock as the high streets either side of us burned and were looted. By kids. Mostly. People our age and younger. From 12 to late twenties. And beyond. Buildings were set on fire, people lost their homes, their possessions, their memories… Each other. What had happened?

The weekend after me and my friends walked in to the local cafe for lunch to find ten police officers taking their break there. For once every person in there was smiling gratefully at the officers, and while it felt a bit like a scene from a book the surrealism faded for the gratitude of their presence.

In London this happened. And then all over the UK. Who would have thought!!

While we chowed down a greek salad and carrot sponge (yum!) we found ourselves wondering how often life puts us in positions where we can’t help but think we should be sitting before a cinema screen rather than experiencing it first hand. The Hollywood-enhanced illusion that ‘certain things only happen in the movies’ is jut as much a cliche as the idea that all those rom-coms actually occur every day (they don’t). So let’s be a little nicer to each other, ok guys? I mean really, smashing up a store, whether a chain or a local business, is going to help no one. In particular not those struggling from the latest cuts. More jobs are lost because shops have to close down, temporarily or fully. Rents go un paid. Houses are even lost. Who does that help? What point were you trying to make? Stick to fantasising about the action in scripts guys, if you need to vent so badly… This was appalling and most definitely not excusable. Grow up.

 

xoxo

 

‘P’

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