Monday, 31 July 2017

Packed for France!

After a fair bit of running around, I think I'm all about packed up and ready to go to France. Louis and Sam are camping out in our living room tonight so we can collectively travel to the airport at an hour that isn't awful, but I won't get as much sleep as I would like.

Blog updates might be a bit more intermittent until the 10th of August just as a quick heads up, but expect a big write up in a few weeks time.


Although my head felt a little fuzzy when I woke up, I ended up having a very socially productive day thanks to Rebecca as we went out for a dinner / board game night with some of her old work colleges. Played a game called codewords where you work in teams, I went along with Rebecca and we had the most spectacular loosing moment, frankly that scar will take a while to properly heal. Had a great night otherwise though, really lovely to hang out with some if the wicked new friends that Rebecca has made.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Happy Birthday Winlow

Last night Rebecca, a friend and I all drove down to London so we could spend today with Mr Matt Winlow on his birthday. For those of you that don't know, he was a huge driving force in the organization of both of my third year filming projects, and frankly, without him, they would have struggled to exist in their current state. Kids a legend and a real trooper, so it was a pleasure to head into Central and have a few beers, and later cocktails, with him.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Fancy New OS

Hooked my phone up with a brand new operating system after doing the mother of all back-ups. Although, I did forget to copy over all of my contacts so I'm missing a lot of phone numbers. Trade off is, my phone almost feels like new. Everything is suddenly more responsive and it carries itself a little better.

In between the update, I continued planning bits and pieces surrounding our trip to France. Been re-reading a few of the emails and came to the conclusion, that a PowerPoint about Newbury is really going to be requested at some point... Guess what I'm doing tomorrow in other words?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Choo Choo, Away from Theo

Most cliche thing happened at the train station as I was traveling down to Newbury. Ran down to the platform so I could hit my change and the train pulls away just as I'm running towards it. Arrived home very hungry and demolished a quick and easy sandwich using whatever I could find in the fridge - mostly some slightly suspicious looking cheddar and some chutney.

Got a chance to give my room a proper tidy. I was especially motivated as Louis decided to use it as a sort of dumping ground, I took one look at it all and committed to a good 90 minute clean. Following that, Louis and I rustled up some burritos for Mum and Dad, made for quite a photogenic spread as it turns out:

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Job Blazer

Muscled through a lot of the busy-work I spent all of last week putting off doing. I literally made a list and just powered through all my jobs. Mostly I was doing my expenses for my travel and some groceries I had ot buy for last week's shoot. Had a bit of difficulty logging into the TFL website to check my Oyster card history, so I had to call them up. As much as I think TFL exist to exclusively rip the money from my paws, I will say that their customer service was on point. After that I tidied the house, re-arranged my new pen pot (very important) and captured some game footage for me to take away to Newbury with me, as I'll be heading down there tomorrow morning to check on the fam, and get some work done.

Someone on Facebook got round to posting a great crew photo of the shoot I was on last week. Real pleasure to work alongside the wickedly talented Peter Bowles and Sylvia Syms, and of course, the rest of the crew who were absolute legends.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Back to Game Talk

Started back on writing for my other blog with the intention of making a new video. Got about halfway through the write up which isn't as much as I'd like to get done, but I was still getting back in the groove of writing. Doesn't help that I picked a fairly abstract game to talk about - makes it a bit tricky to set up at the beginning.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Brioche Burgers

Sat down and watched The Shining with Rebecca since she had never seen it before. Its funny because I still don't know who was pushing to see it more, her or me - frankly that just added to the creepiness. I hadn't actually seen it for a very long time, and this viewing I saw just how crafted the entire film was. Everything is done to mess with your perception of space and reality, even the laws of filmmaking are broken at points to make you feel uneasy. The music is the real winner here though, from the very first moment when you see the car winding up the mountain with that iconic music, you know you are in for a ride.

I tried my hand once again at my infamous burgers tonight, and they were one of the best yet! Asda now sell brioche burger buns which 'takes the burgers to another level' according to Rebecca, her face dripping with mayo. I'll be striving for those buns again in future as they really made the whole dish more gourmet/hipster.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Harbour Side Festival

Went out with a good crowd to mooch about the harbour side festival that consumed Bristol this afternoon. Fought through the crowds to meet up with Louis before heading to a nearby bar to watch some live music. Louis was desperate to watch this mellow 2-man band, but they didn't show. Louis was gutted, but we did get to see a fairly experimental band go at it really loudly on the feedback loop - I got a free shirt so I can't complain.

In a bizarre stroke of crazy luck, I bumped into the co-producer of the film I was working on amidst the hoards of people at the festival too. She was just visiting friends over the weekend and just happened to be down in Bristol, so that was a pretty cool coincidence.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Soggy Street Food

I agreed to meet Rebecca during her lunch break, and it was sods law that it would be chucking it down with rain just as we tucked into our street food. Got home and dried off while finishing Hollow Knight, couldn't actually believe how much gametime was crammed into this one - and I still only saw the most basic ending! Guess I need to put a few more hours in until I completely close the book on it.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Louis' Graduation

Attended Louis' graduation ceremony alongside the family. Granny Sue, Rachel and I unfortunately didn't get tickets for the actual event, but we could watch it on a live stream next door, which was great as it meant our hands wouldn't ache afterwards from all the clapping. Both of the Durrant boys are all finished up with uni and have graduated now, guess we are both off to conquer the world now.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Running Again - That's a Wrap

All finished up on my latest shoot. Final day went without a hitch, even with around 30 extras to manage. We just tried to keep them away from the crew snacks as much as possible as they descended on the
breakfast like a swarm of locust.

There was a really lovely farewell at the end of it all, our two leading actors were very gracious and gave a very moving speech at the end about their appreciation for the efforts of the crew. Then we all got T-shirts! Lovely little wrap present.

The only thing that wasn't stellar was the journey back home. Production very kindly booked me and some others a car back, however, they failed to input multiple drop off points so we only went to one house... Which was on the other side of London. Ended up in an Uber for over an hour going back the way we came. All I wanted to do was sleep but the driver struck up a conversation about investing in gold, and that somehow lasted the entire ride home. Funniest way to end a shoot though.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Running Again - The Early Bus

Three buses and an hour and a half later, I arrived on set a little earlier than I needed to be. Production were mortified when they heard about how early I woke up and insisted on booking me a car to take me there exclusively tomorrow, which means I can get away with a bit of a lay in.

Work wise though, we smashed today. Really good vibe on set, and everything really hit a tight and professional level all round. Last day tomorrow, can't actually believe its all going to be over in just 24 hours time.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Early, Early Call Time

Completed my weekend project of watching the entirety of O.J.: Made in America after Lincoln recommended it to me, and I thought it was terrific. Really was a sweeping and grand experience that was like attending a great history lesson.

Set my alarm for tomorrow morning, and I'm already dreading getting up. Its literally going to be like getting up for the airport tomorrow as I'm catching the 4:38am bus from Twickenham so I can arrive on time. As long as I have my headphones and Zelda, I should be fine, just think of me though, when your all getting up at a sensible time.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Running... I mean, Sitting Again.

Found myself with a completely free day on my hands, and frankly, it has done me wonders. I'd forgotten just how nice it was to sit in a comfy chair and just daydream for a bit. Spent a bit of time with Rebecca's parents, and the rest of my time blazing through the excellent OJ: Made in America documentary. Today was the perfect opportunity to make a dent in the 8 hour doc, and I'm already over halfway - its the perfect weekend watch.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Running Again - Floor Runner and Suited Up

Effectively upgraded myself to floor runner yesterday as I stayed glued to our first AD at all times on set to deal with any requests. He was getting immensely stressed at points, especially when it started to look more and more likely that we would run over time.

I got to brush off my old acting skills today as I donned a suit and tie to pretend I was a lawyer in a courtroom. I was only playing an extra, but it was fun to do a bit of dress-up, and I'm sure that my shoulder at least has made it into the final film!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Running Again - Bus Stop

Sat in a hotel room, sharing a space with our DIT Moose. Huge day once again, we even had a double decker bus turning up on set, which was being driven by the driver we used for Prank Me last month. I shook his hand and we reminisced about that last shoot as if it was a lifetime ago. Crazy to meet someone who I only met in passing, but we had such a warm and friendly encounter with each time.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Running Again - Hotel Haven

Just finished up on a significantly tamer day than yesterday. Spent it all at a hotel location and I was mostly helping out on catering and coffee's since there wasn't as much call for runners in general. Good to relax a little bit, we are back on at the uni tomorrow, but it should be a lot more easy going there as there won't be another open day on.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Running Again - Public Silencer

Huge day today, and a lot of it was a bit of a battle. Firstly, I was sent to pick up a whole load of supporting actors from a tube stop, but I wasn't given a proper list of the folks I needed to collect. I ended up waiting for a lot of people at the station who had drove to location instead, so I wasted a fair bit of time for no good reason which was a bit poo.

Arrived at our filming location, which is a university, and it turns out they were not only having graduation, but an open day for foreign language secondary school students. Naturally, sound was a nightmare for our boom operator so I was given a hi-vis vest and told to basically keep the outdoors section nice and quiet. Needless to say, the task was pretty impossible, but we did manage to get it down to a good level.

Final job was to do the same job in a canteen. Of course our set was next to a lunch hall full of 300 people. As the order to keep the peace came on the radio, I responded chirpily saying 'I'll see what I can do' the first AD responded by saying 'Kill them' in deep voice. At that moment, I pushed the doors open to the canteen and heard the clanging noises of hell that I was meant to silence.

So yeah, big old day, but we got it all in the can. It was a real slog at times but I just kept on pushing myself to get better and better, because when the going gets tough, I want to show that I'm a strong link in the chain.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Running Again - Sunday Off

Got a chance to fully recharge my batteries thanks to a very lazy Sunday afternoon. Earlier on Rebecca and I went to Brixton to meet up with an old housemate of hers who has just moved into the area. He's settled really well into his new home and it was good to see that he was doing so well straight out of uni.

My first job for tomorrow is heading to the tube station where all the extras / supporting actors are calling so I can herd them into a taxi. Just finished making a rustically makeshift sign to hold up like blokes in a departures lounge, so hopefully that will do the job.

Running Again - Night Shoot

Yesterday was the big one: The Night Shoot. At least we had a later call time of 2pm to compensate, got plenty of sleep in beforehand so I was ready to go. Aside from making sure everyone was fed and happy, I got to help reset a bedroom and return it to its former glory. Ended up getting into bed a little before 4am since we wrapped quite late, but we got the day!

Today was mostly spent recovering and sleeping. I was asked on a whim to go and do a recce for a potential filming location this afternoon, I delivered the photos and generally took it easy after that. Funnily enough, Lincoln called me up and asked if we could hang out as Rebecca and I were in London. We immediately responded and spent the night at a pub on the South bank. Haven't seen Lincoln in nearly a year and it feels like we picked up exactly where we left off. He's doing very well for himself, editing a certain big name Netflix show, really amazing to see him again too as he was amazing to chill with throughout the entirety of my third year at uni.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Running again - Guest Star

Hands down, my biggest job of the day was doing some traffic wrangling for our cast. Shot was this: our talent walks right down the middle of the road, the husband character pushing his wife in a wheelchair down the way. Since our principal actors are both over 80, it was hugely important to make sure the the road we were filming on was free of traffic, so I donned the hi-vis vest and waved down any cars that came my way. At one point, I slowed a car that ended up wanting to park a few doors down from where we were shooting. That was fine by our AD, but something still seemed a bit odd about the man behind the wheel of the car... He looked oddly familiar. It wasn't until a bit later our first AD told me it was Mark Strong living a few doors down I managed to put two and two together.

So yes, I basically gave Mark Strong permission to park in his own driveway. Easily the highlight of my day. The shot itself went really smoothly and once again, we got the day all in the can.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Running Again - Iced Coffee

I don't think I ever stopped sweating today. If I wasn't standing in the baking sun, I was running to the nearest shop for an emergency pick-up or sitting in a room with 8 other people and camera lights on. Everyone was proper sweaty. Luckily though, the house we are shooting in has an ice machine so I started making iced coffees for anyone who wanted one - which turned out to be half the crew! Kept them happy, kept them cool, that was today's job in a nutshell.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Running Again - Big Shopper

Arrived on set criminally early but luckily I bought Zelda to keep me busy until another familiar face turned up. I got sent on a fair few shopping runs today since the production supplies were already dwindling (bottled water goes down so fast). I headed to Morrison's for a monster shop and got picked up by an Addison Lee driver - it was like riding in a limo compared to an Uber or a taxi, driver even called me 'sir' a few times; I felt like royalty.

I'm already establishing some on set banter with the director so I guess that means I'm I've made it to the big leagues.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Running Again - Tea Making

Once more into the fray of film making. This time we started off in a hospital recording the first few scenes of the movie. I was mostly put on tea making duty, and I spent a lot of time babysitting some lights so no one prodded them too hard. Mad tired now that the day is all over, have a feeling that I am going to sleep very well tonight.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Baby Driver

Yesterday, Rebecca and I got up to a whole lot and made real good use of our weekend. We woke up bright and early to go visit Bath for the day, I can't remember going around the town at any point in my life, but Rebecca had a fleeting memory of what it was like. So we charted the landmarks we wanted to see and settled into a very nice burger restaurant for lunch. Saw the Assembly Hall and the Royal Crescent while soaking up the narrow streets and the twee vibe of the town - Rebecca insisted on visiting each bookshop we saw and each one was cuter than the last.

Once we got back to Bristol we headed to the cinema with Mark, Lucy and Jenny to watch Baby Driver which was a ton of fun. It took a little bit of time to set up all the pieces at the beginning, but after the half-hour mark, you knew exactly who all the characters where, their virtues and relationships, and that really fed into the action scenes down the line. And it had that signature Edgar Wright style throughout. The whole movie has a pulse and each scene blends to the sound of the music effortlessly. Really glad I got to see it on the big screen and its a Summer blockbuster that I'm not ashamed to say I watched.

Today I took the train down to Essex to get ready for the first day in the next big shoot I'm working on. Its gonna be quite similar to the last one I was on in terms of pace and I'm really eager to get back in the saddle.