Getting your foot in the door … where’s that doorbell?

November 12, 2008 at 10:06 pm | Posted in Me | Leave a comment
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So here’s the story. I left the comfort of a great job, surrounded by great people, on the road to a good career, with some great friends, in a beautiful country where the sun shines. What did I decide to do? Chuck it all in, move to the UK and try to get a job in one of the most notorious industries for being incredibly difficult to get a start! The lovely land of Film and TV. HA! I love a challenge.

So what I’d thought I’d do, is plot my path so far. I think for me, as a learning curve, to look back on this time, and to really appreciate this experience, I need to write it all out.
First off, went travelling. Probably the best thing to do to get some life experience, visit some countries, see some new things and overall just relax and not think about things too seriously. I mean the only stressful thing to think about was, where should we go today? What should I eat? Nice!
Secondly, I was fortunate to have a partner in crime. That is my sister. Thankfully, she’s been around, and it’s great just to have someone to talk to, and also to have a familiar face.

So when I arrived in London, what did I do? Well, what everyone does who has been on holiday. Bummed around a bit! Did some touristy stuff, went to see all the sights etc. Then came the moment of realisation after catching up with some friends here who are established here in the UK. “Crap, I don’t have a job, and haven’t really done much about it!”. Ok, so out comes my shiny mcshine laptop. Start, and restart doing my CV. My current one isn’t going to cut it, too wordy. Good for what I was currently doing, although in truth, people tend to hire people based on word of mouth, references and reputation rather than a piece of paper. So I blew off the dust, wiped away the cobwebs of my CV and slimmed it down. I changed format from Word. By the way, I hate word. I think it sucks. Formatting wise it doesn’t work. When you insert a pic it stuffs everything up. Anyway, so I decided to actually put my CV into Excel instead. The great thing is, it is really easy to add to it, delete, and mix things around. And in actual fact looks a lot cleaner, and I can fit more in, especially for production projects where it really is a list of credits. So my CV was more streamlined.

I began approaching companies. Since I have the bare minimum of contacts here in London, and in particular in film & tv, it would be starting from square one. But hey, that’s what it’s all about. If it was easy wouldn’t I be doing this in Oz instead? So I began cold calling companies, spending hours searching for not just the right companies, but also the right people. Luckily, I am quite good when it comes to searching for things online, and managed to extract some good names.

So far, I have come to realise it’s a combination of
a. Luck
b. timing
c. persistence
d. contacts

Although in truth, the above isn’t surprising. What a time to try to get some work though. It’s heading towards Christmas and we’re in the middle of a financial crisis. Way to go!

Luckily, the Producer at Quiet Storm Films, extended me an opportunity. I will never forget the fact that they extended this opportunity to me, it has been a blessing. I worked in their office, helping the team out in preparation for a few shoots. They were shooting a short film and a music video for a charity called Bondage for Freedom. Bondage for Freedom is the charity arm of the company Coco De Mer, which is headed up by Sam Roddick (daughter of Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop). She, alongside Jamie Catto (Faithless fame), pulled in Quiet Storm to produce these pieces to raise awareness of freedom of speech as well as justice. So I helped out on the shoots, worked with two amazing creative directors, worked with some fantastic crew, and became involved in very hectic but professional shoots. What did it prove for me? That this is what I wanted to do. I loved every minute of it. Sure there were late finishes and early rises. Sure I woke up the next morning with sore arms and legs from lifting and running everywhere. But it was worth it. I have the bug.

So what now? Well I did what I was doing before helping out at Quiet Storm, trying to uncover contacts and contacting as many as possible. It has been an interesting experience, because you contact about 50 + people, and may get one lukewarm hit. I have two contacts that have mentioned that they will be crewing for some shoots in Jan 09. So that’s pretty cool. And also got another contact that offers internship at their production company from a development capacity, which is quite exciting considering this is the very front end of a production, and the very start of the whole process.

I also managed to go in for three interviews, one an animation production company and two post production houses. All three are incredibly different, on different scale and of course two being post as opposed to a production house, different stages of projects. But so far, one has offered me the opportunity to come in for a trial, which is great news! I am really looking forward to it, if it does work out, I’ll be working for an award winning, reputable, global post house, therefore the opportunities are great.

On another note, I also have two contacts who are meeting me in the next couple of weeks. A chance to really pick their brains, see if there is anything on the horizon that could come up. So I am really excited.

My aim is to try to get as much experience as possible. Unlike other people who visit the UK from Oz, I don’t have the advantage of an ancestry visa, so for me it is about making the most of the limited time I have. And getting as much experience as possible, on as many projects.

Change is a coming, and I am getting all excited. So although I have been getting many slammed, or politely shut doors in the face. There are a couple of doors that are slightly ajar. I hope they lead somewhere and that I don’t look back.

–Completely self indulgent post–

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Sir Ian, Sir Ian, Sir Ian!

November 4, 2008 at 8:53 am | Posted in Comedy, video | Leave a comment
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What a classic. He is amazing. What an actor. In a nutshell that is acting!

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