Possibly the busiest day of my life

Possibly the busiest day of my life

As I write this I am only just starting to recover from yesterday. I've only just managed to get over the cold that clung to my bones throughout the whole day and have finally managed to make my hair look normal and not like a bird's nest.

Yesterday I was finally shown what (hopefully) the next year of my life shall be; battling against wind and rain as an assistant to a freelance photographer. :-)

My day began around 10am, a horrendous time considering I only got home from work around 3 that morning, struggling to get to St Paul's in time. St Paul's, as we all know, is on the Central Line, a joy I have not had to experience for nearly a year. The interchange at Bank usually involves me being shoved to the side by big burly business men or being basically trodden on because it seems to me that the majority of London commuters appear to think that because I'm small, I'm simply not there (an idea that has even gone so far as having my head used as an arm rest at rush hour!). This time, however, I was relatively unscathed due to the tripod in my massive bag which gave any one who tried to treat me like yesterday's newspaper a pretty nasty and painful surprise. Hooray for heavy equipment!

At St Paul's station I was greeted by Mr Photographer and his Huge Bag of Far Too Much Equipment and we both made our way to the Cathedral itself where outside a colourful display of tents and banners was struggling to stand its ground in both the metaphorical sense and the literal as more than one tent was blown away during the 4 hours we were there.

After being stopped from making their stand outside the London Stock Exchange, the Occupy London SX group have been camping outside St Paul's Cathedral since Saturday, (my views on the protest undisclosed as that is not what my Blog is about!) but this was the first time I was able to make my way there. Mr Photographer and I found ourselves in the middle of a media battle, struggling for a piece of the action ourselves as the various news crews, photographers and journalists swarmed the protest and appeared to dominate the scene. However, we succeeded in meeting some truly inspirational people and conducted around 12 interviews, quite a few of which were a struggle for me as a Human Light Stand. The umbrella I was holding for the flash was determined to make me do a Mary Poppins impersonation.

I knew from the beginning of the shoot that this particular project was for an art piece but my one criticism as I'm sure even an amateur is allowed one, is that it seemed too one sided. There was too much focus on the protesters and I would have been interested to ask the tourists, bankers and even the police their views on the situation. Art or not, I think there should always be at least two angles. That's just me though. :-)

After packing up most of the equipment, I was given the chance to have a go myself. Time was scarce so I only managed a few and as you can see I still have a lot to work on. My first attempt was, quite frankly, something I should already know by now as I spent years at uni getting it right but at some point, everyone forgets the basics. Exposure!

Completely forgetting I was in manual I just began snapping away and the result is slightly hilarious!

St Paul's starts to blend in to the SKY!!

It was quickly fixed though!

For more professional photos of the protest and various other projects, Mr Photographer has assured me they will hopefully be here at some point  http://www.adriannettleship.com/portalbum/index.php

Following this, Mr Photographer and I hastily made our way to Mornington Crescent, quick lunch in hand that was very quickly forgotten. When we arrived at the Koko, we discovered we were to photograph two bands that were performing there that night and that we had to have everything done before their sound check, including finding a very last minute location!

The bands themselves introduced to me the two different people most photographers encounter; people who are up for anything and are relaxed around you, and the grumpy ones ho aren't enthusiastic about anything. At all. Mr Photographer found this relatively easy to deal with and just by watching him I think I no have a vague idea on how to handle a situation like that which is helpful because as most of my friends would tell you, I have a pretty short temper!

Finally the time came for me to leave Mr Photographer and rush off to meet my good friend C at the BBC. This was an opportunity for me to not only warm up after a day of being outside but also to sit in the audience for the live filming of Up for Hire that was airing that night. C and I are always up for a debate and tonight's show involved one we were both extremely passionate about, the value of degrees. I was shocked to see how most of the audience and guests of the show were very anti university but i do understand that it's not every one's choice. Unfortunately some people feel that their degree was a waste of time because now they cannot get a job despite it but as one of the Twitter updates on the screen said 'University is a pursuit of knowledge and not a pursuit for money' and this is something I completely agree with. Despite having my media related degree (Film and Broadcast Production) slated on national television and coined a 'Micky Mouse Degree' my hard work and dedication to the industry is not going to stop until I have reached my goal. Today is a fine example of this, I stood outside in the harshest of weathers all day for something I am passionate about and was lucky enough to get paid for it. I will constantly knock on studio doors, email camera people and write scripts because when I finally do make it I will be able to prove to myself and those who snub media related degrees that all those years of studying and hard work were well worth it. Not only will I have an education but also the practical skills that I love and have been developing over the years will secure me the position I have been trying so hard to reach.

My advice for media graduates is to do just as I am doing. Don't just sit there fading into the background moaning that you can't get a job. Do something about it! Use the skills you learned at uni to constantly annoy the right people until they pay attention. That's what I'm doing.

BBC related Geekery we couldn't say not to :-)

Blog number one, hopefully the first of many

Blog number one, hopefully the first of many

I was hoping as my first blog this would be a little bit interesting. I planned on venturing into the outside world with my camera to take some lovely pictures to show you what I can achieve with my lovely little 500DSLR. Sadly, what with awful weather and laziness that did not happen. Maybe next time.

However, I didn't spend this, one of few, days off lying around on the internet, doing nothing (all day), I spent several hours applying for graduate schemes and work placements that I found through Twitter. When it came time to distract myself from a series of eventual rejections which I am gradually becoming used to, I decided to concentrate on my script writing.

In June this year, I was lucky enough to be invited to help out on a production of Christopher Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus' and now find myself in the process of writing a stage version of Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'. Yes, yes, it's been done to death, I know. I want to do it differently. After several attempts to start writing, put it down and forget it exists for several weeks, I am finally making some progress. Today I decided that the whole play will be acted out on one main stage, as minimalist as possible so that any necessary stage changes can be achieved by simply moving one item. This main stage will be a combination of Dorian's drawing room and Basil's studio, some elaborate decorations/details combined with some more modest furnishings. An easel and painting materials would be the key aspects of Basil's personality on stage and smaller details like ornaments, fine scarves, jewellery and vases of floers provide more of an indication into Dorian's selfish vanity.

 Now, I am trying to decide what to do about the portrait itself. I'm thinking one of the most effective ways of revealing it would be to have it constantly onstage but facing away from the audience until the very last moment. But then again, there would be nothing to compare the grotesque portaryal of Dorian's soul to. As I'm writing this possibly 7th attempt at a first draft I am keeping this idea in mind until I decide to start again and have at least two paintings available but any feedback you may have would be welcome. I'm hoping to maybe post an extract or two by the end of the week. If I change my mind and start again, it probably won't happen :-)