Tag Archives: Film Studies

Core Media Productions and 3rd year of University

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Myself and Tony Bessant had a worthy reputation which was growing fast- we were known as being talented in the Film/Media industry. Taking this into account we decided to create a brand name to work under which would give us identity. In 2011 we found ourselves sitting in my bedroom, having a cup of tea as usual coming up with different potential names. Mahogany Productions was one shout until we came up with ‘Core Media Productions’- our eyes both lit up and since that day it is what we have been known as.

When I reached 3rd year at university I knew it would be a very hard year academically, it was a very stressful time- but also things were happening for my career which were just too important for me to turn down and brush under the carpet. I graduated from University and Core Media Productions was set up as an official  LTD company, it was a success. We decided against a job in the Media or Film industry even

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though we both had credible offers we could pursue. We had huge ambitions with Core Media Productions and the determination to match it, we had gained vital experience throughout University so why not? We also had investment interest from a source which was exciting for us! Graphic designer Adam Reynolds produced us a logo which was to be the brand look of our company, we are elated with the work he has done for us and we will work with him again. We had another friend of mine I call V Man produce an animation of our logo, a Lithuanian lad who studied at University with me. He will always be a Lithuanian scouser to me. We have hired him again since and will do so again in the future no doubt. Core Media Productions were very active even whilst we were still at University. We managed to distinguish our time between studying and working for our company- doing what we love.

We transformed from being two students who loved film making to Company Directors with a fantastic reputation to uphold. We thrive off the pressure and will do anything necessary to chase our dream .

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Hurricane Films

hurricane_logoApproaching my second year of University I wasn’t happy when I realised there would be no practical placement for my course in the Film/Media industry. Upon finding this out I made it my mission to find my own placement. If you are entering the film production world and have no experience, you are at the very bottom of the pile- regardless of what grade you achieve in University. A director I know very well once told me he would hire someone with no qualifications who had experience rather than someone who had a first class degree in University with no experience. You have to find that motivation for success inside you and let it out- if you are not willing to prove yourself by working for a considerable amount of time unpaid, you are in the wrong industry!  After applying for Hurricane Films I had a call back from the office asking me to go for an interview. I was absolutely buzzing, Hurricane Films are a well-known company with a good reputation, especially in Liverpool. Run by Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter.

I was interviewed by Roy, the drummer out of the farm and a very successful man in his own right of both film making and music. I remember him asking me why I wanted the position and I basically told him that I don’t stop making my own content and would love to be part of the team and be able to contribute to the company. I worked for Hurricane Films for 7 months as an unpaid intern and researched for ‘Global City’. I was a researcher and researched many forms of content, photographs, video footage, old newspapers the lot. I remember the day I was sent to research for old newspapers, studying the pages from many decades ago was fascinating to say the least. I found it enjoyable that I was contributing to a bigger picture. I used to produce script reports as part of my role, this is something I found thrilling as I always loved reading anyhow. Sitting down with a cup of tea at the desk and reading into a world somebody else imagined and created, just fantastic! Then filing a report on the script as to wether or not it could be deemed possible for Hurricane to take up the idea.

I was also a runner and camera assistant and went on various shoots with the team. I learnt a lot from this alone. Seeing the importance of certain roles within a shoot and then watching the likes of Sol doing his thing with the camera was just great. I had a good relationship with the people from Hurricane Films and used to play football with Roy every week, which was cool to get out and know him also on a personal level. I still always even now look out for what Hurricane are up to. Hurricane Films is a respectable company with the right motives for doing what they do and love. I will always appreciate the experience I gained there through the people I met.

Arriving at Edge Hill University, 1st year study..

Stuck in the deep end of an essay

Stuck in the deep end of an essay, with no armbands on

I lived in halls in my first year and I absolutely loved it. A great year in my life where I met some fantastic people. My room was a place I always kept tidy, it was the perfect chill zone for me, surrounded by many things.. Good people, nights out, music, laughs, football banter, football manager nights, essay writing until all hours, plenty cups of tea, randomness, hate, love and everything else that the drama of halls brought along (Including cooking for myself). I couldn’t have chosen better people to live with, they genuinely cared when it mattered and laughed when it didn’t, they looked after me when I had chicken pox like I was

One of my A la Carte delicacies.. I can cook

One of my A La Carte delicacies.. I can cook

a brother (Which was awful). These are the things I’ll never, ever forget. I lived with three lads, Charlie, Dan and later Brett. I got on with them like a house on fire, we always had a laugh with each other, top lads! I also lived with two ladies, Natalie and Rachel who were a cracking pair of girls always up for fun, we were like a family in our cluster- I’d love to go back and visit it with them one day! They would insist I open my bedroom door and blast my music (Clearly I had the best speaker system) so they could all listen along. They just got me and I got them, we always had each others back. I remember I came back to halls on my birthday, what did they do? They decorated the whole block with pictures of me.. Danny even baked me a cake, they completely shocked me! (I still have the notes, cards, banners and pictures they got me tucked away safe) I could write forever about Elm/Holly in Forest Court where I lived, so many stories with so many fantastic people- they all know who they are and they know I’d do anything for them, bunch of legends! (I had Tony Bessant my best mate there constantly also which helped, he might as well have been a resident, the bastard didn’t pay rent though did he- just drank my tea)

It was clear to me that I would be going to University to study Media or Film at degree level after 6th form. I knew that I wanted a career in the industry but like many people, I didn’t quite understand what way to go to achieve this. After receiving an offer from Edge Hill University to study Film Studies with Film Production I couldn’t wait to get started. The course was actually an English and History classified degree studying Film and Media, it also had a section dedicated completely to Film Production which is what I loved to do most- so it seemed ideal and versatile.

Studying Film at University was a completely different league compared to A Level Media Studies. I had learnt film and media theory at A Level but at University I was thrown into the deep end of film theory, to say the amount of film theory was vast would be a complete understatement. An academic writing style was absolutely necessary, along with a huge commitment to film and also the ability to be able to train your brain to cope with the demands of studying for a degree. For those who believe a film degree is ‘easy’ you are very much mistaken.

I got bored from time to time

I got bored from time to time

I always got along with my tutors at University, they were a team of very sophisticated people who loved what they did! Jenny Barrett in particular is one who stands out for me. I spoke to her a number of times on the phone before I got to University and she was always helpful and pointed me in the right direction. She is a woman who has an extensive knowledge of the film industry, especially when considering the history of film, a very well-educated woman. When I finally got to University she continued to guide me, she also understood my love and affection for my career which was vital in my eyes. She would reason with me but still always made sure I remained focused on my studies. I would also pay visits with Tony to see Andy and Kris our former tutors regularly at the school for a catch up! Although it was hard I stuck at it and grew to love some of the modules in University, especially when they related to what I studied in Media at A Level- it gave me a sense of security and reassured me that I was on the right path.

Tony

Tony

A group of lads in the kitchen- Charlie on the left, Skinner on the right, top men!

A group of lads in the kitchen, Charlie on the left, Skinner on the right, top men!

Meet Natalie..

Meet Natalie, always a friend of mine.

Where it all began..

When I was 16

In year 10 at a young age I was advised by a mentor to drop any plans I had for further education, this made my decision easy. Applying for 6th form at 16 I’d always loved films and was always a strong contender for the main part of the school play as a youngster and I’d been interested in the media and how it affects society for as long as I can remember, so it made perfect sense to choose Media Studies at A level. If you were to tell me back then that in 5 years time I would be running my own Film/Media production company with a degree behind me I would probably have thought you were on drugs.

At this age I was completely unaware of what I wanted to do career wise when I first chose my A Levels. I chose Media Studies, English Literature and Philosophy and Ethics. I have always been a deep thinker and I have always looked at alternative views to different subjects, this made philosophy and ethics a no brainer! I also loved to read books, the feeling of being gripped in a story behind a page is just brilliant. Although I liked my other A levels It soon became clear that Media and Film was my passion.

Sat in the Media class room our teacher Kris Mansfield asked us to get into groups of 3. This was one of the most pivotal moments I’ve perhaps ever had as it has defined and paved the way for what has happened in the years gone by. I looked at Tony Bessant and Phil Connell, two students who I had barely ever spoken to before and the decision was made, we grouped together. After this Kris briefed us about the coursework, which consisted of a horror film trailer as well as a movie poster plus some other works.

Kris Mansfield and Andrew Mackenzie, the men who gave me the tools.

My two main tutors were Kris Mansfield and Andrew Mackenzie. They were not old which was a good thing in my opinion as they could relate to us as A Level students, they also had a sense of friendship which was obvious from the way they taught the class. They would often teach us as a pair and would throw ideas back and forth as the class would intervene. Media never ever seemed like a lesson, it was always the place where you would go and build up a mountain of knowledge in your head. It was never an effort to learn in Media, it just happened and this is due to Kris and Andy and their teaching styles which were pinch perfect in teaching this complex subject. It went in my head and stayed in there, whereas with other subjects I had to constantly revise my notes. In Media I never revised, Tony used to tell me in the lessons “Make some notes” and I just didn’t need to, that final year I got just a few marks short of the highest grade in my written piece, which I was extremely happy with.

The whole class got along with Kris and Andy, Kris had been at the school for a number of years but Andy was a new teacher in our school at the time. I always remember the very point which granted Andy a huge amount of respect within our class, it was a month or so before one of our exams and he came into the class with a pack for each of us. The pack was a massive booklet with absolutely everything you could ask for in terms of revision. He must have spent absolutely hours putting this booklet together, it screamed the word ‘EFFORT’ and for that we grew to him. It was clear he wanted us to succeed and be driven within this subject, he cared. Kris was the same, if you mentioned something in the class and Kris thought it could be relevant to a particular theory or point even if it meant going off topic, he would explore it with you and keep going until he not only understood you but until he could also relate your point to something else, extraordinary standard of teaching which most teachers cannot compare with. Most teachers would shrug it off and say it was ‘off subject’. This is exactly why these two teachers in particular made our class a brilliant place to learn, they had a telepathic understanding of methods in teaching not just students but people.

Kris and Andy are modest people and will never accept responsibility for my love in this subject. However if it weren’t for Kris and Andy I would not be doing what i’m doing today, I can almost guarantee that. Their incredible teaching abilities opened the path for me to explore what I love, that is a fact, and credit to them.