Thank you

When I was growing up Terry Wogan was a television presenter and a legend. It wasn’t until my second term at college where I was studying for my Media BTEC that I knew any different. We were asked to conduct research on someone’s career in the industry. Never wanting to follow the crowd and do what everyone else was doing (film directors) I randomly opted for Radio. At the time all I ever listened to was Capital FM, and I had no clue where to even begin. My tutor suggested researching Terry Wogan. It was there I discovered his time working in hospital radio and from this start I went and got myself experience at my local Hospital Radio station. I have to make it clear at this point I had very little desire to do anything within media and was just simply doing it because it seemed like the easy option. It was this little task that somehow magically opened the world of Audio to me.

I thank you Terry Wogan for your hard work and the path you took that inspired me.  Our radio waves and television signals won’t be the same without you.

I leave you with his last radio show at BBC Radio 2…..

Advertisements

Look up here I’m in Heaven

Watching Lady Gaga’s performance at the Grammy’s reminded me how many people have been inspired by David Bowie. A leader in individuality, passion and expression. It felt right that a month after his death I should write this post about him.

January 10th was the day we sadly lost David Bowie. On hearing the news before going to work, it didn’t occur to me to write a post about the great man who had passed. I walked into the kitchen where a group of 20-something year old runners were listening to the music of David Bowie. I went to various editor’s rooms and either his music or news on the event was playing. Various social media platforms were filled with their respect and love. I guess the one thing that stood out the most was camping that weekend with grumpy young teenagers, and while arguing about what music to play, one said ‘well David Bowie’. Not a single one of them disagreed and they sat, and listened and sang. My point is David Bowie has always been part of my life and everyone else’s, but what was clear was that while David Cameron said David Bowie was “His generation” that is not true. I learned that week just how many age groups loved and adored him – teenagers, young and older adults, just everyone. He was part of everyone’s life. And how lucky we all are to have his music.

My own personal memories and relationship with him was mainly to do with the film Labyrinth. Now one of my brother’s and my favourite films. The music and clothes were always so expressive and captivating. Now watching it as an adult I can see some of the poor editing skills and certainly it has aged but it will forever have a place in my heart and always be a classic and something I love.

I guess one of the ways you realise the greatness of someone is that they are always part of your life, there in the background. I am not sure the day I realised one of my favourite songs was sung by the man in Labyrinth and I’m not sure it matters. It was a very strange reason I love the song Space Oddity. I remember sharing the headphones with my brother and listening to it, and being amazed how we were both ‘getting’ different parts of the song. Now having a Masters degree in Audio I know why, however the 9 year old me had no idea and was just fascinated by it. I even remember when we first got Sky television in the early 2000’s I saw an advert for his album, and receiving David Bowie Greatest Hits for my birthday. He and his music were simply magic.

The world has truly lost a legend and now indeed the stars look very different today.

 

Downton Abbey Series 6

A sad face as the final series of Downton Abbey is officially over with a Christmas episode and a rumored film left to be aired. As far as series go it was ok, with only a few big storylines to it.

The series reinforces the change that is coming and not needing the many maids and footmen. Which is bad news for Tom Barrow. He has always been this complicated character, while he can be truly evil and mean, society has made him this way because of his sexuality. This series see’s him searching for work and coming to the realization that the house won’t miss him because of his past behaviour. Leading to him taking some pretty drastic measures, which ends up with some truly upsetting and moving scenes. Downton is subtle and uncomplicated, so when it does show the results of Tom Barrow cutting himself, it is truly shocking and even more difficult and painful to watch.

Even with series 2 being set during WW1 the amount of blood shown was never too much and was always the right amount. Series 6 pushed this and was a whole new Downton. Lord Grantham during dinner suffers a burst ulcer and vomits blood. It was truly graphic and pushed the boundaries and left fans in a state of shock. I believe it was well done and worth the push they made. In a show where sometimes the most shocking thing is the wrong teacup being put in the wrong place you have to push it every now and again.

It really occurred to me this series how used we are to seeing sex and swearing on screen. I reaslied how little there is in Downton, it felt like we had to wait years before Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes finally kissed on their wedding day. That certainly was a beautiful day. As well as the final episode seeing Lady Edith say bitch twice! I am hardly a fan of hers, but nice for her to defend herself for once.

Series 6 defiantly wasn’t a favourite but it did have its moments and I will miss my Autumn Sunday evenings.

downton-abbey-season-6-01

Professor Green: Suicide and Me

Professor Green (Stephen Manderson) documentary with BBC3 Suicide and Me aired on the 27th of October. He goes on a journey to understand his father’s own suicide and tries to understand about males committing suicide in the UK. It’s not a subject that many want to discuss, and rather easy to brush under the carpet, however is this very truthful and emotional Documentary it is difficult to ignore.

Rapper Professor Green is an idol too many and who better than your idol to address such a serious subject. The usual documentary format you find is a presenter addressing these subjects, such subjects that they may not particularly understand or have experienced. What makes this incredible and successful is Stephen trying to understand his own Farther suicide. He is dealing with conversations with family that are difficult to have, this is a true story with real pain and hurt. Most documentaries have a certain staging process to them, “oh just say that again but face this way” however this comes across as a raw and natural documentary.

Suicide is a difficult subject to approach, but we are left with the message that we need to talk more! I now see Professor Green as a role model and a real person, the person I hear on the radio so often has an important and powerful story to tell and should be congratulated for his motivation and effort to tackle such a difficult subject.

4284

Films to Watch on a Sunday

Sunday. The day before a full and busy week ahead and a chance to get those last remaining errands done. I recently did the grown-up thing with my flat mate and made our first roast dinner, and it was a brilliant success, and we both wanted to watch a nice little film, which inspired this blog. Sunday evenings are the perfect time to watch some films and chill and relax and these are my top choices.

1) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. A classic children’s film. Who doesn’t want to chill and relax with their favourite flying car. It is uplifting, funny and also mellow. It relaxes you and makes you feel all warm inside and ready for what the next week has in store.

Chitty_1385382a2) Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Now what could be more relaxing that watching Audrey Hepburn!? If her elegance and beauty won’t chill you out and make you feel calm then what on earth will? It is a classic film and easy to watch, and you will need tissues and a cat to hold at the end.

03-danish-breakfast-at-tiffanys

3) Harry Potter. Now we all need to chill a little and this one will give you an excuse for 8 weeks of kicking back. That and you will find yourself saying the following “Oh my god they look so young”, “I feel so old”, “They grew up so quickly.” Yes, Harry Potter is a very good Sunday night choice.

Unknown

4) And lastly The Railway Children. Again, a childhood classic and there is something so magical about watching it through adult eyes. That and the film itself it so British and it is just so well suited to a roast dinner and a glass of red wine and a fire. One day I will go to that station and yell “Daddy. Is that my Daddy?”

THE-RAILWAY-CHILDREN-001

Use your Sunday evenings to relax my friends.

Should I go to University?

It’s hard to believe four years ago I was sat in a cramped office with my friend in Africa, refreshing the email page and my Facebook page, waiting to hear from my mum whether I had got my place at University of Lincoln. So, it can be safely assumed that from that opening of this post and the time of year we are talking about University today. I have now studied Media for 6 years, so this is all I know and all I can give advice on.

So let’s start with what my undergrad degree even was. I studied Media Production and it was a 3 year course; it was 75% Practical and 25% Theory. The idea was you focused your study over the 3 years to eventually specialise in a specific area. You started your first year with 6 practical and 2 theory subjects. Then in your second year you chose 2 theories and 2 practical as well as a compulsory theory, the purpose of which was to prepare you for your dissertation. For my theory I took Public Service Broadcasting – a Television Theory Module and Practice of Listening – an Audio Module. For my practical subjects I took Multi-Camera and Radio. In my third year we all did a dissertation and a theory module and then everyone did a practical; for this I chose radio.

So that is a brief overview of my course. But what has that told you? Well, a great deal. Media degrees can be on one area, for example, television, graphics and radio and the course just focuses on that area. Or degrees like mine where you learn a bit of everything and then narrow down and focus on an area. Now I remember I was very keen on looking at Audio Courses and my parents were against the idea, suggesting that I may change my mind and discover something else that would interest me. You see even going with their advice I ended up in audio, but I do see where they were coming from. You may learn something new and there really is no harm in developing other skills, and it is also a way of collaborating with different people. My honest advice is for undergrads to go for a course like mine where you get a feel for everything. Next, the percentage of the course. I remember looking at a few courses where it was 80% Theory and 20% Practical. Now in all honesty if you want to go into media even as a director you need to know about the practical element, and also where they state that percentage it is for each module rather than the whole course. So don’t worry, you do learn more than enough theory. Also think about what happens after Uni as you want to go to a job interview showcasing all the films or practical work you have done, not just the essays you have written. The next bit of advice is about the equipment you may use. I wish I had more access to better equipment as I now realise that the facilities where I spent my 3 years weren’t amazing, however, they got me by but could have been better. Don’t underestimate how important it is to choose the right course for you. It is a big decision as you are going to be studying on that course for 3 years and you need to choose it because it’s what you want to do, rather than what your friends or parents want you to choose.

So the course bit out the way, lets talk about the other bit of the Uni experience. I lived away from home which was the best choice for me. But I didn’t live so far that the parents couldn’t visit for a weekend, which essentially equals, food shop, meals out, snacks out, coffee out basically just so much food and drink. Personally I believe your going to get the best experience if you live away from home. But its not right for everyone. Of course a massive plus for going is all the nights out! University isn’t just about the course and the partying. It is also about the people, now I am from London and my Dad is from Manchester so I liked to think of myself as someone that knows a lot about culture and see’s different walks of life all the time. I realised when I went to Uni I had kind of lived in a bubble, simple things like making friends from the countryside, opens your eyes and your learn about different people and you get to hear the bread roll debate, as well as the is it dinner or tea? Well of course its dinner!

Anyway University is certainly worth it! What with the Government discussing the change of finance, go now while it is the way it is. Also don’t let money be the reason to stop you! University is seriously the best experience you’ll ever have and its not just the course you’ll learn from!

Netflix

I am new to the whole Netflix phenomenon. To be precise I have only been using it for 2 months now. We are constantly hearing the phrases like “ things are changing”, “everything is online” or “I am having a Netflix marathon.” It has even been recently announced that Amazon Prime will be doing the new series of Top Gear. So, you get it? Online is the thing now, but let’s talk about Netflix.

Much to my surprise Netflix was actually founded in 1997 and the service began back in 1999. Yes, that is a scary thought that it is a 90’s creation. Now in 2015 Netflix has over 60 million subscribers. As far as the service goes it’s pretty cheap and pretty much offers everything you could possibly want.

Facts aside let’s look at some hit series. Netflix doesn’t just show films and shows made by other companies, they make their own. The first time I actually remember hearing about Netflix is when the “Breaking Bad effect” happened. I wasn’t part of this, but it is on my list to watch. Breaking Bad failed on television with very poor ratings, and with no desire to make new series, then enter Netflix. They bought the rights for Breaking Bad and then it became one of their most popular shows to be aired on their site. Netflix are now making their own shows which are boasting greater ratings and awards. Shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, as well as many more that they have created are responsible for this success.

So what is next for them? Well my prediction is that Netflix will move on to making more films and more series. Netflix making their own shows and then showcasing theme is a far cheaper way of doing things. So the future will be online and who next will go up against them?