Those 9 Days: Part 3 – Scene Missing

Wednesday 16th December

2 morning lectures to start the day, more things to look over later. Then me and Josh went off into town to do a spot of Christmas shopping. And it started to snow :)

In the afternoon I ended up wrapping presents. Then at 5pm it was MAD TV time. Committee meeting and then the general meeting. Lots of good ideas were put forward. One I really like is a report on international students, how they find surrey,what facilities are available and we plan to get statistics and interviews with people in charge of international societies and applications.

Thursday 17th December

More lectures and more wrapping presents. Then in the evening was the MADsoc Christmas dinner at a local pub. 3 courses for £9.95 spelt a good night :) Another one of those good natured nights just chatting, but the conversation was more lively than crew dinner, probably due to most people being actors.

Friday 18th December

A full day of labs is not a fun way to end the year, but then it had to be done. Fortunately the practical side of the project was mostly done so I spent my time planning the write up and our presentation. Few bits of documentation here and finding out who would do what over Christmas.

At 5pm it was time to leave, and time for the celebrations to begin. At 5pm exactly I had been invited for drinks with other media engineers by our course organiser. Only about 5 people turned up, but it was a good laugh for an hour or so anyway. After that I cycled home for a quick change of clothes before meeting up with Phil, Malcolm and Rob for a Chinese meal in town.

We’d been there once before last year and Lauren and I made the mistake of not ordering the set meal and having to watch as lashings of gorgeous food poured onto the table for Phil and Rob, none of which we could touch. Until eventually 2 small dishes emerged, they were ours… Needless to say this was not a mistake to be repeated, so this time I had the set meal with Malcolm, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

After the meal I went over to Sophie’s and Julie’s for a spot of cider (Kopparberg to be precise) before heading out to Rubix for the Xmas party!

We arrived at about 10:45pm and went straight to the bar. It was a good night in all, at least what I remember of it, which to be honest is very little. I learnt that Goldschlager is an amazing shot, but takes you away to the fairies in no time!

So that’s pretty much it for the end of term, I had the time of my life and couldn’t imagine spending it any other way or with anybody different.

In the next few posts I’m going to be looking back at the last 365 days, and seeing what made it the best year of my life (so far…)

Those 9 Days: Part 2 – Snow White

Sunday 13th December

MADsoc, Surrey’s Music & Drama Society, which, incidentally, MAD TV is a part of, we’re hosting a pantomime version of Snow White for the Christmas holidays. I was asked to film the performances so there was a record of it happening (and possibly for later sale). I turned up at about 2pm on Sunday when they were supposedly having a tech rehearsal. Unfortunately they were running behind schedule, about 5 hours to be exact. So instead I did some other filming on campus with Ankur for a MAD TV project titled “Assemble”. After doing that I went back to the union where the tech rehearsal still hadn’t started. I ended up helping stage crew set up talkback and rigged a security camera feed into the dressing room so the actors backstage could see what was happening on the stage. After that I left homeward bound.

Monday 14th December

Josh and I went to the programming labs to get some of our coursework out the way. Managed to get a fair chunk done, just still have lots to do before the deadline on the 12th January…

In the afternoon I spent several hours setting up for Snow White, sorting out the camera and more bits and bobs. Went home for dinner before dashing back in time for the stage crew meeting at 6pm. Every day of the last few weeks has had to be planned like a military operation in order to do everything. But it also needs to be flexible for those last minute additions that people like to throw at you. Monday’s curveball was a stage crew committee meeting. My plan was to go and watch the play at  7:30 with a friend, and I had since I had no intention of missing it, I had to leave the committee meeting early. Ah well. The play was amazing, and since I knew most of the cast, it added extra giggles.

Tuesday 15th December

OK, so no lectures :) good start. But still had Snow White to film, again. But this time I was also going to a dance show in the evening because Sophie had a choreography in it. But Snow White and the Dance show clash, obviously. So more running around and planning things to the second. I also made some progress on the lab project we have to complete, which suddenly took shape with huge thanks to one of my lab partners.

We’re almost there folks, and the best is yet to come. We still have shopping, Christmas dinner number 2 and the last night of the year to go!

Those 9 days: Part 1

The last 9 days have been hectic in more ways than possible to describe here, but hell, lets give it a go!

Friday 11th December

It all starts a week and a half ago. A full day of labs where we finished the experiment early and got full marks. That put me in a good mood to go shopping at Tesco. While I was in Tesco there was a power cut, meaning I had to wait ages before the checkouts started working again… on my way back home all the street lights were off, it was very strange. Just as well I’d bought some bike lights from Halfords 2 days prior! Once I got back home I invited a friend over for stroganoff!

Later in the evening I went to Rubix, largely to see 2 of Sophie’s best friends from back home who had come to visit for the weekend. Sophie always talks about Ana and Carina, and they came over last Christmas for a day or two, but with labs and stage crew I didn’t ever get to see them. It was one of those times when I felt like we were friends before we’d even met, and it was great to finally put faces to names and get to know each other. All in all, it was a great night. Sophie’s friends were genuinely such nice people I was taken aback at first and then annoyed at myself that I didn’t find time to see them last year!

Saturday 12th December

After getting no more than 3 hours sleep I was up for a MAD TV meeting to discuss a website that we plan to build over Christmas as a central place to hold all our content. It was an interesting discussion, but had to be cut short because one of the guys had to leave. So I went home and went back to sleep. That evening I went back over to Sophie’s to see her friends again before they left on Sunday morning. Ana baked some cakes and I ate some cakes…

I left there at about 6pm to go to the stage crew Christmas dinner. It was a black tie event, and all of stage crew pretty much go. I don’t have much to say about the dinner, apart from it was a really good night for a few reasons: the food was good, I was bought a lot of drinks, half price drinks in the union was amazing, managed to get to subway before it closed at 3am…

It’s interesting to compare this year’s stage crew dinner to last. Last year I didn’t drink alcohol at all, and I had a good time. But this year was very alcohol-fuelled, and I loved it! It’s not just the alcohol, but when everyone else is drinking and you’re not, it’s never as fun, and I hate to say it but you don’t feel as included in everything. Crew dinner was one of the first times I’ve been out this year and just sat in a bar and talked to people, for literally hours, and that’s what I really liked about it.

There’s loads more to talk about… we’ve got Snow White, dancing, shopping, cake, parties and lots more still to come! Part 2 coming soon!

Stay tuned

I haven’t forgotten about you, on the contrary I have an interesting plan for this blog over the next few weeks. I’ve finished uni now for the year, and I have lots to talk about both past, present and future! It’s all exciting stuff so I want to talk about it…

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 4 out of 5
  • Workload. 8 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Sandwiches stolen from choir party :P
  • Song of the day. Gwen Stefani – The Sweet Escape
  • Thought for the day. If you love life, life will love you back
  • What I’m Doing Now. Mainly planning my New Years Party!!

None of the above

Once again I’ve found myself having the time of my life, having experiences I will carry through the rough times and learning more about myself every single day.

MAD TV has got it’s knickers in a twist over how to distribute it’s content and the best way to produce high quality, relevant and informative reports with the limited equipment and small team we currently have. It was a stark realisation today when Mike and I were looking at Exeter University’s Television Station, XTV, which is run by 160 students and produces over 100 hours of content a year, that MAD TV has a huge potential and a long way to go! The last 2 months have been a sort of “proof of concept” and now we need to re-asses what we know, where we’re heading and how we can most effectively get there. I love having such a big input into what could potentially be a lasting legacy on Surrey, which in years to come I can be proud to say I had a big part in making a reality. It’s all really exciting stuff!

Anyway, that’s enough about MAD TV (until the next paragraph :D). I want to mention a bit about Stage Crew. I filmed a live music night on Monday, which was the first time I’ve used stage crew equipment for a month or so now, and I realised just how old it is. After doing Winter Happenings on Saturday with proper cameras and a professional setup, it seemed like going back to nursery and playing with the building blocks with letters on. I still enjoyed it, and want to do it again for the experience of live mixing, but I’m going to need to talk to the Technical Manager about possibly upgrading equipment in the future. It sounds like a MAD TV and Stage Crew collaboration might be on the cards…

MAD TV does seem to be creating a stir around the union offices, as a lot of people see it as filling a hole in the union’s media outlets and also potentially providing an invaluable service to societies and other groups of students who have an interest in getting events filmed. This is the 21st century after all, and not having a video service/TV station just seems archaic.

But the last 4 days haven’t just been MAD TV, although over 15 hours of MAD TV meetings in 3 days might make it sound like it has. Monday started in the now usual way of going to the media labs and spending 3 hours working. I had Maths coursework and Lab prep as my main workloads this week, and I’ve managed to get them both done!

Apart from work, and lectures, and MAD TV, and Stage Crew, there was also my life to lead this week. It seems like my life requires a lot of my time as well, so I can’t just put it on hold. But that’s a good thing because I’m enjoying my life at the moment, I just wish I had more time to dedicate to it. It’s not that I don’t consider MAD TV and all that as part of my life, because it is and without it my life wouldn’t be half as great as it is, but I just feel sometimes I need to have time I can spend how I please, with the people I please. And I bring this up a lot, but for me the most important thing right now is people. I want to spend time with people, learn from people and be able to relax and enjoy being me, in my comfort zone, without being pressured or pushing my boundaries…

In a world where all I want to do is learn and better myself, it’s the time spent making other people smile that makes my life complete.

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5, only had 4 hours of sleep last night :'(
  • Workload. 8 out of 10, feel on top of it, but still have to organise my placement!
  • Last Meal. Steak & Ale pie with loads a’ chips!
  • Song of the day. Three Days Grace – Pain
  • Thought for the day. “Can’t we just borrow a bit of the film…”
  • What I’m Doing Now. Organising things and catching up on what’s happening

Cute thing 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bmhjf0rKe8

Cute thing 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErMWX–UJZ4

MAD week

The past with its pleasures, its rewards, its foolishness and its punishments, is there for each of us forever, and it should be.

My most recent past shows a lot of MAD TV work. This week our latest episode was released. The Mento’s and Coke report is my baby, that was my Tuesday night, but it was time well spent.

So that alone doesn’t make it a MAD TV week, but there’s been a lot happening this week. I knew it was going to be one of those busy weeks so on Monday and Tuesday I took the liberty of doing lots of work, which made me feel much better about the amount of work I have on at the moment.

Thursday was all about Student Parliament. A event held by the union to give students a place to raise issues and opinions they have. As it happens this was a lot considering the day before one member of the Exec committee motioned a vote of no confidence to the rest of the committee! Made for a very heated debate about the constitution and the role of the Exec in interpreting it. Although the mass-debate was not my cup of tea, and filming for 2 hours was not a perfect evening, it could’ve been a lot worse.

On Saturday I spent the whole day setting up and filming the Winter Happenings dance show in the hall. MAD TV were commissioned to film the event and produce a DVD for sale. Should make an interesting project and it was interesting to organise.

Looking forward to Christmas, but it’s only 2 weeks away and I have so much to do!

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 2 out of 5 (13 hours sleep last night!)
  • Workload. 9 out of 10 (About to go to uni early to crack on!)
  • Last Meal. Full English breakfast! (oh yea!)
  • Song of the day. Sean Kingston – Fire Burning
  • Thought for the day. Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives.
  • What I’m Doing Now. Thinking… stand back :)