Category Archives: Stage Crew

Swiss Musings

Note: This post is filled with random pictures, un-associated with the text.

Finally back in Guildford for the weekend after being in Switzerland since Monday. I’ve said this before and I will surely say it again: Sony is an amazing place to work. Since I started working there in July I can safely say that every day I go into work with a smile, looking forward to what it has in store.

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^ Blood Brothers: James came to Guildford a couple weeks ago. It was really great to see him! This will have to happen again!

Working in a large company such as Sony means there is always something to do, and the work I’ve been doing has not only been varied, but also relevant to my degree. In week 3 of placement I was given the opportunity to work on this project that would entail a trip to Switzerland… now that’s not a standard request! While the trip has been postponed several times, it’s finally happening. For me, it’s not so much the fact that I get to go to Switzerland, or the fact that I was asked to go; it’s the realisation that in the last few weeks I have become a part of the project team, not just a tag-along. And it’s that integration and appreciation that I’m most grateful for.

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^ A couple of pictures from the “goodbye” meal I had last weekend before I left for Switzerland.

I’ve realised recently that, as a person, I strive to be part of a team, and for my input to be valued and appreciated. If I can be my own psychiatrist for a minute, I think this all stems from secondary school where I often felt alone. I know, cue the violin, but it’s given me a new perspective on a few things. For example, I never fully felt part of Stage Crew, and because video was always considered an afterthought, I didn’t see my opinions being taken seriously. That’s probably why I don’t do it anymore.

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^ Halloween… ‘nuf said

I don’t know whether it’s a sign of weakness that I only feel motivated when I know someone will appreciate my work, but I do know that I have immense pride in my work (such as videos, websites, reports, etc.) and while I appreciate constructive criticism, I can often take it more personally than intended.

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^ Back in England. Did someone say party? (yes actually. Julie :P)

With MADTV recently, I’ve seen a divide between the committee and the team… And I know that last year’s team certainly felt that sometimes their effort wasn’t appreciated when reports were released late or not given as much promotion and care over as reports that committee were working on, even when it was. And I can see now how we could have communicated better, and I don’t want this years MADTV to go the same way. MADTV has had a brilliant start to the year, and it’s only going to get better and better. I just hope that the success of MADTV doesn’t jeopardise the team’s chance to learn through experimentation and have as much fun as we used to!

  • Happiness. 6 out of 10 (I have my reasons…)
  • Tiredness. 0 out of 5 (Woohoo! Enlightenment!)
  • Free Time. 0 out of 5 (And I don’t care :P)
  • Last Meal. Erm… Cereal :S
  • Song of the day. Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand
  • Thought for the day. The Earth’s equator is so big that if you laid it out flat, it would circle the Earth approximately one time.
  • What I’m Doing Now. Waiting until Monday, when I can go back to Switzerland :D

Just A Little Bit More

Given the time you can see I should be in bed. Especially since I need to be up at 6am to be at the Emirates stadium tomorrow…

But I wanted to continue with the story a little bit.

The day after Grad Ball I met up with Josh in town to sort out this Natwest business once and for all. I could write a new Encyclopaedia Britannia on the problems they’ve caused me in the last year, but once both Josh and I were present, it only took just over half an hour to get money out of the account. Horray! Just a shame the 21st century invention of “bank transfers” hasn’t made it to their planet yet, otherwise Josh and I would not have had to walk down the high street with just under £3,000 in cash…

Anywho, my plan for the rest of the day was to help crew with Guilfest, but to be honest with you, I fell asleep. Yup, the working week was getting to me and finally caught up. I slept for almost 16 hours straight. It was gooooooooood.

Then on Sunday I did go to Guilfest! I helped out Colin Arnold, who produced The Fallow Field. He’s currently following a band called Subsource on tour for a documentary he’s producing. I was called in to be a camera operator for him and was more than obliged. It was great fun and a real insight into how live shows are produced in the industry, instead of the rubbish stage crew way. It also gave me a chance to see a real OB van actually working in the field. Albeit palling in comparison to the 3D HD beasts at Sony, it was still interesting.

In the evening I couldn’t help but go and see The King Blues live! Got a few videos too :P Here’s my favourite song of all time:

Also have videos of my favourite poem in the world and the encore

And that was my weekend in a nutshell. Signalling the start of a new working week. I’m only a week behind myself now, I’ll try and cover last week tomorrow. Beauties such as climbing, ice skating, going home and the cabin all to come! And that work surprise that I’m sure you all know about now… :D

  • Happiness. 10 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 3 out of 5 (but I’ll be shattered tomorrow)
  • Free Time. 0 out of 5 (actually true)
  • Last Meal. Oh my God! The best roast dinner ever cooked by Tamsin’s little sister. Truly amazing :D
  • Song of the day. Macy Gray – I Try
  • Thought for the day. Who’s idea was it to put the weekend right at the end of the week, such a long wait…
  • What I’m Doing Now. I was editing a MAD TV video coming out on Wednesday with Claire :)

Special Post #31: Thank God For That

Today was the Stage Crew AGM, and therefore my last day as VEO. My thoughts about crew have changed a lot since the Feb 16th last year when I was elected. I’ve obviously been spending far more time with MAD TV recently, so Stage Crew has been slightly neglected. But I also feel that at Stage Crew video is very much optional, and when it isn’t, MAD TV seem to be covering the gaps. Therefore, this seems like a natural progression for me since the best part of stage crew was the video, now MAD TV is fulfilling that need.

I’ll definitely continue to do video for Stage Crew when the situation calls, because it is great fun and a very different skill to MAD TV. For now, I’m happy that I have one less commitment, but realise that in the long term, today’s change will make very little difference.

I’m thankful I was given the opportunity to be on Stage Crew committee, but I didn’t really feel I had a lot to contribute at meetings and I haven’t been very active with training and promoting video. But at the end of the day, it seems that Stage Crew is very blasé about it and not really interested in investing time or money into making it better… and that’s where MAD TV has changed things.

MAD TV have made the Student’s Union realise the value of video and has the people with expertise beyond plugging things in. I really hope that MAD TV can succeed where Stage Crew failed. Only time will tell…

Friday Dawn

Morning folks!

This week has been really good fun. Labs on Tuesday and the SONY interview on Wednesday have really made this week enjoyable.

Yesterday MAD TV broadcast the union AGM live across the internet. It was a great collaboration between the union, Stage Crew and MAD TV that all came to together with unbelievable ease thanks to the help of Tolley. We had a peak of 50 people watching the online stream, which is really encouraging considering the lack of advertising it had. I can’t wait to do something like that again on a bigger scale. Can’t think what event we’d want to do it for, but I’ll be waiting…

If you’re interested you can watch the whole AGM on demand at http://union.surrey.ac.uk:8080/OnDemand/AGM2010.wmv

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 1.5 out of 5
  • Workload. 7.5 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Chicken poppets and a fajita courtesy of Will :)
  • Song of the day. John Mayer – Say
  • Thought for the day. The future’s only a second away
  • What I’m Doing Now. Heading on to campus for another productive work day before relaxing at The Stoke for a live band and 2 for 1 pizzas tonight :D

Gone Fishing…

Typical Mondays…

I did some preparation today for my interview on Wednesday, which got me less confident about getting the job. Either way, I know I am capable of getting it, it’s just how that compares to the other candidates that I’m not so sure about.

I also had my Computer Graphics Module. More really interesting stuff, but lots to get my head around. Which tends to be the story all round at the moment.

Then stage crew in the evening was my weekly reminder that I really don’t have time for crewing at the moment. That hasn’t stopped me getting involved with all the video I can, which this week entails filming and webcasting the union AGM on Thursday.

Then on into the night Josh cooked a great casserole thing which continues our new trend of cooking together when we can. Then we had a very funny trip to Tesco which included a girl being buried in crisps by her mates :D

Today was a busy day, and was one of those “1 step forward, 2 steps back” kind of days. Still, the weekend holds lots of promises to get things done…

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 4 out of 5
  • Workload. 8.1 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Josh Casserole Surprise!
  • Song of the day. Katrina & the Waves – Walking on Sunshine
  • Thought for the day. Test the water, and if it’s warm, put on your sexiest swim suit and go paddling!
  • What I’m Doing Now. Failing to install Windows 7 on my PC :(

The Devil Makes Work For Idle Minds

Friday went really well. I’m very happy with the presentation we gave in the afternoon and then I submitted a large group project to get that finished. Sound like cause for celebration? Josh and I thought so. Obviously I remember the entire evening crystal clear and no alcohol was involved at all. The fact that the following morning half a case of cider had gone missing was pure coincidence. But seriously, it was fun to relax with Josh for a bit before going to the union. It seems like we’re forever doing work together sometimes…

Saturday night I went climbing, only the gym was closed so I went to Sophie & Hannah’s house instead. I love those impromptu evenings where you end up catching up with friends you haven’t seen in ages.

Sunday Mum, Dad & Beth paid a visit and cooked Sunday Lunch for the entire house. First time we’ve all sat down for a meal together and it was great. That evening Josh, Anne and played UNO for about 6 hours, brought back lots of memories from sixth form when I’d play it every day :)

The week started with some filming on Monday, just a note: If you’re filming a radio advert, you don’t need a camera and autocue! It was good fun anyway and Adam and I chance to bounce around plenty of cool ideas for future MAD TV reports.

Monday evening I had 2 Stage Crew meetings. They went on for hours and I didn’t really have anything to contribute to any of the discussions, I felt slightly surplus…

I got home and wanted to relax, what better way than to play UNO! Anne is good at UNO, and talking, so it wasn’t a shock that 3am rolled around and we were still there nattering…

Tuesday I decided to check off some errands I’d been meaning to do for ages. I got the brakes on my bike tightened and collected my tripod (the last of a line of self-bought Christmas presents after my camcorder and external hard drive). In the afternoon I ventured onto campus to edit a MAD TV report and then attended a MAD TV meeting.

I could talk for hours about MAD TV and the exciting things happening with it. There’s so much to do, and I find it all fascinating. I find myself wishing that I didn’t have to do my course so I spend all my time doing MAD TV. That says just as much about MAD TV as it does my dislike for my course at the moment…

Tuesday evening I helped Stage Crew setup comedy night. I used to love comedy night last year, and I went to it every week. I’m not sure if it’s because it doesn’t seem as funny as it used to, or because I don’t live 20 seconds walk from it any more…

MAD Wednesday was just that. I uploaded a new segment called “Assemble!”, which will eventually act as a series of adverts for MAD TV where we all gather together upon hearing Yas & Mike shouting “Assemble!”. I’m looking forward to releasing more in the future.

Then in the evening was another MAD TV meeting and then long talks into the night about what we could do to advertise MAD TV and progress on some of the bigger reports we’re working on.

That brings us to today. One lecture this morning reminds me how stupid our course is: Two of our lecturers have missed several lectures and the lecture this morning was a catch up. But we weren’t told which lecturer it was a catch up for. To be fair, when she turned up she did only have one leg, which might have been the reason for her absence.

Looking ahead at my schedule, I’m pretty busy until the 20th February with formative tests (there the ones that don’t actually count towards anything), coursework and MAD TV things. But I’ve planned another amazing boat trip for Easter! It’s going to be mega :D

  • Happiness. 6 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 2 out of 5
  • Workload. 9 out of 10
  • Last Meal. My 4 hour lunch: sandwiches, grapes, yogurt, chocolate, crisps…
  • Song of the day. The Kooks – Watching The Ships Roll In
  • Thought for the day. Brand new! The same as before, but slightly different.
  • What I’m Doing Now. Not sure, either: Not doing revision, not doing coursework, not applying for placements, not going to Tesco or looking forward to seeing Julie later (:

Special Post #26: Still Charles

This last year I have learnt so much about myself that I thought it worth wile sharing a few gems…

  • Alcohol. This year saw me get drunk on a few occasions. I think it’s fair to say I have now become a typical student, and it’s all thanks to cider!
  • Confidence. I have definitely become a more confident person this year, and I put it all down to my wonderful friends who are there to support me through everything. People are good really, so why worry about what they think about you?
  • Friends. Leading from the last point. This year has been the year of friends is so many ways, but it’s great to be able to know so many people and hang out with different groups of people. Housemates, ex-housemates, stage crew, MAD TV, course mates, mates from home, family… the list goes on.
  • Independence. Going to university kind of throws you in the deep end some what and this year I found my sea legs.
  • House. I’m living in a house! Enough said.
  • Birthday Success. My birthday party had so many of my friends there and I genuinely had one of the best times of my life so far. It’s how every birthday should be spent: with the people you want to get older with.
  • GuilFest Responsibility. Being given a stage to changeover for 3 days was a big challenge and I loved every minute of it.
  • Trust. Being given committee positions on Stage Crew and MAD TV meant a lot to me.
  • Not Enough Time. Seriously, there were not enough hours in the day this year. It’s all that trust I tell you…
  • Stress. You’ve got to learn to deal with it. I’m managing it so far, but being given so much to do can really get you at times…
  • Girls. I’ve hidden this in the middle so no-one sees it :P
  • Go With The Flow. Gone are the days when I needed to know every intricate detail of what I was doing, I’m much happier now to roll with it. Sure I still plan my days, but that’s a necessity to keep me on track.
  • Less OCD. A lot less. I used to obsess about little details, but when time is against you, you learn what is essential and what is a waste of time. I still obsess over a few things, like my calendar and  having to have volume in multiples of 5.
  • Delegating. With all this trust, I’ve had to trust others with the work I’ve been given. I delegate things I previously would have done myself. Especially for MAD TV where I’m relying on a whole team of people to get the job done.
  • Phone. Over the last year I’ve got to using my phone a lot more. Where previously £5 of credit would last me 3 months, I now have a £10 a month contract that just about gets me by. How did I ever live without this I don’t know!

Who knows what I’ll  learn in the next year, but whatever it is, I’m looking forward to finding out!

  • Happiness. 7 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 2 out of 5
  • Workload. 8 out of 10 (but not for now…)
  • Last Meal. Sugar Puffs
  • Song of the day. Ke$ha – Tik Toc
  • Thought for the day. Bring your own lampshade…
  • What I’m Doing Now. Waiting for the New Years party!