Category Archives: Stage Crew

Special Post #25: Top 40 Moments 2009, Part 4

This is part 4 in a mini-series of posts that looks into the best year of my life, two thousand and nine. This is the gripping finale to the countdown of the top 40 moments of the year. These are my top 10 moments of 2009…

Before reading any more, make sure you’re up to date with 40 down to 11 by looking at the last 3 posts.

Right, here goes nothing!

#10: 10 Days Of Consecutive Drinking During Fresher’s Week

This year’s Fresher’s week laughs in the face of last years! Not only did I mange to make this one last 10 whole days, but I avoided the awkwardness of being a fresher while still meeting new people and having a great time. Not only was a great end to the summer, but it was a great way to get back into uni life!

#9: Becky Making A Surprise Appearance At My 20th

My entire 20th birthday was too brilliant for words. I love my friends, and there is no better way to celebrate turning twenteen than having a big BBQ!

#8: Sophie Helping Me Buy A New Wardrobe On Oxford Street

That day was lots of fun. I learnt that girls know what they’re doing when they go shopping!

#7: A specific 10 seconds of Sunday 1st November

I was waiting for my train at Greenwich train station. Never has a train arrived two minutes early in my life! Typical, exactly when you want it to be late…

#6: The MAD TV Social

Another great night to add to the portfolio. Nandos for dinner, then off to Bar Med, Wetherspoons, Flares and finally Dusk. I didn’t have too much to drink, just enjoyed the night.

#5: Seeing My Sister Getting Married

Truly a great day! If you told me a year ago that this was going to happen this year, I wouldn’t have believed you. But yet, there it is.

#4: Drinking With Jake At Becky’s Birthday

What a night! I can comfortably say that my sister should turn 30 more often!

#3: Wednesday Night On The Boat With Phil, Jake & All The Cider

What happens when 3 guys decide that all the cider has got to go? Hilarity ensues… Highlights of this evening were cheesecake in Jakes face, Jake failing at climbing a ladder and ask Jake about the other one :D

Since this is the last boat memory in this list, I thought now would be a good time to point to “the boat video”, enjoy it if you haven’t already :)

#2: Somerset House With Sophie

I have a love for London, and exploring the sights such as Covent Garden, Somerset House, Tate Modern, Southbank and more all in one day was overload! And on top of that Sophie and I had some great conversations. Combining my two favourite things in life, London and conversation, is what made this day second to none. Well, second only to…

#1: The Longest Conversation Ever With Josh In April

I had come down to Guildford a week early after the Easter break to get a head start on revision (because it wasn’t getting done at home). Josh thought this whole revision lark could be useful too so he came and joined me for two days. At 1pm on the first day Josh came over to go to Tesco. At 2am we we’re still talking… We talked about everything: girls, parents, university, the course, cooking, getting old, our pasts and god knows what else. I’ve always felt this conversation is what makes me and Josh such good friends even today. We do spend surprisingly little time with each other considering we live together and are on the same course. But all I can hope is that we continue to be friends for a long time to come…

So that concludes my top 40 moments of 2009. While you’ve been reading this you may have noticed some glaring omissions (such as getting my results), but there will always be some gaps. There are only 40 in this list after all, and 2009 was littered with memories that any other year would have made number 1…

Special Post #24: Top 40 Moments 2009, Part 3

This is part 3 in a mini-series of posts that looks into the best year of my life, two thousand and nine. This part continues to countdown the top 40 moments of the year. We’re at number 20, so lets go!

If you haven’t, be sure to check out the first 2 parts of this countdown before you continue!

#20: The Boat Breaking In Rugby

On the first part of the boat trip, while Ben, Kevin & I were on board, the boat broke. We’d already spent a day in Rugby to celebrate Ben’s 19th Birthday, and we woke up early the next morning to pull a long day to make up the time we lost by not moving. However, the boat usually does something when you put it in gear…

A call to the 4th emergency service, Steven, and it transpires a part had broken on the drive shaft. So now what do we do? Go to McDonalds and abuse their free wi-fi of course!

Steve managed to fix the boat in record time, and that evening we were off. And we didn’t stop until midnight! There’s nothing like a spot of night-time boating!

#19: Juggling Changeovers & The King Blues At Guilfest

Guilfest was an amazing week. I learnt a lot and loved moving all the equipment for each band on Stage 3.

The other best part of Guilfest was seeing The King Blues. They are definitely one of my favourite bands of 2009 (number 3 according to last.fm)

#18: Apocalypse With Jordan & Barry

So funny standing at the top of Apocalypse, when Barry has been trying to persuade Jordan to go on it for ages, and seeing him drop one in his pants! Laugher ensued for ages!

#17: Queuing Hours For SAW At Thorpe Park

This was such a good day with my mates. I’ve been wanting to have a big trip to Thorpe Park for ages, but every time I organise it people let me down. Not this time.

10 of us in total, and we had a great time! Fright Nights at Thorpe Park have always been a father and son affair, but this year I branched out and it was fantastic. Even the 3 hour queue for SAW at 11pm at night was fun with Anne, Viv, Phil, Lauren, Heather, Ben, Kevin, Murat and Sophie for company :)

#16: First MAD TV Studio Session

Setting up the studio was a great experience, even if it took hours to get none of it working! And then filming with Yasna and Mike couldn’t have been funnier!

#15: Showcasing A Video I Edited To 200 People

The Fresher’s Angel Health & Safety was shown to 200 students at the briefing. It was the biggest audience I’d ever had, and it went down really well :)

#14: Standing on the back of the boat in the rain with Becky

In fact, standing on the back of the boat with Becky, full stop. I love talking to my sister. And where better to do it than watching the English countryside slowly pass you by and without a care in the world…

#13: Anne Arriving At The House… Our First Proper Conversation

This is a good one. I went back to Guildford a week early to get myself sorted. On the second night, who turns up but Anne! Just stopping over on her way to Birmingham to see Viv, but that didn’t stop us having a good natter. It was one of those impromptu moments that got better and better. I came away so happy that I was living with Anne, and looking forward to the year even more!

My housemates…. an anagram for “a thyme mousse” (it’s true!)

#12: That Late-Night Talk With Barry About Life

Barry and I often have these epic conversations these days. And when I say about life, that only really means one thing: Girls. This one can be picked out because the hours just melted away and I’d been waiting for it for a while.

#11: Last Day At University 2009

The most recent moment in this list doesn’t quite make it into the top 10. It was a great night and I can only hope for many more in the future!

Only 10 to go, and they’re the best 10. I don’t want to give away too much, but from now on they’re all really close, and it was a real toss up to the number 1. But don’t worry, I haven’t copped out, there is a number 1, and it’s definitely the best moment of the year! Come back tomorrow at 4pm for the answer!

Special Post #22: Top 40 Moments 2009, Part 1

This is part 1 in a mini-series of posts that looks into the best year of my life, two thousand and nine. In this part I start to go back a remember the moments that have stuck with me.

For the first few posts in this series I’m going to be counting down my top 40 moments of 2009. I’ve put a lot of thought into this list because it’s something I want to get right. But what is a ‘moment’?

I’m seeing a moment as a very short space of time. I don’t want any of this “the boat trip was amazing”, that’s too vague (although it was). I want to talk about specific events, small fractions of time, that define the moods we have and the time we call “the best times”. So lets get started:

#40: Building Josh’s Computer

I’m kicking off the list with one of the many great moments of summer. I went to Josh’s house to help him build his computer. It was a geeky evening, but we had a good time slotting everything in and I think I managed to teach Josh a thing or two about how a computer works

#39: Getting My Files Back

You may remember my post back in January about losing all my files. Well it was more than a relief when I managed to get them all back!

#38: Sunday Night Live

Back in February I ran video for a gig in Rubix. We had a total of 10 cameras and 6 people operating. It was definitely the most successful video rig I’ve ever ran and it was amazing fun. There are plans to do another one of these next year, which I’m really looking forward to.

#37: That Afternoon With Three Cakes

The afternoon where Phil and I baked three cakes between us while watching the Grand Prix. Simpler times…

#36: Pimms Next To The Thames With Heather & Lauren

Drinking a pitcher of Pimms with Heather & Lauren at my favourite pub next to the Thames.

#35: Southbank With Lauren After Avenue Q

I love walking down Southbank at night, and it was great to share that Lauren.

#34: Walking Into The House & Knowing I Live There

This is a bit of a weird one, because it happens almost every day. I just love that feeling. And the first time I put the key in the door was magic.

#33: Being At Merry Hill With Sam, Matthew, Kevin & Ben

This is the first moment from the boat trip, believe me there are plenty more to come! This was right at the humble beginnings, the first day, when we went to the cinema to see The Hangover and had a meal, a brilliant film.

#32: Climbing The Trees In Sam’s Garden In Scotland

The first time I’d seen Sam in literally years! So great to catch up.

#31: Messing With Chairs With Josh While We Were ‘Revising’

Wheelie chairs can provide a good distraction from revision, especially when you’ve been revising for over 5 hours straight!

Come back tomorrow for the 30-21 greatest moments, including many more boat memories, snow and a pink bench :O

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!

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

No Warranty

I could bore you with what I’ve been up to in the last two weeks, but I’m not going to.

In the last two weeks I have been frustrated with my course slightly because of the lack of digital media related stuff I’m doing. It’s turned into an Electronic Engineering degree which is not what I wanted to do! I wanted to play with video camera, learn how to animate 3D graphics and perform complex digital processing in cool ways. All I end up doing is op-amps, transistors and Fourier series. I don’t want to protest too much because I understand that it’s all valuable to know. But I spent all of last year tolerating it in the knowledge that I would do more media topics this year. All I ask for is a balance of electronics and media. not 100% electronics.

In a couple weeks time we start a 3 week media lab on microphone response, I’m looking forward to that 6 hours a week where the title of my course may actually bear some relevance to the content…

But it’s ok, because I’ve been making my own course. Thanks to MAD TV I get my fix of filming and editing. Our 2 week schedule of news is very tight and I end up finding myself organising things on a daily basis. Editing is very time-consuming also and I’m slightly concerned I’m not spending enough time working.

The problem is I love MAD TV too much, so I end up spending my time working on that. And I don’t see it as a waste of time because it’s all things that need to be done. But I have several piles of course-related work that I should dedicate more time to, but because it doesn’t have such a strict timeframe, I end up pushing it to the back of the queue. I need to start prioritising MAD TV things less. I have a technical team of 10 or so that do a lot of work for me, but they require organising and that takes time too.

Then there is stage crew. I’ve neglected stage crew recently in favour of MAD TV because stage crew has a large enough in-take of fresher’s to handle itself and there are enough experienced crew around to take control. And also as VEO, there haven’t been any band nights for the last 2 weeks to get involved. I know I shouldn’t only do video, but I don’t want to turn up for a gig that already has enough crew when I could be spending my time more effectively elsewhere. Saying that I will be helping with laser quest on Tuesday after the fun we had last year I’m really looking forward to it again :)

  • Happiness. 7 out of 10
  • Tiredness. 2 out of 5
  • Workload. 8.5 out of 10
  • Last Meal. Cereal
  • Song of the day. Linkin Park – Bleed It Out
  • Thought for the day. “They’ll come in without a warranty and take it away!”
  • What I’m Doing Now. Sitting my my pyjamas :P

PS: Your chances of losing the lottery are: 99.999992848876%

Fun & Funner

Since the last post…

  • Filming for MAD TV’s first news episode of the new academic year! Watch the first episode here!
  • More lectures…
  • Friday labs are going better than last year’s labs, but are still not how I’d like to spend my Fridays…
  • Went to Thorpe Park with my housemates Anne and Viv, my friends from uni Heather, Lauren, Sophie and Phil, and my friends from sixth form, Ben, Kevin and Murat. It was a beyond brilliant day. We had so much fun and as you can imagine the queue’s provided us with plenty of time to catch up on what’s been going on in each other’s lives. As for Thorpe Park itself, the scare mazes lived up to their high expectations and riding SAW in the dark was well worth the freezing 2 hour queue at 11pm…
  • Sunday was chill day (for the second week in a row now) and I got nothing done. Other than we had a MAD TV committee meeting and finished the first episode :)
  • Monday I did video in the union for Reverend & The Makers, got some brilliant shots thanks to the fresher’s who didn’t mind operating the cameras :P

This week:

  • Cranium night on Tuesday
  • MAD TV meeting on Wednesday
  • Climbing on Thursday (for the first time in too long)
  • Nothing planned for the weekend yet other than lots of work, this is catch up weekend in preparation for CRAZY “DO EVERYTHING IN 1 WEEK” WEEK next week! Fun times are ahead everyone…

Sorry for another brief bullet point post, but it’s too hard to construct sentences this early in the morning…

  • Happiness. 8 out of 10 (is there a point where I’m doing to much fun?)
  • Tiredness. 4 out of 5
  • Workload. 7.5 out of 10 (depends what you mean by ‘workload’)
  • Last Meal. Channies burger and chips
  • Song of the day. Maroon 5 – Makes Me Wonder
  • Thought for the day. Need to write my CV…
  • What I’m Doing Now. Going to bed, literally in the next 20 seconds…