Friday, 24 August 2012

IMDb Credits

For my next job I'm going to be the Set Dresser for a little indie feature film set in deepest darkest Hereforshire/The Forest of Dean. I am completely over the moon about it, it has such a lovely script and working on indie films is great fun. It also means that I get to spend some quality time with my family and hopefully get to see some of my old mates who are still knocking around in that part of the world (I grew up down there and they always moan that I don't go back to see them often enough).

I have worked on two other feature films in the past and one of the main things I was looking forward to was being credited on IMDb. Once you're on IMDb you feel like you're well on your way to making it this industry and your name will forever be carved on the world wide web on this most hallowed and respected website. The first feature film I worked on was called Rebels Without a Clue and that was back in 2008. When the director submitted everyone's details to IMDb somehow they linked my credit to a different Fiona McLean, a Fiona McLean who incidentally had been the Production Manager for the Visual Effects on films like Harry Potter and X Men! At the time I thought the mix up was rather cool and even though I had only just come out of uni and had the highly glamorous job as a clapper loader on a little indie film shot in the middle of winter on the Yorkshire moors, I was quite happy pretending that I also worked with the VFX team on a few Potter films on the side!

Two years later, my second indie feature cropped up, a dark comedy called In Me (which is not a porno just in case you were wondering). Again this was shot in the middle of winter, and this time I actually had quite large responsibilities in the form of Production Co-ordinator which basically meant I was the only person in the production office whilst everybody else was on set. I was doing everything from creating call sheets and keeping everyone up to date with the shooting schedule to organising extras and locations. Again my IMDb credit got tagged onto the other Fiona McLean's page and this time I wasn't so happy about it. It didn't really seem fair that this other person who just happens to share the same name as me was taking all the glory for my work so I decided to sort it out.

Because it all has to be verified by the IMDb staff, it's not just a simple case of creating an account and making your own profile on there. I had to write a long pleading message on the IMDb help desk explaining that the Fiona McLean they are adding my credits to is actually a completely different person and could they please set up a different page and transfer my two credits over. Then I waited for over two months before I realised that they only transferred one of my credits over, it looked very sad and lonely just sat there all on its own. I sent them another message asking if they could transfer my other credit onto my brand spanking new page and they got back to me asking if I could wait another month before asking them to do it again because it takes time for these things to happen so it's probably in the process of being transferred over as per my original request. So after patiently waiting for a whole month expecting to magically have two credits up on my page waiting for me one day and it not happening, I got onto them for the third time asking very nicely if they could transfer my last credit over. Eventually it happened and even though this had been going on for four months (plus the three years they were up on the other Fiona McLean's profile) I was quite excited to have a little section of IMDb that I could call my own.

So now that little hiccup is all sorted and I finally have my very own IMDb page (I'm Fiona McLean II which I like to think makes me sound quite regal and important...ha!) hopefully everything will go smoothly when this latest film gets added. However I have a sneaky suspicion that the same thing will happen again and I'm going to have to wait another two months before IMDb sorts it out. We shall see...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

No Sticky Back Plastic Required

When I'm not working I like to busy myself with little projects. The last time this happened I ended up with a fully authentic Tracy Island that Anthea Turner would be more than proud of. This wonderful piece of artwork has made a welcome feature in three different homes now...I've moved around quite a bit in the last few years.

When I moved into my current flat I was faced with the problem of having a couple of recycling bins outside but nowhere to store my recyclable goods in the flat before braving the great outdoors. I then decided to make my own recycling box using a box that I had lying about after moving so many times. I thought I would keep the theme and use the Blue Peter ship* because I like to be a bit different from the norm and I didn't want to use the bog standard recycling logo because everyone's got a recycling box with the little arrow triangle thingy right? Plus I never sent off anything to get a green Blue Peter badge as a child so I like to think I'm making up for it now. This is the finished result and you can have a look at my Instructables tutorial for a step-by-step guide should you so wish to make your own.

*I would like to point out that I'm not actually scarily obsessed with Blue Peter contrary to all the evidence stacked against this statement. Yes I may have two badges, a Tracy Island, a hand knitted jumper with the ship on, a tattoo, and now a recycling box using the logo but I honestly just like the show because it represents British Children's programming at it's finest and most iconic. I'm also a great fan of good television branding which is why my flat is also covered in test card related things and tardises (or is the plural of tardis, tardi?)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Songs That Get Stuck in Your Head

There are certain songs that no matter how hard we try, they refuse to leave our brains until all our friends have disowned us due to our constant [and in my case terrible] renditions of said songs. At the moment there are three songs in particular that my brain has been playing on repeat and they all happen to have a Cbeebies connection.

Children's programmes, by their very nature, need to have a very strong appeal to their audiences so that they will love them to death, grow up into self respecting members of society and have many drunken nostalgic conversations about the programmes they watched as a child. Those particular conversations will go something along the lines of:

Person A: Wasn't Barney that annoying purple dinosuar?
Person B: Well yes but there was also a cartoon Old English Sheepdog called Barney who had a mouse that lived on top of his head
Person A: I think I vaguely remember it...nowhere near as good as The Poddington Peas though
Person B: OH MY GOD YES, The Poddington Peas was the best kid's programme ever!
Person A and B start singing in unison: Down at the bottom of the garden among the birds and the bees...etc etc.

Music is an integral part of what makes a television programme immortal. Even when the programme has been dead and buried for decades and nobody can remember the character's names or any of the plot lines it doesn't really matter as long as people can still sing the theme tune.

Bearing all of this in mind it's not surprising that if you watch as much of the Cbeebies channel as I do, it shouldn't really come as a surprise when some of the songs get stuck in your head for quite some time. Personally I find that when this happens the best way to rectify the situation is by sharing the offending songs with everyone around, after all a problem shared is an extra problem that somebody else has to deal with on top of all their problems.

So on this bright and sunny day, the gift I give to you is a list of these three songs complete with links and videos because I'm nice like that...enjoy!

Cbeebies Lunchtime Song
Sung by the delightful Andy Day, he asks "WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE?" This song is guaranteed to get me excited about food every time I hear it.
Listen to it here 

Small Potatoes Theme
Once I have become suitably excited for food and decide to chow down on a spud for lunch  I inevitably get this song stuck in my head...

Time for an Adventure
By far the most annoying song to ever get stuck in my head, I'm not particularly fond of Baby Jake as a programme yet for some reason, every now and then this song decides to imbed itself into my mind for days on end. 
Listen to it if you think you're hard enough