I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I’d be thumbing a yellow taxi down in New York, but when you buy the ticket, you take the ride.
I didn’t so much buy a ticket, but worked hard for an application to Birmingham City University, which was accepted and led to so many wonderful things; the IBS Awards, being one of them. Armed with my tutor’s knowledge of radio and a recorder, I crafted a documentary series in partnership with the guys in DePaul and was shocked to find an email in my inbox in January telling me that we had been nominated for two awards at IBS.
So last week, Sam Coley, Scratch’s managers, Kris, and I boarded a plane. It was a big deal and, in rock star fashion, I brought my mum along. She got pretty out of control, but calmed down once I told her the drugs and hookers would be there to greet her on the other side.
New York really is a jungle and don’t believe anyone who tells you differently. Everyone is there for a purpose and as we first glanced at the sky scrapers of Manhattan out of the window, I knew what ours’ was.
The hotel Pennsylvania used to be the biggest in the world and its basement used to play host to some of the most brilliant jazz artists in the city. As I stepped down its hall ways and glanced at the view from the eighteenth floor, I imagined them playing long into the night. It was beautiful.
The conference was full of people from all over America; I met some that we’re from Tennessee, Texas, California, Oregon and many who had travelled more of Europe than me. They were brilliant and bright and had so much to say about their subject. I met producers and presenters on the IBS’s station tours of CBS and Nash, who, despite their years, never tired of their subject. But most importantly, I met the two people that allowed me to gain the content in the first place; Joe and Jess from DePaul. We were the first ever English people to attend the conference, let alone win an award and it made me proud.
We did a panel and spoke about sharing content across countries, which went down brilliant and with our down time we ran around Greenwich and pretended to be Bob Dylan… ok, only I did that. However, we still visited the legendary Café Wha, where he was discovered and legends like Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix played. I saw Central Park and walked around Times Square. It felt very much like being in a film.
The taxi driver in the car we spoke to said that New Yorkers were always busy to go nowhere, but part of me doesn’t think that’s correct. I think they’re dream chasers, always trying to catch up with their desires, and what better place to run, than amongst the sky scrapers.
Here’s my entry below,
Stay tuned for more crazy journey’s.
So, it’s taken me a little while to upload this, but I’m glad I finally have!
This is a documentary created about Roller Derby, during a group project in university. It follows the Central City Roller Girls team in Birmingham, as they explain how to play the game, male involvement, what Derby means to them and even how to get onto Team GB.
During this project, it was my job to do the initial edit and organise and conduct the interviews. Paul then added the music to the piece later.
It took a serious amount of time to edit, but I really enjoyed the process and interviewing the team. I’m seriously considering doing more freelance documentary work in the future. Whilst doing this documentary, I feel that I found my audio style.
So recently, I attended Bearded Theory festival which was ace!
I’ve been every year and the festival just keeps getting bigger and better!
Here’s a short documentary of the weekend:
So whilst most people spent their holidays going back to their families or spending time relaxing. I decided to through myself into the DIY punk scene, touring with the band ‘Addictive Philosophy’ for two weeks. In this time, I slept on floors, saw fights, reattached van doors and traveled over 2000 miles around the UK and Ireland. Why did I do all this? In order to make my first documentary.
I’ve always wanted to make a proper documentary about a music scene and believe that now is my chance. These past few weeks I’ve interviewed distro owners, promoters, DIY radio presenters, bands and of course, all sorts of punks. I’m hoping I’ll be able to use the audio collected to make something worth listening to and something that’ll make an impact on the underground music scene.
I think the trouble with a lot of radio presenters and music journalists is they spend so much time in offices they forget what’s actually out there in the local music scene. Before I broke up for Easter I felt that my passion, especially within music, was becoming corrupted by deadlines, playlists and PR agencies. So it was great to get back to the grass root approach, in which bands were putting on their own gigs outside the restraints of media.
I’m aiming to spend the next few weeks trailing through and arranging audio to get about an hour’s worth of documentary footage. I know that this is a huge challenge as I’ve never made anything like this before, but am prepared to put in the effort in order to tell a good story.
I cannot wait for the end result!