Sunday, 1 July 2012

Climbing on Rooftops and Running up Stairs

This Saturday I spent the day in Brixton at the World Basketball Festival. Why? Well I was on a shoot, why else would I go to a basketball event?

Just in case anyone does enjoy basketball here is a link to the festival:

The day started at 5:00am for me as I had to be at a meeting at 7:30am in Brixton, ready to start the day. After the initial meet and greet of the runners we all walked over to the production office for the first part of the day. We carried all the equipment across the road to Windrush Square where the main action was taking place. This where is starting pouring down with rain, and that is where we waited for a good 30 minutes.

Finally the rest of the crew arrived, the camera operators, the directors and the producer. We all went on brief tour of the event grounds and got told our jobs. Each runner was meant to be assigned a camera operator to assist but there were more runners so me and runner pal for the day were left to watch over the van with all the equipment. But first were responsible for giving out all the radios and coverts to each crew member then we stood by the van for a few hours. We ran some cards and batteries to various camera ops but until about 12:30 we just stood in the sun.

At 12:30 I was told to climb on to the roof and watch over a time lapse. Getting on the roof was terrifying enough, mostly because to get on the roof, I had to climb up a rickety looking ladder. Once on the roof, I had a fantastic view of the entire court and got to actually see all the events going on. I admit, after about 15 minutes the novelty wore off. Because I was high up, the wind was quite violent, I had to make sure the camera didn't tip over and I was freezing. The guy who lived in the flat we used to get access to the roof, very kindly brought me a blanket. After about three hours I was told to come down.

After another few hours of waiting, this time by the side of the court, I had to run up and down to the production office to pick up and drop off batteries and cards. Six flights of stairs because there was only one key for the lift and the people in the office had it. They stayed in there the whole time by the way.

I once again had to run up to the roof and back a few times on false errands and up to the production office too. By the time we had to move location I was in so much pain. But so was everyone, mostly the runners.

Once at the Brixton Academy, all the operators were in place, as were the runners, except me. I had been told to collect equipment from the production office and bring to the van but the van had left without me. So I was late to the academy and was left to hang around in corridors until I was needed. I did get to watch the show at the same time make sure my earpiece was in place with the volume on loud. I was sent a few more false errands and got some operators in the pit their lunch.

By 10:15pm we were all ready to go home. I had to collect and pack up all the radios and earpieces and then it was a mad dash to pack up the van and be on our ways.

When reading this, is may sound bad and that I'm complaining. I am, of sorts. It was a fantastic experience and I got to work with some great people. I got to stand on the stage, even though it was back of the stage at Brixton Academy, I got to stand in the pit during performances, I had an all access pass and literally got to go everywhere I wanted at both locations. Those things alone were thrilling. It made me love filming fiction more though, live action may not be my passion but at least I got to take part.


  1. You were in Brixton! I had no idea, me and val had a wonder around the basketball thing on sat - did you see us from the roof? It sounds like a very tiring but fun day! Jealous that you got to go on stage at the academy :)

    1. Yes i was, i got the call thursday. such a long day! and no I didnt see you guys, it was quite a large area. Yes having that all access pass was awesome, only highlight really