Brideshead revisited, revisited

first_imgAnd so the day went by, filming the same scene twenty times before the director decided to move on to the next one. In between takes, I was given new props to make me appear as if I was a different character, although a new set of books and a hat was about as effective a transformation as Clark Kent’s spectacles. After eight hours of paid work, we were finally given lunch, but not before the rules were established. Extras must wait until all others have received food before they do, so the cast, the crew, the stylists, the prop masters, the head painter, the mini bus driver, even the work experience boy, got to eat before us. All day I had wanted an opportunity to discover if there was any truth in Ricky Gervais’ successful comedy series, where he chats casually with stars such as Kate Winslet and Samuel L. Jackson on the tea break. Here was my chance to rub shoulders with the stars, but it quickly became clear that this aspect of ‘Extras’ lies in fiction. Everyone ate in the same room, and yet it was as if there was a barrier, an invisible force field of ego and salary preventing us lowly background artists from venturing beyond a six feet radius of anyone important. And yet the allure of the silver screen lost a little of its sparkle almost immediately as I awaited the information concerning times and locations for the next day’s start. Instead came a rather blunt text message telling me that I was no longer required for this week’s scenes, but that I would be contacted if this changed. By my calculations I was already down two hundred and seventy pounds, half the earnings I had hoped for from the six day shoot. After toying with polite acceptance, my control went out the window and I e-mailed the company with my grievances, citing loss of earnings and whatever else I could complain about. To my surprise, my efforts were not in vain, and I soon received a call that night requesting my presence the next day. I instantly agreed. “What time?”; “Five ‘o clock for a seven o clock shoot”; “Great, see you tomorrow evening then”; “Tomorrow morning”, she corrected. I almost collapsed with the idea of such an early morning after a month of midday lie-ins, and went to get some beauty sleep before my big screen debut.Which brings me back to the most painful haircut of my life. As I sat in hair and make-up, reflected in the typical lit mirror, talking to one of the many stylists who ran around the room searching for the Brylcreem, I discovered just how passionate she was about her work. She knew the business back to front, had cut the hair of some of the most famous actors in Britain, and, perhaps most refreshingly, was ecstatic to be playing a role in transferring her favourite novel of all time to the big screen. Her banter distracted me sufficiently from the horror I felt at what she was doing to my hair, but even the extra thirteen pounds added to my pay for ‘loss of assets’ was little comfort after I was left with a haircut reminiscent of an eight year old WWII evacuee. Thrilled to be an extra for a blockbuster new film, Guy Pewsey soon discovered that silver screen Oxford is not as quaint as it seems… When last term finally ended and the summer holidays at last arrived, most students packed their gowns and escaped the city as soon as the last jug of Pimms was drained. Like many, I had daydreams of putting on my suntan lotion whilst lying on a tropical beach somewhere a thousand miles from Oxford. Instead, I found myself at the town hall at five o clock in the morning, having my hair pulled out to make a rather dashing, yet terribly painful, side parting. One could ask why I was spending my free time in such conditions, and I was beginning to wonder myself, until I was brought back to reality as a few more hairs were plucked from my scalp. It had started perhaps a week before, when my unhealthy addiction to Facebook finally paid off, and I discovered an advertisement for work as an extra on the set of ‘Brideshead Revisited’, the film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel, made even more famous by the much loved 1981 mini-series. This film had it all: a big budget, big stars like Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon along with up-and-coming actors Matthew Goode and Ben Whishaw as Charles and Sebastian. Never one to shy from the limelight, I was instantly enthralled, and when further reading informed me that the job paid ninety pounds a day, it took me approximately two seconds to e-mail the casting company for more information. With the application came a request for a photograph to check that I could pass for a first year Oxford student (hardly a taxing performance) and a severely off-putting checklist. ‘Can you row?’ No. ‘Can you ride a horse?’ No. Answering these questions, which essentially amounted to ‘Are you a rich boy from the 1920s?’, was a little depressing, so I took to embellishment. ‘Can you play rugby?’ Yes. I could almost hear my Year 11 P.E. teacher chuckling as I ticked the box. ‘Can you punt?’ Yes. Again, memories of last term’s attempts at messing about on the river had certainly proven otherwise. With a few more fabrications the form was complete, and I was imagining the ninety pounds a day nestled nicely in my dwindling bank account. My hopes were fulfilled, and I was asked to come for a costume fitting in Oxford a few days later, for which I would be paid thirty pounds for about half an hour. Now I was almost giddy with the thought of so much money for what I was sure would be the easiest job ever. I promptly called in sick at work for the next fortnight and booked my coach to Oxford. I was trading in serving grease-topped pizza to be a ‘background artiste’ in a big budget film, and I couldn’t help but tell everyone I knew about this glamorous new opportunity, made all the more exciting by my visit to the costume department where I was kitted out in a navy 1920s three piece suit and trilby, complete with vintage cuff-links and braces. I was already contemplating how I could get away with stealing something expensive. After hours of waiting, I was in costume and ready to go, and that’s where the world of ‘background artistry’ started to rear its ugly head. The production assistant arrived to take a dozen of us to the first site, meaning another dozen would remain behind inactive and, most importantly, off camera. As we were picked randomly to be taken down to Christchurch, the unlucky leftovers, watching as we were led away, glared bitterly, like Veruca Salt when Gene Wilder denies her a golden egg. This is when I realised that for these wannabe actors, the chance to be on screen for a second or two was worth fighting for, especially when they’re competing with a couple of clueless students too naive to realise that for some people, walking back and forth in the background counts as acting.Leaving these ‘professionals’ in the holding area at the town hall, we were transported down the street and given our props and first actions. When instructed to walk from beneath an archway out towards the middle of the quad, I was delighted to discover that this meant that I would definitely be in shot. Within five minutes, I had turned into one of them, a background artist desperate for screen time, hiding my trilby so that my face would be visible, practicing my 1920s walk in between shots. Evelyn Waugh had unwittingly created a monster, as I argued for the most distinctive props, insisting that my costume was that of a studious individual who would surely have had a gown and a stack of books. I knew that at this rate, it wouldn’t be long before I was disregarding the director’s instructions to stay in the background. And yet, by the tenth take, the fifteenth take, the twentieth take, the glamour was fading and the books were getting heavy.I could tell that while some of the extras were here for the exposure, some were here to see the stars. Most had their eyes peeled for Emma Thompson or Michael Gambon, to such an extent that they didn’t realise that the real stars, those playing Charles and Sebastian, were walking amongst them. But it soon became clear who was getting paid the big salary. As I was assigned the action of pinning 1920s notices on boards, Ben Wishaw, star of 2006 film ‘Perfume’, drew attention to himself by spinning around dizzily on his toes. The extras wondered who on earth this nutjob was, and it took everyone about five shots to realise that he was just getting into Sebastian’s drunken demeanour. Once it had been made clear that Ben was actually not a freak, but the star of the film, a completely different atmosphere descended on the group. With a named character in shot, the chance of getting on camera increased, and so did the eagerness to have a decent action. When the production assistant asked if anyone smoked, so that they could have a shot of a student sneaking a cigarette in the cloisters, several non smokers fell over each other to answer him. Moments later, one of these boys was taking his first puff with a mix of disgust and pride imprinted on his face. As lunch ended and the sun came out, the tourists crowded around in their masses, creating a new problem as we posed for photos with the Japanese schoolchildren who, ignorant of the crew, assumed that we students still wear 1920s suits and hideous side partings. The day passed by, and we were elated to realise we’d gone into overtime at ten pounds an hour. Despite this, I was relieved beyond belief when we were sent home after the twelve hour day, and I did what I could to reshape the mass of Brylcreem which had now solidified to an alabaster-like hardness around my scalp.The next day, to my relief, was to start at two o clock in the afternoon. Surprisingly though, there were only five of us, as the others had been called the night before to be told that their presence was not required. But at four the schedule changed, and we were sent home without ever setting foot in hair and make-up. I left in the knowledge that I was receiving ninety pounds for two hours of sitting in the town hall, although I had been looking forward to putting my suit back on. The rest of the time I spent filming was a wildly unpredictable and uneventful two days; sometimes I would move from left to right whilst on a bike in Radcliffe Square, or move from left to right in Magdalen’s cloisters, or move from left to right at Christchurch meadows. The idea of money was all that kept me and my fellow ‘actors’ going, so it was with great annoyance that I discovered from a seasoned extra dressed as a priest that wages take six to eight weeks to process, and include a large commission charge. Even worse, when some of the others discovered that I had been one of the lucky few to be requested for the two hours of work a few days previously, I could tell that they resented the fact that I was randomly chosen above them, the seasoned professionals. Similarly, when one extra was promoted to ‘handsome boy’ and asked to punt Charles and Sebastian down the river, we could tell that several of our ‘colleagues’ had their fingers firmly crossed for him to fall in.With fatigue setting in and money a far-off promise, suddenly filming a movie got a little old, and although I’d had some fun and met some great people, I was bored of listening to ‘boy on bike number 4’ talking about his commercial experience. The career of a background artist is an erratic one; sure, you can tell your friends that you’ve worked with Nicole Kidman, that you’ve been in the same room as Johnny Depp, but to be a professional extra is to admit to yourself that you’re not quite good enough to be the star, or for that matter to be worthy of a name. It’s definitely worth a go, if only for the chance to say you’ve done it, but I won’t be jacking in my degree anytime soon. That is, of course, unless Spielberg happens to notice the lanky boy in the navy suit erratically cycling in the background, grinning like a maniac and trying to get in shot. One can only hope.last_img read more

Ellis needs change in hospital management

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionHaving seen negative and positive reports about experiences at Ellis Hospital, I had the misfortune of visiting a cousin who had spent over 20 days at this facility. My first contact was in the Ellis Hospital E-wing, which I was told is an intensive-care-type Unit. My cousin was treated rather poorly, from not getting proper nutritional support to obtaining no food at all. Attempting to remedy the no food situation on a particular day, I was told. “We have had an emergency and were very busy.” This is while all staff were making rounds with the doctor and plenty of people around to do something. But none took the extra step to proceed.He was then transferred to A-wing, sixth floor. Sorry to say the experience was no better. The staff is very friendly and is trying to help everyone. However on Feb 11, breakfast was not delivered until 11:30 a.m. This would be OK if he had to fast or have tests preformed. But that wasn’t the case. We questioned the staff why no food and they contacted the Dietary Department. The answer was food staff is very busy. They were so busy that breakfast never came up to this patient until 11:30 a.m. and lunch was sent up at 12:30 p.m.?Having been a director of a couple of departments at a hospital in Amsterdam for the better part of 40 years, I believe I have a working knowledge of what’s acceptable and what’s not in a hospital environment. This is totally unacceptable. No one even came up with crackers or a dish of ice cream.In the past, being biased as a former hospital manager, I took the negative writings about Ellis as just an unfortunate incident. But when so many of these incidents occur and are reported, a trend emerges. This trend is that Ellis needs to shake up management and staff to pull out of this downward spiral.Robert G. NicolellaRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Car hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

LGBTQ Resource Center, QuASA publish OUTlist

first_imgThe LGBT Resource Center and the Queer and Ally Student Assembly set a new record by gathering 1,155 signatures for the 2012 OUTlist, a collection of names who support the LGBT community. The list was published Thursday, which is also National Coming Out Day.Pride · Rainbow flags line Trousdale Parkway as part of National Coming Out Day festivities. Student groups such as QuASA organized events, including a celebration at Tommy Trojan, for members of the LGBTQ community. – Razan Al Marzouqi | Daily TrojanStudents and members of the university community signed the OUTlist either in person or online, according to Vincent Vigil, director of the LGBT Resource Center. Vigil cites the introduction of the online component several years ago as one of the factors that assisted the list in its burgeoning popularity.“Support for the list and for the LGBT community has been increasing every year, especially after the opportunity to sign the OUTlist online arose,” Vigil said.The OUTlist dates back to 1990, when it was founded by an organization known as “University United” to combat homophobia. In its first year, 30 people added their signatures to the list. Recently, however, there has been a substantial increase in signatures.“Last year was the first year we had a little over 1,000 signatures, and this year we have topped that number,” said Mellissa Linton, executive director of the Queer and Ally Student Assembly. “Each year the OUTlist appears to be growing more, and I hope this means more awareness of our community will be present because of our increasing visibility on campus.”The substantial increase in signatures in 2012 marks the list’s growing popularity among students and greater acceptance given to members and allies of the LGBTQ community on campus, organizers said.Tyler Coble, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, feels that the OUTlist reflects positive changes in the USC community.“USC has plenty of groups that make it OK to come out. So many people on campus are so accepting, it just creates a positive environment for everyone,” she said.Leaders like Linton and Vigil noted that support for the OUTlist has changed over the years. Though many students now gather to compose the list, the project was not always as widely received.“At first, until about 2005, some allies were fearful that they would be perceived as LGBT if they signed the list,” Vigil said.As a result, the Resource Center and QuASA have taken measures to ensure that allies and LGBTQ students both feel comfortable showing their support via the list.“We promote allies in our [public relations], and we make sure to show that allies are included,” Vigil said.Other changes to the list occurred in 2009 when the OUTlist altered its aim to declare support for equal rights and same sex marriage. With the intention of advocating a repeal of Proposition 8, an initiative that passed in the 2008 election banning same-sex marriage, the list served as a Marriage Equality Declaration, according to the LGBTQ Resource Center’s website.The unprecedented amount of support the 2012 OUTlist received marks an important milestone in LGBTQ progress on campus.“The OUTlist is significant because it is a matter of visibility for LGBTQ identified students, faculty, staff, alumni and allies,” Linton said. “Coming Out Month is a month for my community to celebrate our identities, so having the OUTlist is exciting because so many people will see the published list.”Still, campus LGBTQ leaders would like to see the list and other campus events evolve. Ideas for growing LGBT activities and USC’s National Coming Out Day events include incorporating an element of LGBTQ civil rights history into programs.“We have a rich history of civil rights and we’d like to educate young people about the movement to demonstrate that it wasn’t always easy and still isn’t easy for LGBT individuals today,” Vigil said.Linton also said there is still a lot of work to be done to encourage students to be more accepting.“USC is by no means completely up to par with creating a safe space for LGBTQ students, but it’s on its way, and I hope with a combination of visibility and education, we can collectively move to make USC a good environment for all of us,” Linton said.Caitlin Wilhelm, a sophomore majoring in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies, is especially impressed with the increased attention given to the official Coming Out Day because of the OUTlist.“I think it’s a cool experience to have such an open community at USC,” she said. “It’s great to know that people actually know about and support Coming Out Day as a legitimate event on campus.”last_img read more

The Basketball Tournament: Boeheim’s Army’s late push cut short in 81-77 loss to Overseas Elite

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ BALTIMORE — Boeheim’s Army knew what it would take to beat an Overseas Elite team that entered Tuesday with a 17-0 record in The Basketball Tournament and its two most recent trophies. The writing was, quite literally, on the wall. The whiteboard in the team’s locker room read “the keys to the game.”Bring Energy. Awareness in the zone. Find Shooters. Everybody must rebound. Push the ball.But as players walked past that whiteboard to say goodbyes two days earlier than planned, after an 81-77 defeat at the hands of Overseas Elite, they knew those objectives were not fulfilled. At least not to a degree that was good enough to beat the unbeaten. The mistakes were too costly, and the run at TBT’s $2 million dollar prize ended late Tuesday night in the semifinal at Coppin State.“We didn’t do things we needed to consistently enough,” Boeheim’s Army head coach Ryan Blackwell said.Mishaps did not bury BA at first. Overseas Elite held only a four-point advantage at the break. BA guard Eric Devendorf led the way with 10 points and fellow guard Brandon Triche followed with seven of his own. The two were the clear aggressors in Boeheim’s Army’s offense that focused on attacking the rim off the dribble. That checked off one of the whiteboard’s keys.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut defensive lapses outweighed any completed objectives. Blackwell pointed to poor rotation in the 2-3 zone, a defense that even at its best dares opponents to shoot from deep, as the root of the problems. OE’s Errick McCollum II and DeAndre Kane accepted the challenge and shot 7-of-10 beyond the arch. McCollum didn’t miss from deep in the first half, good for a perfect 4-for-4.“They made shots,” Devendorf said. “It’s as simple as that.”Sabrina Koenig | Asst. Photo EditorDevendorf did as well. He finished with 27 points on 8-of-12 from the field. Yet it was a shot that he challenged that will be remembered. With the close-game narrative staying constant early in the second half, his team down by only four and the two sides trading baskets, Paris Horne pulled up from the top of the key as Devendorf closed from the wing to contest. He grazed Horne and the whistle blew.After Horne converted two of his three free throws, the lead grew to six. It would never fall below four again.In the waning minutes of any basketball game, there’s one rule that sits among the most important: never foul the jump shooter. After watching a violation of that very law burn the Ohio State alumni team in the night’s first semifinal, Devendorf broke it himself when the margin on the scoreboard and margin for error were equally tight.“I thought we were getting a little bit of momentum,” Blackwell said. “That’s a tough play for us.”Still, Boeheim’s Army did manage to keep the game close. With 10 minutes left, guard John Gillon found forward James Southerland wide open in the lane. He rose for a two-handed slam to cut the lead to five, awaking the Orange fans scattered in the stands. Devendorf and guard Trevor Cooney added open shots from 3, with the latter of the two bringing the margin back to four with less than two minutes left.But Overseas Elite always seemed to respond with points of its own. The next bucket to sink after Cooney’s big three was one from the corner by Kane, which Devendorf later highlighted as the toughest one to watch go down. A Devendorf and-one was followed up with a free throw from DJ Kennedy. BA tried a full-court pass, but the ball bounced off Rick Jackson’s hand and out of bounds. The play was reviewed. The referees kept possession with OA and BA’s last chance went with it. Devendorf said after the game he thought they got it wrong.He also said that it wasn’t just a play or two that decided the game. For 36 minutes, Blackwell said, Overseas Elite played as a team — something Boeheim’s Army could have done to live up to that writing on the wall.“It’s tough because we didn’t even play well and we lost by four,” Blackwell said. Comments Published on August 2, 2017 at 12:02 am Contact: [email protected] | @jtblosslast_img read more

Džumhur: I Expect to be in the Top 100 on ATP List By End of the Year

first_imgThe best B&H tennis player Damir Džumhur expects to rank among the top 100 of the best tennis players in the world by the end of the year.With a successful performance at the Australian Open, Džumhur will progress by around 40 places on the ATP list and be ranked at around 145th place, which he said was his goal for this year before he left for Australia.‘’Thanks to the success in Australia, I will progress in the rankings, which will be around 144th place. A progress by 40 or more at this moment is a huge success, and the difference to 130th place is very small. I can definitely say that 2014 will be the year where everyone can expect my entry in the top 100, because I can already think about this. Before leaving for Australia, my goal was set to be in the top 150 by the end of the season’’, said Džumhur to journalists at Sarajevo airport, upon his return from Melbourne where he made it to the third round of the Australian Open.In Australia, Džumhur played six matches and had five wins, three in the qualifications and two in the main tournament. In the third round, he lost to Tomaš Berdych from the Czech Republic.(Source: Fena)last_img read more

Teams chosen for Nations Cup event

first_img Two teams will represent England Golf in the Nations Cup event at the McGregor Trophy at Wallasey, Cheshire, from July 14-16.  Team one is Jake Benson of Nottinghamshire, Toby Briggs of Norfolk and Charlie Strickland of Sussex. Team two is Harry Goddard of Hertfordshire, Thomas Plumb of Dorset and Taylor Stote of Somerset. The team event is played over the first two rounds of the English U16 boys’ open stroke play championship, with two scores from three counting each day. The players Jake Benson, 16, (Beeston Fields), was third in the Scottish U16 boys’ stroke play and contributed to England’s clean sweep in last year’s U16 internationals against the other home countries. Toby Briggs, 15, (Dunston Hall) helped England to win the Nations Cup at the Fairhaven Trophies  – where he was individual runner-up – and to come second in the team event at the German boys’ open and third at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. He was unbeaten in the recent U16 international against Spain. Charlie Strickland, 16, (Ham Manor) was third in the South Eastern junior championship, fifth in the Peter McEvoy Trophy and sixth in the 2014 Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. Harry Goddard, 15, (Hanbury Manor) was sixth in the South Eastern junior championship and tied 13th at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.    Thomas Plumb, 16, (Sherborne) was fifth in the South West Counties U16/U14 championship and tied 20th in the Fairhaven Trophies. He tied 10th in last year’s South of England boys’ open Taylor Stote, 16, (Burnham & Berrow) had top 25 finishes in last year’s McGregor Trophy and the South of England boys’ open. He tied 12th at the recent Scottish U16 boys’ stroke play. 9 Jul 2015 Teams chosen for Nations Cup event last_img read more

BREAKING : Shakib Al Hasan banned by ICC for two years after accepting corruption…

first_imgAdvertisement b7uiNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsryzWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E25iin( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 5t3yWould you ever consider trying this?😱1019rCan your students do this? 🌚vn6Roller skating! Powered by Firework In the most unforseen and shocking news in sports today , comes the news that Bangladesh cricket captain and icon Shakib Al Hasan has been banned from cricket due to failure of reporting corruption cases that Shakib was approached into.Advertisement Shakib has been found guilty by ICC of three charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code The charges are as follows:Advertisement Article 2.4.4 – Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct – in relation to the Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe Tri-Series in January 2018 and / or the 2018 IPLArticle 2.4.4 – Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct – in relation to a second approach in respect of the Tri-Series in January 2018Article 2.4.4 – Failure to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations he received to engage in Corrupt Conduct – in relation to an IPL 2018 match between Sunrisers Hyderabad v Kings XI Punjab on 26 April 2018.Shakib Al Hasan said: “I am obviously extremely sad to have been banned from the game I love, but I completely accept my sanction for not reporting the approaches. The ICC ACU is reliant on players to play a central part in the fight against corruption and I didn’t do my duty in this instance.“Like the majority of players and fans around the world, I want cricket to be a corruption free sport and I am looking forward to working with the ICC ACU team to support their education programme and ensure young players don’t make the same mistake I did.”Advertisement Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity said: “Shakib Al Hasan is a highly experienced international cricketer. He has attended many education sessions and knows his obligations under the Code. He should have reported each of these approaches.“Shakib has accepted his errors and cooperated fully with the investigation. He has offered to assist the Integrity Unit in future education, to help younger players to learn from his mistakes. I am happy to accept this offer.”This incident is set to become the anti corruption flagship to all other captains and players in the game. Although, the unfortunate part of this is that Bangladesh cricket’s morale will be brutally crushed following this event. Advertisementlast_img read more