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  • Writer's pictureJoe Mulvihill

My Fairly Busy November

This November I had an excellent month. I worked on exciting projects and am feeling the growth in my abilities as a 1st AD. I always encourage a positive atmosphere on set and am incredibly confident in how I run the floor. It is becoming second nature to me at this point and I enjoy it very much.

I started the month with the MTV EMAs in Düsseldorf. It is an event held every year and I have previously worked it in Bilbao, Seville and Budapest. I work in the casting team and go out for 2 weekends to cast the audience for the show. We hold a fun event where people take part in a talent show in order to win a ticket to the televised EMAs. Everyone gets a ticket because it’s all about spreading buzz through the rest of the city.



I had a last minute job come in taking place on my return travel day so moved some things around to make it work. I had the recce on the Wednesday then on Thursday prepped two schedules for the different shoot days, travelled to City airport, had a pint and flew to Germany. I then worked the EMA casting Friday to Sunday and flew back on the earliest flight possible Monday morning. I was originally going to enjoy my travel day but instead found myself on the 6:40AM return!



I arrived at London City at 7AM UK time and made my way to Kentish town for 8. I had breakfast and a coffee then ran a two unit fashion project. On one side was the stills team capturing the new range at Adidas and on the other side were the motion team shooting the models interacting within a cool setting. I had Mel Barbieri assist me in the carrousel of glam-stills-motion and we absolutely smashed it. We were behind in the morning but brought it back to finish 20 minutes early.

Tuesday we were in a hackney office apartment shooting content for the range’s Lookbook. Across the space we shot 8-12 set ups with 4 models posing as students enjoying a care free life. There were several hiccups along the way, including evacuating the location because of a fire alarm in the building. We pushed through though and got exactly what we needed. Running stills is very similar to motion just with different politics.



I basically collapsed when I went to bed that night. The next three days included seeing Kendrick Lamar with my Fiancé, an unfortunate funeral and my birthday celebrations. I then flew out to Germany again early Saturday morning to work the second weekend of the show. It was only a travel day so we were finally able to see the city in the day time. We worked the show on Sunday 9AM to 11PM then headed to the after party.



I travelled back Monday morning and could finally rest. I enjoyed a week off where I got to watch films, exercise and catch up with friends. The following week I shot two music videos. The first was a surrealist video centring around the weirdest love triangle and the second was in the woods battling the elements shooting even stranger events. I love creative projects that aim to produce something special on a budget because everyone works so hard to get it done.



I have a lot of work coming up and I’m looking forward to every minute of it. I enjoy the quiet periods for reflection, down time and working off the set life diet - but I truly thrive when it's busy. When you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. That is except when you're in the torrential rain shooting into a lake at sunset. That is definitely work.


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