Early morning walk to the underground at Kings Cross.

Early morning walk to the underground at Kings Cross.

Six months on in the UK and I haven’t been able to feel entirely settled.

Each day is a mixture of love and hate with living here. My industry has such a wide pay scale and competition that good pay to work was much harder to come by than I expected. The first couple of months were tough and while I worked on one production early on (a post for entirely different time) I finally got a full time job working for a equipment hire house as a tech and driver. While I was convinced I could help on the technical side later, I have missed out on that chance and now just prep and deliver kit like most people at the job. I do miss working on broadcast but I also realize in helping with a London 48 Hour team and their side productions over the past few months that I also miss working as part of a team on something in production as well. My inabilities to decide on one specific area of work has really stopped me from zoning into a certain area of work here as well, being that I am still interested in camera, post, and film production. Combined with the pay and need to cover our living costs, I can’t gamble on taking contract work or having to work for next to nothing in order to climb the ladder here at this time so instead I just continue to enjoy what I can.

This isn’t supposed to sound entirely like a bummer. I do enjoy my weekends and seeing what I can around the city with my free time. While driving I also enjoy seeing parts of the city I wouldn’t see and seeing some crazy things now and then. There are lots of things to see and do and so many interesting areas. Over the Christmas/New Year I also got to see other parts of England which was amazing, and I’ve also got to go to several events that just wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.

Driving for my job has also had me visit some amazing places like Elstree Studios (where the original Star Wars and The Shining were filmed among others), Abbey Road Studios, the O2 Arena, Pinewood Studios (007, most of the Marvel films in the UK, etc.), and more. Every day has been interesting and because the company is small enough even the more experienced kit room people still drive around a reasonable amount. Plus I am still certainly learning new skills or adding to the ones I already had previously by being there.

But I think, barring seeing and getting some other work, in June or July I probably will be moving again to Budapest, Hungary to spend at least another year living there instead. My partner Rebecca is heading there at that time and it just isn’t cost effective or probably great for my sanity to stay in the UK at the kit room for up to another year before she comes back. Once we finish in Hungary then we will look at our options which may include returning to the UK where Rebecca can work and I can look into my options in the industry here where possibility the pay won’t be as big a deal at first but we will have to wait and see.

Until such time as I leave I will just continue to make the best of the opportunities I have in London and to learn as much in the kitroom as I can.


Dunedin Harbor Basin

In around four and a bit months from now I will, all things going to plan, be traveling overseas for the first time. Why it’s taken me so long is due to so many reasons not worth writing into this because… well it would take days to write and read no doubt… but it’s been that I have wanted to leave my country and see more parts of the world for a very long time.

For around 15 years I would stare out of my parents front window to a view, not that different than shown above, wondering what was outside of my hometown of Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island. Until my late teens I didn’t even really venture outside of my own city however, and neither me or my parents could never afford any real travel barring a couple of trips around Otago or into Central Otago in the early 90’s.

I don’t know when exactly my viewpoint really changed on wanting to visit more places, especially given when I was younger I was the type of kid who would really want to stay at home overnight. Not being at home was rare for a while. Sometime around 11 or 12 or so I guess that changed and I would do the usual sleepovers at friends watching movies and playing games (usually stuff beyond our age range we probably shouldn’t have been watching) and having pizza and other junk food. But sometime around high school, and with outside access to the world via the internet in the mid to late 90’s I guess I got more keen on the idea. And so I spent more time thinking about places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do…

It wasn’t until a year or two after high school that I finally went to see a more distant part of my own country, visiting our capital city of Wellington and my good friend Andrew for 3 weeks at the start of 2002. That was my first plane trip, my first visit outside of the South Island, and I had a great time. After this I studied in Wellington for 6 months in the second half of 2003 and it became my second home over the following three years (I went between the two at least a dozen times) until in late 2006 I moved there once more and have been living there since.

I’ve been lucky though, between work and other trips I’ve managed to see a great deal of my own country in the past 12 years or so, probably almost 80% I guess. Most people don’t even see that much of their own country before travel overseas I’m often told and New Zealand is so varied and interesting I feel lucky to have seen everything I have. One day I will return and see the other 20 or so % I’ve missed out on, but currently it’s time to look forward to seeing new places overseas…