Make your 2021 Dreams Come True

Do you have new years resolutions? A goal? A dream? You may be thinking in the current climate you can’t make yours happen, but I am here to tell you that with a little perseverance and a positive outlook – you can achieve and accomplish anything you set your mind to. It just might take a little creativity (:

How to get started:

  1. Write down your goals – This step is often looked over or severely underestimated. But, when you have something written down you hold your self accountable and you remember it. No matter how small or big your goals or dreams are, WRITE THEM DOWN! When you have a clear vision of what it is your are trying to achieve, 1) power of manifestation and 2) you have a better idea of the things you need to do to make those things happen – which leads me into….
  2. Small Steps – So now that you know what your working towards, what are the steps that you can be doing everyday to help make them happen? Because let me tell you, nothing happens over night. Even if we wish it could, it doesn’t.

3. Ways to help – I know, I know, the road looks long ahead and you may feel like giving up along the way or like it’s never going to happen. Hang in there though, there are things that can help.

  • Keeping a diary and set your deadlines for short term goals in order to achieve your long term goals.
  • Hanging up your goals somewhere that you will look at everyday to remind yourself what you are working towards
  • Take a day for yourself if your feel overwhelmed, not everyday will be a good day and there will be set backs, but having a day for yourself to recoup and rest will help recharge your motivation.

Finding Opportunities:

Although the Pandemic has cut off lots of ways to network, from going to events, meet and greets etc. However, the online world is not something to take for granted! Many organisations, courses and film festivals have made it easy for you to access all this straight from your phone or laptop.

  • Raindance Film has an abundance of resources/course, networking sessions and ways to help you build your filmmaking career straight from the comfort of your own home
  • LinkedIn: Don’t have one? Get one! It is a professional site, but if you are looking for a job or want to meet new creatives in your industry – get connecting. You never know who you’ll make an impression on. Just make sure that you what ever you post is kept professional and respectful.
  • Facebook Groups: Do you have a passion or interest in something? Well, there is probably a FB group for that! Becoming part of a community of people that are interested in the same things you are is a great way to meet people and collaborate on new projects or ideas.

Don’t give up!

The number one thing to remember – DON’T GIVE UP!

It’s so easy to quit, to throw in the towel, but then look at what your are throwing away – your dream! I have wanted to be an actress since I was a little girl. I was the so shy, hated performing in front of people, but I knew that one day I wanted to be on television or on broadway. My journey has been an abundance of small steps. From singing on the coffee room table in front of my dad to get my confidence, starting dance so I could perform in front of people with out talking, acting classes in front of camera, etc. Am I an A list actress yet? No. But I know that everone’s journey is different and I am buildning my confidence and talent to get to my ultimate dream.

So don’t give up. Believe in yourself so others can too.

A Big Shiny New Year! What are your Goals?

Happy New Year 2021! As you may have noticed over the last couple months my blog has been on hold, that is because recently I’ve been building my own production company, Double J Productions ltd. and we have just wrapped the first short film – Physique. But I am back now and excited for the many things I have planned, coming your way (:

Happy New Year 2021

Change can be scary, the future still seems uncertain right now and things never seem to go as they plan, but one thing is for certain – we always push through and come out stronger on the other side.

While 2020 might now have been everyone’s favourite year, I challenge you to take the time to write down the accomplishments or positives the year gave you. What can you learn from last year that will help you grow and achieve the dream you want to this year?

The possibilities are endless! Write your goals, hold yourself accountable and make your dreams come true in 2021. Nothing can hold you back.

Double J Creative is ready for the year ahead and I hope you continue to follow me on this exciting journey of finding creatives, embracing the imagination and pushing the limits of what we can achieve.

New blog posts coming soon! To keep up with me on social media follow ->

Instagram @jennifer.james16 @double_J_productions Twitter @jennjames22 @doublejproductions

xxx

Disney Plus: Top 3 New Things to Watch

Hello! Hope everyone is staying well in this second lockdown and you’re not getting too bored, or ran out of shows to watch yet. I have to say, the last couple weeks have been very busy because of my new project Physique and a few other film projects I am working on, but that is not to say I don’t love my down time to catch up on a few Disney Plus.

So, if you are struggling to find something new to watch, let me share a few that I’ve been binging lately in my free time.

Disney Plus Recent Favourites Top 3

  • The Right Stuff – I got through this series SOOO fast and I am ready for more! It is a scripted drama surrounding the events of the space race and getting the first man up before the Soviet Union did. I use to live in Houston, TX, where the famous NASA is stationed, and have actually been there to tour around for a day. I have always been fascinated with space and have a love for TV and Films that surround the topic. If this is something you are interested in, I highly recommend starting. Although some events and situations are heightened for dramatic viewing, it may spark an interest to learn more about the subject and learn something you may have not known before!
  • Inside Pixar – Okay, I just recently started watching this one and I really like it. The series, The Making of Frozen 2 (also on Disney Plus), pulled me into another world of what really goes on behind the scenes to make these beautifully animated film we all love so much come to life, that has made me want to see more of that content. Lately, I have found that I have a hunger for knowledge and knowing how things get done – but I also think that is because I am becoming more and more emerged into the industry myself and am very interested.
  • Becoming – Have you ever wondered how your favourite celebrity got their start or what their journey was? This is a fascinating series about just that! With each episode highlighting someone different, you will see that no ones journey is the same and we all have that special moment where we come into the spotlight. As an actress myself, it can feel that everyone is booking this and that, so it is nice to see that every has their own way to whatever their success may be.

There you have it – my top 3 recent watches. What are yours? I’d like to know, so be sure to comment below.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week and be sure to follow or like for more content! Follow me on Instagram : Jennifer.james16 or Twitter jennjames22

Lockdown 2.0 What To Do

Hello, I hope you are having a lovely Saturday!

So, second lockdown… I’ll be honest when I heard about it I was not the most thrilled in regards to not being able to see anyone and things getting shut down again, but I am here to make the best of a not so great situation.

How it Started

If you have not been working as a key worker or have been laid off (like me) most of the year will have felt the same, and you’re starting to stare at blank walls wondering “when will my life begin (again)”, like Rapunzel. The bright side is, maybe you have finally had time to read that book you have always wanted to, spent time with the kids at home, had more play time with the pup, maybe even some DIY around the house. BUT what happens when you have done all that and are stuck with what to do next?

That was me last week. I felt I had done everything I could to stay occupied and I was getting tired of finding things to do, I even have struggled with what new series to pick up after watching all mine (any suggestions, drop below). The majority of lockdown I have searched almost every job sight to find work and have been in and out of hope finding the right one for me. It can be very difficult, especially for creatives, because my inspiration draws from everywhere and when I have been mainly stuck in my room isolated by myself 90% of the year, it can be difficult to generate new ideas or inspiration.

How It’s Going

However, things have started to look up. Thankfully, the film industry has been able to continue on and I will now be producing two other projects along side my short film, that is currently crowdfunding (be sure to check it out in my last post if you are wanting to support). All these projects have given me something to occupy myself with, and I look forward to being a part of. I am hoping for a more consistent job so that I can continue to stay in London, but for right now these opportunities allow me to do what I love and gain more experience. My advice to you is to join Facebook groups, stay connected and maybe dabble with creating your own work and projects to keep you busy.

If you are struggling, rest assured that you are not alone. Remember, take time for yourself and do not be too hard on yourself. This is a strange time for everyone and if you don’t have any work coming in or have something to keep you busy, here are a few things you could start doing in a fun BINGO way (:

What should I do?

Hope this helps!

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Twitter – jennjames22 Instagram- jennifer.james16

Featured Friday : Elliot Grove

Welcome back to Featured Friday! I had a very exciting week filming for the Nightriders, some of you may be familiar with from a previous Featured Friday post. I just want to give a special thanks to all that helped out and made that wonderful project happen, I can’t wait to see it progress.

This week I am very excited to introduce Elliot Grove, founder of Raindance Film Festival and BIFA, as this weeks feature. I feel very honoured to have had the pleasure to talk to him and get to share our interview here. As you may know, Raindance Film Festival will be mainly online this year but don’t miss out on streaming some amazing films from 28 Oct. – 7 Nov. and some other events going on worth checking out.

Interview with Elliot Grove

Elliot Grove

What gravitated you towards the film industry, and how did you get your start? 
I am a farm boy from southern Ontario, Canada. I became fascinated by movies when my stick Protestant Amish parents told me that the devil lived in the movie theatre. One day (I was 16) I snuck into the Devil’s house in the small village near where we lived. One only had to pay 99 cent back in those days.I had no idea what a movie was. I was just told never to go to the movie theatre. I paid my money and walked into a large room – a bit like church. Chairs where lined up, facing the front. The curtains opened and the first face of the devil I saw was Lassie Comes Home. I cried like a baby and at the end I rushed up to the screen to see if I could feel the bark or the fur and it was all gone in a twinkling of the eye and I was totally hooked.
I ended up in art school in Toronto where my sculpture teacher got me a short stint with Henry Moore. I am a qualified technician in cine Perdue – list wax bronze casting – the ancient art of the Greeks. After that I got a BBC job s a stage hand and worked on many iconic British TV shows like Monty Python and Dr Who. I then moved back to Toronto in the late 70’s and worked for 9 yers as a scenic artist on many truly horrible movies – ones with words like ’Slime’ Gore” or ‘Massacre’ in the title.
I moved back to London and at a moment of a total low started the festival.

What inspired you to create Raindance Film Festival? 
It was really a thought experiment – can you make a movie with no money? No training? No real film experience? And people I knew like Edgar Wright, like Chris Nolan were all making films for next to nothing, with no training or NY experience. The festival was starts to celebrate their work, and very nearly filed due to the fact that Raindance was considered to be a disruptor by the establishment – and in many way still is.

Besides Covid, what has been your biggest challenges over the years to bring Raindance to what it is today?
I am often asked this question – and the answer is always the same ‘How do you create public awareness and appetite for the independent films we have at Raidance?’ No audience, no box office, no sponsorship and no money. We would have failed years ago hd it not been for the generosity of our patrons, or members, our filmmaker, and most importantly our audience.

What makes a good short film?  Take me to  world I already know and show me something new that makes me a better person, or, take me to a world I do not know and teach me something that makes me a better person.

What do you believe to be the pros and cons of holding the festival this year primarily online? 
Creating a new distribution model in the COVID era is an exciting creative opportunity where artistry, innovation and commerces compete for my attention 24/7

Do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers, especially while trying to navigate the current climate of the industry? 
Its a terrific time to be breaking into the industry because all the big players have been stopped stone cold. And everyone is screaming for content. The opportunity is really quite simple: Make a film/web series/podcast/VR Immersive piece that is so bold fresh and original that no one else has thought of before, and thy will send the limos!

Thank you so much Elliot for joining me on Double-j-creative. To learn more about Raindance visit: https://www.raindance.org/festival/ for more information and the line up for this years festival!

If you like my blog be sure to like and subscribe. Get in touch if you want a feature!

Disney : Hidden Secrets at WDW

Cinderella Castle WDW

Welcome to Disney creative Monday’s! First off I would like to just say how much I am thinking of all those 28,000 people who have recently lost their jobs at the parks. It is so sad to hear, and I am wishing everyone well and hope one day they will have their chance to return to the magic. I know how important how each and everyone’s job at the park pays a special role in creating a memorable experience at Disney. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

For todays post, I thought I would like to share some of the clever Disney secrets hidden throughout the park you can keep your eye out for next time. The Imagineers at Disney are creative and love to leave a little something behind to either make their mark or giving it that detailed touch of magic. Here are a few I’ll point out for you:

Disney Hidden Secrets

  • Cinderella’s Castle, secret suite – I will admit, I have long wanted to stay here! Unfortunately it is only open to sweepstake winners and very special guests. It is beautifully decorated inside, and even has a jacuzzi. Fun Fact : It was originally made for Walt’s family to stay in, but he passed away before WDW was finished.
  • Secret Tunnels underneath Disney – Ever wonder how cast members and characters get from one place to another without being seen? Secret tunnels are located below the park to allow cast members to easily move throughout the parks. There are dressing rooms, cafeterias, prop storage and things guests would never think of seeing. The underground tunnels were originally thought of so that guests were undisturbed throughout their experience.
  • Forced Perspective – I talked about this in one of my earlier posts about Main Street U.S.A, but Disney uses this technique to make some buildings look bigger than they actually are. One example is Cinderella Castle. Ever notice how the bricks become increasingly smaller as you climb to the top?
  • Old-fashioned Telephone Secret Chat – At the end of Main Street their is a Hat Shop with a telephone. Next time you are there, pick it up and you may heat a conversation going on.
  • Hidden Mickey’s – Throughout the park there are MANY hidden Mickey’s. How many can you find?
  • EPCOT a Real Working Community – Did you know that Walt was designing EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) to be an actual community for people to live in and work on projects to help the future? I wouldn’t have mind living there.

These are just a few to the MANY magical secrets at Disney. My sister gave me a book for my birthday one year called, ‘The Hidden Magic of Disney World‘. If you would like to read more, and prepare to point out some hidden secrets next time you are there, I highly recommend.

Hidden Magic of WDW – Susan Veness

I hope you enjoyed this post. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @Double_j_creative!

That is all for now, have a great week (:

Sources : Disney

Featured! Q&A with TV/Film Hair and Make-up artist Jenny Watson

Welcome to Featured Friday!

Today I am happy to share with you an interview I had with Jenny Watson, TV/Film hair and make-up artist. A little bit of a back story, in 2019 I was fortunate enough to get a small featured role on Peaky Blinders and is where I met the lovely Jenny who became my hair and make-up artist! It was an amazing two days and not only did she do a lovely job getting me ready to look the part, but she was so kind and really helped me out on set. So glad I had the chance to meet her and can still keep in touch today.

So, if you are interested in becoming a hair and make-up artist, or simply just interested in her career, keep reading for her exclusive interview!

(I was suppose to look like I had slept on my make-up all night after sleeping in a pub ahah)

Q&A with Jenny Watson

What inspired you to become a hair & make-up artist?

I’ve always been interested in hair and makeup but I chose to do my a levels instead, which led me to uni to do psychology and eventually a career in child care. I was room leader of a preschool for 5 years and I just thought to myself is this what I want to do forever? I always wanted to be more involved in hair and makeup so I did a few friends weddings to see how I felt and I realised what I really wanted to do and had done for a while was TV and film. I thought why not just go for it, so I left my job and researched courses for media hair and makeup and here I am. 

How long have you been a hair & make-up artist, and how did you get your start?

I started my course at The Iver Academy in 2016 and finished in July that year, so have been out in the industry for 4 years now. Iver is an incredible school, I learnt so much from them and still do. They have an agency for current students and graduates depending on the level of the job, so you can gain experience whilst on the course. My first opportunity on a major show was given to me by one of my tutors, Jane, as they are all currently working in the industry. She took me on to Harlots as work experience for the day and that turned into a paid trainee job in the crowd room for the duration of the series. My second job was also through my Iver tutors and through these jobs you make more and more contacts and get more jobs. 

What do you find your biggest challenge has been in your career?

Honestly my biggest challenge is now with Covid 19. I’ve been really lucky that I got off to such a good start straight out of Iver and although there has been quiet periods the work has always picked up. However these past 4 months have been the hardest by far with no work out there and even though some things are picking up there is not much out there at the moment. 

What is your favourite time period to recreate?

I absolutely love doing period work. I’m not sure I can pick a favourite. If I had to I would say the 20s and 30s as both hair and makeup for women was fabulous as was the hair and facial hair for the men. It was a very groomed and expressive period, I love it. I do love all the 18th century upper class hairdos as well with all the intricate up-dos. Although, I’m glad this isn’t the fashion now as I don’t think I’d have the time in the morning to do that to my hair! 

You worked on Peaky Blinders, what was your favourite thing about being on that production? And how does it feel to have worked on such a big production?

I loved everything about Peaky. It was my dream job!! I remember watching it before I trained thinking I would give anything to work on the show, and it happened! I love the whole cast, crew, the looks, watching these fantastic actors do their job but I think the best bit for me was the team! I love each and every one of them they are all super talented and amazing people and learning from Loz (Schiavo, the designer) is just a dream! She’s incredible and has taught me so much! We were set to reprise the team again but got shut down due to Corona, and I’m not sure if I can rejoin when they start up as I may be on maternity leave which is such a shame!! But having worked with the team on that show is something I will always treasure! 

How do you find jumping from one project to the next?

Jumping onto different projects can be hard but also refreshing. It’s always sad to leave a team but each new job means new experiences and new ways to be creative, whether it’s a different period or main team to crowd it’s a great chance to learn new skills and meet new people. 

What advice do you have for aspiring hair & make-up artists?

My advice for aspiring makeup artists is really research the course before you do it. Iver Academy and the tutors their are the reason I am here in my job today, so always make sure that the course is right for you while you’re on it, and once you have graduated. Also, nowadays it’s about having both hair and makeup skills, so make sure you invest time in learning both. Be prepared to work hard, realise you will never stop learning and persevere and you can get where you want to be!

And there you have it!

A big shout out to Jenny for being the first featured post on Double-J-Creative. You can find her on Instagram @jennywatson887 and follow what exciting productions she’ll be working on next. Hopefully work with you again one day(:

If you are interested in becoming featured be sure to submit!

I look forward to seeing your creative talent x

Are you a creative person? Then you’ll want to read this!

Are you a creative person? A writer, musician, actor, dancer, or even a filmmaker wanting to share your talent or story with the world? Well, now you can! I’m inviting you to share your creativity with a chance for a featured spot on Double-J-Creative.

If this sounds like you, keep reading for information below!

Who can submit?

Anyone! Whether you are just starting out, had your break through moment, or famous it doesn’t matter I welcome everyone and anyone.

What should I submit?

By submitting I will feature your work in a blog post depending on what you want to submit. This can be anything from video footage (whether that be of your talent, film, or link to youtube) , agreeing to be interviewed about your time in the industry, promoting your project or simply sharing ideas.

The WHY

I want to use my blog to create a community of creatives where we support each others work and help each other grow. This industry can be harsh at times with rejection and so much competition, but by coming together and sharing our talents we can support one another. I myself have known the struggle of having a project I care so passionately about but don’t have the launching pad or community to share my ideas with. So now, I’d like to share my projects with you as you share yours with not just to me but everyone we reach. Together we can be heard and share our creativity with the world.

All new featured post will be available every Friday. If you feel you would like to share, get in touch!

**Please note that all material will still be yours and will only be shared in a blog post that you are agreeing to.

Don’t forget to subscribe and follow if you wish to keep up to date with the latest posts(:

Disney Animation : The Hand-drawn Classics

Welcome Disney lovers, and if you aren’t a fan of Disney, continue reading anyway to maybe learn something about the company you didn’t know.

As some of you may know, I studied Disney Animation in my last year of University and fell in love with the history behind the company. People sometimes only acknowledge Disney for what it is now, but there is so much more and how it continued to be the successful studio it is today. Today, I want rewind all the way back to the original hand-drawn animation and how it evolved.

Mickey Mouse

Disney Animation Studio The Beginning

The Disney Animation studio was first found by Walt and his brother Roy Disney on 16th Oct. 1923. At the start of the company they had a series called, The Alice Comedies, which were short silent film with half animation and half live action. These lasted from 1925-1927, when they decided to go a different route and the birth of Mickey Mouse was not too long after. Mickey was the first to have a short with synchronised sound by the company – Steam Boat Willie (1928).

Over the years, the studio continually improved their animation skills and started a series of experimental animated shorts called, Silly Symphonies. Here are some of the processes early animators went through when it was all hand drawn :

  • Animators take the story board and begin developing characters. Every movement is drawn by the animators (24 frames per second of film)
  • Animators sometimes use a mirror at their desk to capture facial expressions for the characters
  • Test photographs capture each drawing in sequence, one at a time, before playing it back on the projector called a Moviola
  • Next is the inking department, where every line is carefully traced in detail on Celluloid paper.
  • Final stage is colour
  • Backgrounds are painted in watercolour and later combined with the character celluloids to be photographed on the master camera in Technicolor

Note: Some of these techniques are still used, but with the technology of computerised animation these days, some may vary.

Walt Disney Studios Disneyland Paris

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White is Disney’s first animated feature film released in 1937, which became an amazing success and milestone for the studio. Snow White had 250,000 painted celluloids and photographed nearly half a million times on the master camera to complete the film. It launched the studio into a new direction and along came films such as Fantasia (1940), Pinocchio (1940) and Dumbo (1941). Although not as successful as Snow White, because of WWII going on, the Disney company was continually developing and progressing animation in a whole new way.

Due to Walt’s death in 1966, sadly the company began to decline. Even with animated futures still coming out, the company was struggling to stay afloat. Until, the resurgence happened.

Disney Renaissance (1989-1999)

After a few difficult years after Walt’s death, the studio decided to get back to Musical animated films, and along came The Little Mermaid (1989). The film was a major success and went on to win an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Score and Best Song for “Under the Sea”. Disney once again found its footing, and reclaimed its classical Disney style. Beauty and the Beast (1991) also found major success, nominated for multiple Academy Awards and won Best Song Score. These successes continued to lead the studio into producing Aladdin, Lion King and so on. Many of these films went on to be critically acclaimed and commercially successful, all of which are based on well-known stories.

To summarise

The Walt Disney Studio’s has had many successful films, most recently Frozen 2 that is computer animated. But, what I love about hand-drawn animation is the aesthetic and feeling of it. Don’t get me wrong, I think CG animation is great, but when you go back to the classics you can almost feel the animators work through every movement. Some of my favourite classics are Robin Hood, Bambi, Sword in the Stone and Beauty and the Beast. They all have a unique quality about them I can’t quite put my finger on, but I just get a different feeling when I watch them compared to CG animation.

When you look back at how the studio started and how animation continuously evolved, it is quite amazing to see how far animation has come. I do love the recent films Disney has made, but I’d love to see another classic hand-drawn film again. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thought on whether you are an hand-drawn classic Disney fan, or a CG?

Follow me on Instagram @Double_j_creative

Morning Routine for a Productive Day

Let’s talk about routine. During COVID lockdown, I’m sure most of us can agree that any routine we did have was thrown out the window and the days have started to feel merged together. Personally, as someone who is use to routine and sticking to schedules, I can definitely relate and have had a very strange couple months trying to get back into some “normality”.

But things are starting to get moving more, people beginning work again and things trying to go back to routine. It can be difficult to get start new habits, but I’ve put together a simple morning routine suitable for anyone looking for a way they can jumpstart their morning again! A good start to the morning is great way to set up the day and get you motivated to do all that you want to achieve. You can adjust to how you like, and what feels right for you.

Below, is recently how I’ve been starting the day and I have noticed a nice flow. I have a yoga matt in my room, so as soon as I’ve drunk my water, I love to stretch out on it and do a little morning flow before I sit down to work. I usually only work from about 8.30-10.30am answering emails and getting all the important tasks out of the way before getting out for some fresh air and stretching my legs. I feel it is so important to get out earlier in the day and then maybe again before nightfall. I honestly can’t sit still all day, so this breaks it up for me and it helps me generate ideas or think clearer on what needs to be done later.

A little tip: Try and write down your daily to-do’s the night before so you have a clear vision of what the day entails. Even better, right the whole week on Sunday (goals, errands, appointments, etc. ). I am a firm believer in writing down goals to achieve them.