Showing posts with label production. Show all posts
Showing posts with label production. Show all posts


Sleepless, Long Nights, that is what my Youth was for...

I did it Ladies and Gents! I, Emily Duffield, speaker of no Portuguese, owner of two left-feet, and know-er of no-one in Brazil, donned on the heaviest, and certainly most extravagant outfit I've ever worn, and sang and paraded my way through Rio Carnival's Sambadrome as part of the Beija-Flor Samba School. Carnival is such a huge deal throughout Brazil - each Samba School represents so much to its people, and whilst it's extremely competitive, it's also the most magnificent spectacle you could possibly ever see, or have the honor of being a part of. The colors are magnificent, the atmosphere is electric, and the excitement is truly indescribable.

In all honesty, I couldn't quite believe I'd pulled this one off, and especially now as I sit back in a grey, cold London, I certainly can't. And what makes it even more unbelievable to myself is that my Samba Parade won the whole Rio Carnival! Beija-Flor were announced the winners the hour before I left for my flight home, and as I struggled through the airport with a large additional suitcase, which just managed to fit my costumes headpiece inside to bring home safely, it felt like the icing on the cake of a very sweet, dulce de leche flavored trip. The rest of the outfit is on some ship somewhere over the Atlantic right now, and should hopefully arrive in a huge box sometime before Notting Hill Carnival. Bets are already being taken for which of my male friends has to wear it this year...

I spent the last eleven nights of my Brazil trip partying non-stop in Rio. From beach to bloco, from bloco to nightclub, Brazil doesn't sleep during Carnival, and neither did I. I needed four fillings (!!) on coming back home, and if that doesn't say Caipriniah overload then I don't know what does. Before my party marathon, however I got back to basics in the Amazon. Intrepid I am, practical I am not...

Not the most prepared, I turned up in Manaus the day before I embarked on my Amazon Adventure with a checklist of essentials I had to source for the jungle. Shopping when you cant speak Portuguese, don't know the town, and have stepped right off a 24 hour airport-to-airport sleepless flight made my task all the more difficult. Consequently I turned up to take on the jungle with my following take on the list's essential items (...and I feel this has to come with a 'don't try this at home kids' warning...) :

A pair of £10 bright white plastic trainers instead of proper trekking shoes. An umbrella instead of a waterproof raincoat (the only one I could find was a small child's 'Barbie' one and I couldnt move my arms in it so the woman in the shop would not let me buy it) left me praying it wouldn't monsoon. My protective head wear was a gangster cap with 'G-UNIT' written in gold on it. Oh and the trousers to protect me against snake bites? My black Primark leggings. And what was my camouflaged backpack to take with me into the jungle? A bright pink child's rucksack with 'FASHUN' written in large gold letters on.

I looked ridiculous, and a safety hazard in itself. When I met my fellow trekkers and they were all attired in head-to-toe mosquito body suits, camouflage clothes, proper shoes, and had been planning it for months, me and my hastily bought bright pink rucksack stood out like a sore, ghetto thumb. David Attenborough would not have been impressed.

But practicality issues aside, my time spent in the Amazon truly has to be one of the most magical things I've experienced. To canoeing through floating forests, to camping out in the jungle, watching the sunrise rise over the river whilst surrounded by dolphins, to learning about healing plants and trees it was a beautiful experience. Ok, so my attempt at carving my own cutlery whilst 'surviving' in the jungle left me with chopstick-like utensils (I had to eat with my hands), and my attempt at fishing for my own dinner found me 'catch' the boat and recruit others to help me pull in the 'massive fish' I was struggling with (...we nearly capsized.)

And so glitter, lost fish, and samba hips aside, I'm now back in London. Bronzed, hungover and very cold. Back home things haven't changed. You return feeling slightly altered: you've experienced a million different things and your life moved at a million paces; but then your back and things are exactly the same. Whilst comforting, it can't help but make me urge others to go out and see parts of the world before it's too late. Life back home will always wait, but life experiences wont.

And after spouting off that little hippy freedom speech, I'm now going to directly contradict it, as I am taking the step to being a little less fancy-free, and am attempting to get a mortgage in London. I've lived in seven different places over the last two years, and in all honesty it's about time I had somewhere that I actually could call a home, and it be mine. Plus the sooner I get my own flat, the sooner I can get a French Bulldog right? I have no visions of grandeur with my first home, an ex-council estate in Hackney it will be (says the budget). Well, either that or Essex. But I'm not really into vajazzles, so East London vibes it is.

I've just wrapped my first TV commercial of this year, and am starting work on another next week. My body's now used to late nights from laptop spreadsheets rather then samba beats. Whilst the verdicts still out as to which one involves less sleep, I know which one definitely involves more chocolate.

I work hard at my career so I can go get lost on dreamy beaches, and last year I Produced an hour long documentary called 'Black and Blue'. Its airing tonight (22nd March) for the first time on Sky Sports 1, at 6.55pm. Shameless self-promotion from me, but if you find yourself at a lost end please do tune in. It was a great pleasure to make, and something I'm extremely proud off.

Emily x


California Soul...

It's been a long time coming, but here is it, my first blog from sunny California.

I touched down just over a month ago, raring and ready to start this adventure to immediately be put to at an abrupt halt in New York airport. Due to bad snow conditions the airport was at a standstill, and my connecting flight to the sunshine of L.A looked like a distant dream. Told I could not get a seat on another flight for three days, and with no hotels available I received my meal tickets, made friends with the caretaker, and took up residency on the airport floor. New Yorkers are notoriously rude, and the ones I encountered were no different. Apart from one. A young woman at the flight desk offered me her spare room to use after she finished her second job at the hospital that night. I was touched by a strangers kindness. (Obviously I didn't take her up on the offer....she could have been an axe-murderer for all I knew), but it warmed my heart in a somewhat chilly airport.

After sobbing to flight desks and sobbing to my boyfriend back in London (o2 phone-bill LOVED that one!) I finally managed to get a standby seat on a flight a day later. Heavy heart lifted, I arrived in L.A, got to my hostel....and then it sank again.

I was on Hollywood Blvd. At night. Now if you guys have ever been to Hollywood, you will know it ain't like the movies! It's not a good place to be at night, and the colorful mix of crackheads and prostitutes make it even the more uninviting.

I kicked myself into action (after all I was not going to leave the sunshine for cold back home quite so easily) and I quickly found myself a place to live. With a heated pool, jacuzzi, gym and my own balcony I finally started to feel like I was in L.A. And the best bit about it all? The woman I live with. 'Moma' Linda is like my black American mom. She listens loudly to Aretha Franklin, cooks the best homemade burgers, gives me donuts for breakfast, and when I get a job says things like 'Baby Gurl I am so proud of you!'.

And I have been working hard. On my tan. Bearing in mind the last time I was properly in the sunshine was one whole year ago when I was living in Australia, this has been a welcome break. L.A has peak tanning from 12 - 2pm so regardless of wherever I am, I try to get out at this point and expose any flesh I can to the sunlight. Envision baby turtles scuttling to the sea to survive...well that's me at midday running into the last patch of sunlight on pavement. The Californians think I'm stark raving mad... "it's the winter dude?!" but they just don't understand what its like for us sun-deprived Brits. 

But apart from the tanning I quite seriously have been working too. On a few American Film Institute short films, a 'tinder' documentary (which co-incidentally is filming back in London in March... if anyone wants to be on it hit me up!), and had several exciting meetings with Production Houses out here. I have also been working with some lovely L.A photographers on several fashion shoots (pictures soon to be on the blog!)

One thing which has come to me as a huge eyeopener is the large gulf between the rich and the poor in America. Due to my fear of driving on the right hand side of the road, I've been exposed to it more then most whilst taking the public transport. And let me tell you, taking public transport out here can be a rather scary experience. Unlike in London where everyone and anyone uses the tube, out here only crazies, drug-dealers and Mexican cleaners seem to be on the bus. And that is no exaggeration. The bus drivers are like the toughest people I've ever seen (especially the ones with the Hollywood and Downtown LA routes), and they have to be.

When I'm not getting harassed at the bus-stop for cigarettes, or trying to ward off the weed fumes coming from the gangs hanging around, I witnessed a rapping man the other day. He just would not stop rapping. To no-one and everyone. I couldn't figure out if I was impressed or scared (a little of both I think) but all I kept thinking in my head is 'this is so #america right now Emily'. Yes, I hash-tagged in my own head. I kind of wanted to look, but I didn't want to be drawn into like a bus rap-battle as I didn't need to show him up with my own rapping skillz. (I see my friends rolling there eyes here...oh god is white middle-class Emily drunk and trying to rap again?)...moving on anyway....

Macklemore was not lying, I've been popping tags in the thrift shops out here! They are awesome, and before my time is up I plan on dedicating a post to the best thrifty's here in this big ol' city. And there is a lot of them. You can tell a good one by the smell of bad breath... the worse the smell, the better the bargains.

It's taken its damn time and a lot of frozen yogurt, but L.A living has seriously won me round. The sunshine each day is just so uplifting, as is the positive attitude of most of the people out here. The TV is trash, there's a Starbucks on every corner, and there are free refills on giant size sodas. Everywhere. I also have come across quite possibly my new favorite food. I use the term 'food' rather loosely here (I could eat a plate of it) but I'm sure most other people would see it as a *ahem* dressing. Ladies and gents I present, RANCH DIP. Creamy, garlicky and oh so good (bad), I will be filling my suitcase home with bottles. To every other American its just 'raaaanch man', but to me...well its been an eye-opener let me tell you. On what us Europeans are missing out on! (friends you will be re-educated back home).

My hair has gone darker yet again due to the hair-dyes 'ash brown' color coming out jet-black, and due to me using a permanent dye, well there isn't really much I can do about it. But now I'm tanning the color of what I'd describe as 'stained wood' I figure looking more Mexican can only aid me on my frequent bus rides out here. So really, the positives outweigh my hair faux pas (although my forehead still has a black-stain a week on...)

I guess I'm kind of on a sabbatical out here, and I tell you what....I thoroughly recommend it. Book that ticket, and get on that plane. Life is just too short. You have a dream, chase it. It's that simple. Or at least it was to me.

And I don't regret it yet...
Emily x


Tattoos, Flights, Fat Cats, New Flats and a Hazardous 4 Bird Roast : the last three months...

It's been a while since my last blog post, and when I look to evaluate the past three months, yet again its flown by, and yet again a lot has happened...

In my last post the weather was sunny, my hair was blonde, and I was complaining about dry sandwiches at The Savoy. The weather is now windily pr-empting winter, my hair is dark, and The Savoy were kind enough to offer myself complimentary champagne and nibbles in the American Bar to make up for the dry sandwiches. Oh the power of a blog (thank you social media!).

Since then I've moved from South to East. First 'temporarily' into my boyfriends bedroom in Bethnal Green. Cue four weeks later, and the novelty of living out of bin bags (which was never really there to start with) had run very, very, dry. Now I don't know how many of you have ever searched for somewhere to live in London, but let me tell you, when your on a budget and don't want to sign a years lease it is hellish, and a rat race. We'd turn up to flat-viewings to be told they were already taken, in fact many a time we'd get a call en-route to the viewing to be told not to bother coming, it had gone.  And if the room is actually still available when one does turn up, you turn into some kind of puppet, desperately trying to interview successfully against your fifteen other competitors who are viewing that night : "No we don't smoke, drink, tidy is my middle name, and whats that you LOVE birdwatching....oh what a coincidence, me too!!"

After a month of viewings each evening (I joke not) we had no social life, a huge bill on the oyster travel cards, and a pretty good knack for grabbing reduced sandwiches en-route to each house. Our outlooks were bleak, our mealtimes were bleaker. And then out of nowhere, through sheer luck and persistence we found ourselves the perfect place. Our own flat in a Victorian house, split over two floors with our own garden, a smeg fridge and a temporary cat. Located in Dalston, with ten minutes walk to Broadway Market we could not be more happy. The cat, however, could be. Terribly grumpy, and awfully fat, Charlie only shows love when he wants food. And since his owner emailed concerned he might not be able to fit through the flap soon, limiting his food means he loves me even less now.

I love having my own place, my own space, and even my own garden. I feel awfully grown up. The only downside is when the chocolate digestives have gone in two days straight, and your partner says he hasn't touched one you have to own up the the fact that your 'flatmates' arent robbing them, and face the harsh reality it was all just you.

And even more perfect about the new flat - we have it up till the 10th January. And seen as I'm off to Los Angeles to live and work from the 6th January for three months - well it could not be more ideal. Yes, I booked my flights, and now my daydreams are full of sunshine, super-size diet sodas (yes I said soda - getting down with the lingo already), rollerblading in bikinis, and The Ellen Show. And of course, a bit of work in Hollywood thrown in here and there.

Work has been good to me in the last few months, and I've started working respected roles on commercials. And recently two Christmas Food Commercials, which can't help but put one (however early) in the mood for Christmas. The most harrowing part of the whole experience was when I tucked into a sample Four Bird Roast mid-pre production meeting and realized I had taken on half a toothpick. Or better put, it had taken me on. I saw my professional demeanor going down the drain before my eyes, not to mention my own life. Gluttony was never a good look.

Last week I got new ink at Frith Street Tattoo parlour. Words designed by my talented friend Cressida on my arm, LIVE/LOVE ( and the Cross of Lorraine on my finger in respect of my much loved french grandmother.

I've become obsessed with a fedora hat, as it hides a multitude of sins, whilst making one feel like their channeling a 2nd rate version of Kate Moss at Glastonbury. It has, however, become a challenge as of late with this windy weather, and I'm either debating sellotape, or just leaving at home. Probably just leave at home - I don't have time for eyeliner in the mornings, let alone sticking my hat to my hair.

Apart from those main points, I've floated around happily for the last months in haunts of London with friends and wine, seen my first Opera, found a love of olives, lost my third phone this year and fourth bankcard, and been to a premier of a film I worked on. It's been a while since the last blog post, but once L.A. rolls around in January I'm determined to be much more blog savvy and wow you all with epic tales of super-size portions and Brad Pitt sightings.

That's enough from me now, as I have a Halloween rave this weekend and have grand ideas of dressing as a giant Moth (think Silence of the Lambs). However, since last years Bat Outfit with an umbrella strapped to myself was a fiasco in the wind of Wellington, I've got to be more practical with this one. After all, dancing for hours with some giant wings spells disaster, not to mention the need for a lot of deodorant. I'll figure it out (...end up being a vampire).

Happy Halloween!

Emily x


'BITCH IM FROM THE SW12' : A load of air from the Big Smoke

So as per life has taken over, and my blog has suffered terribly as a result. Sorry blog. But it's the Easter weekend, I have a few days to myself (albeit to nurse hangovers) so what better way to make myself feel better then to write about my life?

So I moved down to London mid-January amidst the snow. And here I am end of March still amidst the snow. As yes, England has not warmed up, and this elusive spring is still looking very elusive. I don't need to hear about how "it was 25 degrees this time last year", all I am very aware of (whilst I place layer over layer to leave the house) is how it most certainly is not right now. The only part of my body which is cheering this freezing weather is my lungs. I have cut back ridiculous amounts on cigarettes as when weighing up whether to turn into a block of ice for a hit of smoke, I choose not.

Since moving to London I've moved house, moved jobs, and lost numerous valuable items. I've fallen asleep on tubes, fallen down tube stairs, made some amazing new friends and caught up with amazing old friends. I've learnt to never trust my navigation skills (ending up in Guildford instead of Picadilly Circus can do that to you), but to always walk with purpose: even if your getting on the tube going north when you should be going south. (It just makes you feel more clued up). (Even though your obviously not). I've had a huge shock at the price of things here in regards to my meager wage, and whilst trying to live the high-life have been surviving off free Nutella sandwiches at work. Everyday. For about 6 weeks. I've been drunk in more bars then I can remember names, yet still haven't scratched the surface of London's nightlife.

All in all I LOVE IT. I love it! I can't express the natural high I still get when I get out at Piccadilly station each morning to be surrounded by grand buildings, theaters, statue's and London's iconic red buses. Maybe its because I was away for so long, but I cant help but feel proudly British for our wonderful, vibrant, buzzing capital. I love the accents, the cheek, the banter and I have wholeheartedly fallen for this city and been swallowed up by it. My itchy feet are itching a lot less now I'm living in the Big Smoke.

I'm living South of the river in the most beautiful house in Balham. Resigning myself to the fact that I would probably be searching for a place to live for weeks, view numerous pokey rat infested flats, and end up living with a strange old Latvian man in a damp room, luckily my experience could not have been more different. I put up an ad, had a response, went to view the house and BANG love at first sight. With the house and housemate. Trying not to be too rash (I'm always far too rash) I thought I can't get the first house I viewed, but left the property with myself and Lisa (my housemate) gushing "I shouldn't say this but I really want to live with you". So after working out ze old finances I did. No rats or strange old foreign men in sight, my new house comprises of myself and three other lovely creatives. Working in PR, Fashion and Film we all just clicked. We also all like dancing. A lot.

 Job-wise I moved from my original role at SpliceTV to Rushes Post-Production house. Whilst getting on thoroughly well with everyone at both Splice and Rushes, I have had to come to the conclusion that Post just isn't for me. I much prefer being part of the initial creation and organization of a project, rather then the tweaking of the end result. Being a hater of someone that sits and moans about a situation rather then changing it, I have decided to shortly leave the world of Post and go freelance. I've met some lovely people in Production down here so it should all work out. Hell I've been living off Nutella sandwiches for the last month, so living like this for a bit longer can't hurt too much.

And that's that. The shortest summary I could make of my last two months down here. I don't intend to leave it two months till the next post, and I don't intend to write quite so much in the next post. More pictures, less writing. On some frivolous fanciable subject hopefully. (Or as my mother would describe : "the internet thing you do with bad grammar where you post pictures like no-body ever had the idea to turn a pair of jeans into shorts before?").

Happy Easter everyone!

Emily x


gentlemen prefer blondes. and im leaving.

Going a little bit bleached on the tips of my hair is I feel a very good life decision. After 25 years of living as a brunette it was time for a change (albeit a small change) and I just LOVE it.

And talking of life changes I've made a slightly more important decision than dying the tips of my hair. After a fulfilling 7 weeks living in Auckland I have decided to uproot once more and head off to Wellington in search of greener (hobbitish) pastures.

Auckland has been such a great introduction into New Zealand life, and New Zealand people, and I really could not have asked for a more exciting, friendly, fun time then I have had here. But my dream here was to find some production work on films, and unfortunately Auckland is not the hub for that. 'Wellywood' is.

So in two weeks I will be packing my very large bags and travelling with my 80kg of clothes down to the southern tip of the North Island. An artistic hub, I am very excited to explore all that Wellington has to offer. To all of the lovely Aucklanders who have made this time here so special for me I thank you dearly, and look forward to partying my final weeks away with you all!

Emily x

Me looking all sad and shit because im leaving.