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Illusions on New Levels


I tried having a weekend off from one of my venues, Rewind, to then have it replaced with one right across the road!

Okay, so it wasn’t quite like that, but it gave Tom an opportunity to have a bash at a venue on his own, to see how he can deal with it and to see if it’s for him. It also gave me a weekend off to destress and relax with just one venue to work on for just one weekend. And then I had work set out for me at another one!


I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to send Tom to one of the other venues, but sadly, by the time he called up, they were no longer looking for one. *sad times* However, that wasn’t going to be an issue. So when I took a weekend off, to get my head around things, I was offered more work! Woo!

The newest venue in my roster is one that has been around for a while, but has recently undergone a refurbishment: Level 21 The owners and the general manager had decided they wanted a video doing to show the new look of the venue itself. As well as the video, they wanted photos doing at the weekend too! They wanted myself and Tom to work over the course of a few hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday, to capture the high-energy of the club’s opening weekend. It was certainly exciting to be part of the opening weekend! The interview with the general manager was on the Monday prior, with me bringing in some details of what I could do and what I could offer to them with my skills. He seemed impressed, and I had an email a couple of days later, asking for a quote for the work. The filming began later on that week!


Now, the joy of working within nightclubs is that everything needs an incredibly quick turnaround, or some work doing there and then, rather than in a couple of weeks! They are, in essence, the opposite of weddings, which are usually planned for a few months to a year down the line! Oh no, nightclub managers and owners can spring stuff on you just a few hours prior, which is always fun to try and guess, and trying to stay ahead of them, by knowing upcoming holidays and events, can help you so much in the long run. If you can handle the fast paced, rushing attitude of nightclubs, they are seriously one of the best places you can work. And I personally would not trade what I do for the world. Except maybe for the Sony A77ii, but that’s another story.

After speaking with the manager, the plan was laid out that he wanted a typical club promo video: one that highlighted the club’s best and newest features, viewpoints of its four bars, as well as the new lighting installments. The weekend came, and I set to work.


For this project, I invested in two new pieces of equipment: a dolly, and a slider. I also want to get a stabiliser for my work at After Dark, but that’s for another week. This week, it’s just going to be these pieces, in which I hope to get so much use out of for filming, especially for this project. They were pretty cheap for what I received, but I should get enough use out of them before I either break one or it gives up on life..

The filming of the venue itself was fairly straight forward. Except that I was still filming in and around construction workers who were still getting the final finishing touches in before the grand opening! Despite the second level still having a lot of tools and paint cans splayed out, most of the venue was ready to go, so I made my start on those. Setting up was easy enough, and getting enough shots of each location was crucial. However, George, one of the owners, was on hand, and gave his input right there and then, to help shape the look of the video. At least with having a higher-up on hand, it saves a huge amount of reshoots and post-production! Yay!


The day was cut short, and I had missed a few spots in the venue, but due to the second floor not being finished, I had to go back the next day to get those final shots. Thankfully, it was nothing too major on what I had missed.

Friday, I arrived, and thankfully, everything was finished! So I managed to smash out the rest of the footage, ready for editing later on. I also stuck around for an hour, as requested, to photograph the incoming customers for the VIP event. A good number of people arrived too! A pleasing sign for the rest of the weekend, but we shall see how people react to the new look!


Saturday was a decent night for all, too! Saturday was the night it was officially open to the public, and many people lined up outside well before opening. Tom took over the opening few hours, while I work After Dark, and then we both swapped over once Tom needed to go to Rewind. A decent night overall, with everyone I spoke to commenting on how much better it looked compared to the previous design of the venue. (I couldn’t comment, as literally, I don’t get out much..)

Before I left, I spoke to Mike, the general manager, and he wants us both back again next week! (Bonus!) And next week is Bank Holiday.. Oh am I looking forward to that.. She lied. (Actually, I’m well looking forward to the next Bank Holiday. After Dark’s having a UV party!)


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© Tabitha Dreadful Photography 2020

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