Welcome to the Ex-Official Blog of Writer, Presenter & Crafts Expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain which stopped being active on 31st August 2016.

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For workshop bookings, writing commissions, presenting jobs, craft project designs, or any kind of enquiry email contact@momtazbh.co.uk

Momtaz's NEW BLOG is www.craftandtravel.com

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

How To Present On A Red Carpet: Film Premiere Of Amar Akbar & Tony

One of the first TV Presenting tasks I ever got asked to do was report from a Red Carpet. It's the staple experience for any wannabe telly presenter - standing outside getting cold for hours, shouting at celebs to get their attention and invariably being ignored...everyone has to try it! I'm not exactly a pro, but as I've done my fair share (including two in the last two weeks), I thought I'd share some advice for anyone starting out, using a recent red carpet example where I covered the Premiere of new British indie movie Amar Akbar & Tony.
The Premiere took place a week before the film released at cinemas (April 17th it's OUT NOW!) at the Cineworld in Haymarket. Thankfully the red carpet bit took place inside, but my camera man Shevy Sandhu and I filmed some links outside to set the scene.
You can watch our finished report here.
And below are my 
Top 10 Tips For How To Present From A Red Carpet
Yes that is Cindy Beale from Eastenders and no she did not want to speak to me but you have to be confident and assertive enough to talk them around; and it does work, even if you only get a sound bite, that's better than nothing!
Celebs will be asked similar questions from all the press in attendance so if you can pop in a practical task they'll appreciate it. In the case of the cast of Desi Rascals I asked them to perform their famous Power Dance, which they did!
This is one of the easiest ways to strike up a conversation (not just on a red carpet but in real life!) and you never know what you may find out. For example after telling Doctors actress Rebecca that I loved her dress, she revealed it's actual vintage and used to belong to her granny. Now you don't find out stuff like that everyday!
I'm not a fan of the saying 'kill two birds with one stone' but getting more than one celeb at once means you get two interviews out of the way and it adds some variety to the overall film.
Again in this instance be confident and enthusiastic. I thought this was Ella from The X Factor but it was Ella from The Apprentice, I didn't watch either so I didn't ask her about the shows - instead I greeted her very enthusiastically so she felt comfortable to talk, and getting someone to talk is the main thing!
It's all well and good interviewing the guests but if it's a film you're covering you must nab the leading cast otherwise your report is a bit pointless. 
Remember, these events shouldn't just be about the faces, show some love to the hardworking peeps behind the scenes...after all, there would be no film without the Director who in this case was also the Writer, Producer & Distributor. These people have stories to share that will make your report far more interesting.
Working on a red carpet isn't really work. There's no need to stress. Rather then trying to get 'the numbers', concentrate on engaging who you speak to and enjoying the whole experience.
I know TV Presenters who never do any planning (and it shows!) and others who get everything written for them, they just turn up and read...but my feeling is you should do some prep. Have an idea of what you want the finished piece to be like and decide on what links you think will work - when it finally happens it can be very quick and before you know it it's over and you may be so caught up in the buzz you forget to record the important stuff, so never be afraid to write scripts and bring them with you, you'll get a much more professional end product.
After all the advice I've given you need to see me in action right?! Ok well here goes...press the play arrow!

Most of all, every presenter needs to develop their own style so whatever yours is: hone it and go out there and share it with the world! 

Catch Amar Akbar & Tony in UK cinemas it's OUT NOW!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Help Me Fund My Next Craft Book!

I recently started a Crowd Funding Campaign on website Kickstarter to publish my next craft book and now have just until the end of the month to raise £3.5k to help me do this project.
Buy why do I need to ask people to donate money? Well, I'm going to try and explain more...

Back in 2012 my book 101+ Things To Do With Glitter was published by Vivays. After I handed it in and was awaiting for it to be printed I started on the follow up, a title about ribbon. But sadly the publishing company went into liquidation which promptly stopped production and distribution of the glitter book and stopped my ribbon book (which by that time has been all written and the projects made), from progressing. 

I dedicated over a year to the book, unpaid, so couldn't bear to see the work remain just as a file on my computer. I then waited a further two years for legal decisions to be made and for the old publishing company to be bought by  a new one - this eventually happened but they no longer wanted my book. 

I looked into various options as to how I could publish it myself and eventually digital publishing made the most sense. My plan is to create a digital craft book for Ipad and tablet but one that's also available to purchase as downloadable pdf.

The most important part of the book is that is showcases the work of independent UK Maker/Designers, who have designed the projects that feature in the book. This isn't a vanity project to help me publish another book with my name on...I have long been a supporter of creative talent in the UK. I used to edit a Craftzine as I strongly believe in giving people platforms to showcase their work, especially as otherwise they wouldn't get a chance. This is my way to help them.
Papercrafts section: Notebook by Carole King
The projects in the book fit into four categories: fashion, interiors, gifts and papercrafts and here are some examples of the types of projects in the book...
Fashion section: Ballet socks by Nadia Kamil

Woven cushion by Agnis Smallwood

The £3.5k I am trying to raise will go towards design and photography and turning the book into a digital format to make it available, as well as extras like sending projects back to the designers, photoshoot travel etc. 

Crowd funding is a method that allows you to raise money for your own projects but it's an all or nothing approach so if I raise £3.5k it means I can make the book, if I raise less than that then I won't get any of the money that has been pledged..

Currently I am spreading the word through social media and emailing friends but at the moment still feeling nervous about whether or not I will reach the target (current count is £726).

I have joined up with graphic designer Kara-Jessica Mallet to help me on this project and together we are trying to do as much as we can to raise awareness and get the book made.

All the details about our campaign are on our Kickstarter page which you can see here. 

If you're reading my blog and like what I do, I hope you can spare a few pounds to help me on this mission of mine, every penny can make a difference in reaching our target. 

Thanks so much!