Sound Editing Workshop

As part of my Professional Career Development, this weekend and next weekend, I am taking part in the Fest Film Lab Sound Editing Workshop with Nina Hartstone and John Warhurst.

Fest Film Lab Banner
Fest Film Lab

I love sound for film, and in a past life, I would have loved to have focused my energies fully into sound recording and sound design. I still sometimes do freelance sound recording on shoots, and I am currently teaching sound design. However, I am rusty. My hope by the end of the workshop is that I am more confident in my sound editing skills so I will feel comfortable doing the sound design on my own projects.

This is a blog post

Hello to the students that I am currently teaching Web Design to.

This is a blog post. It appears in the feed. Blog posts appear in chronological order when you post them: meaning they are date- and time-stamped, and the most recent post appears at the top of the feed.

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Written by Jack Albert Cook

Directed by Nieta Irons

‘Lizzy’ performed by Melissa Phillips

Video Editing by Patricia Hetherington

“Does the ground beneath her still feel the same? Can she even still call it ‘earth’? Alone on the moon, Lizzy has no choice but to face the decisions she made and what she left behind”


Produced by Bloom Theatre for ‘SAPLINGS 2.(0)LINE’, May 2020

Released online 20 May 2020

I edited this monologue video for Melissa. It was fun working with Melissa and Nieta. Bloom Theatre company had commissioned a series of monologues, and this was the 5th in the series. Melissa did an excellent job.

I broke a website

Recently I decided to jump in and fix something that had been bothering me for a while.

The Action On The Side website had been hosted by the hosting site James uses (James who created AOTS). Each year I reimbursed James for hosting, an annual cost I had forgotten about. Over the years my ‘graphical ineptitude’ had made the site clunky and hard to navigate. I was getting reminders to update the php (which I had no idea how to do). It was due for an update.

So, I contacted James, said I was finally moving the hosting to GoDaddy (which I use for my sites). I got it transferred over. Then had to pay for the new hosting (<£150 for two years, more than for the previous hosting).

I knew I had to somehow connect the WordPress to GoDaddy. Then I realised, of course, that the mailing list would be connected to the previous hosting service (it redirects to a gmail). What to do?? What if I lost the email address??

I created an archive of the AOTS files and emails on Google (where I pay £1.59 p/month for 100GB online storage.

Then, on Sunday, the bloody worst happened. I went to log in to the AOTS Website, and couldn’t bloody log in!

I had broken the AOTS website!

Sunday I spent trying to log in, getting more and more upset. How could I be so stupid?!

I realised I had to get a website up pronto. AOTS had no website whatsoever. NOTHING! What if someone was looking at it.

I had to quickly set up a new website and populate it.

Great opportunity to update the previously clunky website. I had to make a quick decision: Squarespace or Wix.

I chose Wix.

I started developing the site on Wix. But I didn’t have the images that we previously had uploaded in one place (they’re across different online sources and different external hard drives). And I hadn’t planned how I would set it up. And then I hit a block — I needed to pay for Wix for being able to have my own domain address.

Then I realised that the email address wasn’t directing anywhere. What if someone was trying to email me?! I had to pay for that as well!

You know what, by this stage I didn’t care, I just had to get a professional site up, so I just hit “pay”, and kept building. I ended up paying £158 and £60 to Wix for a website and email.

Oh, but the previous AOTS google email address was no longer connected to the email address. Wix set up a new one. So I had to set that up: with a behind the scenes Google account that I was too stressed and time-poor to understand. So now we have the previous actionots and now a new email

Of course, I spent ALL DAY trying to fix this website, but I had to stop that evening to grade student work and plan for the following week.

THEN I tried to see the work I had updated, to see if it worked.

Oh, but there was NOTHING on the page. No website registered.

That was fun. (/s)

I tried different browsers. I tried clearing cookies and my cache. The website was not coming up. There is a thing where it takes time for your cookies to recognise a site is there (or something, I really don’t understand). I contacted GoDaddy support. The woman there could see the website — it’s just I couldn’t.

That Sunday was a really bad mental health day.

I tried my work computer on Monday. Still no website.

It now appears (thankfully).

One week later, and I have not had the time to finish building it. Oh, and I forgot the password I set up for the hello@ email address (because I was so stressed and in a rush when I created it), so have had to contact Google to get it updated.

So, yeah. I broke a website. You can check it out here. I’m slowly updating it, but only when I have time.

Welcome 2020

2019 was a crazy year, where I was overworked. I am now working at Uxbridge College in the Creative Studies department, teaching media to 16-20-year-old students.

Goals for 2020 include exploring more of the UK and expanding Action On The Side outside London.

I’m also going to improve this website and the AOTS website. I’ve been ignoring them for far too long, so time to … totally go on fiverr and find people to help!


Screenshot 2019-08-08 at 15.25.07


A short thriller Directed by Nirusha Wijayamohan.
Written by Andrew Pennington, based on a story by Randa Elobeid & Nirusha Wijayamohan.
Starring Jey Jey

I was the First AD and Co-Producer for this short film. The film has nearly finished postproduction. We are now looking for someone to design a poster for the film. I’ll be posting on my Facebook page and making contact soon.

Vlog experiment

I’m trying a bit of an experiment over on my Raindance YouTube channel. This year I’m doing a short 1-minute vlog at the end of each teaching day, just going over what we covered that day.

I think it could be useful for my students to see what was covered and when; I think it will be a useful tool for my growth and development as a teacher; and it’s just useful to have a record of what we’re covering.

I don’t mind if no-one watches the videos, as they’re mainly for my development. Here’s the link to the channel if you want to check it out though.

Update: June 2019

I tried it, but the teaching workload got too much. It was too hard to do daily. I sometimes did it once a week. Then something changed at work, and I didn’t have the mental energy for it.

I deleted the videos, never to do them again.

Hunting Rabbits

Our latest Action On The Side short film has been made and released, and it’s one that I wrote.

We’re now in the ‘get as many people as possible to watch and complete the feedback form’ mode

Watch the film here:

Hunting Rabbits from Patricia Hetherington on Vimeo.


Once you’ve watched the film, please complete our feedback form at this link.

Completed the feedback? Yes? Want to find out more about the script and how it was selected? Then click “read more”…

Back in 2014, I entered the NYC Midnight Short Screenplay Challenge. In 48 hours I had to write a six-page script that 1) was a ghost story; 2) had a barn as a key location; and 3) had a padlock. The screenplay I wrote was this story. I had set it in the American Mid-West (seeing as it is an American competition).

When I ran regular script development sessions, I developed the script further. One of our regulars suggested I change the title to something more interesting — previously it had been called SALLY. He suggested HUNTING RABBITS, which I stole (with his blessing — he got a Thank You in the credits).

Since 2014 I have pitched Hunting Rabbits for the Action On The Side project, as a way to show how pitching works. I knew full well it would never be selected: it’s too difficult to shoot in a month, unless you have a barn. Whenever I pitched it, people couldn’t imagine this American story being shot in London.

Another AOTS regular pointed out he had potential access to a barn.

I continued to use the script for script breakdown and producing exercises in my teaching.

I rewrote the script to make it British.

For the November 2018 project, with a dearth of scripts being pitched, I shared four scripts — more than I ever do — just to get the ball rolling for participants to feel comfortable to pitch their own ideas. As per usual, this included Hunting Rabbits, but the updated version.

On day 1, I pitched three of the ideas. We broke for lunch. After lunch, someone asked why I hadn’t pitched Hunting Rabbits.

I had forgotten, so I pitched it.

We shortened our long list, and discussed the pros and cons of each film idea.

I decided to pull Hunting Rabbits — there’s no way we could shoot it in a week without a barn (the aforementioned regular who said he had access to a barn, didn’t). But people argued. Hmmm, strange. Okay, it can stay.

Long story short, for whatever reason, the group decided this ghost story set in a barn would be a doable short, and voted for it.

AND four of our participants (all women) pitched to direct the film. FOUR!

Within six days, we sourced a barn location, just outside London; cast; additional crew; costume and props; and got everyone together to shoot.

We have one week to get all the feedback we can to see what the anonymous masses think of the film. It’s nice to get another writing credit, and to see our work on-screen.

Now I’ve got to write another default script to pitch each month…


Tomorrow the November Action On The Side project starts.

We have a good group, and I’m looking forward to working with them. We have an 80% female team. It’s the first time I’ve had two of my students be my interns. It’s the first AOTS I’ve run since I started teaching full-time at Raindance.

What I know is that I haven’t had enough time and energy to promote the project, so things I should have done (regular email newsletters, attending networking events, posting in film groups, running script development workshops) have all fallen by the wayside. In future I’ll need to find more of a team to help in the lead-up, and I’ll have to rethink my workload.

Also we seem a bit short of scripts in the group, so I’m pitching three of my short film scripts — including one I’m writing tonight for the occasion.

Now to preparing for tomorrow…

A summer (what?)

This is the first summer I have had holidays for a long while.

Last year (2017) I was finishing off my Master’s, all the way until I started teaching. The year before that (2016) I was working on my Master’s and preparing to start teaching at Uxbridge College. The year before that (2015) I had left a job that was killing me and was freelance for the first time, seeing first-hand the stress of applying for work as a full-time job. I also started my Master’s then. The years before that (2014, 2013, 2012) I was a workaholic, working as a Registrar and making movies.

So, here’s what I’m doing this summer.

  • Preparing for the next academic year: writing assignments, schemes of work and lesson plans;
  • Promoting our Raindance HND programme and our two new programmes;
  • Promoting and preparing for the October Action On The Side project;
  • Getting some paid film work: I’ve been applying for sound recording, AD, and writing roles.
    • I’m 1st AD’ing a short film called Lycanthropy. Looking forward to shooting that on September 1st, 28th, 29th, 30th
    • I’m editing a short film called Bitches
  • Developing a few film ideas;

and, of course, doing some relaxing.

I hear that’s nice.

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