Friday, 17 February 2012

Aiming for perfection

We finished about two hours earlier than expected today, which was both scary and a bonus. It transpired that we needed to be out of the community centre earlier than we'd thought, so, because it was raining, we called it a day. I realised a very valuable thing this morning. When you’re working with “real” people, you don't get to call the shots, they do. You can aim for perfection, of course, but at the end of the day, if someone needs to pick their child up from school, or go to a hospital appointment, or even if they simply feel tired, or get bored of the repetition of the shoot – that’s your lot! I guess this realisation made me relax a little. You get what you get with these projects. If you’re lucky, you’ll capture a mood which will capture people’s imaginations. But there's no point in beating yourself up if things don't go to plan. Perfection is for high-end movie makers, who work with actors and massive crews...

Today we filmed our blind and deaf man, who has also recently just had a heart bypass. I worried the entire time that he was getting stressed, which I’m sure he was, a little. Some bloke from London had turned up in his living room, and was shouting “look towards the light... Look upwards... smile... tell me the story in your own words...” Poor bloke. I think he coped admirably, however. I also kept forgetting that his companion, Jean, is a very religious woman. I have quite a reputation for using rather colourful language, and I kept swearing without realising. Paul said a few eyebrows were raised. Oh dear.

It was an emotional day. We were dealing with the final song in the suite, which is about the community centre, and its imminent closure. The centre has been a large part of many people’s lives since it opened in the 1960s, and I for one feel very angry that the council are knocking it down and seemingly washing their hands of the consequences of their actions.

I've returned to the hotel and am determined to spend the next few hours relaxing. I even bought bubble bath so that I could have a long soak.
Monday 17th February, 1662, and Pepys went with the two Sir Williams to examine a ship called the Convertine, which was being prepared for a journey to the East Indies. They ate on the boat, but, it being Lent, both Sir Williams refused to eat meat, an age-old custom. Pepys, however, tucked into a nice plate of veal. He'd obviously decided to give up wine for lent but “drank wine upon necessity,” having managed to convince himself that giving up alcohol so suddenly had “contracted many evils” upon himself. He played his new favourite card game in the evening, Gleeke, and won 9s, 6d, the most “he ever won in his life.” Adding that he hoped God would not tempt him to play again.

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