Thursday, 16 February 2012

Tea dance

Christ, I must be tired. A friend of mine just sent me a Youtube link which has pretty much destroyed me for the night. Take a look. It’s self-explanatory. I don’t need to add anything, except to say that the L project was formed to combat bullying within the gay community, which is still a major problem, even in this country. The video which accompanies the song makes me feel very proud to be gay, and I’d urge you all to go out and spend 99p buying it on iTunes. There. I say no more.

Our first day of filming started at the top of a craggy hill in the middle of a thick white cloud. We’d gone up there to film the wonderful views of Hattersley and came away with shots of the lovely Jean looking like she’d worn her coat to the local steam rooms! I suspect we might just get away with calling them atmospheric, but it wasn’t till about 11am that we were able to return to the hill and film the views we’d gone up there to collect. By this stage, of course, a force 9 gale was blowing, so heaven knows what to expect from the rushes.
It’s been a day of high adrenaline brought about by the need to constantly rip up my carefully composed shot list, and grab inspiration from thin air. Almost everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. We were missing a piece from our jib, many of the people who’d come for the tea dance at the community centre didn’t know we were going to be there, the rain rained, the wind winded and at about 4pm I went into a bit of a huff. The bottom line is that we are trying to pull hundreds of rabbits out of thousands of hats without the support mechanism we usually get when making these projects. There are four of us filming. Keith the cameraman, Kaleigh the camera assistant (a student from Huddersfield University), Paul and me, and all four of us have had to work our arses off. The last time I used a jib, a special man was hired just to set it up and operate it. Today Keith built it and operated it himself, whilst Paul, who’s never run a choir in his life, taught 30 non singers how to sing one of my songs! Still, the good news is that we did it. It almost annoys me to think that we did, especially when I consider the dreadful woman I met at the BBC yesterday, who basically told me to get stuffed when I asked for help!

We shot some very unusual material for Charlie’s sequence. His “song” is based entirely on the natural sounds Paul and I recorded on our visits to Hattersley, and producer PK has done some extraordinary work to turn them into a really interesting sound-scape. We have been experimenting with all sorts of unusual effects today, mostly involving flashes of light. This film is an epileptic's nightmare!

Oh yes! I forgot, whilst filming one of the street signs on the estate today, we got google earthed! Yay! My face is going to be smudged out!
Producer Paul took this photo of us beavering away at the top of the hill. Apparently the big black vignette is a "stylised representation of our brains at 7pm." I thought as much...

Drum roll... The Requiometer has gone up again... by a considerable amount this time. I reckon another 5 thousand pounds will mean we’re able to go ahead; maybe in a slightly reduced form, but go ahead nevertheless. I hardly dare hope...


February 16th, 1662 was a Sunday, and Pepys, as ever, went to church, this time to St Bride's, which was where, I think, he was christened. The church would burn to a crisp in four years' time, and be replaced by a camp little creation which resembles a wedding cake. Pepys went there with his cousin, Jane Turner, who embarrassed him greatly by fawning all over the priest. Embarrassed him, or maybe she just made him feel envious? Hmm...

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