Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Filming in the garden

Another day of hard core admin which found me sitting at the kitchen table firing off emails left, right and centre.

I did manage to leave the house for an hour before lunch when I took my computer down to Highgate Wood and sat on a bench working. I took a mug of tea with me which generated an astonishing amount of attention, which seemed a touch unnecessary. I mean, you wouldn't stare at someone walking down the street with a paper cup from Costa would you?!

Sitting in Highgate Wood, which we all know is the North London habitat for yummy mummies, I was astounded by how much baby talk I could hear. I'm told there's a reason why women talk to their children in ghastly high voices. I mean, it's plainly not just because we're trying to bring up a generation of backward counter tenors, is it? Some of the games that mums have to play with their kids are freakishly dull as well. Peek-a-boo is particularly loathsome, as it anything which involves repetition. It's a good job I'm not a Dad. I'd be giving it five minutes before announcing utter boredom and telling the children they need to find a mutation of the game which is more mentally stimulating... or they're on their own. I never talk to children in silly high-pitched voices either. They have to learn that low voices are far more interesting, and that head voices are for imbeciles, guitar-playing junior school teachers, opera singers... And Fern Britton.

Nathan came home from teaching at Urdang school and immediately vanished into the sitting room to record his fortnightly knitting vlog.

I continued working through the admin stuff until about 6pm, when we went out into the glorious evening sunshine and drove up to Ali Pali, which was bathed in a rich orange light. The idea had been to do a bit of experimentation with filming on my camera, but it didn't go particularly well. I wanted blossom billowing from the trees, but the few trees of blossom that were there weren't ready to let go of their floral cargoes, and the sun was always in the wrong place. After a few attempts, we aborted and came back home.

Never one to have a wasted day, I immediately went into the garden and set up a night time film shoot with our chimnea and a shed load of candles, which glinted in the still night air. Little Welsh Nathalie and Richard came down to give us a hand, and became "fire drop" monitors, standing above Nathan, dropping little pieces of tin foil down on him which almost looked like specs of falling flames.

I'm actually trying to record a video for the Pepys Motet album launch and have opted to film the Great Fire of London movement. The concept for the piece is to film various performers on the recording singing just two lines where their voice is particularly prominent. The idea is to always film at night - in different modern London locations - but for each of the shots to have a bit of fire in them, mostly in the form of candles or lanterns.

Nathalie brought her beautiful candelabra down which became the star of the shoot. Frankly, all the twinkling stuff I had hanging from trees became rather pointless. What we've filmed looks fab. I've just taken a look at the rushes. I'm excited to get someone else in the can. Lots of possibilities...

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