Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Pain of Filmmaking

How, dear reader, how does one go from creating an indubitably about-to-win-awards film one second to lying in a spiky, poisonous plant and a bed of glass the next?  Well, any of you who know me or have had filming experience with me can easily answer that: firstly, one needs to be Schedel, or to be in his near proximity, and nextly one need only let nature run its course.  My filmmaking career is rife with near-maimings, falls presumably to doom, and more than one instance of one filmmaker kicking another in the face (sorry, Nick).  So it does not come as a surprise anymore when I have a day like this Friday.  

By all means, it was an amazing filming day.  Edinburgh's weather had uncharacteristically cleared up, and there were few clouds in the sky as I trekked up to the Crags, the cliffy area near Arthur's Seat, to film more footage for my and Brett Heasman's upcoming silent film, tentatively titled 'The Path to Clarity is a Murky Water'.  We got a looooooot of filming done, and the principal photography for the movie is now nearly complete.  But we also had some harrowing accidents and near-miss swipes from the Hand of Fate.  

It's all well and good filmmaking in the beautiful outdoors, until you get some cliffs involved.  The first mishap occurred when I, wearing the worst-tractioned shoes possible (the multicolor Blend ones I got on the family trip to Venice), decided to follow Brett down a short cliff to get a better angle.  Immediately, I slipped and, to save the camera, sacrificed my arms, catching myself in a crevasse by pointing my elbows outwards.  A resounding crack was probably heard in Glasgow as the skin was flayed off of my elbows and I lowered myself down the rest of the way.  I was fine, though, and Brett kindly inquired whether I was okay, and we continued to film.

The next mishap was the most memorable of the day, as I began to film Brett climbing our specially-made, wood-and-plaster cliff that we commissioned for the film.  As you can see from the first shot in the following video, all was going well; although Brett's feet were only about 8 or 9 feet from the ground, he looked like he was high in the air.  Not until I had the bright idea of following him up the cliff for a better angle did things all go wrong:

Now, as you can see, my bare arms were stabbed by the copious poisonous thorns of what I would like to dub the 'Scotland Crap-Bush', a perennial foe of mine from my many nocturnal excursions up the mountainous hill of Arthur's Seat.  I sustained minimal damage, and was soon back on my feet for a much longer day of filming! 

 Now, I'll just throw this in for good measure: the whole thing reminded me rather a lot of the 'Same Difference Dance Competition Debacle', wherein I, filming the almost unspeakably embarrassing dance number below for a competition with famous (I swear) brother-sister singing team Same Difference, slipped and fell in the mud, alone, in Princes' Street Gardens, with numberless angry Glaswegians looking on and shouting what I can only assume were lewd obscenities (but who can understand the Scottish?).  So enjoy my fruitless embarrassment (since Same Difference never did announce the winner for the contest) below:

Now wasn't that all worth it?  I dare say so.  And really, it didn't turn out any worse than the infamous 'Chocolate Sauce Bleeding Mouth' incident, did it, Nick?


  1. It's great how you finally stabilize the camera and stay there for a few beats before plummeting without warning. At least your friend seemed pretty amused.
    And I think it was Elizabeth's commentary that really made the Chocolate Sauce Incident more difficult to bear.

  2. Good point, Lizbee was definitely to blame; someday, that scene will be relived in our screen biographical drama, and I can only hope that they get someone annoying to play her in that scene, like Miley Cyrus. But yeah. Brett apologized later, since he, the only person in the world who could possibly have helped me, was just laughing on a cliff. But he's got some heights problems, a bit like yours, so it took him a while to get down anyway. Anywho, it was no skin off my back. Just spines in my hand. I'm used to it.