This time it's most definitely personal ... well, sorta ... to my back ... and my left ankle (yeah, this ankle):
Anyway, I've literally just gotten back home having been out all day in Bridnorth (yeah, this Bridgnorth):
Fortunately it wasn't that early a start, setting off around half-noon ... ish ... as I got stuck behind the slowest tractor on planet earth with a trailer filled with American prison style hard labour boulders.
So off we went and soon enough - back to the field we'd been in over a year beforehand. Unfortunately the weather wasn't as nice ... I say nice, but piercing sun and sweaty heat don't do it for me (but by popular definition, I use the word "nice" to describe last year's weather). Mind you, that was August ... this is October.
The previous week had been a bit chilly during the evening performance, but was calm-aired and clear. This week however it was windy, nippy all day and raining intermittently in varying degrees. A bit of a sit down was in order, but not before checking out the base of operations tent - which was full-on M*A*S*H style ... the movie, not the telly show (to me, cos I've only seen the movie, ha!)
Then a meeting in a rowing club, which was a tad random with these three or four dudes in really comfy-looking seats watching the rugger on the box - then back to camper van HQ for another well-earned sit down, then I remember there being a trip to the burger van nearby (I've never before had a burger from such a van before actually, so that's a first for me) - I had a rather good bacon cheese burger, a quarter-or-so pound of lush.
So, after that exertion it was time for another sit down - with the heating blasting, natch. Time for a chat, on a whole range of topics - from how I think Gordon Brown is a gigantic fucking prat (and indeed his entire party, Mandy included when he's not busy being fired), to the intricacies of censorship and internet porn availability, variety and dodginess to goodness knows what else.
Before I knew it, it was time to suit up and get shifting - which involved putting on my rain cover, an item I bought after the filmmaker's nightmare of a project I did last year where everything just went wrong (surrounding the film, not the film in the end happily), but I'd never had reason to use it until now, hazah! One problem, it isn't half a fuss to get over the camera!
Charging forth into battle was next ... which involved a gasp-inducing clamber up the cliff-face that is Bridgnorth (no doubt what started giving my ankle grief) to begin filming at the church - kids, lanterns and more kids with lanterns - then to the streets with a brass band and a boat load of people - then meandering down through the town grabbing wide shots of the approaching procession - then across the bridge and to the first chunk of the main performance.
Chaos (to an extent) descended, stuff was happening but I wasn't entirely sure what was going on, so I grabbed the shots that I could and hung out in anticipation of the steam engine (which crashed a little bit a few minutes later, nothing serious). Annoyingly I'd forgotten to change my widescreen shooting mode, but rectified that on a new tape (so there'll be some sort of cropping jiggery-pokery to do on the first tape - you always forget one thing, guaranteed).
Onwards we marched, grabbing shots of the procession headed by the steam engine, then to the stage (grabbing our pre-placed, and damp, tripods to get going on the main chunk of the finale). The rather spiffing water woman (who was mirrored by water man later in the performance) returned to wow the audience, then onwards to the show proper - singing, lights, flashes of fireworks, a little boat in a man-made temporary river-pond-lake construction, then water man - and then kaboom, kaplow, whizz, bang, ooh and indeed ahh - fireworks, a spiffing show in itself.
I forgot to mention - the rain came in and out during the performance, which was unfortunate, but my gripe was kneeling on wet, freshly mown grass ... nay, soaking grass with clumps of mown grass scattered around ... regardless, I managed to get some nice shots (this water fountain-cum-projector thingymabob was rather nice for my frame compositions) and then ... the end.
A hobbling stumble back to the burger van and an absolutely heavenly-lush injection of Orange Tango, most definitely what the doctor ordered. A stagger back to the van, a quick debrief, then a weary drive back - and now here I am, still in the same jeans that got all soaked and grassy, still stinking like a dead animal after all the running about, and looking forward to a nice kip ... shame about the stiff back and the bastard ankle, perhaps walking four miles on it after spraining it wasn't a good idea ... but it did make me feel a bit like Rocky when we got to where we were heading.
Maybe next time I hurt myself I'll just flop onto the floor and refuse to move until the best care on offer on the planet is delivered immediately, with a free DVD of something awesome is thrown in ... dancing ladies chanting my name optional, ha!
So ends another hectic, yet ultimately rewarding, filming experience.