A Filmic Day

Saturday came up very bright, and very cold. The smart option would have been to stay, warm and snug, tangled up with Clare until circumstance or a full bladder forced the least determined of us out of bed. Tea would have been the prize for the victor. Clare very much won that battle, and I had to content myself with a sleepy kiss as a consolation prize. I had been up since daybreak, and was out of the door and taking a chilly cycle ride to the station at 8 o’clock. I had an interview to shoot.

Wayne Anthony was a promotor and manager back in the day, and was well known for running some of the best acid house parties going. He had written a best-selling book on the subject, and had generously given myself and Dom a morning of his time to chat about it. This is a good one for Decks, Dance and Videotape. It’s a different perspective, moving away from the creators of the music to talk about the scene in a wider context. And Wayne is a born storyteller. On the ride to the Battersea location, he regaled us with tales of gangsterism, scams and the tribal, uplifting power of dance in an era when the government was trying to legislate against it.

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The location, a converted school just off Queenstown Road, is home to Dom’s mate Roger, who has a fine collection of fast cars. The standout, of course, is the banana-yellow Lambourghini Countach that we used as a backdrop to the interview. It doesn’t get used very often, and Roger was a little nervous about starting the engine. We pushed the thing into position. Well, Dom and Wayne pushed. I sat inside and steered. Which means that, technically speaking, I have driven a Lambourghini Countach.

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Dom, despite my increasingly unsubtle hints to keep things simple, put five cameras on the shoot, including a Betamax for that retro analouge video vibe. Swear to god, the boy needs a slap sometimes. Three cameras is overkill for a basic interview setup. Five is not just greedy – it’s duplicating setups. However, clearly I’m whistling dixie on this one. As revenge, I let him do th emajority of the donkey work, trundling around and set up while I chatted to Wayne about conspiracy theories. I’m not a believer, he is. It made for an interesting conversation. Finally, Roger brought down tea, we checked the angles one more time, and fired the cameras up.

It was a great session. Wayne gave us punchy, incisive commentary, and was happy to drop in a soundbite when he felt it was necessary. The stories he’d told us in the car came out in tidier, less sweary form. We ran for just over an hour, and wound up with Wayne in the Countach reminiscing over some old flyers I’d brought over. The light was flawless throughout the morning, bright as you like but very, very cold. Myself and Hugh, the other cameraman, soon found ourselves wearing hats and hoods. It was a smart move to put Dom and Wayne in a patch of sunlight. At least they looked warm.

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We wrapped at about 2, and Dom courteously dropped me back across town to meet up with Steve Sick Puppy and talk sound for our upcoming Straight 8 project. He’s a bit of a genuis, able to sort out sound design and compositional duties with equal flair. He’s also building us a prop bomb, with a heart of marzipan. Sweet. I’m feeling better and better about this one. Everyone involved in this project is talented and focussed, and I genuinely feel that this one could be really worthwhile. I won’t claim I’m not nervous, but I’m as excited as all get out too. Can’t wait for the test shoot next weekend.

I bailed at about 5 for the long trip home, feeling happy but utterly whipped. I’ve got a lot on at the minute, and I’m fully aware that the writing is on the slide. The situation will improve, I’m sure, but I feel a bit hollow when I’m not banging out word count. The blog will suffice, at least for now.

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Rob

Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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