Daily Archives: May 4, 2006

Countryside Orienteering

You’d think ‘light bulb’ would be an easy one, certainly not an item on the shopping list that should cause fear, dread, or as it now does: loathing. But it was indeed a light bulb that caused all of this, but it’s no ordinary 60watt Bayonet, oh no… this is a 500W, 240v extra large screw, it’s a photoflood you see, we use it to get that shiny ‘bright white’ look that’s so fashionable in catalogues and ad material – and when one goes and you’re a million miles from civilisation it can be a pain in the arse to restock, we tried Cambridge, Peterborough, Kings Lynn, Nottingham, Luton, Barnstaple, Welynn Garden City, Letchworth, Stevenage looking for one close to where we were actually shooting, but could we find one… could we bugger: in the end we had to go to Bedford who had just one in stock: so off to Bedford we toddled, got said bulb, brought it back to the studio, screwed it in, plugged the rig back in again, flicked the power and Ta Da! We had light…

… For 3 seconds before the bulb went a violent shade of Florescent Green making a noise not unlike a cork exploding from a bottle… So the search began again, this time with the added problems of having to liaise with Bedford to make sure that wherever we did end up wouldn’t charge us for the bulb because it was in fact faulty: after much buggering about we ended up finding one in Northampton, so off to Northampton we bimbled, noting on the way we must be passing through the largest single expanse of Oil Seed Rape known to man, (do they actually grow anything else now in Middle England?) Also for those of you who’ve never been to Northampton it appears that every road into it is a ‘red route’ – and no that doesn’t mean that you can’t stop, it mean’s it’s “dangerous” – apparently: so a profusion of speed cameras, road filters, silly bollards to stop you overtaking on perfectly straight stretches to get past the convoys of HGVs and some of the silliest signs you’ve ever seen (my personal favourite being ‘caution moving vehicles’ – well duh, what with it being a road and all…) meant that what should have been two days of office and studio based work have ended up being two days of countryside orienteering.

I don’t mind the odd trip out of office, in fact I usually enjoy them, but by the time we’d stood in the camera store in Northampton for fifteen minutes waiting for some mug to serve us while the spawn of the devil himself was having it’s passport polaroids taken, I was; quite frankly, willing to take the life of the next person who came near me. Thankfully for everyone involved the second bulb works perfectly meaning that the shoot could continue finally finishing at 10.45 last night. Having started the day at 5.30am bed and sleep simply couldn’t come quickly enough.