Making Progress makers films: Filming with Nick Ross

24 Jun 2011 in Crafts Blog, Visual Arts & Crafts

Another slightly late blog entry although if truth be known I’ve been struggling to write about my day filming with Nick without it looking like I just copied and pasted the blog I wrote about filming with Patricia and changed a couple of words here and there… In short it went like this: the original plans got changed by outrageously bad (or wrong) weather conditions; we altered our plan quite drastically to accommodate this weather situation; we actually realised the new plan was probably better than the first and in the end had quite a successful afternoon filming together…

Well maybe I’m exaggerating.  Actually the summaries are the same but they, of course, were very different days with different obstacles and equally different triumphs. First of all, unlike with Patricia in Caithness,  it was vaguely sunny weather conditions we were hoping for but as it happened our scheduled day of filming fell on one of two or three hurricane style days that Scotland has had this year, where huge planks were falling from scaffolding and trees were being ripped neatly from the ground and flung like matchsticks across roads into oncoming traffic and I’m pretty sure at one point I saw at least three horsemen of the apocalypse come striding over the hills on the horizon… Okay, too much maybe, I do like drama. But the weather was rotten, too rotten for a standard issue tripod to battle against, so filming in Glasgow was scuppered for the day, as was our intended train trip due to weather based cancellations. But in the end we got the bus to Aberdeen instead and, lo and behold, by the time we got to Perth the world was nice and liveable again and we (I) forgot all about the fourth horseman.

As mentioned in my previous entry about meeting with Nick, our intentions for his film were twofold: to depict his traveling time, which is key to Nick’s practise as he used it for research and computer based development, and to also slot it’s making as unobtrusively into Nick’s travel time as possible, as using available time and resources efficiently is something that Nick does throughout his working life. And, after reflecting on why we had wanted to film in Glasgow at all, we realised that actually focusing on just one journey Nick makes regularly would perhaps be slightly misleading because actually Nick moves regularly between Glasgow and Aberdeen AND Inverness.

Upon this realisation, I decided that perhaps the extreme weather conditions in Glasgow were for the best in that it pushed us towards making a film that would reflect Nick’s travel time more open endedly rather than as a clear stepping stone between just two places.  So we got the footage we had always planned for on the move and back at his studio and, as is often the case in the east coast, it turned out to be quite a beautiful and sunny day in Aberdeen and I think we got a lot of nice shots to illustrate our overall concept.

So hopefully his final film has achieved both of our initial objectives. And, although I sadly missed Nick’s exhibition opening, I have been in to see it and thought it looked great. It’s still on for another week or so so if you’re reading this and haven’t been to see it yet I would thoroughly recommend popping in!