May, 2007

Barely broke a sweat cycling 20km uphill aged 82

Location Cute bunkbeds in sleeper train across France | Mood Utter exhaustion | Date 20 May 2006
Second of two consecutive nights in two consecutive weeks in French train bunk beds. As Fernand dropped us at the station last weekend, he casually mentioned he was going on a big anti-truck cycle protest this weekend. 300 hardy Chamonix-ers cycling, Critical Mass style, along the huge motorway that cuts through the valley. Couldn't resist coming back to film it, as it's so perfect for the some-hope-remains theme.


Location At the Avid at the office | Mood Angry with self | Date 18 May 2006
Twenty lovely coca-cola (I know, I know) fuelled hours logging French, Cornish and Nigerian tapes interspersed with lavish emails to Israel detailing all my great shots and general genius filmmaker-ness. Then came across key scene in Nigeria - where Layefa gets a tour through the destroyed village of Odiama - and there was dirt on the lens throughout. Usually I'm good at spotting that kind of thing, but ... well, can't think of any excuse. I fucked up.

Love miles

Location Sofa at my house | Mood Pining | Date 13 May 2006
Just back from Morrissey gig with old pal Mark Lynas : author of climate change classic, "High Tide", daily pub companion when we were both stranded for six months in Oxfordshire outpost, occasional McLibel microphone holder, Alaskan snowmobile driver, Tuvaluan shoulder-to-cry-on - and only other person who would say "What time does worship start?" when enquiring when a Morrissey concert begins.

Camera attached to bungee, Franny attached to helicopter

Location Eurostar back from Paris | Mood Lovestruck | Date 13 May 2006
The predicted thunderstorms duly arrived and wiped out our helicopter plans. But managed to get some good shots of skiers trying to ski across a wee lake thing - till a snowboarder crashed right next to me and sent half a lake of icy water right over camera and me.

"Did I waste my life?" as oblivion beckons

Location Eurostar to Paris, then three more trains to Chamonix | Mood Anything is possible | Date 7 May 2006
En route to Chamonix once more. Hoping to film aerials of the mountains for the opening scene in a bid to fool our viewers (and potential distributors) that they're watching a big budget extravaganza. Left it right to the last day of the ski season (tomorrow), so we can get lots of skiers on the mountain, but with patchy snow. Which was a good plan, except there's been thunderstorms all weekend, with more predicted for tomorrow, so looking highly likely to be a flop.

Who is he?

Location Dad's house in Oxfordshire | Mood Walking on air | Date 29 April 2006
"Who is he?" said my stepmum as I bowled into their kitchen like a puppy let off the leash, but before I'd said a word. Ha ha ha, she knows me very well.

Girl meets boy

Location Organic farmhouse in Kent | Mood Lovestruck teenager | Date 27 April 2006
Despite numerous invigorating discussions with my 12 fellow filmmakers - half from Camden Town, half from rest of planet - and plenty of excellent solutions to Crude's various problems - I have now officially lost all interest in films, filmmaking, Crude, climate change and saving the world. And, what's worse, I've done so for the oldest reason in the book: girl meets boy. Unfortunately, the particular boy has now gone back home. Back to Tel Aviv, a 6-hour, 0.47 tonne flight away.

Filmmaking think-tank

Location Train to Kent | Mood Anti-social, unintelligent, grumpy | Date 23 April 2006
Bounced home for just 16 hours last night - washed clothes, played with cats, debriefed by Head of Security (sister) - then straight onto a four-day residential filmmaking think-tank thing in a big farmhouse in Kent. Sounded like a good idea a few weeks ago, but right now all I want to do is wake up every four hours or so to eat more vegetables.    

This Crude idea might just work

Location Boat back from big women's protest | Mood Caged animals planning escape | Date 20 April 2006
Seem to have accidentally become some sort of focal point for the protesters. There's a constant stream of people coming for meetings at our hotel at all times of day and night - suspect it may be because Robinson is doling out free drinks with our money.

Only cash talks in Nigeria

Location Guarding gear in car park of yet another bank while Lizzie negotiates inside | Mood Light at end of tunnel | Date 21 April 2006
Very hard to get veggie food in Nigeria so the avocado and peanuts on stale