May, 2007

Swopping Francesco for a mountain guide

Location Chamonix, France. Swanky apartment. Ditched the David Lynch one. | Mood Can't get enough of the mountain air | Date 12 December 2005
I've slowly come to the conclusion that Francesco is not the right person for us as he spends all his time sitting round committee tables/conferences talking about climate change, rather than experiencing it. So, after some helpful suggestions from our 124-strong "Crude Insiders" email list (everyone who gave money or is working on the film), we've set our hearts on finding a French mountain guide, who works up in the mountains and sees all the changes.

A dodgy bloke in the crowd

Location Hot bath | Mood Adrenalin comedown | Date 4 December 2005
Filming the climate change march with our new baby steadicam

Hopefully signed up editor

Location Spanner Films office | Mood Happy | Date 13 November 2005
Entirely predictably, the new monitor arrived today, the day after John's disappointment. I watched the footage at full quality - and found the best shots - and it looked spectacular. David Hill came over. He edited McLibel and I'd love for him to edit Crude too. Only problem is that he's very expensive. But I explained the concept of all the crew owning shares - and getting royalty cheques for the next 10 years - and he seemed to agree.

Sandpaper retinas

Location Spanner Films office | Mood Fed up | Date 12 November 2005
We've been waiting ages to show John Battsek the footage, as we can't look at it at the highest quality until we get the new HDV monitor and Avid setup, which I'm being slow about getting my head around. So we gave in and invited him to come over and watch me looking through tapes trying to find the odd good shot. He looked suitably worried, as I would have if someone showed me that pile of crock and said it was a film. Now he's all disappointed I feel like I've failed my Grade 5 trumpet exam and let down the teacher all over again.    

Putting film before friend

Location Royal Free Hospital waiting room | Mood Guilty | Date 3 November 2005
Everything's gone pear-shaped. The surgeon sprang a last-minute major decision on Best Pal just before she had to go in for the operation. Exactly the reason she'd wanted me to always be there - to help disentangle the jargon. But I wasn't, and now she thinks she made the wrong decision and isn't blaming me as such, but did say, "I've never needed anyone as much as I needed you then, and you weren't there". So now I'm feeling guilt-stricken that I put my film before my friend.

Cattle class to Heathrow

Location Cattle class to Heathrow | Mood Worried | Date 31 October 2005
I've been helping my Best Pal wade through a million and one medical decisions to do with major surgery she has to have next year. She gets bamboozled by the doctors, so I've been going along to her appointments and taking notes. Which is fine, except two days ago they called her and said they have a cancellation and her operation is... today.

Documentary poetry with Jeh

Location Hotel room in Mumbai | Mood Soldiering on | Date 27 October 2005
Our hero Photograph: Patrick Igonet  

No airport filming passes for non-Indians

Location Hotel room in Mumbai | Mood Lonely | Date 25 October 2005
I've been following the cabin crew around for days, trying to film them doing their life raft practice.  Day one, we all got to the pool, but it was only three-feet deep, so hard to practise drowning. Day two, we get to pool two, they all change into their shorts, t-shirts and life jackets and line up by the edge ready to jump. I've got a lovely wee shot set up. Water sparkling, sun shining, girls who can't swim trembling. Then Mr Hotel Owner informs them that swimming in t-shirts is not allowed in his pool. Two-hour discussion ensues. Really two hours.

In the cockpit with my feet up

Location Hotel room in Mumbai | Mood Annoyed with self | Date 21 October 2005
Flying in a big jumbo is pretty damn good fun. Especially with the giggliest pilots ever. (I asked them if they were always so hysterical, or whether there was some impending doom they were reacting to that I should know about, but they said they were just happy to be working together, cos normally their shifts don't coincide. They've signed up for 6 months in India, gawd bless 'em. Never been before. Don't speak Hindi. Bringing babies.

Doing the bad things

Location Any seat I like | Mood Excited | Date 19 October 2005
One of the best things about making documentaries is that you get to do all the bad things in the name of helping the rest of our species realise that they should stop doing the bad things. In this case, I'm flying from Singapore to Mumbai on the spare seat in the cockpit of a jumbo. Except I now know it's the jump seat on the flight deck of a 320. That's not such a good thing about getting immersed in so many new worlds - coming out with the lingo.