500 million people on the case?

Location 1.10am, hire car on the M1, Lizzie driving | Mood Despair | Date 11 June 2007
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
1.10am, hire car on the M1, Lizzie driving
Flipping through radio stations trying to avoid chatter or techno
Sore thighs from crouching for an hour filming radio debate
11 June 2007
Current crisis: 
Finding it hard to stay awake. Hence the loud pop music, windows wide open & constant chatter.
Current silver lining: 
Two and a half years later... we've finished filming Crude

The last ever day filming Crude didn't start too well for poor Lizzie as the hire car she picked up yesterday developed a flat tyre and she spent half the night organising tow trucks. Then had to get up at 5.30am to pick me and new soundman Ben up to drive to Bedford for the result of Piers's three-year battle to get planning permission for his latest windfarm.

Some of the more unusual filming set-ups from the past 2 years.

Photographs: Charlotte Rushton


Ben seemed fairly bemused at the speed with which Lizzie and I change our set-ups and minds. Think he may be used to the more measured, professional working practises of GEORGE CLOONEY. (Ben was boom op on Syriana, the fiction version of Crude, how very exciting is that?). But then we did have a particularly complicated list of things to do, with tonnes of driving inbetween:

  • local radio debate between Piers and one of the Anti wind campaigners (two radio mics, one direct feed)
  • Piers & landowner walking round farm discussing layout of the turbines (two radio mics)
  • GVs of the village (boom)
  • tracking shots of windfarm site filmed from boot of car (no sound)
  • Piers practising his speech in cheap hotel room (boom)
  • voxpops with Pro and Antis going into the hearing (hand mic, in shot)
  • time passing shots while the meeting ongoing (atmos)
  • Antis victorious and Piers crying after (boom)

And so the result.

11 to 1 against.

Piers thought he was going to lose, but had no idea it was going to be such a landslide. Being the cold-hearted director I am I got him to phone his wife Lisa to tell her the news. He managed to keep it together till she handed the phone to Leo, aged six, who asked: "Why didn't they want your windfarm daddy?". Later Piers said it was that question which made him realise that it's all over for his kids. There's no way climate change is going to be seriously tackled, let alone solved. He said he's now going to start teaching his kids survival and problem solving skills as there's no point them learning anything else with what they've got ahead of them.

Went for consolatory beer with Piers and his team, during which we realised that 11 to 1 is about right in terms of the ratio of the general population who do or don't get climate change. The one local person who stood up against the Antis must have been very courageous to put his or her neck on the line like that. So we should focus on the fact that 1 in 12 people are brave and forward-thinking. Which means there's about, er, 500 million of them globally? That's something to go on, surely.