Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Huffing and Puffing and much driving

As promised Monday 21st saw Libby drive north again to Film Farm and the first afternoon we reviewed Charles' new opening sequence, changed the titles and added a trumpet fanfare recorded during the service at Cochem all those years ago.
As well as changing the Promo to High Definition Charles had also been busy recording Chopin and Paganini from old records (no copyright involved), so on Tuesday we added some suitably whizzy Paganini to the Commedia del Arte section and Chopin to the sketchbooks. We recorded Charles donning his best Jeremy Irons honeyed voice and his hesitant Piper impression (move over Rory Bremner). And we made a start on the Anstey section. Plus much charging of batteries and checking of bags.
Wednesday saw the little Alfa once again being loaded to the gunnels with the usual suspects just about leaving room for long legged Charles and his diminutive sidekick to squeeze in, and we were off to Kington and the Wye Valley.
Thursday to see David Kirby who was the technical designer for Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and prior to that assisted Patrick with the stained glass at St Mary's, Leyland. David is one of the most versatile people I've ever met - he originally trained as a stained glass artist, his first job was for Patrick which was an education in itself, then he retrained as a furniture designer, and became a professional photographer. In his spare time he races and restores vintage motor bikes (some highly techy impressive machinery in his workshop) and makes the most wonderful photographic prints (sort of reminiscent of Piper). And he and Celia live in a fabulous Huf Haus, the best designed modern house I've ever come across (see photo).
Anyway the main purpose of the visit was to interview David about his work with Patrick which was successfully accomplished despite being distracted by the beautiful surroundings.
Having left David we had a mooch round the delightful town of Kington which boasts a multiplicity of non-High Street shops including one specialising in cigarette cards (Charles' latest passion) and a special frame for his collection of Players hens was purchased.
Thence a drive along the Welsh borders and up to Preston for the night. And what an uplifting drive it was, beautiful countryside, beautiful weather (for a change), fabulous old half timbered houses in all shapes and sizes, and no motorways! Bliss. Really raised our spirits. Our 2nd brush with 21st century architecture came our way in Bishops Castle where a sign to The Wintles caught Charles' eye - very unusual eco-friendly housing with good brickwork details, extra thick walls, rounded corners to windows, lime wash on the exterior painted in jolly Mediterranean colours, lots of glass and wood - very interesting ( However a trawl on the inter-web suggests that all is not rosy in the Wintles and that the developers have gone bust.
Friday a short drive to Leyland to film the aforementioned church. Much larger than expected, in the round, and all the exterior walls of dalles de verre, purely abstract (detail in photo). Was interested to discover that the fathers are all Benedictine monks from Ampleforth which is how Patrick gained the commission.
Filling the car with diesel the man behind was shouting and gesticulating - in typically guilty fashion Libby imagined it was abuse but the chap was just yelling 'Can you hurry up before Colonel Gaddafi makes another speech?'!
Found some excellent fish and chips for Charles' lunch (even Libby succumbed to 2 little chips and a bite of fish) so he was a happy bunny, although it has to be said that by the time Film Farm hove into sight once more both bodies were distinctly bushed.
And so Saturday the Kirby/Leyland rushes were fed into the system. Meanwhile we added the Irons introduction and images. Irons has the magnetism to carry the audience but if we only have a sound recording this whole intro is just too long and heavily weighted towards religion which I personally think will put a lot of people off. It might also mean scrapping our original intro with interviewees spouting quick descriptions of Patrick, rather like bullet points - very fast paced, visual and aimed to immediately engage the audience. We shall see. We also added the Piper voice-over and succeeded in finishing the Anstey section and an interlude with Patrick painting in his sketchbooks, tea bags at the ready.
Sunday: With the Kirby interview and Leyland film fresh in our minds it seemed best to complete the Liverpool section but as with all things it took longer than anticipated so Libby's departure for Kent was delayed until Monday.
And so a new week dawned, Libby was faced with the prospect of another long drive (over 900 miles this week) and Charles with the prospect of VAT and tax returns. Ugh, we both need a good long relaxing holiday - or at the very least a non-working weekend!

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