A comic travelogue ?

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Willy
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A comic travelogue ?

Post by Willy »

What an area of outstanding beauty : the Yorkshire Dales ! Together with my wife, my sister and brother-in-law I went to Wensleydale to do the camera work for "Say Wensleydale Cheese !", my new film. Geoff Harrison of the "Preston Movie Makers" could find two fantastic actors for me. Most things had to be filmed inside. Vera and I had hired a cottage in Bainbridge near Hawes and that was the location for most acting scenes.

The actors Anita and David were a very kind couple. We laughed a lot when doing the "bed scene". Geoff used his sennheister microphone. He was wearing headphones. He told me that the sound was excellent but while filming I noticed that he was laughing himself. It illustrates how funny it was and that you must be very attentive.

Eric Nolan is the hornblower in my film. I could find a real cow horn somewhere in Flanders. In September a man blows the horn in Bainbridge, a small village in Wensleydale' every evening. It has been a tradition for many centuries. My actors had to look through the window while Eric was blowing the horn. However, Anita and David could not stop laughing while Eric was filling up his cheeks all the time. I could only film when they had stopped laughing. This took some minutes. I felt pity for Eric. Maybe his cheeks already hurt, and he didn't know that the camera was not shooting him, but I also enjoyed the pleasant situation. I had tears in my eyes.

Wensleydale Creamery was one of the other locations for an acting scene. I had already sent some messages to one of the managers to ask the permission to take some shots in the Creamery. It seemed to be difficult to get the permission, but Geoff did his utmost to fix everything. He called a lady a few times. When I arrived at the Creamery I could only film from the "gallery". The windows were dirty. You could only see some cheese making in the far distance. I told the people of the Creamery that I was very disappointed. Also Geoff talked to the big chief. After a short time they let me in together with my two actors Anita and David. We had to wash our hands, to wear a special hat and a special uniform, to cover our shoes with something in plastic. I love challenges. Making a film is always trying to overcome obstacles, trying to solve problems, trying to achieve happiness. So at the Wensleydale Creamery I reached my goal.

Unformatunately the weather conditions were awful. Drizzle, torrential rains from time to time... I suffer from a bronchitis now. Maybe it was also caused by the airconditioning in my car while driving. It all means that I will have to go back to film castles, scenery and other things. Today my friend Werner called me. He is willing to organise a trip by mini-bus to Wensleydale at the end of August. Some of his friends seem to be excited. In that way he can help me. I will pay for the ferry-trip Calais-Dover and for the fuel. I will try to find accommodation for Werner and his clubmates. It's a long distance. We did a bit more than 2,000 kilometres in a week.

As you can see ... a film is often the result of cooperation, of friendship, of working together. Now I am very grateful to Geoff Harrison and his friends Peter and Eric that they wanted to help me, of course also to Anita and David, the two main actors for the new film "Say Wensleydale Cheese !" (working title) It will be a travelogue again, but a comedy at the same time. What do you call such a film ? It's not a dramatised documentary. It's dramatised, but the acting scenes are funny or should be funny ( a little bit like Mr Bean) and it is certainly a travelogue. Maybe a comic travelogue !
Willy Van der Linden
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Dave Watterson
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Re: A comic travelogue ?

Post by Dave Watterson »

What a lovely story about the fun of film making! We often hear of the problems, but less often of the joy that shooting a film can involve. Willy, you must be creating a very good, happy atmosphere so that everyone feels relaxed. I love the notion of Eric blowing away on the horn, not realising the actors were so busy giggling ...

As for the creamery ... there was a case a few years ago near us in Bath, when a creamery had a royal visit. It was all good publicity ... but for reasons of food safety all of the cheese produced that day had to be scrapped and the factory thoroughly cleaned before normal production could start again. There are good reasons why they had to insist you and your clothes were covered as much as possible. No one want to risk contaminating food.

As for the bronchitis ... something seems to be setting people coughing and sneezing all over Europe at the moment. Jan and I have just got home from the Festival of Nations in Austria where the weather was not nearly so good as usual and everyone was coughing.

It is hard to think of any other film maker who would attract the support of his club colleagues to this degree, let alone involve club members from another country. You are one of a kind, Willy. The best kind.

Dave
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billyfromConsett
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Re: A comic travelogue ?

Post by billyfromConsett »

Hi Willy - Your tale had a piece of inspiration that if we don't get, then our films will suffer. Hope your film turns out with the humour working right through it.

We were in Bainbridge last Sunday as that was were we caught up with the runners and riders doing The Beamish Run, in vintage cars and motorbikes. The weather was brilliant - sunshine for hours. Pity I got lost at Tanhill and accidentally left the route altogether, not being able to get back to it before the finish at Beamish in Durham.

Still, I'll work it out for next year's event. :wink:

Willy - have you picked my PM I sent to you recently?
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Willy
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Re: A comic travelogue ?

Post by Willy »

billyfromConsett wrote:Hi Willy - Your tale had a piece of inspiration that if we don't get, then our films will suffer. Hope your film turns out with the humour working right through it.

Willy - have you picked my PM I sent to you recently?
I understand that you got lost at Tan Hill, Billy. There you can find the highest pub in England. I was there about fifteen years ago. The pub was also shown on Belgian TV last winter because the landlord and his family were isolated "under" a thick carpet of snow. Now I went back. Not to film it because it is in Swaledale, not in Wensleydale. I filmed the Buttertubs that are not far from the pub.

In the time of horse and carriage merchants lowered their butter in the deep gaps that were formed by erosion. They could keep it cool in there during the night and when it was hot.

Again Tan Hill Pub was an adventure. The weather was bad. There was mist. When we got into the pub we saw a chicken in the hallway. We could hear the sound of chicks and suddenly some appeared. They had hidden under the wings of the chicken. When we left the pub there were three Swaledale lambs in the hallway. We had had a chat with the landlord. He told us about last winter. His "soup of the day" was delicious.

Such days are wonderful when you are making a film. Even if the weather conditions are bad. But "bad" ... also on foggy days the Yorkshire Dales are wonderful. In the mean time I have decided to go back not only in September (1-6) with some filmfriends, but also in August (16-20) with my former neighbour.

PM : Billy, I have not seen any PM (personal message), but maybe it is because I had done something wrong. Since Vista I have problems with my computer. And Vista will change again into ...
Willy Van der Linden
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billyfromConsett
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Re: A comic travelogue ?

Post by billyfromConsett »

So you're becoming a regular visitor to Tan Hill Willy, to complete your movie? It was extremely busy the day I ventured near it - maybe that's how I came off the route I was meant to be following. Some of our gang also filmed in the area as part of a vintage vehicle run - I haven't seen any of the other shots yet that the other 7 cameramen got. I didn't film Tan Hill myself - I was going to the next checkpoint, but never got there ...
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Willy
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Re: A comic travelogue ?

Post by Willy »

billyfromConsett wrote:So you're becoming a regular visitor to Tan Hill Willy, to complete your movie?
...

An other very funny anecdote while shooting for my film about Wensleydale : I asked David to go to the local village pub in Bainbridge : the "Rose and Crown Hotel". He had to come back when he was "tipsy". His "wife" Anita was already lying in bed. She was reading magazines about the Yorkshire Dales. David stumbled onto the footpath. He did it in such a spontaneous way... ! After that he appeared in Anita's room. He did his best to get onto the bed. Also that was a funny moment. I only needed one take.
We laughed a lot.

An other one : just before we arrived in our cottage in Bainbridge there was a horse show organised by gypsies. The following night I went out with my camera and tripod to film the green. I lay down, which I often do to create 'frog's eye perspective'. Unfortunately I had not seen the horse manure and I had to do my utmost not to smell when entering the cottage.

Because of the bad weather conditions I will go back to the Dales from 15th to 20th August together with my former neighbour. I will film an auction market for sheep in Hawes. Geoff Harrison of the Preston Movie Makers is going to contact the big boss of the market. From 1st to 6th September I will go back together with 3 clubmates. Maybe I will also see my cast again : Anita and David. Making a film is always an adventure. In the meantime I am going to edit my film. In that way I can see what kind shots I am still missing. It's a long way to Tipperarry (Hawes). For me about 600 miles. But you only live once... and the older you are the more health problems you may have. In Wensleydale I suffered from back ache. I stood up. I lay down. I stood up again with my camera and tripod. Isn't this something for younger people ?
Willy Van der Linden
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Dave Watterson
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Re: A comic travelogue ?

Post by Dave Watterson »

I love the enthusiasm that brings you back to the location again and again. As you point out it is a very long way to travel to shoot a few scenes and "pick-up" shots. It is not so long ago that you felt you could no longer face the sheer work involved in making films on such a scale. My impression is that for you - and many others in our hobby - the challenge of filming keeps us going, overcomes the problems of age and health and gives us something to live for.

Obviously we do not want you to overdo it and make yourself ill, but please keep making films Willy ... and keep sharing your enthusiasm with us. It is refreshing and ecouraging.

-Dave
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Willy
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Re: A comic travelogue ?

Post by Willy »

Dave Watterson wrote: Obviously we do not want you to overdo it and make yourself ill, but please keep making films Willy ... and keep sharing your enthusiasm with us. It is refreshing and ecouraging.

-Dave
Many thanks for your kind words, Dave, but ...

Last week I was in Normandy. Without my camera ! The sky was blue all the time. I visited a calvados distillery and a creamery (Girardot near Camembert). The Normandy castles are typical. They are different from castles in Britain and in Belgium. I loved "les fruits de mer". I stayed in a typical Normandy cottage with beams. I sometimes said "damned !" to myself, because I had left my camera at home. On the other hand my wife Vera and my friends enjoyed their holiday very much. They didn't have to talk to a camera with a man behind it, but to a husband or to a friend who was drinking a calvados with them from time to time.

In four weeks and in September I will be back in the Yorkshire Dales to film the missing shots for my next documentary. But without my wife and without my former neighbours and friends who are not so fanatic. Only clubmates will accompany me. I still think of doing something different than filmmaking next year. Maybe then I will have more time to watch films and have less stress (contacting people, finding actors, weather conditions, etc...)
Willy Van der Linden
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