Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Night Tripper

It's the midweek once again, Acting Fans, Time marches on yomping right into, well, March already! Time for a bit of an update on what's what at H&H HQ. As I type it's another misty morning in the Calder Valley, though fortunately no signs so far of the revenant, malevolent spirits of the long dead returning for revenge. Though much like the tension building scenes of a Horror film we (Vern & I) are experiencing an eerie silence, yes we're still yet to receive even an acknowledging 'Thanks but no thanks' from any of the dramatic organisations we've dropped a line to. Ah, well - It's looking more likely that our TOP SECRET EMERGENCY PLAN may have to be dusted off.
In the meantime we have got a little more establishing footage established. After our night shoot last week I had my thinking cap on with regards to figuring out where we might be able to get a more elevated shot of a train or two on the tracks. Over the weekend it came to me - BRADFORD (Oddly enough it was a trip to Leeds that triggered it)! I remembered that the layout of the Bradford Interchange is such that a viaduct road crosses above the tracks and that might be a possible point to set up the shot. After a quick Google Map check I ran the idea by Vern and we decided it was on.
Question was: how to get there? Answer: Pass! More specifically my Metro Pass. Neither Vern or I drive but since I worked in Bradford I've maintained my Rail Zone 2-to-5 Bus & train pass, so I can pop down the line pretty much any time it takes my fancy. I thought I'd let Vern off the hook and be a one-man second unit team this time but rather than lug our Lumix FZ150 I thought I'd experiment with borrowing the Family camera, a Lumix TZ18 (it's a fair do Mum & Dad borrowed my digital camera for ages before they got it). We'd actually already had the camera along on a shoot for a test with the idea of using it as a second camera angle but the only setting we could find that shot roughly 16:9 was the HD setting which, on the 8GB memory card we had, only gave us about 8 minutes. Not great for shooting scenes but no problem when it came down to the shots we wanted now.

Mmm, compact.
Monday after work I picked up the tripod from Vern and was good to go, which I did that very evening. I had however made a schoolboy error:

 Yep, I forgot to check the battery AND to bring a spare! But:

It was a fraught moment as, set up on the overpass, I pushed the record button and crossed all my fingers as the train slowly pulled in below and the power indicator insistently flashed at me. I got it. Then I saw another trains approaching and set to recording again died. It was a fraught trip home as I worried whether the first shot had recorded properly or not but, when I plugged the camera in, there it was:

Phew, indeed. Pretty much exactly what we wanted. That's it so far this week, Acting Fans, but the week isn't over yet. We have some shenanigans planned for tomorrow but, shhh, that's a bit secret! More on Friday, stay tuned!


Christopher Haigh

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