Behind Bars

If you read the ‘Reverend I Am Jolly’ post on our blog yesterday you will know that we were once responsible for producing Daily and Evening Calls for Scottish Television, although not the Rev I Am Jolly type programmes!

One  such “Call” was to be presented by the chaplain of Glasgow’s infamous Barlinnie Prison. Wow, our crew thought, this was going to be great! After all, it is not the kind of place any of our crew imagined themselves ever seeing the inside of…. never mind filming!

The much anticipated day of filming arrived and having passed through security, surrendering our mobile phones on the way, we were allowed to drive our van into an inner courtyard where it was parked up and our massive filming kit unloaded. We had to carry the kit what felt like a distance of half a mile, passing through numerous tightly guarded security gates, before eventually arriving at our tucked away filming location….the chaplain’s office.

The sight that greeted us was disappointing to say the least. It was a small room with a desk, a few chairs, a filing cabinet and no windows. There was nothing to suggest that we were inside a prison and in actual fact we could have been in an office absolutely anywhere. What was more disappointing was the knowledge that we could have saved ourselves a huge amount of effort and procedure by bringing the chaplain to us and filming in our own office -  instead of traipsing crew and kit through prison.

However, we were well and truly lodged in the heart of Barlinnie and as the saying goes “the show must go on”. Cue a bit of quick thinking and ingenuity!. After a rapid brainstorm a plan was hatched and we placed an upturned chair on another and strung gaffer tape between the legs. We then shone a light through the chair legs which projected a shadow onto the wall behind our chaplain creating a prison bar-like effect.

As tends to be the way, it all looked good in the final edit. Just a shame that we went to such a fantastic location only to end up filming in such a characterless room.

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