End of Day One: Hawaii

Photo 10-04-2013 18 41 09End of day one in Hawaii and while everyone back home is being wakened by time-to-get-up-for-work alarms, we are just catching up with emails and reflecting on our first day in Hawaii… yeah, you guessed, with a beer. It’s pretty surreal really. Sitting on the veranda overlooking the pool where a small group enjoy a barbecue, and beyond that the Pacific Ocean. The darkness of evening is warm and relaxing. The only sound is the lapping of the waves on the shore and the only light the three lantern flames at the water’s edge… oh, and the screen of the laptop! Oh well, this is a work trip.

We are really impressed by the little we have had chance to experience so far of Hawaii, or more specifically the island Maui: home for the next week. Not a bad home. Could fair get used to this: beautiful setting, the friendliest of people (let’s face it, you expect the Americans to be friendly but the Maui locals take it to another level) and the most amicable climate. No wonder they call it paradise. We are also relieved by the lack of insects buzzing about – although maybe we’ll all wake up head to toe in bites! No, the only ‘pests’ we’ve come across are gorgeous little birds (of the flying variety folks!) so dearly wanting an invite to share our with-beer snacks of crisps. Can settle for that.

Well as the sun has set and evening is most definitely upon us we bid you goodnight (or good morning rather) as we set off in search of the local eatery… and maybe another little beer.


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What’s This All About?


You know, sometimes this job takes us to some really horrible places. I don’t mean dangerous, vulnerable, poverty-stricken, hard-to-handle places in the world. No, they are interesting, educational and quite often pretty character-building. That’s what is so great about this job: it gives us the privilege of stepping out of the ‘normal’ working day to embrace the worlds of so many people of all walks of life.

No, when I say horrible, I mean just ugly and… well horrible! Tonight we are filming a kick-boxing championship (of a kind) and it’s like we have been thrown into another world. An underworld like nothing I have ever experienced… Jack Branning’s boxing ring on Albert Square is like a flower show compared to this!

Young boys elevated above their peers in their shiny gear, flexing their pecks and giving it large in the ring. That’s okay. Everyone loves testosterone and confidence… and sport. However, somehow it doesn’t feel like that. You know who’s going to win before they’ve reached their corner, there are unanimous boos and cheers towards blue and red and, although I can hardly watch and reach for the comfort of words on my iPad, you can’t help but stick up for the boy who has the so-white-it’s-blue skin, non-triangular body free of tattoos and relatively puny arms. What is he doing there? Subjected to some hard boy alter ego that he is not? Belonging? Is that it? What is this all about?

Meanwhile, at ringside, there are people shouting and screaming like they are watching dogs tear chunks out of each other. Maybe that would be easier to watch? The atmosphere is fuelled and taut. It’s that tension when you are in a pub and you feel a fight about to break out, only this has been going on for four hours now. Fight after fight, men and women alike are shouting “fight”, “hit him”, “he’s not your mum” (minus the expletives) along with other terms of encouragement while two boys, their bodies marked red, faces puffing and dazed, are punched, kicked and bounced from rope to floor.

Round three is the worst, or rather it was until the fights started going five rounds. They’re wiping the blood from the floor of the ring between rounds now. Puffy faces are now burst and the raucous crowd are smothering the ringside ready, I am quite sure, to get on in and have a go.

And so the fights get longer, the outfits shinier, the atmosphere more putrid and the hits so very painfully resounding as the last remaining spaces on the tables are swallowed up completely by empty beer tins and plastic cups. There is no relationship between the two I might add.

As with all experiences this job brings our way, I guess we shall be grateful (in time) for having had the opportunity to be part of something we would never ever have walked into of our own accord. I like sport and watch the big boxing fights on the television, but this is just something else. Something just horrid.

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Meeting the Mad Hatter

It’s not every day you are greeted by the client at his factory gate holding a can of lager in one hand and a cigarette in the other:

“Awright Rumble, fancy a beer?”

Something told us that this wasn’t going to be an ordinary shoot.

The crew hauled the kit into the milliner wonderland of Philip Ian Wright and set up for his interview in the studio, stopping to admire, touch and well yeah, try on his work: from the vintage and statement to the flamboyant, edgy and completely indulgent. Weaving from hat to hat, we soon lost ourselves in another world of hat fantasy and alter ego. Is it possible to fall in love with inanimate objects?

Being responsible, or dull, depending on now you look at it, we accepted a cup of tea (the pubs would still be open when we finish) and sat down with Philip and the clipboard to discuss how the shoot would unfold and the format for the imminent interview. We learned of his story, that of the factory and his father Walter Wright, the millinery processes, his team (note he didn’t say “staff”) and of course hats: all that they mean, bring, give and represent. We chatted like we had known this guy for years and drew parallels between the world of hats and films – sounds rather far-fetched but I can explain, honest.

And so the interview…

When it came to pressing record on the camera, nothing really changed. Philip was as natural, effervescent and captivating on camera as off. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to capture him and a flavour of his fascinating world for everyone to see. This interview forms the basis for a series of short films we produced.

And yeah, we still made it to the pub!

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Filming at Tyne Cot


Pressed for time there was, we thought, no time to take in the scale of Tyne Cot: nearly 12,000 graves and 35,000 men commemorated by name on the walls of the cemetery. The focus for this part of the shoot was to film as many shots as we could to establish the cemetery and the school kids walking around. But we really didn’t have long.

As we headed to the top of the cemetery, I was first to reach the long white wall of names. I looked back and our cameraman Richard was a couple of minutes behind me (a clipboard and microphone are much lighter than a camera and tripod). I took the opportunity those couple of minutes graced me to look at the section of wall in front of me. No surnames on this one started with an “S” (my family name is Scott). There were “H”s though and there jumped out an “A.Hickman”. I couldn’t believe it and felt excited, but admittedly a little spooked. Our cameraman’s surname is Hickman, and it’s not a common name.

Our client had told us that a woman’s voice calls out every single name of the soldiers buried or commemorated at Tyne Cot, with a pause between every name. As we approached the visitor centre, the voice from the speaker said:
“… A. Hickman. Aged 36…”
Incredible. The only name we picked out and the only name we hear as we rush past the speaker. A one in 47,000 chance.

On the same wall as one of the kids’ relatives I did see a T.Scott and, as we walked away, I wondered whether he and A.Hickman were friends.

Rumble TV produced a film World War One Battlefields which can be seen in its entirety or as individual segments on You Tube.

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WW1 Film Goes Live


It is a year since the crew of Rumble TV had their lives changed, and I exaggerate not, by our filming trip to the World War One Battlefields. Commissioned to produce a film following a group of school pupils from Bishopbriggs Academy on their trip to the Western Front, we captured their journey, reactions and reflections. Of course, no film can replace actually being there, particularly if you have the pleasure of having Des Brogan of Mercat Tours International as your guide! I kid you not: under his magic spell the surrounding lush fields of crops melt to squalor alive with soldiers wading through mud and exploding shells. If that’s what our crew felt, what on earth is it like when you are not watching through a viewfinder and thinking about film content and cuts? We will most definitely to go back to the battlefields, free of kit, and find out.

Our film went live on You Tube in the week leading up to Armistice Day and the reaction so far has been fabulous. We are delighted the film featured (so prominently too) in the Evening Times on the eve of Remembrance Sunday.

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