Prospect Point - Saturday, April 10th
It has been a good day - the Hut is down and the end of the job at Prospect Point is in sight. The weather is still good but between the landing-site and the Shackleton is 300 metres or so of packed sea ice, blown in by the wind. Tula the landing-craft is struggling.
Filming the removal of the Hut poses some interesting challenges that I shall try and explain. Making TV is like making a jigsaw, except that you must first make the puzzle by cutting the original picture into pieces ready to be reassembled.
This is why we are always asking people to do things again (and again). The same piece of action is shot from different angles and in wide, medium and close up. In the finished film you see a wide-shot of Nigel wielding his chainsaw indoors, then a close up of his face. Then the action switches to the outside of the building (tightly framed) as the saw-blade bursts through the woodwork. A medium wide shot tracks its progress downward through the timber. Back inside we see sawdust flying off the blade. Nigel is a blur of dust and movement. Back outside the end wall starts to move (wide), then close up and inside as dusty light appears through widening floor-level cracks, and then, outside again, the whole wall bursts free on the last saw-cut and the crane lifts it skywards and away.
It's a great sequence, but the problem is that there no point in the real-life action when you can say stop, we're going to reframe or dash outside and do that again. True, we can shoot many of the close-ups at a different time - who knows which day that shot of Nigel's hand on the saw was really taken? But, when that end wall swings away it only happens the once. There's no going back and doing it again. Which adds a certain challenge to the shoot!
Meanwhile, as the picture shows, we're all working very