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Cross Purposes

TEA AND TAKES by Norman bull
After much trouble and strife I can now announce that our club film “CROSS PURPOSES” is in the can. But oh the trouble we dun seen! It had finally been agreed that the film crew along with the three actors would gather at Ken Kendall’s house at Brockham on Sunday morning 19th September at 9:30am. The shooting was to take place outside and unfortunately it turned out to be the middle of the monsoon season. Being eternal optimists we all prepared to pounce as soon as any hint of a break of the showers appeared. We were very grateful that the three actors took us seriously enough to actually turn up on the day. Although we sat for ages drinking tea and occasionally glancing out at the uninterrupted blanket of grey and moody clouds it did give us a chance to get to know one and other. Jim Bowden and Jean Manning, both retired, were to play the mother and father whilst Matt Daley, who by the way had not even met the other two before, was to be the son. We were a little surprised to learn that Matt was a private investigator and had all manner of recording and video equipment at hand. After several cups of tea the rain did seem as if it had at last decided to take a break and we hurriedly gathered up the gear and set about preparing for the first scene located on the patio leading to the back garden. Everything was run from power cables even including a monitor set on a trolley

Cross Purposes

It takes quite a bit of time to set up a nicely composed shot with sound especially if the actors have to move about a bit and you might guess that just as we had finished our first take and considering a second the clouds decided to empty their contents again. In full panic we quickly pulled all the plugs and snatched up the rain splashed gear and ran to the nearest cover. Gradually, one by one, we dodged back into the house and waited to see if it would clear again. By the time midday hit us and we were munching through our pre-packed sandwiches and downing yet another cup of tea it was becoming obvious that the elements were against us and inevitably we decided to call it a day. Wouldn’t you know it that as I drove home in the early afternoon the sun broke through and my passenger, Jozef Kay, noticed with a wry smile that the roads were bone dry as we approached Ewell. Eventually a date 29th September was arranged and being a week and a half later on a Wednesday it was hoped that we would be well clear of the rain. In the event the rain persisted but it was only by shear tenacity and few measly breaks between showers we were able to complete shooting - just! Practically every take was followed by the same performance that we had on our first outing. You can imagine how trying this was for all concerned and it’s a miracle that we ended up with any footage at all. Inevitably, under these circumstances, not all the takes came out as desired and some continuity errors crept in plus variations of sound and light levels. Diggy has managed to put all this together on his linear editing suite which is no mean feat (He says it feels like he’s spent 5 hours on every minute of its five minute length. The next thing is to make sure it gets entered for the North V South competition organised by our friends at Orpington. Many thanks to all involved, not forgetting of course Doreen Almond the author of the story.

SECOND TAKE October 1999

Special Note:-
CROSS PURPOSES gained a Certificate of Merit at the Surrey Film and Video Festival in 2000.
There is a report with judges comments in June 2000 SECOND TAKE Issue 71.

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