August 25, 2008 at 10:04 AMAfter waiting for a break in the weather, we loaded up the camera gear and headed just down the road to an old homestead cabin out on Mackey Lake Road. The woman who gave us permission to use her place was away at work, so we made ourselves at home in her overgrown front yard, amidst fireweed and dying petunias. From the window, an unattended Hemingway cat watched curiously as we laid the tracking and searched for a power outlet. Both outlets were occupied, so Jim decided to unplug one of the existing chords so that we could get going.
My job was to keep my makeup fresh and my fingers warm under cool temps and overcast skies. The bugs were only mildly annoying, but I put on some spray anyway so they would quit hovering around my every move.
Sitting on an old stump, I played through half a dozen fiddle tunes while the kinks were being worked out with the recording equipment. We stopped often, for airplanes and lawn mowers, and the occasional passing car. Meanwhile, a neighbor came home from work and got out of his truck to see what the heck was going on next door. As it turned out, we had cut the power to his trailer, and now his two pot pies were in the process of thawing out in his freezer. He didn't seem to mind too much. Instead, he dug out a disposable camera and began taking photos of me as I played jigs and reels.
In the window, the Hemingway cat was stealing the show now, climbing on the screen, knocking down fixtures, and chewing on the begonia. Finally, she settled into the scene and sat listening. I settled down a bit, too, and played a Scottish ballad for my feline audience, who gazed at me through the window with a warm smile. Then, with a yawn and an arching of back and tail, she slipped behind the curtain for her afternoon nap.
Raindrops grew from spittle to earnest sprinkles, forcing us to scramble for tarps and wrenches, pulling apart equipment in what was becoming a curtain of rain. What seemed like moments of work turned out to be four hours of filming. I'd say in all, we got roughly two minutes of usable footage.
It sounds like a nice time, though, even if you didn't get as much footage as you wanted. A lovely day's adventure.
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