This was going to be a blog about failure and about how events beyond (or, technically, within) your control can bring the most carefully planned project to its knees.


We were fully prepared for filming the pool under lights last night. The floodlights were delivered and in place - after only a slight incident where they almost rolled down the hill and in to the pool. We had about twenty extension cables, a set of two kilowatt lights, three smaller 'redhead' photography lights and three halogen builders lights. We had a plan - floodlights overhead, builders lights providing fill for the water in front of the camera, the two kilowatt lights spotlighting the diving board, and the redheads providing any extra fill that we needed.

We got them all in to position, flicked the switch and blew the fuse.

We had no access to the fuse box and no way of getting access, short of kicking a door down. Tim looked like his head might explode. He has been doing this weird nervous yawn thing since we got here, and I thought this might have pushed him over the edge.

We fannied around for a while, and then decided just to film what we could under the floodlights, which were powered by their own generator. We got some amazing shots, but from what we could see on the camera's screen, the diving board wasn't visible which meant that we couldn't do any of the shots we had originally planned.

We called it a day at about eleven o'clock, packed up our kit and drove home. Tim was tired and didn't want to look at any of the shots that we had taken, but we had a beer and decided to see what we had.

The video was beautiful. The light was golden, with strong shadows. You could see bugs scuttling across the floor, the rocks around the pool became almost luminescent and in the background of the shots, you could make out the diving board. It haunted the shots - invisible to us as we filmed but now, clearly defined and lending its presence to everything we watched.


As well as the night shots, we got some great footage of the daylight fading away with a still shot of the diving board, and various dips and pans with our new favourite bit of kit - the jib. Dave was the undisputed jib master, and if it didn't cost about £5000 to buy one, then I'd get two - just for round the house. Serve drinks with it.

We caught a few early evening swimmers in our early shots, and Tim took some photos of this guy who we have seen a few times since we started going down to the pool.


This was going to be a blog about failure (and I like failure, so I was quite looking forward to it), but if the lights hadn't gone then we wouldn't have got the shots that we got, and we wouldn't have had to work hard to find the details that we found. I feel like the film will be a portrait of the pool, and last night we had to get up close to the pool in a way that we wouldn't have been able to, if everything had gone the way we wanted it.