Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Daffodils or 'How to get Soaked in the Cause of Art'

I feel a poem coming on. The Daffodils by Wordsworth to be precise.

A YouTube Internet acquaintance, Julian Hellaby concert pianist, university lecturer and opera lover  who runs a Channel  paulprocopolis where he uploads lost recordings of past masters as well as his own had posted his own recording of a Chopin Waltz, the one in C# minor or for ballet lovers, the pas de deux from Les Sylphides.

I asked Julian Hellaby for permission as a 'host of golden daffodils' seemed to go beautifully with the sparkling  Chopin waltz and he agreed.

Images are hard to get these days even for a project like this which is not commercial, will be seen at most by 100 people if I am lucky but the days of just ripping off an image from Google are gone. Fortunately for me Chopin and Wordsworth are in the Public Domain.

I get annoyed when my own work is used without permission as I feel artists, including me should be included in the pay roll or credits. When I ran my small opera/ballet company in Auckland in 1980 I always negotiated the 'rights' even though I am sure no one would ever have found out so I am not about to start now. The penalty can be having your channel taken down or worse still adverts for Google all over it.

So I have to go out and film my own.

It is fortunately August in New Zealand and the daffodils are out. Not in my area as it is too warm for them but a few kilometers south the Auckland Botanic Gardens has a massed display that lasts about a fortnight.  I had tried my friends who have a few in pots that would do for close ups but I need 'ten thousand at a glance'!

So this Sunday I had  my opportunity. The traffic South of Auckland is horrendous on week days as everything that had gone by rail is now on the road so I avoid the motorway south.

The weather was a bit 'ho hum' but looked OK. It was not going to be brilliant sunlight but I can upgrade the weather in color correction. I arrived and started my hike to the daffodils which were about half a mile from the main entrance, carting all my gear, tripod, cameras, driving license.

No sooner had I got the first shot in the gloom of a duck disappearing from the few daffs on display than it started to drizzle. When I got to the main display and there were 'ten thousand at a glance it started to spit'. I knew I had to be quick and did a couple of shaky pans, I am not the greatest camera operator and that was it.

The heavens opened and down came the rain, the heavy wetting sort that is like a cold shower full on. NZ tropical rain usually last four minutes and stops. A convenient shelter under a tree is usually all one needs. Not today. Not one in sight. I was caught in the open half a mile from shelter, no friendly bus shelter and completely alone and it belted down for ten minutes.

This was bad enough. I had to keep the camera dry, I had a parka fortunately so my head and torso were kept dry but my trousers were soaked almost immediately. The rain did not stop, I and twenty tuis (NZ native birds) were huddled under a rata tree soaked to the skin and when I started home in a shot it happened.

It hailed! For the first time in my life I was caught out in a hail storm with no shelter.
It was quite an experience. It hurt and it hailed for about six minutes! I  left the daffodils being flattened by the little white stones. What had been a 'sprightly mass' a few moments ago was now a flattened mass like a trampled crop circle. No hope of coming back when it had stopped!

It was still raining heavily when I got to the car. How anyone has sex in a car I shall never know as I struggled to get out of  my wet  trousers socks and shoes on the driver's seat. I had a dry pair of waterproof pants in the boot. It took a good ten minutes. Changing outside the car was impossible as it was still belting down inside was a steaming sauna.

I beat a retreat home. I out-ran the rain and hail as I approached Auckland but just as I arrived it caught up. One hot shower later and a nice cup of char and I perused my footage. Well I got about four minutes of shaky footage and no close ups as I did not have time but as Mercutio said 'twill do!'

A day spent putting it all into slow motion, color correction and inspiration should do it. No hope of a re run until next year! I only hope it is not too vulgar! We'll see.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, how this brings back memories! Beautifully played by Julian, and in my opinion THE most lovely Chopin Waltz. I remember all those Sylphs in their frothy floating long tutus, and the romanticism of the whole piece. Thank you so much Janette, you have made my day. So sorry about the awful rain, and that you got caught. I hope your weather will change soon, ours is a summer of sorts but morphing into Indian, with loads of rain too, as per usual. However, we cannot complain about this year as we have had a wonderful June and July. Just heard I have been pencilled in for a Casting I did last week in London for an American Drug Company Commercial to the Medical Profession. It is a still. Hope I get it definitely. Loads of love, darling, and hope you are feeling OK. Btw, I didn't tell you, but my Eldest son Ben has been with me doing a Course and working as a Teacher of English in Worthing (thus the stay at home with me) It has been fantastic having him around for so long, and we have between us got the garden doing really well. However, he does leave for Russia next week, and is excited about working Moscow. I am sure he will be OK, as he speaks the lingo, that's one of the main things got over. Once more, loads of love Janey