Collaboration: stills from film shoot at Devil’s Dyke

I made these stills from the video footage we shot today: two of them show the tent scenes, the third shows them inside the building, and the fourth shows Helen inside the car. In retrospect (21 Nov 2013) I see that I was creating the film’s aesthetic: the dark, moody video, and no dialogue. At the time, I was caught up in the narrative Helen and Chris had created and had no idea how I was going to use the material.

Cate and Hugo

Hugo with tent

Cate and Hugo sheltering from the wind

Cate in Hugo's car

We shot the film at Devil’s Dyke in 40mph wind. Chris wore a business suit. Helen wore clothes that prepared her for the weather. Chris and I had ‘spoken’ briefly about costume on Facebook and he said he would wear a ski suit. In retrospect (21 Nov 2013) I like their costumes: she is prepared and he isn’t. It reflects on a theory my ex-boyfriend has about our relationship, which is that I was ready for a relationship and he wasn’t.  I didn’t see this at the time of filming ‘though. The theory is incorrect, in any case; neither of us was ‘ready’.

In the car on the way up, both Helen and Chris had difficulty in seeing why these rich people would self-reflect and take ownership of their roles in the unfair economic system. I asked this in order to try to create understanding: have you ever self-reflected and come to a realisation that your role in a situation has created a painful outcome for someone else? Chris stated no, immediately, which surprised me – I thought everyone did this. Helen thought about it with regard to romantic relationships, which I thought was on the right track: a style of thinking is transferable into other areas of life. By the time we reached Devil’s Dyke I could see Chris couldn’t get his head around the idea of the rich person self-reflecting so decided to drop it and watch how their relationship evolved.  I filmed them walking to the derelict building, trying and failing to erect the tent in the strong wind and taking shelter in the building. I recorded sound during the tent and building scenes. We stopped when the cold conditions made it difficult for them to stay in character, and had hot chocolate in the pub to warm up. We recorded sound and film in the car to try to finish the narrative (around death and woman at the heart of the home) they’d created before heading home.

Chris and I shot more footage, not related to my film, at Brighton Marina, some of which was the unplanned footage of three guys wearing hoodies and black masks, which Chris thought was threatening. Whilst we were at the Marina, Chris stated he found it hard to let go of control and “just be an actor”, which I found illuminating.

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