Saturday 26 November 2011: Before Photoshop.
Whilst looking for locations this morning, I remembered how it used to be.
A long time ago, we had an idea where a car (a Peugeot 309)
would look like it was driving across the surface of a Scottish loch.
So there we were, a top location photographer and his assistant,
a special effects guy, his 2 assistants, the account man, a copywriter and me.
By the side of a beautiful Loch, surrounded by steep, stunning mountains.
A rig had been built which sat just below the surface of the water
It was like 2 conveyor belts which moved simultaneously
when the car's wheels drove on them.
Even as I describe this to you now, I can hardly believe it worked.
It just sounds so Heath Robinson.
The car was winched into place, and after a ton of fiddling (say 6 hours)
one of the assistants got into the car, and drove it.
It worked! The wheels spun water out behind them
giving the impression of the car driving across the water.
We cheered and laughed, and congratulated ourselves
on being really clever bastards.
But by now, it was beginning to rain, and was getting late
so we decided to come back the next day, for first light.
We went to our luxury lodge, ate souffles and venison, drank very good wine, bathed in claw footed baths, and slept on 400 thread count linen.
Then turned up at 3.45 the next morning to catch the first light.
It was still pissing down.
And the fucking car had disappeared.
The. Fucking. Car. Had. Disappeared.
We drove around, hoping we'd gone to the wrong location.
Who the fuck had stolen the car?
The account man was beginning to panic.
I smoked in those days and was beginning to stress smoke.
At one point, smoking 10 at a time so in the half light it looked like I had a red torch in my mouth.
To cut a very long story short, we found the car in the morning,
having driven around every fucking Loch in the Highlands.
It was where we left it.
The Loch had risen 5ft in the night due to the rain.
We didn't realise that of course that all the rain that runs down
those stunning steep mountains collects in them thar Lochs.
It is not unheard of for the water to rise so dramatically.
We only found the fucking car because the rain had stopped,
and the loch had begun to drain.
Altogether, it took us 5 days to get that shot.
Nowadays, we'd shoot the car, Loch,
water spray all separately, and put it together in Photoshop.
But where is the fun in that?