Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Duke Of Hazards


Yebo good people!
At first I intended to make this post a themed one, but I'm first of all totally beat right now, and also sporting a nicotine-poisoning even Cthulhu speaks of with deepest respect.
First thing first.
For 18 years minus exactly one week I was living at this place, having this here weird concrete tunnel not far from where I lived. As kids, we visited the place several times during the rare occasions anyone of us actually got a hold of a (working) flashlight.... Yet, for 37 years, none of us ever went all the way through the entire tunnel - all we had was the rumours of what was on the other side. Someone said there was a humongous spiders-nest, someone else that there was a black room. Eventually, the hole making up the entrance to the tunnel, which is really not much more than a form of passage in-between a concrete wall, was almost entirely bricked up.
The thing with "almost" entirely bricked up wasn't exactly any less of a proof there was something funny and/or interesting on the other side, yet, it continued for miles and miles, and there were only so far we dared to walk, crossing over very unreliable rocks and stuff we didn't even wanna know what it was.
It was an exciting though scary place.
About a few weeks ago I returned on a whim. I figured this place, if it still existed, was far too good a location to not at least try to access. I considered several different alternatives to access it, everything from digging myself under the not very covering brick-up, to letting myself in using iron key at the end of the 1m long Hickory-shaft. Make no mistake, there are nothing more sacred to me than other peoples safety, and other peoples property, in that order, but without getting into detail, neither was a problem on this very location.
Imagine of my surprise when I got there, and someone else had beaten me to it. There wasn't as much as a grain left to tell of the wall once covering the small crevasse. I was over-joyed!!! Happy as a pig in shit, I hid my stuff behind a nearby board, geared up, and began to climb down the cracked hole in the wall.
I took one look at the ceiling, and in two seconds I had gotten myself the fuck out of there again.
Being painfully aware that asbestos can be somehow less than exemplary for the health in general, I came to the mature decision to not do this without gas-mask and protective gear. There was a chance that the ceiling hadn't let off dust, but you had to be retarded to take a chance like that.

Yesterday, I was back on location again. With goggles, heavy duty anti toxins- and particles-mask, sturdy boots, and good cloths I was finally ready, and for the first time in maybe 25 years, I traversed the legendary yet extremely narrow tunnel again.
Now, I realized why we never went further than we did. Trying to keep the balance while walking over loosely lying rocks and garbage, in pitch-black darkness, with one hand occupied with the camera and the other one with the flashlight, all while trying to breath through a  mask that made it perfectly clear for you who's the boss, was no easy task. Bruised, scratched, with a hurting ankle, and sounding like Darth Vader, it took less than a minute to get all the way to the other side.
"The fuck is this shit!?"
At least one part of the rumours were true - much of the end of the tunnel was coated in something black, looked like ancient tar, but there was no room. The was no spiders. There wasn't even any fucking chimneys or opening whatsoever to justify this prime example of masonry appendix or the funky smell. The whole tunnel was a blind-gut and I was sheepishly staring at a dead end desecrated by some retarded kid placing the ugliest tag known to man.
Well, be it as it may, as disappointing as the end of the road (tunnel) turned out to be to me personally and my imagination in particular, as satisfying the photage was for the project itself. And I wasn't there for sight-seeing anyway.
What appeared to a child as something like three laps around the globe turned out to be more like 20 meters all in all, so I was good and done within 10 minutes, trying to run back and forth a few times, as well as filming bugs and crap I happened upon for good measure.

What resulted in the severest beating I've ever taken on location (which does say a lot considering how I often work) and the most minute preparations I've ever made for this project, turned out into the shortest filming so far, and the most easily edited photage I've ever recorded!
Making a movie this way, appearing to have no edits whatsoever, is by no means an easy task. Making it all seamless can be really really tricky, and a single stretch can contain maybe ten different locations to make it fly. Here, and here we're talking about a really important stretch, I glued in the first walk-through recorded straight into Premiere at a fitting place as-is, added some gnarly stuff necessary for this very stretch (it feels wrong to call it "scene" as it never breaks nor changes in traditional ways), and it was all done, save for future dialogue, sound, and refining!!!

Tonight though, I had a completely different filming, and I needed smoke. A lot of smoke. Ergo why I feel like crap right now.
If you can't use a smoke-machine for both logistical reasons and that you simply can't afford it right now, you do the next best thing possible considering the conditions - I bought two packs of cigarillos and grabbed a big-ass needle-less syringe that my then-girlfriend had been using to feed our dog medicine and then left forgotten in a drawer for years. While moving a good two months ago I found it again while packing my stuff.
Normally, this wouldn't be much to write about here. I do lots of effect-shots, and though being totally awesome on-screen, this isn't really that much more spectacular technically than much else I've done.
What made this special was what happened to the syringe during the night.
I tried to put the tube directly to the butt of the cigarillo, but it just didn't work. The flow was compromised somehow and the smoke got too thin, so I had to draw the smoke into my mouth before sucking it into the syringe.
It worked fine, and after finishing the first cigarillo I first checked the clips, and then the syringe.
Eww... It showed heavy signs of yellow stains, and I had accidentally obviously sucked up some saliva as well. The very first round, and already it began to look really unpleasant.
Already on the third cigarillo, and the second one had a filter, the syringe began to look really really disgusting. I had changed technique so there wouldn't be more problems with saliva, but the yellow stains had turned into heavy brown buildups inside it. And if that wasn't enough, despite not inhaling anything, I began to feel pretty nauseous from all the nicotine.
It took two more cigarillos before it got too light for further filmings, and by that time, my nausea had nothing on the horror that resided inside my poor poor syringe. Not even half a pack of tobacco, and it looked absolutely awful.
Finally at home again, I opened up the protective cover to clean the damn thing and....the reek near well knocked me over...
It wasn't easy getting rid of the disgusting buildups, but I did get rid of it eventually. It still smells like the south end of a north-pointing baboon with poor personal hygiene, but seeing as liberal amounts of white vinegar has worked well with the casing so far, I'm pretty confident the syringe will be as new again after an extensive bath in this.

The session was a success, but seeing what even a single cigarillo did to the syringe, I seriously consider quit smoking completely...


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