Location At the Avid at the office | Mood Angry with self | Date 18 May 2006
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
At the Avid at the office
Angry with self
None, as dad & stepmum sleeping downstairs
Sandpaper Retinas
18 May 2006
Current crisis: 
Key Nigeria scene ruined
Current silver lining: 
Humility injected?

Twenty lovely coca-cola (I know, I know) fuelled hours logging French, Cornish and Nigerian tapes interspersed with lavish emails to Israel detailing all my great shots and general genius filmmaker-ness.

Then came across key scene in Nigeria - where Layefa gets a tour through the destroyed village of Odiama - and there was dirt on the lens throughout. Usually I'm good at spotting that kind of thing, but ... well, can't think of any excuse. I fucked up.

Sure it will turn out to be one of those classic got-everything-right-except-the-focus scenes. Lizzie and I must have organised getting on for 50 elements for that day - five motorbike taxis, boat + driver + driver's food + diesel + driver's cigarettes, permission from local council, permission from chief of village, six women who witnessed the massacre, white-bread-bribing of military checkpoint, hiding camera as we pass oil facilities, keeping camera dry as other speedboats roar passed, translator, Layefa's clothing continuity, inclusion of stroppy best friend, exclusion of zealous missionary, murderous looks at 50 children trying to get into shot, two cameras, four channels of audio, a boy to carry the water, a boy to carry the camera-bag, a boy to check first two boys not pinching anything, bribing boat driver not to leave early, all nearby radios & mobile phones turned off, 800 dollars in 1 dollar bills, time of day, direction of sun, hair bands, malaria pills, sunblock, breakfast, chlorinated water, focus, exposure, white balance, gain, shutter speed, composition, clean heads, release forms and the small matter of the people saying what we need them to say to convey whatever it is we're trying to say.

And what will the darling viewers think?

"Couldn't they clean the lens?"

And they'd be right.

So now it's 3am and I'm trying to pack up quietly as my dad and stepmom are asleep downstairs (what with the Spanner Films office being the spare room in their flat) and there's a storm howling through the streets of Camden daring me to walk home cursing.

Not a happy looking Franny on the day got everything right except the dirty lens in Nigeria.