The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed October to November 1994
Post-production completed December 1994
Latest revised edition 4th November 2014
Running time 52 minutes
I read Michael’s latest college work about our most recent ramble. It was a glorious walk where we escape from the hustle and bustle of busy town life to the more peaceful countryside of the beautiful Wye Valley . I tell Michael about more of my childhood memories of the places we visit on our journey to the tranquil hamlet of the Narth .....
Filmed in the Wye Valley in the counties of Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire along a short section of the Wye Valley Walk . Locations include Chepstow , Piercefield , Wyndcliff, Tintern , Brockweir , Bargain Wood, Cleddon Shoots , and the Narth .
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Background and production details
Although I was generally quite pleased with “Escape Into Tranquillity”, the very first video I ever made back in 1988, I knew I could improve on it as I had since gained a little more experience and had more ideas by this time on how to make my videos more interesting. Therefore, I decided to remake it and incorporate it into “The Solitary Rambler” series. I still had the original script, so I just added a few new scenes, altered it to include Michael, and it became “Escape Though the Valley to Tranquillity”.

Although I wanted Michael to be a regular character in "The Solitary Rambler", I wrote him into this film so that there would be "live" dialogue. For example, in "Escape into Tranquillity" I was the only character to appear, I spoke no dialogue, and the only lines were the commentary that was dubbed on afterwards during post-production. In "Escape Through the Valley to Tranquillity" the dialogue would be spoken live and the lines split between Michael and I, which I thought would work better and be more interesting than just all commentary.

There are only exterior scenes in this film again. We revisited our favourite teashop in Monmouth in between filming, where we went during recording of “ The Lost Villages ”. The waitress even remembered us, so I don’t know if that was a good or a bad thing!

My main memory of this period of filming was that tempers became very short on one particular day! The day involved Richard, Michael and myself climbing up several long, steep hills. This was made all the more tiring due to the recent wet weather creating more thick mud to trudge through! When the three of us were travelling back home after the filming was completed that day, not one word was spoken between us during the entire journey! You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife!

Most of the music I composed for this film was similar to the soundtrack I had composed for "Escape into Tranquillity", as well as using some of the music from " Atom Heart Mother " as I had done in the original film. The difference this time is that I edited the video before I recorded the music, so that I was not padding out the scenes to fit to the soundtrack, as I had done in "Escape into Tranquillity". "Escape Through the Valley to Tranquillity" is much faster paced as a result.

Revised editions

In 2001 “Escape Through the Valley to Tranquillity” underwent the digital re-editing and re-recording of its musical soundtrack like the preceding films. The revised 2014 edition was completely unchanged again aside from the completed video viewable on widescreen TVs. Surprisingly, when posting the video to YouTube, I didn’t need to remove the Pink Floyd music like I had to do with “The Lost Villages”. The video has been blocked in some countries due to the copyright, but the video is available in this country at least.
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