The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed March to April 2008
Post-production completed 17th February 2013
Running time 45 minutes
At the south-east corner of the  Peak District  is  Matlock , the county town of  Derbyshire . Matlock has been my home since 2003, when I moved to the town to begin a new life and be able to explore the Peak whenever I wished. As I take a tour of my town and the surrounding area I tell the story of the first years of my life in the area as well as the ups and downs of moving to a new unknown place where I knew no-one.....
Filmed in the  Peak District  in the county of  Derbyshire  featuring several locations in and around  Matlock . Other nearby locations include  Matlock Bath Cromford Winster Elton Stanton Moor Monyash Sheldon  and  Ashford-in-the-Water .
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Background and production details
When I moved to the  Peak District  in January 2003  Matlock  was the location where I ended up residing. I began to explore the town further as well as more of the surrounding area. I knew I would want to make "Solitary Rambler" films in the Peak District now that I was living here.

Preamble in Peak ” ended up being the first film I made in the Peak District, and whilst I was in the early stages of planning it I thought about including Matlock in that film. As the film was introducing the Peak District in general I felt that Matlock should be one of the places featured as it was a key location in the area.

However, after some consideration I decided against the idea for two main reasons. Firstly, I wanted “Preamble in Peak” to be based on my very first trip to the Peak District and I hadn’t visited Matlock on that trip. Secondly, I felt that, bearing in mind there were so many other towns and villages featured in “Preamble in Peak”  e.g.  Buxton Edale Bradwell Tideswell Bakewell Youlgreave , etc, had I also included Matlock in the film it would have ended up being much too brief a visit, and I felt it deserved more than that. Therefore, I decided to make a new "Solitary Rambler" film based in Matlock. Other villages would be featured, e.g.  Winster Elton Monyash Sheldon Ashford-in-the-Water , etc, but the main emphasis of the story would be in and around Matlock.

I wanted a film about the town I was currently living in. Although I had recorded earlier films where I lived they never actually highlighted where I was residing at the time, i.e. I had always made the films relating to places I had lived in years before. This time, I would be making a "Solitary Rambler" film about my current place of residence.

Whilst I was playing around with my music on the electronic organ I came up with a brand new version of my 1986 tune “Song of the Peaks”. Later on in 2003 I ended up recording this version along with other new songs I had written based on my move to the Peak District. I planned to use my new version of “Song of the Peaks” in my new "Solitary Rambler" story in Matlock.

By 2008 HDD (hard disk drive) camcorders were on the home video buyers market. I still owned my Sony Hi8 camcorder, but I wanted to record my latest project with a HDD camcorder. Unfortunately I couldn’t afford to buy one, but I knew I could borrow one from a friend. So in March 2008, five years after I had moved to the area, I finally began recording this new film, which I decided to call “Milestone in Matlock”. It was also the easiest "Solitary Rambler" story to record because I didn’t have far to travel to most of the locations!

It was wonderful using a HDD camcorder for the first time. I needed no tapes and the picture quality was a noticeable improvement on any of the previous films. On the slightly negative side it meant that I needed to re-film my latest title sequence that I had used in “Preamble in Peak” as the picture quality would not match the footage I was now recording for “Milestone in Matlock”. I re-filmed exactly the same scenes for the title sequence bar one or two minor subtle differences, so by April 2008 all the shooting for the new “Solitary Rambler” film including the re-filmed title sequence was complete. Unfortunately it took me another five years to get round to finishing the bloody film altogether!

My computer was becoming out-of-date because of the way technology was advancing so quickly and it couldn’t cope with the video footage I had recorded from the HDD camcorder. The video file sizes were so large the memory on my computer was not sufficient to process it. Therefore, I knew I had to upgrade my computer, but I had to save up to do so, hence the reason it took me another four to five years before I could work on the post-production.

I bought my new computer in 2012 so during that year and early 2013 I worked on composing and recording all the music for “Milestone in Matlock”. I recorded sections of my 2003 version of “Song of the Peaks” for this latest film and also recorded a short piece of a newer version of “A Romp Through the Peak District” for one of the scenes in Matlock. Other themes were composed, but the music was primary based on the newer version of “Song of the Peaks”.

This was a project I wondered if I was ever going to finish, but by February 2013 “Milestone in Matlock” was at last completed! 
Next: Meanderings of Manifold
Previous: Preamble in Peak
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