The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed 28th June 2014
Post-production completed 10th September 2014
Running time 20 minutes
I return to my home county of  Gloucestershire  for a family gathering. Whilst I'm in the area I tour around part of the county that I'm not too familiar with. Join me as I visit a few of the picturesque towns and villages of the  Cotswolds . I also begin to tell a personal family story.....
Filmed in the county of  Gloucestershire . Locations include  Bourton-on-the-Water Lower Slaughter Upper Slaughter Stow-on-the-Wold  and  Chipping Campden . This is the first film in the  Cotswolds .
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Background and production details
I had been invited to my brother’s wedding party, which was to be held in a Spanish restaurant in Cheltenham at the end of June 2014. I would be staying in a hotel after my brother’s party for a couple of nights, so I decided I could go out the following day or two and make a film whilst I was in the area. Cheltenham is very close to the  Cotswolds , a place I never thought I would ever shoot a “Solitary Rambler” film, but now that making short films has given me greater flexibility to visit a wider variety of places I chose to spend a day in the Cotswolds making my latest video.

I had told much of the story of my Dad in “ Sentiments of Severnside ”, but I felt I wanted to go into greater depth to talk about how upset and angry the whole situation made me feel. As I would be in  Gloucestershire  for the wedding do it seemed a good trigger from which to tell my story.

A recent lesson I learnt since making short films is that I don’t want any story I’m telling to undermine the locations where my film is taking place. From that experience I knew I had to be more careful about how I put my stories across, but I was also aware that there was a lot I wanted to talk about with regards to my Dad. Therefore, I decided to spread my story across three films so that I could talk a little of my Dad, but also be able to talk about where I would be travelling as well. So the first part of my Dad’s story would be in my new film in the Cotswolds and would be continued in the following two films. However, each film would still be an individual film in its own right.

I had been drinking a very large amount of Sangria at my brother’s wedding party on the night of Thursday 26th June, so the following day I was feeling rather hungover! This caused me to change my plans considerably as although I went out for some fresh air I certainly didn’t feel like filming, so I ended up going back to my hotel for an early night! Luckily I had booked two nights, so I knew I could still go out the next day.

On the morning of Saturday 28th June 2014 I had fully recovered and was up early to start my day of filming! It was raining and I knew the forecast for the day was going to be sunshine and showers, so I would just have to do the best I could. I drove to  Bourton-on-the-Water  first and it was absolutely chucking it down all the time I was there. Despite this, and with the aid of an umbrella, I was not deterred and still managed to get some good shots.

The rain stopped for a while when I moved on to  Lower Slaughter  and then kept returning in  Upper Slaughter , but it was nothing as bad as how it had been in Bourton-on-the-Water. I took some lovely shots of these two villages, neither of which I had ever visited before, so this was a first in that I shot part of a “Solitary Rambler” film in a completely new location I have never previously been to.

The sun came out when I went on up to  Stow-on-the-Wold . It was very busy with other visitors and tourists, not surprising really as it was a Saturday and the sun was blazing by this time making it very pleasant. The heavens opened again when I got to my final location of the day,  Chipping Campden . Thankfully the town is blessed with an old market hall, in which I could take shelter and still take shots with my camcorder! It became sunny again anyway, so my filming in Chipping Campden didn’t end up being a complete wash out.

Although I had never recorded a tune for the Cotswolds there were a few chords that I had sung in my mind many years earlier during one of my very first visits to the area. I could still remember these chords, so they would become the theme for my film in the Cotswolds, “Sanctum of the Slaughters”.
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