The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed 22nd March 2015
Post-production completed 31st March 2015
Running time 19 minutes
Already three months into 2015 I finally get out for a decent tour. Today’s trip takes me around some of the gritstone area of the  Peak District , known as the Dark Peak.....
Filmed in the  Peak District  in the county of  Derbyshire . Locations include  Bamford Ladybower  and  Derwent Reservoirs Snake Pass Glossop  and  Longdendale .
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Background and production details
2014 had been a very good year for me with regards to my filmmaking. The new short films had clearly been very successful for various reasons. The 20 minute format was easier to watch for most people and I was starting to get more views on YouTube. From my own point of view I had managed to make more films and get to a wider selection of locations. By the end of the year I had made 16 new short films, which is only one less than the total amount of longer films I had made over the previous 20 years! So even before the end of 2014 I was already planning to get out more and continue making further short films in the New Year.

My first film of 2015 would be in the  Peak District  again and I wanted it to feature the  Derwent Reservoirs Snake Pass Glossop  and  Longdendale . I had hoped to get out in January whilst I still had a few days off after Christmas, but the weather was too cold and wet. There was less daylight, of course, at this time of year, so I decided to hold off for a couple of months or so.

On Sunday 22nd March I finally went out to make this film. The days were staying lighter for longer by this time and this particular day was forecast to be dry with sunny spells. I arrived in Bamford just before 9.00am that morning to start the day’s shooting. It was fairly cloudy, but at least it was dry and mild. I spent quite some time filming scenes in the village before moving on to  Ladybower Reservoir . The day was becoming brighter by this time and despite still being before 10.00am the area was very busy with traffic. I managed to find one roadside parking space on the A6013 beside the reservoir opposite the fishery. I decided it would be easier to leave the car there and walk to all the locations around here as I knew it would get more difficult to find parking as the day progressed.

I walked back towards  Bamford  to take a few shots of the  Yorkshire Bridge Inn  before shooting around Ladybower Dam. Walking back towards my car I captured various shots of the reservoir and surrounding hills and then carried on to film the exterior of the  Ladybower Inn . Following the A57 westbound I filmed some shots on the Ladybower viaduct before turning off to follow Upper Derwent Lane towards Fairholmes visitor centre. I took a few shots of the reservoir here before retracing my steps to the car. My plan was then to drive up Upper Derwent Lane and park near the visitor centre, but it was really busy with other traffic at this point. There was a queue of vehicles waiting to get into Fairholmes, so I decided to get on with the rest of my filming and return to this location later when it would, hopefully, be less chaotic.

My next task was to film along Snake Pass. Now I knew this would be quite tricky as there are few places along this stretch of the A57 to park, so I pulled off where I could to take a few decent shots of the area through which the Snake passes. This included a quick stop for a drink at the  Snake Pass Inn , but this was so that I could use park their car park to shoot more footage! Moving further on up the Pass I managed to get some stunning shots where the road rises over bleaker moorland as it ascends towards the summit. At the top the  Pennine Way  crosses Snake, so I just filmed a couple of shots here before beginning my descent the other side.

I found that my day of filming was taking considerable longer than I thought, so I had to rethink how I was going to spend the rest of the day. My next stop was Glossop, but by this time it was past lunchtime, so I stopped for a quick break before continuing. I walked around the town shooting a great deal of footage. I wanted to film around  Old Glossop Hadfield  and  Padfield , but due to time I decided to skip those locations completely and I realised I had more than enough footage from the locations I had already filmed today.

The last stop for the day would be Longdendale. I parked briefly at Torside car park to take a couple of shots of  Torside Reservoir  near Glossop Sailing Club before finishing at  Crowden  car park where I filmed the final shots just off  Woodhead Pass  near the site of the old Crowden Youth Hostel. Despite these being the last shots I needed to go back to Fairholmes to shoot one or two scenes at  Derwent Dam , which I didn’t do earlier because of the queuing traffic on Upper Derwent Lane. It was a great time to return actually as it was a lot quieter and easy to park. I completed the day’s filming after the few shots at the dam.

I had written a song back in 2003 entitled “Open Up Your Mind”, which I had composed after I had been on a visit to Glossop and Crowden around that time. With this in mind I just had to get this song into my film “Gritstone of Glossop” during editing. Although the song’s lyrics had nothing to do with these locations I still associate the music with them. I decided not to explain this in my film, as I had previously done similarly in “ Wonders of Wharfedale ”, so I just enjoyed recording various pieces of this song, both with vocals and instrumental, to insert into “Gritstone of Glossop”. There was just one different theme created, which was for the sequence along Snake Pass in order to make it more dramatic.

I also opted to make a shorter main title sequence starting with this film. I made 16 short films in 2014 and I continued to use the main title sequence for each of them. However, now with the shorter films I wanted to cut down the title sequence, so I just used a small number of scenes taken from previous films and recorded a newer, slower and shorter version of the main theme from “The Solitary Rambler”. I think this works a lot better with the short films.
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