Added on Wednesday 31 Oct 2007
The other night when I was working on a programme edit I heard a little squeaking and a bit of commotion at the door behind me. After a few minutes I got up and opened the door and was greeted by the apparition of Bon-Bon, our middle cat-I think!, with a small white fluffy thing in her mouth and she came in and immediately shot upstairs. As I was in the middle of an edit a the time and as I hadn't had the time to really get a proper look I made the assumption that Bon-Bon had brought in a little bit of local wildlife, so I continued to edit for the next half hour. Eventually I went upstairs to our living room to investigate what was going on..imagine my surprise when I discovered that she had brought in a tiny little white kitten, this one was about 7 - 10 days old and was suckling away at her mother.
I then realised that she had been away for about a week or so only coming in to feed about once a day, as this is quite normal for all our cats, we very rarely have all the animals in the house at the same time, thankfully! Because of their itinerant behaviour it is difficult to maintain the supply of their fortnightly contraceptive pills and this was one case where we had obviously missed out on Bon-Bon a few months ago! Where she had given birth is still a mystery to us but going on her previous history it was up in the space in the roof of our neighbours' house and why she only had one this time, the last time it was two, is also strange.
However the newcomer, now called Bergerac because of the association with the white wine locally, has become part of the family making a grand total of 8 cats (I think) as part of The Salignac Foundation!
As I mentioned last month the editing of the fete video has begun, and continuing, mostly because the organizers have changed their minds about what should be in, or out for that matter! To those that don't understand video editing one usually starts off with a very 'loose' cut in order to let the client see what you have shot and then one starts to refine, and reduce, the material that you have, however, the client came to see the first draft and said in principle all was well BUT could I remove certain parts and INCLUDE other things which I hadn't shot. Not easy after the event!
The other problem was the length was too long...no problem to me as I always leave it too long on the first cut and expected it to be brought down anyway. However, I had started off with a 47 minute original cut and he wanted a video of 20 minutes BUT with added material of about 3 or 4 minutes plus an amended soundtrack! So, having shot the additional material since, I am now into editing down to the second edition which I know will change the next time he sees it even though the timing will be about right. I know that this will change again for about the third or fourth revision. Who said film making is easy?
Most people do not realise that the editing and post-production process is the part that takes the time, after all you shoot what you can of a one off event but putting it all together afterwards can take a long time especially if you have other people involved who want different bits either in or out. It is no wonder that in my life I have concentrated on making documentaries on my own. In the end it is me who decides. It is hardly a wonder that I take time away from the screen to talk to the cats. I cannot reason why I decided to take this way in my life. It maybe something to do with the fact that I love it, with all the frustrations and pitfalls that happen along the way and maybe that it has to do with the fact that I have created something that no one else has done!
Once again we are in a situation of playing the waiting game. A couple of months ago we decided to let out our cave at the back of our house to a friend. It is a large empty space that needs a little bit of work and we decided that the work would be done by him with no rent charged by us for the first month or so until the work was paid for. Nothing too serious on his part only a new pane of glass and some work on the floor to give him a pied de terre and complete separation from our house. As he is working and his boss is willing to supply his materials we thought that this would be an ideal solution for us all. This was all agreed a month or so ago and we expected it all to start at the beginning of the month. Apart from a cement mixer turning up at the back on the first weekend nothing has happened since.
Now we are used to French tradesmen not appearing when they should but when they do they generally get on with it in double quick time. Having said that we are still waiting for various things to be done so it should be no surprise to us all, the car is still in the garage, the plumbing upstairs needs done, the ceiling above my head needs some attention etc., etc. We have always made a joke about when someone says next week, we ask which month or in some cases which year?
Rural France? I love it!
(c) Barry Paton. October 2007.