Saturday, 25 August 2012

Edinburgh festival

It's the end of the 3 weeks of chaos for the capital city of Edinburgh, as the international festival draws to a close. Every August the city plays host to three vibrant collections of events; the official Edinburgh International Festival, which includes large scale spectacular shows such as the world famous military tattoo; the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, started in 1947 and now the largest of all the festivals; the Edinburgh book festival, a literary gathering of all that's going on in the world of book.

This year because of my looming deadline for completion of my feature film I wasn't able to attend as many events as I would have liked. The three I did mange to see were all very entertaining.

The first was a BBC event, and interview with John Lloyd, co-writer to the Blackadder TV series and most recently creator of a great quiz show called QI hosted by Stephen Fry.

The second was a book festival event with Kate Rawles and Donovan Hohn. Donovan had written a book called Moby Duck, all about an event that happened in 1992 when a container full of plastic bath toys such as ducks and frogs, fell off a ship in the Pacific Ocean. He had spent several years tracking down where they had washed up and his talk was full of very amusing anecdotes of those travels.

Kate had written a book called The Carbon Cycle, about a cycle trip she had made in 2006 from the border of Mexico all the way to Alaska across the Rockies. Her stories of the physical hardship and the friendships she encountered along the way in the United States struck a familiar chord with me. Her journey as not just a cycle but was also a study into the attitudes of the people she met to climate change.

My final event was a talk by Doug Allan. If you haven't heard of him then you most likely have seen some of his work. He is without doubt the foremost cameraman of wildlife, most especially in the frozen poles. Marine wildlife events that have only ever been captured once were all filmed by Doug. A fellow Scot he had entertaining stories. One was during a precarious situation when he awoke one morning in his tent to discover the ice he was pitched on had broken free and he and his team were floating 9 miles out to sea! One of his team was Sue Flood, and in a moment of inspiration he got down on one knee and proposed to her. That's one event they're never likely to forget. His book was for sale that evening called Freeze Frame, full of astounding photographs but also the stories behind them. Look him up on

But back to my own film making now as I strap myself in at the edit suite for the final push to completion. Two days ago Pauline and I spent hours back in the recording studio to put together the final voice-over track, the final piece that makes the film a whole.


Alex Bilodeau said...

Graham, I was in Edinburgh for a couple weeks and just got back this past Monday. I'm kicking myself now for not thinking about checking in on you, it would have been great to catch up after all these years. Edinburgh was fantastic!

-Alex Bilodeau
(the assistant for Mimi Edmunds' class, back in the day)

Graham Kitchener said...

Alex!!! If only I'd known. I would loved to have caught up with you. How can we get in touch?