Monday, August 18, 2008

TV takes over your life

OK, so I'm back in Manc and back to my home broadband. But can I write? Can I heck. There's a TV crew setting up scaffolding in the back garden! This area we live in, Didsbury, is always being used for TV drama locations - for years a house in our street was one of the locations for Cold Feet. A few years back John and I were stupid enough to agree to our house being used for a one-off film. Never again. We had just decorated the hall, landing and stairs with great effort: as I've said before, the house needed a lot doing to it when we moved in, including major repairs - and still does, I'm afraid. The hall, landing and stairs was indeed the only part we had sorted out then, and by the time the TV crew left after two days' filming there were knocks in all the new paintwork, and chatting to star Robert Lyndsey on the landing, nice as he turned out to be, did NOT, NOT make up for the experience!

So when the Beeb's location manager came round the other week looking for something for a new drama series we said N.O. And anyway, it turned out the director had different ideas about the kind of home Sarah Lancashire's single-parent ex-university-wife character would be living in, and went for our next-door-neighbour's much smarter house instead. So we thought we'd escaped. Phew.

But then of course it turns out they need to put lights up in our garden to shine into next door's kitchen. And then there's the little matter of the character's scruffier neighbour who needs to be filmed walking down our suitably overgrown garden. And then there are our window frames which, while not exactly pristine, are too un-scruffy even for that character and need to be painted to look shabbier. And while they're at it, can they put some blinds up in our windows? And I come downstairs to make a cup of tea and there's a crew member moving everything off the windowsills ready....

I can think of one way to salvage the situation. I'll get a story out of it if it kills me.

Edited in later:

I was thinking what a contrast, this media-soaked place, to the one I've just left, cut off from everything in the hills, and then I remembered: one summer there was filming there, as well! They used the outside of the house and its little field for a short Welsh-language film, an adaptation of a short story, Mynedd Grug (Heather Mountain), by the Welsh writer Kate Roberts, who was born in nearby Rhosgadfan.

And you can go into the pub in Tremadoch and quite often there'll be a film crew or a reccy party relaxing at the end of the day... How long before even our countryside becomes, like the real New York, veiled by the one planted in our minds by film?

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