STILL – IT’S BETTER THAN WORKING
1972 Bristol, UK. Ever filmed processed food? It’s a stomach turning experience.
We are in a sausage roll and faggot factory in Kingsland near Bristol, UK, making a series of short films for a Kraft Foods convention in Belgium.
THE OFFAL TRUTH It’s clean, hygienic – we’re in hospital scrubs wearing blue hairnets. It’s not the manufacturer’s fault that we’re both feeling queasy.
Faggots began as a traditional peasant’s dish from England’s West Country. They consisted of pork offal: all the leftover bits and pieces of pig combined into balls with onions, milk-soaked breadcrumbs and herbs and wrapped in a sheep’s caul from unborn lamb fetus.
Modern faggots skip the fetus bit but it’s just as scary. There are small mountains of white lard on the floor. Nearby, tubs of ingredients like pork liver, soggy bread crumbs, ready to be poured into the machine – which is going glubber, glubber, glug – out go the faggots onto a conveyor belt.
Try to make this look attractive – it just isn’t possible – glub, glub, glub.
The factory manager is pleased that we’re here and keeps leading us to undiscovered treasures – like the thick West Country Sauce – squirt, squirt, squirt.
Hurray, we’ve finished the shoot. The manager takes us into his office and gives us a presentation pack of 24 Faggots – four in each box; yes, friends we have 96 frozen faggots to take home.
“Hey guys, surprise: faggots tonight!” Still, it’s BTW – Better Than Working.
2008 Boston MA.
LITTLE CLINIC OF HORRORS We are in a small, private clinic. It’s cramped and noisy – very noisy. People pushing past each other, telephones ringing, nurses and lab technicians clinking glass beakers. In short, a terrible place for an interview.
I find a nearby conference room. “Is this room free?” “Sure go ahead and use it.” While Tricia and Harry move the conference table and take out the chairs, I’m back in the lab. shooting five minute locked off shots that could be useful as backgrounds for the interview. Great, I’ve captured all the un-staged hustle and bustle of a busy clinic. Will look terrific behind the interview.
Tricia sets up the green screen in the conference room – I do the lighting and lineup the camera.
We’re ready but where’s our victim, the head of the clinic? Funny, we were told to be here and set up by 10:00.
Midday comes and goes. What’s happening, we flew here yesterday from San Francisco? Our next interview is in Florida tomorrow morning. We got a plane to catch. He’s not answering his cell. Where is he?
Waiting, waiting; we miss lunch. Finally, our star arrives, takes one look at our green screen setup and says, “I’m not doing it here.” Harry tries to explain how the lab is too cramped and noisy and besides, we’d be in the way with our camera and lights.
“Follow me,” we are all marched back into the lab.. “That’s my corner. That’s my chair. And that’s where I want the interview.” Ugh! It’s slap bang against the wall. “I’ll just get my lights…” “No lights – I want it to look real, this isn’t Hollywood.”
FEED ME SEYMOUR
Worse – we’re running so late that we’re going to miss the plane to Gainesville. Mad taxi dash to the airport. We just make it – no time for lunch and no food on the plane, well not counting peanuts. Charlotte, we land and have to change terminals. We get to the Gainesville gate and they’re boarding.
The second plane is tiny. We are in the first row. It’s bumpy. The flight attendant says that they won’t even be serving drinks. “Go on, give us a peanut.”
We arrive around midnight. Ask the cab driver for food recommendation. Burger King is the only choice. Tricia shouts into the drive in window, “Three Whoppers, please.”
We get the hotel at 12:30 a.m. Give Harry his Whopper. Hey, where are our two? Only one. What happened?
Once again – BTW, Better Than Working.