Sunday morning in the interests of friendship I find myself waist deep in the atlantic ocean. Waking I felt a growing sense of trepidation. My friend Paul who is premiering his new play “Death by Powerpoint” wanted some help shooting a few minutes of video for the show. He had already persuaded David Knowles to walk into the sea in his clothes and I was recruited to do some filming and to act as stunt man for the scene in which a laptop emerges Excaliber like from the waves. Looking out the window the sky is an uninviting grey and I put my wet suit on and stuff several jumpers and towels into my bag. There seems to be a fair chance that I will freeze my monkeys off.
I arrive at the beach and David and Paul are huddled up behind a groin, safe from the wind. I am disappointed that there is no catering truck, no best boy, no gaffa and no keen young production assistants ready with cups of tea and warm towels. Instead Paul operates two video cameras simultaniously shouting out directorial instructions while David acts and I operate a back up camera.
We get some good shots of David throwing his phone into the sea, David walking into the sea, laptop floating on the surf as if washed up bottle like. I am shooting David from my vantage in the water. David splashing around in the sea looking for the laptop, picking up the laptop, opening it up, walking back to land. We have several more shots to get involving the laptop and I stop the camera but Paul is carried away in the directorial role, enthusiastically shouting out instructions above the roar of the waves. “That’s right Dave, now your frustrated, you shake the laptop, you raise it over your head and …” I begin a slow motion “Noooooooooo” waving frantically for Paul to stop but it is too late “ .. and you throw it into the ocean.” The laptop goes sailing through the air but my camera is not running and I miss it. I try and mark where the laptop falls but the surf has no permanent features and the laptop sinks without trace. I walk up and down and around for 10 minutes but it fails to materialise. Oops..