I spent this Sunday morning freezing cold and being threatened with arrest, and no it wasn’t another early morning kick-off down the Blues. I was being filmed for 21 Stories – the film about the Rotunda being made by Nic Gaunt – holding a placard (you can see it above) while all around me people got on with their Christmas shopping.
I wasn’t called upon to act as such (which is a good job, my thespian skills are a little broad to say the least), but to walk up and down New St and stand still so Nic could film some slow shutter-speed stuff. It was, what we call in the trade, a long shot – which meant that I was standing about 100m or more from the camera. This meant I spent a lot of the time fending off comments from passers-by “who said it was” “it is” or more bizarrely “they are”. It also meant that every time (three in the space of half an hour) one of our boys-in-luminous-yellow trotted up to me I had to explain: that it was a film, that the camera was down the road a bit, that we had permission from Film Birmingham, and that they’d just spoilt the shot. Eventually I was told “you’d better move on, you can be arrested, that sign is mildly offensive “.
‘Mildly offensive’? I hope you know BiNS and my good self well enough to realise that being mildly anything isn’t in my nature. ‘Mildly offensive’? How can a positive statement, almost prudishly self-censored, be even mildly offensive? I’m also at a loss as to exactly which law I would have been breaking.
Apart from that it was a lot of fun, and we had a good chat and a pint (in the Bull Ring Tavern) afterwards. I’m really looking forward to seeing the results – and those of when I did my “talking head” bit the other week – but more importantly the whole project – go check out some of the pictures and thoughts on the site and even contribute your own story.