On 20th September, we (My brother (Geoff) and I, my girlfriend (Caroline) and Pete, Dee, Shannon and Deanna did some filming for BFBS Television (British Forces Broadcasting Service).
BFBS is part of the UK Forces charity the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC), providing TV, Radio, Cinemas, SSVC audio-visual shops and CSE live entertainment to British troops throughout the world. BFBS TV and Radio are considered one of the most important arms of the MoD’s welfare services for its soldiers, sailors, airmen and women and their dependants serving abroad. They broadcast to a number of countries. (not the UK though) and show a cross-section of the best programmes from both terrestrial and satellite channels in the UK, interspersed with their own in-house productions.
BFBS is hoping to launch its third channel called BFBS3 which will be a Documentary channel. It will cover everything from serious documentaries to light factual entertainment. The idents will consist of 15 to 30 second video assisting viewers to identify the channel they are watching. The basic idea revolves around filming subject matter as a discovery ultimately finishing with three of something in a shot.
That is where we came in. On the day we arrived with four Reliant 3-wheelers, a 1949 Reliant 8 cwt van (Old Red), a 1961 Reliant Regal Mk VI 5 cwt van (Lucie), a 1981 Reliant Rialto (Bwdy) and a 1990 Reliant Robin LX (New Blue).
The day consisted of us driving up and down country roads being filmed from various angles and usually always three cars at a time. At the start of the day this prooved to be a nightmare as another car would always appear and spoil the shot so in the end, we got someone at each end of the road and asked if they would mind waiting for just a few sections whilst the shot was done. It was then “in the can” very quickly.
At one point Lucie had a camera mounted to her side window. I was a bit concerned it might fall off though it had clamps galore holding it in place. They wanted to use Lucie for this type of shot as she had such a shapely front end. I was then told to go on a 15 minute drive with the camera rolling, this was filming Lucie’s bonnet and part of the road in front.
Lucie isn’t fast up hills, infact she positvely hates them only managing to muster about 20mph up them so in one shot, whilst the camera was attached to the side, Pete (driving New Blue) and I had to go down the road overtaking each other. Going in down hill that was fine though coming back up it was a case of just filming New Blue’s bumper.
We did a lot of driving throughout the day as we were driving around looking for film locations in both Dudley and Wombourne with a lot of the footage being filmed near the old railway bridge in Himley Lane in Dudley. As a result the cars all had a good workout as being such a glorious day, the temperature was quite warm and the Reliants were getting a bit hot and wouldn’t tick over properly. As soon as you’d slow down they would stall so it was a case of pressing the brake and trying to keep the revs.
After lunch at the Crooked House pub in Dudley, it was back over to Wombourne where the camera man also sat inside Lucie for some interior shots. As the camera was so large I don’t think he was expecting the ride to be so bumpy. Things were not help with an exceptionally bumpy country road. I imagine the film footage must be shaking all over the place. It was then back over to Himley Lane for some final footage before it was announced that “it’s a wrap”. We then trundled back across to the Black Country Living Museum where we had met up and where Old Red lives. As I now have a tow bar and borrowing Pete’s towing dolly, Lucie was loading up and taken back to Tamworth.
It was an enjoyable day that involved a lot more driving that I had anticipated, this was shown at one point when I ran out of fuel though the BFBS folks drove off and brought me back a can. It turns out that whilst Lucie can reach 55mph on the straight, up hills everyone flew passed her, even Old Red who is 22 years older.