So Sunday Toni told me that she really wasn’t comfortable with filming, so I was like D: trying to come up with a back up plan on the spot!
I had counted on her camera to be my second camera (and consequently didn’t hire one from uni), but gladly she said I could still borrow it…
At such short notice, the only person who could help me was my ex/flatmate, who gladly drove to Toni’s to pick her camera up (and drop it off later)!
He was a life saver, despite the incredible grumpiness, as he REALLY didn’t want to do it.
Much appreciated regardless!
So I decided to try a different location this time… We went to the Northern Quarter, as I thought it would be a better place to leave both the sketchbook and the watercolours behind, as it was more likely to fall in the hands of someone artistic.
We checked out that area in front of Fred Aldous/Incognito, but 1) it was really hard to find two locations where we could film from that wasn’t literally on the stranger’s face and 2) the area was really quiet, apart from a few dodgy people who went by…
So we moved on to a place in between Afflecks Palace and the Arndale, where I recalled there was a car park I had been to before to photograph a giant graffiti piece… I thought: It would be awesome to have one of us filming from above, both for the angle variety and because it wouldn’t be as visible!
So I asked Steve to stay at a specific place up there (with the 5D Mark II and the 70-300 lens) and I decided to stay on the street, ready to move about with the 550D, which had the 24-105mm lens on.
In the end neither of us used the tripod, which to be fair was probably best.
By the way, before setting off on Sunday, I revisited some of the packaging, based on my experience the previous day.
I ended up finding some coloured paper back from the college days and used it to wrap around my previous package. Also found a different ribbon and used it to make a nice bow.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE! That’s what I call an upgrade!! So much more appealing!!
So I started off by putting the package above (cotton candy) on this squared structure that surrounded some plants.
I crossed the street and stood at this bus stop ready for some action.
To me it really stood out, but so many people were going by without noticing it!
It was raining and a couple of times the wind knocked it over… I put it back up, and noticed the letter was starting to get smudged and the paper getting rain dots all over (and the red coming off on my hands) :S Eventually I just swapped it for another present (sweets, I believe!), which was on the brown paper again (as it should resist the rain a little more).
You won’t believe what happened!!
The SAME tall guy who picked up my Anastasia DVD the day before (and I lost track of) appeared and collected this other present again!!
I couldn’t believe my eyes! He was even dressed exactly like the day before! lol
Once again, he annoyingly didn’t open the present and, after reading the letter and looking around suspiciously (he totally saw me), he crossed, stood at the bus stop for a bit and then disappeared out towards Afflecks again.
There was no way of me filming him discreetly from such a short distance, so yeah, it was pretty obvious.
We moved again…
This time we went to the tram stop at Market Street.
Turned out to be a pretty good location! It was busy, people came and went but were there waiting for a while first.
So I developed a little routine: I’d stand at the tram stop as if waiting for a tram waiting for the seat to become available. When the tram came and people left, I’d sit down and discreetly leave the present next to me and walk off…
Steve was already in place (well, not the first time around, but after that) to capture it in case it happened before I got to my place (also in front of Primark).
He was better hidden, on the corner of a door, whilst I was just in front of the window.
As you’ll eventually see on the video, it generally worked. A couple of ladies got sweets, one lady kept the letter and rejected Toni’s painted pebbles hehehe oops! and, guess who I saw approaching again? ¬¬ Yes, that same tall guy who had already collected 2 gifts!!
I deliberately said out loud (speaking to Steve but to him mostly) “Oh no, a third time NO!!” hehehe
I was ready to grab the present back if he decided to be that cheeky again! Come on!!
It’s funny, though, because before I felt like I was somewhat stalking people with this “hidden” camera, but he made me feel like we swapped places and I had been stalked instead! No doubt now that he could recognise me he must have been observing me to see where to go collect his next freebie ¬¬
Anyway, he got the message and went away…
At one point I decided to innovate a little and leave a present inside the compartment where you collect your ticket/change at the machine.
A young boy picked it up, which was good 🙂
Let me just point out this process was quite time consuming, as sometimes I had to wait like 7 minutes or longer for the tram to arrive so I could leave the gifts behind, plus the time it took people to acknowledge/grab it.
Eventually it started to go dark again (I had changed places for a while and was actually stood at the tram stop the whole time now, filming from behind).
When I decided to give that same red package another go (the cotton candy), it almost backfired for being more eye-catching – people were a lot more suspicious about it.
Nobody would pick it up yet again!!
After waiting around for ages, I noticed people chatting to each other at the stop about it, a girl taking a picture on her phone and somebody saying the word “Police”.
At that point I approached them to ask and this lady said she had just reported the “suspicious package” to the Police! ¬¬
People really made a big deal about it!!
I grabbed it and said I was an arts student doing a project, blah blah blah, that it was actually mine and that it was cotton candy.
A boy dared me to open it but I refused on the grounds that I knew what was in it, as I had wrapped it myself (and to be honest, didn’t want to ruin the wrapping)!
Once again it was going dark, Steve was impatient and grumpy and well, the police were on their way (as well as an expected storm!), so I called it a day!
I have to say in even just a day I was quite pleased with the progression – for a start I actually had two people properly filming it, I felt much more comfortable being able to move around and consequently started to get more creative with my footage!
The whole filming process required a lot of patience and took much longer than I had anticipated! But it’s been fun to try to learn it and do something different! 🙂
Ps.: Unfortunately nobody tweeted a picture of them with their presents like I asked to 😦
Ps.2: The police, however, tweeted about my suspicious parcel! LOL
Rubbish? Excuse you!! ;P (Maybe another box, which was empty, was found there instead? Some actual rubbish that had nothing to do with it? hehe)
And gosh, spell check anyone?