In the Frame has been a hugely challenging project for me, I’m a short term goals man and I find it hard to stay focussed over long periods of time. When Joe wheeled himself up to me on the Lakeside in Bowness on Windermere 18 months ago I had no idea what I was getting myself in to.
I had seen Joe around the Lakes but never spoken to him. Two blond, bearded, identical twin brothers are hard to miss! However I hadn’t seen him in a wheelchair with a large mechano style puzzle holding his leg together so I was intrigued to know his story. He told me he felt self conscious in a wheelchair and proceeded to recount his tale. After telling me about his accident he asked if I wanted to make a film, this was new to me, usually it was me pestering people. And so it began!
Two weeks ago we summited Ben Nevis by the tourist path from the valley, there were a bunch of us there to support Joe, and two very excitable dogs. We had planned to climb Tower Ridge now that Joe was in much better form but the weather had other ideas as is so often the case around here, so we opted for the long walk. We knew the way down would be pretty punishing for Joe as that is when he feels more pain, so we carried Joe’s bike half way up so he could at least ride some of the descent and take the weight off his legs. We reached the top in heavy cloud with 100 other tourists passing by, it was an atmospheric scene as the wind whipped the cloud up and over the summit plateau. Tower Ridge was nowhere to be seen and we applauded our decision to avoid the climb. We shared a nip of whisky on the summit cairn and a quick hug. There was no song and dance, no deep emotional speeches, just relief and an appreciation of our surroundings.
So In the Frame is in it’s final stage, a stage where everyone can relax…..apart from me as I have to edit the flipping thing. I now sit in that funny place where I know I have some great material but I have nothing to show for it yet. It can be a lonely place because there is a lot of work still to do and I’m the only one who can do it. I really feel that with all it’s twists and turns this will be a much better film than it would have had it all gone to plan. We have all had time to ruminate, plan more thoroughly, relax and reflect on the project and Joe has had time to heal and grow. I hope all that comes across in the final ‘product’. I hate that word.
Once again I must thank everyone who has supported this project either with kind words, bike riding, cake making, financial donations, emotional and physical support. We’ll see you all at KMF!