The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

The Devil's School of Motoring

The 2nd video in our series to promote The Odd Sock Exchange by my friend, the poet David Mark Williams, required a change of venue and shooting style.

Mark (as he's known to his friends) only learned to drive a few years ago, and with the memories still fresh in his mind he decided to explore what it would be like if Satan himself was a driving instructor.

During the discussions on how we might approach filming it, we decided sitting in the car, as though the poor learner had just pulled over, would be the best approach.

My car isn't that big, so it required my wide-angle lens on the camera and squeezing myself as far back against the window as I could possibly get.

We also decided to film it in two slightly different ways - one where he's leaning back against the door, and the other where he's leaning forward to the point where you really feel your personal space is being invaded.

At this point I wasn't sure which we would use.

However when it came to editing it occured to me we could use both, with almost random perspective changes adding to a sense of disconcerting unease.

Hope you enjoy the video. Below you'll find Mark's comments about his experience.

Shooting The Devil’s School of Motoring

This is where we upped our game by leaving the studio and going on location. It required all of a one minute car journey to the busier end of King Street, Castle Douglas. Completely at random we ended up parked opposite a betting office, within earshot of the clock tower, the chimes of which worked fortuitously for parts of the poem.

For this one, I had to stay in character for the first time. It also required me to dress up. Solace of Cupboards had been only head and shoulders. I wore a grey suit, figuring that Lucifer would dress smartly. The dark glasses were essential as they were referenced in the poem. Kim fortunately noticed that my shades were dusty. Horror! A quick call to makeup and the problem was sorted.

Performing the poem required me to act a lot more and give it large, as they say, but I managed that fine. What was difficult for me was memorising the poem because it doesn’t have an obvious "narrative" but is a more a collection of off the cuff remarks by the driving instructor to his benighted pupil. I spent a lot more time learning the poem beforehand. However, when we came to do the shoot I didn’t forget my lines as much as I thought I would. I remember coming away from the shoot feeling exhilarated and thinking: this is fun.
David Mark Williams

On Saturday 21st November Mark is having a book launch at the Gordon Memorial Hall in Castle Douglas. Do come along if you can.

Meanwhile, tune in on Tuesday when The Paranoia of Flowers has Mark looking a little yellow...


hope said...

Ah, the thrill of Poet and the Devil on Friday the 13th. :) And yes, I did grin at the line, "You drive like a poet". Mark did a perfect take on a devilish grin without looking silly or evil. And you captured it just as perfectly. (Loved the bell chimes!)

Well done gentlemen! Can't wait for the next segment.

Anonymous said...

Another great take and it was fascinating to read the photographer's thoughts on filming and the poets thoughts on being filmed. I loved the crash at the end.

Allen Capoferri said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the poem and the visuals. Well done, Kim and Mark!

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - Thank you - glad you're enjoying them! :)

Anon - thank you! Would you be so kind as to leave a name next time you comment? It always feels better communicating with someone who isn't completely anonymous :)

Allen - many thanks :)

savannah said...

i'm a bit remiss, but what a great vid and commentary to back to, sweetpea! mark was spot on re his take on a "smartly dressed" devil! great editing for emphasis and effect on the viewer. perfect ending with the look and then, the crash! xoxo

Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - so glad you found us in the end, and glad you enjoyed it :)

Pat said...

Everything seemed to conspire to make this a polished piece of filming.
So glad I didn't see this in my early driving days. Roundabouts were my nemesis too.
Diligence with lines equals professionalism.

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - I was fortunate to have a very patient driving instructor. I often wonder if driving instructors have a shortened life span brought on by stress...

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

When the devil is your driving instructor, he will lead you to the most dreadful places.

That's what I gather from this.

It made me a tad I guess it's supposed to.

Kim Ayres said...

Guyana Gyal - it was filmed with the idea of making people feel a little uneasy - very in-your-face with randomly timed perspective shifts. :)

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