The Devil’s Beef Tub


Isn’t that the best name for a natural feature – The Devil’s Beef Tub! Though I keep accidentally saying ‘Devil’s Bath Tub’ which sort of sounds quite comforting. Anyway, spent yesterday on the shoot of Short 1, up in the amazing hills of Dumfries & Galloway at the aforementioned Tub. High, green, marshy and glorious – I was up there for 9 hours straight and did I remember suncream? Did I heck – I’m a film-maker – I’m hardy. Ooops. Have a face like a skelped tomato this morning – own fault!

Got a bit lost heading down – somehow ended spending a lot of stressful time in Bonnyrigg – but made it in the end. The ‘Tub’ is a natural feature and stunning, see pic above (own pics to follow). The drive down was pretty glorious too on the A701 (I think) – I can recommend it at the moment, all rolling green and gold with feather pink willow-herb all over the place. And it was sunny (BURN), without a spot of rain.

ANYWAY, (saw a swan and a buzzard on the way down – not together though) they were filming the outdoor sports scenes of the film with paragliders along with the 2 main actors. I have been to a couple sets before but there really is something wonderful about actors delivering your OWN WORDS, and making them come alive – gave me goosebumps – watching people construct something you made up in in your own head – look, there’s Alec’s walking stick and it looks like you imagined… there’s a guy swooping about in a paraglider with his shadow skimming over the hill JUST LIKE YOU IMAGINED – slightly surreal. And there were lots of little things which just naturally changed – and all for the better far as I could see. I did my fair share of mucking in, which I was also thrilled about, as I wanted to be as little nuisance as possible, so it was rather nice to be carting bags and blankets over bouncy spagnum moss, up hills, squishing into wet little burns and getting soggy like everyone else. We also all got bitten raw by midgies and clegs, but persevered (note to self, if ever in boggy moss country again, take head-net-thing like the 1 wise paraglider who had one).

Was invited down by the Director to watch a few things through the monitor, which was EXCITING and felt very privileged. Also got to meet the actors, and most of the crew, who were beyond lovely, especially in the face of sun/midgies/clegs/very steep slopes. Quite a few people made a point of saying to me how much they liked the script, and I had to fight the urge to hug EVERYONE because I felt kind of honoured that they’re all wanting to work on it.

I was nervous about going, even more so after Bonnyrigg tried to trap me, but I’m glad I did – it felt like I was really part of SOMETHING exciting. Something that had become bigger than the ideas out of my head and that was GLORIOUS. I want to do more. I have always, and always will, write, but this was different – if film-making is a bug, then I’ve caught it, good and proper.

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