My first camera


My first ever moving-picture camera – a Super 8mm – brought for me by my dear old Mum from a Spiritualist Church Jumble sale for the then princely sum of about a tenner (£10) It served me well down the years – even though stock was expensive – although I did manage to get a batch of Kodachrome from Timothy White’s the Chemist when they went bust and also came into possession of some strange Russian stock at one stage that made everything look like an Andrei Tarkovsky film. I used it as a second unit/effect shot camera on among other films: World of skinhead, Victim of Geography and Louder than Bombs! However the wind mechanism started to over and under-crank randomly by itself and produce the kind of shutter effects that top end cameras do these days. In the end I was tempted to chuck it over the cliff at Cape Wrath on the last day of filming for Victim of Geography and salvage the film-roll (a bit like the ending of Richard Linklater’s  Slacker) only I couldn’t bring myself to do it and instead ended up filming a shaman/wanderer burning the skeleton of a goose with it. The camera now lives in a storeroom in Glasgow and might someday see another roll of Kodachrome the way that things are going!