The Solitary Rambler

TRAVELS WITH THE TAXI DRIVER
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Filmed 24th June and 9th August 2014
Post-production completed 27th September 2014
Running time 20 minutes
Synopsis
 
" The Taxi Driver " is a team of two people who make videos of their own walks. I was very lucky to meet and talk to them to find out how they started making their videos and all the different places they visit.....
Locations
 
Filmed in the county of  Derbyshire  including a small part of the  Peak District  . Locations include  Matlock Matlock Bath Riber  and  Dethick .
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Background and production details
 
Not long after I had completed post-production of “ Meanderings of Manifold ” at the end of 2013 I started to look on YouTube at videos other people had made and uploaded about their walks in the Peak District as well as other regions in the UK. With “Manifold” in mind I searched for Manifold Valley on YouTube and soon came across a video about a walk in that area posted by “ The Taxi Driver ”. I was hooked by the commentary, which provided a complete guide to the walk including car parking and facilities. Looking further into “The Taxi Driver” I discovered they had posted over 100 videos of different walks on YouTube. They also had their own website called “ Walking with the Taxi Driver ” giving complete details of each walk along with maps and other information, e.g. parking, toilets, refreshments, etc.

I watched more of their videos and found myself completely hooked. Over the course of a couple of months or so I had watched every single one of their YouTube uploads. An idea then came into my head, which was how great it would be if they could make an appearance in a future film of “The Solitary Rambler”! There was a contact form on the “Walking with the Taxi Driver” website, so I sent a message making the suggestion of being in “The Solitary Rambler”. I was delighted when I received a reply to let me know they would consider this as long as their picture wasn’t taken.

It then occurred to me, having seen all their videos, that “The Taxi Driver” was never seen in a single film, only their commentary could be heard. I realised that they never filmed themselves in front of the camera, mainly because they did not wish to be recognised. They had made so many films by this time and I learnt that when they were out walking and making their films they were stopped all the time by other walkers asking what they are doing. Therefore, if they were seen in person on YouTube people would recognise them when they would were out and would subsequently get stopped all the more.

I completely understood their reasons for not wanting their picture taken, should they agree to appear in a “Solitary Rambler” film. All the same I was still really excited at the prospect of their possible guest appearance, so I wrote back asking them to let me know if they’re in the Peak District again and I could meet them to film them before they went off to make their own film of another walk.

They wrote back to me to tell me they would be in the Peak District again during June 2014, so we arranged to meet up. They came down on Tuesday 24th June, after they had filmed a walk during the day around  Birchover, Stanton Moor and the Nine Ladies . We met up in  Matlock Bath  and I filmed them at the railway station. As we agreed they both remained out of shot whilst the camera was focussed on me as I was interviewing them and responding to what they talked about. Once filming was complete they went on their way as they were staying overnight in Matlock to film another walk in the area the following day, which would be around  Matlock Bath and the Heights of Abraham . In that film they very kindly mention me at the end of it, for which I am truly thankful.

I took a few shots around Matlock Bath station, and then returned home to think about how I was going to shoot the rest of my film. However, I had to postpone the thought for a while as I would be busy during the next few days. I would be travelling down to Heathrow Airport during the early hours of the next morning to pick up my mother, who had been travelling around Australia for a couple of months, so I wanted to make sure I was there to take her straight back home to Somerset once she arrived at Heathrow. The day after that I would be driving to Cheltenham for my brother’s wedding party, after which I would be filming “ Sanctum of the Slaughters ”.

I eventually decided that I would complete my “Taxi Driver” film sometime after I had shot “ Magnificence of Malvern ” and “ Liveliness of Ludlow ”, but before my next films, which I knew I would be shooting at the beginning of September. So on Saturday 9th August I went out locally to  Riber  and  Dethick  to shoot a few scenes in order to create a “frame” around my interview with “The Taxi Driver” where I could introduce them into the film. Returning home I wanted to shoot some scenes of me watching some of “The Taxi Driver’s” videos as well as featuring various sections of their website to include in my film, “Travels with the Taxi Driver”. After a couple of hours filming was complete. Excluding the normal beginning and end credits I recorded no new music for this film, a first in a "Solitary Rambler" film, as I felt adding music would be intrusive to the style of video it was.

One final and very important thing I should point out here is that, after watching videos of “The Taxi Driver”, each of which are an average running time of 10-20 minutes, I decided to make my “Solitary Rambler” films much shorter. When I first discovered “The Taxi Driver” on YouTube I was in the middle of post-production of “ Wayfarer of Windermere ”, so before it was even completed I had already decided that all subsequent films I make were going to be no longer than 20 minutes. It was clear to me that videos posted to YouTube would gain more interest if viewers could see that they were not too long. Therefore, I have since made my own videos much shorter, so hopefully in the long run they will gain a lot more hits from viewers. Thanks to “The Taxi Driver” I have realised that shorter videos work a lot better on YouTube.
 
 
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