The Solitary Rambler

BRIGHT LIGHTS OF BRISTOL
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Filmed 31st May 2017
Post-production completed 7th July 2017

Running time 20 minutes
Synopsis
 
I once spent 16 years of my life living in the city of Bristol, so I return to see the bright lights of the big city. During my day I visit my personal favourite locations in Bristol, which include the ever developing harbourside and a hill with a tower where I used to regularly enjoy eating my lunch when I worked in the city. For me, however, the best location is saved till last, the wonderful suspension bridge spanning high above the Avon Gorge .....
Locations
 
Filmed in the city of Bristol . Locations include Christmas Steps, Bristol Harbour, SS Great Britain , Cabot Tower , College Green and the Clifton Suspension Bridge .
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Background and production details
 
At the end of May 2017 I had been out one day filming in Portishead where I had once lived, so I thought it would be nice to film another location where I had previously resided, the city of Bristol . This was a place where I never thought I would make a film, but the idea of making films in past towns and cities of residence was appealing.

On Wednesday 31st May 2017 I parked my car in Prince Street multi-storey car park and walked to the top of Christmas Steps where I took my first shots. Walking back into the city centre from here I struggled to film as there was a huge amount of roadworks, but I tried to film angles where the scenes of roadworks were kept to a minimum. My major piece of shooting today would be around the harbour, so I walking past the Arnolfini , M Shed and as far as the SS Great Britain . A member of staff in the ticket office saw me filming the old ship and very kindly let me take a close up shot of it from inside the ticket office. I then retraced my steps towards the city centre then walked along the opposite side of the harbour to capture different angles of SS Great Britain.

My next main location to shoot was Cabot Tower on the top of Brandon Hill, so I climbed up and took several shots here. I tried to get some shots as I climbed the tower, but it proved quite tricky due to so many other visitors being here. It was half term so I was sharing this location with lots of families! I then walked to the top of Park Street and filmed a few shots as I walked down this famous street in Bristol. At the bottom a spent a while capturing College Green with Bristol Cathedral and City Hall . I walked back to the car park to collect my car and moved on up to Clifton Down where I would shoot the most interesting feature on today’s walk, the Clifton Suspension Bridge . I took my time here as I wanted to capture so many wonderful shots of this fantastic bridge, which I believe I did very well. This was the last location of the day, so I took one final shot of the bridge in long shot where it can be seen crossing the Avon Gorge .  


It was during the many years I lived in Bristol that I composed most of my songs, a large number of which were created when I went on my walking holidays in the mid 1980s to the early 1990s when I wrote songs about the places I visited. There were, however, several I had composed which related to my time in Bristol, so I decided to use one of them as the soundtrack for my “Solitary Rambler” film set in this city, “Bright Lights of Bristol”. Checking back through my old recordings I didn’t feel any of my songs relating to Bristol were that great, but I eventually decided the best one was “I’m My Own Best Friend”, a song I wrote in 1991-1992. I had a recording of it from 2000 where I had recorded my vocals three times to create a harmony, so I felt this might be an interesting song to record, which I knew I could make to sound more professional with my Yamaha keyboard and digital recording software. For most of the scenes on my video where I wanted music there were not long enough sequences to feature the song in it entirety, so I recorded short sections using chiefly a guitar sound, which I thought sounded great, but I used various brass and reed voices for the melody. The only section on which I sang was the final scene where I recorded my voice in harmony as before, which I felt added more dramatic effect to the music.


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