Damselfly Love

Filming around water is always fun. We wanted to film Splendid Damselflies mating, the difficult bit is the entire love affair happens just inches over the water. Keen to shoot some of the sequence high speed and knowing Photosonics had recently made a 360fps Super 16mm camera, I called head honcho Alan Neil. He asked just what I was going to do with it “put it in a stream in France”, I replied. “How long do you need it?” – adding very swiftly that it was the first in production and the one and only Photosonics High Speed Super 16 camera in existence. And to please insure we did not to drop it in the water.

In France we needed to dip the periscope so we made the usual gaffer tape job. It leaked. The stream cut through beautiful French wine growing country with miles and miles of vineyards. At a local agricultural supply house we bought some flexible rubber tubing used to irrigate the fields it was perfect fit with a 3in ID.

The one off Photosonics High Speed never fell in the river but the Cinematography Electronics Precision Speed control for the Arri HSR did – twice – a quick trip back to the hotel, circuit boards laid out on the bed, and a hot hairdryer did the trick. I knelt down in that stream for over two weeks. My knees ache just thinking about it. The vineyard periscope condom has come in handy for trout, salmon and a host of others.


Down by the lazy river.


Damselfly Love from the BBC Battle of the Sexes series
Exec Producer John Sparks
Producer Director Camera: Phil Savoie
AC: Chris Timmons
Editor: Tim Bevan
Super 16: Kodak 7245 7246 7298
Location: France


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Category: Film Clips