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  • tackbaldwin


I guess my oldest mucker, literally known as Armitage (look up shanks if you're struggling with that)...Sorry bud that's public now. Well he's kinda more like 'Rosewood' in story, don't get me wrong he who doesn't die with the most toys...wins ( originally was dies, but we realised that was self defeating). But he stuck around after being thrown over an edge on a dark night sneaky peaky.

Yup that's me, no introduction needed Tackleberry by name & Tackleberry by nature. To finish the pre amble in the Yin Yang of SHTF, if I made him dance on a training grenade down a tunnel, he did actually reciprocate by sniping my position and leaving me like below photo (always check to see if he's left an IED like can of builders foam around.

We happened to be in the Great Park on a night shoot for 'Midsomers', rather surreal episode with a large UFO appearing before hapless midsomer victims. during the early evening we got a call from The producer of 'Huntsman' where a 2nd unit shoot required safety cover. Apparently up against it we agreed to travel down the following day, leaving the UFO in 'Duck, duck gooses' hands, Ducky never forgave us for that stitch up.

2nd unit, I guess the clue would have been the title, it was huge at 300 strong and spanning the outflow of a dam just upstream of our arrival. Crew spanned both sides of the gorge, an ancient siege machine of some length & hieght to drive a crane down over the white water & then to lob a poor knight into the drink...Plus it had to be snow covered. Breath, there were just the two of us, not the song we were singing right then. As always all for one etc. The water safety was covered by a venerable team, although one of the life sized dummies did elude capture once the tap on the dam was turned up for cinematic purposes during rehearsal. Found by an erstwhile party some days later as Welsh water didn't want anybody thinking a dead Medievil knight had been dislodged from history. Stunty made the trip safely and into the film.

The snow was the issue, large area to me a matte shot into the technotrickery, more because the welsh rain was possibly more miserable than diving in the water. Unfortunately whilst restraint lines from anchors were laid out over metres a line was driven over by a Gator. Instantaneously killing it for further use. I'm getting there, patience...

We dropped down into the temporary town that was unit base and found the American production team to politely give our news. In short we would have to replace our line because of it's manufacture & purpose.

The Producer was concerned & understanding, asking exactly how much would it cost to replace. We went off into a 'Dragons Den' huddle and discussed cutting the offending section out trying to mitigate the cost to the company, all earwigged by the American team. We turned back to an expectant Producer & Armitage announced "Two fifty a metre and we're looking at fifty metres...". He had trailed off looking at the producer, shrugging but pulling a face he said "Yes, ok but for that much can you give us an invoice "?

I turned to Armitage who looked slightly sheepish, turned back and replied "sorry it is expensive at two pounds & fifty pence a metre and of course we would invoice for you" There was a sudden roar of laughter from this tall man,"Hahahaha Oh jeez in that case you can have that petty cash"

I twisted to look at Armitage as we descended the stairs of the trailor £12,375 poorer and like a good Stanley looked at Armitage, " Another fine mess Shanksy" !

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