Man, that was difficult. I've just this minute got back home after a pretty intense three hours filming my own Dad in a fly-on-the-wall interview for my documentary piece, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" and, unusally for me, I didn't enjoy filming one bit.
It was so hard just to point a camera at him, and try to get him to open up to me. I followed him to his local pub, the Forrestors in Prestwich Village, to try and put him at ease, but I don't think it worked all that well. He was still very conscious of the camera being pointed at him, and I was so very aware of pointing it. My Dad is my Dad, not a film star.
Worse thing is, I guess I was exploiting him, and I hate that. During the filming process, I wanted him to end up drunk and disorderly; because it'd make good film. But he's my Dad, and I shouldn't want that. I'm at conflict between personal and professional interests - do I film Dad but stop if he/I don't like what we're seeing, or do I exploit the very worst situations for all they're worth?
If that wasn't bad enough, try filming in a pub full of drunk idiots - and hear hem howl insult after insult at you! Lucky thing I'm thick skinned; a year ago, I wouldn't have been able to continue filming because of the intimidation. Nowadays, I'm confident enough to tell those bastards where to shove it.
Yeah, so apart from not wanting to film, and being a little unsettled, filming went well. I captured some very nice images of my Dad, and I did get him to open up a little. He talked to me about whether he thinks he's alcoholic or not, and a girlfriend of his - Karen - who died when he was my age. If edited with Sunday's material well, it'll make for a great documentary.
By the way, I'm totally plastered writing this. I've drank too much alcohol myself; wkd's mostly. Drinking on the job, tut tut. But it was great to look at events from my Dad's point of view. Who knows; maybe I'll come away from all this and look at his life differently. Maybe he'll see it and look at himself in a whole new light.
Whatever; I'm relieved filming is over.