Filming on the Menai Bridge (with Gethin)

Gethin and I travelled up to Anglesey to film some shots for my show Floating.

On the way there Gethin said that he sometimes thought of his car as a giant camera – the way we looked out of the windscreen was like looking through a lens. He told me how much he loved making films. Listening to him was like listening to love poetry. It’s his extraordinary passion that inspires me. He’s a fantastic person to collaborate with.

And he loves my mother’s Lasagne. He said that filming after one of my mother’s meals was the perfect combination. And, as soon as we stepped out the car on our arrival, my mother announced that we would be eating Lasagne for supper that night. “It’s going to be a cracking afternoon, Hugh,” said Gareth, loading up the Super 8.

The aim was to film and photograph crossing the bridge. My mother had been roped in to drive Gethin as he filmed and snapped away as I walked the distance. The first crossing went a treat. My mother drove smoothly and slowly between the two arches. Perfect. Then came the second crossing:

My mother went into second gear as she drove through the first arch. She and Gethin in the car were exactly parallel with me on foot. Then came trouble. A car behind started hooting its horn. My mother, under strict instructions from Gethin, kept her cool. Then the shouting. “Put your foot down!” My mother stayed calm. Just a slight increase in speed. They moved slightly ahead of me. Gethin was still able to shoot me from this angle.

Then the screaming. “I’ve got a bloody appointment at the hospital!” That was it – my mother increased her speed. Gethin lost the shot. The man in the car shouted at me as he passed by. I got to the end of the bridge. My mother and Gethin were parked in the slip road. I approached the car. They were both looking straight ahead. I opened the back door. “Are you OK?” I asked. “Not really, Hugh’” my mother said. “It think we should call it a day.” Gethin turned to look at me. I could see he was lost. “We need one more run at it,” he said.

Silence. “The Lasagne won’t taste the same if we eat it without this shot,” Gethin said. My mother laughed. Silence broken. Engine starts. Round the roundabout and back over the bridge to turn around and start again.

That night my mother said that her Lasagne had never tasted as good and that she was thankful to Gethin for showing her the secret ingredient. “Where are we filming tomorrow?” she asked.

Hugh Hughes: Photos from filming, which can be seen on my Flickr (search for Hugh Hughes)

Projects: Floating.

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