Photos from the location shoot for the London Weekend Television drama “Wish Me Luck” in September and October 1988.
Photos from the location shoot for the London Weekend Television drama “Wish Me Luck” in September and October 1988. The main unit was working in locations around Toulouse with the second unit based in the spa town of Bagnères-de-Luchon, to cover the scenes of the escape of French Resistance agents over the Pyrenees and thence to presumed safety in Spain (although historically Spain wasn’t all that safe either).
I was enthralled by these locations in France, I already spoke usable French so being able to chat with bystanders further beguiled me with the culture of France.
Most of us were running personal cameras: I had a compact camera loaded with colour negative film and my SLR camera loaded with black and white film, for me to develop and print myself, aiming for my own period look. The period look is helped considerably with streets clear of modern traffic with the occasional old vehicle brought in for the production.
LWT was cutting edge in 1988 to record drama by the technique called electronic field production (EFP), meaning lightweight electronic cameras working from a transit van and with the camera, videotape and sound equipment rigged in trolleys. I had developed a special EFP camera line-up to approach a “Film Look”.
Note my t-shirt, optical chart on the front, reference white on the back! Also our biggest zoom lens for the “Climb every Mountain” shot, as we called it, although the weather on the day limited the shot.
It was a privilege to work in these gorgeous locations but I was particularly aware of the sensitivities of the project from my conversations with French people of the villages we were working in. Several of the older people were able to remember the Occupation, saying that they were keen that the story of the resistance was being told.
But although working on this shoot in the autumn of 1988 inspired me with a romantic view of the French Midi, the phone calls with London were bleak. I heard on the phone of the early death of one close friend, while others who had started on AZT treatment for HIV were now suffering side-effects; it was becoming clear this autumn that their remission was all too temporary. The leaves were falling from the trees everywhere; the deadly AIDS epidemic seemed unstoppable and would seize many more lives before the combination of community action and medical science would control the virus.
We returned to the area for a short stay and a hike in 2012
New scans (Epson 4990) of my negatives: Kodak Gold GA 100, 5095 & T-Max 100, 5052.
Olympus 35ED compact and Pentax LX 35mm SLR camera with various Pentax SMC manual focus lenses.