Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Filming, part 2: Llano de los Jables

The cloud waterfall

Shortly before sunset I met the TV crew again at Llano de los Jables, at about 1,850 m (6,000 ft) with a group of friends who'd volunteered to come along at short notice (because the TV crew changed the date from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday and back to Tuesday while they sorted out their complicated schedule.)

I spent the afternoon baking a chocolate cake, because I wanted to thank people for coming. The traditional thing here is to take Spanish omelette, but I always find that chocolate cake is more popular. And I'd a feeling it was going to be cold up on the ridge, so I made a flask of hot chocolate too.

The golden light at the end of the day was beautiful, and the cloud waterfall was stunning. When I got there, Carmelo was setting up the telescope. So they filmed me saying hello to everyone, and then we waited for it to get really dark.

I'd worried that it would be cloudy, but it was a beautiful, clear night, with a million stars. The catch was that it got colder and colder. The chocolate cake and hot chocolate were very well appreciated, although I could have used a lot more hot chocolate.

After that, filming became harder work. Of course, they had to use a spotlight on the camera to be able to film anything, so looking at the camera felt like being interrogated by the secret police, and I couldn't see anything else at all for several minutes after I looked away.

A Dutch family happened to be up at the viewpoint. The children's grandfather had just died, and they were little enough to believe that he was a star now, and they'd got it into their heads that he was the brightest star, Sirius. So we had to let them have a look at Sirius through the telescope, didn't we? And they got filmed doing it. I exclaimed over constellations I couldn't see for the spotlight, and got filmed doing it. We all started pogo jumping to keep warm, and got filmed doing it. And then Merche did her best ET impersonation, "Phone home!" and we all got filmed creasing up.

And then we all went home to our nice warm houses.

Carmelo setting up his telescope

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