The background to this film is the fact that on Gazeta Wyborcza’s website (the most successful newspaper website I should say in Poland) I did quite a bit of forum stuff. I ran a private forum for Foreigners Living in Poland which you can find here, and also I spent some time on the Fishkeeping private forum on there, which is all in Polish. That’s where I made the acquaintance of this guy from Szczecin, who gave me some plants – I probably still have the genetic successors of some of them – and there he let me film his tank in his student room, while I was in Szczecin just to do an AGM appearance, which is a sort of cameo part that auditors of companies are called upon to do from time to time. I did mine the next day, and I can tell you there were some unusually straight faces around that table – not much fun I can tell you. But the film of Arsik’s tank has become pretty popular on YT – about 10 hits a day over the last four years – which just goes to show that there is always call on YouTube for pretty fishtanks and fish and plants.
This is about the first time on a film that you hear me speaking Polish, by the way.
The funny thing about this is actually the comments on YouTube. The number of people who took this at face value is quite astounding. They see a film of me driving past a dog on the road, and they hear some tongue in cheek commentary about me hunting a fox in a car – a ludicrous proposition – and all common sense flies out of the window! Seriously, just click through on it to the YT environment and you’ll see a fine selection of the nutjobs we share the planet with voting down my film and getting irate with me.
Still this is pretty much “juvenilia” as far as filming is concerned, but it shows the start of what KenBank was to christen “environmental video” on my channel. Taking the camera out to wherever I am and moving around with it. This is probably one of the first like that, and it turned out to be one of the most common ways of taking film.
So far, all the YouTube offerings were all done on my Fuji Finepix, and this is no exception.
There you go, this here hotel, if you want to find it, is, I believe somewhere on that map. Don’t ask me where exactly, but it was signposted from the road. And a very welcome sight it was on the road up to Gdansk as the snow started to fall heavily. I arrived here in poor visibility at the end of a long drive, and I didn’t see anything out of the window until the morning – when I opened the curtains and saw this pretty scene and immediately wanted to film it. But I couldn’t resist contrasting it with the mess I had made in the room by hastily going to sleep the night before and not bothering about anything…
On that note, be a little bit careful choosing hotels in Poland and East Europe generally from the road in winter if you haven’t pre booked them – not all of them (in fact only a minority of the country ones) pre-heat the rooms. When its cold, the first question you want to ask is whether they have any heated rooms free. In case of not finding any pre-heated hotel rooms, you should travel in winter in Poland with thermal underwear to sleep in under your pyjamas. I have even had occasion to sleep in socks and jumpers!
This is also my first ever hotel room film. There must have been dozens since then!
Another one of the earliest attempts to get old Soph performing for the camera. She’s five, and already has a great liking for the Phantom of the Opera.
We should revisit that sometime and see how far she’s come in four years – she still can’t keep a straight face, though. Jolly good thing, too.