MIST at The Needles

// Author: Paul Windridge // 0 Comments


Test film projection on the Isle of Wight Needles

We’ve done the forest, the gardens and even the cliffs at Freshwater Bay, but we wanted to try something that, as far as we know, had ever been done before.

With the help of Needles Pleasure Cruises we took their new boat and the rib out of Yarmouth harbour and headed towards the Needles one evening at the end of April 2013. A calm sea and relatively little wind were essential conditions as far too many ships have succumbed to those often turbulent waters.

Past Fort Victoria, Colwell Bay and Totland Bay while Hurst Point, on the mainland, was silhouetted by the setting sun. We had the boat to ourselves apart from the crew, and as we rounded the Needles the pink aftermath of the sunset was fast disappearing.

Once in position the projector was sparked into life and a short 30 second blast of film flashed across the stack next to the lighthouse. Even though, for this stretch of water, it was relatively calm, it was decided that the swell was a little less on the Alum Bay side, rather than Scratchell’s Bay side.

By the time we steadied on the other side the light had completely disappeared. A few more short projections followed. One or two worked, others didn’t.

The whole process was fraught with difficulty! The rolling boat encouraged the generator to misfire, the projector needed constant readjustment to ensure that the moving image remained focussed on the stack, the cameras were hand held and the laptop carefully cuddled. Thankfully we had two willing helpers, but we could have done with a couple more!

A good exercise though, and undoubtedly one of the most unusual places ever to watch snippets of moving image being projected. Now that we’ve experienced once, we’d like to doit again and be slightly better prepared. Whether the captain and his crew would be up for it is another matter altogether!

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