Saturday, 22 December 2007

film clips and shopping carts

Phil is a very good friend of mine and he knows a thing or two about things. He helped us put a video wall together for our website. A 'video wall' indeed! sounds interesting does it not? Don't worry its nothing like an art installation or a colossal wall of sound. Its just a variety of short clips from the Lost World of Mr Hardy. It is worth checking out and it can be accessed from the home page of the website -

And there's more. Sometime later today the shopping cart for our website should be online meaning the DVD can now be purchased with credit cards (no Switch or Maestro for another two weeks I'm afraid).

So basically everything is up and running just in time to miss the Christmas rush and when everyone has much more urgent things on their mind anyway. Och well I'm sure the DVD makes the ideal New Year's gift!

and finally...

Well yesterday really was a momentous day. It was freezing fog and the lorry driver managed to get lost but we did eventually guide him in throuh the mists of the Pevensey Levels by phone - although you can't really describe landmarks because he can't see any. So this big truck backs up outside the cottage and then, "where do you want 'em guv?" The driver opens up the tailgate to reveal a huge pallet of stacked and wrapped DVDs. It might sound daft but we hadn't realised how much space a few thousand DVDs take up. The pallet was broken down and its contents distributed amongst 'safe houses' well err various neighbours spare bedrooms. When they said the UK film industry is a cottage industry they were right.

Finally everything stored we can break open a box and see one of our cellophane wrapped DVDs. Goodness it even plays perfectly and you know even after watching it hundreds of times I still find it a lovely and very personal film. Naturally that is what you would expect me to say but it really was a wonderful moment to see the reality of what we have captured immortalised on DVD so that hopefully many others can share the same passion.

With the DVDs now arrived it was a bit of a scramble to post all the orders out before the last Christmas post. Hopefully some people have their copies already. We would really love to hear any feedback on the film so please do let us know, either here or using the feedback button on the website.

Sunday, 2 December 2007


People might be wondering where we are at with our little project. Not many posts from me for a while and no DVD yet!

As per usual our little cottage industry here on the South Downs has been swamped with finishing the film but with this now done our attention is now aimed at the DVD release. Meanwhile the film has been translated into subtitles in 5 languages; Japanese, French, German, Danish and English Hard of Hearing which took a little while.

Everything to do with the film has now been delivered to the DVD authors. The DVD cover will be finished mid week (and very nice it is too) and then well one big 'huzzah' and we can deliver the master to the DVD pressing plant at the end of this week and finally run off the DVD copies. The film will be available in both PAL (Europe) and NTSC (North America and Japan).

We cannot give a delivery date until the pressing plant has all the materials and is happy but will know by next week and will be able to take advance orders for the film. Hopefully these will be delivered to you 7 - 10 days after this.

I can't really say we are fans of our 'everything wrapped in cellophane' culture but when we have a stack of boxes full of our own DVD all sealed in cellophane I know I will see cellophane in a different light.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

How do you like your eggs?

What might raise an eyebrow in the film's audience is not necessarily what we first thought. Our film has some pretty tough revelations about Hardy's. Many are hard to take but they do come from Jim Hardy himself and the enthusiasts are probably big enough for that.

Our film however does feature quite a lot of bamboo rod building, not all of this is by Hardy's. Much is by independent rod maker Edward Barder. Now then, driving moisture out of the bamboo is an important early stage of the rod building process. At Hardy's they have always done this by roasting their bamboo in ovens. Right back in the early days their shop in Fenkle Street in Alnwick was located next door to a bakers so that they could borrow their oven for that job.

Edward Barder tackles the moisture issue differently. He shuttles and spins his raw bamboo sections over an open gas flame. He does it like this so that he can see what is happening to the warming bamboo as well as hear it. As the moisture starts to mobilise and increase in temperature it hisses and steams. Edward compares the process to cooking an egg. You can do it with the shell on but then you can't see what is happening inside. I thought that seemed quite reasonable.

At Hardy's however the most important thing about this process was that it should allow moisture to be driven out at a consistent controlled rate. Baking or roasting the bamboo poles in an oven was the only way to do this. Sounds reasonable too.

To my surprise the contrary opinions raise a hackle or two. Which side of the fence your opinion falls on could count for a lot and we wouldn't want to alienate any potential viewers.

Personally though, I'm quite partial to a two egg omelette. A three egg omelette is such another beast and should be run out of town. And you know at the end of the day, "eggs is eggs".