Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.


Thursday, 23 April 2009


After running around the house all morning screaming various swear words and throwing my shoes at walls, I have come to a sad realisation: my TBJITW video-making success was a fluke. Or - perhaps, if I'm being kind to myself - I still have many, many important lessons to learn. Lessons that I've learnt a little too late for my hot-air balloon ride, unfortunately.

My video is awful. I've edited and edited and edited, but there's nothing I can do: my camera skills are diabolical. Who knew you had to keep a camera still when filming? Not me: I thought that you moved it the way you move your eyes. Apparently not: what I've now got is the air-balloon version of The Blair Witch Project, except I'm in it and that's even scarier. I've managed to make a very peaceful, almost celestial experience look like I'm in the middle of some kind of air-disaster, and no amount of Sigur Ros music is going to cover that up. Shaky shots, close-ups of the inside of my nose, and lots and lots of wibbly pictures of the same field.

"Are you filming it on that?" the pilot, Kim, said when I got my little Sony camera out of my pocket.
"Yup," I said with fake bravado. "It's how I did the last one: it should be fine."
"Mmm," he replied: knowing, obviously, a whole lot more about filming than I did.

It's not fine at all. At all. The last one worked because it was still, close-up shots; even a Sony 7.2 megapixel piece of junk can handle that. Shots from the air? Held by an excitable, amateur, trembling hand? Nope. It can't handle that at all. You can almost hear the camera screaming: "UUUUGGHHHH. What are you doing? I was £99 from Argos: what the hell do you want from me? And why do you keep waving me about like that?"

I feel terrible. It's not even about me anymore: the Next Best Job is off, so I'm not applying for anything with it. I feel awful for Adventure Balloons, who gave me an amazing experience in the vague hope that I might be able to work my 'magic' with the footage. I feel like a bloody fairy who keeps shaking her wand and nothing but water comes out. The magic is gone, and I've got nothing. I am - and there's no doubt in my mind - a rubbish, rubbish film-maker. And writer. In fact, I deserve to be unemployed, frankly. I wouldn't give me a job either.

So what do I do??

I think I'm going to post it up anyway, and apologise profusely for it. To anyone watching, flying in a hot-air-balloon is much, much better than I've made it look. And then, when this is up and proof to Queensland that they made a stonking decision in not putting me through to the final, I'm going to go and practice and practice until I can produce something that doesn't make me want to cry with a sense of my own creative failure.

And the key to that, I think, will be keeping the camera still, not letting the BBC feature it and - for the love of God - not appearing in it myself at all. My presenting skills are shakier than my hands.