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Barrel of Laughs (Short Film) ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales, UK

Last updated on 3rd August 2020

There’s nothing better than heading off on a ‘Famous Five’ style adventure with one of your best mates and a barrel of ice cold beer. And there’s no better place to do it than at one of the many secret beach coves along the glorious Gower peninsula in South Wales, UK on a warm summer’s evening.

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My approach to filming this: As always, Barrie called me late in the day and asked if I was free to go to the beach to play bat and ball. I was snowed under with work but it was a beautiful day and I felt like getting out.

It had been months since we’d met up, because of Coronavirus, and I realised I had a barrel of Gower Gold in the fridge. Needless to say, the decision was made instantly and we were soon on our way.

I started filming almost as soon as I got in the van. Barrie also has something of a creative eye and pointed out a few possible scenes as we walked down to the beach.

It was all very fun and spontaneous and I had no ‘real’ sense of what I was trying to create.

Barrie and I are known for talking our own language – and a whole lot of nonsense – and we’re often laughing and joking around.

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

When I got to the editing stage, I realised that this short film was about two old friends hanging out and being themselves. I wanted to portray the manic and often non-sensical nature of our conversation/friendship, which is why I used a really choppy editing style.

I also asked Barrie to film a few shots, just to add an additional character (me) to the story. Although primarily an homage to my old friend Barrie, the film is ultimately about two friends, so I needed to make sure I featured in there myself somehow. I also used my trust mini tripod to set up frame that I would also be in.

Other than that, we drank beer, talked rubbish, listened to music and followed the sun.

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

 

Note: Something I’ve realised recently is that, although they could be interpreted as ‘travel films’, my films are really becoming less and less about travel and the places themselves and more about universal human experiences. This short film is not about the Gower peninsula in South Wales (where I live), but about friendship. And beer of course!

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

Music/sound design: This was also the first time I relied on the music within the video to sculpt the soundtrack. Music is and always has been a big part of our friendship and I’ve discovered so much of it through Barrie. Of course, I was also worried about copyright, so was sure to chop it up as much as possible and use only short bursts of it to help form the narrative structure and reflect the atmosphere of the experience. Hopefully I won’t be sued to high hell.

The wobbly old voiceover, talking about friendship, is from an old TV show from the 1950s. In it they teach kids how to make friends and, “more importantly, be a friend”.

Somehow this worked perfectly with the theme of the film, adding to the overall structure of the narrative and also giving it more texture.

 

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11 Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11 Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

CAMERA / FILMMAKING STUFF

LUT/colour grading: I colour graded this video using Aditya Varma’s beautiful Earth LUTs (this is Warm Earth) and film grain & feel pack. Get it here: https://sellfy.com/adityavarma

Camera: I shot this cinematic short film/video with my beloved Fujifilm X-T3 and the excellent Fujifilm XF 18-55mm lens which is great for handheld video. Highly recommended – buy it here: https://amzn.to/2ZmtpXL

Tripod: Almost all if this short film was shot handheld at 24fps, although I did also use the little Manfrotto Mini: https://amzn.to/3b1Lkc6 to film the locked-off shots that I appear in too.

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11 Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11 Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

WORK WITH ME

I’m a freelance videographer based in South Wales, UK but am available worldwide for all video projects – from wedding films and fun family shoots to short videos promoting your business on social media. I keep my costs low by operating as a one man band.

Contact me at hello@benholbrook.com to tell me about your project and how we might be able to work together.

FOLLOW ME HERE

Youtube: www.youtube.com/benholbrook

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ben__holbrook

Facebook: www.facebook.com/driftwoodjournals

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ben_holbrook

Barrel of Laughs ~ A Bromance on the Gower Peninsula - Short Film by Ben Holbrook11

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