The Last Drop

I hate to do this…… Showing your work on youtube is akin to Martin Scorsese premiering THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST on a 14 inch black and white portable. For those of you that were born after 1980, portable means you can move it……. A concept lost on modern televisions.

Nevertheless, I’d like all those that don’t see me much to watch this documentary as I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again, I’m due a stretch of bird and some time abroad. I made it in March this year and it follows the last days of a lovely historic Edinburgh pub that is now a hole in the ground thanks to a tram system being installed in the city. To all the people of the Caledonian Ale House that get this link, there is a DVD copy available for you and a longer cut is being produced as we speak.

I only hope I did the place justice…….

13 responses to “The Last Drop

  1. Stuart, very good indeed its just a shame its not longer. I like the lingering stills, the shot of the brass light fitting especially, the sounds of people talking and glasses clinking makes for a good soundtrack. I’m no critic but i kens what i like eh? Well done.

  2. Nice piece of work that. Some might say touching. I only ever visited the place once I believe, but still sad to see a proper boozer bite the dust. Could they not have made a tramline through Candy Bar and Tigerlily instead?

    What are the chances of a spin-off series with the main boy? Follow his hilarious and ill-fated attempts to settle into a new local? It writes itself mate.

  3. Dave: Cheers man. It should be longer but I was given a brief to make it 10 minutes. I’m looking forward to showing an extended version where more people can speak and we get more of a feel for the place.

    Al: I know what you mean mate. For a railway boozer it had bags of character, not like the efforts sitting outside Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen stations. No offence to dwellers of these cities but the railway pub is never usually known for its savoury regulars.

    Ricky always swore that he wouldn’t relocate to another pub in Haymarket but now frequents The Haymarket Bar. I guess the lure of nips 50p cheaper than The Calley was too strong to resist. A “where are they now” could be good.

  4. Another good film Stuart, I like the style. Particularly liked the classic slow mo of the ‘last drop’! Having worked in a pub for ages, I notice the wee things like that. All the little things that go on a pub to make it what it is. Sad eh?! I loved the Caley. Great beer, great atmosphere. I think I spent the night prior to Hogmanay there one year and had such a good night I couldnt even make it out for the bells the next! Ps. a real Aberdonian knows not to drink in the pub in the station but to wander round the corner to Aitchies Bar where the real pimps and hookers hang out. A real classy joint.

  5. Cheers Pete.

    The last drop shot was originally between the bar dancing and Ricky saying goodbye to the camera but someone suggested I should move it to the end, I think it works, it’s one of the better shots in the film and the slow heavy sound that goes with it makes me happy.

    It was a good place and they were VERY hospitable. the majority of the last day footage was shot drunk, like REALLY drunk. There’s a cameraman mate of mine who says his best work is done on 4 pints, I’d probably agree with that. It’s not a work ethic I’m going to take into future films though.

    Aberdeen’s the best example of a station being surrounded by shady establishments.

    By the way, did anyone catch my “Hitchcock” style cameo? When Ricky says goodbye to the girl just before the bar dancing you can see me lurking in the background in a red t shirt. It was difficult to stay out of shot in that tight space. Wish I could say it was meant.

  6. …and continued from another thread…

    What did you shoot this on? I’m just about to start a new short project and we’re still considering our options. This looks great.

  7. It was actually 3 different cameras. The Sony Z1 was used for the focus pull onto the beer taps at the start. The Canon XL1 with Fujinon lens was used for the rugby crowds and the shots of ricky washing dishes downstairs etc. And the Sony PD150 was used for all the last day stuff. incidently, David Lynch shot INLAND EMPIRE with the Sony PD150. A humble camera that can give striking results.

    You’ll need to let us see your short when it’s done!

  8. This is going to degenerate into geek-talk, I can see it, but what the hell – these are film blogs.

    Fujinon lenses are great, we had a very good wide-angle one for “Quiet Night In” which we fitted to a Sony DSR-570. Good lenses can make all the difference when you’re shooting at the lower end of digital media.

    I’ve heard great things about all three of those cameras, we used to use a PD150 on the TV show I worked on, and the guy I’m producing my new film with swears by the Z1 and XL1.

  9. Actually, I think Steven Soderbergh shot “Full Frontal” on an XL1 as well – that was a good film.

  10. Never seen it. Have to seek it out. It’s great to see these accesible cameras being used to make features. What did you use to shoot QUIET NIGHT IN?

  11. The Sony DSR570, which uses DVCAM standard def. Hopefully this link will work:

  12. Nice….. Very nice indeed! You seem to have got some great looking results. Who was your DOP?

  13. Thanks for that, it’s a very stylised look and we worked very hard on it. It helped that we were shooting in my house so we were able to plan out in advance.

    The DOP is a guy called Neil Morrison, who has been directing and DOPing for about 12 years. He works as a director at Auckland University and has worked on short films, docos, commercials and music vids as well.

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