just getting in

Thursday 2nd December, 2021


Getting to the water is the worst part.

It’s not the actual getting into the water that is hard, that I can do. But, it’s just getting to the water’s side in the first place. Picking myself up, leaving the safe place and making the journey there.

Reflections on the start of winter training in the water and my relationships with projects recently.

I’ve always loved the water, growing up by the sea. I loved being in the water, but the older I got the more being in the water scared me. I would avoid the water because it would make my straightened hair bounce back into their dreaded curls. And because I felt far too vulnerable in swimwear. My dark, thick body hair, unwanted curves, scars and spots. They were things I don’t like to show. And now, even in a wetsuit, I don’t seem to possess the body confidence in the water that I often see from the swimmers I’m around, or see online. 

But that seems to be changing, as I accidentally have found my way into the water with these two swim films that have come into my life over the last year. I was drawn to Jim and his story, not the swimming. I was drawn to Becca and her experiences, not the cold water. But of course I’ve been drawn into the water, because of them how could I not be? 

And I’m drawing a lot of parallels to my time in the water to how I interact with everything in general at the moment. It’s probably how most people feel to be honest. The anxiety before a shoot, before leaving the house. I hate packing, I hate checking all my SD cards, packing my wetsuit and my camera and my housing and making sure I have everything, because it’s all tied up in this anticipation that I need to do a good job, and I’m so often shooting alone that there’s a lot of pressure on me being there at all, nobody can just sub in, and also doing a good job out there. Another issue with having little to no funding is that overwhelming pressure that it’s all on you, there’s nobody to step in if you’re sick or struggling to make time or whatever. It’s on me and I have to show up. 

It’s like approaching an edit. I’ve been hating the making the proxies, the getting everything in order, getting a system that works. Staring at the overwhelming amount of footage that has been shot and trying to put it into the semblance of a story. I’m just sat there alone staring at a screen in a room that often gets dark around me as the day turns into night and then, often, turns back into day again. 

But then… when I’m immersed I’m in it for the long haul and I don’t want to get out.  Of the water, out of my edit chair. It’s almost magic, and yes it is just me. Alone, overwhelmed but also excited and independent. I could be there forever once the creativity begins, and in there also lies a bit of an issue – knowing when to get out. Knowing when to stop. Knowing when to rest. 

It feels a little scary to be entering the real winter experience of filming for this Ice Mile, partly because the water is getting colder and colder and I’m having to acclimatise myself, but also because it means I’m really getting to the heart of this project: actually filming in winter. In the snow, in the ice. It’s all coming and there’s no reshoots, it’s just get into the water, point, shoot, and hope it comes out as beautifully as I’ve planned it in my mind.  

I rewatched the trailer recently, to give myself some extra psyche. I feel like a wholly different person to who I was when I started this project, in both good and bad ways. I’ve learned a lot these last few months that I can just apply to life in general, but also this film in particular 


1 reply on “ just getting in ”
  1. Finding the motivation and get up and go is usually the biggest hurdle. Congrats on your perseverance!

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