Since taking up photography full time I am continually amazed at the places I end up and the people I meet. Yesterday was no exception. I was on my way up the A1 to do an engagement shoot with two good friends Laurie and Iain when I had a call from Marc, a friend from Uni. Marc explanied that he had been contacted by an old mate, Gemma, who had asked him if he was up for shooting some 'Guerrila Marketing' actvity at Westminster later that night. Well Marc only shoots film and he thought the event may need digital. Marc assumed I might be up for it so hence the call.
So late yesterday evening off I set for the House of Commons with little idea what to expect. All I knew was something was to be projected on to the Commons, it was to do with someone appearing at Wembley and 'Gem' had said it was - you know - guerrilla marketing. My daughter, Jodie, once projected a pig onto the House of Commons for a TV programme she was making so I sought some advice from her. Jodie said the police told them they were not actually breaking the law but perhaps it wasn't the done thing and to stop immediately. She advised me to expect the police pretty swiftly and also suggested I might actually find out what the 'cause' was just in case I did not wish to be associated with it. I decided that the cause was probably irrelevant as I was just recording it.
At 2245 I met up with Marc on Westminster Bridge as planned and there we stood. Marc had a large format camera on a tripod and I had a couple of digital cameras one on a tripod. There was little evidence of 'guerrilla' activity but we did arouse lots of interest from passing Japanese tourists. Marc received a call from Gem explaining that 'technical problems' were causing a delay and that we would receive a call when the van (containing generators and projection equipment) was on it's way. We had to look out for a black ZIP van. When that arrived Gem and others would also arrive on foot.
Had it been the 1st of April I may now have been a little suspicious but I trust Marc, so we spent our time working out exposure settings for his film camera and guessing what the 'cause' might be. The Japanese tourists had all gone back to their hotels for the night.
Around 2330 Marc received another call - the van was arriving - he also gleaned that the projection would call Cameron and others liars.
The van arrived and mounted the pavement just in front of us. Guerrilla marketeers appeared out of the shadows, some armed with cameras, some not armed at all. The guys in the van threw open the doors, the generators started up, we looked through our viewfinders in anticipation. Nothing!
There was a lot of activity in and around the van during which time I came to understand that the event was to draw attention to David Cameron and others lies (I think Rothschilds came into it somewhere). The projected image would declare 'Lies.Inc' and have three mugshots. Everyone was excited but noboby was very clear about the cause. I began to understand that it all had something to do with David Icke and an appearence he is making at Wembley in October. Now I don't know a great deal about David's long and varied career other than his sanity has been questioned on more than one occasion and that his career has indeed been varied and long. However anyone who claims that George Bush is a reptillian humanoid can't be at all bad in my book! (You may have noticed that this is not a regular photoblog - more words than photos today - sorry about that but for once maybe the narration is superior to the images).
Then there was light - a bright white light shining from our conspicuous van onto Parliament forming a bright white rectangle. I noticed a couple of lights go on inside the building. Then the white turned to green. A photo methinks...
As you can see the van is in a great position to project onto the dark area on the House of Commons. The only problem is the image is not the one that was wanted. Now the guy standing next to the van can only be a Guerrilla Marketing IT Man because at this point I heard him say "have you tried turning the Mac off and on? That should do it". Oh the times I've heard that!
Well, talking of 'off and on' it was at this point a bright red Met Police car arrived with blues and twos definately ON.
Us togs, Gem and most of the Guerrillas retreated a few metres back along the bridge and did a poor job of pretending to be Japanese Tourists. We left the projectionists, van driver and IT Man to deal with the cops.
And hat's off to how they dealt with them. I'm not sure how but they persuaded Old Bill to hang around a while while the technical problems were resolved and we had a chance to project the intended image before they took us off to the tower.
After a while problems were resolved and....
Unfortunately the projection never quite got in focus ("It worked OK in my front room" I heard IT Man say). I must admit though for the couple of minutes the image was there it was a really joyous occasion. Mr Icke should be proud of the team!
No sooner was the image there than the polce had to say 'turn it off now lads and move the van - you can't park here".
Apologies for the blurred image below - I would not normally post such a poor photo (I forgot camera was on manual Doh!) .......
....... but what a top couple of cops these boys were. I give jobsworths in uniform a fair amount of grief on this blog as you are no doubt aware but credit where credit is due. These two allowed the Guerrillas to fix the Mac and project their image before asking them to move on. A ticket had to be issued - just a warning that one should not park on the pavement just outside of the British Parliament with a van full of generators, electronic equipment etc. In return cheif Guerrilla, I think his name may have been Darren, told the Bobbies he would sort them tickets for the David Icke show at Wembley. If you'd like to find out more about it, and I'm sure you would, click here Remember Who You Are
I'm now back off up the A1 to photograph for a nail (as in nails bars) competition the theme of which is Strictly Come Dancing. As I said at the begining variety is the spice of a photographers life!