I used to do video work. I was asked
by a friend to take on a client he didn’t have time to deal with.
Client: I need you to film something. I just need you to provide me with the raw footage – I’ll do the editing. Can you do it?
He offered me nearly twice my day rate for just a couple hours of work, so of course I accepted.
He filled me in on the details. He was going to take his girlfriend out for a picnic and ask her to marry him. He wanted me to film it without her knowledge. Oh and he was on crutches because he’d had a serious injury to both his legs. He was going to use his recovery time to learn how to edit video. How could I say no?
He’d scouted the location - a large country park - and had decided on a tree that they would picnic under. Because of its dense foliage, he wanted me to hide up the tree and film from there. He’d also made a rather nice photograph album detailing their time together. The ringwas concealed in a cut-out at the back. The plan was that they would read through the book together, she’d find the ring and he’d propose.
On the day, I met him in the car park and he showed me the tree and paid me (in cash!). We arranged a signal that he would give prior to pulling the album out. And he would give another signal for when it was time to climb down and film them overtly. He went off to meet his girlfriend and I climbed the tree.
Minor glitches started piling up. They were over half an hour late returning. What’s more, she chose a different tree to sit under – because he was on crutches, she went on ahead to set up and set up under the wrong tree.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had to climb down from a tree and then invisibly and silently climb up another one that people are sitting beneath. I can now say that I have, and what’s more, I even managed it successfully, without being noticed. I turned on the camera and began filming. Out came the photograph album. She loved it. Perhaps a little too much. She reminisced about EVERY PHOTO. I actually wore out my battery filming this – luckily I had a spare, and managed to change it before she got to the ring.
Eventually she reached the end, found the ring and he proposed. She said yes! They hugged and he gave me the signal to come down. His fiancé was startled when I came down, but he explained what I was doing there. They invited me to have a glass of champagne.
I never heard from him again. It was a ridiculous job that wound up taking over twice as long as he said it would and I had to deal with some bizarre and difficult circumstances, but it was maybe the loveliest work I’ve ever done. I hope he did a good job with the editing.