Damian got in touch with me a month or two after the initial contacts with an update on the situation.
"My job has changed in that I'm going on attachment as producer to another BBC unit, so it's thrown a few spanners into the works as far as SD and a few other stories which I've been working on are concerned. However, the plan is still to go ahead, it's just the timing which is now in question."
But in fact the original plan, a short piece in a magazine style program, never did go ahead. Perhaps the BBC felt Salvia an inappropriate subject for primetime broadcast, I don't know. - You'll have to draw your own conclusions.
A Film is Made
Later still Damian got in touch to inform me that he was on a training course in Glasgow. He was learning how to use some of the latest digital equipment. - Part of the 'new philosophy' of film making, where production quality pieces can be made without the need for an entire film crew.
The training involved an assignment to go out and about and make a short film with the new equipment. Damian saw this as an opportunity to finally make our Salvia film, even if it wasn't going to be broadcast. We spent an afternoon filming at my flat, showing me working on my web-site, tending my Salvia plants (including the process of taking a cutting) and talking about the Salvia experience. The film culminates in first me, followed by Damian, smoking some dried leaf.
It was quite an experience coming down from Salvia, being aware of a camera running a couple of feet away and being asked by someone I'd never actually met before if I knew who I was. But while my responses may not seem very coherent, having seen the finished piece, I neither think it comes across as being completely wasted or out of it.
The film turned out to be a well balanced and sympathetic treatment of the subject. I'm quite pleased with it.
Would you like to see it?
The film has been converted to a DivX format video file. DivX will run on most computers (including Mac, and even some fancy new set top DVD players). I've also converted it to DVD video format for TV viewing with a regular DVD player. The film runs for just over 6 minutes. The full version and some other Salvia related video is currently available from me in the form of CD-R or DVD-R disks. Read more about it via the Video Material link from the Media Stories menu. E-mail me for my address and further details if you would like to receive a copy.