Ignis Fatuus Shooting Souvenir—Day 4

Today I walked and drove more than I filmed. And I still got about 80GB of new footage. Not counting the GoPro shots. I haven't even looked at the GoPro shots, I figure, they're safe and I don't have to fiddle with them. But shooting raw video. Good Lord. It's a lot like shooting film again. And I don't even mean the response curves or how much play it has in post (which, yes, it kinda does). What I mean is that the files are so, so big. And shooting it is so fiddly. The results? I never have enough recording space on site, so I'm being super picky about what I shoot. And because one little screwup can make the whole shot is useless (yeah, there's latitude, but not THAT much latitude...), I'm thinking technically as hard as I am creatively. Both mindsets I haven't been in for a long time since I stopped using film very regularly. And I like it, I feel sharper and more focused. But I'm also way more tired at the end of the day. And it was raining, and I escaped getting myself and the camera wet by taking shelter in the Roman ruin on the top of Hill 122.

It's a small mountain/huge hill right in the center of the Cotentin peninsula in the Forêt du Mont-Castre. From there you can see west to the Atlantic, and East to La Manche. So obviously, the Romans had an outpost there. And when the Nazis occupied France, they used the hill the same way. No one was supposed to be able to breach the Atlantic Wall, but since that didn't work out quite right in June 1944, the last line to hold, to the last man, was the "Mahlman Line." From La Haye-du-Puits in the west to Carentan in the east (where I'm staying), running right through the ancient stronghold that was labeled Hill 122 on Allied maps. That's where all the tanks were heading in July 1944, to break the line.

But getting there was another story.