I have been trying to perfect a scene I first tried on March 20 called “A Sinking Predicament”. First, I had to clear the water from the pit and install a new hard-point at the bottom. The first video ended prematurely when the hard-point broke loose.
Once I had the mud pit ready, and my camera gear in place, I had to tie a rope to my genitals and pass it through the ring at the bottom of the mud pit. Once I did that, I was tethered to the mud pit, so I had to do everything else without moving more than 8 feet from the pit.
After passing through the hard point at the bottom of the pit, the rope had to pass through a ring at the top of the tripod over the pit and reach far enough down that I could use it to attach to my wrist tie. Before I tied my wrists, I tied tied my ankles to one leg of the tripod so I would not be able to pull my legs underneath me, which would leave me no way to reverse my descent into the pit.
The last step is always the most difficult. I had to tie my wrists together and attach them to the free end of the rope I described in the previous paragraph. What makes is difficult is that I have to stretch out and tie the rope as short as I can. The goal is to take the slack from the down-line as I descend. Ideally, both lines would always be taught, but that’s really difficult to achieve.
I did all this on April 18, but I had trouble descending due to a twist in the ropes below the surface of the mud that I didn’t discover until I was finished shooting. So, I went back out on April 19 and tried again. The water over the pit had returned, and I realized I needed to add more mud to keep the water from coming back, so I hauled a lot more mud to the pit before making my 3rd attempt at this.
My first setup on April 19 didn’t give me what I wanted, so I reset and started again. The final run was pretty good, although it was a lot different from the original March 20 version. With a faster descent, more mud and slightly different rigging, it worked differently, but it was much the same position and there was still no way to escape from the pit, given that I could not get my feet under me and lifting myself by my wrists would just pull me down by the rope around my genitals.
So that’s the story. I don’t know when I’ll release the final video, but at least you’ll have some idea of how much work went into getting it right.