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Connections: Goof Off and Die

Ever walk away from your real-world obligations and just have fun? Be warned…

I’m co-owner and CEO of Molinare, the largest video facility company in London.

Clive Burke is a Molinare client. He’s always in with his twin carousel slide shows. He loves his Electrosonic ES3601 slide projector presentation system.

Enter the Elevator

“Clive, film is so much better than a two-projector show.”

“Funny you should say that. I have a job for Pearson’s Pottery in Chesterfield.”

I need time off from being a suit and tie executive to get back to my craft. Hey, it’s only two days.

Going Down

Clive likes our film and tells his famous brother, James Burke. James hosts a science series, Connections.

Down, Down, Down

A few weeks later—yes, I should be running Moli—it’s another shoot, a corporate about Perkins diesel engines. We are in the noisiest factory ever with brother James. The factory is so loud that I can’t hear him clearly on my headphones.

When I check, the sound is unusable; that’s never happened to me before or since. So bad that if Perkins has any sense, they will fire me and sue for Burke’s fee.

Ground Floor

Incredibly, the Perkins people are delighted and want me to do another job.

They liked my awful film! These Perkins guys are idiots, but then again, so am I. Alarm bells should be ringing. Ding! Ding! But no, I’ll do the gig. Not a two-day wonder but two weeks away in Scandinavia!


First day in Denmark, the two Perkins guys and I are on the Rutschebanen wooden roller coaster at Bakken, which is bigger and better than the one at Tivoli Gardens.

In the afternoon, it’s the Carlsberg & Jacobsen Brewhouse tour. At night, we do Copenhagen.

Next day, I check how many boatyard locations we are visiting.

Rutschebanen roller coaster at Bakken

“Let’s see, five in Denmark, six in Norway, six in Sweden and five in Finland.”

“OMG, that’s 22. I don’t have enough film to shoot them all.”

“Stefan, this is a PR exercise. They’re really excited about our visit. We don’t have the budget for more film. Shoot two in each country, pretend to shoot the rest.”

Six Feet Under

We arrive at a boatyard; the owner is pleased to see us. My 16mm Éclair camera has an empty magazine. The red light comes on. The Perkins sales rep does a long interview but nothing is shot. I’m faking it. I feel bad, very bad.

We leave Denmark and make our way up Norway. There’s a lot of partying, saunas, drinking and shooting with no film. Next is Sweden—yep, more partying, saunas, drinking, more no-film shooting; followed by Finland, did I say party? Then suddenly the two from Perkins have to leave.

I’m stuck in Helsinki. Whaaa!

Shame and Pain

If I had let Clive Burke stick with his beloved ES3601, none of this would have happened. These two shameful works of crap were the last films I made for eight years.

They got a name for the winners in the world,

I want a name when I lose.