One Day at the Pool

After the “smash” success of my first film – The Good, The Bad & the Innocent, I decided this filmmaking caper was quite good fun, and thought – why not make another one?

My next project was inspired by The Creature from the Black Lagoon – except my costume budget was even lower than that of the Hollywood original. (ie zero). So my homage to the original was more slapstick than homage, but as every teenage director understands – there’s nothing wrong with slapstick…

The title, however was indeed an homage – to Mad magazine’s  Don Martin. He used to draw these one-page strips of comical situations, often with titles that included the words “One day at..” in the title. Eg One Day at the Bullfights, or One day on the Road, or One Day on the Prairie etc. So my title became – One Day at the Pool..

I knew we’d need access to the town’s Olympic swimming pool to shoot this film, but I can’t remember how I convinced the manager to give us completely unsupervised access.  

He must have thought we were trustworthy and responsible kids. Rod Hutton, who played the “creature”, and the director (me) were local swimming champions so he probably thought there was no danger of us drowning. I mean – what could go wrong?  (Occupational Health & Safety rules back then were not as front of mind as they are today). 

On Saturdays the pool usually closed for an entire hour while the manager had his lunch. That was the perfect opportunity to film because:

a).  My cast didn’t go to school on Saturdays, and 

b). We’d have the pool entirely to ourselves. 

(We even had access to the filtration plant. – All its chemicals and big electric pumps normally made it a no-go area for the public). 

As it happened, the shoot went very smoothly. Nothing did go wrong. No mishaps at all – and a bunch of teenagers had fun making an 8mm movie. But now, looking back at the diving board sequence – I cringe at how dangerous it was.  We were far luckier than we knew. 

Ah, kids in those days…

Hard to believe this happened in 1970 – more than 50 years ago…

The Cast: (in order of appearance) Rodney Hutton, Irene Dudley, Pamela Fisher, Victor Kuzrow. Produced and directed by Ian Allen

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