It begins. Mr Bown steps up into the pulpit and calls. He has an RND in front of him, the numbers popping rapidly up onto a small tv screen. These numbers are also relayed onto a large scoreboard at the front of the hall where the cinema screen used to be. His job is to entice the players to play the smaller jackpot games that sit in between. This, he explained earlier, is how the hall makes it's profits, unless I have misunderstood. He starts by asking if anyone minds being filmed, no one does. In fact a couple of ladies offer to take their tops off (I hide behind my camera). My companion has already made herself a bit of a hit. She is invited by a formidable looking group to play with them. She wins four times (she has the luck we are told) but shouts too late the first time and is too scared to call out on two subsequent occassions. She has her wrist slapped for this.
The filming goes smoothly. I film The caller in close up, calling and waiting. I film the responses of the ladies. Sometimes rapidly responding to the calls at other times ignoring him, talking amongst themselves. I film their hands in close up, gold jewellery and novelty markers.
I had thought that my film would show the caller as powerful, controlling, but he needed his audience, they seemed at times wayward, independent, it was not as straightforward as I had imagined.
-- posted abroad