Tag Archives: camera

The very expensive paperweight

The heart of the Hopeless Maine film project will be a hand wound camera. We’ve known that for a long time. So, early in 2020, the hunt for the camera began. At this point we had no idea what might be out there, what it would cost and what would be possible.

Then, an amazing thing happened. An early camera came up for sale in Italy. We could afford it. We were all silly amounts of excited. The purchase was made. The waiting for delivery began. Some of us were over emotional and cried a bit (ok, that was me).

The camera arrived with Gregg! Photos of it pinged between the team. We were all very excited. Then on closer inspection, it turned out to be missing the crank for winding the film. Fortunately there are a lot of clever and practical people in the team so plans commenced almost at once for how to make that part.

The camera was so old that the lens wouldn’t adjust. Gregg’s guess was that it might well be clogged up with hundred year old camera grease. So, while Gregg sought out help from a lens expert, some of us wondered if hundred year old camera grease might be the kind of thing to scrape into small jars and sell on ebay to people who get very excited about old cameras. (Me again).

However, it turned out on closer inspection that the fundamental problem with the lens, was there wasn’t one. We had bought a singularly expensive paperweight. There followed some trying exchanges in which the camera seller tried to persuade us that selling the camera without crank or lens was entirely reasonable.

Ebay did not agree, so we were able to get most of our money back. That at least was a relief, but it was also a setback and a moral blow for all of us. However, there was a collective getting up and dusting off and determining to try again. The hunt was back on. We were not going to be beaten that easily!

If you’d like to help us keep the film project moving, do check out this page for details about how you can get involved https://hopelessvendetta.wordpress.com/bringing-hopeless-maine-to-the-screen-one-creature-at-a-time/

Frampton Jones pays tribute to Gregg McNeill

Many years ago, Gregg McNeill saved my life. It is with great sorrow, then, that I must report upon his death, and the probable connection with my own terrible experiences. Those of you who have lived on the island for some years, will remember that I went rather awkwardly mad.

There was that business with the beautiful baby competition, and all that followed. I became convinced that my camera showed me true reality, while what I saw with my own eyes was nothing but illusion. The camera showed me horrors, and things I shudder to recall and will not describe. I came to believe in the truth of my camera, and would not relinquish it.

Gregg McNeill sat with me as I raved, and calmly explained the technical details of cameras to me until I was persuaded to relinquish my grip on the device and hand it to him for repair. My recovery began at that moment, and I have no doubt I would have done myself some terrible harm, had I been allowed to continue. I did not ask what became of the camera, thereafter.

Gregg himself appeared to live a normal enough life, with no more fits of mild and temporary insanity than is normal for those of us who live here. I recall with some fondness the night he climbed onto his roof and refused to come down because of the way the chickens had been looking at him. There was the time he became convinced that the sea creature he had eaten had in fact eaten him – but these things pass in their own way. Who amongst us has not done something of that ilk at one time or another?

Only after his unexplained demise have I come to realise the full extent of the horror that possessed him. Despite what he claimed at the time, he never did destroy that camera, but continued to take photographic likenesses with it, and to develop them. A room in his house was devoted to the images – strange, uncanny things that they are. Faces unknown to me peer back from the walls. Eerily attired, sometimes inhuman – somehow he has drawn these beings from beyond the veil, or through the void and captured them.

The last image Gregg made was of himself, gazing mournfully at the camera. I have no idea how he achieved this self-likeness. I took it home, along with the cursed device, which I will keep safely and make sure no one ever uses again. No matter how tempted I may feel. Gregg stares at me from my mantelpiece. Sometimes I feel that he is trying to speak to me, but I do not know what he is trying to say.


You can find out more about the beautiful babies here – https://hopelessvendetta.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/what-beautiful-babies/

And you can find out more about Gregg NcNeill’s Dark Box Photography here – https://www.darkboximages.com/

To get involved with the Hopeless Maine kickstarter – source of all the carnage – throw your non-corporeal self this way – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/countrostov/tales-of-hopeless-maine

Back at the press

(from Frampton Jones) I can only apologise for the abysmal quality of last week’s Vendetta. Apparently they had to tie me to a chair. It has been most embarrassing, but I have since been able to educate my nephew in the correct use of the press! Doc Willoughby says that I can start going out again now. They have taken away my old camera and smashed it up. I regret this. I feel there were mysteries I was close to solving, and now that knowledge is lost.

What the Camera Sees

As several people pointed out to me, last week’s picture was odd. There is something growing on my camera. This week I can only offer you an image of that. I have no idea what it is, or how it got there, much less how to remove it without damaging the delicate equipment. Viewed from the outside, my camera appears perfectly normal, however, pictures taken with it look like this. Sometimes the fauna (or is it flora) moves when I look through the lens at it.

I assume they must be very small, and inside the camera. Peering in creates an impression of vastness, as though the imagine shows another place or time. It is most unsettling. If I watch for too long, it seems as though they become aware of me, and able to see me. I feel I should not look, but morbid fascination draws me back repeatedly.