My Life as a Market Trader: Day One

HARRY THE HAGGLER: That’s more like it. Ten?!  Are you trying to insult me?! Me, 

brianwith a poor dying grandmother?! Ten?!

BRIAN: All right. I’ll give you eleven.

HARRY THE HAGGLER: Now you’re gettin’ it. Eleven?! Did I hear you right?! Eleven?! This cost me twelve. You want to ruin me?!

The first thing you find out about market trading is that you have to get up early. The second thing is that you have too much stuff to take on the bus. And also that barrow E is a lot, lot better than barrow F but if you are nice to the market staff, they will be nice to you and let you move.

So we swapped, traded and even sold some DVDs. We couldn’t help people wanting something in Spanish, or Polish but we did find four classic British films for a collector including Zulu with commentary from Sheffield Hallam’s own Professor Sheldon, Pinocchio to watch over the half term, and Christopher Lee getting his blood drained in Paris (No! I had my eyes on that one). We failed to help a lady whose favourite genre was ‘George Michael’, but it was a small stall and we couldn’t have everything. No one haggled. Shame. Because we have seen Life of Brian and we knew what to do. We drank tea and coffee and ate Chow Mein out of a polystyrene box. And went home happy.

Thank Feck Sam our volunteer was there. His horror knowledge was frightening. He knew which version was four minutes longer, that Hellraiser 9 was an actual film, and could talk with authority on the I Spit On Your Grave franchise. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We met some people we knew, and lots of people we hadn’t met before. We found out what 40 hours under the tattooists needle can do to a man. We found out what people like, love and long to see. Perhaps we should have written it all down. But then it would have felt like some BFI funded audience research gig. And really, we just wanted to have fun. And to try and get rid of Taken 2. Sold for 20p at the end of the day to ALS- the games and DVD exchange stall. Yay!

When you hear someone say that they work in film you can’t help but think about the red carpet, the paps, the cocktails, the fame and fortune. Spare a though for some of the other people who work at the less glamorous end of film. Selling second hand DVDs, sweeping the popcorn from the cinema floor or sorting out all the blue M and M’s from the packet. Next time you see one of these film people, smile and give them our love.They are the ones, just like us, in it for love, not money.

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