Speleo Projects

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Andy Sparrow, Third Eye Films, 2003
A Rock and a Hard Place, DVD
"The quarry giveth... The quarry taketh away..."

Language: English, 59 minutes.

BONUS: Also featuring two classic tales of Underground Adventure:
+ SOLO, 33 minutes;
+ Floodpulse (Audio only) 60 minutes

19.- Euro


In July 2004 "A Rock And A Hard Place" gained a Merit Award and Best of Show in the National Speleological Society Video Salon in the USA.

Extracts from the judges' comments:
"A Rock And A Hard Place is probably the best caving video I've ever seen. It's one of those rare pictures that realistically captures the culture and nuances of caving while presenting a story that cavers and non-cavers alike will find fascinating."
"An excellent job on the suspense of waiting to hear whether the caves would be saved or not. The viewer was drawn into the emotions of these scenes very well."
"...I'll wager that more than one tear will be shed in the audience during the video's 12 O'clock High-style closing scene... I'm not ashamed to admit that I was one of those reaching for the tissues during our screening."


In 1954 a limestone quarry in the Mendip Hills in Somerset broke into an unknown cave system filled with superb stalactite formations, This cave was the first of many revealed by the advancing rock face, including the exquisite Balch's cave. But: "the quarry giveth and the quary taketh away".

This video is a depiction of real events based on recollections of two of the original explorers, Brian Prewer and Bob Whitaker.

It is a story about caves and those who are drawn to them. It is a story about friendship; about discovery and destruction; a story that poses a fundamental question: how do we place a value on the world around us.


Making the video
The video was originally conceived by Andy as a documentary with dramatic re-constructions of some of the discoveries. However, as results from shooting these re-constructions were looking so good, it was decided to make the whole video a drama.
Shooting started late in 2001 with many of our caving friends giving up their week-ends to be our actors and helpers. A first cut of the video was completed in June 2003 and its premiere was held in Priddy Village Hall. However, after a few viewings we felt that improvements could be made and we are sure that the the extra effort has been worthwhile. The video was finally completed in September 2003.
This is Third Eye Film's first widescreen (16:9) video - we used a Sony TRV900 Mini-DV camcorder fitted with an Optex anamorphic lens.

"A Rock And A Hard Place" is now available on a DVD, which also includes "Solo" and an audio story "Floodpulse" written by Andy Sparrow and read by Ted LLoyd - plus the music from "A Rock And A Hard Place".