Never work with animals or children!

Well we decided to ignore that and do both on Sunday and realised very quickly that we should have listened.

To be fair the rabbit did very well considering he’d been living a very nice life with his brother in the pet store and was abruptly taken and shoved onto a stage with a strange man in a hat.

We also had some shots which required a child. His name was Billy and he was very enthusiastic, which was good. Unfortunately I think the dress code to wear something that could pass as being from the 1920’s got lost in translation as he came wearing a union Jack T-shirt and some very nice, bright white trainers. So we had to improvise and get him to wear his T-shirt inside out and take off his trainers.

Considering he’d never done any acting before I think he did very well but I think in future I learned that it’s worth spending some time sourcing your actors rather then just relying on friends of the family.

These weren’t the only issues we had. We had planned to have the father of Billy to play the part of the child’s father in the film. As far as I was aware he was fine with this, it wasn’t in till they turned up to say he couldn’t be in it because he serves in the army. Which is totally understandable but would have been nice to of known a few days before rather than on the night of the shoot. So I then had to re-work the script so that we didn’t need a father figure.

Another problem was that part of the crew was missing due to other commitments and two of the crew had to leave early which left a total of two of us to try and work the camera, lights and sound.

Oh and to top it all off at 2:00pm a band set up in one of the adjacent rooms and started playing heavy punk music for four hours.

Luckily the shots we were doing for the first few hours didn’t require much live sound so we should be able to use foley for the most part

One thing that I’m really glad I had time to do was to plan out each shot and not only have a complete storyboard but also all of the shots down as a shot list.

The great thing about doing this is it allows you to get all the shots you need from certain angles without having to keep going backwards and forwards.

For example there was a number of shots that were from the back of the hall. Some with the magician performing but also some of the child running and some of the audience. By looking through my shot list a few nights before I could group all of those shots together and make sure they all got done at the same time. Also shots that required the dolly or the jib.

This really should be the way you always work but sometimes I find that it’s so rushed that I just don’t have time to plan these things out so well. But considering how much went wrong on Sunday I was glad to of at least had the shot list to keep me someway to being on track

If I’m to take away one good thing from Sunday I guess it would be being able to think on my feet and work out solutions no matter how impossible it seemed at the time.

Main points I’ve learned.

Always source professional actors

Always check location for problems with sound recording. If there are other rooms that can be hire check with the management and find out if someone is using them at the same time. And if so what it is that they’re doing.

If possible put someone in charge of costumes. Relying on actors to turn up in the right attire isn’t ideal

I’ve no idea if what I’ve shot is going to be able to be put together into an entertaining way but fingers crossed.

Here some footage of us trying to get the rabbit in the right place (no sound)

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