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by Emma Hay I t is famously quoted that one should ‘never work with children or animals’. Well last month I told you about a shoot where some of our actors were corgis for a royalty themed camping shoot. Well this month I’m going to tell you about a shoot where I worked with two children! Personally, I haven’t got anything against children or animals. I’m a youth worker and my family own a border collie, so I can’t really escape either! This was another outdoor shoot. In England. 60 per cent chance of rain. Thankfully, our producer had organised for a local pub to be our base for the day. And we English have the best pubs in the world. It also gave me a chance to consume three croissants and two cups of coffee before the children arrived. Necessary I think. The coffee for the energy, and the three croissants because children have notoriously large appetites. Well I did as a child anyway. The two children came with their Dad and ‘Mum’ (an actress), and whilst they were quite shy to begin with, they soon became very talkative! Perhaps that’s why some people don’t like working with children, they don’t know how to connect with them. Beyond “so what year are you in school?” and “what’s your favourite subject?”. A hint - just be friendly, kids can see insincerity a mile off. Next was make up. Of course the children thought it was hilarious that Dad had to wear make up. Although the boy didn’t think it quite so hilarious when he had to wear it too! The little girl turned out to be quite the Diva, and kept insisting she looked in the mirror to see how much her face had changed after each stage. So like I said, it was raining. And it was an outdoor shoot. And the premise was that the family were driving to their summer holiday cottage. Whilst it’s more realistic that on an English summer holiday it should be grey, overcast and raining, it wasn’t quite the look we were going for. So cue a lot of umbrellas and windscreen wipers. Our producer also had this nifty gadget that Emma Hay. Freelance production assistant Commentaries Last month Corgis, this month, children! whilst scraping the windscreen, it sucked the water into it’s container. That’s Dad’s birthday present sorted then! I was on lollipop lady duty for some of the time, as we were filming on public road. This meant I got to wear a very fetching fluorescent waistcoat, but more importantly, I got to use a walkie talkie! Walkie talkies remind me of playing ‘spies’ as a kid. There’s this cartoon show called ‘Kim Possible’, which is about a teenage spy, so I used to run around singing the theme song, jumping over ‘massive’ walls and things. Walkie talkies are cool, ok? Lunch break meant back to the pub, hurrah! Where there were warm radiators, large hot meals and comfy seats. Did I mention how great English pubs are? True to form, the rain continued in the afternoon to bless us with its presence, which meant I got to use the nifty window wiping gadget some more! And my umbrella technique had sufficient practice. I also became ‘reflector holder’ as we had to exploit the light for all its worth in the overcast conditions. The continued rain meant a lot of driving through big puddles. The children thought the big splashes were lots of fun, but I think their Dad got a little freaked out by how much his steering was affected! Towards the end of the day, the children began to tire, so getting an ‘excited’ reaction out of them began to get harder. Cue the director shouting immature things like “bums!” at them to get them to laugh. Which, unsurprisingly, worked! So on the whole, working with children isn’t such a big deal. Also long as they don’t steal your ration of food, you have plenty of coffee to hand, and someone doesn’t mind shouting “bums!” at necessary intervals! Please feel free to contact me on twitter - @emmabeanies. I love to hear your comments, suggestions Since deciding not to take her place at Bournemouth University to study multimedia journalism and go instead with “on the job training” Tv-bay has been following Emma’s journey into the world of freelance production... 42 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY067JUL12.indd 42 05/07/2012 22:24