A week ago, a TV production company contacted me through my blog. They wanted to know if they could hire a tree for a Dale Farm commercial (local ice cream company). Don, one of the chaps from Street Monkey came to have a look at my trees on Friday. They don’t actually want it to look like a bonsai, but an actual tree. He had specific requirements to do with scale. They’re going to have people running around under the tree! After a look around he opted for my Cork Bark Chinese Elm with a Larch as a back up. The Elm isn’t one of my better trees and is still quite young. However, the height of the trunk and the mature bark fit the needs for the commercial.
So, last night I popped along to a studio at UTV to have my Corkie filmed and photographed. Phil, came with me for the craic. I asked if I could take a few snaps in the background when my tree was being shot.
When we arrived, the days shooting was running over and our time had been pushed back an hour. To our amazement, as we waited, a dancing girl in red appeared and then disappeared into the studio. The look on Phil’s face was priceless. We hovered around the door but couldn’t really see much. Next up was a yellow dancing girl. Don spotted us hovering and suggested we would get a better view from inside the studio. God bless you Don :-) We got to see the yellow girl preform her routine. Apart from the obvious attractions in the studio, it was very interesting to see what was being used to light, reflect, and film the commercial. A big pop out blue backdrop/screen caught my eye as it would be perfect for photographing bonsai.
Anyway, next up was the Orange Dancer. I had my big camera with me but didn’t want to look like a tourist/pervert by taking a photograph. That didn’t last long :-) I used the camera on my phone instead as it’s more covert :-D Here’s the few sneaked pics.
If only I had got a shot of the red dancer Phoarrr!!
Anyway, next up was our little tree. Green screen doesn’t work with green leaves so blue was used and the lighting was arranged. Here’s the setting up.
I had to remove a few spiders webs that the lights highlighted. As the heat from the lights rose, some baby spiders hiding in the tree used the heat to float up off the tree into the main studio lights. Little jump lines everywhere :-)
I managed to grab a quick snap of the tree before they moved the bad boy Sony camera into place for the actual shot required.
Camera men swing into action.
The Director checks all is up to scratch.
And we were done :-)
All that was left to do was grab a few arm fulls of the free Ice cream on the way out.
I’m pretty sure the tree will be unrecognisable in the final commercial, Photoshop, or the video equivalent, will play a big part in the final product. I’m also pretty sure you wont see as much of the red dancers leg as I did either :-)
If you are reading this, thanks Don :-)