Filming Sound-bites on Location

Penny W-T By Penny W-T, 8th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>Ireland>Down & Armagh

Sometimes things happen that are so bizarre, that you just couldn't make them up..

Sound - Camera - Action (in a field near you!)

The last thing you expect to encounter as you drive along the country lanes around Rathfriland, in County Down, is a man waving a clipboard at you. Even more unlikely, after he has stopped you, is the explanation he offers - “sorry we are filming in that field over there and the vehicle sounds are being picked up by the camera.” Within seconds, the empty lane you had been travelling is suddenly full of vehicles all queuing behind you, waiting for the film sequence to be shot.

‘So what exactly is being filmed?’ you ask. It turns out to be an independent film company producing an historic drama set in Ireland at the end of the last century, which, as with most romantic films these days, requires a young couple to make passionate love in a hay field. These were the scenes being filmed now, over in that field, and he waved an arm indiscriminately behind him, and as there were no automated vehicles prior to 1903 it would destroy the historical accuracy of the film if motor vehicles could be heard racing along the lane at the side of the field. You nod in agreement and switch off the engine.

For those of us who might remember the total discomfort of trying to do anything remotely romantic in a hayfield in our youth, the next question will obviously be - ‘how long have you been filming? Is it going well?’ His rueful smile and shrug of the shoulders answers the question - “well it’s taking longer that we planned. We began quite early but the sun has moved around quite a lot, which is playing havoc with shadows and continuity” he complains. Yes, hayfields must still be as uncomfortable.

He walks along the line of stationary vehicles asking drivers to turn off their engines and offering similar explanations. Then he is talkng on the walkie-talkie mobile phone to the camera crew, who presumably then do their bit.. It was probably no more than five minutes but it seemed much longer as we waited for the signal that the filming of that particular sequence, whatever it was, was complete and we could move on.
Curiosity wants to stay and find out more, but the man and his clipboard have vanished back into the field. ‘wonder how much they have paid the farmer to allow them to create a big flat patch in his crop?’ you might think as you drive away. Perhaps this could also be a claim to fame, indirectly of course - ‘I was parked behind that hedge you know, whilst filming took place - but then people might wonder why you were there in the first place, and who would believe the reality?

I wondered for days what film it might be, who was it lying in that field - anyone famous? - and whether local people will recognise their locality, and their neighbour’s field, if they should see the film when it hits the big screen, or TV - whichever.

But the fundamental thought at the top of your mind is still ‘couldn’t the scriptwriters have thought of somewhere more comfortable than a hayfield?’ Even a hay-rick is more comfortable than the field - or at least, so I’m reliably informed.


Background Sounds, Filming Location, Historic Drama, Toruism, Travel

Meet the author

author avatar Penny W-T
Published articles on education themes, travel, history and writing techniques. Written a book on WW1 - Gallipoli, and travel books. Run a marketing network for small businesses.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
10th May 2013 (#)

How very neat....!

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