Saturday, 15 August 2015

Planes, Wildlife and an Over Acting Dog : NEW DVD!

Its' a wrap! Filming complete and a disappointed Bailey!

What a week. This is possibly yet another blog post where you need to grab a coffee and perhaps have a laugh whilst drinking it. I have been asked to create a new DVD so many times but life became so busy that I simply couldn't fit the filming time into my busy schedule. The long drive to the usual filming was impossible to squeeze in and so Townhouse Films kindly offered to come to my home to film my new DVD. We also thought it would be nice to share where I live and my cottage garden which is where I find so much of my inspiration. 
We planned well in advance and prayed for good weather so that we could film outside in my garden. And so on Monday evening the film crew arrived in preparation for Tuesdays filming. How great it was waking to glorious sunshine that day. Having shown Malcolm, the owner of Townhouse Films around my garden we decided to start filming the introduction with me walking down  our garden path towards the camera , then stopping to make my opening welcome speech. Simple! Malcolm set up the camera and I walked away from it to the position that he had directed me to stand before I started walking to him.

An Over Acting Dog !

Bailey my Bearded Collie decided he too would be in the film so he duly followed me along the path to where I stopped, turned and walked towards the camera. He walked towards the camera too. The first take worked really well but just in case it didn't look right when editing Malcolm suggested we took an extra take. I walked away to the position the same as last and Bailey followed, yet again. He was almost glued to my side for every take of this part of the film which in the end made Malcolm and I  start laughing. We did three takes.  And Bailey walked alomgside me for each one. My dog was to be the star of the show as far as he was concerned. What a ham! Usually after his morning walk Bailey will go and sleep somewhere in the garden, in the shade on a hot day. But no, he  stayed awake and joined in with the filming at every opportunity. It was almost as if he was posing asking "Is this my best side"!  I love this dog so much. He is so comical but he shone this week.

Planes, ducks and a barge!

Next in filming, we moved on to the materials section of the film because since I created my first two DVDs the range of products that I use has changed so much, and grown. As have I as an artist. I wanted to share all that I use so everyone who paints can easily follow my demonstrations in the DVD using what I use if they wish to. I have also discovered so many new shades whilst touring internationally on my workshops and I aimed to share  all the wonderful colours I now use with buyers of this new film. 

For this section I sat at a picnic table in our garden with all my materials set out in front of me. And as soon as Malcolm gave the word I started talking. Unfortunately at this point every single aeroplane in the area flew over head, One after another. And our garden is usually so quiet. Once the aeroplanes stopped the moorhens started making a racket followed by the loud quacking of ducks behind me who also decided they too would be in the film. 





How many takes we took for this section I have no idea but finally there was silence. And so we started yet again. Now a canal barge appeared behind me going along the canal which is alongside our garden. Not just a quiet barge but a noisy family who were shouting from one end of the barge to another.  It would have been comical if we weren't trying to film a certain amount of footage in one day. The outatakes could be hilarious.

Finally Filming!

We gave up filming outside due to the noise and decided to film inside my studio instead. Here however shadows fell across the paper which  were highlighted by the lighting for the set. The light in my studio is usually perfect but not when filming cameras are all over the place in it it seems! We then moved into my kitchen in the end and filmed there. This was the perfect place. Perfect lighting, space and we were set to go. Finally we could get our teeth into the purpose of the day.


I have  wall to wall French windows in our kitchen and these were open to allow more light to com into the room. Everything was going swimmingly until the pigeon nesting in the wisteria outside that grows around the doors started cooing. My goodness, she could win an award for the noisiest pigeon in the world.  





I was now getting used to stopping and starting. And we laughed yet again. We must have the patience of a saint to be so good humoured whilst working. And I do love working with Townhouse Films because the owners are so terrific and so professional.

But it is fascinating understanding how films are made. For a start, you don't simply paint a picture. Which is what viewers see in the finished article. As the demonstrating artist you have to stop and start for close ups  of  interesting brush strokes or colour additions. Usually you are in full flow when this happens and when working in watercolour it is very hard to stop for the shot but you have to. Always with the worry the pigment will dry under the studio lighting before you move on with the piece and demonstration.  There is a knack to filming that you get used to eventually but everything takes far longer than simply just creating a painting.

I also think about what I wear. I can't wear bright colours or busy patterns that detract from the paintings I am working on. I also want to be comfortable so this time I opted for an oversized top that is loose and hides the microphone set that is attached to my waist out of sight. I will probably hate it when I see the finished film! But its' comfortable.

Day one went well after the noise settled. Day two saw me working on the final pieces and the close which we again decided to shoot outside. Malcolm chose where I should sit on the patio with a garden path behind me. But as I tried to bring the film to a great ending the wind started playing up and I was almost blown off my chair. Malcolm adjusted the microphone with a fuzzy attachment to disguise the sound of the wind at this point. So I will probably look as though I have a little grey mouse at the front of my top now. I am laughing as I type this because Bailey who had been sleeping to this point saw the camera outside and immediately raced to be in the shot again but he was very tired at this time, after all the excitement of the two days filming.  But he refused to be left out of the shot.  Just look at his face below! Both Malcolm and I laughed because it was so cute and so very funny.

Bailey being a "star"!

I would say Bailey over acted slightly. He definitely tried to get into every single take. Malcolm and his wife brought their little dog " Flossie " too so both of my cats disappeared which means you won't be seeing them at all in this film. Which after Baileys' antics is just as well!

Once my new DVD is released I will share the news on my blog. But do listen to it if you buy a copy and see if you can hear nature in the background as well as the tips I am sharing.

They do say " never work with animals".

I found out why this week.

Bailey stole the show! And I am more than happy to have him as my co-star!



Sue Pownall said...

What a lovely amusing story, although as you said it could have been very frustrating with so many retakes.

ladywonderbrush said...

Jean, please, give an idea of backstage video with funny cuts to Town House Films!

Lovejoy Bears said...

It's so lovely to see a photo of you in your beautiful garden surrounded by all your gorgeous flowers. I'm so excited about the new DVD!! Do you know when it will be available? I can hardly contain my excitement :) Hugs ♥ Vicky ♥