Lights, camera, action . . . ssshh!

Carolyn and Sophie Aldis with Steph Genovese ANL-160819-142738001
Carolyn and Sophie Aldis with Steph Genovese ANL-160819-142738001
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So, last weekend I took my daughter to Carters Park in Holbeach, where filming was taking place for the film “Forever Your Rose”. My daughter had auditioned earlier on in the year and managed to get the part of a bully, a role she is not familiar with.

She managed to dig deep and find her inner sassiness, turning from my golden-haired, lovely angel, into a sarcastic, mean girl, whose withering looks resulted in her fellow actors asking if she really meant any of it, at which point she giggled and said “Of course not, I’m acting!”

I was there primarily as chaperone, although Steph Genovese, the overall star, producer, director and general go-to guy for everything, had mentioned that I could be an extra.

The crew turned up and began setting up their equipment and I got my book out, thinking I could read for the couple of hours we would be there. Oh, how naive of 

Once the children had rehearsed their lines, the crew than got into place…the cameraman gave his instruction, the sound woman said she was ready, the clapperboard was used and Natalie Mills, the director for the day, shouted “Action!”

And that’s when I learned how complex filming is…sounds that normally get tuned out were suddenly heightened by the fact we needed quiet…if it wasn’t the beeping of a lorry reversing, it was a car alarm going off for quarter of an hour, precious time when filming is in process. Then the obvious sounds, children squealing and running around the film set…a group of teenagers on the zip wire, which made such a racket, it was impossible to film. I asked Steph if I could go and speak to them and he agreed I could, as long as I didn’t ask them to leave…it was a public park after all.

It was then I found my role for the day. After approaching a family, I explained that we were filming and needed them to be quiet. They were really interested in the project and happy to watch from further away. Because the scene was set in the 80’s, we couldn’t have people in the background and I had to ask another family to move three times. They were very gracious, understanding the importance of what we were trying to achieve. The group of teenagers, who had got off the noisy zipwire, proceeded to scream intermittently as we filmed the scene. In the end, I went and chatted to them, so the crew could film what they needed to, without interference.

After our lunch break, I was then upgraded to using the clapperboard, which was really fun. I never thought I would enjoy a behind the scenes role and yet it was great…the eight hours we were there flew by and the patience of the crew was amazing to watch.

I don’t think I can ever criticise a film again, no matter how bad it is…the time, effort and emotion it takes to capture even a minute of film is immense.

I’m hoping my daughter has many more opportunities for me to “chaperone” for her…