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23/01/2014

Mud, mud, glorious mud....

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Mud, mud, glorious mud....

Mud – I mean, what’s it good for? Really. Apart from face-packs, and even then I’m convinced that that’s just some sort of in-joke for the beauty industry. “Tee-hee look at this, I just made this lady spend hundreds on mud pies I dug up in my back garden”.

As a film crew, there’s that sinking feeling you get when the ground dissolves around you. When once dusty, but dry, earth gets rained on so much that lighting stands tilt at crazy angles, actors have to wear plastic bags around their feet and we need to sort some sort of board based stepping stones just to get onto set!

Mud is, quite simply, depressing and not fun. This generally applies to ‘weather’ in general. Weather, as a rule, is un-predictable and capricious. Every call sheet sent out to cast and crew will have a weather report at the top of it, culled from the meteorological society and/or the BBC, telling us what the weather will be. It’s usually… sort of accurate, which goes for any forecast. But the number of times I’ve been caught out on set with the wrong gear has taught me to pack for all weather, at all times. Basically that means when on a shoot I have a bag in my car, which contains the following;

Waterproofs – jacket and trousers, wellies and or waterproof boots, sun cream, sunglasses, possibly even sandals…in the summer months I also add shorts. Crazy I know, a towel, a blanket, hat, gloves, scarf, body warmer, bigger coat than the one I’m already wearing, emergency food, umbrella, bear defense kit..... Ok, so you don’t really need that one in the UK, but many an angry local resident could be compared to a bear. Luckily, film crews are naturals at making loud noises and not backing down. That’s what you’re supposed to do with bears right?

However…mud!?!  It defies all logic by being sticky and dirty and getting into all the nicely packed stuff in the back of your car. So I ask again, what’s it really good for?

Catriona Dickie – Production Secretary – Norfolk Film

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