A couple of weeks ago we were used as a location for a University of New Orleans Department of Film and Theater student film production. Since we're both alumni from UNO and I currently work there, we were more than happy to work with them.
The director had come out a couple weeks before, then came the following week with some of his lead crew (producers, cinematographers, etc.) and then the whole cast and crew came last Sunday for the actual filming. We were a little hesitant about the whole thing, mostly since they wanted a more "natural" farm environment, so we just let our animals out to pasture as we normally would. This meant chickens, ducks, geese, goats, and sheep would be everywhere. We had lambs in the backyard and bunnies in their Bunny-topia. We had just had a few days of heavy rain so there was mud everywhere.
The goats got into everything, as was expected. The crew was very patient, and we stayed by to play handler to the goats, which involved a lot of, "No, Gwen, that's not food. Thea, get away from the dolly tracks. Thea, stop eating the actor's lines." (And yes, she did eat one of the lead actor's lines ... sorry about that!)
We ended up using the Grizz and the trailer to help them move some equipment around, which gave them the opportunity to get some nice dolly shots on the bridge going from the second to the third pasture. It looked really, really cool.
Gertie hung out by the crew for a good 5 minutes or so, just watching what was happening.
I've never been on an active set like this but it was fascinating to watch them work. You would never have guessed these were students. They were fantastic and when they left it was like they were never here at all. At the end of the day we got to see some of the footage: they shot mostly in the house and in the first pasture, and it looked fantastic. And by "fantastic" I mean the cinematography, lighting, acting and everything else that goes into what you see was fantastic. The state of the fields after so much rain made it look a little dilapidated, but it was what they were going for so it ended up great.
We were glad to have had them, and they seemed to have had a great day of shooting. They say a final cut will be ready around late April/early May, so hopefully we can find a way to show it to you!
Why did the chicken cross the dolly tracks?
If you want some more information about the University of New Orleans Film program, please visit their website or contact the department at (504) 280-6317.
If you think you might want to use us as a location for your film, please contact me directly at anthony @ hightailfarms.com (remove the spaces, obviously).
Photos courtesy of Alex Payne and Jordan McVey. Thanks for allowing us to use them!