A Visit from Mister Maker (Part 2)
The day of filming finally arrived – it was cloudy and overcast, but dry at least, and the plan was to erect a gazebo for the set, just in case. The film crew arrived good and early as promised at 8.00am.
I had been debating for some time what to do with my younger son (aged 3) during the filming – he was due at nursery that day, but it seemed mean to send him there so that he missed everything, even though it would be considerably easier for me without him. So I decided to play it by ear – I could always take him in later if necessary. The crew took up much of the yard with all the lights and the cameras, and people (I think there were 12) and it wasn’t long before my elder son was being wired up with a microphone. The aim was to film him waving at the front door, and then running back inside. By this time my worst fears had been realised and it had started to rain – the kind of steady light drizzle that you just know is going to last. I stood outside to one side of the front door in order to take a photograph, and on glancing through the adjacent window, saw Mister Maker himself waving at me with his familiar silly grin - we had designated that room as an impromptu dressing area for him but I hadn’t seen him arrive. It was at about this point that my younger son got desperately upset, bursting into tears when he realised that he was not going to be filmed. I tried to comfort him, but he retreated upstairs to sulk, leaving me feeling very guilty.
Next they had to film my son’s meeting with Mister Maker. He was rehearsed with some simple lines, and filming began, with the help of lots of large umbrellas, which had to be whisked quickly away while the cameras rolled. By this point I was finding it really difficult trying to look after both boys at the same time, so after I while, seeing that my younger son had lost interest in the proceedings, I asked him if he wanted to go to nursery instead. To my relief he leapt at the idea, so I arranged to take him while one of the crew looked after elder son during a break in proceedings.
The next stage was the making bit itself. My son was able to go inside while Mister Maker rehearsed, and then there was a lot of standing about waiting for the rain to ease off a bit, as the sound of it falling on the gazebo was too loud. The activity on this occasion was printing with cabbage leaves. My son helped out squeezing the paint onto the plates, preparing the cabbage leaves, and laying them in the paint, while Mister Maker created the picture, which was actually very effective – (I’d tell you more, but it would perhaps be wrong for me to give this away before the programme is shown). My son then asked if he could have a go, so once they had stopped filming, they let him do some of his own, and even left me with another cabbage and some paper to do more later, which I thought was good of them.
The look on my son’s face as all this took place was indescribable – joy, excitement, awe, and I don’t know how many other emotions all mixed into one. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any photos while the cameras were rolling, as it was so dark that the flash on my camera went off, so I had to wait inbetween takes. Stupidly I didn’t even think to ask for a posed photograph with my son. Aaghh!
Overall I felt that in spite of the weather (probably the wettest period we’d had here in about a month) it all went rather well. The director was pleased with my son’s performance and the fact that he hadn’t become difficult with all the hanging around, the crew were all lovely with him, and they cleared up really well after themselves, so that as promised, they were away by lunchtime. My son enjoyed the whole thing and got to learn something about how TV and film is created. He was puzzled at first by the rehearsals involved – ‘Mister Maker always manages to do it right first time when I watch him on TV’ he told me, before I explained editing to him. Mister Maker himself was also lovely (and tall), very patient with my son and made him laugh a lot.
I’m told that it will actually be shown sometime in December, but we won’t know exactly when until the Autumn. I will of course let you all know when it is, though it will probably be the only one filmed in the rain!