Bird Feed

Larry and the Duck Crew – Wentworth Park, Sydney, NS.

This day of filming was a very relaxed day filled with lots of establishing shots, short cuts, and fun takes. Buried within all of this was one ambitious shot that was suggested by Director John Bury. The shot was seemingly simple, Bigsby gets sick and the birds clean up after him.

Our first, and admittedly sad, attempt was done in the tunnel end of Wentworth Park – the same location where Bigsby meets Jayden. Our bait: chip crumbs. We spread the crumbs around to try and get the ducks out of the water and to our bench. Finally it started to work! The ducks were walking towards our shot when an oblivious park guest decided to scare them away and walk through our shot. Nice. We decided to clean up and move on.

John and Kenzie directingNext, we tried to go a little closer to the band shell. This is where we found more success since there were much more birds. We also bought some bread to use instead of chip crumbs. The birds flocked to us after that. We had the shot all lined up and ready to go, we rolled, and we got it on our first try in this spot. Albeit, it was still a tricky shot to organized – you can direct birds, turns out. We let it roll for far longer than we needed to, this ended up getting us a perfect take. Patience is very important for shots like this, if I had cut earlier we would never have had the birds fly away to wake up Bigsby. A big thanks to Mitch Murrant for advising we keep rolling.

This one tiny shot has taught me a lot about working on set. A few takeaways: patience is crucial, location, location, location, and collaboration is beautiful. This shot would not have happened if our team didn’t trust John Bury. With small teams like this, every single member plays an important role and every single opinion should be listened to and considered. I can speak for myself – my vision of this shot was more of an establishing, zoomed-in shot. John was thinking bigger, and it paid off.

Moving forward, we’re still all happy to collaborate on scene ideas. While we each have our own roles, we all feel comfortable working together to get through these tough shots. If something goes wrong, we take it as a team. This has created a stress-free, fun working environment. With collaboration in mind, it is still important to trust each other. Like I said, we all have our own roles. Having all of this awareness is huge for our team. Personally, I think this one shot has taught me a lot about our abilities as a team, and how to get things done.

Kenzie Cameron
Tar City Productions