Fire Drill

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A few months ago I took some portraits for the Health and Safety team and now they have come back to me to ask if I would be able to put a Health and Safety video together for them.

They don’t need the video completed until later this year so I can start on it once my term finishes but they asked if I could capture some photos and footage of the university’s annual fire drill this weekend to put in the film once it’s finished.

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I normally would have liked to have one or two other people with me for a shoot like this but as it was over the Easter holiday most of the other students had returned home so i had to film alone. I took two cameras, one on a tripod to film with and a second to capture photos and any close up moving shots and I would have to sacrifice sound and add it in with foley.

I set my tripod up where the fire engines were planned to pull in so I could get a good shot of the them arriving and waited with my other camera. What none of us had been told was that the fire crew were being followed by another camera crew as they were having a documentary made about them. This made it particularly difficult for me as there were two camera people and they seemed to always be stood where I wanted to film or in shot filming so stopped the scene from looking natural.

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Obviously I couldn’t ask them to move as they had a job to do as much as I did so I just tried to ensure that I kept out of their shots while getting the best photos and filming i could from some more imaginative angles.

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I really enjoyed today’s filming. The fake smoke and sirens and the ‘injured’ casualties all added to the atmosphere of the event and I felt like I was on a professional film set, if a little under staffed.

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Today’s filming really taught me to expect the unexpected and that you can’t always control your set. Not only did I have a film crew often getting in shot but also members of the public as the surrounding area was still open to everyone. It reminded me to stay patient and to think my way around things and be quick to find a new angle or subject to focus on.

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