We’ve been back at the farm recently, on another gloriously sunny day, for some more filming of the round-up of the sheep from the field into the sheep-pens, simultaneously showing the point of view of the farmer, the sheep and the dog.
This time we were experimenting with 6 cameras, as we wanted to get some footage of the event from static viewpoints of the gate posts and elevated poles, in order to give the audience a wider context of the farm, in comparison to the other close-up views.
We were also trialling a new camera harness for Fly, the sheep-dog, which enables the camera to sit above her head, so that when she runs at speed and then flattens in the grass, the camera can still capture what she is seeing, rather than a close-up view of the ground.
We’d improved the harness for Farmer Tony too, which now positioned the camera in the middle of his chest, therefore getting a slightly lower view of the sheep and hopefully keeping the horizons level.
Tony had separated off some sheep for us, so that we could easily attach their 3 cameras before they were released back into the field with the rest of the flock.
After letting them settle with the rest of the flock for 10 minutes, Tony and Fly set off to round them up – the new position of Fly’s camera worked a treat, giving a great view of the sheep regardless of whether she was running towards them, or lying on the ground, awaiting Tony’s next command.
We’d attached a camera to the gate post of the field, so that we could capture a view of the sheep passing through – which worked well, the only issue we had though, was that we had stabilised the camera by stuffing straw behind it to keep it upright and this proved too tempting for some sheep, who promptly ate it, meaning that the rest of the footage was slightly wonky, as the camera had got knocked!
However we were more successful with Tony’s new harness, making it much easier to capture good images from his point of view, moving the sheep up the track to the sheep-pens. Once inside, we then removed all the cameras from the sheep, so that we could release them back into the field.
We had set up some cameras on elevated poles, in the hope that we would get some aerial footage of the sheep as they passed back up the track to the field. This worked fairly well, though the sheep were quite suspicious of the poles and tried to go round them rather than underneath them if they could.
Eventually though, the number of sheep passing through was too large to allow them to swerve to avoid the poles, so we got some nice views from above, as they returned to their field.
For now, this is probably the last time we’ll be filming at the farm, as we move into the next stage of editing the footage to create the film for the exhibition later in the year. We’ve really appreciated all the help and support that Tony has given us, along with his continuing enthusiasm for our project and we are always in awe of the amazing relationship between him and Fly, that enables them to move the sheep around with seeming ease.