Like most kids of her age, Flea can perform a wide range of animal noises. I blame all those hours spent at Musical Minis classes, singing along to Old MacDonald and Five Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day.
But as an urban child, she’s never seen most of those animals, outside of books and cartoons. So when Morrisons invited us to one of their farms to make a film about their eggs (Morrisons only sells free range eggs, you know), I thought it would be a great opportunity for Flea to see some real animals.
We learned lots of things:
- When arriving at a farm, you will need to drive through the gates and greet the farmer ten times until the crew gets you at just the right speed and angle. The final shot will comprise approximately .01 seconds of the film.
- Chickens? They don’t smell so good. And 16,000 chickens smell rank, I’m sorry to say.
- Chickens are a lot softer and warmer than you imagine, and they follow you around, like small, pecking puppies.
- Free range chickens love to dig and see what they can find. Their favourite thing is finding a Daddy Long Legs to play with.
- Free range chickens sometimes fling themselves against the electric fence, testing for weak spots.
- There is nothing funnier than having the sound guy fuss and fidget with your t-shirt, jacket, mike and hair to try and eliminate background noise – and then ruin the shot because he forgot to turn his mobile phone off.
- Nothing impresses a four-year-old more than a sound guy with a boom mike on an extendible pole.
- Unless it’s a farmer who hands the aforementioned four year old a hammer and invites her to smash some eggs with it.
- Trying to sound natural asking a question for the fifth time while you’re filmed from a slightly different angle to the other four times is WAY harder than you’d imagine. I don’t think I missed a career in the movies, let’s put it that way.
- When making a film about eggs, you will need two people who will devote an hour to creating the perfect “stunt omelette”. I think this might be the best thing I’ve seen in 35 years on the planet.
- No matter how many eggs Flea saw on the farm, the best one by a country mile was the chocolate Spiderman Easter Egg that the lovely Ellie brought along to the shoot for Flea.
- It doesn’t matter how nicely you ask her, Flea isn’t going to say that stunt omelette is delicious if you made the huge error of putting tomatoes in it.
Thanks so much to Morrisons for inviting us along, we had a fantastic day and everyone was so lovely to Flea. They were very nice to me, too – bringing along fur-trimmed wellies especially! Also, a very special thanks to Farmer Phil for introducing Flea to his collection of Quad Bikes – I never imagined I had such an adreneline junkie on my hands!