T I NY CREATURES | WI LDL I FE
RIGHT Some of the animal confrontations never happened in reality, but were clever editing
comped show, so you can engage two animals in violent confrontation without one even seeing the other, but for Tiny Creatures , the term to use is ‘stitching’. It’s the same shot, but shot twice. Take the example from the first episode, where you have got the narrative of a young kangaroo rat evading a harris hawk. You run one shot with the kangaroo rat in it, he goes back to his trailer and then the hawk is brought in to fly through the scene. You then basically draw a line between the two and make sure they don’t cross and that’s how you’d make them chase each other. “What we worked really hard on was to make sure that the animal’s eye lines were true,” says Jones, “so the hawk would look down on where the mouse was. We had to make sure that nothing moved in the set or you have to shoot the shot all over again. It was simple, but incredibly technical. The driving force of this technique was to shoot the animals on the same day to keep the
could prepare their animals for what was needed. Without that, the stories were in danger of not being realised when, say, a squirrel was just not feeling it on the day. “So it was a massive collaboration of people – you couldn’t just wing it. As soon as we’d finished our animatics, we knew that the score had already been written, so we could start building in score right at the beginning. It’s such a great process and so different to any other show I’ve ever done,” explains Jones.
production rolling and also to make the shows look as real as possible.” Even the windows had practical views outside of them taken during location, but blown up and put on boards so everything remained in-camera. THE ANIMALS Tiny Creatures is nothing without the normal behaviour of the animals, so part of the preparation and the reason for the detailed previs was so the animal handlers
SEPTEMBER 2020 | DEF I N I T ION 25
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