The chance to work with professionals from the film industry recently led to an outstanding experience for a group of film and TV production students from the University of Cumbria.
The newly-released version of ‘Peter Rabbit’ was filmed at a number of locations in the north of England, including the Lake District, and the students were employed during shooting as location marshals. The role ensures that locations are ‘locked down’ while filming is under way, so that no errant cars or people can wander into shot.
Two of the students, Birk Garlef Drude (22) from Germany, and Miles Burchell (22) from Suffolk, spoke of their experience.
Birk said: “Working on Peter Rabbit was really great because it was my first time working on a proper, professional set alongside an experienced and professional film crew. We worked very long days, with only a few hours’ sleep, but it was well worth it.”
Miles agrees: “Yes, it was exhausting but we didn’t mind as the whole experience was so great. It’s given me a knowledge of what roles are out there in the film world. I certainly have an appreciation of a location marshal’s role now, but I think I’d really like to either be a writer or else work in post-production, editing the film. My time working on Peter Rabbit has given me a real insight into the process and where I would fit in.”
Birk agrees that the experience gave them a valuable opportunity to find out what jobs are available in the film world, but he hasn’t wavered from his intention to be involved in camera work.
Working as a location marshal was certainly varied – at one point Miles was roped in as a temporary shepherd to attempt to move and control some sheep that were in the wrong place for the shoot. He admits he wasn’t entirely successful, and indeed wondered if this might be the film industry’s version of being sent for a’ long stand’, but on looking round, and much to his relief, he found the assistant director was also trying his hand at shepherding!
The students have now been to see Peter Rabbit - did their names appear in the credits at the end of the movie? “Unfortunately not,” says Miles, “but we did spot many instances where we knew we were just off-screen or behind a tree! And our names are definitely included in the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) entry for the film, so that’s fantastic!”
Image above shows Birk (left) and Miles.