Updated: Apr 16, 2018
It's all about the animals you see, that was the takeaway from filming for Daleside Vets' upcoming promotional film. It's one of the privileges of making films for businesses, the opportunity to see the inner workings of an organisation, and experiencing their passion and commitment for what they do.
Never work with . . .
This week has largely been about CreativeJigsaw getting the filming done for a production that will showcase the large and small animal facilities of Daleside Vets, a vet-owned business that's been around for a quarter of a century this year. We've already worked quite extensively with children, so it was probably about time we encountered the other subject of the well-known "never work with..." expression!
Variety . . . show
The work with Daleside Vets is a further injection of variety into recent productions undertaken by CreativeJigsaw. Following on from explosive science exploration at Techniquest Glwndwr, "flying" children at Hafod y Wern School, and leading-edge sight correction techniques at Jane Smellie Opticians to name just a few, Daleside represented something completely different again.
It can't be too often that someone from outside the farming and veterinary fields will find themselves in a cow shed on a chilly April day observing (and filming) a professional going about the business of checking cattle to determine whether they're expecting a calf, whilst keeping an eye out for any problems (a procedure that's performed at the rear end of a cow, requiring the use of an arm-length glove - the rest your imagination can fill in!)
But even more than this, the occasion unexpectedly required some impromptu on-site surgery...
Jimmy (or Jane) five bellies? Not quite!
One of the cows was found to have an apparently not uncommon problem since last giving birth - one of her four stomachs had ended up in the wrong place. It's important to correct this, and requires surgery to do so. Cows are hardy beasts, not to mention being very large to transport and requiring a sizeable operating theatre, so the accepted approach is to operate there and then - in the cowshed.
If this were the blog of a farmer or a vet it would probably barely warrant a mention, but as this is the blog of a film producer it's a little more noteworthy.
So without going into a great deal of detail, the corrective surgery required our vet film star to give a local anaesthetic to the cow's side before making a 20cm incision and, whilst she was still standing up, put his hand and arm through the hole in her side in order to pull the misplaced stomach back into position. Needless to say, most of the footage is too gruesome to be included in the promotional film!
Filming Day 2 was at several of Daleside's small animal vets practices, which provided quite a contrast to the large animal services that's carried out on farm sites. It's here that the cats and dogs really do reign supreme - it's clear that every single member of staff truly love animals, they're even allowed to bring their own pets into work with them (a perk not often seen away from "right-on" Silicon Valley start-ups).
And of course the owners bringing in their pets are equally enthusiastic, with good reason given the lovely dogs and cats that were on site during filming day.
The cat may be out of the bag...but it's in the can
Whilst it was good to observe this independent veterinary business as it went about providing what is clearly a top quality service to its customers, the main purpose was, of course, to capture suitable images. This, happily, was also achieved (we just have the voice-over to record) so we're (almost) all set to take this project into post production to deliver a film that will visualise the good work of Daleside Vets for many others to see.