Never work with Children? Bah!

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We’ve just finished four nights at Magna – the children’s science park in Rotherham. It’s based in an old foundry, 350 metres long, 3 floors, painted black inside with very atmospheric low lighting. Bert Agency in Manchester kindly asked me to shoot the commercial for their client, so together with Vic McCullagh on lighting we took on the challenge.

After a screen test session a few months ago, the final actors were chosen, the lead part taken by Finlay:


The Science park has four zones, Earth, Air, Fire and Water (as well as a nice Cafe). Bert had a storyboard to work from, and I suggested additional areas to film in each zone to make the most of our time there. Safety was of the utmost concern, we were working in the dark a lot of the time, as well as being surrounded by water, flames, and dozens of child extras and their families.


The gloves are on… Vic means business


Finlay hosing the camera in ‘Water Zone’



I rigged the camera on the Jib, and behind a sheet of perspex, held up by magic arms.
It worked great, but I couldn’t keep my feet dry.


The turbine in ‘Air Zone’ recreates a hurricane,
and I’m sat in the middle of it…


Getting additional setups. Funny.


After the second burger, he was full.


Duncan and the Chris’s from Bert


Fully operational mini JCBs in ‘Earth Zone’ = NOISY!


The commercial ends with Finlay sleeping in the back of the car on the way home… Shhh!