In February 2018 I was lucky enough to work as a trainee for 4 weeks on “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle”. The story is Based in 1840s England, a fantastic era to work in and my first time on a film set!
I remember walking in to Shepperton Studios at 7:30am on my first day, the sun was just rising, I was shaking with nerves and I was carrying my overpacked rucksack and tool box. I walked past some great big doors to one of the studio sets and it had been left just a jar, and I could see a Victorian London scene painted in pastel colours. It was magical and I felt like I had arrived.
For the four weeks I was there it was run up to shooting so it was all go. I learnt the in-and-outs of the art department and got to do lots of ageing and labelling up of old antique medicine bottles, I pressed flowers to create artworks for Dolittle’s study, I used dip pens and ink to write on labels to go on animal bandages, and I wrote lots of letters addressed to Queen Victoria with gold and red wax seals. I was even sent into London for the day to shop for ribbons and trimmings and beautiful papers. It was all very surreal and I was in my true element.
But things aren’t all pastel colours and tied up with ribbon. I did have a can of spray mount explode on me and it took me about 5 days before my hands stopped being sticky. And I haven’t even watched the film. But I enjoyed my teeny tiny part I got to play in the making of the film!