TV Pilot Diary

In April 2010 we shot a 30 minute TV Pilot for BBC Scotland, and what an eye-opener it was. Here’s our daily diary from the shoot.

Day One: Monday, 05 April

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Filming begins; 15 of the finest film and TV technicians in the country, and us. What must they be thinking? We’re off to a cracking start at 7 am on a gye mauchie day in Inverurie with Susan, Craig and Elaine up first in the shop. First item is in the can by 10:30 and the crew seems pretty happy with what they’ve got. The TV incarnation of Susan’s character ‘Donna’ looks uncannily like Amy Winehouse. Later action has Greg wrestling the Mitchell’s dairy coo across the High street, to the bemusement of passersby. We spent the remainder of the day pretending to be primary school children. Lots of laughs as we get to know the crew, many of whom are fresh from filming the latest series of ‘Taggart’ including Karen (make-up designer, mutilations and cadavers a specialty) for whom Greg’s grazed knee for ‘Mrs. Valentine’ does not present too big a challenge.

Quote of the Day: Faye (1st Asst Dir)

‘…Cut! Can we reset Steven’s bottom, please?’

Day Two: Tuesday, 06 April

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On location in Old Aberdeen, another 7:00 am call for Greg and Susan. Shooting schedule is knocked for six when a great muckle removals van arrives at the location an hour early. Out on to the High Street for Robbie Shepherd’s ‘Fit Ye Sayin’ Til’t?’. Only gaggles of cagouled tourists, the surprisingly frequent number 20 bus and traditional Aiberdeen pishing rain to contend with there. 3 more items in the can, and we break for lunch. Great soup courtesy of ‘The Inn at The Park’ (Other hotels are available, but we can’t guarantee the quality of their soup). In the afternoon Elaine takes over from Susan in the Caledonia Bank call centre, John gets some tattoos and Greg gets his chest shaved in preparation for the ‘Personal Trainer’ sketch, much to Susan’s barely concealed delight.

Quote of the day: Eleanor (Director)

“Can I get the art department to confirm the position of Greg’s electrodes, please?”


Day Three: Wednesday, 07 April

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We’re doon on Doonie’s Fairm for Mtv (Meiklewartle Television) and the ‘Haud ‘is’ video shoot for their biggest hit, ‘Auchnagatt For Good’.
Today’s guest star was McGinty the Ram, the James Earl Jones of sheep, whose personal attributes drew the attention of Eleanor, our director (a close second for quote of the day: “Ivan, make sure you get his danglers!”). Then Susan gave the Haud ‘is boys the nasal equivalent of colonic irrigation as they expressed their love of rural Aberdeenshire through the medium of interpretive dance. All that remains is for Karen (Make Up Designer) to apply Greg’s Willie Miller moustache at lightening speed before Mr Duguid is ready for his close up.

Quote of the day: Joy (Costume Asst)

“You are to be congratulated on your turds.”

Emer (Prod Designer)

“Thank you. I made them last night, in my bedroom.”


Day Four: Thursday, 08 April

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A hairy kind of a day today, starting with Greg’s aural and olfactory orifices and Elaine’s decollage. Karen (Make Up Designer) and Lynne (Wardrobe Mistress) brilliantly turn everyone into their own parents for Eddie’s Woes, but the morning shoot over runs, and the price is paid at the end of the day when we run out of time, light and Craig when filming The Liar. It would be a pity if Susan had been shot repeatedly with ping-pong balls for no good reason. Hero of the day is Moray, whose painstaking efforts to strain soup and barbecue sauce through his RAF moustache proved, ultimately, futile. An honourable mention goes to Jim (props master) who squeezes his size 10s into Maurice’s size 8 golf shoes for the filming of the golf shots, undaunted by the fact that he’s the only person on set (or, possibly, earth) with less golfing experience than John.

Quote of the day: Faye (1st Asst Dir)

“Now we need the close up on Elaine, licking the biscuit. Thank you.”


Day Five: Friday, 09 April

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Back in Old Aberdeen today for Man’s Man, which requires the Machar Bar to be set dressed to make it look ‘more like a pub.’ Archie and Davie and Bob Spence; plus a couple of quickies and a great load of little wee fickery bitties. Happily, last night ended well with Jim (props-master) completing all the golf shots in one take, thanks to the tactical masterstroke of deploying ‘beginner’s luck’. The end is in sight; just one last push… and we’re wrapped!

Quote of the day: Faye (1st Asst Dir)

“Eleanor, you are now asking for jam”.