Thursday, June 26, 2008


I spent Monday on the set of a new film being produced by my good friend Ken. It's a period comedy about the exploits of fertilizer salesmen in Kansas in the early 1960's. Once one is beyond the obvious jokes, it's actually a very funny script and I think it will be a winner, albeit an off-beat one.

Got the grand tour- prop rooms, art department, carpenters shop, and three big sound stages. In the art department, artisans were carefully replicating cow dung. On one stage, a vintage diner was being constructed. The other stage was a Kansas field, complete with live grass and trees, and for the sake of authenticity, cattle. LIVE cattle.

This is where it got a bit humorous. The cattle, being somewhat nervous, contributed very authentic cow dung while being unloaded from the trailer. One cow slipped and knocked a second cow down as well. So these animals had to be righted and led onto the set where they...well, grazed. The crew removed the authentic dung with a shovel and placed the simulated dung on set instead.

The Assistant Director, possibly not used to the reality of livestock, grew very frustrated with the wandering grazing herd and had a heated discussion with the animal handler, who calmly explained that these are not trained animals, they're just cows and cows will tend to graze when placed on a field of fluffy grass. It's kinda what they do.

At that point, the AD yelled at the handler, "Well, I want you to take these cows away and bring me different cows", adding "I never want to see these cows again"!

It was a Joan Crawford scene from the set of Dorothy Gale's Kansas. The animal handled loaded the now blacklisted cows back into the trailer, and prepared to go retrieve some different ones.

One thought- They all look alike- how will he know?


Miss Janey said...

All that was missing was the AD shouting, "These cows will never work in this town again!"

Doralong said...

Miss Janey stole my line ;)