It’s really, really hard to hire a frog
I’ve just finished planning a cinemagraph shoot for Persil that involved a child holding a small garden frog. I was quick to source some great child models, but the pond life turned out to be more of a challenge. I called a couple of animal handlers, the first sounded dubious: ‘frogs are way too slippery to shoot with’. So that was a no. The second I spoke to went off brief: ‘How about a giant land tortoise? You’ll need at least four strong men to carry it in, but it’ll look great on camera.’ Erm, no thank you. He then went on to offer me African snails, giant millipedes, a snake and even a poisonous toad. Poison with kids? Another no.
I was getting a bit panicked by this point, so put plan b (worms) into motion. I was almost ready to go and dig for them myself, though the concrete jungle that is EC1 isn’t exactly worm friendly terrain. Luckily my lovely mum offered to go to her local fishing shop and buy some live worms. She kept them in her fridge until the day of the shoot. Knowing this was sorted left me free to get back on the phones and try and source this elusive frog.
And you know it may be a cliché, but ‘mum to the rescue’ really is how this shoot was saved. Finally the owner of 1st Choice Animals suggested I get in touch with her son Dean, who she thought might have some frogs. And, breakthrough! He had a marsh frog that he could bring to the shoot. Though this frog did come with a warning: ‘You can’t train a frog, they do what they want.’
‘So, how do we stop it jumping out the model’s hands?’
Fingers crossed for shoot day …