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  Filming The Family

How did the family and film crew interact? Series Producer Simon Shaw explains.


QHow many members of the camera crew were working in the house at any given time?

ShawWe had three people: a director, a cameraman and a sound recorder.

QWhat were the basic rules for when and where the camera crew was allowed to film?

ShawThey could film whenever the Bowlers allowed them to. We tried to make the family feel at home as possible, so we let them control what we filmed, but they let us go just about everywhere. We even filmed Joyce taking a bath, she was very happy with that.

QDid the Bowlers ever ask the camera crew to stop taping?

ShawNot that I know of. Even the moment when Joyce loses her composure out in the garden -- which became the defining moment of the early part of the series. She admits that she actually was pleased that the camera was there recording that because she wanted everybody to know what a rotten time she was having.

QHow did you prepare the Bowlers for the presence of a camera crew in their lives?

ShawWe took them to an historic home and filmed them there for a week. This served a two-fold purpose. First, it helped them learn about the unfamiliar Victorian appliances they would have to use, which helped minimize the safety risks. Second, we filmed in a fairly intensive way four out of the five days we were there to give them a feeling of what it was like to be on camera so they would eventually feel natural around the crew. We also lent them a mini-camera for a couple weeks before they moved in, which they practiced talking into to prepare themselves for the diary cameras.



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