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Made at Otley: Behind the Scenes

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Made at Otley: Behind the Scenes

Daisy Jones was one of three IP1 contributors recently chosen to star in Otley College’s excellent new Made at Otley video marketing campaign. Here, Daisy recalls what it was like to be a high society country ranger for the day, and how she’s now given up on a career as a writer and has turned her attentions to Hollywood instead…

When I told my mum that I wanted to do some modelling work, she nearly choked on her tea. What followed was that awkward moment when your mother tries to tell you you’re not pretty. When it comes to looks, I’m a bit like the Mona Lisa – surprisingly small, kind of manly and a bit grumpy-looking. It was therefore with some apprehension that I arrived at Otley College along with about 13 others, ready to take part in a TV advert promoting the college.

We had a cuppa in the canteen (which was probably my favourite facility in the college) and the film team told us more about the advert. It’s loosely based on Made in Chelsea, with each person representing one of the courses available at Otley. I hoped I wouldn’t be given something with an embarrassing costume – I doubted that I could rock the high-vis and hard hat look. That was when one of the film team asked me if I’d be happy to wear a wetsuit. I politely declined – my family would never let that go. In the end, I was to be a country ranger, and got a rather dashing Indiana Jones-style hat.

Everyone got to know each other better in the queue for hair and makeup. The other models were artistic souls – among our number were a fashion design student, an illustrator, and a graphic designer. When they asked me what I did I realised there was no way of making Latin A-Level sound cool. Getting my make-up done was a bit strange, because I never wear any. (Still, I guess it was weirder for the boys.) And it was a bit embarrassing that the make-up artist spent about twice as long on me than everyone else.

However, after being beautified (or just made presentable) we made our way to the field, where the ad was going to be filmed. The set was very glamorous, with a chaise longue, a chandelier, silver candlesticks… and a Jeep. We were arranged into our positions with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing as the camera crew worked out what would look best for the final shot.

Daisy’s eyes light up at the sight of pizza and chips, during a break in filming

We broke for lunch, which was really good (food is my main motivation) before returning to the set to begin filming. The final touches were added. Additional props included a horse and a snake, who were demonstrating the college’s Equine and Animal Studies courses. I was sandwiched between the two, hoping that nothing would bite me.

For the shot, everyone was told to do a small action, which would later be slowed down for the final advert, and then give the camera a moody look. I was opening up a map, which turned out to be trickier than you might expect. I kept opening it upside-down or flailing a bit when it wouldn’t open, and then I tried to smoulder away as if nothing had happened.

Once we’d repeated the group scene enough times for the film team to be sure they’d got a good shot, most people were finished for the day, but a few of us stayed to do solo close-ups.
“What?” my brother said later, “They chose you for a close-up shot? You?”

His faith in me is heartening. My close-up was simple; turning around, hands on my rucksack straps, to face the camera (smoulderingly). I didn’t take long (unlike Sarah, who had to wrangle with a fidgety snake) and then all too soon, my day at Otley College was over.

The range of courses available at Otley is really exciting and inspiring, and it’s a great place to study. I had a brilliant day there, and learnt a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes of TV production. I’m really looking forward to seeing the final advert. Next stop, Hollywood!


1 Daisy Jones | on 20 August 2011

Well I had no idea my enthusiasm for that pizza showed quite that much.

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