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“We Have Very Much Missed Seeing and Experiencing Our Beautiful Country”

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As live action production re-opens in Scotland, Rhona Drummond and Victoria Watson of creative production studio Eyebolls, discuss the expectations and challenges involved

“We Have Very Much Missed Seeing and Experiencing Our Beautiful Country”
As Scotland enters phase 3 in its easing of lockdown measures, Scottish production can finally begin to venture outdoors once more for the return of live action. Having turned their focus to animation during the hiatus, delivering a number of campaigns for Clients the team at Edinburgh-based production studio Eyebolls are excited to be able to continue work on their live action projects. 


Eyebolls co-owners Rhona Drummond and Victoria Watson speak to LBB about the excitement of their return, what the ‘new normal’ looks like, and offer advice for those looking to shoot in Scotland. 

Q > How are you feeling about the return to set and live action productions? 

Rhona > We are hugely excited to be going on location in early August for the first time since the beginning of March. We have had a small stop-motion animation shoot in the recent weeks and, following procedures, we can now increase our crew size to allow us to shoot in a beautiful part of Scotland. 

It will be fantastic to get outdoors again, we have very much missed seeing and experiencing our beautiful country – something we will never take for granted again. We are very lucky that our jobs take us to such amazing and remote locations. 

Q > What new safety measures are being introduced on set and how has that affected or pivoted the way in which you work? 

Rhona > As producers we have completed official Covid-19 Production Safety courses to ensure we are following all protocol for the safety of all. As usual all locations are risk assessed and these are now enhanced to include Covid Safety Protocol. Like all other productions we now also require a little more time for pre-production and additional budget for things like PPE kit, this helps us better prepare for location shoots. 

Q > What upcoming projects do you have in the pipeline? 

Rhona > We have a number of animations in production and a planned live action shoot for The Scottish Government Road Safety Department. 

Q > Did lockdown offer you any time to reflect on the way that you work and are there any lessons you will be taking forward? 

Rhona > Whilst in lockdown we were busy finishing projects and also conducting remote edits. It did however allow us to realise that our productions can be worked on remotely without any real issues, something we -like the rest of the country - hadn’t tested before. 

It has also allowed us time to reflect on how much we value the people we work with. This has affected everyone and there is definitely more sense of community and more want for collaboration between companies - as long as we all wash our hands of course! 

Q > What advice do you have for those looking to shoot in Scotland? Are there certain key locations that are easier to shoot in than others? 

Rhona > Filming on the more remote parts of Scotland such as the Highlands and Islands is always a little trickier for many reasons, and thankfully we have the knowledge and experience to work within them. These locations can include challenges such as limited available accommodation during holiday months or various spots being very busy with vehicles. 

Q > Logistically what else should people be aware of? Are there new rules with hotels / food and catering / make-up and hair? 

Rhona > Just like the rest of the country, all hotels and self catering accommodation have new ways of working, less contact with staff, more cleaning and hygiene rules. The same goes for our crew, we all have to wear full PPE and check temperatures regularly. There are up-to-date industry rules and guidance which we are all following. 

Catering is different, with places opening, masks are required indoors and many places are using specially designed screens. If productions are taking place in a more central location, crew will be given per diems and will be required to purchase their own food or bring food with them. If outside catering has been ordered, individually wrapped meals will be supplied. 

Full PPE is also required for make-up and wardrobe. Fittings will be conducted remotely and touch ups or checks on set will be carried out by the artist themselves. 

Q > What advice do you have for anyone who may be feeling nervous in returning to set? 

Rhona > Please don’t be nervous - we are prepared for this. We know the safety protocols and have all the PPE equipment for each individual. Each day will have been risk assessed and all crew contacted and checked to ensure no one is displaying Covid-19 symptoms. Temperatures will also be taken regularly, for all, on set. Let’s get our industry back to doing what it knows best. 

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EYEBOLLS, Mon, 03 Aug 2020 10:35:48 GMT