The fencing is the most important thing to be successful filming your horse. It has to be at least 1,5 meter high. If you have a "rope fence" make sure the electricity is working.
It's at great advantage to have the gate at the same side of the paddock where the horse will run.
I will position myself with the camera having the sun in the back.
An even surface is of course to prefer, and as flat as possible. If there are rocks or sticks in the paddock remove as much of them as possible.
Make sure you cut the grass before filming.
A clean paddock gives a nice impression. Clean away the manure and remove buckets, plastic and hay. The overall impression is very important.
Remove as much of disturbing objects in the background as possible. For example cars, objects in bright colors, tools and buckets. A clean background keeps the viewer 100% focused on the horse. If possible, keep the paddocks in the near by, free from other horses.
A paddock should be long and a bit narrow. We want the horse to move in big strides but at the same time not loose the energy to fast. The measure of the length should be 90-100m and 40-50m deep, if any of the sides are too long, it will be hard to control the horse.
FRONT AND BACK
When filming sequences from front and back we are helped by using a fenced corridor. This can be done after filming clips from the side. (Read more further down the list; "divided session")
To get a horse to run along the fence forth and back we need manpower. The bigger paddock the more people need to join. For a paddock with the measures mentioned above we need 4-5 people.
We need a plan to get the best out of a film session. I will walk you through the process before we start.
Prepare some empty plastic bottles and fill them with stones. Plastic bags on sticks are great markers for pointing the horse in the right direction.
If there are a number of horses to film, make sure they are all ready to go. We need to work effective and use the time wisely. It takes a lot of patience filming horses, especially the young ones. Both people and horses will get tired as the time pass. It takes around 15-20 minutes filming one horse. It depends on various factors such as the paddock and so on.
MODEL 1 & 2
1. ALL IN ONE TAKE
This takes manpower and teamwork. We need to get good clips as effective as we can. Since we are filming all the angles in one take, we need the horse to stay strong through the whole process.
The horse is filmed from the side, back and front in one session.
2. DIVIDED SESSION
If the plan is to film front and back in a corridor this is how we normally do it. This way is the best way since the horse get to rest between filming the different angles.
Filming from the side
Paus (the horse goes back to the stable for a rest while we film the next horse)
Filming the front and back
Safety is our highest priority. Horses can get stressed by the new situation. We can prevent the risks by be responsive to the horses signals. One huge factor is a good and strong fence. Horses are flight animals and they sometimes lean on the fence.
At some places we have found a great help by using an old horse that we place or handhold somewhere nearby, this has a calming effect to the youngsters. This can also help them get going in the right direction. Very helpful!
DON'T FORGET YOURSELF!
Remember to bring something to drink. It is a workout filming horses.
Sport shoes will make it easier! :)