I am Aspen Smoke. I am finished.
So begins my flash fiction yarn that explains death using found footage of wilderness and wolves.
Click the pic to watch the 4:39 video, to hear the story, to know.
Linda always inspired me, sometimes in obvious ways, often in small, subtle ways but ever lovingly. Her job as Film Liaison for the City of Winnipeg required Linda to be up to speed on all film activity in the city. She sent me this one pager about wolves on movie sets with a note at the end saying she couldn’t wait to read the story it inspired. Though it is rich with potential and aroused some ideas in my head, I never did write a story based on this curious bit of movie minutiae. Instead of a story, I’ll share the information she sent me.
WORKING CONDITIONS FOR WOLVES
Here are guidelines for all crew members to follow when working around and with WILD ANIMALS to ensure a safe and successful shoot.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE ARE WILD ANIMALS THAT HAVE BEEN USED IN MANY FILM PRODUCTIONS. THESE ARE NOT “PETS.” PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TOUCH, OR ASK TO TOUCH ANY OF THESE WOLVES (UNLESS YOU ARE A TRAINER). THE TRAINERS THAT WORK WITH THEM HAVE WORKED FOR MANY YEARS USING THE WOLF’S NATURAL INSTINCT TO THEIR ADVANTAGE.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ALLOW THEM TO BE “PREPPED” IN THE LOCATION THAT WE ARE FILMING IN ALLOWING THEM TO FEEL COMFORTABLE IN ANY NEW SURROUNDING SO THAT THEY ARE CONFIDENT IN THEIR WORKING ENVIRONMENT.
BECAUSE WOLVES ARE PREDATORY ANIMALS IT IS VERY IMPORTANT WHEN FILMING AT NIGHT THAT WE FILM THEM WITH MINIMAL CREW AND ARE ALWAYS AWARE THAT CREW ACTIVITY MUST STOP WHEN WORKING AROUND THE WOLVES TO ALLOW THEM TO FOCUS ON THE TRAINERS.
WHEN WORKING WITH WOLVES;
-WOLVES WILL BE PARKED AS CLOSE TO SET AS POSSIBLE KEPT IN OUR TRANSPORT TRAILER, IN SEPARATE LOCKED CAGES.
-ALL SHOTS/SET UPS, WILL BE DISCUSSED PREVIOUSLY.
-WE WILL NEED TO HAVE A CLEARED PATHWAY TO BRING WOLVES IN AND OUT OF SET SAFELY. THERE SHOULD BE NO CREW AND NO EQUIPMENT ON THIS PATH WHATSOEVER. LOCKDOWN WHEN WOLVES TRAVEL TO AND FROM SET.
-IF ANY EQUIPMENT EG. LIGHTS, FLAGS, RIGGING NEEDS TO BE MOVED OR ADDED WHEN WOLVES ARE ON SET, PLEASE ASK TRAINER IF IT IS O.K. LET US BE AWARE SO WE CAN MOVE THE WOLF AWAY IF NECESSARY.
-MINIMAL CREW WHEN WORKING WITH THE WOLVES, VIDEO VILLAGE, CREW ETC. IS BEST TO BE KEPT IN GROUP AREA OFF TO THE SIDE, KEEP IN MIND WOLVES HAVE VERY ACUTE HEARING AND SIGHT, IF WE ARE FILMING AT NIGHT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO BE CAREFUL NOT TO DISTRACT WOLVES WHEN THEY NEED TO FOCUS.
-AFTER EVERY SHOT PLEASE CHECK WITH TRAINER MAKING SURE THAT ALL THE WOLVES ARE SECURED INSIDE CATCH/RELEASE CAGES OR ON LEASH BEFORE CREW STARTS TO MOVE AROUND.
THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS, IF ANYONE HAS ANY QUESTIONS FEEL FREE TO ASK TRAINER. HE WILL HAVE A SAFETY MEETING WITH CREW BEFORE WOLVES COME ON TO SET TO WORK.
.PLEASE NO FOOD ON SET.