Phil Krstic is a First-class BA (Hons) Media Production graduate from the University of Lincoln – School of Media (LSM) in 2012 and now called LSFM – School of Film & Media. He works as a TV freelancer and gives a great insight about Filming Life on the Run: Celebrity Hunted broadcast on Channel 4.
Working in television, you find yourself filming in all sorts of different locations and scenarios. What I didn’t expect to be filming, 5 years after graduating from LSM, was celebrity fugitives on the run from real life private investigators and detectives, all in aid of ‘Stand up to Cancer’. Those not familiar, ‘Celebrity Hunted’ (Shine TV, 2017) is a celebrity twist on the prime time flagship Channel 4 show whereby fugitives have to evade capture for 4 weeks by hiding out and keeping a low profile anywhere in mainland UK. Meanwhile a team of ‘hunters’ have to hack phones, interrogate relatives and plot to hunt them down; especially difficult if you’re instantly recognised in every small town and village you try to hide out in the country.
Much to the excitement of my parents, I had the honour of following eighties television legend Anneka Rice. This time it wasn’t helicopters she was jumping in and out of, but instead the cars of people who were willing to help her on the run. Anneka took her time on the run very seriously and got stuck in when it came to going that extra length to remain hidden, be it hiding under tarpaulin or approaching complete strangers and asking for their help. The filming style for Hunted is very ‘gun and run’. You have to be ready with the camera to capture events as they unfolded with no room for second takes or reconstructing scenes.
Audio is constantly rolling to ensure those perfect sound bites are always captured. We have the choice of filming with larger, higher quality cameras when appropriate, but also smaller more covert cameras when we, as the crew, too need to keep a low profile. When there’s a moment to do so, I’d grab dirty wides with vegetation, fences and cars in the foreground to create the tone of ‘being watched’. Often including the (Senior Lecturer) Chris Hainstock pull focus special, hoping to give the editors at Princess Post something to get excited over, much in the same way Chris would have been excited ingesting that shot at the BBC back in the day. The LSM Chris Hainstock pull focus special had changed a lot from pulling from student to building in Lincoln, to shrubbery to Anneka Rice in the depths of the New Forest. Who knew my training would come into practice in such a manner?
Overall, the experience was fantastic. After just five years in television I’ve really learnt how different filming techniques and styles really impact the format of a production. There’s no doubt that having access to modern equipment at the School and being able to familiarise myself with filming had enabled me to confidently shoot for big, large scale productions for prime time terrestrial television.