This page is a legacy of the Footprints: In Somerset website.

The content of this page hasn’t been actively updated since 2005 and the news hasn’t been updated since 2006.

On this exclusive DVD from Wild Duck Productions, join…

…on a whirlwind five-day exploration of the unique county of Somerset.

Watch as the lads are put through their paces as they experience life in the West Country on this adventure with many a humorous twist.

Then let MattCam take you behind the scenes and usher you into Matt’s weird and wonderful world, captured through the lens of his camcorder.

All kinds of challenges and surprises await the teenagers as they get a taste for country life:

Matt finds his animal instincts at Secret World, although Jack’s not quite so happy when he meets a few furry friends.

The myths and legends of Glastonbury are unveiled at the Tor, while the Rural Life Museum reveals a by-gone way of life.

The visit to a dairy farm sees the lads soon mucking in… and mucking out, but the rewards are well worth the work!

The lads join the local skittles team and it’s boys vs. girls in this high tempo battle of the sexes.

The lads share their insights as they take in the beauty of the medieval Wells cathedral before playing a rather peculiar game in the town centre.

At the end of their trip to the beach, as they stand watching the sun setting over the horizon, the lads reflect on their incredible journey.

But after a week of discovery and learning, a few questions remain unanswered…
Why did the butcher have a key to the prison? Where in the world will Matt end up? And just what exactly is mud horse fishing???

DVD Extras: Footprints: In Leek Wootton (The Footprints: In… series Pilot) – The MattCam Edit – Outtakes – Footprints: In Somerset Trailer

The Footprints: In Somerset DVD now includes an additional disc, with our special Festival Edition edit.

Footprints: In Leek Wootton – The Footprints Pilot
By Tom Pearson – Creator, Producer & Director

As the basis of Footprints: In Somerset formed it became clear that a pilot would be needed to give us some idea of how the project would work on location and what it might look like on screen, so in February 2004 we shot Footprints: In Leek Wootton…

At 8am on Sunday 1st February 2004 the Footprints Pilot cast and crew arrived at the sleepy village of Leek Wootton, Warwickshire, to shoot a one-day pilot episode. The programme was to highlight the history of both the village and the community which has built up within it.

Over the days that followed the Leek Wootton shoot I viewed the tapes and made notes on the ideas, elements and sections which worked and those which didn’t. The tapes were then stored and were not unearthed until the last few weeks of editing for Footprints: In Somerset . When I came across them again I took them round to our editor, Patrick Holroyd, and asked whether he could cut together a 10 minute piece using the material shot back in February. It has been included on the Footprints: In Somerset DVD for those who want to see how it all started.

The MattCam Edit
By Tom Pearson – Creator, Producer & Director

The idea was simple – have a novelty camera, a camera to capture events from an alternative point of view. We would then use some of the shots in the main programme as ‘fillers’ and dump the rest.

I decided that as Matt was the most ‘off the wall’ character it would be only right for him to carry this camera and shoot the world from a ‘Matt perspective’.

He was given an old 8mm camcorder to use during Footprints: In Leek Wootton and he began filming. The last location of the day was The Anchor pub, and while he went to get the drinks in Matt left the camera next to a plant pot on the ground by their table. When he returned with the drinks he accidentally kicked the pot, which tipped up and drenched the camera with water.

The camera fizzled and died and would no longer turn on or even eject.

Still to this day I haven’t been able to extract the tape. Maybe one day I will get around to unscrewing the pieces, prise out the tape and watch The MattCam from Leek Wootton.

Months later, when preparing for Footprints: In Somerset, I was still sure that I wanted this alternative point of view so when putting in my equipment hire order I included a camera for Matt worth well over £1000… I made a mental note to remind him to keep it away from water… then insured it heavily with the hire company!

So on the first day of Footprints: In Somerset I handed Matt his camcorder to use throughout the week to shoot whatever he wanted… and he did… he came back with over 17 hours of footage!

When Patrick (my editor) and I came to view what he’d filmed we were rewarded with some real gems. Each morning Matt had ‘signed on’ and each night he had ‘signed off’, providing us with comical links for each day in the main programme. We also included some of his pieces to camera from a number of the locations. We also decided that as there was so much great footage of the week, we really should put together an alternative version of the week from through the lens of MattCam…

The MattCam edit is a unique behind the scenes look at Footprints: In Somerset plotting the five days from a viewpoint only hinted at in the main programme.

Footprints: In Somerset – The making of…
By Tom Pearson – Creator, Producer & Director

Pre Production

In May 2003 I had the first idea for what was to become Footprints: In… It would be a programme following a group of teenagers as they visited places they might not typically visit. Over the next couple of months I put the idea together; I knew Somerset well so it was an obvious choice for a location, and together with my girlfriend, Davina Hughes, I began researching the cities, towns, attractions and indeed the culture of the county. Having worked in the area for a number of years my dad, Brian, was able to add to our research and provide me with several useful contacts. Slowly the framework of a possible itinerary began to take shape.

Within a few weeks of starting the project I presented the idea to three friends whom I knew to be interested in working in front of the camera. Jack Fitzgerald, Tom Quinney and Matt Nolan all readily agreed to experience Somerset life on behalf of our viewers. In October 2003 Robin Stangroom joined the team as a co-producer, bringing with him more ideas to add to the mix. As the basis of the programme formed it became clear that a pilot would be needed to give us some idea of how the project would work on location and what it might look like on screen, so in February 2004 we shot Footprints: In Leek Wootton.

Over the ensuing months we sent out release forms, sent out quote requests and production queries; I researched the equipment and processes involved in making a broadcast quality programme and I had regular meetings with the cast and ever growing crew. Daniel ‘Taylor’ Chesterton, our production assistant from Footprints: In Leek Wootton, joined the team again, along with my mum, Althea, and brother, Nick. We also enlisted Rachael Pashley, who started out as our costume designer but was soon dragged in as a full production assistant as well!

By the end of July 2004 the bullet-point script was finished; we had permission to film at every location and Robin and I had stayed up to all hours fine-tuning the details of the production schedule.

On Location

On 24th August 2004 the cast and production crew of Footprints: In Somerset arrived on location.

I’d never done anything on this scale before: my film ventures in the past were much less ambitious, consisting of films designed to be a record of an event or a number of stills packaged up and put to music. Footprints saw me directing a cast and crew of nine, visiting more than fifteen locations, and spending a budget financed entirely from my own pocket!

I quickly had to learn to get the most out of the cast and crew, all of whom turned out to be fantastic to work with; always focused, hilariously funny, full of brilliant ideas and never unwilling to lend a hand whenever they could. By the end of the shoot Jack, Matt and Tom were rigging their own radio microphones, improvising to camera and managing shots in fewer than eight takes! Robin had banned me from navigating and we subsequently arrived at locations in half the time! Rachael and Althea had recorded the contents of every one of the 511 shots and numerous takes onto dozens of sheets of paper, all cross-referenced and summarised; Nick had fed the entire cast and production crew on many occasions and had ‘marked’ every shot with the indispensable clapper-board. Rachael had provided Matt with a incredible range of costumes; Robin and Althea had ensured that release forms were correctly completed and signed. And Taylor had carried, shifted, carted, set up and packed away again the contents of every bag, box and case we had! We left Somerset late on Sunday night, an exhilarating yet exhausting five days behind us, but there was still a very long way to go.

Post Production

Finding an editor was next on my agenda and after a long search I asked Patrick Holroyd to come on board. He promptly sat down and in one week reviewed, imported and converted over 32 hours of footage! Over the next couple of months he cut together the Matt Cam Edit, the Trailer and the Outtakes. Then I stepped in and made his life a lot more difficult. Firstly I customised, to fit within the structure of the Footprints I had imagined, the work he had done so far. I then sat with him and directed practically every cut in sound and vision, sometimes even down to an individual frame! As I came up with ideas for ever more complex sequences Patrick never failed to meet the challenge.

When we came to choosing the music for the film we looked to artists around the world and with the kind permission of each copyright holder we have been able to put together a fantastic soundtrack.

After three months of extreme highs and lows the editing process was complete and the final stages had arrived.

For DVD authoring I turned to Seb Apostol, a friend with the skills and equipment needed to build a menu system (made to my rather exact specifications), place the various programmes behind it, and then seal it together by burning it all onto disk.

The Future

As I write, sat here in Nottingham on 12th January 2005, I am preparing to present the finished product to the entire cast and crew; fourteen of us will meet in just a few days’ time to attend a screening of the full DVD and to view the website, posters and the cover artwork.

Where Footprints: In Somerset will go from here is anyone’s guess, the road ahead may be long and uncertain but if there’s one quote that has both comforted and inspired me on this journey, and which will continue to do so, then it’s this:

“When you see only one set of footprints”, the Lord said, “it is then that I am carrying you.”
Mary Stevenson, 1936 / Carolyn Carty, 1963 / Margaret Fishback-Powers, 1964

You can see more photos from behind the scenes of Footprints: In Somerset in the gallery.

Updates

27/10/05: Footprints: In Somerset – Somerset Contributors’ Showing

On Thursday 27th October 2005 members of the Wild Duck Productions team were back in Wells welcoming all those from Somerset who were involved in the making of Footprints: In Somerset, to an exclusive showing of the programme. Along with a screening the producer, Robin Stangroom and producer/director Tom Pearson took part in a question and answer session with the contributers. It was a fantastic night.

30/11/05: Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

This afternoon producer Robin Stangroom and producer/director Tom Pearson attended a photo shoot with a photographer from the Leamington Spa Courier for an article they’re doing about Footprints: In Somerset in this Friday’s (2nd December 05) edition of the paper. Robin: “We haven’t yet seen the photo (suffice to say we’re sat under a brolly holding the DVD) so please be kind if we look awful!”

13/12/05: Snapping them up

Producer/director Tom Pearson: “I hope you got a chance to read the almost full page piece in the Leamington Spa Courier, The Kenilworth Weekly News and others last week. Robin did warn that we are not the most photogenic of people… and it’s obvious now that branded umbrellas do little to help the situation… especially when we appear to be cuddled up beneath one…. but we now have a chance to redeem ourselves, tomorrow, this time with the Observer Standard Group we’ll be posing for a picture for an article they’re putting together for next week’s edition… so wish us luck!”

15/02/06: Essential Footprints: Quotes

The series director Tom Pearson, now aged 20, says, The Footprints: In… series was always designed to change the way people think about television. By combining a number of techniques usually found in reality, travel and documentary shows we have created something that captures the imagination of all ages, thus creating the perfect family show. – Taken from the Wild Duck Productions Press Release dated 05/12/06

16/02/06: Ben Heap – Footprints

Producer/director Tom Pearson: “As many of you will know we tease the audience with Ben Heap’s track ‘Footprints’ throughout Footprints: In Somerset and used as a closing theme during the final scenes and credits. The use of his track in our programme has been kindly mentioned on his website. It’s a beautiful track and we all have it on our MP3 players and in our cars. We wish Ben every success with his music in the future.”

The Footprints: In Somerset DVD now includes an additional disc, with our special Festival Edition edit.

DVD Extras: Footprints: In Leek Wootton (The Footprints: In… series Pilot) – The MattCam Edit – Outtakes – Footprints: In Somerset Trailer

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