Whenever I mention hornets to a French person I get told that,
Three stings from a hornet could kill a man
The Director snorts with derision at this, apparently hornets are just large but non-aggressive wasps. He is a big hornet fan, last month he spent days filming a hornet going backwards and forwards from a pear hanging on it’s tree. The pear rotted and fell off the branch while it was being eaten, I had to sew it back on the branch so we could continue filming the whole pear disappearing.
I have great faith in The Director but, faced with the three-sting line from every single resident I’ve met, I’ve not been pushing to find a nest. Wednesday afternoon, with my invincible hair, I bit the bullet and headed to the bar to scout out farmers. I found a stocky man whose own head of dark hair stands up vertically and starts from an unusually low hairline, he is known by the local girls as Hérisson. When I said we needed a hornet’s nest he told me about a felled oak in one of his fields,
it's full of hornets, you can come and film that if you want.
Yesterday morning M.Hérisson took us to his field with the oak.
I’ve just thrown a rock at them to see if they're still there
We wanted to film the nest entrance and the way hornets organise security - they’re like night club bouncers, checking out everyone who wants to come in. The rock stuck in the entrance did make getting a good camera angle a bit tricky but we persevered. After a day with the hornets I’ve come to really like them and their wobbly flying.
That is the last of the insect footage that we expect to get until the spring. Insects tend to hibernate or die off for the winter so the next couple of weeks will be concentrating on getting establishing shots of landscape and habitats. Then the production goes back to the UK to edit the footage we have(100 hours so far) and write the scripts.
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