Out of a jungle of rain-washed pines and junipers spearing the new blueness of the Florida sky, ran a small, tawny-haired boy. His naked toes, extending from his overalled legs, crackled towards the fallen palmettos. He leaped into the air, flinging his arms towards a flock of white doves circling above him. “Okay, reduce!” yelled Director Clarence Brown. The digicam ceased grinding on a primary take of the scene referred to as “Jody and the Doves” within the script of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s manufacturing of The Yearling, on location close to Silver Springs, Florida.
A grip man pointed to a full-grown pine dwarfing the shiny row of reflectors that stretched in a semicircle on both aspect of the digicam. “They’re holding a council on which course is house,” he defined, squinting his eyes on the doves. Launched from a cage to be used within the scene, they now huddled within the higher branches of the bushes, unwilling to behave. The director needed one other take, and the take required doves. Stand-ins, grip males, prop males, cameramen, and solid had been referred to as in. Accumulating across the base of the tree, they tried, by a combination of pleas, instructions and shinnying, to retrieve the winged actors. After fifteen minutes of this futile effort, Brown slapped his solar helmet sharply towards the aspect of his knee.
The crew disgustedly shuffled again into place, and Ralph Stockman, M.G.M. animal coach, substituted brown doves for the white ones cooing fortunately within the pine. This interlude was a pattern of the numerous distinctive issues that arose within the filming of this multimillion-dollar manufacturing. Primarily an animal image, The Yearling tells the story of the boy Jody and his pet fawn, Flag, who develop up on an “island”–native time period for farm clearing-surrounded by the wildlife of the Florida scrub pine nation. Along with doves and a fawn star, actors on this movie embody the standard horses and canine. Bears, pumas, buzzards, owls, raccoons, foxes, fox squirrels, redbirds, rattlesnakes and an alligator seem, making and, sometimes, breaking scenes with equal abandon.
This spectacular checklist of wildlife would disconcert most animal trainers, particularly if their issues are difficult by the Hollywood behavior of last-minute calls for for a fawn that may drink milk out of a pail, or a raccoon that may scale a tree on the drop of a director’s hand and with cameras grinding. However Morgan, M.G.M. behind-the-scenes coach, just isn’t simply upset by surprising Hollywood calls for. Having served apprenticeship as a Service provider Marine sailor on ships transporting dwell cargo, and as Barnum and Bailey elephant coach, he developed his personal peculiar model of animal perception that helped see the image to completion.