September 30, 2016 at 8:57PM
Animal Safety for non-acting animals on set (fish tank interfered with sound)
I was working for a few days on an indie feature film recently and I am concerned about something that happened that I witnessed amidst a busy set. I wish to remain anonymous. I am wondering if there is a model for dealing with these kinds of situations.
Our crew was recording sound on location. The location owner had a fish tank with live fish inside. Someone turned off something on the fish tank, I believe whatever it is that circulates the water, because they did not want the sound of this device to interfere with recording sound.
The device on the fish tank was eventually turned back on, I think maybe even intermittently throughout the shoot, but some people noticed that one of the fish was "swimming funny." As I recall, it was sort of swimming on its side.
The next day, I was clearing out the location, and the location owner told me that one of the fish had died. I believe it was the one that had been "swimming funny." It seems like our crew's actions led directly to the fish's death.
I am upset and disturbed that I was a part of a production that disregarded the life of this fish. I want to work in an industry that values and respects all life. Can you advise if any action can now be taken in regards to this incident? Or advise on steps I can take to prevent something like this from happening on other productions I work on in the future?
I reached out to the American Human Association, who I understand is in charge of giving out the "no animals were harmed in the making of this film" status to movies. But I read about it a bit and it seems like that statement is in reference to animal actors, which would not apply to this fish. I also don't know if they investigate or care about indie productions.
Any thoughts? Have people run into this particular issue before with a fish tank's electronics interfering with recording sound? If so does anyone have tips on how to deal with that particular situation? It seems to me like something that people must run into somewhat often.