Published on 07 February 2022 in Career

Working with Animals: a Masterclass with Andy Hay and Ruth Carney

“Never work with animals” is one of the oldest clichés in TV and film production — but with proper expertise and care, your project doesn’t have to end up running wild.

The Career Development and Skills team are excited to announce this brand-new, unique masterclass for Full and Associate members, all about working with that most unpredictable of collaborators: the animal kingdom.

In this session, directors Andy Hay and Ruth Carney will be breaking down scenes and discussing Andy’s experiences working with animals whilst on the set of Channel 5’s smash-hit series, All Creatures Great and Small.

Topics of discussion will include the likes of:

  • The legalities of working on set with live animals
  • Working with actors (the human kind)
  • Mistakes and challenges that can occur
  • Animal welfare
  • The role of animal handlers/trainers on set

This session will be taking place via Zoom on Tuesday 1 March 2022 from 11:00-12:30.


About Andy Hay

Andy Hay began directing in theatre where he was the Artistic Director of the Bristol Old Vic from 1991 – 2001 and the Octagon Theatre, Bolton from 1987 – 1991. Prior to this he worked as an actor in theatre, TV and radio. His screen credits include lead director on Carnival’s The Last Kingdom Series 5 soon to be released on Netflix, Jamestown Series 2 & 3 for Carnival/Sky, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man Series 2 & 3 for Carnival/Sky and Series 1,2 & 3 of The Musketeers for the BBC. In 2016 Andy directed five episodes of Dickensian for the BBC which was nominated in the UK for the Broadcast Award for Best Original Picture. He has directed three episodes in each of the first two series of All Creatures Great and Small for Playground/Ch5/PBS including the extended Christmas episodes in 2020 and 2021.

About Ruth Carney

Ruth Carney is a professional freelance TV and Theatre director. Among Ruth's most recent credits are Death in Paradise and Father Brown. Prior to this, Ruth directed Casualty for the BBC and Emmerdale for ITV. She has also directed Holby City and Doctors.

Last year Ruth joined the new production of All Creatures Great and Small as the placement director. Ruth was also accepted on the coveted High End Drama TV Directing Stepping Up Scheme run by Creative Skillset and the NFTS. In 2016 she was accepted onto the BBC Director Scheme which has led to her directing numerous blocks of BBC Doctors. She has also directed her first short film Funtimes, by Samantha Robinson.


BSL interpretation will be present for this session. If you have any questions or accessibility requirements, please contact [email protected].

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