Behind the scenes: The Center Parcs experts

How does it feel to see yourself on TV? One day you're hard at work, the next you're being filmed for a nationwide advert. Amy Dickson talks to the Center Parcs employees that took part in our new commercial

Clare, front, teaches the Myatt family how to lunge
Clare, front, teaches the Myatt family how to lunge
Stacey Challoner, right, is filmed in Aqua Sana
Stacey Challoner, right, is filmed in Aqua Sana
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Clare, front, teaches the Myatt family how to lunge
Clare, front, teaches the Myatt family how to lunge
Stacey Challoner, right, is filmed in Aqua Sana
Stacey Challoner, right, is filmed in Aqua Sana

Mike Hill, Educational Ranger

Age 48
What part did you play in the new TV advert?
I went out with the family involved in the filming, took them down to the woodland and went through what we would do on one of our Wildlife Walk, just pointing out things of interest, or as much as possible with the filming. They said afterward that: ‘That was really good, we learned quite a lot’. So obviously I was doing something right! I was trying to give potential guests an idea of what they can expect on one of our walks.

How were you chosen and how did you find out?
To be honest, I think it was a case of right place, right time. There are three full-time rangers and the other two were on holiday. I was asked the day before filming was due to start whether I’d be up for taking part. Since then I’ve been having fun winding up the other rangers; one or two were a bit miffed that they missed out!

What was the best part about the whole experience?
I think that’s to come [seeing myself on TV]. It was nice to be asked and was interesting to see just how many people were involved. It’s like when you watch a film and see all those credits and think ‘what on earth do all those people do – is it necessary?’ But I can see now, just for an advert you have tens – hundreds – of people. It’s nice to see the final product and see how that small part is put into the whole advert.

Sum up your experience in three words
A real eye-opener.

Clare Smith, Leisure Assistant

Age 40

What part did you play in the new TV advert?
I was teaching the family basic fencing; the essentials of what they need. It took about 20 minutes to teach them how to en guard and lunge. I took them through the moves, then the two boys had a duel. I was just there encouraging them, giving them a demonstration as well.

Tell me about the process of filming
It was really interesting to see how things are put together – there was that many people involved it was unbelievable. Everyone is doing something different; from the cameraman on a trolley to the continuity guy saying ‘Stop! That’s changed’. He actually noticed that mid-scene I had some grease on my skin and they cut the scene to get the make-up woman back in. So they really do go into detail.

What was the best part about the whole experience?
Showing off! I’m an extrovert. I like talking to people, having new experiences, learning new things. I’ve been having some banter with colleagues, offering to give them my autograph and things like that. I think they’re getting tired of it by now!

Sum up your experience in three words
Fun, exciting, interesting.

Stacey Challoner, Beauty Therapist

Age 36

What part did you play in the new TV advert?
I work at the Aqua Sana Spa and the crew came down to the spa in the evening. My colleague [Catherine Mack] and I had to pretend to perform treatments on the ladies. I thoroughly enjoyed it; it was a good experience and good to be involved. I think the fact that the advert has real families and not actors makes a huge difference.
How were you chosen and how did you find out?

What was the best part about the whole experience?
To be honest, it was the camera crew! They were really nice. They made us feel so welcome and looked after, by giving us direction and pointers. There was a lot of people involved but it wasn’t intimidating. The whole thing was really professional, which puts you at ease.

Sum up your experience in three words
An enjoyable experience.

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Amy Dickson

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Amy Dickson

As Brand Content Manager I plan, create and curate the best articles, photos, videos and music for our channels, in particular the blog. With a degree in Journalism under my belt and many years’ experience in the big smoke as a journalist and editor, my focus is firmly on discovering the little gems hidden away in Center Parcs life, before buffing them up to make them sparkle online. From on-village events to the latest travel industry trends, I’ll be there – notepad in hand – to bring you the most entertaining and interesting stories.