I will say that in my short time here at Concepts TV, if you consider 8 months being a short time, I have witnessed my fair share of animal productions. I used to watch these commercials and think, how the heck do they get these cats and dogs to do exactly what they need them to do? Now I know the secret…the secret is patience, diligence, and LOTS of treats.
Every shoot is different but adding animals to the mix makes it a whole new ball game. It is no longer about getting the actor to smile or cry and telling them what to press and when. Now, it’s all about being completely silent so that we don’t scare the animals and stocking up on spray catnip. Does this make our jobs harder? Absolutely. Does this make our jobs more fun? Without a doubt! There’s nothing like hours of work spent cuddling with cats and playing with dogs (I promise we do work in between the cuddles!).
For cat shoots, we have our very own in house cat whisperer (VP of Sales Kristy Pinand) who always comes prepared, and by that I mean she has lasers in her back pocket and a cat toy in her hand at all times. One of the biggest differences between regular shoots and cat shoots is that we bring a select few people to our cat shoots. We could never keep the cats calm and collected with three crewmen, four actors, and five Concepts TV members stomping around! Another perk of cat shoots is we get to travel from location to location, which can even include a cat shelter or two. Shelters are the best, because we can get the most cats in the quickest way possible. Plus, we get to donate to the shelter and help a great cause!
For dog shoots, it’s all me, the self-proclaimed dog whisperer, organizing the massive amount of dog treats and squeaky toys. These shoots can be both easier and more challenging. Most dogs we use are pretty well trained, they know their commands and listen to their owners. However, these dogs are also bigger and generally much more energetic! Give a cat some catnip and they’ll roll around playfully. Give a dog some treats, and they’ll run around like a maniac.
No matter how tough they may be, you will never hear me turn down a chance to be at a cat and/or dog shoot. With lasers, dog treats and cat nips in our pockets, it’s time for another animal shoot!
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