As a new member of the Outlook Video team, our Production Assistant Matt was given an immediate challenge – to cast a dog in the Autoglass® TV commercial that we were producing. Matt was quickly put onto the right path and immersed himself into the specialised field of trained animals for use on-screen. Here’s his experience of the whole thing:
During the search process I quickly found out that depressingly the average canine day rate was higher than mine when I was working as a runner in Soho! To be fair though, on reflection, these pooches do have more skill than I did in my pro tea and coffee making days! Of course the prices were not just for the ‘talent’ dog, but the trainer/owner as well. After a long search looking through different CVs, headshots and showreels, the casting decision was made and ‘Wolf’, a white German shepherd, would be our top dog.
So on a cold November day the time arrived and Wolf would be in front of camera. Would he be able to handle the pressure and have the patience required for commercial filming? Well I can tell you the boy was a natural star! This was down to Su Harvey, Wolf’s trainer/owner. Su runs the Trentham Dog Training School and is the author of the book Good Pup, Good Dog. They say you should never work with animals but we found it a breeze. If anything, it helped to bring energy levels back up for the crew, because as Wolf appeared from his trailer (OK it was a van) everyone wanted to say hello and stroke him.
After weeks of being weighed down with my thoughts of different scenarios of things that could go wrong by having a dog on set, we were all so pleased with the end result. If only all actors we work with could be as well trained and only need biscuits on set!
This commercial focused on the key message of the effects of cold temperatures on an untreated chip, and we were fortunate enough to be greeted each day with clear skies and temperatures just creeping over zero – not fortunate for the crew, however, who happily accepted all the teas and coffees that Kim, our own runner, could provide! The ad began airing on Monday 6th across all the major UK channels and you can see it here:
Some scenes were filmed on location at Northampton College, and their own in-house media team jumped at the chance to put together a behind-the-scenes video featuring the young, attractive, and captivating producer… I jest of course, it was only Outlook’s Head of Video sporting a rather fetching flat cap! You can see their video below:
Of course there’s always more stories behind every shoot we do – here’s one all about Wolf from the Stoke Sentinel!