As an animal trainer and wrangler in the film industry, I see my job as being the interpreter between the director and the animal I am working for.
While a lot of the job is working out how to get the ‘action’ from the animal that is required – communicating to the animal what the director wants, just as important is communicating to the director how the animal is feeling and how we are best to set up the scene to have the animal comfortably perform what is required so everyone is happy.
While it can be a little daunting (ok, a LOT daunting at times), I will never put an animal up for a job that I am not certain will enjoy the work, thus perform confidently, thus allowing the crew to get great results. The video below is of Sparrow (playing Bruiser Woods) getting ready to go on stage for Legally Blonde. This is how animals should look when they are working – happy and eager. If not, something is wrong and the production will not get the best results possible.
Some of the end results of my work can be found on my video page and on the showreel of the Animal Talent Agency, Animal House.
Please feel free to contact me via the contact page with any questions about training and working animals in the world of film.