Does the success of your next blockbuster hinge on the talents of a fury four-legged cast member?
It’s not quite as easy as booking business class for the star of your show when he or she isn’t human. If anything, the needs of and requirements for travelling animals are even more complex than those required for your normal cast and crew.
Although working with animals on a film project can be rewarding, it is important to know how to do it right. And the truth is that long-distance travel to get animals to a film set is not always ideal, warns Nicole Jennings, licensed animal wrangler at Animal Tails.
Jennings explains 90% of animals used on film sets are local animals. “When we need animals on location, we try and source them locally and train the animals when we are there. This has its challenges, but our job is about keeping the animal happy and the stress levels at a minimum.”
Sometimes directors will insist on featuring a specific animal in their movie, however. Animal wrangler Irene Haselau from Tailsup Animal Casting explains that Bobby, the Coca Cola dog, travelled from the United States to shoot a commercial in South Africa.
When travel arrangements are required for animals, it is essential to call upon the services of a specialist travel organiser to make sure everything goes smoothly. The details of organising travel for a film cast including animals can be overwhelming. You need to think about flight permits and crates, as well as coordinate the pick-up and transfers for the animals, making sure they are comfortable at all times.
Stage and Screen Travel Services Australia recently helped move four spirited sheepdogs and 40 cast and crews to remote parts of the continent for the filming of a feature movie. The Australian Stage and Screen Travel Manager took on the task of ensuring the film's precious canine cargo, cast and crew were in the right locations at the right time.
He made sure everyone was up-to-date with all the requirements, from blood tests, microchips and vaccinations to all the necessary paperwork and documentations.
To get the rest of your act together behind the scenes, here are a few tips:
One of the first things to do is to get a dog used to being in a crate. Purchase the crate well in advance and install it where your dog is based.
Also important to take into consideration is to always get the animal to the destination the day before filming.
If you need to move any furry friends, contact your Stage and Screen travel manager today.