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Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed

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Greg Ball
Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 9, 2013 at 6:07:20 pm

We're working on a project for a client who markets Dog products. We're looking at putting dogs into multiple business environments. One thing we would need is to show paws hitting keyboards, grabbing the telephone, using a calculator.

I know we've seen shows like SNL with fake dog paws. Does anyone have ideas on where to find those cheap? Thanks.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 9, 2013 at 8:21:32 pm

A taxidermist?


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Nick Griffin
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 9, 2013 at 8:48:52 pm

Off topic?? Aw, c'mon Greg how is this off topic for a forum as wide ranging as Biz-Marketing? It's not like the COW has a "fake dog paws" forum.

As to Mark's suggestion that certainly seems like the best place to start. Another would be one of the big prop houses in LA (if any of them still exist). A third option might be to... no wait a minute... had to self-censor on this one.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 9, 2013 at 8:54:33 pm

The trick is to get the prop paw to match the breed, and with multiple pets in the shoot, you're probably better off doing this with an animated CG composite built out of high rez photo samples of the actual animals, IMO. This also gives more anthropomorphic type articulation possibilities than a stiff taxidermy prop.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 9, 2013 at 9:54:22 pm

Wait around outside the vets?


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Greg Ball
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 10, 2013 at 3:42:35 am

I'm glad to have given you all a laugh today. no answers, but at least I gave you all a smile.

I guess I'll wait outside a vet's office with an ax....



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Mark Suszko
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 10, 2013 at 4:01:28 am

Seriously, you can do it using the puppeteering tools in AfterEffects, and some high def imaging of the paws and legs of the actual animals you're going to use in the video. The leg /paw is assembled from multiple pieces shot at the angles you're going to need, so pre-vis work is required to get the perspective right. The puppet tool then adds "bones" and joints where they normally go, and this adds the forward kinematics you need and the parent-child relationship of the parts, so when the paw extends, the rest of the leg extends and bends to follow, naturally. It may SOUND complicated, but It really isn't.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 10, 2013 at 11:38:08 am

You could try using the paws of well trained dogs?

What about suggesting that your client gives some free food to a local guide dogs association. It wouldn't take too long to set up a shot from above with a keyboard and a dogs paw being guided along it. You could also get some hilarious footage for other productions!

edit - after re-reading this I can't tell how serious I initially was....


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Greg Ball
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 10, 2013 at 5:00:02 pm

Thanks guys. This is a low budget viral video, so I don't think compositing work will do the job. I was just looking for something like you often see on SNL.



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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 10, 2013 at 5:37:46 pm

Here's where the guys with budgets seem to get them:

http://www.animalmakers.com/Catalog/dog_parts.php

How about you structure your shoot so that you're in an extreme close up when the dog paw hits the keyboard? That way, you just use the real dog with the handler's hand "operating" it.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 10, 2013 at 10:25:15 pm

AWESOME find, Joe... I can definitely see using that company in the future. They look to have great stuff.

I fight this "animal" battle here often. My business partner is not a dog person by any stretch (unlike me, who shares his home with three furry children). Yet he is always concepting these scenes that have complex animal action. He just doesn't quite fully grasp the limitations of what animals will do... or at least do easily and repeatedly.

He tempers these concepts by his liberal use of the word ALL. As in, "All the dog has to do is jump down off the sofa, go bark twice at the front door, run out the dog door and come back with the ball in his mouth and drop it. That's ALL he has to do." Really? That's all? Since he'll already be on set, why don't we have him assemble a jigsaw puzzle while we're at it?

The last thing he concepted like that had to have a horse nod in agreement. That's all. The trainer had the horse doing it in rehearsals on command, or at least so she said. Not so much on the shoot day... not once.

I avoid animal actors with a passion... even trained ones (same policy I have for child actors, even trained ones). However, the best actor I ever directed was a dachshund in the spot on this page from several years ago...

http://fantasticplastic.com/portfolio/portfolio01.html

His name was Barkley, and he was an absolute champ. Long shoot day and the little guy never flubbed a take. His only payment was Pupperoni treats.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 10, 2013 at 11:00:05 pm

Todd -

I did a film shoot (16mm) back in the early eighties with both kids and dogs. Don't ask me why - the concept seemed good at the time. Both were nightmares - one of the kids, who had to wear a cowboy costume, balked at makeup..."Cowboys don't wear makeup!" His mother had to read him the riot act, and the rest of the shoot he was sullen. Until he had to jump on an actor's back as if he was riding a horse - he injured the actor...

The dog - a scruffy little mutt - all he had to do was walk into the kitchen - one shot. His handler promised complete control. Nothing. We finally had to slide him on his ass into the kitchen - luckily it was a linoleum floor! The series of spots were well received, but it taught me that, although kids and dogs sell, they're a nightmare to control.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 10, 2013 at 11:04:16 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "I did a film shoot... with both kids and dogs."


Martyr.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Bill Davis
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 11, 2013 at 4:21:45 pm

As the director of a few hundred corporate videos for PetSmart back in the day ... I could easily visualize your shoot day, Todd - and hugely appreciate the professionalism and patience it took to get that spot in the can - even with a trooper like Barkley.

Really, really nice work.

Most challenging single video I ever produced for PS was how to bathe a cat.

A modest amount of blood flowed that day.

Mine.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Todd Terry
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 11, 2013 at 6:03:07 pm

[Bill Davis] "Most challenging single video I ever produced for PS was how to bathe a cat."

Yikes, Bill...

As a very reluctant cat owner (she adopted us out of the blue, I'm a hard-core dog guy) I can sympathize.

You should have let me write the script though, it would have been a lot shorter, easier to shoot, with minimal bloodletting. Just three easy steps...

1) Discard dirty cat
2) Acquire new clean cat
3) Enjoy

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 11, 2013 at 7:30:17 pm

No one should go on the set without a patented Popeil Stainless Steel Cat Swatter©. It keeps the cat in line, with no pesky sedatives or sweaty body suits...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Bill Davis
Re: Off topic - Viral Video featuring Dogs - Advice needed
on May 13, 2013 at 4:45:08 am

Actually, the miracle problem solver for cat bathing turned out to be relatively simple IF you're not trying to videotape the whole process from the "before" stage.

In "real" grooming, you can make it a lot safer with teamwork and a simple 2" roll of common beige masking tape.

The teamwork is critical so you carefully control the pet while someone "makes safe" each leg and it's claws as gently and calmly as possible by affixing a nice masking tape "booty" to each of the pets four claws.

Bingo - from walking set of razor blades (if angry) to a safe cat.

And if said cat turns out to be particularly wiley and manages to escape/run off, masking tape isn't a long term hinderance to overall cat contentment since they can get it off given time and privacy. (I'm not saying you won't get dirty looks from tabby for a week or so, but the only potential hurt is to their pride.

Cat bathing is a stressful experience for all involved, but i've seen felines carried in that have literally landed in things like tubs of dirty motor oil and other god awful gunk and sometimes you've just got to do what you've got to do to put things right.

Hats off the the pet groomers of the planet. It's not a particularly easy way to make a living, but on balance, most of the many very fine ones I worked with truly loved working with and being around animals all day.

FWIW.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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