Friday, July 13, 2007

Canine Rescue Documentary Update #2: "Project Yellow Light"

Ok, I still don't have a working title for this film yet, but I decided "Canine Rescue Documentary" sounded a bit classier than "Dog Documentary".

I spent a lot of time this week trying to get the project moving. After all the legal concerns that cropped up before the first canceled shoot, I whipped up a dandy of a proposal for the Rogers' Rescues people to review with their legal council that basically outlines the approach to the film and how we plan to distribute it. It also clarifies a bunch of stuff about copyright and ownership, releases, etc. and so on. Word from Marianne is that is was well received by the board and is just getting a final scan from their lawyers before they officially endorse the film. Hence, the film sort of has a "yellow light" status at this point.

Writing the proposal was also really helpful in the sense that it forced me to clarify some vision for the project. Here are a couple of juicy excerpts from the treatment:

The objective of the film is to raise awareness about canine rescue by telling the story of Rogers' Rescues, an all volunteer companion canine rescue organization dedicated to preventing and ending the unjustifiable execution of adoptable companion canines in U.S. shelters by providing them a chance at becoming permanent, loved family members. The film will present a positive message about concerned individuals and organizations that donate their time and resources for the betterment of other creatures and individuals. Some of the topics he film hopes to address include:
  • How animal rescue activity and awareness are gaining momentum on a local and national scale
  • The history behind how Anne Marie Rogers founded the Rogers ' Rescues organization
  • The difficulties some animal shelters face in finding homes for dogs because they are located in remote or poorly perceived locations
  • How over population and low adoption rates force shelters to euthanize healthy companion animals ready for adoption on a daily basis
  • The "all breed" aspect of the Rogers' Rescue organization
  • The "virtual rescue" aspect of the Rogers' Rescues organization
  • The day-to-day operation of Rogers' Rescues including the dog transport, foster volunteer, and adopter approval process (possibly through the form of actual case studies or foster/adoption stories)
  • The historical and ongoing success of Rogers' Rescues including the number of canines rescued to-date and the approaching milestone of the 1000th adoption

The proposal contains a bunch of other info, but that's a pretty good summary of what we're hoping to cover.

The best news is that even with our unofficial yellow light status, we've got our first shoot scheduled for this Sunday in Newtown, PA. We're going to be on location at a PetValu store to film an adoption event. I'm hoping to get some nice b-roll of canines in need of adoption and interview some folks with Rogers' Rescues as well as people coming into adopt. Crew and gear is all set to go. We're going to be shooting with my Sony PDX10 DVCAM which is nice because it's super small and doesn't attract a lot of attention, but it also takes a sweet picture. I was also fortunate to get the gang over at Riverview Studios to loan me a wireless mic setup at no charge. And to top it off, my Sticky Wisdom co-director Andy Howe has volunteered to help out as my soundguy. Having an extra hand and a wireless boom mic is going to make shooting much simpler.

So there it is. Real progress has been made and after this weekend we will hopefully have some usable footage in the can. I'll try to post another update shortly after the shoot.

Now that I think of it, if anyone out there has a great idea for a title for this film, I'd love to hear it. Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments.