Monday, July 16, 2007

Canine Rescue Documentary Update #3: "The Sundance Story"

We wrapped our first day of shooting yesterday afternoon and things went smoothly.  The hardest part of the day was finding the pet store in the shopping mall sprawl that is Newtown, PA.  We shot for about 3 hours at the adoption event and while we certainly still need to capture more footage and interviews to tell this story, it feels good to at least have something on tape.

I wasn't sure how things were going to go at first.  Normally I do a lot of preparation for these kinds of shoots ahead of time.  Other than Marianne, I hadn't really spoken to anyone who was involved in the rescue so I didn't have any questions prepared. It was also a bit strange because I'm not typically the guy behind the lens so I can usually focus on getting the interview and not on getting a good shot. Fortunately, Marianne was there to act as the interviewer and talk to people so Andy and I could focus on the picture and sound.  I won't say it's the best footage ever, but for shooting in a mish mash of fluorescent and daylight with dogs barking and people talking, I think we did pretty well.  The wireless mic setup was a major plus (after Andy and I figured out that we had initially put the batteries in upside down).  Navigating through the cramped store aisles would have been tricky if we had been connected by cables.

At the end of the shoot, we had about 60 minutes of tape shot.  Surprisingly we ended up doing a lot more on camera interviews that I had anticipated and less b-roll of dogs.  The event was pretty busy and other than the 3 or so dogs that they had it was really just a table setup, so not all that visually interesting. Also, with the crowd that gathered, doing a lot of b-roll would have meant a lot of release forms.  We talked to 2 or 3 people from the rescue group who were there and got some good background on why they decided to become involved.  We also got to speak to a couple of people who adopted from rescue groups or who are in the process.

Probably the best part of the shoot was getting to meet Sundance. Sundance is a rescued canine who was at the event but wasn't there for adoption.  He was there to work on being socialized to human contact.  They're not sure what his life was like before he was rescued, but obviously it wasn't great because he's really afraid of people. Not hostile in anyway, just scared.  He spent most of the day hiding in a shelf.  Sundance is probably going to be a dog that we'll try to follow through the entire foster/adoption process.  We've also got a lead on getting some footage of Sundance from the shelter he was in before he came to Rogers' Rescues. I think that could be a pretty compelling story if we can tell if from beginning to end.
And c'mon, Sundance? Any filmmaker has gotta love a name like that.

Well, that's all for now.  I'll be sure to post when the next shoot gets scheduled or if anything else exciting happens.  In the meantime, keep those title suggestions coming. You can also check out some stills from the shoot on my MySpace page.