Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Dog Documentary Update #1: "I see lawyers."

Well, this new documentary has not gotten off to the most auspicious start. In fact, the dog transport shoot that was supposed to happen this Saturday in PA has been scrubbed. Seems there are too many legal hurdles to clear in too short of a time to secure the location release we would need to actually use the footage. The guerilla filmmaker in me says, "Screw it. Let's go and shoot anyway and we will find a way to get it cleared later." But the producer in me knows that we can't afford to tick off the rescue organization because we need their full cooperation to make this film.

Getting the location release was just one of many legal obstacles and uncertainties that started popping up once the rescue group got over their initial excitement about the project. Apparently many dog rescue groups operate in some kind of legal grey area and they're cautious about exposing too much of their operation to the public. Not to worry though, they are still supportive of the film and 100% want to do it, but understandably being a business (even a non-profit), they've got to cover their behinds. Looking at the bright side, this means the project is being taken seriously and it also forces us to be a little more organized from the get go. So, I'll probably spend the rest of this week and next working on a proposal/treatment, budget, legal review of all releases, schedules, etc. The kind of numb-your-brain stuff I deal with all the time, but was hoping to skirt on this project.

But the important question is, "How am I am going to make up for losing this shoot?" Problem already solved. We've got another, smaller dog transport that we can tape later in the year that we know we can get the location release for. There is now also a possibility that Marianne and I will get to do a ride-along on a transport, which will be super cool (though I'm told it is very smelly).

So there it is. Dog Doc update #1. Still got the adoption event on the 15th on the shooting schedule so I've got a lot to do between now and then. Maybe after next week this project will have a title.

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.