This is DJ?
In: 09.10.50 Out: 09.11.02
This is DJ who plays the part of Max. He’s a veteran movie dog he was in one of Disney films called Snow Dogs he is a Siberian Husky who was actually rescued for that first film.
Have you been with him the whole time?
In: 09.11.03 Out: 09.11.09
Our company, Birds & Animals, has acquired him and he has been with his trainer, yeah. Absolutely.
How long have you worked with the company?
In: 09.11.10 Out: 09.11.12
About 16 years.
The company works for movies?
In: 09.11.16 Out: 09.11.26
Absolutely, absolutely. Whenever a script calls for an animal they will contact us and we’ll provide the animal, the trainers, and whatever it takes to complete that project.
How do you work with the dogs?
In: 09.11.31 Out: 09.12.02
Absolutely. Each character dog, there is eight characters so each one of those dogs has a specific trainer. Um. That trainer will also have another trainer, that will help an assistant to acquire these shots. As a trainer of one team, you’ll have three to four more dogs that make up that team. Um, you’ll have what we call DJ would be a character dog. He does all the camera close-ups and what not. He would then have a stunt double, he’d have an action dog, he’d have a stand in dog, and he’d have a sledding dog. So he’s got a bunch of guys that help him look good on film.
Just like a-list actors
In: 09.12.09 Out: 09.12.11
His stand in was a bunny though.
In:09.12.12 Out: 09.12.17
Yeah, they used bunny rabbits to depict. It was hilarious because the dogs would come on set and want to attack them.
Do you have any mishaps on the set with the dogs?
In: 09.12.19 Out: 09.12.52
Yeah, we had a lot of mishaps. Funny things, it was a very inspirational true story. Uh, so it was hard to display the emotion of the dogs. They didn’t know they were suppose to be tired and they had been left alone for these amounts of days on end. When they would do scenes of walking slowly through the snow, one or two would always run. And we would cut, and we’d reset, and that was challenging, to keep them just controlled, slow moving, trying to depict that they were really tired and exhausted. You know, they didn’t know. And on cut, just let them play.
What did you think of the story?
In: 09.12.58 Out: 09.13.43
It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing what animals will go through to survive in those elements. They had no idea no one was coming back. So they did what they could to make it. So as an animal trainer to read a script like that, incredibly challenged. I mean, you wanna tell the story the best you can through your dog. And the only way he could know it is if you train it. And we looked at it and stepped back a bit and said “how are we going to do this?” So each process we went through was rewarding and more rewarding as we were getting it onto film. And then to see the final project, to see the emotion that was depicted through what they did in our behaviors was fantastic. Because they didn’t speak or talk, it was through their actions that told the story.
Other films you have worked on with animals?
In:09.13.43 Out: 09.13.48
Uh, our company has worked on 101 Dalmatians, 102, Harry Potter.
In: 09.13.48 Out: 09.13.52
Me personally? Just finished cheaper by the Dozen, Finding Neverland.
In: 09.13.52 Out: 09.14.05
Cheaper by the Dozen two, just before that, Finding Neverland. Stage Beauty, uh. All sorts. Snow Dogs, 101, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The list goes on.
Do you have a good time?
In: 09.14.05 Out: 09.14.34
I love it. Absolutely love it. I mean, gosh, we get to play with animals, work with animals. They are always in your hotel room. Get to travel. I mean the fun part about it is film makers and screenplay writers are making it more challenging for us. And that is exciting in what we do. Um, because you are always then reinventing it. Did Charlie & the chocolate factory and the squirrels were beyond feat for us to train them. I mean how are we going to do this and we did it. You know and in the end it makes us the better trainer makes you think as they say, outside the box.
And it’s any animal?
In:09.14.34 Out: 09.14.46
No, any animal. That was squirrels. Large biting squirrels. Hahaha. So it could be anything. From birds to chimps to squirrels.
In: 09.14.46 Out: 09.14.49
Yeah, we do a lot of that.
Do you deal with a lion or things like that?
In: 09.14.56 Out: 09.15.14
We do, we contract out for that. I mean our company has a lot of contacts and these people who have done it for years and this is something you just don’t wanna mess with unless you have been with it. A lot of bear work, large elephants or stuff like that. There is people we bring in and we network and work together to get the project done.
What are you working on now?
In: 09.15.14 Out: 09.15.20
Right now, promoting the film. Eight Below.
Description: HRN-052 Eight Below Sally Souza
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