Canine Co-Stars was recently asked to provide sporty, elegant dogs for an appearance in Lexus car commercial. The production company settled on a group of Weimaraners as the perfect choice. They wanted a breed that wasn’t too common and could typify both strength and elegance.
Chris Daley has been our go to guy for Weimaraners for a while now and we have used his dogs on many different projects. We put out a casting notice because we didn’t think he had 3 youngish dogs but…. luckily he was able to round up an extra for us. Chris’s dogs have always been easy to work with and have gorgeous looks and just rock solid temperaments. This set of dogs was no different. This time we used Sydney (Unity’s She’s a Knockout – bred by Greg McLogan owned by Chris), Riley (Ch. Madsky’s Symphony of Fire – owned and bred by Chris) and Lily (Ch. Madsky’s Firestorm bred by Chris and owned by Chris & Donna Alarie). Sidney who is over 10 years old (she doesn’t look it) is the mother of both Riley and Lily.
The shot was essentially an actress walking dogs down the street on a leash. Sounds easy but… in this case there were a couple of issues. 1) the actress had to be able to walk 3 large dogs at the same time and make it look effortless and elegant – if you don’t think that could be a challenge – have a look at the high-heels she had to wear for the shot, 2) The production company set up several different vignettes on a city block and then used a car fitted with a Russian camera arm to film each as they were actually driving the car around the block. This meant timing for everything was critical – the dogs had to be in place and relaxed and they all had to start walking before the car with the camera rounded the corner, Bonnie had to be in position out of frame to pull looks and everyone else had to make themselves scarce. And… then soon as the car rounded the far corner everyone ran back to set up again. They did several takes with 3 dogs and then a few with 2 dogs as the director felt it might be perceived as more natural for a woman to be walking two dogs.
The dogs were awesome – they were a bit puzzled about why they had to walk the same section of block multiple times but… really enjoyed the attention from cast, crew & talent and especially the prime rib treats. They handled all the confusion and noise like they worked on set all the time. Bonnie, who was pulling looks from the dogs as they walked said that they were so attentive that she could make a slight clicking noise and they would all show great attention and move forward at a stately pace allowing the actress to focus on presenting the carefree elegant image she needed to. We would also like to give kudu’s to the actress . So many times we go to set and find the actor the dogs will be working with has no experience with dogs at all or even worse are actively afraid of or in some cases disgusted by dogs. It was refreshing to work with someone so comfortable with dogs and had such amazing attitude and presence.
Many thanks to Chris Daley for not only letting us use his wonderful dogs for this commercial but also for picking them all up and driving to set and hanging around to help all day.