Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Pups are TV Celebrities OR Pablo Rules Our House

Take your pick on the title, but the fact is, Animal Planet was out to film us last Friday - mostly to film the dogs - and the moral of the story is that Pablo is the King of our household. But you all knew that already...

This is sure to be a lengthy post, if it's any reflection of the day we had on Friday. Holy moly - 10 HOURS of filming, for what will equate to about 4 minutes of screentime when Bad Dog! actually airs our episode. There'll be another 4 minutes of YouTube clips, but they already exist, so we truly spent all that time filming on Friday for a very, very short appearance....

That said, it was a cool experience! Of course, Chad has been through some of this before, when they came out to film for Dogs 101. He warned me about the long day, but I didn't quite realize what was in store for us....

They started by setting up shop in our dining room, and deciding where to setup the different shots. Each part they filmed shows a different background area of the house, to make it look like this was done over a longer period of time, and give it a more "homey" feeling (or so I was told...).

First, they interviewed Chad for 2 hours. TWO HOURS. The kids and I napped. Well, I fretted about what I was wearing for about 30 minutes, until I wore myself out, and fell asleep too. Pablo didn't have the same problem - TV appearances are old news for him, so he was out cold. But snuggly, which made me calm.

The producer wanted to frame up the story like this:
Chad has Ramsey and Pablo. Pablo is the boss.
Chad starts to film the dogs playing, and they get famous.
Brandy has Suvi. She's a pit bull, and defies the stereotype. But, she's naughty.
Chad and Brandy meet, and fall in love. (awwwww) (maybe I'll blog about this some other time...)
Chad and Brandy are concerned about introducing a pit bull to the dobe/chi mix...and what it might mean for their relationship if the dogs don't get along. (ooooo, drama!)
Chad and Brandy spend a lot of time introducing their dogs, as they fall more in love. They are very anxious about how it will all turn out.
It works out beautifully, better than expected, and Pablo is the Boss.
"We're one big happy family, and Pablo's in charge." 

It's all very true, but if I had $1.00 for every time I said that last line on Friday, we'd be rich. In fact, if I had a dollar for every time I had to repeat, restate, or refilm a line on Friday, we'd be rich. It was all an exercise in repetition, as far as I'm concerned. A different inflection, a slightly different word, repeated when there was no traffic passing the house, and no airplanes flying by....the audio equipment was CRAZY sensitive!

We did a dual interview after they'd interviewed us each separately, which was a little lighter-hearted, but still kinda awkward. 

Once we finished filming the interviews, it was finally on to the fun stuff - the dogs!! Of course, there was a ton of focus on getting Pablo on camera. They wanted footage of the fun stuff he does, like teasing the girls with his babies, stealing their toys, and demanding he let them eat from their food bowls. Also, they wanted to see us all hanging on the couch, and see who claims the "best" spot. This was all a lot tougher than it sounds - since we never manufacture any of the videos, we can't get the dogs - ESPECIALLY not Pablo - to do any of this on command....

We spent about 5 hours capturing the interactions of our family, and got some fun stuff on camera. I am a little anxious about how it will all be edited together - I can definitely see the possibility of things being taken out of context, and no one wants to see Pablo looking like a jerk (I mean, he has his moments, but he's really just all personality, with no poor intentions!). They did assure us that this was meant to be a fun, family show that will be cute and endearing.

At the very least, you might get to see Pablo dressed up, because one of the scenes we filmed included Momma putting him in

We did some shots inside, and some outside. We tried really hard to look like the fun, loving family that we are - but it sure is hard to put on that smiley face after 10 hours of filming, feeling exhausted, and having some tired, tired puppies that just want to go to bed. Poor Pablo was exhausted! So much barking, running, and staying awake - that little guy sure likes his sleep....

And then there was the ever-awkward "recreation" of the 5 of us going to bed. Use your imaginations (don't worry, no birthday suits) - but it was super, super uncomfortable. All I could think the entire time was "this is going to be soooooo weird when people at work watch this on TV...." And for the record, the dogs don't typically sleep between us (as they will appear on TV), but we just needed to settle everyone down for "pretend sleeping" at 6:00 pm.

We were also lucky enough to have Karin Newstrom photography stop out and take some shots over our lunch break, and through some of the outdoor filming. The dogs recently won a photo contest from Karin, and donated the photo shoot we won to Minnesota Pit Bull Rescue. Karin was excited to meet the dogs, though, and graciously offered to come out and do a mini-shoot for us!

The photos she took turned out incredibly! Check them out on her Facebook page:

All in all, an awesome experience! We had a great time, and we're looking forward to seeing the episode air. Our friends are already talking about a viewing party, so we might make up some more "Team Ramsey" "Team Pablo" and "Team Suvi" shirts for the event. We'll keep everyone posted about the date - likely to be late summer/early fall.

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