Another day in movie land last night with a break at one of my favourite places (Sally got to do THREE aframes!).
The scenes were shot in the opposite order to what have worked best for Sally. The first was a gentle scene between her and the grandfather in the house. He was reciting a sonnet to her.
This sonnet in fact:
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
It would have been lovely, to my mind, if they could have been quietly walking along a path as Sally could have easily given him full focus for 2 minutes. Instead they tried a few versions … her lying looking at him, and him teasing her around a tree. Both were cute but the actor fed Sally the first time she barked at him. Sally is a little opinionated at the best of times. Being fed for barking was AMAZING to her. She was quite sure barking was what was wanted from that point on. Oh my.
This actor is lovely, and very experienced. His timing for acting is fantastic. His ability to listen to and do what a director asks is amazing. His dog timing and ability to listen to non directorial instruction is non existent. This became even more apparent in the second block of work.
Sally has a very very strong GO. If I mark and reward her once she will GO to whatever spot again and again and build enthusiasm in her outrun every time. For the scenes here she had to run to the actor then move down the street with him pushing him along. Easy peesy … in fact she could have circled him and brought him him but the director wanted a simpler shot. So I sent Sally in and she happily bounced along with the actor. He simply could NOT stop feeding her. He was dropping food on the street then surprised that Sally stopped to eat it and didn’t rejoin him when done. It worked but it could have been so much nicer. I was SO frustrated I couldn’t speak. Sally thought it was great but she would have enjoyed the work anyhow. Good thing we only have one day of filming left I suspect.
Even though this was my most frustrating day by a long shot I was so pleased with Sally, again! We were at the red ant location from the beach day and while the ants were better they were still present and biting. All the work was off leash and during the first shot we had joggers, electric and non electric wheelchairs, people patrolling with walkie talkies, bikes whipping by, the lure of the beach, birds, dogs playing in the distance and two saucy squirrels teasing us. Sally checked in with me a couple of times and worked through it all with such aplomb I am quite sure I was the only person who noticed the distractions. The later shot was on a street with a loose dog, people getting in and out of their cars and all the normal street action … only once did she lose her focus and that was to race over to visit with her favourite sound guys!
She astounds me.
It's been so fun to read your movie stories!! She is such a good dog!