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A few weeks ago when I was in Pasadena for the Beverly Hills Chihuahua Blogger Event we had a Q & A session with the director, producer and animal trainers for the movie!
This was my first Q & A session with real people, I have has the opportunity via email but this different, I was a bit exciting and a bit nervous! The movie screening was held in a giant great room of the Langham Hotel, which was also in the movie.
After the movie screening, we were introduced to the Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 director Lev L. Spiro, producer Sara E. White, and animal trainer Mathilde DeCagny. We were then given the opportunity to ask all of our burning questions about working with the Stars of the film!
Here are a few of the highlights from our session:
– Each trainer has 7-8 dogs that they work with
– The goal was to make the dogs more human like, so it usually took 3-4 takes per scene, sometimes 7-8 takes!
– A days filming is 12 hours or at least that is the goal, but it most of the time it runs according to the dogs schedule
– The movie took 26 days and 5 weeks to film at the at the Langham Pasadena
– Almost all of the dogs used in the movie were rescue dogs from Birds and Animals Unlimited of Hollywood
– During the Quinceanera, the director wanted to be as authentic as possible. There were 27 dogs on the set for the 3 days of shooting
– There were 20-30 trainers on the set at any given time
– Director Lev L. Spiro’s favorite scene was the Dog Auditions for the Quinceanera. If you haven’t seen the movie, this scene is a good one!
– In Lev’s (I can call him Lev, I know him..Hehe) own words, ” This movie is wildly entertaining for 90 minutes. It is a movie that celebrates dogs”
After lunch, we had a session with the dog trainers. Although I do not own a pup, my mother in law does so I was able to go back to her with all these “professional” tip and tricks. Mathilde DeCagny was the trainer who owned and trained the Jack Russell, “Eddie” from the hit sitcom, Frasier. Some of the other bloggers did bring their dogs with them to the event and they were thrilled to get some of their much-needed questions answered.
A few of the tips that the trainers use on the set include:
– They used a round circle called a mark. This mark, “marked” where the dog was supposed to be during the scene. The dogs are then trained to go to their mark when needed.
– A stick with a yellow ball on the end is also another prop they use when they want to focus the dogs attention to a person. They also use it to make the dogs look in a certain direction.
– The trainers are in every scene, they are just hidden. When you watch the movie, watch for the dogs when they are in the Peanut Butter Closet, the trainers are actually behind the suitcases directing the dogs!
– The dog on stage with the trainers is called Cosmo. He performed the demonstrations with the trainers.
Pups that Attended the Event and the Stars of The Movie!