Never again will I hassle Riot about not trying hard enough or be disappointed with him not being the agility dog that I'd hoped for. Yesterday we spent twelve hours filming the new commercial for BP&G's and he worked his butt off all day. I made sure we were more prepared this year after our previous experiences. I was very clear with the advertising agency beforehand what I required from them to make sure that Riot wasn't pushed excessively or silly demands made on him. They can get a little caught up in getting the perfect shot regardless of what they are asking the dog to do. These guys were pretty good and they all treated Riot with a lot of respect and genuine affection. Everyone lavished him with attention and most referred to him by name as opposed to "the dog" (which always annoys me...).
We spent the first couple of hours filming in front of a green screen. So there was Riot sitting on his mark in front of this massive green background, a huge lighting screen in front with lights, a camera, a photographer and another ten other people running around and he just did his thing. I don't know of many dogs who could have dealt with all that for ten minutes let alone all day. He had the odd moment where you could see that he had had enough and zoned out into his own little world. So I'd take him out and give him a break and he would come back ready to go. The director said to me that he kept forgetting that Riot was a dog with all the things he was doing and coping with!
Everyone seemed thrilled with what they got from the day. Some of the stuff I saw on the monitor looked amazing. Unfortunately when I was working with Riot during filming I couldn't see the monitor so you couldn't appreciate just what they are capturing. This time round they attempted to get lots of different footage to use over the whole year for various advertising campaigns.
I'm really glad that Riot has found his niche. Agility's not his his forte and I get that but it's great that he's found something that he seems to really enjoy. Mind you I don't know many border collies who don't want to be the centre of attention! Hopefully we'll see the fruits of his labour in a month or so when the new commercials hit the screen.