Animal News Now – The Making Of
Our most amazing Production Manager Stephen Sawchuck worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help get our new digital project ANN off the ground. Here is his behind the scenes take on the making of. Thanks Stephen!
“In television, they say working with animals or children is about as tough as it gets. For the last six months, we did both! Although I was the production manager for the two pilots, I also did my fair share of camera operating, so I had the pleasure of meeting the majority of these animals and their owners firsthand. I had more animals lick my camera lens than I can count… needless to say, I’m incredibly thankful for antibacterial wipes…
A big thank you to all the owners, wranglers and caretakers of the many critters we filmed. All animal were handled by their owners or professionals and our cameras were simply there to observe. That’s what’s so challenging about working with animals… we couldn’t simply tell them what to do! Filming the show required a lot of patience.
– Bill E. Goat
We began by filming at Maplewood Farms in North Vancouver. Our field reporter Bill E. Goat (and several other featured animals) were filmed at at this location.
– Pierre, the baby Bearded Dragon
We also visited Mike “The Reptile Guy” in Abbotsford. For years, Mike has been rescuing unwanted and mistreated reptiles in hopes of finding them all loving homes. He supports and funds his program through educational presentations at schools, malls, expos, parties and the like. Mike has it all – tortoises, snakes, turtles, lizards… and even a creepy back room filled with spiders, scorpions and other bugs. Needless to say I was in and out of that room in a matter of seconds.
– Simon Owl
Other filming locations included Queen’s Park Petting Farm (home to a dozen or so hilarious goats, bunnies, ducks, chickens and pigs), the OWL Rehab Society (an organization that cares for injured wildlife and birds – including our very own Simon Owl), Aquariums West and Barking Babies in Yaletown, where we filmed the owner’s two pups for the fashion news story, which turned out to be my favourite segment! We also filmed at a cat hotel (yep, that’s a thing), the SPCA and a llama farm. After I got home from that shoot, I threw out my shoes immediately. (Holy llama poop.)
– Fabio the Skinny Pig
We reached out to friends, family and acquaintances to try to track down interesting/exotic pets and pets with quirky talents or skills (including a hockey playing cat) One of the most interesting ones we filmed had to be the “skinny pig.” And we received dozens of video submissions from fans across Canada, some of which ended up making their way into the show.
Overall, ‘Animal News Now’ has been a memorable experience and I got to meet some interesting characters/critters along the way. Although the filming process wasn’t always smooth sailing (fact: I once filmed a cow for 40 minutes, waiting for it to do something… anything… I wouldn’t recommend it) – and I am proud of the final product. We all had a lot of fun producing it we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we did making it!”
– Top Photo: “Brutus” from Barking Babies