NEXT COURSE (max of 15 attendees):
DATE: March 27-31, 2023
LOCATION: Lexington Park, Maryland area
COST: TOTAL $1,200.00 (50% up front)
in March of 2023, Hollywood dog trainers Joel Silverman and Bryan Renfro will be launching a five-day course which is marketed towards professional animal trainers looking to expand their dog training business into the motion picture and television world. They will not be offering this course in the Los Angeles or Atlanta markets as they do not want to create competition with their fellow movie animal trainers in those markets.
Both Bryan and Joel not only have over 70 years of experience as motion picture animal trainers, but both have an extensive amount of experience as directors as well. Bryan worked as a second unit director at times over his long career, and Joel directed two seasons (52 episodes) of his What Color is Your Dog? TV series. Because of this vast and unique experience they both have, students that go through this course will learn from the perspective and experience coming from both sides of the camera. You will learn:
- How to take your dog to a higher level of dog training, specifically for film and television
- How to create distance and control with your dog
- How to raise dogs on the set
- Set etiquette (how to handle yourself on a film set, as it can often be intimidating)
- Learn who the director, assistant director, prop person, DP, producer, and many others are, and what roll they will have on your job as a movie animal trainer.
- What tools and other things you will need to bring with you on a film set
- How and where to find film work, and why having a good relationships with fellow movie animal trainers is of such great value
- Union and no-union jobs, the rates of dogs and the rates of trainers
During the last few days of the course, they will set up different scenes and some of the most common scenarios on camera, as they would be if we were on the film set with a camera. We will film the scene, and let you see the eyelines of the dog. You will listen to the us block out the scene and you will teach your dog to perform those specific actions. We will teach in a group setting and also one on one, so that we are catering to the dog you are working with.
You will learn the most common behaviors you might be asked for by a producer or director. Joel and Bryan have always said it is better to bring a dog on the set that has less behaviors and more control, than a dog that has a ton of behaviors but little control.
Getting to know your way around the set, and who is who. It is important to know who the producer is, and who the director is. What is the difference between the first and second assistant director? Who is the associate producer?
Understanding the lingo, and what words are used on the set are essential to being a good movie animal trainer. Also understanding where lights area, the kind of lights, where the camera is, camera lenses, and knowing where the monitor is, can be one of the most important aspects.
The business aspect, and understanding how to set up your business – they will go into trainer rates, animal rates, bidding jobs, and why it is important to have good relationship with other good professional trainers that train animals for film & TV.
You can be the best trainer for film and TV, but if no one knows who you are, what good is all the education? Your dogs are going to be your best form of advertising, and we will go into helping you let people know who you are.
This is a five day in-depth course that will go into all of the aspects involved in understanding what it takes to be an animal trainer from film and television. Handouts will be included for all attendees. The five main areas will be covered:
- Actual dog training for film and TV
- Being educated, and knowing your way around the set
- Understanding lingo, lights, and cameras
- Business and Management
- Marketing and Advertising
Practical dog training will be a huge part of this course, and attendees are required to bring one to two dogs. All dogs should have solid basic training, a good sit-stay and down-stay, a good heel, and good food drive. The dog training portion of the course will take four of the five days.
What do you need to bring?
1-2 dogs, crates if necessary, plenty of treats, treat pouch, a nice leash, a pen, and something to take notes. We will have handouts that mirror our presentations so that you will take information from Powerpoint etc, home with you.
- How to break down a script and start to train your dog for a scene
- Marks – understanding what a mark is, the different kinds of marks, and how the dog is trained to go to the mark
- Common behaviors – Bryan and Joel will teach some of the most common behaviors that the dogs are asked to perform on the set
- Speed and Attitude – Bryan and Joel will teach the various speeds dogs are going to be needed to move at. They will also show how to create specific attitudes with your dog that the camera can read.
- Sequences – Sequences or behavior chains are essential in understanding how to be a successful motion picture and TV animal trainer. Setting up a lot of “mock” scenes will be a big part of the dog training a few days into the course.
- Eyelines – You will learn the right techniques in teaching the dog to look like he is watching the actor. This will also be applied to when cameras, lights, and other actors are on the set.
- Cues – Understanding that dialogue is often spoken by actors, it is essential the dog trainer teaches their dogs to work off hands cues. Make no mistake though; trainers will always have more control using verbal cues.
Commercials – Joel and Bryan have worked on hundreds of commercials and campaigns over their career, and a few of them were some of the highest rated super bowl commercials. Joel was responsible for the coordination and training of the IAMS national commercials and print ads from 1997-2014. Play Commercials >>
Bryan has hundreds of credits as an animal trainer, but here are just a few you might be familiar with:
- Boomer from the TV series “Here’s Boomer”
- Bandit from the TV series “Little House on the Prairie”
- Fred the cockatoo from the “Baretta” TV series
- Trainer of Benji on the motion picture “Benji, the Hunted”
- Bryan was responsible for the dog training and stunt work for the TV series Rin-Tin-Tin K9 Cop which aired in the U.S. and Canada from 1988-1993.
- Joel has hundreds of credits as an animal trainer, but his biggest credit was the trainer of Dreyfuss from the top ten TV series “Empty Nest” from 1888-1992.
Joel and Bryan have worked on dozens of motion pictures over their long careers. For information on all their credits, please check out their IMDb pages:
- IMDb – Bryan Renfro – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0719496/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
- IMDb – Joel Silverman – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0798927/?ref_=fn_al_nm_3