The auto industry is bigger than just the factories that make cars. The timber industry is bigger than the loggers who cut trees and the sawmills that process them. Both require a variety of subsidiary businesses - and workers at those businesses - to function, and to get their products to market.
The film and TV industry is no different. Say “Oregon Film and TV,” and people tend to think about actors and crew working on the set… but they rarely think about the many other people and businesses that make Oregon’s industry happen. From time-to-time we’ll be taking a look at some of these pieces of Oregon’s film and TV industry… subsidiary businesses right here in Oregon that all play a role in putting Oregon on the big (and small) screen!
The Animal Trainer
Rock band OK Go’s latest video, White Knuckles has been in the news a lot lately. The video, which as of this writing has received 6.5 million views on YouTube, was shot in Corvallis with the assistance of Oregon-based animal trainer Lauren Henry and her company Talented Animals.
As Lauren said in a recent interview on KOIN TV’s Studio6, it took ten days to train the dogs in the video to perform all of their choreography (in one take!) Henry elaborated in a phone interview with OregonFilmandTVDollars.com earlier this week, saying that on average projects she and Talented Animals co-owner Roland Sonnenburg are hired for can run anywhere from two-to-six weeks - so ten days falls into the “low end” of what the company is used to. During any of those two-to-six week productions, the company might hire up to ten freelance trainers from throughout Oregon to help them work with their performers.
Though Talented Animals often works with new performers on their projects, the company maintains (at this point) fourteen dogs and two goats on twenty acres between Salem and Corvallis. As you might imagine, keeping all those animals fed and cared for is an expensive proposition; thankfully, there are many local feed stores and animal suppliers in the area to keep the performers living at Talented Animals HQ in food and treats. Similarly, the 16-foot box van the company uses to transport its supplies and performers to their various work sites is maintained regularly at local auto shops so it can be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
In closing, Henry said that she and Sonnenburg love living and working in Oregon, but there’s not enough production in the state to keep them and their performers employed year-round. As a result, they have to travel outside the state regularly to supplement their income. She hopes that production will increase in coming years so that she, and her animals, can continue to work full time here in Oregon.