Pieces Of An Industry: Corvallis Animal Trainer Brings "Talented Animals" To OK Go Video

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!

Animal Trainer Lauren Henry and One Of Her Four-Legged Performers

Animal Trainer Lauren Henry and One Of Her Four-Legged Performers

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.


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About Haroldphillips

Harold Phillips has worked professionally in theatre, film and television for over 20 years. In that time, he's built a reputation for his commitment to the characters he plays and his efforts to strengthen the film and theatre industries in the cities he's worked in. Harold has gained prominence in the quickly growing world of digital media, with appearances in the wildly popular web series Lady Wasteland, Animus Cross, and the interactive movie The Outbreak. In addition to appearances in commercials and independent films (including the comedic Crackin' The Code and thrillers Sum Of The Parts and Dark Horizon), Harold has spent many years working on stage in the Pacific Northwest. To learn more about Harold, please visit his web site at http://www.haroldphillips.net or follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/haroldPDX
This entry was posted in OK Go: White Knuckles, Pieces Of An Industry, Stories From Oregon's Economy. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pieces Of An Industry: Corvallis Animal Trainer Brings "Talented Animals" To OK Go Video

  1. Lauren Henry says:

    Great job with the blog! And, thank you for dedicating a post to another company that is dedicated to growing our industry. The only thing I would add is that the article stated “Talented Animals often works with new performers on their projects, the company maintains (at this point) fourteen dogs and two goats…” Actually, 14 dogs and 2 goats is just what Talented Animals provided for the OK Go video production. The company works with many different types of animals in film and TV. See you on set!

  2. Thanks for the clarification, Lauren!! We really appreciate it!

  3. Pingback: Tuesday Is A Big Day For Grimm As Production On Season 2 Kicks Off In Portland | Oregon Film And TV Dollars

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