Posts Tagged ‘television program’

I love making Wingshooting USA, and especially the “Buddy & Me” segments where I share some less-common observations and tips you might use to train (and be trained by) your dog. As a former teacher, it’s my chance to help others learn more, and become better dog owners too.

[These segments will air starting in September, and you can find a preview script below for one of them. Watch some previous versions shot last year, here.]

But it’s not as simple as just walking up to the camera and talking. Light’s gotta be right, or we supplement it. “Quiet on the set” is more than a cliché … it’s critical. I’ve got to craft a script, hit my marks and say my lines. And most importantly, the canine talent (Buddy) needs to perform. On cue, and often over and over again as I muff my lines or a plane flies over.

Thanks to camera operator and director Tad Newberry, whose great work you see every week, and for this session, his son Nick for manning the reflector so at least literally, I’m not in the dark on this one.

Thanks to my lovely wife Karen Bandy for taking these shots of today’s shoot, and hey, Buddy? “Good dog!”

Ummmm. Now, where were we?

How DO you get a dog to cock an ear on command?

After a hundred retrieves, the star gets jaded, needs some coaxing.

Nice and shady ... great for dogs, not so great for cameras.

Script: Buddy & Me

Yes, dog training is not play. It is often serious business, especially if you’re a field trialer.

But kiddy toys can help your dog “grow up” when the real thing simply isn’t available.

Teaching steadiness? Birds are best, but when you can’t use pigeons or gamebirds, try this balsa wood airplane. At two bucks apiece, they’re a bargain.

Whether you’re introducing a pup to gunfire, live in suburbia, or simply feel funny pulling out a real gun, draw podner! With this cap pistol.

It’s not as loud, nor as realistic looking as my Fausti shotgun, but it’s better than saying “bang!”

As the old song says, “ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.” But the next time you’re trying to train and you don’t have proper gear, you might look to your kid’s toy box for inspiration.


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A sneak preview, from behind the camera

A sneak preview from behind the camera

Raw footage? Check.

Network deals done? Check.

Sponsors committed? Check, check, and double check. (Though if you’re an advertiser who wants to reach bird hunters and dog owners, feel free to inquire as to remaining sponsorship opportunities on Wingshooting USA.)

So now the real work begins: Writing, planning, laying out the format for the show, for example. Pity the poor editor who must watch every minute of every disk and tape, logging the good stuff for use in each episode. I figure about 10 hours in the office and editing suite for every hour of field work (hunting). No glory there, until you consider that’s where the real education and entertainment takes place. (For a more complete rundown on the show, go here.)

You see, anyone can carry a camera, hold it relatively steady, and probably get a few good shots. But getting more than a few birds in the air, shots taken, and hitting the dirt, literally, to get excellent dog work on tape take more effort. Then, translating it digitally to the small screen so that you’ll watch it becomes the challenge. I’ve just given Tad, my editor, a rundown on what material should make up what episodes. While he’s logging it all in and turning it into bits and bytes, I’m drafting scripts for the “Buddy & Me” segments that were so popular on What the Dogs Taught Me, my last series.

We’re both looking at music options and Tad is working up examples of a graphics package (the colors, design and overall look of identifiers, credits, even the show logo need to be fully defined down to the exact frequency/wavelength of each color).

As things firm up, I’ll try to keep you posted, here.

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