This is the advert that started me off in the TV training business. I got a call one evening asking whether a) I could train a Shar Pei to sit in the back of a car and b) how long would it take. I told them I could, and that it would take me 5 minutes. They wanted me to show them, so I drove over there, grabbed the nearest dog (there were 32 to choose from) and clicked him in to the car, then clicked him to sit and put his head out of the window. They were gobsmacked, as apparently the trainer they had employed had had that same dog (coincidence that I picked him) for 2 weeks and had not even managed to get him in to the car!!
Because the time frame was now very tight, they asked me to train 3 dogs, in case one fell sick on the day. I insisted on a car to practise with, which was a problem as the car was only being flown in from Germany the day before the shoot. So they leant us another car, which was gutted (all the seats pulled out) and we practised with that.
The footage was shot on top of Sanlam Centre in Randburg. We were on set for 9 hours on the 3 May 2001. In the end they only filmed one dog, Bent-Lee (the others, Fugley and Dix-E spent the day in crates). They were so impressed with the footage they got that they scheduled another shoot out at Haartebeespoort Dam on 11 May. At that shoot we had to lie down on a flat bed car (no superstructure and we were only about 6 inches off the ground) and zoom up and down the road to see if the dogs ears would flap back. Which if course they wouldn’t because of the way they sit on the dogs head. The police were there and closed the roads each time we barrelled down the road on the back of this low slung vehicle (apparently this is the same vehicle that is used to film planes taking off – the owner of the car has 3 of them which he hires out exclusively for film companies). Anyway it was a lot of fun, and the last few shots of the dog and car zooming off in to the sunset were shot there.
This ad won an Orchid award for being “entertaining, nice and short, and making a point without belabouring the whole exercise”.