- Starring: Greta Gerwig, Charlie Tahan
- Director(s): Todd Solondz
- Producer(s): Megan Ellison, Christine Vachon
- Screenwriter(s): Todd Solondz
- Distributor: Annapurna Pictures
- Animal Coordinator: IFC Films
- Release Date: Friday, June 24, 2016
Featured Animal Action
Throughout the film, we follow a dog, who is seen performing such mild action as sitting/standing/lying, being held or petted, and walking/running on or off leash. For all of these scenes, trainers used hand signals and verbal commands to cue the mild action, which the trained dog was accustomed to performing. The barking/growling was also a trained behavior.
In the opening scene where the man walks to the truck with the dog in a crate, the actor was shown how to hold the crate prior to filming the scene. The dog was familiar with traveling in a crate and the trainer was off camera at all times.
When we see the tracking shot of the various dogs in their cages, the cages were all disinfected and the dogs were placed in these cages for a very small amount of time. All dogs were given food and water between takes.
In the scene where the actor brings the dog home and places him in the little boy’s arms, the actors were instructed on how to hold the dog prior to filming.
In the scenes where we see the dog inside the cage and the little boy talks to the dog, the dog was placed in the cage by his trainer. Prior to filming, the little boy gave the dog treats so they could become acquainted. The room was air conditioned and the dog was provided with food and water.
In the scene where the mother drives the car and the little boy sits in the passenger’s seat with the dog in his lap, the car was driven very slowly and only twenty feet at a time. The trainer checked in with the dog and the actors between takes.
In the scene where we see the dog on the skateboard, the dog was prepped continuously prior to filming the scene. The trainer placed the dog on the skateboard and the boy pushed it slowly. The skateboard was large enough to hold the dog comfortably and the dog was prepped and conditioned to being on the board.
In the scene where the boy and the dog play with each other in the living room, the boy and the dog teased each other and played prior to filming. The trainers prepped the boy on how to play tug of war with the dog. The boy gently tugged on the pillow. The feathers were blown with a fan.
In the scene where the boy feeds the dog a granola bar, the granola bar is actually a dog treat. The trainer was off camera making sure the dog didn’t overeat. In the subsequent scene we see the dog lying near diarrhea. The dog never really had diarrhea and the diarrhea consisted of edible components that were dog safe.
In the scene where the man and nurse are in the hotel room with the dog on the bed with the mariachi band, the trainer placed the dog on the bed and kept him there with hand gestures.
In the scene where the dog walks through different scenarios in the background, the trainer placed the dog on a treadmill located in front of a green screen. The treadmill was set on an extremely low speed and was stopped after every thirty seconds.
In the scene where the actor had the dog on his lap in the bus, the trainers showed the actor how to hold the dog. The bus was a prop bus.
In the scenes where the actor walks the dogs on the streets of New York, traffic was closed off and trainers were off camera at all times. The dog was given plenty of food and water between takes.
In the scene where the dog runs to the elevator with the bomb strapped to his back, the props department placed a fake bomb on the dog’s back which was made out of cardboard, which was extremely light.
In the scene where the old lady sits next to the dog on the bench, the actress was acclimated to the dog and the trainer was off camera the whole time.
In the scene where the dog runs in the road and gets hit by a truck, this scene was shot in three different segments. The street was blocked off to traffic and the public by production. In the first shot, production filmed the dog run from A to B in an empty street. Then they filmed a truck and several other cars run over a fake dog. The real dog was never near a real car. Then in post production they made it look like the truck hit the dog through CGI. The taxidermied dog in the case was created by the props department.
Due to limited resources, American Humane Association did not monitor some of the dog action.