I have a problem. Not a big one though. It's Disa. She's being typecast.
Following her starring role in Birdhouse, back in August, earlier this week I got an invite to take part in another film for the National Film and Television School. And Disa needed to die again. I suppose that being known as 'the lady with the dog who plays dead' is much better than being known as 'the lady with the dog who steals the crew's lunch and pees on the electrics.
This film is 'Joe and Mary's Kid' - a light comedy about a couple who can't have children, so decide to build their own. This time Disa actually got to be alive for a bit first - she had to lick the robot boy, and thus be christened 'Affectionate Dog', play fetch with him ... and then be crushed to death. Oh dear.
The filming was today and again, not too far away. We arrived in plenty of time so I could tire the dogs out and get them calm. The same make-up lady was around as last time and Disa remembered her as 'the one who covers me in lovely tasty minty red stuff'. Unfortunately for her there was to be no fake blood this time.
Quite a lot of dog training is about thinking laterally. How do you get a dog who has been taught that licking is bad to lick? I went armed with a small pot of honey and some home-made tuna cake. By sticking bits of tuna cake on to the costume and smearing on honey, Disa was quite glad to give the robot a good slobbering on.
Getting an Elkhound to fetch is another matter. Disa will fetch, but only for me and only usually once or twice. Elkhounds just don't see the point. Fortunately, this was a comedy. So it really didn't matter that the robot boy threw the ball, Disa chased after it, then turned round and trotted away, ignoring the ball and the robot. In fact, the crew loved it. Phew!
Finally... dead again. The weight of the actor and the robot costume was far too much, so we stuffed the costume with pillows and gently laid it on her. The scene required a bit of running and shouting, and convincing Disa to lie still while this was going on took a bit of patience. The actors kindly did some stamping about and shouting in between takes, so Disa worked out that nothing exciting was going on and it was ok to ignore them.
I'm starting to enjoy film. The people we've worked with have all been great, and the challenge of working with Disa to get what they need is good for me and for her.
If any agents read this, please get in touch! But it would be nice if she didn't have die next time.