Posted on February 15, 2017
It’s not every day you come to the office to be told you’re going to be working with cats. If perhaps you work at a cat sanctuary or a vet it comes with the job, but film production? Working with animals in general at Affixxius is a rarity having only previously worked with a well-behaved dog. Towards the back end of 2016 we had an exciting assignment placed on our desks with Axelos, a business software company who were looking for an innovate and new approach for an advert. We couldn’t wait to get started on this project, but the main difference with this one was that we were due to be producing a video with a clowder of cats. Unlike dogs who can be trained very easily (and generally do as they are told), cats were a whole different story to work with and our team were in for quite a challenge!
We had 20 cats star in the advert, which if you’ve seen it I’m sure you’ll agree is highly entertaining, not to mention cute with these kitties dotted about the video. So how was it working with these film star felines? The main message behind the video is that by using Prince 2 software from Axelos it’ll make work far more efficient, unlike the feeling of herding cats like those seen in the advert. I’m sure you’ll agree it was an exciting concept created by our team, but what seemed like a great idea at the time was rather a logistical nightmare whilst filming!
If nothing else, we certainly discovered cats are very much the independent animal. If they don’t want to do something they won’t! If you wanted them to move, chances are they'll remain stationary and of course if you want them to stay still they’re without a doubt going to dart off in the wrong direction. First of all, we held cat auditions where the selection of kitties were screened on how much they interacted; if they meowed lots, how they sounded when they meowed, if they were reckless and running about and if they remained docile. The more stationary and nonchalant they were the better it was for this video.
After the catsing, sorry casting, the office white board became a collage of the feline pictures. As the production team continued brainstorming the pictures gained hilarious famous actors, actresses and popular icons names, all with a cat related twist to them. Leonardo De Catprio, Clawdry Hepburn, Al Purrcino and so on, it seemed the Affixxius team were clearly ready for their cat challenge. On the day of shooting the video at the Axelos offices, it turned out the best way to keep these cats interested in doing their job was to slather cat food and tuna around the place… including on our dedicated actor! We must admit by the end of the second day shoot this smell was all rather pungent, but thankfully it clearly did the job.
Apart from Clawdry Hepburn’s, Steve McQueen style Great Escape attempt down the ventilation shaft, the spontaneous meowing, clawing Billy from productions jean’s, and all of the general kitty cat havoc, the day of filming certainly kept the guys on their toes. Quite a challenge for our film production team to navigate these furry divas on set but of course they do love a challenge - which is a good job really! The question is what animal can we work with next and will they beat the ultimate animal diva - the cat.
Take a look at our Axelos Herding Cats behind the scenes video here.Interested in creating something similar for your company? Get in touch