2014 was possibly A1 Animal’s most successful year ever, we have worked on six films, seven novelty television programmes, eight major television dramas, thirty odd commercials (some odder than others!) a handful of pop promos, attended some forty stills shoots, and also provided animals for several live performances.
Hamish our talented Bull Mastiff started the year travelling to the Mediterranean, where he boarded a cruise ship to film a Bollywood Blockbuster “Dil Dhadakne Do” he spent a month cruising the Med, stopping off to film in various exotic locatiions, he was a huge hit with crew, cast and passengers alike.
Other films that we have been involve with include “Pursuit” (Hamish again…)
“Eleanor” with Mossup
“The Gates of Vanity” Dexter , and another collaboration with our friends at February Films “Road Games” with Martha and Chummy, this also involved travelling abroad, this time to Picardie.
“Prick Thy Neighbour” featured one of our lovely black and white cats, Rob.
We worked on pop promos with “Drenge”, several dogs on this one…
Lola appeared with singer Indiana…
We also worked with Katy Perry and some lovely Greyhounds.
A1 Animals was delighted to be asked to provide Crab the dog for The Two Gentlemen of Verona, especially as it was ten years since Ria had performed in the same part for The Royal Shakespeare Company. Mossup was perfect for the part, and luckily she had live stage experience, having just completed a short run at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow in “Legally Blonde”.
Mossup became the first canine blogger for the RSC, and also one of the most popular!
Mossup also attended a very lively question and answer session for the BBC at Media City, Salford. This was for fans of “Topsy and Tim”
Something a little different, we took several dog to promote the new range of Orlebar Brown menswear….
We also provided dogs for an event at Selfridges.
Celebrity Juice, Pride of Britain, Top Gear, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Cat Watch, Cats got Talent and the Disney Channel all featured some of our animals.
Above is Caddy strutting his stuff!
We worked with some fantastic stills photographers this year, including David Stewart, Ron Bembridge, Gandee Vassan and Nicky Johnston. Our “fashion models” included Scramble and Polly for Boden, Theiai, Mossup and Nessie for Regatta and Dexter and Hovis for Next.
Hovis on location in Norfolk.
Chummy, Foster and the much missed Norman took on a wind machine for Gandee Vassan!
Ellie reprised her part as Isis in Downton Abbey (series 2 only) with Alan Carr, great fun with Nicky Johnston photographing.
And a touch of photo shopping for an article in The Guardian magazine!
The lovely and beautifully proportioned Thelma.
Mabel was chosen to grace the packaging for Smart Dog treats
Other projects we were involved with were for Hills Science Diet, Natwest, Country House magazine, Hall Mark birthday cards, the Oxford University Press and Passionate.
New boy Matty for Ever Clean cat litter packaging:
We had an extremely busy day with photographer Jason Butcher working on yet another group shot for Metacam
Commercials and virals:
We worked on many of these productions in the last year, amongst the more memorable moments Chummy got to pilot a Sinclair C5 for Expedia…
Carrying on with different methods of transport, we did a couple of fun videos for Arriva, the first proving so popular that we returned to Tamworth to shoot a follow up.
Scramble was recalled to do another shoot for Skype, Kipp the poodle starred for Nisa, new boy Matty featured in an Ever Clean cat litter commercial and also one for Surf, Chummy appeared with a very tiny baby for Sudocrem, and also for Redrow builders, various of our cats shot a Cats Protection League advertisement, Polly Cat appeared for Morrisons.
We had an enjoyable couple of days at the Essex Arena shooting a viral for Mazda cars with Poppi, Hamish, Dylan and Foster, another “shaking wet dog” shot amongst many others!
Mabel donned her Superpug cape for Halifax
Mabel also appeared with McKinley and Coco for a series of dog friendly recipes for Direct Line K9 Kitchen with TV vet Marc Abraham and chef James Martin. All three dogs thoroughly enjoyed tasting their offerings!
Dexter shot the new “Audible” TV commercial, and also one for Dreams
Velux and Solar Panels showcased the talents of Ronnie and Polly cats and Caddy starred in the Christmas “Very” campaign.
Coming soon is a new Petplan commercial featuring many of our cats and dogs also Rhodni the gorgeous puppy, and a scrumptious litter of Rydalmaine Mainecoon kittens.
Also expected any time, viral for a car manufacturer with Diego the fantastic Husky playing a leading role.
We worked on a couple of pilot shows earlier in the year, “Walter” a detective/comedy with Chummy, and Schrodingers cat in which Haggis won fulsome praise from the cast and crew, who were amazed at his performance.
Scramble and Bob have been working with aliens from outer space…The Floogals, this is an on going project which will carry on filming until the Summer, and is due to be screened next year. Although it is set in America, it is being filmed in Beckenham.
We had chickens and rabbits working with Matt LeBlanc on “Episodes”, Matty in “Doctors” and Bob in “Salad Days”.
Hamish and Haggis each had several days work on “Spotless” which shows the darker side of Brendan Coyle!
Our main drama for the Autumn was “Partners In Crime” with the delightful David Walliams and Jessica Raine, both wonderful with the animals. We provided several animals for this, but our star turn was Foster, portraying the Beresfords’ pet dog Tiffin. Director Edward Hall was particularly glowing in his praise for Foster.
All in all, it has been a great year, we have filmed in France, Italy, Spain and Liz was flown to Poland (Warsaw) to work with cats on a prestigious cat commercial. We’ve had some wonderful compliments for the performances of our animals and worked with some fantastic people. But there is always a down side to living with animals, and that is that most of them don’t live for long enough. We said goodbye to Ria, sadly taken at a very young age by bone cancer, and Zelda, a real grande dame of the feline world. Jo Ann’s Norman a wonderfully gentle giant of a cat is also sadly missed.
Good night Zelda.
New additions have been Matty and his younger half brother MJ, Harry (all rising feline stars!) Theia a Scottish Deerhound, Ruby a miniature Dachshund, Maisie a fluffy crossbreed, and Sadie the energetic Chihuahua!
2015 is starting off with a trip up North to a popular soap opera, and another visit to The Floogals!
A1 Animals is a real team effort, some of us go swanning off to mix on set with the great and good, and some are the back room boys and girls, who stay at home to do the everyday jobs that are all part of caring for our animals, so from ALL the team:Liz, Alan, Sue, Lisa, Jo Ann, Dot, Paul and Sheila, thank you to everyone who has worked with us in 2014, and bring on 2015!
Dedicated to the beautiful Ria, departed far too young.