In January 2012 we learned of a contest sponsored by a new start-up company in Seattle named PetHub. The company was looking for entertaining and informative commercial entries featuring their pet ID tag, and was offering a $500 1st prize as well as a $100 award for the runner-up in both 30-second and 1-minute categories. When the winning votes from the online survey were tallied, our submission (below) received top honors in the 1-minute category.
Upon hearing of the contest, I immediately consorted with my talented son, Jake, to come up with an entry before the deadline which was only a couple weeks away. With both of us working full-time during the week, and Gabe’s busy performance schedule, we only had a few small windows of time to shoot our footage–and with the temperamental winter weather we had to be ready for whatever it threw at us! Fortunately it provided the perfect “mood” for each of our scenes and in classic fashion Jake did his filming and editing magic to come up with the award-winning results!
Gabe’s “rock-climbing” scene was filmed at the beautiful Boulevard Park in Bellingham, WA . This was actually one of the most difficult scenes for Gabe to perform. While he was only about 5′ off the ground and the angle wasn’t overly steep, his helmet made for an even greater challenge in navigating the narrow ledge. Jake skewed the footage to give it a more dangerous, “edgy” feel.
The PetHub tag is embedded with a QR code that can be scanned with a smart phone, immediately sharing the lost pet’s important information–such as owner’s name, phone number, address, medical issues, etc. PetHub issued each of the contestants a tag to use in their commercial and we attempted to demonstrate–in an exaggerated way– the effectiveness of this amazing technology on a pet like Gabe who was always “out for an adventure”!
Gabe’s “snowboarding” scene was filmed against a green screen and edited into some actual snowboarding footage taken by Jake’s boss, Tony Jonsson. Strings were attached to his scarf and we manually added some movement during the filming to mimic the flapping that would occur in the real action. Jake also added some subtle touches like the reflection of the passing trees in his Doggles to give it a more realistic feel.