And A Star is Born!

By Julie Carver (March 2012)

If you blink you could miss it… but for those watching the Oscars in late February or the Super Bowl earlier in the month, you might've caught a glimpse of that Portie flag flying through the frame.

If you missed it there or on the local news, click here and look for the blue box featuring the TV commercials then select the "TV Anthem" at the top of the list on the right side. Here's the behind the scenes scoop:

Last August, I was managing the development of a client's new advertising campaign and booked for a three-day television shoot on location south of the metro. The workdays were longer than normal and after the first one, I decided to make subsequent ones – take your dog to work day! Luckily, I have a client who loves dogs and was more than willing to have a mascot on set. (It does help that she doesn't make a peep when crated… so no additional commands needed when the director shouted,
"quiet on the set"!)

Other than being outside and, technically, with me I don't imagine it was very exciting for a Portie. We moved locations regularly which meant in and out of the car… setting up in a grassy field or some other unknown locale. However, the afternoon was a different story. It was filled with time on a farm – far off any roads, meeting cows for the first time and a rare off-leash romp with adoring 4-year-old twins who couldn't get enough playtime.

Then, the real excitement began. We moved to another location where we were trying to capture a "beauty shot" of a propane tank overlooking the scenic bluff countryside. Serious goal for an energy company TV spot! The director, art director and production staff were in heated conversations about how to make this shot more interesting… it was not a pleasant scene. One of them threw up their hands and exclaimed: "we need movement"… but we had no talent on the set as they were down at the farm for other scenes. Then, eyes turned to me. "Julie, is your dog still with you?" and more importantly, "will she run somewhere if you tell her too"?

Yes, she was still with us… resting in a shaded car… and, honestly I said, "there's a 50/50 chance she'll do what I want her too." (Regardless of training efforts, she's pretty doggone independent minded.)

And so Mira put on her diva-attitude, and pranced onto the set. After a multitude of takes of trying to get her to walk normally on leash, without dragging the human behind her, we ditched the leash and had me stand on the opposite side of the set with her favorite toy. A few takes later, it was a wrap. And, Mira returned to her simple life in a downtown Minneapolis condo, but not without a story to share about her adventures in Belle Plaine.

So, the next time you hit the road to that trial, club event or the cabin, stop by your local Cenex and learn more about Tanks of Thanks… or ask us about it at the next club event. It's a fantastic program where neighbors can recognize neighbors for all the good that's happening in communities across our country.