No Animals Were Harmed?-Animals in Film

Last week, I analyzed the controversial video leaked from the set of “A Dog’s Purpose.”

This week, after a private investigation, it was determined that the video was edited to be a misrepresentation of what occurred on the set, and that the animals used in the film were safe.

However, Producer Gavin Palone does admit mistakes were made in the footage seen. In an interview with President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, Palone said:

“In short, on the day in question, people did not do their jobs. The person directing the action changed the starting point of the scene from where the dog happily and successfully had done it many times before, and this change spooked him. Twenty minutes ago, my dog Lacy was shivering with fear because a technician was in my house fixing the alarm system. I am not sure why but his presence affected her and when he left, she was fine. That dog in the movie, Hercules, had a reaction to the change in position. The director should have cut immediately and moved back to the original start point for the scene as soon as Hercules showed fear; the trainer should have stopped trying to get Hercules into the water immediately; the American Humane Association monitor should have demanded it stop immediately. Nobody who could have stopped that incident from carrying on did so soon enough and it went on for 40 seconds, which is 39 seconds too long. Also, the turbulence in the pool should have been turned down, so that Hercules’s head would not have been submerged for four seconds.”

The movie performed damage control after the initial  video was released by TMZ, releasing a statement and posting a short video of Hercules playing on set.

Meanwhile, PETA is now offering an award to whoever leaked the footage in the first place.

But as things are calming down, I started wondering if a system is used to determine whether or not animals are treated well during filming.

That’s when I found this.

In short, a movie can register with the Humane Society to have animal care observed during production. If a movie does well enough in the society’s eyes, the will receive the trademarked “No Animals Were Harmed” in the end credits.

The general guidelines given to film makers include things such as having appropriate handlers, not filming in inappropriate weather, and limiting rehearsals.

The Humane Society also gives films ratings of such as “acceptable” or “outstanding” for its treatment of the “animal actors,”along with examples of why the film earned that rating.

The guidelines have evolved over the years, and it’s not a fail-proof system.

However, it’s the one of the only one’s out there.

Correct me in the comments if I’m wrong, but the Humane Society and Movie Animals Protected are the only programs I could find that protect animals used in film.

In the end, maybe this is a good thing as to avoid confusion, but it’s still surprising.

Whether you agree with using animals or not in film, it’s nice to know that there are efforts being made to protect them.

However, using these organizations are optional. It’s up to the film makers to make sure they are doing what’s best for everyone on set.








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