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Common Questions & Answers
Is ReelPaws a pet talent agency?
No, we are not a formal talent casting agency and work for our clients rather than representing talent. We act as matchmakers and submit pre-screened talent for casting projects filming with ReelPaws or our partners, and influencer/product review opportunities. We also provide casting for other production companies that contract with us.
Does my pet need to be a "professional"?
Absolutely not. While having experience and specialized training can help for some projects requiring trick work, for others, it is less important. For example, a dog who is really excited to eat a pet food brand's product and does so with gusto on a video shoot is preferred sometimes over sitting perfectly posed!
What are the basic requirements for a pet to be selected?
We expect pet talent to have very strong basic obedience training (should have mastered a sit/ stay) at a minimum.
How much does a project pay?
It can vary significantly, depending on experience level, breed type, or special skills required. An average would be $125 - $500 for up to 4 hours on set. We typically pay our talent on the day of filming (no waiting for a check in the mail!). Occasionally we can provide additional compensation for travel for those from out of town, but that is never guaranteed and should be discussed before you commit.
How do I get priority consideration?
Working with live animals on a film set or photo shoot can be challenging. Even the most experienced and trained pets can all have off days. It often happens that if we will develop a comfort level between the pet and our team, they are more likely to be recommended in the future.. Basically, if we have worked with your pet already and they did a good job, they're more likely to get cast again in a future project as we can vouch for you personally.
This doesn't mean there are plenty of opportunities for newcomers, but it helps to say yes on a small project to start so we can get to work together and will receive higher priority when the more glamorous gigs come up!
Will my pet be safe?
Over the past ten years, our crew has filmed thousands of animals for hundreds of brands and our specialty is working with dogs and cats. We have a perfect safety record for cast and crew and take all precautions with maintaining a minimal crew on-site, attention to the animal, lots of breaks, etc. We treat your pet like our own and they tend to have a lot of fun getting all the attention, rewards, and praise for a few hours from complete strangers.
Why do I need to provide all of this information?
We use our pre-screened animals first for all our projects and will start submitting your pet for consideration immediately on upcoming work. Only if we are looking for more options do we post a public casting call.
Will my pet need to audition?
Maybe. If we need an audition, it can almost always be done by smartphone filming from home, so no need to come in! We don’t ask for an audition unless we think it is needed for the hiring decision. Our goal is to make this as easy and efficient for everyone.
How does it all work?
By taking the time to send us the information requested, we won’t bother you with every single opportunity and only reach out if we think has a good shot at a project. If we reach out to you to ask for an audition or confirm availability, it means they have made it to the “shortlist” of usually about 4 - 8 other pets that match the same criteria needed for a project. The client selects who to cast from the shortlist.
How likely is it my pet will be selected?
You may hear back right away if it's a perfect fit for something and the timing works out. For other pets, it may take years, it just depends on what comes up and is a good fit and just plain luck if the marketing person at the company likes a certain breed or the dog’s name, it can all be very random. We do have some influence, so can share if we’ve worked with someone before and they did well, or remind of positive qualities (cute “smile”) or special training, but ultimately the casting choice rests with whoever hired us for the project.
What do you do with my information provided?
All information you provide is not shared with any third party or anyone outside of our company. We do not use your information for marketing, and you won't start receiving unsolicited calls or anything like that, it is just for us to use for casting purposes and is considered confidential.