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The Making of… #SantaPaws Appeal Video

Are you getting into the Christmas spirit yet? Last week we had the pleasure of producing a festive campaign video with a very special star. We’ve never had someone lick the camera lens before…!

We’re proud of all our work, but we are particularly proud to work alongside the charity Support Adoption For Pets. For many years now we have produced videos, built digital projects and designed newsletters to help communicate the amazing support they give to abandoned pets across the UK. This relationship even led our MD, Dan Laurence to join the board of trustees! The charity raises millions of pounds through Pets at Home stores and uses it to fund local rescues with grants for kennel costs, vet bills and build projects.

Every Christmas they run their Santa Paws appeal. For just 50p you can buy a Christmas dinner for a pet in a rescue – how could you say no? This makes producing a campaign video fairly straightforward. The appeal has one simple premise that is incredibly powerful. Most people don’t think about pets that are spending Christmas in a rescue, and it’s our job to bring about that awareness and to show people how they can help.

For this year’s appeal, we constructed a story about Bailey, a dog in a rescue who dreams of the perfect Christmas day. The killer moment? The heart-breaking realisation when he wakes up from his dream, alone and sad on Christmas morning. A bit too harsh, we wondered? The fact is, it’s the sad reality for thousands of pets who end up in a rescue through no fault of their own and remember previous Christmases at home with a loving family. We want to encourage the public to show dogs like Bailey that they are not forgotten!

The filming itself was very smooth. Our star was Alfie, a gorgeous staffie cross who was rescued as a pup. Excitable, deeply photogenic and incredibly well behaved, he was desperate to please his handler (his Aunty Helen!) which made him very easy to work with. In the past, we’ve tried filming rescue pets that are still looking for a home, but this can be very difficult as life in kennels is stressful and you can’t expect too much from them. Depending on the project you have to do what’s best for the animals.

Through Alfie as Bailey, we were able to communicate our story. The end result is powerful and emotional, and hopefully will inspire lots of donations! What worked particularly well was how we connected the mise-en-scene as he fell asleep on the sofa in his happy dream sequence and then woke up in the kennel at the end. Although it is the same action, moody blue lighting effects and tints helped to define the contrast between the two sections. To do this we used coloured gels on the set lights and colour grading software in the edits.

We are all excited to see how this video will support the wider appeal and we are hopeful that this wonderful charity will once again have a record-breaking Santa Paws appeal!

You can make a difference and show your support for the appeal here:

Watch the full video here:

Find out more about our Video Services here.