Puppies. A few kittens. A dog with a prosthetic foot. And a mouse surviving cancer with laser treatments. This array of on-screen talent certainly is not the stuff of your average corporate video, but for the past few months my corporate clients have patiently taken a back seat to Natural Companions, a TV show about holistic care for pets.
This is actually our second season producing this program for the Veria Living television network. In 2008, we delivered twenty-six episodes using a straightforward, three-story format. AMS Pictures also produced The Art of Living Gallery, Yoga for Life and Pilates at the same time for Veria. The first season of Natural Companions was well-received by both viewers and the network.
Fast-forward to the summer of 2011, and the network came knocking again… they wanted more Natural Companions episodes! This time, though, there would be many changes to not only the show, but also the network as a whole. Veria was being rebranded as Veria Living, and expanding its realm into Pop Wellness. There was a new energy at the network, and they wanted that energy passed on to its programming.
For us, this meant a complete format change. Gone were the cozy rustic glow and cheerful dual-hosts. Enter in edgy. Enter in urban. Enter in vitality. The program was now to be switched to a fast-paced “magazine” style format. This meant a nationwide search for a new host: one who could reach new audiences while serving as the pillar of knowledge for the show. In came Tyson Kilmer, a California-based dog trainer whose clients literally live all over the world. We met with him. We liked his energy, and he liked ours!
Expanding the show a bit, Veria also requested this “magazine format” to be pocketed with guest feature hosts, so once again we scoured the country and discovered the talents of Dr. Katy Nelson, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, and Dr. Brittany Barton. Each would do simple, one to three minutes segments about holistic healthcare for our dogs and cats.
As with Season One, Laura Neitzel was brought in as our content guru. Well-versed in the natural vibe of the Veria Living network, it was her task to seek out stories all around the country, vet them with actual vets, find the ones that would not only touch a piece of humanity, but also be able to teach us something.
Speaking of schedules, Amy McCain was our production coordinator, and it was her job to make sure each of the seven to nine little pieces of the show were researched, plotted, scheduled and shot. No small task.
Principle videography began in January of 2012, and continued through April with the taping occurring in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Washington DC, and here in Texas. Luisa Mendoza-Kirby, one of AMS Pictures’ senior DPs shot the majority of the series, travelling with myself and Tyson. We also had assistance from Randy Martin, Taylor Witt, David Marks, Andy Whalen, and Ryan Sprinkle.
The look and feel of the edited show came through the talents of Randy Martin and Burley Vandergriff. They helped transform the style and energy, giving the show a fast-paced joyride feel. Grace Kim aided in the editing, as we had to split up the work to accommodate the tight schedule.
Now, as we exit the heat of the summer, editing of the show is completed and shipped to the network. We have thirteen wonderful episodes waiting for the world to see, learn, laugh and enjoy. And the world WILL, starting on Sunday, September 9th, when the network will premiere this new second season. This is exciting! What a great way to not only see our many months of hard work finally reach fruition, but to also know that great and useful information will now be available for a new audience. It’s a win-win deal!
Or in dog language… bark-bark!
For more info on Natural Companions, check out the series overview page here.