They say never work with children or animals – advice Griffith Film School students disregarded when they shot a cinema advertising campaign for the RSPCA.
The assignment was part of a second year subject called Industry Engagement, which pairs young filmmakers with local charities.
A group of six students was chosen to work on a cinema advertising campaign to promote the RSPCA’s ‘Adopt for life’ message.
The 30-second spot traces the life of a boy and his dog, starting in the present day and moving back through the years to the day the puppy was adopted.
Adrian Teveluwe produced the shoot.
For the animal-lover, it was a dream gig - but not without its challenges.
The crew of student filmmakers had to brainstorm the concept, build the set from scratch and wrangle child actors and dogs.
"We kept the concept simple so we could focus on the child actor and the animals,” he said.
"The kid was very professional, but the dogs were a little trickier to direct!
"I think we ended up having to do about 70 or 80 takes with the dog to get what we wanted.
"The puppy we used for the shoot was actually adopted a few days later - so there was a happy ending!"
Ashleigh McNamara was the writer and editor on the campaign. For the budding filmmaker it was a chance to work on a cause close to her heart.
"It was a fantastic opportunity to assist the RSPCA and spread the word about the amazing work they do,” she said.
"I've always been passionate about animal welfare and there are so many pets who need a loving home.”
The advertisement will screen in cinemas around Brisbane from 9 February.
Ashleigh can't wait to see her work up on the big screen.
"It's so exciting - I'm inviting everyone I know to come along to a screening. We might just watch the ads and then leave!"
Local filmmaker and GFS graduate Dean Law supervised the project through LiveLab, the commercial production arm of GFS.
"It wasn't an easy shoot, but the students put in the hard yards and made it work - I think their excitement carried them through,” he said.
"It's absolutely vital that they learn what is expected in the industry, and get experience working with a real client."
RSPCA creative production coordinator Jacqui Vial said the charity’s first collaboration with Griffith Film School had been a "fantastic experience".
"The students really managed to capture the message that animals are something that come into a family for life, and that they grow up with you," she said.
"We are a charity, so we don't have a huge budget for advertising so it's great to see these young filmmakers who want to give back and help us get the word out."