The state of Michigan is home to thespians both the two and four-legged type. In 2008, the Michigan Film Incentive (MFI) took effect. This created more opportunities for human actors and critters as well. Here is a peek at our animal actors and the local agencies that look after them.
Native Wolf Productions
They are said to keep trained wolves and wolfdogs for film production. Native Wolf is based in Michigan and Ontario, Canada.was founded in 2015. They are said to keep trained wolves and wolfdogs for film production. Native Wolf is based in Michigan and Ontario, Canada.
They offer services to the continental United States along with Canada and Mexico. Native Wolf provides access to other creatures as well. They show a crow pictured on set under the “animals” section of their web site.
The so-called wolf they use is actually a Czechoslovakian Vlcak. The breed is a wolf and dog hybrid that appeared around mid-century. They are known as smart canines with sharp senses. The task-oriented pups appear to be most well-suited for filming outdoor scenes.
Native Wolf has numerous film credits: A music video with Eminem and Yelawolf dubbed “Best Friend” shot in Detroit. They have a number of others, such as Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film “Minority Report” and even some documentary work done in Monroe.
Plus, Native Wolf has been part of several big studio projects in the advertising world. That includes work as an animal wrangler for Rocket Mortgage and Tenet Healthcare ads filmed in the Motor City.
Another outfit is Enchanting Animals. They are a non-profit family company that serves Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. More specifically, they serve the cities of Chicago and Indianapolis.
They employ a production trainer with more than 13 years of experience; this type of trainer works directly with the animals on set.
Enchanting Animals offers their services for modeling shoots and photography sessions too. With big and small screen productions done by request.
They double as an animal rescue outfit, a sanctuary that houses animals. In their photo album, titled ‘enchanting critter gallery’ they feature dogs, birds, owls, and others.
A few sponsors support them and further aid is welcome. To add, Enchanting Animals provide educational programs with lesson plans tailored to institutional needs.
Wildlife conservation is an important part of the company’s philosophy.
Party Animals, Inc. 1-810-797-4111
From the village of Goodrich in Genesee County, comes Party Animals Inc. They keep farm animals, which include goats, horses, rabbits, and sheep. The company is available to hire for all sorts of occasions.
Party Animals Inc. have been featured in tv commercials as they indicate, but mainly concentrate on other venues like birthday parties, day care/schools, festivals and so forth.
On a farm located in the western Michigan town of Cedar Springs, comes a crew known as Pawsitive Vybe. They were founded in 1999, now nearing a quarter century as an established entity.
Pawsitive Vybe teaches dogs to play Frisbee. Their service is billed as Dog Training, Performance and Art. They are listed on the production hub site as animal wranglers.
Out of Canton, Michigan there is Nelson “The Animal Guy” who’s known as a master falconer, animal trainer and wildlife exhibitor. Nelson operates a mobile petting zoo.
His Wildlife Safari has appeared at school assemblies. They also do virtual wildlife programs. Their shows are planned for a variety of events. They also do offer animals for use in television and film.
“The Vanishing on 7th Street”
In 2009, a local canine was cast in a major Hollywood production.
That movie “The Vanishing on 7th Street,” was filmed in Detroit just outside of Greektown. The pooch is a white poodle named “Bunny” from Saline. Bunny was provided by the Southeast Michigan Poodle Club.
Some of the stars in that film were Hayden Christensen, John Leguizamo and Thandie Newton. That’s one lucky dog!
State Rules and Regulations
What about the question of safety and regulation?
The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development https://www.michigan.gov/mdard/animals has a long list of rules and regulations for possession and interstate transport of non-domestic animals.