If you have read my "About Gina" page you know I am no stranger to television. I have handled dogs on tv shows such as Grange Hill and East Enders, handled my own dogs and taught others how to handle theirs. It's all good fun, but I never expected to do any tv filming during the Pandemic!
However, Meridian ITV were featuring a Lockdown Lift section where viewers told what they have done to help others lift their spirits during lockdown. This is when so many of us are told to "stay home", don't go out and if you do stay away from others. A strange and isolating time for so many of us in so many ways, so I decided to tell the programme of a challenge I set my friends in the dog dancing community.
Ann deRizzio runs Dancing with With Dogs FaceBook page and asked me to set a challenge for visitors to the page. I wanted a challenge that would unite us despite our isolation and seperation. So I chose a piece of music; Shine by EricHarper; purchased the appropriate licence to use the track on my YouTube channel and asked my friends on the dog dancing community to teach their dogs some moves, video themselves and send their clips to me.
I was blown away by the amazing moves that were submitted. I got videos from Scotland and Wales but mainly from the Meridian Regions which covered Oxford, Reading, Hampshire, Kent, Surrey etc. There were dancing dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes.
A Challenge for Me Too.
I downloaded the video clips and music onto iMovies and after many nights of editing the video was complete and at the end of November 2020. Here is the final result.
I seemed to have inspired lots of dog clubs and societies to do the same with thier members, which is great, but when I saw the Lockdown Lift feature I thought I would send the video to them asking if they would be interested and they were!
Interview in the Rain
Anyone thinking tv is lots of glitz and glammour, you would be wrong. I received a phone call from Meridian Reporter Malcolm Shaw, who said they were very much interested in the video and asked for an interview at 2pm that day. I was delighted and suggested I bought a dog with me to show off some dance moves. As my back garden was water logged following the snow fall that weekend, we opted to meet (socially distanced) in the local park.
I took my collie, Swagger, with me to demonstrate some dance moves but he had to have a major grooming session before hand to remove the thick mud he had caked himself in during our walk that morning! I too had to dash home for a change of clothes and comb of the windswept hair!
I met cameraman Paul in the park. It was cold and drizzling with rain but we did pretty well. Paul talked me through what he needed to film and in what order. Swagger was more than happy to play dog dancing and showing Paul what he could do and within the hour it was all done.
Behind the Camera
Before we parted ways, I chatted to Paul about his job and how it was being affected by the Pandemic. What really struck me was when he said how much he had enjoyed our meeting. Paul went on to explain that he has spent months filming the covid 19 unfold and I think we forget when we are watching these scenes on the news that there is someone behind the camera that is not only filming it but then spending hours editing it for our viewing. It affects them as much as it does us and Swagger and I was glad to have bought a lighter side of life to Paul that day.
If anyone missed it here is the interview and below is the original video we put together last November. Enjoy!