We love animals. We love film. Let's bring them together.
Here's what it takes to make an animal film.
Meet The Network
Julie Rooney (she/her/hers) is a filmmaker with a lyrical, art-centered style and deep respect for the power of creative storytelling. After completing her MFA from The University of Colorado Boulder in film, she worked as a director, cameraperson, and video editor for the New York based performing arts production company Dancing Camera, and she now directs its office in Denver, her home town. She has created short films, music videos, sizzles, and trailers, filming around the world for organizations like The Guggenheim Museum, The Denver Art Museum, The Cunningham Foundation, and many more. Her experience with capturing dancers and other performers on film has prepared her for the unique challenges that working with live animals present.
From 2017 - 2020, Julie was the Director of Marketing for The Yard, a dance performance center in Martha's Vineyard. She helped The Yard to build a video-centered brand representation, and brings her experience with social media and marketing to Howlll Films.
From her childhood VHS epics, to her graduate art films, to her commercial films made today, Julie's work has always woven animals into her films in every possible way. She's filmed deer in Japan, toured animal-themed work in film festivals, and presented a multi-year performance based on Audubon's "Birds of America" throughout the United States.
Julie has two giant breed rescue dogs and a once-stray cat. She firmly believes in a positive-reward system of training, and with it, works with her Shepherd-mix for AKC Canine Good Citizenship Testing as well as Rally competitions. Julie is a lifelong lover of horses, rode hunter-jumper, and hopes to bring horsemanship back into her life. In the meantime, she incorporates horses into film projects at every opportunity.
Photo by Machmer Mo(ve)ment
Mike Clark (he/him/his) is a songwriter and composer based in Denver with more than two decades of writing and recording history. His back catalog includes a handful of albums and EPs under the folk-rock moniker Newspaper Joe and releases under his own name. Clark's more recent work focuses on music for performance art and films. His rescue dog helps out by howling during recording sessions.
The Filming Experience
Star treatment for you
and your pet
From initial communication to sharing your finished film with the world, our mission is to make sure you and your animal have a fantastic experience with Howlll Films. Here's what to expect.
After we agree upon a Storyboard, we will decide together where and how we're going to film. We always prioritize the wellbeing of your pet, and work with them on an individual basis so that what we ask of them is within their abilities and comfort level. Read more about our animal policies below.
Treats treats treats! Our filming methods revolve around positive reinforcement and clear communication with your animal. You will have the chance to tell us about any dietary restrictions your pet may have when you book your filming experience.
It's not all about the animals - whether you're a movie star or have never been in front of a camera before, we will coach you and your pet through the filming experience in a positive and clear way.
In addition to having a cinematic, professional quality film(s) of your pet at the end of the process, we hope that it is a fun experience that you and your animal companion will remember forever.
Our Animal Policies
Filming with respect for the animal's wellbeing is our top priority.
Why are filming experiences 2 hours?
Can we go for longer?
Out of fairness to your pet, one of our guiding principles is to not overwork animals. We have found that animals who are not specifically trained as actors do best in 10 -1 5 minute intervals, with 5 - 10 minute breaks between each. Even when filming in short bursts and with breaks, most pets will fall asleep or become uncooperative around one hour of filming, regardless of age!
As always, we can adjust filming times based on unusual circumstances, such as show documentation or out-of-the-box creative works. But as a rule of thumb, plan for 2 hours of total production time, 1 hour of designated filming.
Let's give your animal the best chance to succeed.
Our Promise of Humane Respect
Animals have complex emotional and physical needs, and we honor that on set.
We care about the animal's safety and physical and emotional wellbeing. Each animal's needs will be addressed individually.
We will take time to introduce animals to the video equipment at the beginning of the filming experience, and build up positive associations through treats.
We will never purposely stress or frighten an animal. All desired reactions will be accomplished through treats and praise, with verbal commands as needed.
When developing storyboards, we will seek out locations and experiences that are within the animal's training and comfort level.
We will not film outdoors in extreme hot, cold, or severe weather.
All animals will be given time to rest during the filming process. Animals will be provided water on set.
Animals will never be left unattended for any reason during filming.
With the exception of hunting and fishing of legal game that is directly within the animal's trained abilities and film objectives, no depictions of animal harm, regardless if they are fictional, fabricated, or historic, will be used in relationship to the film.
Training and Socialization
Your animal does not need to be a trained actor in order to make a film! But we do ask that they meet these basic guidelines.
By agreeing to take part in creating a film, you confirm that your animal is up to date on its vaccinations and is appropriately socialized to interact with new people.
All animals shall be controllable at all times. Depending on the situations, this could mean the animal is wearing a collar, secured in a fenced area, or other safety measures as determined by the filming location, animal type, and animal's socialization/training level.
We will never permit the use of shock collars, prods, or electric stimulation devices during the filming process. We strongly disagree with the use of choke or prong collars and advise owners not to bring them on set.
If the animal appears aggressive or stressed, and/or charges, threatens, or bites any person or animal, it shall be removed immediately from the filming location by the owner.
The owner assumes full financial responsibility if the animal causes any harm to persons involved in filming, or damage to property or filming equipment.
Howlll Films is based out of Denver, Colorado, but we are happy to travel to you! Travel fees will be based upon the filming site's distance from Denver, crew size, and whether or not airfare and lodging will be required. All travel fees will be outlined in our filming contract before you purchase a film.
Our free-of-charge Colorado Front Range coverage includes Ft. Collins, Longmont, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and the towns and suburbs between them.
COVID-19 Safety Precautions
January 2021 Update: Due to the current surge in Covid-19 cases, we will be temporarily halting in-person production for January - February 2021. We are happy to schedule with you for Spring 2021 and beyond. Thank you for your understanding!
In order to keep everyone safe, we are currently following these non-negotiable safety precautions.
All people involved will wear a mask over both their nose and mouth. Persons performing in the film may remove their mask while being filmed if they are in a well ventilated area and more than 10 feet away from the filming crew.
If you are sick, please let us know. We will reschedule your filming session for a later date at no additional cost.
We will not exceed 4 people on set at any given time, including Howlll Films personnel and animal owners
We will film outdoors as much as possible
Thank you for your understanding! We can't wait to shake hands and give hugs again one day, but in the meantime, our priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy.