The HORKAI Animal Training Center can take part in all phases of film production from planning to realization according to client needs and expectations:
– planning and budgeting of animal scenes
– animal casting
– animal training
– animal co-ordination and animal wrangling during production
Our animals and highly professional trainers are glad to be at your service for your production may it be feature films, commercial, natural history or photo sessions.
In the past 10-12 years our animals have taken part in numerous Hungarian and international productions and our main objective is to develop this activity of the HORKAI Animal Training Center.
In commercials and feature film productions we work primarily with European wild animals (wolf, bear, deer and wild boar), but in several cases we supplied horses, dogs, cats or exotic animals and birds for the productions. Besides our own animals we can meet most requests for any kind of animals though our wide international network.
You can find countless videos and pictures of our past projects with animals under the “Our Animals” and “Videos” menus. You can also check our list of references for the past 15 years in the “References” menu
In most cases we are requested to work with wild animals in film productions. The nature of wild animals significantly differs from the behavior of domesticated animals. The main difference is that wild animals do not depend on human assistance and it is their instinct that is the main drive behind behavior. Consequently traditional methods of coordination are useless when working with them and one has to look for other tools to convince them to solve certain tasks.
It happens in most of the cases that the location, the set or the scene does not correspond to the natural behavior and environment of the animal.
In spite of these conditions the tasks must be accomplished so that the animal is not harmed in any ways (nor physically, not mentally). Moreover we also have to put emphasis on preserving the harmonious relationship between the animal and its trainer. This relationship is built mainly on trust and respect that is slowly building up since the birth of the animal and it must constantly be deepened and enhanced.
Trust means that the animal commits itself to its trainer. This kind of relationship requires countless positive experiences. It is the basis for convincing the animal to accomplish any tasks at all.
We must build on this relationship in the most unnatural settings and tasks for the animal and we must create a situation wherein the animal feels safe and comfortable – completing the tasks feels natural for him/her. You can see that we do not command animals to solve problems but we ask and “invite” them to do so.
Solving a task also requires the trainer to think with the animal’s mind: what circumstances and for what reason would the animal want to solve the problem on its own? Therefore the task seems only task for us, while in the desired case it is an instinctive movement, food gathering, a game, or dominance for the animal or it might as well be any positive event from its everyday life.
The HORKAI Animal Co-ordination Team uses the American Humane Association’s “Guideline for the safe use of animals in filmed media” in every production it takes part in. “No Animals Were Harmed “
One of our aims for the close future is to create an educational animal-farm with the típical animals of Middle and Eastern Europe.
As a second step we plan to introduce our regular educational courses in animal training, protection and farming based mainly on the knowledge base and experience of the HORKAI Animal Training Center as well as guest experts and lecturers.
The courses would be designated for those in the first place who feel committed to deal with animals professionally as trainers, or would be inclined to learn more about animal filming. However the courses would also be interesting for those who would simply like to broaden their knowledge about animal behavior. We hope that we will be able to provide an accredited educational course for the many people already interested in these courses.
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Planning and budgeting animal scenes for movies, commercials, etc.
Casting, training and coordinating animals
Coordinating animals on set in the production phase
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