Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love animals? They’re fascinating and often adorable, but they can sometimes be a challenge to work with (especially in the video industry). So here are a few steps to make filming with animals a bit easier.

1. Time

Always bill in as much time as possible. If you’re lucky some animals will listen when you call for them, but this isn’t always the case. No matter how well behaved they may be, they are unpredictable, but that’s what we love about them! So give them time to do their thing and enjoy themselves.

2. They’re not robots

Often the best shots you’ll get is just catching them just doing what they do. Where possible, try to think of it as a documentary style. Follow them and see what they get up to.

3. Don’t be overbearing

It can be overwhelming for some animals to have a mass camera crew surrounding them, feeling like they’re caging them in. Give them some space to breathe.

4. Always, and I repeat always have some sort of treat

Have something to get their attention so you can guide their head or body movement if you need to.

filming with animals

5. Don’t complicate your scene

Filming with animals is difficult enough, don’t add loads of complicated actions in too. Where possible keep the direction minimal.

6. Keep the camera rolling

If you can, keep your cameras rolling and ready. You never know when they might do something that is perfect!

filming with animals

7. Let them have breaks

If you want the best from animals or if you need their attention for a particular period of time, you need to let them relax. It can be tiresome for them to have to repeat an action for what feels like no reason.

8. Be prepared to compromise

By this point we know they’re unpredictable, so you may not always get the shot you had in your head, but if you’re lucky you might even get something better.

Once you’re on set with any animal you’ll see how interesting and rewarding it can be, their behaviours and cheekiness may even make you laugh. For many, it is a rarity to work with animals, so enjoy the experience and give them a treat from us!


Want to see some of the amazing animals we’ve filmed with?

Check out some beautiful elephants here, and the goodest of dogs here.

May Sweeney

May Sweeney

Marketing Executive