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Animal Coordinator

Hire and supervise birds, cats, and dogs performing for TV and film.

What does an Animal Coordinator do?

Animals that appear on film make acting look so easy. They walk, do tricks, and speak right on cue. In reality, though, it’s not that simple. An Animal Coordinator, along with an Animal Trainer, puts in hours of work to make it all look natural and spontaneous.

Animal Coordinators hire, train, and supervise the animals during a shoot. The film’s Director provides the Animal Coordinators with a script well in advance of the shooting so they have time to do your work.

Auditions come first. The Director and Producer may attend the auditions you hold, but you have the final say. In the auditions, you ask Animal Trainers to demonstrate the tricks their animals can do, and you choose the best animals for your show.

Before shooting begins, you work with the Animal Trainers. You detail what the animals should do in each shoot, and the best way to accomplish that shoot. Breaking long sequences into small parts helps you ensure that the animals can complete the tasks without wasting time or growing bored.

Much of your time is spent with dogs, but cats do appear in some films and commercials. Cats are difficult to train, as they may simply not care what you or anyone else wants them to do. Hiring multiple cats to perform the same role may be advantageous and allow you to get through the day without stress.

On the day of the shoot, you ensure that the Animal Trainers are prepared, and that the animals look their fluffy, scaly, shiny, or scruffy best. As the filming begins, you stand to the side and supervise.