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You are watching: Homeward bound the incredible journey cougar


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Lawson on setup up for the be affected by each other shot, “I have the right to still remember the odor of his breath.”


OF: how did you uncover being on collection with for this reason many pets – walk this make it much easier or more difficult to collection up and shoot?Lawson: Animals and also kids are always tricky. You have to remember “Homeward Bound” was shot ~ above film and required a an ext disciplined set. There was no chance to repeatedly roll together we check out practiced now with digital media. Everything required to be set up, rehearsed and also then the set needed to be absolutely quiet and locked down to prevent any kind of distractions the our animal actors. The last thing you desire to do is record the attention of a hungry cougar who’s ready to sprint with the pines that Tollgate along Hwy 20. Things execute not always go as planned. I recall in one scene, the cougar was in search of our heroes. At one finish of the run, there was one trainer collection to release the huge cat and also another trainer in ~ the other finish of the run v a huge chunk of meat together an incentive. The camera rolled, the cougar to be released, the camera tracked this beautiful pet at a complete sprint with the pines and when the big cat reached the end of the run rather of grabbing the meat treat the locked onto the trainer’s forearm. That’s right, his forearm! The trainer was really calm around the entirety thing, he gained the cat to release (with a bit of physical persuasion) and proceeded to pour whole bottle that hydrogen peroxide right into the 4-inch deep puncture wounds. These to be wild pets at heart and also that fact can never be forgotten. It to be always, “heads up” on set.

OF: wherein did the crew continue to be while filming on location?Lawson: In Bend, countless of us stayed at Mt. Bachelor town in Bend, and various motels in Joseph (I think over there were just 3 to choose from back then) and also we camped in tents increase in Eagle cap for the decreased crew.

OF: Any great anecdotes about being crucial Grip top top this show?Lawson: as a key Grip I’m regularly asked to aid find remedies to various other departments’ needs. Numerous times it is unanticipated and an extremely much in-the-moment, for this reason I commonly work with what is available, I contact it “Environmental Gripping.” most every solution currently exists in nature, you just need to keep your mind and also eyes open and stay conscious of your surroundings. This was the instance in the scene where possibility chases a skunk into a hole log. He was an alleged to get his head buried deep right into one end of the log in at which allude the skunk sprays him and Chance recoils v startling urgency. The trainer put a act in the log and also told chance to “mark.” possibility would walk for the treat, no problem, but he was a puppy and also a very big puppy in ~ that. So, once he was called out he would certainly happily look for his trainer and just sit over there – no the reaction they were looking for. So, ns asked if ns could shot something. I taken place to have actually a 12x frame handy the was not being used and also I take it one piece of the square tube to the opposite finish of the log in from where the chance was. When he to be otherwise lived in I slipped the framework piece about 4 feet into the log and also I was set. The camera rolled, possibility was sent out to “mark” and also once that was buried into his end of the log i blew into the framework piece prefer a trumpet which created a noise that I’m sure Chance had actually never heard before and also probably would never want to hear again. He conveniently pulled back, cocked his head and took turn off in a speed to his trainer. Cut. PRINT.

OF: where did you primarily shoot?Lawson: when in the Wallowas, us filmed ~ above a farm yard in Joseph that stood in because that “Kate’s ranch”, and also the optimal of mountain Howard for the scene wherein the pet talent discovers there room many an ext mountains come cross. Us were in an aircraft hangar for the famous “batdog” scene and also the “night driving” scenes with the family. The last was among the many involved and also most efficient of “poor man’s” procedures I think I’ve ever been a part of – you need to remember this to be a time prior to battery lights and wireless controls. Whatever was practical and created manually. I know each member of the Grip and also Electric crew had an assignment during those scenes and also success depended on every one of us hitting our marks. Dennis Petersen to be our Gaffer and also he was a grasp of light, for sure. Any type of aerial job-related was done with a full-size helicopter and a Tyler mount. There were no drones, ronins or GoPros. It was film. Whatever was sizable. In the Gorge, us shot in ~ Wahclella falls (now designated as “wilderness”) it to be the site for the exploration of “Molly” the “lost girl.” other locations contained Portland, Bend and other various central Oregon locations.

OF: working with pets is notoriously tricky – and adding the elements of water, the good outdoors, relocating trains etc. Come this must have been tough.

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Lawson: The succession of the river crossing that ends v Sassy acquisition a plunge over the falls was filmed in 3 various locations, miles apart. The river crossing to be filmed at Paulina Lake close to LaPine. It to be a reasonably calm creek augmented through air hoses set up to develop the illusion that rushing water. The scenes v Sassy in the rapids to be filmed top top the Deschutes River near Benham Falls and also the actual fall plunge was shot at Sahahlie falls on the Mckenzie River close to Clear Lake. No genuine cat ever talked about the falls!

We had to shot and shoot as many of the scenes with our 3 heroes and also humans actors beforehand in the schedule due to the fact that Chance was farming SO rapidly. So, scenes v the children were best up former in our schedule. For instance, the wedding scene and the last scene, where Chance, Sassy and finally shadow are rejoined with the return of the family at the finish of the film, were both shot in ~ the very first week. The lovely house that was supplied for those scene was located in the Reed college area in SE Portland.