As you may recall from my post a few days ago, the Fancy Feast® humans invited me to watch the filming of their latest commercial, and since I couldn’t attend myself, I sent my human to take photos and bring back notes for me. As you can see from the photo above, not everyone was happy with this arrangement. Clearly, the Fancy Feast® kitty would much rather have seen me than my human — isn’t that obvious? But let’s get on with what was otherwise an awesome day!
It began really early in the morning when a car arrived and took my human to Beverly Hills to have breakfast with Lisa Bickler and Greg Eppich from the PR agency that represents Fancy Feast®. Also along was Stephanie Harwin from the Catsparella blog. Then all of them were whisked off to Brookfield Farms in Thousand Oaks, where the shoot was happening. The crew was busy working on some sort of dreamy, atmospheric mist for the wedding scenes.
Fancy Feast® really pulled out all the stops for this wedding shoot. They even got celebrity event planner Colin Cowie to help with the design, from the decor to the bride’s dress and accessories. In addition, fans of the Fancy Feast® Facebook page got to help choose which dress and accessories the bride got to wear from Cowie’s three picks. But more important than the dress and the design was the guest of honor:
This is not the adult Fancy Feast® cat, but a teenage version, portraying the kitten from the first commercial of the series, a little bit older and a part of the wedding party. In fact, there were actually two 15-week-old kittens to portray the one cat. Animal trainer Karen Thomas (who works with all the Fancy Feast® cats) gave my human some interesting facts about the kitties.
- Like all the Fancy Feast® cats, these two girls are silver shaded Persians (the TICA traditional Persians as opposed to the CFA’s more exaggerated look). They come from the Dearheart line of Persian cats.
- The girls on this shoot are Angelina and Belissima, who is also called Felicia. Angelina is the more active one and has been trained to Sit and Stay, while Felicia is more docile and has been trained for the commands Down and Stay.
- It took Thomas two months — more than half the kittens’ lives — to prepare them to perform for the camera. But if you ask me, this training thing sounds like summer camp! They lived with Thomas and her husband and had lots of love and indulgence while they were learning how to be comfortable in every sort of situation in and out of doors, and being coached.
- The kittens’ training started with the use of clickers and treats. Angelina approves greatly of this. From there, they gradually worked in more complicated situations.
- Once her acting job is over, Angelina has a home and a new family to go to. Because of her exceptional beauty, Felicia is going home to the breeder and will become a show kitty!
- There are two adult Fancy Feast® cats, and they live with and are spoiled by Thomas. Their names are Phoebe and Aladdin — that’s right, one girlcat and one boycat! In the first commercial, when you see the cat running down the stairs, that is Aladdin.
- There was also more than one kitten in the original commercial. They were eight weeks old at the time of the shoot, in December 2010. That means they are about eight or nine months old now. And yes, they have homes now too. Not all kitten actors grow up to be adult cat actors. Cat actors have to study a long time — nine months to a year — if they want to make a career of it.
Catsparella/ Stephanie was lucky — she got to hold the kitties. My human got to hold Angelina, but I think she liked Catsparella better!
Because it was impossible for anyone not directly involved with the shooting to watch close up, they set up a video screen for guests to watch the action. How does the Fancy Feast® kitten figure into the story? You will have to wait until August 19 to find out when Fancy Feast® debuts the commercial on their Facebook page! It goes live on YouTube and on television on August 22.
As you can see, we were treated very well!
Incidentally, remember my first post about the Fancy Feast® commercial back in March? The one where I mentioned that it would be great if the couple from the commercial adopted a shelter cat as a companion to the fancy kitty? Well, the Fancy Feast® humans saw what a positive reaction you in the cat community had about that idea, and they are giving it some serious thought! They don’t know yet what is going to happen in future commercials with the couple, but it is something they are looking into!