As I’m sure most people know, Marley & Me is coming out on DVD March 31st. Even more exciting is the fact that five lucky Dogsters are going to win a special edition 2 disc DVD set.
A hilarious tail about a family who learns important life lessons from their adorable, but naughty and neurotic dog.
When newlyweds John and Jenny Grogan (Wilson and Aniston) leave the snow of Michigan for the beaches of Miami, they decide to adopt a yellow Labrador retriever named Marley, in order to give them a taste of parenthood.
However, things get ruff when the adorable 12-pound puppy transforms into a highly-strung, boisterous and uncontrollable 100-pound steamroller of unbridled energy that always finds trouble.
Last week I had the privilege of speaking with the Animal Coordinator on Marley & Me, Mark Forbes. On the set there were 22 dogs with eight trainers, Mark is the person who oversaw the entire operation. He worked with each trainer, breaking down the script so things went smoothly.
Mark has been working in television and film for many years. He trained and worked with Dreyfuss, the long running character on the television show Empty Nest. Mark’s first major character in a feature film was Pongo in 101 Dalmatians.
Mark has displayed his skills as Head Trainer on films such as Dr. Dolittle, 102 Dalmatians, Homeward Bound II and Wonder Boys. He has also been the Animal Coordinator, overseeing all of the animal work on Dr. Dolittle II, Hidalgo, The Shaggy Dog, Evan Almighty, and recently released Hotel For Dogs.
The dogs who played Marley were a variety of ages, ranging from puppies to 13-year-old Clyde. Something interesting I found out was that Clyde is privately owned, his owner had to give him up for a few months to be in the film. She wasn’t allowed to be with him on the set. But rest assured he was very well taken care of. Because of Clyde’s age he had someone assigned just to take care of him, along with his own trailer, and special assistance for any medical issues related to a dog that age.
Mark has worked on many movies, but he said this one was the most fun he’s had making a movie. Besides the actors all being great to work with, he said the director really emphasized that everyone was there to fun. I think when you watch the movie that really comes through.
Before finishing up our conversation I asked Mark if he had any advice for Dogsters trying to train their dogs. Unfortunately, there is no hidden Hollywood secret. It’s a matter of having a clear plan, and knowing the rules beforehand. The best way to train is in short session, between 10-20 minutes, two or three times a day. You must be consistent, and don’t give up, it’s just a matter of time.
To enter the contest just leave a comment in the comment section sharing your favorite part of the book, or movie if you’ve seen it. The contest starts today and runs through Friday, April 3rd when I will randomly pick five winners.