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$7,355
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
93
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, January 6 2016 10:53 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 6, 2016

Take the Lead with Mary Hirt

Dog training (and TV shows) shouldn't be like taxes: all work and no reward. Take the Lead has a new, positive approach to both.

Take the Lead with Mary Hirt

Dog training (and TV shows) shouldn't be like taxes: all work and no reward. Take the Lead has a new, positive approach to both.

$7,355
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
93
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, January 6 2016 10:53 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 6, 2016

About

Take the Lead is a new approach to dog training and dog training shows. Our series features Mary Hirt, a certified dog trainer with decades of experience working with problem dogs. Mary uses her own style of reward based teaching to direct a dog's behavior. In the series we delve deeper into Mary’s process. Mary’s humane approach to working with dogs is unique in the dog training show world, and the results do more than help the dog. Her system also lets the dog owner have a better understanding of the why and how of a dog's behavior. The end result is a deeper camaraderie between the dog and it’s owner as they work together with Mary to curtail or change a behavioral issue. 

We know that training a dog is more involved than one 30 minute episode can cover and that is why, in our series, we follow one dog over the course of the 6 episode season. As with any real learning experience there are ups and downs, but our series doesn’t shy away from showing the “meh” days along with the “great!” days. Take the Lead depicts the whole learning process: the time spent training with the animal, and building a bond between owner and dog.  

Once the footage is edited, the series will launch on YouTube over the span of 6 weeks, one episode per week. Each episode is 3-5 minutes long. We will keep the episodes short because we want viewers to be able to quickly access the lessons and information being relayed whether they're at home or on the move. Want some insight on how to have your dog stop pulling on the leash? Want to know whether you should be walking your dog with a collar or a harness? Want to know how best to introduce a new dog to your dog? It’s all accessible on any device without having to wait for a commercial break. 

Each episode will conclude with a short segment called “Mary’s Quick Tip’s” where she answers questions she hears regularly from her clients. 

We love dogs and we believe that they are more than just pets. Each team member has worked with Mary and seen amazing results with her methods. Our dogs have responded so positively to her training that it has strengthened our bond with our animals. That is why we wanted to create this show and share our experiences with the world.

Join our quest to bring this new style of dog training show to the main-stream.  

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From a young age Mary had a unique connection to dogs. She never saw the responsibilities of dog ownership as a chore. As she grew older she began finding more ways to affect dogs’ lives positively and began volunteering at local shelters and rescues in her free time.

Seeing the challenges they faced at the rescue, she became interested in finding ways to help rehabilitate these animals in a humane and positive way. That desire pushed her to get the Knowledge Assessed Trainer Certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. To achieve that endorsement, Mary has passed written and practical exams as well as providing recommendations and proof of at least 500 hours of consulting. She is also required to renew her certification every three years, which she does successfully. Mary also attends 36 hours of training seminars every year in order to stay certified and up to date on the most advanced training methods. 

Mary’s limitless energy and positive spirit is pervasive in all areas of her life. From her grade school physical education class, to her private dog training sessions, to turning her ranch into a destination for dog training. Mary’s focused pursuit revolves around giving positive reinforcement and helping humans and dogs overcome challenges. 

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We want to film the series in a unique way. A way that feels a little more tangible for the viewer; a little more interactive. We love dogs and we want to actually see dogs in our show! By carefully choosing our shots, focusing on the animal, and working to capture the details of that dog’s character we will be able to really bring the audience into each episode. The camera movements will travel with each character in our story and show real-time emotions, while providing our audience with each dogs’ expressions.

Those detail shots will also serve a purpose. Dogs exhibit a wide range of emotions and wear their hearts on their sleeves. To a casual observer these little signals might not even register (a wagging tail, staring, ears up or down, relaxed or anxious) yet to someone handling a dog these indicators are an important part of knowing how your dog will behave. Our cameras will bring these “micro expressions” to the screen. We also feel it is important to show some of what a dog sees. This “Dog’s-Eye-View” is a new perspective and can help explain some of a dog’s fear and confusion in our world.

Victoria Alexander, Christine Hilberg and Davis Bell have each worked in the entertainment industry for almost a decade. Their variety of focuses and skills make them a very strong team.

Victoria began her career in production in Europe, where she lived and worked in Italy and Germany. Since her return to the US, she has worked in production teams for advertising shoots for Target, McDonalds, Subaru, Carter's, Disney, and Williamson-Dickie, to name a few. TAKE THE LEAD is her first personal venture. This is the first project about which she has felt strongly enough to commit the time and finances required. She has loved animals, especially dogs, all her life. She got her first dog 2 1/2 years ago and has never looked back. It changed her lifestyle and her goals completely. Her heart now lies in helping dogs in need and educating the world about how to be better companions to our companions.

Christine has always loved photography. It was during an independent study in London with a fashion photographer that she fell in love with digital post-production. Christine has since made a career out of that experience and her work can be seen in catalogs, magazines, and billboards, as well as a number of books and galleries internationally. In 2011 she adopted a little puppy that was found neglected on the streets of Los Angeles. That dog, Puka, inspired her to begin volunteering with NKLA and has led to some really great relationships within the dog community. She also promotes animal adoption on Instagram with her very successful account. Christine's love for dogs and her belief in Mary's approach were the early foundation for this project.

 

Davis is the eye of the show. As an emerging director, he has worked on a handful of projects ranging from web content shorts, to commercial spots, and music videos. As a photographer he has shot commercial campaigns for a number of clients big and small including Howard Hughes Corp, Nikon, and Lost Enterprises. Davis approaches the filming of this series from a very fun, and casual standpoint that plays on the movement and energy of the subjects… dogs! With a lot of handheld camera work he is able to really get close to each subject and capture his or her personality.

We want to bring dog owners and dog lovers a series that is both entertaining and applicable to their daily lives. That is a tall order. Step 1: We need to complete filming for the first season and get it edited. Our initial goal is to share Mary’s magic with the world as a 6 episode web series. More than anything we want people to get to know Mary and understand the importance of having a positive relationship with your dog. After the first season has aired, our hope is that all of you awesome dog-loving people will want to sponsor season 2! Even though Puka is super cute, each season will feature a NEW dog and owner and Mary will help them overcome a new obstacle. Our YouTube channel will also showcase other videos during the week featuring: MORE training tips; adorable (and funny) dog videos; behind the scenes training with Mary Hirt; videos all about puppies, because face it, who doesn’t love seeing puppies; and so much other dog-related content to keep you satisfied while you wait for the next episode. Our long-term goal is to keep the series going with new dog adventures and behaviors. Whether it stays on the web or evolves to television, none of this is possible without your help!

Our biggest challenge comes in the form of editing. Condensing the hours and hours of footage and information we will have into a comprehensible show will take a real pro: and that costs money. We're going to need help affording the right person. The majority of your donations will be going to editing and scoring the project. 15% will go to the crew costs to complete filming.  About 20% will go to shipping and rewards. 5% will go to Kickstarter fees.

Risks and challenges

As with any new series, there is a chance that it may never get off the ground, or that it could take a very long time to gain traction. There is no guarantee. And we know that. Our biggest hurdle will be getting an audience to become involved with the series. Building a great participatory community of people who want to create a positive environment for their canine companion will be key to the series' success. We will need viewers who are involved and willing to help spread the word so we can continue to provide Mary's unique and positive insights with the world. Our team has a large network within the dog-lover community already, and we plan to tap into that. We are also prepared to reach out to new companies and build new relationships in order to make this dream a reality.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Pledges receive a Thank You Credit at the end of the season.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Pledges receive a Thank You Credit at the end of the season along with a personal autograph from this season's star: Puka! The card will be delivered by March, but the credit will have to wait until the show airs.

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    Pledges receive a Take the Lead branded poop bag dispenser.

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    Pledges receive a Take the Lead branded travel water bowl.

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    Pledges receive a Take the Lead branded travel water bowl and a Take the Lead branded poop bag dispenser.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Pledges receive Contributor's Credit at the end of every episode of the season along with a Take the Lead Branded poop bag dispenser. The branded items will arrive by April, and the credit will have to wait until the show airs.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Pledges receive a personal link to view the complete web series before its release to the public along with Contributor's Credit at the end of every episode of the season.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Pledges receive the opportunity to email Mary any training question they'd like. She will personally respond with her advice. Along with corresponding with Mary, we will mail you both the Take the Lead branded poop bag dispenser and travel bowl. You'll see your name in the Contributor's Credits after every episode of the season and also have access to the early viewing of the complete season.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Pledges have the chance to have a 30 minute training session and conversation with Mary via Skype. We will also mail both the Take the Lead branded poop bag dispenser and travel bowl. You'll see your name in the Contributor's Credits at the end of each episode of the season and also have access to the early viewing of the complete season.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Pledges will get to see Mary answer the question of their choice in a "Quick Tips" video on the channel, along with the chance to have a 30 minute training session and conversation with Mary via Skype. We will also mail both the Take the Lead branded poop bag dispenser and travel bowl. You will receive Producer Credit during the opening credits each episode of the season and also have access to the early viewing of the complete season.

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Funding period

- (30 days)