Nougat Shoots a Commercial

Nougat on set with talent agent and prop guy.

Nougat on set with talent agent and prop guy.

  What is it with cats and Roombas? Nougat had a scheduled photo shoot last spring to sit on a Roomba, the robotic vacuum cleaner. This week he was hired to shoot a commercial for the device. The animal talent agent had a call for a mellow long haired cat. Nougat’s photos were submitted and they picked him, assuming he was OK with a Roomba. So, they shipped one to me so I could send an audition video. And, no, I didn’t get to keep it. Nougat had no problems with the Roomba. I sent a few test videos in for the agent to look at. By the next morning, I got the news that Nougat had the job. So, we packed up the cat suitcase and tent (otherwise known as Nougat’s dressing room) and headed for a shoot in the New York City area yesterday. It was a location shoot, meaning a home was rented for the day by the company making the commercial. I didn’t have trouble telling which house in the neighborhood was the correct one. It had equipment all over yard, at least three sizable trucks and people EVERYWHERE!. The animal talent agent met me when I drove up. She told me she had already dealt with one issue that had cropped up; they wanted to film Nougat in the garage with the door open. Uh, no. I’m not going to lose my cat in the suburbs of NYC when one of the million people running around drops a huge piece of equipment.  After I got there, they asked if they could put a net across the door to keep Nougat in for the shoot. The net was four feet high. The answer was no, cats can climb and jump. So, lighting was set up in the garage for Nougat to look his best. It took about an hour to set up the lights. They had already laid down a floor that the Roomba was going to clean. Nougat’s job was to sit or casually walk across the floor while the Roomba was running. The device was remote controlled by a crew member so it would not run over the cat’s tail. Nougat walked across the floor several times at different angles. Each time he was released by the talent agent and I called him to me. Then, we were done! They had told me it would take four to five hours and I was leaving in only two!. The large crew was very nice. While I did not get to meet many of them, they were very respectful of Nougat’s needs. There had been a couple of dogs there earlier in the day and I crossed paths with a couple of actors. It was a busy set. I didn’t get to try out the catering area. It was too far away from where Nougat was set up and I don’t let him out of my sight. I did find out why the cat had to be filmed in the garage. Apparently, the home owner did not know there was a cat coming until that morning and was allergic to cats, so the cat wasn’t allowed in the house. We got home late from the trip. Nougat played a bit of mousie before bed time. His ego is still in check, although I think he may be trash talking some of his cat show buddies.