Gold Coast pet instructors– as well as their good friends!– starring on the big as well as small screen

From Toto in The Wizard of Oz to Australia’s own Skippy, animals have actually starred in display productions of all shapes and sizes.

And also with the Gold Coast’s display sector flourishing, the spotlight has actually landed on skilled regional trainers who make movie magic happen with the creatures in their treatment.

The region has a long history with pets on movie– the US fantasy series Beastmaster as well as a reboot of the legendary dolphin program Flipper were shot right here in the 1990s.

UK-born Paul Mander trained the celebrity eagle on all 3 periods of Beastmaster; it was his very first a work in the Australian film industry and he’s been based on the Gold Coast because.

“It’s remarkable how much the local movie market has actually developed from after that,” says Mander, who’s skilled birds for several high-profile movies, consisting of the 2019 Storm Boy remake.

“And a great deal of the team I met back on Beastmaster are currently working on huge movies around the country– I see them at all times.”

Gold Coast pet instructors have actually likewise dominated overseas.

Local Zelie Bullen, that’s worked as feat motorcyclist and canine as well as horseman on a big variety of Australian productions, was a horse trainer on Steven Spielberg’s Warhorse.

Paul as well as Penguin

On his most recent movie, Penguin Bloom starring Naomi Watts, Mander trained 8 birds to play the title personality– a magpie named Penguin.

“The movie truly flaunted magpies’ clever and also spirited side,” claims Mander, “it’s wonderful to see that on movie rather than them jumping bicyclists.”

Mander matured around birds– his father was an enthusiastic falconer– and also the family pastime quickly became a job.

Not long prior to his 1997 relocate to Australia, he educated a Snowy Owl and also Snow Geese for David Attenborough’s Natural World series.

As well as to get his birds ready for activity on a busy film set (they can error fluffy boom microphones for victim!), Mander puts film gear, and even a cardboard “cam” on a tripod, around his aviary.

Alongside movie and television bookings, Mander runs the Broadwings Raptor Training Centre at Nerang, a residential or commercial property he shows more than 60 parrots, owls, eagles, falcons, magpies and macaws.

He also set up the bird show at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and helped design their Birds of Prey Aviary, together with consulting work for most of Australia’s zoos and wild animals parks.

He’s even educated an eagle and owlet to fly down the aisle as well as deliver wedding event rings.

Four-Legged Film Stars

Outback Spectacular’s Equine Manager and pet fitness instructor Heidi Mackay got her showbiz break straight from high school– wrangling horses on the 1995 western In Pursuit of Honour.

It included greater than 300 steeds, is still the biggest horse movie shot in Australia, and presented Mackay to her advisor– flick pet training tale Paul ‘Sled’ Reynolds.

At Outback Spectacular– Australia’s only online equine program– she as well as her “fantastic” group take care of 60 steeds as well as a set of red kelpies: Red as well as Oi.

Now mum to a (human) household, Mackay now decides on her work in movie and also TELEVISION– that includes The X-Files and also Beastmaster– yet likes the unusual imaginative challenges of TV commercials.

On a big-budget 2019 business, one of her favorite horses– Pretty Boy– got to “race” a V8 Supercar along a closed-off road in the Brisbane CBD.

“And the camera automobile was competing beside him beyond so we needed to maintain him exceptionally tranquil as well as concentrated.”