Behind every movie is the writing team and production crew. In Air Bud Entertainment’s newest film Pup star: Better 2Gether, Robert Vince has multiple roles including co-writing the script with Anna McRoberts, as well as being the Executive producer on the film. While on set last winter, I had a few minutes to sit down with Robert to ask him some questions about the film, why he loves making these movies and how the industry has changed some since they started making the family friendly films.
What is your motivation making these movies?
From the beginning it’s been all about making good family entertainment. I realized pretty quickly when we made Air Bud, which was 18 years ago, that the animal in the family is really the member of the family for kids. That was the beginning of it all and the thought process. We began to get more and more animals and less and less adult characters. It’s really where it started, coming up with characters for the whole family – animals are really part of the family.
Since the first Air Bud movie how has the technology changed?
Everything has changed. There’s nothing I do today that I did even 10 years ago. That’s from shooting on film, we shoot digitally now. Everything comes in pixels, once it comes in pixels you and digitally manipulate it. And create not only talking, but any environment I want now. As a film maker that’s a huge freeing of your creative ideas. We can be on the moon. Everything changes, and Victoria can be Manhattan and Chicago and we can create any backdrop we want to create better than any back lot.
Do you prefer working with people or animals better?
I really enjoy working with animals and kids. It’s such an honest kind of performance. You cast what you get. If you cast a child that shows a lot of sweetness and kindness, that’s what shows up on the screen. They really haven’t figured out how to manipulate it yet. Great actors are amazing, don’t get me wrong. But it’s really great to see a raw performance and see what the kids provide.
The animals and their trainers are amazing. I always say there aren’t any bad animals, just bad trainers. So when you work with the best trainers in the world, I can wave my magical wand and they can have the animals do so many incredible things.
How many times have you had an accident on stage, an animal making a mess?
Truthfully, very rarely. These are professionals. The trainers are amazing, they can just as easily train a tiger as they can train a puppy. These people are very skilled so we rarely have problems.
What is the best blooper you’ve had on set so far?
We’ve had so many good ones. One of the things that I really enjoy is when the animals get crazy. You have no idea what’s going on and the trainer doesn’t either. Usually things are pretty controlled so we don’t have a ton. There were more in the early days when we didn’t have visual effects. Now days you’d be surprised at how measured it is. That way we can create the vision and do more complicated things.
Watch the Pup Star: Better 2Gether Trailer:
About Pup Star: Better 2Gether
Air Bud Entertainment, the proud creators of beloved family entertainment for more than 20 years, including ‘Air Bud’ and ‘Disney Air Buddies,’ announces an all-new adventure in the PUP STAR franchise — PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER. A pup-tastic adventure for the whole family, the exciting new canine film, featuring a soundtrack of paw-tapping new songs, debuts on Digital and VOD, August 29, 2017. The action-packed new season of the franchise continues with the story of Tiny, an adorable Yorkie pup who, after winning the ‘Pup Star’ TV singing competition, is suddenly launched into an adventure when she’s replaced by a street Yorkie, Scrappy, and the two swap lives in a dog-filled, fish-out-of-water tale that ultimately demonstrates life truly is ‘better together.’
The launch of PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHERfollows the overwhelming popularity of the first film in the franchise (debut 2016). That film, ‘Pup Star,’ is currently available on Netflix, and recently had its broadcast premiere on Disney Channel.
“We’re ecstatic by the overwhelming response we’ve received to the original ‘Pup Star’ film and excited to return with another great story in a franchise that has become one of our company’s most popular,” said Writer, Director and CEO Robert Vince. “ With ‘Pup Star: Better 2Gether’ we continue the franchise with an exciting edge-of-your-seat dog adventure, succeeding in our company’s ongoing goal of providing families with quality entertainment they can all enjoy, together!” said Anna McRoberts, Producer and President of Air bud Entertainment.
PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER happily reunites many in the original film’s live-action cast including Makenzie Moss (Steve Jobs) as Tiny’s owner, Lou; David Deluise (The Wizards of Waverly Place) as her father, and Jed Rees (Deadpool). Denisse Ojeda joins the cast as the family’s loyal nanny ‘Ida.’
A bevy of blue ribbon voice talent lead the film including the return of top music icon Ziggy Marley (as ‘Dog Gnarly’) and 12-year old singing sensation Kaitlyn Maher (America’s Got Talent) as the voice of Tiny AND the voice of a street pup named Scrappy. John Ratzenberger also returns to the franchise, voicing ‘Salty.’ Rising YouTube sensation Mackenzie Sol (The X-Factor) joins the cast, as ‘P.U.P’ and teen talent Lil’ P-Nut (Nick’s ‘Haunted Hathaways) takes a bite out of the voice of wrapping pup ‘MC BITE.’
PUP STAR: BETTER 2GETHER is produced by Air Bud Entertainment, the creative force behind the #1 live-action, direct-to-home movies in the family category. The film is directed by “Air Bud” and “Disney Air Buddies” veteran Robert Vince, produced by Anna McRoberts and written by Vince and McRoberts.