Friends for Life, Michael Spence Film
Right after completing Animals and erotic horror thriller I worked on Friends for Life, which is PG rated. It’s a family feature with love an angel, wolves and bears. Starring Michael Flynn and Jimmy Chunga. It was quite the contrast of content and general vibe on set. On Animals there seemed to be a lot more pressure in the ranks of command, communication hiccups, every title & job was very defined, and the crew was generally in a less then optimistic mood. On Friends for Life the crew and cast were very mellow, very helpful, and in good spirits. The pressure arose with the Animals on set. The human society was there along with several trainers and at the beginning of the day they told us that there is a chance that you could be eaten. Outside of Heber UT, in the woods, the set had and electrical wire around the perimeter to protect the cast & crew from the beers and wolves. We were not allowed to have any food or drinks other then water on set. Any strong scents were highly discouraged. No sudden movements were allowed either. Which was difficult for me because I’m used to bouncing around grabbing different angles.
First out was Bart the Beer JR. Bart is a famous movie beer. His tricks were similar to tricks for a dog. Stand, sit, growl, & play. The trainers had such good rapport with Bart that it was easy to forget that Bart could take overtake the crew and cause some serious havoc. The wolves came out next. The wolves looked like dogs but their movement and eyes were wild. The way they looked at you made you feel like lunch. The wolves were sketched out when first coming onto set because of the smells of Bart, meat, and the crew. The trainers were a lot more on edge with the wolves. The wolves would get out of the electrical line perimeter a couple of times and no one was allowed to move until the wolves were ceased. The human society lady was on me like white on rice, instilling fear into me because I was the “smallest” and moved the most. She said I would be the likely candidate for lunch. On this particular take the wolves were running from point a to b and the cameraman was in the middle doing a scan within the electrical wire perimeter. I was originally right next to him but the human society lady moved me out. One of the wolves, Shadow, got out and went straight for me sniffing the ground. I stood there and pretended to be a tree. It was scary “I could be eaten” but it also an adrenaline rush. The trainers quickly recovered shadow. It was humbling being around the animals and exciting at the same time.
After reviewing the pictures the first day there were a few shots of the wolves where they looked like they were going to eat me. The next day I was much more still in my movements around the wolves.
It was a great experience working on crew with familiar faces McKay Daines, Ron Hill, Jimmy Chunga, & Michael Flynn. Good times. I had a conversation with the assistant director Bob Conder about the different vibes on the two sets Animals & Friends for Life. He said that what he found in his experience that the content of the script whether its happy or not passes the vibe onto the crew. Which makes perfect sense.
The website for Friends for life is:
I created a photo gallery for cast & crew at:
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