As Hollywood extends itself further into Atlanta and across Georgia, the need for animals to perform in shoots and productions has allowed hundreds of cats and dogs to find their way onto the big screen.
For one family in Cherokee County, casting those animals has become a full-time job. And they're always looking for the next star.
"We consider ourselves animal coordinators," said Greg Tresan, owner of Atlanta Dog Works in Cherokee County.
He, his wife, Carol Tresan, and their 8-year-old daughter, Devon, help wrangle and train animals to appear in films and commercials.
One of Greg Tresan's biggest breaks came in 2008 when he trained a dog for an appearance with Woody Harrelson in Zombieland. The work has been steady ever since with commercials, films and photo shoots constantly on his schedule.
"We've got over 2,000 dogs in our database already," Greg Tresan said. "We've got a lot of animals, but we're always looking for the new star,"
Tresan said he holds "casting calls" for animals on a regular basis.
"We're looking for (an animal) that's going to be reliable and is not going to put us in a real uncomfortable position on set," he said.
So what is Greg Tresan's advice to animal owners who want to see their pets make it on TV or in a movie?
Train them, and train them well.
"What I recommend is, No. 1, you have an animal that you really like, spend a lot of time with it, train it, do something with it that's fun that you really enjoy, that gives the dog good healthy challenges, then wait for us to call you," he said. "Because we'll come looking for you, we do it all the time."
Greg Tresan said he does accept applications from pet owners.
"Send us pictures and then send us a list of all the behaviors the animal can exhibit, reliably, off leash, around distraction," he said. "Those are the things we really need."
Greg Tresan said they have not scheduled their next open casting call yet, but they will always see prospective movie animals on a one-on-one basis.
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