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Baloo the Kodiak bear snuffles the snow in Cuddy Valley.
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Baloo the Kodiak bear keeps his eyes on the actor (upper right) perched in Michelle and Frank Maga’s Jeffrey tree in Cuddy Valley.
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The camera crew at right is ready for the shot over the shoulder of the actor in the tree, looking down at the big Kodiak. The reflector is to make Baloo glisten in the sunlight. Baloo’s trainers are Keith Bauers, Hayden Rosenaur and Scott Hadley.
He rolled in the Cuddy Valley snow as if he was back home in Alaska. The giant Kodiak bear ambled across Michelle and Frank Maga’s property on February 10. “Baloo” stars in a LG Electronics commercial. In the spot, Baloo hungrily eyes an actor perched in the Maga’s tall Jeffrey pine. The fellow is happily watching a basketball game on a handheld LG television. The ad will to air during NCAA basketball “March Madness” (March 8– April 7) and other programs.
Maga said, “They filmed just south of our barn in the big Jeffrey tree across the pasture. What an exciting day! Baloo was a well-behaved bear, albeit a little sleepy, as this is hibernation time. He was gorgeous, so fluffy and sparkly clean.”
Maga said the film crew “was very polite and considerate of our property.”
The Mountain Enterprise couldn’t resist the opportunity ask Michelle Maga a few email questions about the experience.
Q: We seem to have an uptick in use of this region for filming. Yours was the third commercial filmed in Cuddy Valley in the last few months. How did it occur? Who contacted you?
We were contacted by a scout. He called us from the front gate. He said they were looking for a large Jeffrey pine they could use for a commercial for LG. The scout’s name is Charlie Love. Very nice guy….
Q: How did they negotiate the deal? Did they sign a detailed contract with you?
Charlie was the negotiator. He said they have a flat rate they pay for a shoot of this length of days. They first presented us with a proof of liability insurance, then a very simple contract stating the amount they pay.
Q: How long was the crew there?
About a day and a half was the actual number of days here. From the time he contacted us to the time they filmed, it was probably one week, But most of that time was just talking back and forth on the phone.
Q: Any funny anecdotes?
I felt sorry for the poor guy sitting on that branch way up in the tree. He was up there for hours. The updraft couldn’t have been too warm, so I imagine he had a cool bum. Also, there is someone from the ASPCA on location whenever they use animals in filming. She was very nice and interesting to talk with.
Q: And…how did you know the Kodiak was sleepy? Did the trainers say he is usually snoozing at this time of year?
The trainers told us that this time of year, in this climate, he isn’t in full hibernation mode, but he definitely slows down.
The bear really liked the snow. At one point he laid on his belly and rolled around in it.
This is part of the February 19, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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