Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Interview: Robert Vince of ‘The Search for Santa Paws’

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Vince is the man behind the wildly popular “buddies” movies including the latest, The Search For Santa Paws. They feature adorable dogs and heartwarming stories, just right for family movie night. I spoke to him about the challenges of directing animals and children, what makes a great holiday movie, and why Christmas is his favorite time of year.

I wanted to make a Christmas movie and our lofty goal was to make one that had timeless values, a classic, a perennial that parents could pull out for their children each year.

InSearchOfSantaPaws_Photo_003.jpg

You have some great voice talent — tell me about casting.

Nine tenths of the job is finding talented people who are great at what they do and then they make me look great.

The voice talent people have to have a distinctive voice that comes out of that character rather than being placed into it. They have an ability to project; it’s more like being a theater actor in some ways than a film actor that can use their physicality.

Actors often say that you should never work with children or animals, but that seems to be your specialty! How do you make that work?

We’re making family films because we love them and we’ve been doing it for a long time. Family films and children and animals go “hand in paws,” as I like to say. Children are not acting in a lot of ways; they’re being who they are. That’s where casting is important. You have to choose children for a role that is based on who they are because they really can’t be something else very well or believably. So Madison Pettis really was the big sister figure to all the other girls on the set. And Kaitlyn Maher really is the cutest little thing on the planet is really a sweet little soul with a beautiful voice. I’d like to say it’s great directing but it’s really who they are.

And with the animals, it’s the trainers — they really know how to create characters with the animals. It’s a special talent. I tell them what I want and then with a look or the training, with their connection with the animals, they make it work.

InSearchOfSantaPaws_Photo_006.jpg

Is it important to you to work with Blu-Ray and the other technological advances?

Yes, it makes it possible for the audience at home to see our movie as it was intended to be seen in a theater. It’s such a fantastic technology and really brings the movie to life in the home. With the CGI and digital effects we can create any environment we want to. Anything I can think of, we can do. The film-maker is not limited by the resources available, only by imagination.

The sky’s the limit — literally. You’ve taken the buddies to outer space!

I always laugh when people ask how we got the moon shots. I say, “Well, we didn’t go to the moon!”

What makes a classic holiday movie?

It has to appeal to the most important part of that time of year, the selflessness. This is the one time of year where we suspend our own interests in a selfless manner and take care of others. It has to connect with the heart and music is a big part of that. We have a beautiful song that really connects. You have to have a sense of faith and belief and the importance of the family bond.

To me, the spirit of Christmas is embodied in the hearts of children untouched by the fears, doubts, and disappointments of the adult world. That’s the line that means the most to me in the movie. Before I write a movie I try to write the theme in one sentence and that was it for me in this movie. That one line really says it all for me. As adults we get confused and have disappointments and the like but for a child, in the morning when they get up, their hearts filled with joy, giving to each other, that’s what the spirit of Christmas is all about.

And don’t forget the Santa Paws giveaway!



Previous Posts

Uptown Funk from A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School and Teacher Scot Pankey
High school teacher Scot Pankey brings the funk to the entire school in this joyous dubstep video. I love its spirit and its inclusiveness; everyone is just there to have fun. It has become a viral sensation, tweeted by Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, and the guy who sings "Uptown Funk," Bruno Mars.

posted 9:36:59am Feb. 01, 2015 | read full post »

New Web Series: That's Racist! with Mike Epps
I'm a big fan of Mike Epps, and am excited about "That's Racist!," his new web series on AOL. It is a provocative look at racism and stereotypes. Are Asians bad drivers? Are Jews cheap? Do African-Americans all like fried chicken? These and other stereotypes are explored by experts and people ins

posted 8:00:40am Feb. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Three Views on the Challenges Women Face in the Film Industry
It is wonderful that directors like Ava DuVernay, Angelina Jolie, and Gina Prince-Bythewood gave us superb films in 2014.  But it is an indicator of the challenges still faced by women filmmakers that none of them was nominated for a major directing award. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

posted 3:38:46pm Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Snickers Wins the Super Bowl!
The real competition at the Super Bowl is for the commercials, right? This Snickers ad is a hoot. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rqbomTIWCZ8?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:02am Jan. 31, 2015 | read full post »

How Did Ca Plane Pour Moi End Up in So Many Movies?
How did a 1977 song in French by the Belgian singer Plastic Bertrand become a go-to for 21st century American movie soundtracks, from big studio films to quirky indies? "Ça Plane Pour Moi" has appeared in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" and last week's "We'll Never Have Paris," from

posted 3:40:03pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.