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And Now for Something Completely Different

February 6, 2009

Laura’s Blog Entry

Neil gets to do a lot of cool thing in his video job. A few weeks ago his team had one of their dreams come true. For years they had a concept for a project that would involve a chimpanzee. Well, they finally found the right project that fit the concept and the right chimp that fit their budget.

Here’s where I had to get involved. I have always loved chimpanzees. I could watch them at the zoo for hours, and I adore shows about them on Animal Planet. I find them fascinating because they just look so intelligent. So I immediately volunteered to be a production assistant for the shoot. Of course, so did everyone else and his brother, so they really didn’t need me. I can honestly say I wasn’t the least bit helpful, but the team was kind enough to let me hang out all day.

It was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. The chimp was two years old, and her name was Lisa Marie. One of her handlers also works as an Elvis tribute artist, (Not an Elvis “impersonator.” There is a difference. Just another thing I learned that day.) which explains why she is named after The King’s daughter.

Lisa Marie was as cute as she could be. She was carried around in her car seat:

And she wore pajamas from Target. Precious!

It was so fun hanging out with her handlers, Ed and Annette from Monkeys and More Exotic Animal Rescue, who drove in from Chicago. They patiently answered all our questions about chimps. I learned that she drinks baby formula. And she lives in their house with them. And she has more energy than any child I’ve ever known. She was like a toddler x 100!

She really liked the guys a lot and especially bonded with Neil, who wasn’t even present for that much of the shoot. She immediately went up to him and hugged him.

Thanks so much to Susan P. who took all these photos. The only shot I got that turned out was this:

I was hiding under the counter during the filming in case she decided to fall backwards.

Here’s a short video I shot that sums up the day:

Thanks to everyone for letting me hang around! It was truly amazing!

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