Every month Dane County Friends of Ferals (DCFoF) puts on a spay day where low cost spays and neuters are performed for the public. A lot of effort goes into putting one of these events on, but every February the task is even bigger as they participate in World Spay Day, an annual campaign of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Humane Society International (HSI).
Originally I was there to shoot photos for the event, which I did, but about a week before I had dreamed up a mini documentary for the benefit of DCFoF about what a spay day is and how it is carried out. Seeing as how this would be a larger than normal spay day, what a great time to carry out that idea. So beginning earlier in the week I began shooting scenes to show how the build up to the day progresses, but capturing everything I needed to proved to be too much for such a short time frame and not enough prep work, especially on the day of the event. I kept the footage thinking I'd be able to use some of it at a later date when I could combine it with new footage from another spay day to complete this documentary.
Fast forward to the beginning of May and I was asked if I had any spay day footage that could be used in someone else's project. I said yes and they wanted to know if I could send it to them by tomorrow. Well, my internet connection is not that fast and I said that wasn't possible since the footage totaled over 40 gigs, but what I could do is edit together the footage into little clips, put it on YouTube and you can tell me which clips you'd like and I could get you those.
So that was the beginning of a long night and as I started gathering these clips and trimming them, I realized I actually did have a video in here. It was a video of the spay day itself. Something I hadn't even considered before because it wasn't my intent with those shots. So that night got even longer as I realized my new end goal and soon I had something close to what you see here. To my surprise and some others, it perfectly captures what a spay day is: a learning environment for veterinary students participating in a socially and environmentally well meaning event to control cat populations and better the lives of the cats brought into the event. It highlights people:
- bringing cats in (not necessary theirs)
- checking in
- seeing the students get a small introductory lecture
- seeing vets teach students how to prep for a spay/neuter
- an actual spay
- returning of the cats to their owners or caretakers
Originally this video clocked in at 8 minutes and included a lot more intake, prep and recovery examples, including a bit more continuity in showing the same people checking who are also seen picking them up later in the day, but it did seem a bit too long so 3 minutes was trimmed with the remaining clips properly rearranged into their appropriate position for the day's timeline. Perhaps that one will see the light of day later, but this 5 minute version clips along at a nicer pace and gets the idea across quicker. After all this is a summary of what is usually a 10 hour event and for 5 minutes I think it works.