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Unleashed: The K9Force Story

K9Forces' documentary Unleashed: The K9Force Story made its premiere on March 25th of this year. Unleashed, filmed and directed by Anthony Onwordi, tells the creation story of this thriving Calgary-based dog club. K9Force Magazine sat down with Anthony to learn more about him and how "Unleashed" came about.




Before Unleashed

Born in Houston (USA), at an early age Anthony moved with his family to Nigeria. As a toddler he already had a deep-seated desire to work in the movie industry. Unlike so many who have an aspiration to be in front of the camera, Anthony was drawn to being behind the lens, attracted to both the technical and the creative aspects that it offered. Reflecting on his motivation to create movies, Anthony tells us: "I believe the greatest medium of expression is through film. Any and all stories can be told; it is the easiest way to understand another individual."

Enrolled in the department New Media Production at the University of Lethbridge (Canada), Anthony further developed his interest through self-teaching. He avidly analyzed YouTube movies, delved into literature, and, most crucially, gained himself lots of practical experience. A trainee program under the International Cinematography Union led to becoming an Assistant Cameraman ten years later. His portfolio presently includes contributions to "The Last of Us," "Heartland," and "Billy the Kid" which were all filmed in and around Calgary.

Anthony grew up in a pet-free environment, but thoroughly enjoys the presence of dogs. His involvement with K9Force marked his maiden foray into the world of IGP and dog trials. For the documentary he needed to familiarize himself where to stand safely during filming and understand the specific IGP routines to capture the most compelling footage.


The Making of Unleashed  


Anthony: “I became interested in the idea for a documentary after meeting Isabella, the training director and founder of the club. I found her story and that of K9Force Dog Club truly captivating. Together, we sat down and began brainstorming.”

Anthony: “The IGP sport is super cool and I learned so much about IGP competitions, judging criteria, and the diverse discipline and skill levels. The commitment exhibited by each K9Force member, which involves daily training sessions, is extraordinary.”

The documentary was filmed at the club's premises which required a full-scale production setup complete with two cameras and ample lighting. Understandably, many club members felt a bit apprehensive literally having to step into the spotlight. Reflecting on his role in alleviating their unease, Anthony remarks, "It's a skill you develop professionally, standing in front of a camera is not something you do daily, especially when called upon to perform or respond to questions. Thus, you strive to foster a comfortable and confident atmosphere, as personable as possible."

In terms of choosing the documentary's focus— emotions, movements, or composition—

Anthony explains, "My initial inclination always leans towards composition. I then seek to evoke emotions through either the composition itself, through movement, or it comes naturally from the story itself." He underscores the pivotal role played by factors like camera angle, lens selection, and lighting in shaping the narrative, stressing the importance of a creative perspective in crafting something different than what is usually seen.

Looking ahead, Anthony would like to undertake additional projects aimed at spotlighting the K9Force Dog Club and the sport at large. He concludes: "It was truly remarkable witnessing the evolution from a mere concept to a fully-fledged documentary, bringing Isabella's and my vision to fruition."


Unleashed Released

Before its first public release on the internet, the human club members walked the red-carpet basking in the glitz and glam of the afternoon. Decorated with gold and silver balloons, a red couch and a presenter's podium, the clubhouse was turned into a real Oscar event. Of course, Isabella came well prepared and twelve little golden statues were proudly presented. Anthony's first Oscar!

For Anthony, the excitement exhibited by each individual upon viewing the completed documentary at the premiere was an incredible experience. K9Force wishes him lots of success in pursuing his further career. 





 

K9Force (2024, April). Unleashed: The K9Force Story. K9Force - April 2024 (publuu.com)


© K9Force WDC 2024. For permission to reproduce any article in this blog, contact info@k9force.ca



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