Brow Beat

How the Makers of White God Staged an Animal Uprising With 200 Dogs

A scene from White God.

Publicity still

Check out all Slate’s interviews from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

In the upcoming movie White God, which won the Un Certain Regard award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the canine actor Bodie plays Hagen, a mutt that—after he is separated from his owner—leads an uprising of hundreds of dogs against the men who mistreat and abuse them. To stage these sequences of doggie upheaval, the filmmakers used dozens of real dogs. The results are awesome.

And they make you wonder: How did they pull this off? We sat down with director Kornél Mundruczó, trainer Teresa Ann Miller, and star Bodie to ask them how they cast Bodie in the role of Hagen, how they shot the movie’s canine POV shots, and how they managed to create the illusion of dogs in danger while still protecting the dogs.

Slate Sessions video edited by Rob Naylor. Interview booked by Raquel Bruno. Executive produced by Ayana Morali.