I know what you're thinking. A film lensed by house cats probably couldn't be any worse that some of the other stuff that gets posted on YouTube. Well, just as with Coppola, Demme, and Fincher, the magic really all happens in the editing room. Nestle Purina proves that point with a fun exercise meant to make cat lovers everywhere gush with "awwww." Their Friskies brand premieres "Cat Diaries: The First Ever Movie Filmed by Cats." Indeed, Fudge, Gizmo, Nutkins, Charlene Butterbean and others strapped video cameras to their collars and engaged in a little cinema verite at ground level. The footage came from all style of city apartments to country homes across the nation. The rapidly cut videos have loads of whiskers, skulking beneath couches and of course racing towards food bowls of delicious Friskies meals.
Actually, Purina has been doing branded media online for a long while and knows to play the brand promotion angle light. This is a four-minute movie made for animal lovers for the fun of it and without the hard sell. And according to the company, they rolled the film out in a red-carpet event in LA with the multiple whiskered directors taking the stage along with cat-lover Denise Richards. All of which goes to show that in America 2010, there is no such thing as overdoing the fetishization of pets.
The film was put together by director producer Erik Denno and editor director Jason Farrell. And because unselfconscious adorableness is part of the fun in these sorts of exercises, the cats involved are called RePURRters. Their footage was studied by an animal behaviorist in order to better understand the "magical world of cats" (who let Doug Henning get involved?). And the findings are being published in The Scratchington Post. (I am going to have to take some insulin in a second here.)
But of course the real fun in owning pets is the way that humans project onto them our own weird conceptions of what they should be thinking. There is ample opportunity for that here. Our favorite part of the film is when the other housecats seem puzzled by the camera they seem to spy out on the RePURRter's neck. Ears go back, a sniff, and then they go all Sean Penn on that feline journalist's ass. 'Get that damned camera out of my face, Charlene Butterbean.'