Tuesday, October 25, 2011

707. Producing the educational hamster skin disease video - comments by Dr Sing

Oct 26, 2011
I am producing a video for the AVA Responsible Pet Ownership Roadshow 2011 in Nov 2011 and time is running out. Below is my comment on the production!

Thank you for your two videos. Good hands-on work done on both videos. It is only by doing that one can learn and improve and I am glad you did that. Below are my comments.


1. Hamster video introduction. Excellent narrative of daughter and mother. It captures the attention of the viewer.

2. Sequence is not correct as your starting scene is that of a hamster with its hair already clipped. Then you show scenes with a hamster with hair. Then, hair clipped, then a hamster with hair. Correct sequence is shown in www.toapayohvets.com front page but I will give you a webpage address when I produce the draft.

3. The point of view is that of the little girl who is worried about her hamster with skin disease. Because she is little, she can't go to the vet by herself. So she need to ask the mother for help.

So, the introduction, middle (at least 5 messages on a hamster's skin diseases) and conclusion will be from the little girl's point of view and her actions. Did she achieve her mission?

If she fails to get her mother to act, the hamster's self biting wounds will become skin infections with pus-producing bacteria (show another hamster with cellulitis from one of my cases). By then, it will be too late.

Why did the mother act? One reason is that the examinations are on-growing. The daughter's worries distract her from studying. So she goes to the vet. "The hamster needs to be hospitalised for 3 days to be treated," I said. "That will be fine, as my daughter is having her examinations!"

The side characters are the mother, the vet (consultation by the mother, diagnosis and treatment) and the groomer (clipping coat, bathing time, bathing).

4. Try NOT to superimpose text onto the character (e.g. onto the labrador's body) as this spoil the enjoyment of viewing of the animal.

This is an example from me:
A roborovski (with hair)


e.g. narrative from little girl. Show hamster moving if you have the video before clipping the hair


CONCLUSION. The daughter phones the vet two times after bathing: "When can my hamster come home?" After bathing, on day 4 after hospitalisation, the mother brings the hamster. The 10-year-old girl is very happy.

1. "Do not use the sharp pelleted litter as bedding," I said. "Use the soft paper type". Show cage with pelleted litter usually used for cats, covering part of the floor. Show cage with paper bedding covering the whole floor.

"But the other vet said that it is best not to change the bedding as it will stress out the hamster!"

"No two vets offer the same advices," I said. "In this case, the active roborovski hamster's body could have been scratched by the sharp ends of those pellets and bacterial infection of the skin causes itchiness and scratching!"

2. "Keep the cage floor clean," I advised.

Generally, the story must flow smoothly with actions preferred. The "clock" scene needs to be removed as it does not help since the timing is still 12 o'clock every time you flash this scene. No time movement!


1. Do not superimpose text onto the body of the dog as it makes it less enjoyable to view the video.

2. Repetition of same scene. I note that ear scoping scene has been shown twice.

3. The video needs a hook which I spoke to you about. An action of the dog intensely scratching.

I have spoken to you earlier about this production.

Keep up the good work.


Try to use similar light text and black background as in the "Attack The Block"
trailer at:

Also adapt some of the stories and sounds but not copy their sounds, the story telling and the hook.

e.g. "Better call the police," the girl said
"You are better off calling the ghost-buster!"

e.g. In this hamster video narrative,you may think of above lines and replace "police" with "groomer" and "ghost-buster" with "vet"

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