Like Mother Bear

Helen is having health problems and desperately wants to have a child. She and her husband seek the advice of a doctor who helps Helen find her spiritual guide, a big bear. In the end it seems to work, as her health improves and she conceives a child.

  • Starring: Hele Stoltzfus
  • Director(s): Lynn Feinerman
  • Producer(s): Crown Sephira Productions
  • Distributor: TBD
  • Animal Coordinator: Rocky Mountain Wildlife
  • Release Date: Monday, December 31, 2012

Featured Animal Action

Two male four year old bears were alternated throughout the filming. There were four trainers on the set each day during the production. All close up shots of the bear were done as the trainers used both verbal cues and hand signals just off camera. The bear was given edible rewards.To get the bear to sit, sit-up, stand, or sniff the air, a fence was installed around the trees inside the meadow, to make the enclosure smaller. In the scene where the bear licks the honeycomb, the trainer placed the bear on his mark and cued the bear to lick it. The bear was placed on his mark again and given a verbal cue to look into the camera. He happily obliged and was rewarded with food. Three trainers accompanied the bear to the small island and hid behind trees near the the bear while this sequence was being filmed. The other trainer called to the bear from the river, the bear looked up and the cameraman got his shot. In a scene where the bear appears to be dead, the trainer verbally cued the bear to lie down on the ground by some fake blood. The bear lies still as the cameraman films. When it looks like the fur is being pulled off the dead bear, it is really a close-up of the trainer running his hands through the bear's fur. There were several scenes in which Helen and the bear appeared together. In the scene where Helen appeared to be dancing with the bear, the trainer doubled as Helen, and was able to use verbal cues as he and the bear danced together. The bear is behind Helen and sits up in a dream sequence. One of the trainers placed the bear on his mark and verbally cued him to "sit-up." Helen then took her seat in front of the bear as the trainers surrounded the bear just off camera. The cameraman worked quickly to shoot this sequence. When we watch as Helen feeds the bear berries and pets it, we wonder how can she get that close to the bear? Helen was actually sitting outside of a cage that held the bear. The trainers surrounded the cage and one trainer verbally cued the bear to eat the berries he was given. It was filmed at an angle where the cage and the trainers were unseen. In another sequence, Helen appears to be running with the bear through a meadow. The bear was cued with hand signals from his trainer to run from point A to B. Helen ran at the same time but in another part of the meadow. With the help of camera angles, this scene looks like the two are running together when actually they weren't even near each other. The only other animal in this film appeared in the scene in the doctor's office during the discussion of animal spirit guides. The doctor has a snake around his neck and he and the couple pet it. The trainer who hands the doctor the snake, was just off camera and the snake seemed very happy to have the attention. After this scene was filmed the trainer gently lifted the snake off the doctor's shoulders.