Dustin Kirkham – Pack Leader Nation – Product Marketing/Development

Let’s Get it Out There!

I’ve had lots of opportunity through my college experience to put all of my skills from different classes together. This project is one of those times and I am proud of the work that we have been able to put together for Pack Leader Nation through a series of practicums. For this project in particular, we expanded into new areas that we’ve been targeting for a while. Pack Leader Nation is a small business and its owner, Allyssa-Rae Davis is a busy person! To maximize her time with her clients, she has worked up to hosting a great many services at her residence. This ranges from board and train work to group lessons, to simple dog sitting! Her home was built with these kinds of activities in mind and I was tasked to showcase her home/facility all while showcasing the kinds of events that she may have at the property.

At the start of the project, we wanted to approach her group lesson services. Essentially, Rae’s mission for this product was to teach owners and dogs in a group setting. This allowed people to make friends, all while seeing that their naughty dogs were not unusual. I was tasked with filming and photographing this event and making an advertisement that would showcase its effectiveness. 

Challenges Experienced

Pack Leader Nation LLC is a startup. This means that change, planning, and replanning or a must!! As we planned various shoots and activities, we would often need to be flexible to meet the needs of the pet owners as well as work with the weather. The last thing that we wanted to do was tie up a client into a shoot out in the cold rain. At the end of the day, making the client’s experience powerful and rememberable was our highest priority. This is because the main source of business for Pack Leader Nation is word of mouth marketing. 

Perhaps a more complex issue we ran into while we were working is that the direction of the business is very clear, the next steps seem to be less clear. We often would have ideas for one project, then be tugged in another direction towards another idea. Prioritizing each approach to various ideas often required us to dig deep and think about what the clients needed first. This change in perspective proved to be very powerful and helped us overcome what seemed like massive issues.

Perhaps a more comedic issue that I ran into while I was filming dogs, is that camera gear can be very distracting to a puppy! It was difficult to get candidate shots of cute little dogs without them looking right at the camera all of the time. This of course isn’t the worst thing in the world, but my goal for a lot of these shots was to be invisible so that the audience can observe without being distracted by the reality of a camera man being on the scene.


Allyssa-Rae and I have been working together for a while now. We have developed a list of all the different kinds of videos that we would like to create for her brand. Our process would usually involve us reviewing the needs of the business, reviewing our list of ideas, choose a video to attempt, then going for it! We’d then start planning on what shots we wanted, what kind of gear we might need, where we were going to shoot it, etc. This often also involved coordinating with pet owners as well as other behavioral coaches.

Once we were on sight, we were often required to be flexible with the environment that we were surrounded with and would need to work accordingly. For example, we often needed to work around windy conditions. Wind and microphones do not play nice. I also had to work hard to get decent colors out of the shoots, seeing that many of the days that we filmed on were rather cold and gloomy. 

Once all of the shooting was completed, I would take the footage home and get to work! Editing is a long process that can be very tedious. Many of these edits are still in revision, as we weren’t completely satisfied with the results. We are planning to work beyond the end of this semester, so that the projects can be made truly valuable. The hardest part for many of these edits are the color grades. Having shot in harsh lighting conditions, lots of tweaking is needed to make things look just right. I am being stretched in my ability to edit color and am learning lots through trial and error. I have also been stretched to learn new programs in an attempt to get the results that we are looking for.

Once all of the footage is good to go however, I will be following our current process of getting the work over to Allyssa-Rae for approval and suggestions. From there, we will be pushing the work out to the Public through social media and YouTube.


The results were splendid. While I am thrilled about the content that we were able to put together, I am perhaps more thrilled with the ongoing friendship/working relationship I have developed with Allyssa-Rae and her brand. I feel that beyond the work I do for this particular project, I will have many more opportunities to work and grow with Allyssa-Rae and Pack Leader Nation as it grows to be one of the finest dog training organizations in the state of Idaho and eventually the nation. If the work wasn’t a result enough, surly the experience of building a truly powerful working relationship is!