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  • Michael Krikorian

A Home Run Outside of Fenway

Updated: Feb 9, 2023

Well, it’s already February, and as we get settled into 2023, we are also beginning to plan our summer Exero Vet filming schedule. Around this time every year, I am reminded, in a very literal sense, of how far Exero Vet has come. In the last two summers, we have traveled coast to coast and hit many places in between. This is due to our wonderful partners at VIN and at the vet schools, themselves believing in what we do and inspiring us to continue our work.

Over the last two summers, we have had the privilege of beginning to work with the wonderful people at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Our first stint there in 2021 was quite busy and fruitful. The attitude was receptive, the filming schedule was packed, and as often happens, it got the wheels turning with ideas for our return. We see this happen a great deal, especially after our inaugural trip to a school, because then the people there have a better understanding of the process and what is possible. One of those people was Dr. Ariana Hinckley-Boltax.

Something New and Exciting

Over the course of the next year, she and Jared worked together to develop and plan out the filming of a multi-part complete Canine physical exam. Just the planning alone took considerable time to break it down into all the components and shots. It ended up being closer to a traditional feature filming shot list than what we normally need. For the seven separate videos, there ended up being, there were sometimes up to eight or nine parts in each of them. So again, like a traditional feature, planning out the order of shots to have the least amount of camera setups or moves was a challenge. Not only for the actual shooting schedule but also how to codify and organize the footage to work with after, since everything, again like most features, was shot out of chronological order. I am immensely thankful for the considerable time that Dr. Ari and Jared devoted themselves during pre-production.

The result is, what we think, are some of the most effective and unique series of videos we have ever shot. In the vast majority of the videos we shoot, the perspective, which is most important in VR, is that of the surgeon, tech, or nurse performing the procedure. The result being the viewer “becoming” that performer. But not all procedures can or should be filmed this way. We have found, for maximum effectiveness, sometimes another perspective, or multiple perspectives, can allow the subject matter to be more clearly and easily communicated for educational purposes.

Our New Series of Physical Exam Videos

This series allowed us to really explore the benefits of what we call the “spectator” perspective. In a nutshell, you would be viewed as if you are in the classroom, barn, lab, or surgery, watching someone demonstrate to you. An external physical exam turned out to be an excellent subject for this. Yes, the perspective of the physician giving the exam could be beneficial, but we found, working in conjunction with Dr. Ari, how valuable the “Spectator” view can be. Combined with the synced closeup, like we do on nearly all our videos, it allows the instructor to teach on a macro and micro level simultaneously. So to the viewer, it’s as if they were being instructed while standing feet away, like in a classroom setting, while still having the ability to go inches away for a closer look while the lesson is ongoing with a live patient or patients.

For these videos, our “stars” were a pair of the cutest little beagles you ever did see. It was a very busy few days for filming, and after we got home, a hectic couple of weeks of editing, but we could not be more proud of the end result. Our hats go all the way off to Dr. Ari, who brought us a vision, then graciously and patiently worked with us to achieve that vision. She saw the potential in how we could expand this effective and accessible tool to her students, and THAT is what this is all about.

It is a pleasure, as always, to get to work with amazing, dedicated, and talented professionals and instructors in the veterinary field. Every year we film, there are new challenges and opportunities to grow and develop this great learning tool. Those challenges, the places, and the people are what get us excited to start our journey across the country every year. Sure, we also make sure to catch a baseball game or two on our travels, but working with people like Dr. Ari is just as much of a home run in our book as watching a ball sail over the green monster.

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