West Virginia-produced show to debut on Fido TV - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

West Virginia-produced show to debut on Fido TV

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Photo courtesy of MotionMasters. These puppies from Hurricane are part of a television series produced by MotionMasters. Photo courtesy of MotionMasters. These puppies from Hurricane are part of a television series produced by MotionMasters.
Photo courtesy of MotionMasters. MotionMasters President Diana Sole-Walko said it was hard to part with these puppies after the shoot.  They were bred by Marta Spry of Hurricane. Photo courtesy of MotionMasters. MotionMasters President Diana Sole-Walko said it was hard to part with these puppies after the shoot. They were bred by Marta Spry of Hurricane.
Photo courtesy of MotionMasters. Adrianne Dering, a Coton de Tulears breeder, of Morgantown prepares for her spot on Which Woof is for Me? Photo courtesy of MotionMasters. Adrianne Dering, a Coton de Tulears breeder, of Morgantown prepares for her spot on Which Woof is for Me?
Photo courtesy of MotionMasters. Carrie Chase of Martinsburg breeds Pembroke Welsh corgis and is one of three West Virginia residents on the show. Photo courtesy of MotionMasters. Carrie Chase of Martinsburg breeds Pembroke Welsh corgis and is one of three West Virginia residents on the show.

Sure, a collie is beautiful. Chihuahuas can be carried about quite portably, in a designer bag if you wish. And a German shepherd can make a wonderful service dog and companion.

But for anyone who has ever wondered which dog breed is best suited for his or her family, wonder no more.

There’s a new television program that will deal with that issue in an entertaining way, said Diana Sole-Walko, president of West Virginia-based MotionMasters.

The series, “Which Woof is for Me?” premieres at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31 on the Fido TV Channel, available on DISH.  

Six 30-minute episodes have been completed, using MotionMasters exclusively to produce the content. More episodes are planned for production.

“To the best of our knowledge — and we’ve checked with the West Virginia Film Office — we’re the first firm based in West Virginia to produce an original television series for a network,” said Sole-Walko. “Which Woof’s for Me? is the first original series to be done entirely by a West Virginia production firm.

“We’re very excited about it. It’s the culmination of years of work, building our credibility that qualified us to get this opportunity.”

The office at MotionMasters already has a television tuned to Fido TV, channel 245 on the basic tier of DISH, ready for the firm’s own work to broadcast across the screen soon.

“It gives me goose bumps to think about it,” Sole-Walko said.   

FidoTV has another strong Mountain State connection. It was founded by Elkview native Tad Walden, a close friend and colleague of Sole-Walko since they met while attending Marshall University. They also worked together for a time at Charles Ryan & Associates.

“Diana and MotionMasters actually did the first demo reel for Fido TV,” Walden said. “She’s been with me all along. After several years of getting funded and hard work, when it was time to get busy on production, we assigned one of our first originals to MotionMasters.”

Walden said he is directing about 30 percent of his production budget to West Virginia, through MotionMasters.

“A lot of people only think of New York or Los Angeles when it comes to video production,” Walden said, but he was adamant about using the West Virginia firm.

“It was a pretty nice moment when the first episodes debuted for the brass and the crew,” Walden recalled. “I got to ask them, ‘How does crow taste?’ 

“I’m a big believer in changing the status quo. I get the same quality of work (using a West Virginia firm) as some get in Los Angeles at half the cost.”

Walden called “Which Woof is for Me?” a “critical series” for Fido TV.

“It’s very nicely done,” he said. “It’s an important show. I wanted it to be the best that’s been out there on dog breeds, with the detail and the content. It’s entertaining, but I also wanted it to be accurate and informative.”

Producing the first six episodes took MotionMasters to seven states and rolled up more than 4,000 miles on the company vehicle, Sole-Walko said.

A total of 12 breeds will be featured in the first set of shows, with each episode profiling the history, traits and characteristics of two specific breeds. 

Of the two dozen breeders who appeared in the first six shows, three are West Virginia residents. Adrianne Dering of Morgantown raises Coton de Tulears, Carrie Chase of Martinsburg breeds Pembroke Welsh corgis and Sheree Moses is an Eastern Panhandle-area breeder of German shepherds. 

They’re all at the top of their profession, Sole-Walko said.

“Fido TV wants us to get the best representatives of each breed — both the breeders and the dogs themselves,” Sole-Walko said.

Coton de Tulears were only recently recognized as a breed by the AKC, Sole-Walko explained. So in doing research, she was having trouble finding a breeder of Cotons.

“They’ve just been recognized since 2014, so there’s not a lot of information out there,” she said of Cotons. “I was in Colorado on a shoot with some of the top AKC breeders, and told them I was having trouble finding a breeder of Cotons. 

“That’s when they told me, ‘There’s one in West Virginia!’ Adrianne is a highly respected breeder of Coton de Tulears. She recently showed one of her dogs at Crufts, in England.”

Sole-Walko doesn’t mind that her business has suddenly gone to the dogs, so to speak.

“It is very rewarding work and very interesting,” she said of the TV production work. “The people that we have worked with have been fascinating and so accommodating.”

Charleston’s Leslie Racine also is a well-respected expert dog handler, showing dogs of many breeds, Sole-Walko said.

“She has been a great help too,” Sole-Walko said, adding that even though they hail from the same area, she finally met Racine at the AKC National Dog Show in Orlando after many phone conversations.

Of course, Sole-Walko describes herself as a dog lover.

“We have an office dog that comes to work every day” she said of her Toby, a cavalier King Charles spaniel. “He even comes in on days that I’m not here.”

This story first appeared in the print edition of The State Journal. Click HERE to subscribe.

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