The Digital Journalist
A Pug's Life: The Dogumentary
August 2004

by Marilyn Braverman

I met my future husband, Chuck Braverman, five years ago when I was a still photographer and knew nothing about documentary filmmaking. Chuck had two projects starting up at the time and he asked if I would like to learn how to do sound. I said yes and the two of us were off to make two very different films. One was "High School Boot Camp" (DGA winner), about at-risk youths in a paramilitary school and the second was "Curtain Call" (Academy Award® nominee), about the Actors' Fund Retirement Home.

Although location sound was physically very demanding, I was enjoying the documentary filmmaking process so much that I was completely hooked. Being a photographer, I am very visually oriented and was dying to pick up the camera. I needed practice and what could be less intimidating than these cute dogs and their amusing owners? My first event was the Pug Halloween Party and that's when I realized that "Pug People" were a unique group. I started to hang out at dog shows and the more people I met, the more leads I got. It was all a learning process, so I call "A Pug's Life" my student film.

We began to sell the film through eBay, one DVD at a time and then through our Web site at Then we made a foreign sales deal with an agent and the show has been sold in countries around the world. Recently we also sold the show to PBS stations through APT, and because our Web site was listed in the credits, we have seen a rush of recent orders on the site.

© Marilyn Braverman