His name is Terry Notary. He’s not CGI, he’s flesh and blood. Notary is man playing Buck, the CGI dog.
“When they said they wanted me to play Buck, I was like, ‘Wow, I have to really figure out how dogs relate to human beings on a deep level.’ You know, they’re truly connected to humans, for eons, they’re our best friends, really. And there’s no filter when they look into your soul. There’s no fear of seeing you [or] letting you see them,” Notary explained. “It was really about trying to be present for [Ford] and really let him forget that I was a human, and be a dog and dissolve into it. And when we did, it was magic.”Why Harrison Ford Answered ‘The Call of the Wild’ – Variety
In order to line up all the CGI, it is necessary to have a stand-in, which explains why Notary was there, complete with tennis balls attached to him so that the CGI could be synced as well as giving Harrison Ford someone tangible to look at during filming.
Only one other movie since August 12, 2019 when I started this blog has had more reader interest — at least in terms of clickthru traffic — as FIRST LOOK: The Call of the Wild.
Today, this FIRST LOOK post has more traffic and clickthrus than any other post to date. While, I realize this little blog is a tiny space in the massive internet, it has motivated me to dig around and learn more about the film, if I can. In particular, the tennis ball man, Terry Notary, since our FIRST LOOK primarily dealt with the CGI dog. That’s what seems to be the primary topic.
There’s been renewed interest in Harrison Ford because he also announced that filming on Indiana Jones 5 will begin soon, possibly as early as April 2020.
I doubt The Call of the Wild is going to be anywhere as popular as Indiana Jones 5, or even if it will be a good film. Dog films share a special place in people’s hearts and there will be at least some interest in seeing if the CGI Buck is as real looking as a real dog.
Cool trivia: Buck is based on a dog named Buckley from Emporia Animal Shelter: ““We were having a difficult time finding a real stand-in for Buck. The Buck described in the novel is a very specific combination of two different breeds; and this is a combination you just can’t find anywhere.””