Adonis, The Stray Dog That Kept Following Me
You know how some stray dogs keep following you even when you try to scare them away? Welcome to the world of Adonis. The story of an irresistible dating service dog that finds the perfect match for his client has been stuck with me for a very long time: 61 dog years to be exact. 12 human years ago, the story came about while brainstorming with my friend, Jamie Jansen. The idea seemed simple enough and promised to be a lot of fun to make. Creating a cartoony world also promised to be a challenge. Despite several false starts and other projects that lead to detours, Adonis was the stray dog that wouldn’t go away.
10 years would go by as I annoyed my friends and colleagues by constantly talking about “the dog movie.” My mentor, Allen Daviau, would grit his teeth and groan “oh not that dog movie again” whenever I mentioned that I was gearing up to make it happen. Clearly, everybody thought that this short film was just a myth. But at long last, the pieces for Adonis finally started to come together. Casting lead to amazing actors including James Snyder, Velinda Godfrey, Ernie Hudson and an extraordinary dog named Jimmy. A fantastic crew was assembled. While the week-long shoot on a 96 degree greenscreen stage in Van Nuys was fairly brutal, the story finally started to come alive with real people (and dogs!). Meanwhile, my family helped to construct the “sets,” which were model railroad buildings and dollhouses and would be combined with the live-action shots in post production; a process that took another two years.
The stray Adonis has been a journey with many ups and downs, especially for a film that is only 10 minutes long. But like most strays, Adonis has become part of my family that I wouldn’t know what to do without. This blog will retrace some of the experiences that brought the short film together both in terms of filmmaking and personal motivation behind all the choices. As this short ventures into the film festival world, I’ll keep a journal of the adventures.
The Adonis adventure is just beginning.