BOY & DOG
A Streetlight Cinema production starring
Haskell Vaughn Anderson, Lisa Liang, Akira Nakamoto
Written, directed by R.P. Bradley
Photographed by Sunny Lee.
Principal Photography: November 9, 2001 - January 15, 2002www.boydogfilm.com
870 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90037
TEL: 323 235-3263 CELL: 213 3998930
A 10-year-old boy of a widowed photographer goes in search of his lost dog and is swept up in a life-changing urban odyssey by a homeless jazz musician.
Ten-year-old Toby Yee persuades his widowed photographer mother to let him adopt a dog from a municipal pound. One day his new best friend named Neo is chased away by pit bulls and finds his original owner, Cisco Washington, a homeless jazz musician. The boy goes on a quest to find his dog. Cisco the lonely wino and Toby the lonely boy become friends and both their lives are transformed.
A 10-year-old boy finally persuades his widowed photographer mother, Beverly Yee Chatwin, to allow him to adopt a dog. On his tenth birthday Toby picks Neo amongst the hundreds of strays at the animal shelter.
Toby's ecstatic -- until Neo is chased away by a pair of wild pit bulls. Toby skips school to search for his lost dog while his mom is out of town to photograph a big wedding. Following a series of comic and scary adventures, Toby discovers Neo in the company of the dog's original owner, Cisco Washington, a jazz player who's fallen to drink after the death of his one true love.
Toby thinks Neo is his, Cisco insists McGuff belongs to him.
When Cisco gets drunk, Toby steals Neo back -- then changes his mind and returns the dog, deciding Cisco needs Neo/McGuff's company even more than he does. Cisco is so taken with the act of generosity, he vows to clean up his act and teach the boy how to play saxophone.
Toby's mom Beverly finally consents to this odd friendship and photographs Cisco's resurrection from the street. Her exhibition leads to meetings with old friends and a revival of Cisco's career.
Cisco's death is bittersweet and uplifting, his passion fulfilled and passed onto to the young Toby.
BOY & DOG will be a feature length (approx. 98--102 minutes) humorous dramatic film encompassing locations throughout Los Angeles. Shooting will be on JVC's D-9 format (formerly Digital-S) with transfer to 35mm at Digital Film Group in Vancouver. Principal photography will begin November 10, 2001.
Lisa Liang is cast as Beverly (Toby's widowed mother)
Haskell Vaughn Anderson is cast as Cisco (a homeless jazz musician)
Akira Nakamoto is cast as Toby (Beverly's ten-year-old son)
INTENT: to make a film that honestly reflects life with special appeal for young persons from 8-12 (and their parents) -- an age group sorely neglected by filmmakers. BOY & Dog will be a sophisticated upbeat family film that isn't sentimental or patronizing, ie the other end of the spectrum from Disney. Without moralizing, it will project values of compassion, honesty, tolerance and understanding in a vehicle that is non-violent and PG rated. It's humor is that of life itself, likewise its quiet drama. It will have the feel of a contemporary real-life fable, timeless, yet of our times. A word of mouth kind of film with the potential to achieve the status of a classic.
Whenever the rare film that dares to be its honest self comes along, it seems to meet a pent-up need. One reason such honest films of "small" drama but large themes are rare, is the Hollywood studio system isn't geared toward such intimate stories. Executives don't see them as blockbusters, and they do not generally command the stars that get deals made largely, I believe, because the reader/agent system dismiss such stories from the outset. This makes for very few films that deal with the normal dramas of life most people experience, and even fewer that embrace a realistic child's point of view.
BOY & DOG should fill special needs on the domestic market-- especially at this time -- and might well be welcomed abroad as a less glitzy and more honest depiction of life in America as experienced by so-called "ordinary" people.
The film will be of a sophistication and style to garner attention on the major festival circuit. Its extreme low-budget, superb but relatively unknown cast, its struggle to come to the screen outside the system, will contribute to the movie's own mythology and generate its own appeal. Neo the dog is, in fact, a homeless dog rescued from the filmmaker's alley in South Central Los Angeles.
Visit www.boydogfilm.com for more info