Saturday, February 15, 2014

Doggy Daycare to Bring Big Howls to the Big Screen.

Doggy Daycare Movie To Bring Big Howls A conversation with Director Matty Johnson. Bret Hartman Feb 10 2014

“Doggy Daycare The Movie,” a co-produced feature, Produced by Stacks Hollywood and Waggz & Whiskerz Filmz Is expected to yield a few howls The Dog Gone News - The last time audiences saw an adorable animal movie that captivated the hearts of thousands was in Hotel For Dogs in 2009. Since then audiences have been craving another family film that can yield that same heart felt humor. Matty Johnson,Doggy Daycare The Movie director and co-creator of the film, says he is releasing the new film independently as a way to keep control of the movie's content. However distribution will be involving some Hollywood Studio’s. In a recent interview I talked with Matty about his new film and his passion for cleaning up Hollywood's values and making movies that are safe for families while at the same time presenting situations that are not so family oriented yet handled with an innocent approach. I know many fans will be excited to see Doggy Daycare The Movie. What made you decide to do a family movie? MATTY JOHNSON: One of the reasons that we wanted to bring Dog’s back in a really relevant story is because we see the bar being lowered and lowered by the Hollywood studios as to what is appropriate and what is safe in family entertainment. Brad Bleckwehl and myself have really put a lot into this film and we really avoided throwing in the bodily excretions jokes, the potty humor, the four letter words, the sexual innuendos, and that sort of thing that you find in family pictures now. And you know, we tried for a year to negotiate with Hollywood studios in one of those films The Cat Woman. Yes it is a horror film but at the same time it is nothing what people will come to expect. I am very selective with the material I put out and I felt that Doggy Daycare would be a good way to open the gates to what my vision is really about. I want to release this film before The Cat Woman because I know people wont get what I’m doing with Cat Woman off the bat, with Doggy its sort of an eye opener into my mind. We had three studios who wanted to throw money at us and do this movie, but they all wanted absolute control and that was the case with Cat too. I guess I’m a control freak. How is this movie different from the Dog Movies that we remember, like Hotel For Dogs? Matty Johnson: Well, I think more than anything else, it's more layered and the story is a little serious. It is about serious subjects. It involves animal abuse, and even people abuse, but at a very highly layered level so the young kids are not getting the harshness of the story, but the older kids and the parents are getting the understanding of the issue and of what's right and what's wrong. At the fact that banding together as individuals and groups will ultimately lead to success. In one respect it is like all of the other Dog movies in that the thematic material is about love, hope, and persistence toward a goal. It's a story about unsuspecting heroes that have to stand up and speak to something that is very important – The occupants of the Doggy Daycare of course being one of these groups and a young child and her sister -- all of whom come together in this very weird group of folks that ultimately make something very positive happen. It was designed to not only be a great piece of entertainment but to make a difference in the way that we lead our lives out there. It also has more comedy than any the majority of the Dog movies that have been thrown out there, believe it or not with all that serious talk, it is actually a whole lot funnier than a lot of the movies out there. Tell me more about how you came to meet the Dogs who are involved in the picture. Why was it important to you that the star of the Doggy Daycare The Movie be adopted from an animal shelter? Matty Johnson: Most of the dogs involved in the movie are either rescues or from shelters originally, so we decided this was the thing to do to incorporate the theme of rescue into the movie, it’s a real issue in the pet community and I felt that this could be a good forum to express my beliefs in rescue. I had found the lead for the movie in California at Cage Free K9. He was a street dog in fact. I was searching for a dog as a companion and in doing so this entire project just hit me like a ton of bricks. Otis a miniature schnauzer who plays “Mutt” is the companion I was searching for. He is so bright and so intuitive and inspiring. I took a picture of him ten minutes after meeting him and I realized how photogenic he was. A dog that has been on the streets and put in a shelter and having gone through whatever he went through is remarkable. In fact it's that questioning of why would anybody abandon such a wonderful dog, and how long was he on the streets that really bubbled up the entire story of this movie because for some reason this dog just struck me as very emotional and I felt he could convey a story in those eyes and help bring awareness to others. I can tell you definitely have a heart for animals. Have you always been an animal lover? Matty Johnson: Well, from the time I was a young kid I've always had a dog at least, and now it has built up to three and a cat and a few chickens and rabbits (laughs)…you know they've just always been a part of my life. I'm not weird about it; they are just part of the family and they are always there. You've seen the thing that goes around the Internet of all the things that dogs are, and if we could be like that we'd be much better people. That's pretty much what you feel if you have them around you all the time. The love that they give is unconditional; it is like love in that respect that they are unfettered by the selfishness that we humans put onto it. It also helps that I am the owner of a doggy day care called Waggz and Whiskerz, it’s been in business for a while and is considered to be extremely innovative, It’s family run and pretty fitting to my personality. I know that you are very passionate about seeing the bar raised once again in Hollywood to make movies that will be safe and appropriate for families. This movie Cat woman you are working on has got quite a lot of heat about the promotion you and your team have put into effect, can you explain the reasoning behind that? Matty Johnson: Hollywood operates on one basis and that is the economic bottom line. Cat Woman has an entire following from the previous movies put out and the endless comics and you know all that stuff, this version is not the same, it has some really serious matters, child pornography being one of them, exploitation, murder, animals abuse and other serious issues. The marketing of the film is some what contradictory to the belief system I put out there, and it’s done like that for a reason, I do not want people to know the basis of this movie or anything about it really until they are watching it. That way when they walk out of the theatre they will be pleasantly surprised by how little the promotional aspect had to do with the movie and the values that it represents. You know I have many connections in Hollywood but my work always proves once and for all that Hollywood doesn't control everything and that the individual can stand for something. That's what we are asking again. If you care about values and sending that message to Hollywood, then please go see this movie and all my other pictures for that matter. My promotional tactics have very little to do with the content in the movie, and I cant express that enough. I hate how people are so accustom to Hollywood rules and regulations with regards to promotion, everything I tend to do is a success because it is planned out properly for a reason, People jump the gun and make comments and assume things are amateur because they are not use to someone like me having access to large facets of funding. It is a battle that is worth fighting even though it is hard. It's hard as an individual and even harder as a production company. There are movies out there that I want to see, and I know that they are going to be great movies, but I know that they are going be full of junk. This is what I want to avoid. All I can say is wait till the movie is out before you pass judgment on the promo stuff. I know what I’m doing and a lot of people in Hollywood do have confidence in my team and me. At the end of the day that’s all that really matters, expression and creativity.

Poster for The Cat Woman by Matty Johnson

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