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Koko: A Red Dog Story (Aaron McCann, Dominic Pearce, 2019) Aaron McCann, Dominic Pearce, Nelson Woss (story), prod. Nelson Woss, Lauren Brunswick, dp Lewis Potts, music Cezary Skubiszewski; Jason Isaacs (narr.), Felix Williamson (Nelson Woss), Sarah Woods, Toby Truslove, Kriv Stenders, Nelson Woss, Koko
This is the third film in the Red Dog franchise. The first (Kriv Stenders, 2011) was adapted from a syrupy novel by Louis de Bernières (who has since then disppeared from the credits lists). The second, Red Dog: True Blue (Kriv Stenders, 2016) was also written by Daniel Taplitz, and had much the same crew as the first. The third, with fresh writer/directors, apparently goes back, to the birth of the hero. It's remarkable, in December 2019, in being put into cinemas without any advertising. Nelson Woss (who has driven the whole cinematic enterprise from the beginning) hopes that it will do well enough for a distributor to actually spend some money on P&A and distribute it widely. It's also remarkable in having Nelson Woss write the story, produce the film, but not also have someone playing him but also appearing as himself.
The third edition of the Red Dog franchise from writers and directors Aaron McCann and Dominic Pearce had the widest release on more than 80 screens, distributed by Roadshow Films and producer Nelson Woss’s Good Dog Distribution.
Last week Woss told IF he was encouraged by the responses from test screenings in Indianapolis and charity previews in Perth. But he acknowledged there were no ads on TV or in newspapers and no billboards, bus shelters or buses for the the low-budget film co-funded by Screen Australia, Screenwest and Lotterywest.
Hence the first weekend takings of $23,000 were very modest. One of the participating exhibitors, Majestic Cinemas’ Kieren Dell, says: “Koko was a hard sell at this time of year for only a few sessions, but those that were interested had the opportunity to see it.”
Still, Woss can hope for some upside from a free TV sale in Australia and the US sale of the film featuring Felix Williamson, Toby Truslove and Sarah Woods to Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Today he said: “Koko will have a legacy and a long tail as part of the franchise. I made it as a love letter to my mate and to raise money for dog shelters. We’ve raised $100,000.” Don Groves, IF, 9 December 2019.
Groves, Don, 'Nelson Woss takes the ‘Red Dog’ franchise in a surprising new direction', IF, 3 December 2019.
Groves, Don, 'Alternate content releases run the gauntlet', IF, 9 December 2019.
Rank, Otto, The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological Exploration of Myth, first publ. 1909.
Garry Gillard | New: 3 December, 2019 | Now: 10 December, 2019