Film producer Reid Brody’s comedy, “Who Gets the Dog?” is being released today, Sept. 13 on iTunes, worldwide digital platforms, Video on Demand and DVD by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
The feature premiered in Chicago last Tuesday at the Midwest Independent Film Festival to an enthusiastic audience that filled all of the Music Box theatre’s 750 seats.
It stars Alicia Silverstone (“Clueless”) and Aussie actor Ryan Kwanten (“True Blood”) as a divorcing couple squabbling over custody of their beloved dog, Wesley, a yellow lab.
Randall Batinkoff (“Mind Games”), who attended the premiere, also stars as the eccentric antagonist who romantically pursues Silverstone’s character.
Produced by Brody’s Chicago-based 2DS Productions, “Who Gets the Dog?” started out as an idea Brody came up with a few years ago when one of his younger female employees at Filmworkers Club was going through an animal custody battle during a breakup.
Brody wrote the treatment and sent it out to several LA talent agencies. A CAA agent responded, telling Brody, surprisingly, that he represented the team of writer / producer Matt JL Wheeler and writer/director Rick Rapoza who had written a spec script, “Who Gets the Dog?” along the lines of Brody’s treatment.
Brody optioned their script and worked with the team in adapting the setting to Chicago and his indie production budget.
The crew shot for 17 days last February, helmed by director Huck Boyko (who also directed Brody’s previous comedy, “Bad Johnson) with DP Joseph White of LA and cast of 22, shot on Chicago locations and interiors.
Although LA-based Batinkoff says he felt “frozen” by the “Chi-beria” weather, Brody notes that the gorgeous snowy backdrop created a high production value.
Co-producers include Scott Silver, who has a role as the hockey team coach and Bill Ryan, who had worked for the late John Hughes, Brody’s friend and associate, who helped him shape 2DS and is currently an executive at Illumination Entertainment in LA.
LA-based Julie Garces edited. Claire Simon cast principal roles and Darlene Hunt of Extraordinary Casting provided extras.
Brody, who had been VP / co-founder of Filmmakers Club for 25 years, started 2DS Productions to produce indie films, starting with “Nothing Like the Holidays,” about a Puerto Rican family living in Humboldt Park. Since then, 2DS has produced three features and two shorts.
He says of his company, “As opposed to making traditional indie fare, we make mainstream movies independently.” See the trailer here.