Hollywood transplants to the Chicago area, DeAnna and Kevin Cooper, have produced Chicago’s first stereoscopic 3D feature and possibly the first 3D comedy anywhere so far. The family comedy, I Heart Shakey in 3D, is Cooper’s directorial debut and their first Amarok Productions film. It will be available OnDemand June 15 and domestic theatrical distribution starts June 29 via Phase 4 Films.
I Heart Shakey in 3D will be available OnDemand June 15 and domestic theatrical distribution starts June 29 via Phase 4 Films starts June 29.
The 90-minute tale of love and loyalty stars Steve Lemme, (Super Troopers) a founding member of comedy group Broken Lizard, as widower JT O’Neil, Rylie Behr as his precocious 10-year old daughter, Chandler, and their mutt Shakey (Ebony, a rescue dog).
The semi-autobiographical story is about how father and daughter move from a small town to Chicago and when Shakey wreaks havoc in their new scrupulously maintained apartment building, they are forced to get rid of him.
Also starring in the cast of more than 70 are Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy franchise) as former Army Sgt. Stubbs who offers to take the dog in, Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoons Vacation movies)as the concierge of an upscale Chateau Bowwow kennel, and Alfonso Arau (Three Amigos) cook in the restaurant where JT works.
Production started in late July, 2010 and shot for 26 days at Naperville and downtown Chicago locations.
Coopers movie production veterans
While Shakey is Amarok’s first feature, it is by no means the Coopers’ introduction to the film industry. The film veterans held high-powered studio positions for 20 years in New York and L.A.
Kevin Cooper was executive producer of Secondhand Lions and a Fox production executive on Men of Honor, Fight Club, and the Thin Red Line. He also spent six years as head of production for James Cameron’s visual effects company Digital Domain.
DeAnna Cooper was a senior financial executive at Fox reporting for films including X-Men, Thin Red Line, Ice Age, Titanic and others.
In 2005, the Coopers exchanged the movie meccas for the Heartland and opted for more sedate careers at Columbia College: Kevin as coordinator for the producing concentration and DeAnna as a Film & Video department teacher; she is also an adjunct professor at the College of DuPage.
They live in Wheaton, which was perfect for them, Cooper said. “Close enough to the city to enjoy big city life but far enough out where there’s a little country. We wanted to ‘have our cake and eat it too’ by living in Chicagoland.”
Cooper co-wrote the screenplay with Eric Stolze. Executive producers were Paul B. Payne, Cooper’s next-door neighbor, and EP on several previous thriller films, helped raise Shakey’s under-$500,000 budget. Sharing EP credits are Damian Shannon, Mark J. Swift and Lemme.
Producers were DeAnna Cooper and Taejung Lee, who runs Amorak’s L.A. office and was formerly with Digital Domain; associate producer Jacqueline “JJ” Ingram; line producers Carrie Holt de Lama and Chris Halper; Leonard Wilks edited; cinematographer was Steven Parker; music by Misha Segal and casting by Claire Simon.
Stereographer was Tim Maupin; animated sequences by Ryan Krzak and art director, Katherine Hart and Mark Palansky.
Spotlight Pictures is handling international release.
Click here to see the trailer.