Shot in 2001 but set aside, D.P. Carlson used “a fresh eye” to finish pseudo doc “Johnny Dodgeball”

A lot has happened to filmmaker D.P. Carlson since he started shooting his pseudo-doc, “Johnny Dodgeball,” with a bunch of junior high school boys back in 2001.

He produced a series of sports shows, made a trio of highly acclaimed feature-length documentaries and became the father of two sons with wife Jessica.

Now seven years later, his 68-minute sports comedy, length “Johnny Dodgeball,” about the fictional Chicago Superdawgs dodgeball team, is finally finished and is set for a Sept. 13 premiere at the Gene Siskel Center.

Dave (or D.P. as he’s formally known) Carlson produced, directed, shot and edited the comedy about the ragamuffin gang, led by Johnny, their dodgeball-obsessed captain, as they battle through teenage baloney on their way to the National Amateur Dodgeball Tournament.

The sports world is a known commodity to Carlson and provides the wherewithal to continue what has become an impressive body and variety of independent films.

After he shot “Dodgeball” in 2001, “I left it alone,” he said, “and didn’t cut it. Instead, I delved into production of a series of three half-hour HD sports for INHD and other cable outlets.”

Following that, Carlson got deeply involved in making three well-received docs on the creative process of his personal idols, Adrian Belew, Joe Frank and Paul Stanley.

Finding himself with some free time last fall, and not wanting to abandon “Dodgeball,” Carlson looked at it with fresh eyes.

“I knew always knew there was a gem of a great film in it, and I didn’t want to abandon it for the kids who’d done a great job years earlier,” he said. It also helped that his Avid skills had become fluent in the meantime, he added.

He finished it to his satisfaction just a month ago.

As for the budget, Carlson laughed. “I can’t even tell you. The kids worked on SAG Experimental contracts, and I paid for tape stock out of my pocket. The shooters worked for free. I have enough of a reputation that I can get help from friends whenever I call them.”

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