Beaufort Today -

Dogs try out for Beaufort film

Subheadline: 
‘Basement Bob’ hosts auditions at Port Royal vet

One local dog will find its way to the big screen after hundreds of pooches attended a casting call for “Basement Bob,” the first film to be produced in Beaufort in the last 15 years.

It was a busy day Sunday for the staff at Port Royal Veterinary Hospital as they welcomed pups and Fidos of all different breeds, colors and sizes. The casting call drew 176 dogs and their owners who hope their pet will become the next local movie star.

“It was a huge hit and we loved meeting dogs from all over Beaufort County who came out to audition for the role of Bob’s neighbor’s dog,” said co-director VW Scheich.

“Basement Bob” is a low-budget comedy about a man living in his ex-wife’s basement. When she decides to sell the house, he goes to ridiculous extremes to keep from losing her forever. The film includes a storyline involving a neighbor’s dog.

RareForm Pictures and Dead-eye Productions are producing it in association with the Beaufort Film Society, Scheich said.

“The BFS hosts the annual Beaufort International Film Festival where Uyen Le, producer and my wife, and I initially met Gary Weeks, the writer and my co-director of ‘Basement Bob,’ in 2013,” he said.

“The three of us fell in love with this town and the folks that live here and we were looking for the right film that could really showcase the town. We decided that ‘Basement Bob’ would be the perfect fit.”

From 2-6 p.m. Sunday, canines showed off their best tricks and star-like personalities at a photo shoot. Even Mayor Billy Keyserling showed support by making an appearance, Scheich said.

“We’ve spent the last year adjusting the script to fit Beaufort and the surrounding islands. We’ve also met the most supportive community you could imagine,” he said.

The hospital’s manager, Charity Cox, said doctors Marikay Campbell and Shelia Ellis are good friends of Scheich.

“He has been in contact with us regularly and we have built a relationship with him,” Cox said. “When we found out he was shooting a movie here, we wanted to make sure that he knew we were here to help since we knew that a dog was involved. Whether it was the dog’s vet or help with auditions, we were up for it.”

While Cox said the veterinary hospital is not the largest space, she said Scheich acknowledged that “we were the best.”

“We’re very excited. In any aspect we were hoping to be a part of the movie. If the dog goes to the vet, hopefully it’ll be ours that he comes to,” Cox said. “I think it’s great that he’s open to including us.”

The audition was open to any canine willing to show off its skills in front of the camera. The collection of photos from the casting call is being reviewed and a decision will be made soon.

“The current plan is to search through all of the photos to find five lucky dogs and invite them to do callbacks for a screen test with the actor to make sure there is chemistry,” Scheich said.

“Basement Bob” still needs financial backing before filming takes place in the fall. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the film and becoming an investor should email info@rareformpictures.com.

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