Beaufort Today -

Top dogs named for 'Basement Bob' casting

Subheadline: 
Finalists celebrate chance at stardom

  • Courtesy of VW Scheich Uyen Le said she loved this golden retriever's name, Leroy.

Narrowing down the top five dogs from a list of 200 to star in an upcoming film in Beaufort was a daunting task for co-director VW Scheich and his wife Uyen Le.

“Basement Bob” is a feature film that will showcase areas in Beaufort once the locations have been secured. It is the first movie to come to the area in 15 years.

After hosting a casting call at Port Royal Veterinary Hospital in July that brought out about 200 dogs, Scheich and Le had to choose the top five finalists to receive a second audition.

Scheich moved to Beaufort from Los Angeles after he participated in the Beaufort Film Society’s annual film festivals and knew he wanted to produce “Basement Bob” in a community that has accepted him and his wife with open arms.

“We want this to be a community project. And we saw that this is a community that loves dogs, so why not cast a dog as a character?” Scheich said. “We thought maybe 30 owners would show up and we were blown away by the awesome support.”

Because the large crowd braved the rain and long line during the auditions, Scheich said they will be the first ones called to be cast as extras in the film.

At a film society meet and greet last week, Scheich and Le revealed the top dogs who will meet the actor playing the character Bob’s neighbor to see if the two are compatible.

Leslie Thorne of Sheldon decided to bring her dog after hearing about it from her landscaper. Pasha, a great mountain dog possibly mixed with a Rottweiler, has a stubborn yet loving personality, Thorne said.

“It was really fun and I think it was a bonding experience for the community,” Thorne said.

Pasha was one of the lucky five who will move on to see if he will be selected to become Beaufort’s next movie star.

Arlene Coleman’s eight-year-old Moose was also selected and all Coleman could say was that she was “shocked.”

Mary Lanski heard about the audition from her best friend and decided to stop by after she was taking her dog, Diesel, for a stroll on the Spanish Moss Trail.

“He’s so beautiful and he’s my heart,” Lanski said.

Courtney Balcome of Cat Island said her dog, Yeti T. Fuzzbottoms, brings more than a funny name to the stage.

“People know him for his huge personality and I just want to show him to as many people as possible,” Balcome said. “He’s energetic and goofy and has a lot of human traits, which just makes his personality so funny.”

The other dog selected to receive a callback was a golden retriever named Leroy, whose owner did not attend the meet and greet.

Scheich said he is planning to start filming in the fall once the weather cools down.

Roles with small speaking parts are still available. He plans to lock in the specific locations soon and prepare for filming. However, investors are still needed to fund the process, Scheich said.

The Beaufort International Film Festival was also discussed at the meet and greet, with dates set for Feb. 15-19. Entries are now being accepted in the categories of feature film, short film, documentary, animated film, student film and screenplay.

To enter or find out more information, go to beaufortfilmfestival.com.

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