THE promotional tour for Red Dog: True Blue is much like the movements of the legendary kelpie it is based on.
It had its big red dust premiere in Karratha, before coming to Perth, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to follow, with regional stops along the way.
“We’re going to roam like Red Dog,” producer Nelson Woss said, while in Perth.
“With my films, I always do the world premiere in the region where it started and where the story is from and where the community embraced us.
“We’ve had incredible demand for international territories and film festivals, so this unique West Australian story will roam like Red Dog and be seen by audiences all around the world.”
Woss said the production was drawn to the Pilbara region because it was culturally rich and the supportive nature of the community up there.
“It’s hard enough to make a movie, but to make a movie with animals in the Outback, well removed from Sydney or Melbourne let alone Perth, you need a lot of support,” he said.
“That’s what is special about these films; we get incredible support from all aspects of the community: mining companies, government, the local Ngarluma people, who are the traditional landholders of where we shot the movie.
“A lot of these people in day-to-day life have differences but what is so unique and special about the Red Dog films is they put those differences aside because we’re all part of a team, we all want to put the spotlight on what is so special about that region.
“What excites the director Kriv Stenders and I is that it is rich with stories, legends and myths from all aspects of the community that we had the privilege to tell just one story.
“We hope our films inspire other filmmakers to go up there, explore the region and find their own story that they can tell because it is really special up there and the people are just fantastic.
“Our films are a love letter to the communities of the Pilbara.”
In the film industry, if a movie is a huge critical, box office and audience hit, another entry is a no-brainer, but Woss said he was warned about making a follow up to the 2011’s Red Dog.
“People said ‘Quit while you’re ahead, you got the first one right so why would you go and do a second one?’” he said.
“But the director and I both have young children and we grew up watching films that really inspired us like Empire of the Sun and Storm Boy and we wanted to try and create a standalone film that you didn’t have to see the first Red Dog, but it would be a unique experience for parents or grandparents to share with their kids.”
Woss said there is one small thing he would change if he got the chance to make a third Red Dog film.
“Koko the dog that played Red Dog in the first film had ‘it’ and when he walked into a room he would change the temperature of the room,” he said.
“Phoenix our new star has that same something special and it is probably because he is from the same breeder as Koko and they are distantly related.
“We were silly; we did an Australia-wide search (for the second film) but then at the end we went to the same breeder that supplied Koko.
“If we’re lucky enough to make a third film in the trilogy I will be calling Carol Hobday, who is our breeder.”
Red Dog: True Blue is in cinemas Boxing Day.