Red Dog: Blue Dog film to tell early life of WA's most famous canine
By Gian De Poloni ABC News Online
Updated 30 May 2014, 4:33pm
Red Dog prequel planned
Blue Dog will tell the story of the early life of WA's most famous Kelpie.
The producer of the hit Australian movie Red Dog has announced that a second film is in the works.
The new film, Blue Dog, will follow the early years of Red Dog, a kelpie famous for its travels around the Pilbara in Western Australia's north in the 1970s.
The original film, produced by Nelson Woss and released in 2011, earned $21 million at the box office and is the highest selling Australian DVD of all time.
Mr Woss said filming for Blue Dog would begin early next year.
"I can't go much further into it, but it is going to cover certain historical aspects of the region and it's going to celebrate what a terrific place the Pilbara is," he said.
"Hopefully, by making another film up there, we will make it an exciting place to come and visit."
Mr Woss said Blue Dog would be a "coming of age" film celebrating the history of the Pilbara.
He said film crews would be shooting on location in the Pilbara for six weeks.
"A lot of the locals who live in Karratha and Dampier were in the film as extras and we'd love to have them back," he said.
"The first Red Dog film would not have been made without the support of the local community, and I'm very proud we premiered the film not in Sydney, or Melbourne, or even Perth - the very first showing was in Karratha."
Mr Woss said the new film would also have its first viewing in Karratha.
"This is your story - this is a unique Pilbara story that resonates not only in Australia but all around the world, and it's not authentic unless locals are involved," he said.
"We're going to put the spotlight back on the region.
"There's a lot of attention up there because of the mining industry, but I think what the world should know is there are some terrific stories that should be told."
The Minister for Culture and the Arts, John Day, said Blue Dog would receive an $800,000 grant through ScreenWest.
"This will certainly be a great boost to the screen industry in WA," he said.
"It's important in promoting the wonderful landscape, the blue skies, the coastal scenery and so on that we have in Western Australia to a much wider audience and will help in attracting overseas visitors here."
Mr Woss has visited the Shenton Park Dog Refuge to look for a camera-friendly canine to play the part of Blue Dog.
"We have some potential candidates already, however we're looking for a very, very special dog and I imagine it will be an Australia-wide search for our star," he said.
"The refuge is a special spot for us, because it's where Koko, the dog who played Red Dog in the first film, has a statue out the front."
He said the shelter had received more than $50,000 in donations following Koko's early death last year from congenital heart disease.
Red Dog's former owner in Paraburdoo, Del Cummings, said she had fond memories of her time with him.
"My husband came home from work and said there's a chap coming around with a pup for us," she said.
"This German chap arrived at the front door with this beautiful little pup.
I've actually got Red Dog's original collar and on the back is a little inscription which says 'Red Dog' and then in brackets 'Blue', and then 'I've been everywhere mate'.
"The kids were all excited, of course, and so there it was, another baby to look after.
"He was originally named Tally Ho because when my husband was a young lad he had a cocker spaniel and his name was Tally Ho."
Red Dog's vet in the Pilbara, Rick Fenny, says he was also known as Blue in the 1970s.
"I've actually got Red Dog's original collar and on the back is a little inscription which says 'Red Dog' and then in brackets 'Blue', and then 'I've been everywhere mate'," he said.
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