dog food productions

Dog Food Productions - Behind the Scenes

R. Strother made his first film at the age of two. Filmed in Super 8, "My Saliva" garnered several awards and was quickly followed by the four hour magnum opus, "Afternoon Nap". As a teenager, he continued to annoy friends and distance family members by constantly filming their every move. The unfortunate culmination of this was a potential girlfriend breaking the camera over his head during a date ("All I asked for was one more take," he said at the time). Feeling the need to disappear, he spent the next ten years travelling throughout Europe and the United States searching for a multi-talented, creative group to form the cast and crew of Dog Food Productions. Finding no one, he settled for Ghio, Slayton, Lane and Crosby.

Dog Food Productions - Behind the Scenes

Sir Jim Ghio was born to disinterested parents in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Inspired both by a hunger to explore the world and his expulsion from his home for continually destroying the toilet with firecrackers, he decided at 12 to come to America and made his way over by smuggling himself in a sack of exported coffee beans. Making his way by sheer determination, he found odd jobs to keep the money coming in, occasionally hiring himself out to children's birthday parties as "Smokey the Clown". There was also a brief foray into the world of adult cinema which he refuses to discuss (those interested can search out the film “Kansas City Roto-Rooter Boys”). Today, he considers his work in Dog Food films by far his greatest achievement, though he continues his avocations as a heart surgeon and papal advisor on the side. The oft-repeated rumor that he is the father of Britney Spears is totally unfounded.

Dog Food Productions - Behind the Scenes

Cal hails from "parts unknown" and his past is sketchy, at best. Even though he is most well known as one of the founding members of the pioneering (and now defunct) rap group Slay-RSK, Cal went on to have a successful career in bikini contest judging and vending machine sales. Later, after some shady business deals gone bad, Cal began drawing comics to support his $10,000 a month antique hummel addiction. He has now gone cold turkey and now enjoys the lavish lifestyle of a Dog Food Productions actor.

Dog Food Productions - Behind the Scenes

Richard was born a genius. He graduated high school at age 6, finished college at age 9 and received a degree from the prestigious Mrs. Potter's Acting School for Gifted Youngsters (located in beautiful downtown Irving, Texas) at age 11. After landing bit parts on several local television series, Hollywood came knocking on his door. They told him not to come out there because he would never make it in the big leagues and that maybe he should look into a career as a plasma donor. Shaken but not stirred, Richard set out to prove them wrong and joined the Dog Food Productions team. But he still donates plasma to this day. Hey, it's good money.

Dog Food Productions - Behind the Scenes

Kelly was in and out of reform schools all of his youth. Then, in his late teens, he turned to the church, proceeded to rob it and then lead law enforcement officials across three state lines in a wild chase that eventually landed him in the Maricopa County State Correctional Facility for Men. Now on parole, Kelly found the perfect outlet for his mischievous behavior as a member of Dog Food Productions, which technically may be a violation of the previously mentioned parole.

Dog Food Productions began life as nothing more than a bogus company name tacked onto cheap videos made to entertain guests at large parties. Today, after years of effort, Dog Food Productions is a bogus company name tacked onto cheap videos made to entertain guests at small parties. The history of D.F.P is almost as interesting as one of their films, which is to say, not very. And if one were to define the word "enthralling" as tedious and sleep-inducing, the story of Dog Food Productions is an enthralling one indeed.

The first film to bear the Dog Food Productions name was "Hombre Secreto", a bleak drama filmed secretly in an asylum for the terminally lame. When this maiden effort failed to recoup its cost, notoriously ill-tempered director R. Strother fired all involved and began again with a new cast and crew. Rising star Jimmy Ghio received rave notices for "Mondo Ghio", a non-fiction documentary of an average day in his fascinating life. Richard Lane happened to drop by for a few drinks during the shoot and was thus recruited by Strother. Kelly Crosby and Cal Slayton were soon to follow and the Dog Food crew, now fully formed, began the series of films that earned them the tremendous adoration, nay, loathing -- that continues to this day. After the dismal performance of "Cool Yule", they scored back to back successes with the horror classic "Citizen Pate" and the fantasy-based "The Amazing Spectacles of Mr. Ghio". But that success came to a screeching halt with the two-year malaise that was the production of the big budget epic "La Grande Salsiccia" ("The Big Sausage").


A large-scale, sweeping saga, "La Grande Salsiccia" was to be the pinnacle of the group's achievements, the filming of which has become the stuff of legend. Determined to properly capture his "vision", Strother dragged the Dog Food crew across three continents, browbeating them all the way. While in Paris, Slayton disappeared for four weeks and was eventually found living backstage at the Crazy Horse Saloon. Ghio contracted a disease in Brussels that caused a rare form of mania, compelling him to keep repeating the same joke over and over. During a particularly grueling shoot in Beijing, Lane and Crosby banded together and tried unsuccessfully to murder Strother in his sleep. Somehow they all survived, regrouped and returned to the United States, once again on speaking terms. When Strother reviewed the international footage, he found that for much of shoot he had forgotten to press "Record". This footage was later restaged, unconvincingly, in Texas.

After a disastrous preview of the English-dubbed rough cut, Strother shelved "La Grande Salsiccia" for a year, finally releasing it to an unenthusiastic public. In the end, the entire experience splintered the group. Ghio resigned, moved to Chicago and took a job as a production assistant (read: "gofer") on Oprah Winfrey's television show, "just to be close to her". Crosby also jumped ship, stating that he would return only if he was either begged to or harassed endlessly. Slayton and Lane stuck with the company for reasons no one seems to understand. Much like a badly beaten canine, what was left of Dog Food Productions licked its wounds and limped forward.


For the past several years, various incarnations of the Dog Food crew have participated in the annual 24-Hour Video Race (put on by the Video Association of Dallas). The contest requires teams to produce a 5-minute video from midnight-to-midnight. Previously secret requirements are given out at the starting line, and these must be incorporated into the film. After several dozen bouquets of pansies were delivered to Kelly Crosby's workplace (he hates roses), he was persuaded to join the team again for the initial entry, "The Solicitor". Though this was an incisive, sharp satire of the business world, it was seen as boring and ponderous by those not stricken with blindness. "Change", "The Alibi" (advanced to finals), "The Infraction" (3rd place winner) and "Community Service" (2nd place winner, no lie) followed, with each entry inching closer and closer to the ultimate goal -- to actually make a good film. Someday perhaps, the D.F.P. crew will reach that lofty ambition.


After years of empty promises, director Strother has announced to much derision that all Dog Food Productions films will be remastered and released on DVD in 2008. Plans are supposedly to release not only all the above titles, but also the Dog Food "odds and ends" that make up the remainder of their output ("Mayo; "C.Y.Part II"; "Rules of the Game"; "S.o.a.H.A.B.") . Skeptics and realists alike agree this is unlikely, but Strother has insisted to mostly deaf ears that it will become a reality. (Why Strother chooses to hold press conferences at schools for the deaf is anyone's guess.) In any case, there are current plans for a project that will reunite the entire Dog Food Productions crew, Ghio included. It would appear that Dog Food Productions is not yet ready for the pound.


© Dog Food Productions 2008. All Rights Reserved. Not that there's anything here you'd want to steal.

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