The legendary comic superstar Steve Guttenberg, known for his roles in the “Cocoon”, “Three Men and a Baby” and “Police Academy” film series, ostensibly never loses touch with his audience. And while those new “Three Men” and “Police Academy” sequels don’t seem to be inching any closer to becoming a reality, it’s reassuring to know Guttenberg’s determined to turn frowns upside down in original fare like “I Heart Shakey.
“I Heart Shakey” follows the journey of a single father J.T, his nine-year-old daughter, Chandler and their devoted dog, Shakey. After landing his dream job in Chicago, J.T. has to make the hardest decision of his life by moving his family of three to the big city from Toledo. Shortly after they settle into their new luxurious home, they realize they have missed the fine print in the rental contract stating “no pets.” Devastated by the possible loss of her beloved pet, Chandler hatches a plan to keep Shakey and teach her dad a valuable lesson about loyalty and the importance of keeping a family together.
The film, shot in 3D, co-stars Broken Lizard member Steve Lemme, Beverly D’Angelo, Alfonso Arau and a rescue dog named Ebony.
“I Heart Shakey” is your first venture into 3D, correct? And was the filming any different as a result? Was there anything done specifically to facilitate the 3D?
When you shoot stereoscopic 3D, you have 2 cameras shooting on a single rig. This process does slow down the production, however, there is no conversion in post as the footage was captured in real 3D. Some people estimate that shooting in real 3D slows down production by 25% and that seems to be true.
I think the premise of “I Heart Shakey” is really cute because everyone can relate to the attachments we have to our pets and how much they become a part of the family. Was that what drew you to sign on?
I’ve always appreciated and enjoyed family filmmaking. In the end you have a product that the whole family can enjoy together and I really wanted to be apart of another one.
How was your experience working with Shakey, I heard that she was a rescued dog? And what was your experience with the cast?
Shakey (Ebony) was amazing and it is hard to believe only a day away from being euthanized before her rescue. Ebony did a great job. I especially enjoyed working with Steve Lemme; and I am a big fan of Kevin Cooper, the Director. We had some fun on and off camera.
Did working with so many animals make it somewhat difficult some days? Any funny stories as a result?
Working with the animals and kids made it enjoyable for me. The crew was great, and I was even able to celebrate my birthday on set and blow out the candles after our last take!
“I Heart Shakey” is currently on VOD, since you’ve been in this industry for so long, how do you feel about the digital content, do you think VOD is the future for film and television? And do you think that will have negative or positive in the industry?
The industry is changing and evolving. This change is allowing us to reach our audience in a new way, and I am looking forward to thousands of families being able to sit together and enjoy I Heart Shakey.
Ok, I have to ask because I love “Diner” ! Has anyone ever approached you for a sequel and do you ever wonder where “Eddie” is today ? Sometimes, I just think about all those characters and I would love to see a reunion if if it was just a five minute scene of them, still in that diner.
Sounds good, me too [Laughs]
So now that we’re talking sequels. Where’s that “Police Academy” sequel? Where’s that “3 Men and the Little Lady” sequel?
Maybe you should get to work on those! [Laughs]
Someone should, Steve! What’s next for you?
I’m always working! I’m happy to be promoting I Heart Shakey, while busy promoting my book at the moment.
“I Heart Shakey 3D” is in selected theaters and on VOD