JANUARY 21, 2022
USA | 10 minutes | 2019
Drama, comedy short film directed by Jesse Zhou
Starring Erin Zhang, Daniel Hendon, Clay Mills
Dogmeat follows Natalie and Larry and their misadventure that escalates from a simple trespassing to an aggravated kidnapping. As they flee into the woods, the two struggle to maintain control over their captive, Chris, while contemplating dead parents, past pets, and the mortal ramifications of their spiraling recklessness. In the short time the events transpire, Natalie and Larry will learn everything and nothing: futility in the face of life itself.
CineAsian Films (CAF): What was the inspiration for making Dogmeat?
Jesse Zhou: I had watched a few films while reworking this script, including Dogtooth by Yorgos Lanthimos and Sweetie by Jane Campion. What I was particularly captured by in both of these films was their presentation of reality, pacing, and visual stylings. The script itself came from nowhere in particular; I was fixating on the idea of a kidnapping, but wanted to write something that had little to do with the kidnapping.
CAF: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during the production process?
Zhou: Without a doubt the biggest challenge was the weather. We shot in January 2019 in Chicago, which I believe was a record-breaking winter in the Midwest. While shooting the exteriors, we were battling short daylight and below freezing temperatures. It was without a doubt one of the most physically and mentally challenging experiences of my life, and I am ever so grateful for my crew for sticking through the extraordinary circumstances.
CAF: What do you hope people can take away from watching this film?
Zhou: That things happen. Maybe they’re good, maybe they’re bad, maybe both, maybe neither. And sometimes that’s just how things shake out.
CAF: What are some projects you’re working on right now?
Zhou: I’m writing a script that could be something episodic, could be a feature, about a doorman in a luxury apartment building. It probably won’t see the light of day anytime soon, but if there are any interested and generous financiers that would like to bring it to life, please feel free to contact me.
Dogmeat is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.
Director, Writer, Editor: Jesse Zhou
Producer: Mega Dafiaghor
Cinematographer: Link Wolfe
Editor: Simone Woronoff
Music: Dave Prime, Bria