Principal photography begins on Monday (5th May) on the family comedy Oddball– the true story of Swampy Marsh, an eccentric chicken farmer who, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog to protect a wild penguin sanctuary from fox attacks and in the process reunites his family and saves their seaside town.
The story is set in Warrnambool, and will be shot over seven weeks at locations in and around Melbourne and Warrnambool.
The cast includes Shane Jacobson (Kenny, Charlie & Boots), Sarah Snook (These Final Hours, Not Suitable For Children), Alan Tudyk (I, Robot, Serenity, Frozen, Knocked Up), Coco Gillies (Maya the Bee Movie - pre production), Richard Davies (Offspring, Howzat! Kerry Packer's War), Deborah Mailman (The Sapphires, Bran Nue Dae, Offspring), Frank Woodley (Kath & Kimderella, The Adventures of Lano & Woodley), and Meeko (maremma dog) as Oddball.
Jacobson, who plays Swampy Marsh, is excited about the project, 'If I can deliver just half of who the real Swampy Marsh is I think we'll have a great film. Am I excited about doing it – you bet your furry little penguin I am!"
Oddball is going to be directed by Stuart McDonald (Summer Heights High, Super Fun Night), and produced by Richard Keddie, Sheila Hanahan Taylor and Steve Kearney.
Producer Richard Keddie (WTFN/The Film Company) commented: "This film is based on a wonderful true story, and we have a beautiful script and great cast. It's the most exciting film I have worked on."
Animal trainer Luke Hura (Red Dog) began preparing for the production last Christmas after discovering Meeko at the Maremma Rescue Society. In addition to maremmas the film also features little blue penguins who will be recruited from Sea World to appear in the film.
The film is produced with the assistance of Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Fox International Channels. Distributed in Australia by Roadshow Films, and sold internationally by Global Screen. Produced by WTFN/The Film Company, Practical Pictures and Kmunications.