Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Features / Living

September 23, 2012

Filming Fido

Family themed pooch production shoots in Cleburne


Liz Franke calls it organized, more or less, chaos, this fourth night of filming at Billy Cate’s Chisholm Town near Lake Pat Cleburne.

Cate’s western motif town provides the perfect location for the movie, “Adventures of Bailey — A Night In Cowtown.” The movie marks the third Bailey film produced by Dallas husband and wife team Steve and Liz Franke.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, it’s early for this bunch. They’ll likely be here all night.

“It’s been that way the last few days,” Cate said. “Last night they worked through till about 5 a.m.”

Crew members busy themselves with cameras, lights and cables. The actors, some alone, others in groups, run through lines of scenes scheduled to shoot tonight. The film’s lead stars bound about the set, sniff the ground here and there and let loose several barks. 

“They have to run around and burn off some energy first,” Franke said just as Duke hops up to greet production assistant Sarah Keen with a kiss. 

Bailey follows suit moments later. 

Once on set, however, Bailey, Duke and their two fellow thespian canines exude professionalism. 

The Franke’s two English Golden Retrievers starred in all three Bailey movies. 

Here’s where it gets confusing.

“Bailey, who is a girl, plays Duke in the movies,” Liz said. “Since Duke’s a boy, Bailey also plays as a boy in the movie, but Duke, who plays Bailey in the movies, plays Bailey as a boy. Did you get all that?”

Bailey and Duke handle their acting name-switch roles with no problem, Liz said with a laugh, But keeping track of which pooch is which often confuses cast and crew members to no end.

“See, I started writing the script when Bailey was a puppy with the title of “Adventures of Bailey — The Lost Puppy.” Liz said. “By the time we were finally ready to make the movie Bailey was no longer a puppy. Duke, who’s a little younger, still was a puppy though so we used him, but changed the names. And, of course, I felt bad about Bailey getting booted, so I wrote a part for her.”

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