Meet your neighbor...Filmmaker Craig Dobson
DARIEN — When Emmy award-winning producer Craig Dobson began working on his first and only feature-length film, there was no Netflix. There was no on-demand. There weren’t even DVDs.
The Darien-based filmmaker started work on “Kissy Cousins, Monster Babies and Morphing Elvis” with his friend, Wayne J. Keeley, back in the early ‘90s. The two shot most of the film in Norwalk in 1993 after writing it in late 1992. The film made its rounds on festival circuits for awhile where it won a few awards.
“It was a wacky, off-beat comedy,” Dobson said. “This is when it was cool to be independent filmmakers, but the problem was independent distributing was shaky.”
After unsatisfactory results from independent distributors, Dobson and Keeley finally managed to buy their film back in the early 2000s. The two spent some time focusing on their respective careers while they tried to decide what to do next with the film.
“There were different elements we were examining in terms of self distribution,” said Dobson, who owns his own production company, Siberian Films, and works to promote filming in Connecticut. “The vision was never lost, but what we wanted to do was wait for the right time.”
The right time turned out to be the present.
In light of recent events and the evolving face of comedy, Dobson and Keeley decided to remake parts of the film with the newest iteration named “The History of Everything, Circa 1993 to the Present, Formerly Known as Kissy Cousins, Monster Babies and Morphing Elvis.”
“We started to think maybe now is the time,” Dobson said. “(Keeley) wrote new wraparound scenes that take place 25 years later.”
The film now follows two producers forced to create ideas to save their job. It begins in 2017, with scenes shot in Los Angeles and Danbury, before jumping back in time and then ending back in the present.
Dobson’s father, Charlie Dobson, an actor who was in the original film, returned for the new bits, as did some of the other original performers.
One new addition to the crew was Monica Dobson, Craig’s wife, a makeup artist who did makeup for the new scenes, some of which still need to be filmed. The couple met in 2000, around the time Dobson and Keeley regained the rights to the film.
“I’d heard them talking about it and wanted them to finish it,” Monica Dobson said. “It has a cult-classic vibe. I think the new scenes are hilarious (and) bring it all together.”