Dogman 2 Sneak Preview!

Hope to see all Dogman fans at a special Sneak Preview weekend at The Garden Theater in Frankfort, MI, January 24th through the 26th. Writer/Director Rich Brauer will be there for a Q & A on Friday night, and The Garden will show BOTH Dogman 1 and Dogman 2 on Saturday.Dogman 2: The Wrath of the Litter – HD Trailer Come spend a great winter’s evening with the Dogman!


The Official Launch Weekend – A Roaring Success!

The weekend just past marks the official 25th Anniversary of “The Legend.” The song first aired on WTCM Radio at 7:20AM, April 1st, 1987. A lot has happened since then.

From March 31st – April 2, 2012,  Legend author and performer Steve Cook and Dogman filmmaker Rich Brauer hit the road on the first leg of a “launch tour,” to introduce fans to a pair of brand new campfire story creations. First stop was Benzonia, MI, within a few miles of where most of the scenes for the Dogman movie were shot. Hardly was the tent set up when a steady stream of fans began flowing in to purchase both the Collector’s Release DVD of the movie Dogman, and the  Legend 25th Anniversary CD/DVD Collectors Edition 2-disk set.

The next day, April 1st,  Brauer and Cook celebrated the 25th Anniversary of The Legend  by making an appearance and signing disk labels at Horizon Books in Traverse City. Again, scores of fans lined up to grab these new releases. The bookstore event was followed by a special sold-out screening of the movie at the historic State Theater in downtown Traverse City.

Act III was on Monday, April 2nd, when the creative duo visited Horizon Books in Cadillac, MI, meeting more fans and signing more DVDs. The launch weekend concluded with a screening of the movie at the Cadillac Five Theater before another sold-out house – the sixth straight sold out performance of the movie in six showings! More events are in the works for this spring and early summer. Check back for details


Great Night at The Garden

Friday night, January 20th was the second theater sneak preview of Dogman, the new film based on The Legend song. Producer/Director Rich Brauer and I hosted the showing at the Garden Theater in Franfort, MI, which was a benefit for Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital, also in Frankfort.

It was a homecoming of sorts, as most of the film was shot in Benzie County. The house was full and enthusiastic. Several times spontaneous applause broke out when audience members recognized local faces among the extras.

Following the film, Rich and I engaged in a fascinating and fun Q & A. I’d estimate 70 to 80% of the crowd stayed, despite the bitterly cold temps and degrading road conditions outside. Some people had driven upwards of five hours to see the movie.

Latest news on distribution is that three companies have expressed interest. The only question now is which will make the most attractive offer. Hopefully, Dogman will be coming to a theater near you soon!


Oh, What A Night!

Just over a year ago, my good friend and filmmaker Rich Brauer approached me with interest in doing a film about the Dogman legend. While several good screenplays have been written over the years (one, I’m told, ending up on Ron Howard’s desk), Rich’s proposal was the one that really caught my attention. Rich is a laser-focused guy. When he sets his mind to something, it gets done, without equivocation.

On Wednesday, December 14th, the end result of that first meeting, and all the intense labor in between, came to fruition. On a warm and misty night in December, at the beautifully restored State Theater in downtown Traverse City, “Dogman” hit the big screen.

The Marquee

The marquee

Both showings of the film, at 6 and 8:30pm, had sold out just three days after tickets became available. On premiere night, the box office had not a single ticket to sell. Scores of people waited in stand-by lines, hoping to grab (or scalp) a spare ticket, or a will-call ticket whose owner couldn’t make it.

Jack O’Malley, the morning man at WTCM Radio (and the guy who first made the suggestion that we needed something for April Fools Day back in 1987) orchestrated a Northern Michigan-style “Red Carpet” event. All of the actors attending the premiere, Rich, and I, were loaded aboard a huge black limo and driven to the State Theater at 5:30. There, Jack and Colleen Wares waited to interview each of us in turn. Two professional photographers, one still and one video, captured the moment.

Inside the theater, an absolutely packed house. The popcorn machine in the concession area was running non-stop. There was not a spare seat anywhere. In fact, the State had to set up some folding chairs in the few open floor spaces for media. On the screen, a ghostly backlit logo said “Dogman World Premier.” The famous State Theater ceiling, which replicates the Northern Michigan night sky, twinkled softly.

The ghostly image behind the curtain, complimented by the northern sky.

The ghostly image behind the curtain, complimented by the northern sky.

Then, it began. Three beats on a skin drum over a black screen, then a rousing title theme – a blend of native American and Irish folk – and the opening credits rolled. Having seen the movie two weeks prior, I knew what to expect; when the humor and “jump” moments were coming, so I had the advantage of watching and listening to the audience reactions. They came exactly as expected.

All too soon, the blunt, twist-filled ending came, and the end credits scrolled across the screen. Rich and I, along with actors Stacie Hadgikosti, Tom Ciluffo, and Luke Bonczyk went on stage for a period of questions and answers. The audience was engaged, interested, excited. They had pointed and intriguing queries. We loved it.

The after party at Phil’s on Front (a local gourmet bistro across from the State) was filled with energy. Following the second showing of the film – which started almost 40 minutes late due to the logistics of unpacking one full house and replacing it with another – the same Q & A group returned for another session on stage.

In all, it was a night that will become a highlight-reel memory for all of us who had a role in making this film. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive.

The film will show in several theaters in Michigan in the early part of 2012. Once a distributor picks it up, it may get wider theatrical release, or be sold to a cable network, eventually going to DVD. Hope you get a chance to see it. When you do, drop me a line and tell me what you think!


A Little Appetizer Before the Main Course

Enjoy this trailer for “Dogman – The Movie”

Dogman Movie Trailer


The Date is Set! “Dogman-The Movie” to Premiere December 14th!

Wow, what an amazing six months it’s been – and it all comes down to this: The world premiere of “Dogman,” a film by Richard Brauer, is slated for Wednesday, December 14th, at the historic State Theater in downtown Traverse City. There will be two showings at 6 and 8:30pm.
WTCM Radio will host the Red Carpet event at the early show, from 5 until 6pm. Hope you can make it!
Listen to the Dogman Premiere Radio Ad


It Must Be Halloween! The Dogman is everywhere.

The Detroit Free Press is running a lengthy article today about the Michigan Dogman, and the movie. Here’s a link to the online version:

Same day, same state, same creature. Absolute Michigan, and online resource for Michigan-related news and events, has published a nice composite article:


Bring Your Encounter Stories!

For Immediate Release:
October 19, 2011

Brauer Productions wants actual DOGMAN stories for possible DVD ‘special features’ bonus material.

TRAVERSE CITY – Brauer Productions recently completed filming the official DOGMAN feature film in Benzie County and Director Rich Brauer wants your Dogman stories! The idea came to Rich after hearing numerous tales from people in and around Benzie County during the project. Brauer wants to capture these stories for possible inclusion on the final DOGMAN DVD.

Anyone with a first-hand DOGMAN story should call the Benzie County Chamber of Commerce at (231) 882-5801, Mon-Fri from 9am-5pm, to make an appointment for a filmed interview, conducted in a private setting by Dogman songwriter/author Steve Cook who wrote the original song in 1987. To accommodate as many people as possible, each interview will be limited to fifteen minutes.

The interviews will take place at the Best Western Scenic Hill Resort — located at 1400 US-31 in Beulah — on Saturday, November 5th, from 9am-5pm. Appointments are required! This is a first-come, first-serve opportunity for you to relate your piece of Michigan folklore, so gather your thoughts and share some of the mystery.

For more information about Brauer Productions, Inc. and other projects, visit


Production Continues on “Dogman-The Movie”

It’s been a crazy three weeks, but shooting will wrap on Friday on the first feature film based on the legend of Michigan’s Dogman. Producer/Director Rich Brauer even found a spot for me, in a non-speaking cameo appearance as a delivery driver. I bring a package containing a motion-controlled game camera to the Hanklin Purvis (Larry Joe Campbell) home.

One of the most dramatic scenes was shot last week. Here, Hank has just had a very close encounter with the Dogman, causing him to swerve and roll his truck, which bursts into flames. The lighting was absolutely perfect.


Despite Budget Cuts, “Dogman” Wins the Hearts of MI Film Commission

Michigan, like many states, is going through some very difficult economic times. As a result, Governor Rick Snyder was forced to cut back sharply on funding for the Michigan Film Commission Office, which many credited for bringing production of a large number of feature films to the mitten.

Consequently, the bar one has to clear to receive the incentive is set pretty high. I’m thrilled to announce that the upcoming movie “Dogman” has done it. Executive Producer Rich Brauer, always particular about selecting indigenous talent and settings for his movies, has been granted a significant revenue enhancement to the project by the MFC. Well done, Rich!

Following is the text of the official press release:

Feature Film Dogman Approved for Film Incentives

September 22, 2011
Michelle Begnoche

“LANSING – The Michigan Film Office announced today that the feature film Dogman has been approved for a film incentive from the state. The film, set in northern Michigan, is being produced by Traverse City-based Brauer Productions and is shooting on location in Benzie County.

“It is a priority for the Film Office to support Michigan-based filmmakers and projects, and Brauer Productions – which has been making movies in Michigan for more than three decades – is a great example of the homegrown talent we have here in the state,” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office. “Dogman is not only set in Michigan, it is also hiring its entire crew from Michigan and creating paid internship positions to help train the next generation of Michigan filmmakers. Combined, these factors make this project the perfect fit for the film incentives.”

Dogman was awarded an incentive of $155,146 on $382,500 of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 49 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 5 jobs.

The film is based on the popular Michigan folklore surrounding the Dogman, a wolf-like creature that appears in northern Michigan in the seventh year of each decade. The legend has been perpetuated over the years in various ways – including a song, “The Legend” released in 1987 and the 2007 novel, Year of the Dogman.

Brauer Productions has shot eight features in Michigan including Barn Red, Frozen Stupid and Mr. Art Critic.

In 2011, 18 projects have been approved with $23,517,299 in incentives being awarded on $56,544,577 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 1,798 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 377 jobs.

All applications for film incentives receive a thorough review by a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) committee comprised of the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, the Senior Vice President of Policy, the Vice President of Business Development and the Director of the Michigan Film Office.

The current statute is used to guide approval decisions. Preference is given to projects that best meet the following criteria:

1. The production is financially viable.
2. Utilization of existing infrastructure (studios, post-production facilities, film labs, etc.).
3. The number and wage levels of direct jobs for Michigan residents created by a production.
4. Ability to show Michigan in a positive light and promote the state as a tourist destination.
5. Magnitude of estimated expenditures in Michigan.

The film incentive program continues to be jointly administered by the Michigan Film Office and the Department of Treasury and all projects must be approved in concurrence with the state treasurer.

Since the incentives took effect in April 2008, the Film Office and the Department of Treasury have approved a total of $384,583,113 in film incentives on $977,917,681 in total qualified expenditures by productions in Michigan. This represents 223 projects that have been approved to date, including 155 projects that have actually wrapped in the state.

The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan, as well as infrastructure development and workforce training.”