Local filmmaker creates a documentary about Mr. Dressup
Producer/Director Rob McCallum is seen here with Judith Lawrence, performer of Casey and Finnegan of Mr. Dressup (Source: Jordan Morris)
LONDON, ONT. -- If a child named Casey, a dog named Finnegan, and a Tickle Trunk take you back to your childhood, you're not alone.
Mr. Dressup, starring actor Ernie Coombs as the main character, aired from 1967 to 1996 and was a staple for many. Just ask Rob McCallum.
McCallum, a London-based film producer/director and fan of Mr. Dressup, was looking for something for his own children to watch. Thinking back to his own childhood, he decided to search for episodes of the show that he himself enjoyed.
"I only found a handful of shows, which was disappointing, but my kids were hooked within minutes."
With such documentaries as 'Nintendo Quest,' 'Power of Grayskull,' 'Video Game Art' and 'Missing Mom' under his belt, he decided to explore the idea of creating a story around Mr. Dressup.
"Anything I did with Dressup was going to have to combine both a personal touch and the comfort of handling something beloved by many," McCallum said.
The only similar idea he could find was a small project that did not reach a fundraising goal.
"I reached out via email, and days later I was given the go-ahead from that producer to make my own film, who would turn over his contacts in exchange for a credit on my film."
He reached out to two staples in his career, Jordan Morris and Justin Schoenrock, along with Dave Barrett a newer addition to the team, and began filming in April 2019.
The story is more than a look back and retelling of the history of the show.
"I prefer to tell the story that’s happening now and showcase it as a complement to what’s happened so far and this film is no different. There’s a lot about how the show was made, who was involved and also some material about recent headline worthy legacy bits."
Reaction to the idea on social media has been overwhelmingly positive.
"We held a livestream on our Facebook page and we had people comment from all over the country, coast to coast…that was surreal. It makes all the secrecy and hard work worth it."
While the current COVID-19 crisis may have altered original plans, McCallum hopes to have a release date by end of year or early 2021.