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Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: SANTA STOLE OUR DOG director Bryan Michael Stoller

by Jason Whyte

"What happens when Santa Claus acidentally steals the family dog? After the Whitehaven's dog is found missing on Christmas morning, they do a DNA test of the half eaten cookie and all signs point to Santa Claus. The family goes on a wild adventure to the North Pole to get their beloved family dog back." Director Bryan Michael Stoller on SANTA STOLE OUR DOG: A MERRY DOGGONE CHRISTMAS which screens at the 2017 edition of the Whistler Film Festival.

Welcome to Whistler Film Festival! Are you planning to attend WFF for your screenings?

Yes! I have never been to Whistler.

Talk to me a bit about how you got your start and your previous work in the industry.

I grew up in Ottawa! I hosted m own TV Network show on the CBC called FILM FUN when I was eleven years old. I then made local TV commercials and then was accepted to the prestigious American Film Institute when I was 19.

How did SANTA STOLE OUR DOG come together for you?

I love making inspiring family movies. Especially in the independent world. I have always wanted to make a magical Christmas movie!

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you? How much coffee are we talking about here?

Passion. I'm not much of a coffee drinker. Passion is what drives me. I love to tell a great inspiring story that makes the audience feel good.

All projects are challenging in many ways, some more than others. What was your biggest challenge with this project, and the moment where you knew you had something?

The challenge is that I had not finished writing the script when Ed Asner had a tight schedule for filming. So after I wrote the treatment, I then wrote out all of Ed Asner's scenes as Santa Claus which were sprinkled all throughout the film. Then after we shot his scenes which took about six days, I sat down and wrote the rest of the screenplay around Ed's scenes that I had already shot.

Tell me more a little bit more about the tech side and how the film was shot!

I used very primitive equipment on the film and we didn't even have a boom man!

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie here in Whistler?

HOPEFULLY getting a lot of families with big smiles on their faces and in the Christmas spirit!

What would you say or do to someone who was being disruptive at a screening you were attending, even if it was your own?

I would have someone put a bucket of popcorn on their head!

What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business as a piece of advice?

Believe in your dreams! Anything is possible. But learn the rules before you break them.

And finally, what is the greatest movie you have seen at a film festival?

Believe it or not I haven't seen the greatest! And I have seen so many that are the worst though.

Read my review of this film and many others playing at WFF this year in my preview article by clicking HERE!

This is one of the many films playing at the 2017 Whistler Film Festival. For showtime information, tickets and for other general information on films and events, point your browser to the official website at!

Be sure to follow instant happenings of Whistler Film Festival on my Twitter account @jasonwhyte, including mini-reviews of films, comments on festival action and even a photo or two. You can also follow my festival Instagram Stories at jason.whyte!

Jason Whyte,

link directly to this feature at
originally posted: 12/03/17 05:13:50
last updated: 12/03/17 05:15:46
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