Filming underway for holiday movie shot in IC, starring Saved by the Bell’s Dennis Haskins and adorable dogs

Up on the Wooftop
Dog trainer Bryan Dover works with Sammi, the 3-year-old Jack Russell Terrier who stars as Toby on the set of Up On The Wooftop — photo courtesy of Up on the Wooftop

If you happen to see a bunch of dogs being filmed around Iowa City this week, you may have stumbled onto the set of a movie.

Iowa-based film production company Backrow Studios, backed by Los Angeles partner Level 33 Entertainment, is currently filming for their upcoming movie, Up On The Wooftop.

As you might guess, Up On The Wooftop is a family-friendly holiday film revolving around dogs. And yes, the dogs can talk.

“After we had that [title] how could we not make this movie?” said Zach Schladetzky, the film’s public relations specialist. The family comedy will be released this coming Christmas season, through producers say it’s too early to tell how exactly the film will be distributed.

The story as we know it: Toby is a smaller-than-average pup with big dreams of leading Santa’s sleigh. One night, he sneaks on to the sleigh, but is accidentally left behind in Iowa, of all places. He joins forces with two kids who help him find his way back home.

“This film is a must see because it offers hysterical performances, great production quality and last, but not least, amazing dog footage,” said Schladetzky.

Oh yes, so much dog footage.

The cast includes Dennis Haskins — known for his role as Mr. Belding from Saved By The Bell — as Santa Claus, Second City veterans Mike Schminke and Tyler Thirnbeck, and, of course, lots of puppies.

“We are combining talent from the Midwest with a great mix of industry professionals, both of which are passionate about making this movie and putting Iowa on the map,” said Joe Clarke, the film’s director and writer, and co-founder of Backrow Studios. “People believe in this film, and that has given us a lot of momentum.”

Checkout their Facebook page for more information and updates about the movie and its filming in Iowa City. You never know when they might need extras!


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