Newt St. Pictures presents a Joe Murray Film: Running Time 11:00 minutes
“My Dog Zero” began production in 1989 and was completed in 1992, as a follow up to the award winning film “The Chore”. During early production, a fellow animation student named Nick Jennings walked into my studio and asked if there was anything he could do to help on the film. He ended up doing all of the backgrounds. After the film received a small grant to complete the cel painting, Nick urged me that the quality would be better controlled if we did it ourselves and spend the money on feeding a student painting crew. Over the course of 16 weeks, a group of 10 to 20 students and friends including Les and Teresa Hedger, Scot Shearer, Rob Ripplinger and George Maestri gathered each weekend to paint cels in exchange for breakfast, lunch and gallons of Turkish coffee. Once completed, Nick helped me film the cels and George Maestri and my late wife Diane recorded a song for the end credits. Tom Schott and Kim Tempest were also an enormous help.
Around the end of production, I got the order to produce the pilot for Rocko’s Modern Life, and I asked Nick Jennings and George Maestri to help. They both became co- producers, and then went on to work on the series. Nick Jennings not only art directed on Rocko, but he went on to an amazing career as an art director on Spongebob and Adventuretime, among other shows.
The pencil test for My Dog Zero was what the Nick producers saw and asked me if I had any ideas for a TV cartoon show. Although I was deeply entrenched in Rocko by the time Zero was released, it went on to play at many festivals including Ottawa, Annecy and Hiroshima as well as inclusion in the touring Spike and Mike Festival.