We are producing a web series called Off Lead. Off Lead is a short form comedy that follows five people and their dogs who become close friends and work together to navigate dog park politics and life transitions.While the central action of the story is told from the dog owner’s perspective, there is an inner life to the story expressed by the dogs in ‘chat-to-camera’ interviews; giving the story multiple narratives to one event.
Off Lead offers a point of view from the lives of Millenials. As this generation enters the next stage of adulthood, adjusting to life in their 30s, they face existential crises. This is yet to be represented in the Australian comedy climate. There’s a lot of content about new parents, but what about the people who aren’t there yet. The strength of Off Lead lies in the focus on dogs; dog ownership itself helps the owner learn to care for something other than themselves and this theme travels through Off Lead. The protagonists need to adjust to the idea that the world no longer revolves around them. As they get older, their idea of life purpose shifts.
The connection between the protagonists is palpable as they develop loving friendships and fiercely support each other in their endeavours. Their dogs, Ibbi, Barkley and Taco, offer an alternative perspective that remains in the here and now. No matter what drama is going on and as the protagonists get swept up in their own lives, the dogs will bring them right back to the present moment. There is always a poo to pick up, a playtime that has gotten too intense or a bird off in the distance plotting it’s revenge trying to lure the dogs on to the road.
The off lead zone of the local oval is a neutral place at the magical time of 8am where our main characters gather to enjoy some fresh air, light exercise and casual banter. Not every dog owner in the area joins the morning crew and while they don’t know everyone's names, they definitely know the dogs.
An 8 x 5 min series for release online.
Funded by Melbourne (April 2021)