The Dash and The Dog was born out of a daydream. One that depicted the quintessential Texas road trip — but not just any road trip; it had to be a journey with a sense of purpose. So it was decided that the short film would follow a young, charismatic couple as they eloped, visiting quirky destinations along the way, all of which add up to tell a story completely unique to them.
The shoot took place over three sweltering summer days across the Texas Hill Country, with a cast and crew of 35 people determinedly caravanning across open plains, country roads and busy city streets. Most locations were found through a combination of kismet and know-how, as the film’s scouts combed small towns turning where it “felt right" and tapping into official city resources.
The result of the legwork is a total of seven special destinations leading up the big “I do."
The hotel + pool
The Hotel Saint Cecilia is known as a musicians' hideaway in the heart of Austin, just off of Congress Avenue. The park-like grounds are pristine and immaculately designed by owner Liz Lambert. Vinyl records play day-in and day-out while the soft scent of incense wafts from the chic lobby towards the pool. Only overnight guests are allowed at the exclusive hotel, so the Lucchese crew was fortunate to gain access to film the pair taking flight on their on-screen journey.
The picnic and swimming hole scene took place on the property of the Triesch family in Blanco, Texas. Husband and wife Gene and LaVada are members of the South Texas Gospel Music Association and welcomed Lucchese into their expansive backyard with open arms. It was here that the picnic scene was filmed (at 6am, no less), as well the moment when dog Wink steals the couple's clothes. Swimming came as a great relief to models Michele and Parker as the temperatures crept towards 105 degrees by high-noon.
When Michele and Parker ended up in a colorful clothesline, it was actually the backyard of the 7th Street Guesthouse, also in Blanco. The quaint home is rented out throughout the year as a bed and breakfast for parties up to six. It’s inside one of the guest rooms where Michelle selects her wedding dress. The owners Gail and Keith (pictured below) poured a great deal of love into remodeling the house, best evidenced by the diningroom walls and ceilings where Gail meticulously scraped off paint by hand for a worn and weathered look.
However the most memorable moment of this scene developed while shooting still imagery, when a neighborhood dog sat between model and photographer, refusing to budge for minutes.
The barber shop + beauty salon
Finding the Elite Barbershop next to the Seguin Beauty School was one of those moments of dumb luck; the film's art director screeched to a halt when she saw them side-by-side while driving down a New Braunfels, Texas main street. The beauty salon remained in business during the shoot, hairdressers and actual clients eagerly looking on. But the real magic happened inside Elite’s doors, where rockabilly, time-warped barber JD Edwards explained that he’d redone the entire space himself to give it a Victorian look and feel.
The flower farm
The Arnosky’s flower farm has been in business since 1990 and hosts 40 acres of flowers, 14 greenhouses and one blue barn (appropriately named the Big Blue Barn), which is seen in the campaign's still shots. Public is welcome to visit the farm every Saturday for fresh cut flowers and fresh picked vegetables.
The sunflower field scene was the first to be filmed in the entire shoot, and the directors immediately knew the next few days would play out well once they witnessed the natural, playful chemistry between leads Michele and Parker.
Austin’s honky-tonk dance hall of choice, The Broken Spoke, was an easy choice for a location — and the perfect place to wrap the entire shoot. Filming at The Spoke was especially poignant as the venue is now being crept in upon by commercial condos and development. It was founded in 1964 by legendary James White, who still shows up each night, happily looking on while his daughter Terri teaches weekly dance lessons. And as the Best Country Dance Lesson in Texas, there’s no one better to impart knowledge.
The chapel used for the wedding scene, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Martin, was originally constructed in 1851 by German pastor Theobald Kleis but moved to its current location in 1963. The oldest remaining Lutheran church building in the state, St. Martin is an established Texas historical landmark and boasts unique characteristics like a bell tower, hand-huned cedar preserved from the 19th century and just enough room for a 60-person congregation — or a ragtag cast and crew.
Watch The Dash and The Dog here. For the film's full credits, click through the slideshow above.