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Former Disney and Paramount Studios executive will present new novel about dogs in cinema

Sep 24, 2018

by Lauren Piskothy '20

David Kirkpatrick, a former production chief at Disney, president of Paramount Pictures, and current author, will be on the Flagler College campus on Sept. 27 to speak in the Lewis Auditorium 7 p.m. He will discuss his new novel, “The Dog,” about how dogs have impacted the film industry over the past hundred years. There will be a book signing after his presentation.

Cover of the novel,

Instead of a lecture, Kirkpatrick plans on delivering a fun multimedia show. He will be showing movie clips throughout to demonstrate how dogs have become a staple in American films since Charlie Chaplin’s, “A Dog’s Life” in 1918. He’ll discuss his new novel and how dogs in cinema inspired him and his writing partner, Steve Taylor.

During his multimedia show he will also discuss how his experience with dogs on film has helped give him the opportunity to climb the ladder at Paramount Pictures.

“I would never have become story editor at Paramount had it not been for an awful comedy Paramount made called, “Won-Ton-Ton, The Dog Who Saved Hollywood.”  It was a dog comedy sets in the 1920s. It was an homage to the film star, Rin Tin Tin, who nobody in the modern world had really heard of. It was a huge bomb. Paramount had lost touch with the audience. They hired me…to bring some young thinking into their movies. We came out with movies like “Saturday Night Fever” and “Flashdance” and a new era was born.”

Not only will he share with the audience how the use of dogs in films affected his career at Paramount Pictures, but he’ll also touch on how they played an integral role in the films he released during his time as president of productions at Walt Disney Studios.

“While I was president of production at Walt Disney Pictures, we made several movies starring dogs, including “White Fang” also starring Ethan Hawke, “Turner & Hooch” starring Tom Hanks, and “Incredible Journey” starring an ensemble of talking dogs and cats!”

This lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are a person with a disability and need reasonable accommodations, please contact Phil Pownall at 904-819-6460. Sign Language Interpreters are available upon request with a minimum of three days’ notice.

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