Ladies and gentlemen.

I’d like to introduce you my next new film.

The title is Good Thing: A Documentary About Landfill Dogs.

Here’s our first official trailer.

Good Thing Doc Trailer from Camden Watts on Vimeo.

About the Movie

Good Thing is a feature-length film about Shannon Johnstone, the photographer behind the project Landfill Dogs. The film will feature Johnstone, her work, and some of the dogs she has helped. It’s a happily ever after story.

Why I’m Making This Film

Shannon Johnstone is an incredible and talented woman. She’s brave, strong, humble, kind, generous, intelligent, and funny.  (She’s so self-effacing, in fact, that seeing such compliments in writing will probably make her really uncomfortable. My apologies, Shannon. Sorry, not sorry.)

Not only is Johnstone a fascinating person but her work is impressive.

Shannon Johnstone was the subject of my smartphone documentary in 2013.
Shannon Johnstone with Molly, both were featured in my smartphone documentary in 2013.

Johnstone received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her MFA in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The photographs she’s taken of dogs have been featured by Mashable, Buzzfeed, Picture Correct, HLN, N&O, HuffPo, Today, Yahoo, and ABC.

www.shannonjohnstone.com
Milk Duds. Impoundment #85486. Photo by Shannon Johnstone. landfilldogs.com

Johnstone is a professor at Meredith College, my Alma Mater. We met when she became my digital imaging professor. I’ve been lucky enough to know and respect her for more than a decade.

Plus, the animals featured in Johnstone’s project are residents of the Wake County Animal Shelter (WCAS). The dogs she photographs are the ones that have been there the longest and need the most help finding a home – much like my own dog, Louie.

My dog Louie fits the description of many dogs that are euthanized because they have trouble finding a home. He’s black, a pit-mix, and had a lot of energy. So I have a big heart for this subject matter. More on that later.

snowy cam
Louie was adopted from the Wake County Animal Shelter in 2007 by my sister. Louie loves the snow, something he has in common with my husband, who took this photo. (Give me sunshine and warmth any day of the week.)

There are so many reasons why this film is a good fit for me.

It’s always a little tough to go through every nuanced experience that leads up to saying yes. Simply put: I know that this is the one. I really want to do it justice.

About the Title

The title of the film, Good Thing, is taken from the many hours I’ve spent with Johnstone watching her speak to animals. It’s a phrase she uses often. (You’ll hear her say it in the trailer.)

But it also signifies the tone of the film.

The movie is a happily ever after; a good story that’ll warm your heart. It’s important to me that we make it really obvious. This is a movie you can embrace with ease and confidence, knowing that everything’s going to be alright.

Percy. Impoundment #81483 // www.shannonjohnstone.com
Percy. Impoundment #81483. Photo by Shannon Johnstone. landfilldogs.com

About the Production

The movie has been quietly in production for a few years.

Footage has been shot at Shannon’s home, the animal shelter, and the landfill park. I’m using that footage to cut videos that will be used to raise support for the film in 2017.

My goal is to finish this character-driven, feature-length film by the end of 2017, so that we can submit to key film festivals where it will (hopefully) screen statewide in 2018.

Fingers crossed.

Work-in-progress: new short documentary film
Shannon Johnstone at the Wake County landfill park with Fire, who was adopted shortly after her photo shoot.

You Can Help

Want to help on this film?

Here’s what you can do right now:

We’ll share more details about how you can get involved very soon.

Thank You

To all of you loyal readers, thank you.

You’re the reason I make movies. You help me believe that anything is possible. You share this with your friends and family, which open doors and create possibilities.

You mean so much to me. I’m so grateful for everything you do, say, and share about the work I’m doing. I want to make you proud.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

‘Til next time.

7 comments

  1. Thank you is not enough. You such a gifted force of positivity, creativity, and beauty. What a beautiful combination.

  2. I just watched the trailer; It looks beautiful! I’m looking forward to seeing this and hope it encourages a lot of people to go out and adopt these great dogs!!

  3. I cannot wait for this. I love to share the Landfill Dogs book with people, and now I’ll have this film! Shannon and Camden, thank you for using your incredible talent to bring light to this cause.

    PS – I see Kirstie Spadie’s comment above mine – she was my dance teacher growing up! Hi, Kirstie!

  4. Wow! I love it. I love the ariel shots of the landfill! I’ve shared alot of Shannon’s LFD’s postings to encourage friends and relatives across the country to consider a shelter dog so I will, for sure, promote this inviting trailor and more!

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