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Ted Strodder

Golden Gate
Sotheby's International Realty
189 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Greenbrae CA 94904

My Short Film “You Dog” for the MVFF

Huey Lewis Peter Coyote Clarence Clemmons You Dog logo

In 1995, I worked on and off for six months on an 18 minute short for the Mill Valley Film Festival. Dozens of local (real) filmmakers, actors, artists and entertainers donated their time to this collaborative project for the MVFF. These include local celebrities Sammy Hagar, Huey Lewis, the late Clarence Clemons and actor Peter Coyote. We were lucky enough to show this for eight nights in a row at the old Sweetwater, for free. The dog is my yellow lab , the voice over is me too.

But I’m not the only filmmaker from Marin. In the early 70’s, a local school teacher and singer named Rita Abrams wrote a song about her favorite Marin town. Simply entitled “Mill Valley”, the tune went on to be a Bay Area radio classic, in rotation on local stations throughout the region. I remember hearing it as a twelve year old back then, though I don’t recall seeing this video on TV.

The kids are from Strawberry Elementary, which actually closed down in the 80’s for lack of students and became offices for ten years. In the late 90’s, the school reopened due to the swelling family population of Marin, a trend that continues today.

If you look carefully, there are two memorable quick shots, both about half way through. The first is of a little blonde haired kid drinking what looks like a 16 oz can of Hamm’s beer. The second is of another tow head with glasses in the back of the bunch. He looks like John Denver, but in reality, I believe it’s Billy Gibson, a local Mill Valley resident who went on to his own music career as the drummer for rocker Huey Lewis.