Quick action on the side of love can sometimes conquer hate.


Based on the poem by Donald G. Westlake, “Scrappy” tells the story of a child’s courage in challenging an adult’s momentary lapse in judgment.

Production dates: September 1-11 , 2016

Running time: 4:17

Hardware & Software: Canon C300 Mark I, Canon XC10, Canon 6D, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects & DaVinci Resolve

Language: English

Subtitles available: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese

Shot on location in: Pine Mountain, CA, USA & Calders, Catalunya, Spain

Formats available: digital files (.mov, .mp4), Blu-Ray, DVD (all others available upon request)

Director’s Note: “Scrappy” is based on a true story from my father’s childhood in Elburn, IL, USA in 1934. A neighbor of his named Mr. Sheeley really did threaten to shoot my father’s dog when my dad was 6 years old. My father really did stand up to the man, putting himself between the gun and Scrappy, and he and his dog were spared. This kind of an incident seems ‘unthinkable’ now…When my father reads this poem to today’s audiences, they invariably ask if my grandparents sued the neighbor or pressed criminal charges for pointing a gun at my dad. Absolutely not. Mr. Sheeley’s behavior was momentarily extreme, but my grandparents felt that their son’s dog was definitely in the wrong for often killing off Mr. Sheeley’s property/livelihood. Compare and contrast this with all the problems we still have with gun violence in the United States. Besides disputes between neighbors, we have murders and injuries due to guns within families, between lovers, in schools, dance clubs, movie theaters, airports…There are even gun-based provocations so that a troubled person can commit “suicide by cop”. Also, we have unfortunately even seen some in law enforcement operate under a perverse “shoot first and ask questions later” mentality. Gun possession and gun violence seem so ingrained in our culture that any outrage or shock over gun incidents in society are quickly muted with calls to observe moments of silence. So, why do today’s audiences find it so strange that my grandparents didn’t take Mr. Sheeley to court?

In my first draft of the script, I told the story as it happened…to a little boy. From the second draft, I decided to make the protagonist a girl. I have no quick or easy answers for how to stop the uptick in gun purchases and gun violence, but I do know that girls can be heroes and leaders…and hopefully, they can present films that inspire a call to action so that fewer beings become preyed upon.

For more information:

Dawn Westlake, Ron de Cana Productions, Inc.

E: dawnwestlake@gmail.com