Getting paid to hang out with dogs all day? Sounds like a dream job, right? That’s what Billy (Billy Khoury) thinks when he signs up to walk people’s dog, but soon realizes that while the dogs may be easy, it’s the humans that own them that require all kinds of attention. Billy’s story is at the center of the new series Pooched, one of several web series seeking funding from the Independent Production Fund (IPF). The idea for it comes from creator/star Khoury, and he’s joined behind the scenes by Wynonna Earp’s Katherine Barrell who is directing and starring, along with producer Ray Galletti.
With a deadline of March 31, the team behind Pooched is looking for support from fans in the form of likes, shares and comments on their YouTube trailer (which can be seen below). These factors play a huge part in the decisions made by IPF. Director and co-star Barrell recently shared more details about where the idea for Pooched came from, as well as plans for the IPF funding, should they receive it.
The TV Junkies: What’s the basic concept and premise behind Pooched?
Katherine Barrell: Pooched follows a dog walker named Billy into the homes of his eclectically needy clientele. He comes for their dogs, and stays for their issues. Billy sees behind the curtain more than family and friends do…whether he wants to or not. He – we – never know what he’s walking in on.
TTVJ: Where did the idea come from?
KB: A few years back, creator/writer Billy Khoury started walking dogs as a side-gig. Getting paid to keep active while walking happy pooches? Sounds great! He quickly realized that dogs were a very small part of the job. The old cliche of people spilling their guts to the hairdresser or barkeep? Well, dog walkers are in your home, in some cases, every day! People didn’t stop their lives when Billy arrived— they pulled him in with them. Therapist, shoulder-to-cry-on, witness, mediator— he had a front row seat to the drama. We saw a wonderful opportunity to tell diverse stories where every episode is its own standalone tale.
TTVJ: Can you talk a little bit about the team assembled, both on camera and behind the scenes, for Pooched?
KB: You never know if people are gonna take to an idea. So when everyone we approached was like “I want in on this!”, it got us even more excited to get going. The actors alone in the trailer— Tamara Duarte, Jeff Roop, Sarah Booth, Farah Merani, Rahnuma Panthaki, to name a few — we can’t wait to flesh out their stories in the episodes if (when!) we’re fortunate enough to get our funding. The show introduces new characters every episode, there’s tons of great roles for local talent we’ve respected for so long.
The three of us are thrilled to be collaborating— creator/writer Billy Khoury (The Dog Walker) who comes from a feature film background, is having so much fun spinning stories in short form. Actor/producer Ray Galletti brings a wealth of experience to our team. I’ll be directing a majority of the episodes, so excited to navigate both sides of the camera.
TTVJ: You’ve made the trailer to assist in getting IPF funding. What can fans do to help ensure you get that funding?
KB: SHARE/LIKE/COMMENT/REPEAT on our YouTube trailer! Part of the deciding factor of the IPF funding is the most amount of views/likes/comments on the submitted link (which is our trailer). We couldn’t be more thrilled with the response so far (over 22K views already!). We really hope to get over 50K by March 31. The more we build an audience, the better our chances of getting Pooched made. So please keep spreading the word— your support means everything!
TTVJ: If you get the funding, what’s the plan for the series?
KB: Bring the series to life the way we envision it, while compensating cast and crew for their hard work. More dogs, more stories, and shoot it properly! Season 1 would consist of 8 standalone episodes ranging from 6-10 minutes in length, as well as 8 accompanying 1-2 minute scenes to tease upcoming episodes or extend storylines from previous ones.
TTVJ: You guys have a dog, and Bernie even co-stars, but what about people who maybe aren’t dog people? Is Pooched still for them?
KB: Absolutely! There are plenty of videos and sites dedicated solely to dog people. Pooched is not that. Dogs invite you in, but the stories are about people and the often-messy lives they lead. Universal day-to-day issues we all can relate to. We want viewers to see a bit of themselves in the characters we introduce, whether they’re doggo lovers or not. And hey, who says Billy won’t cat-sit from time to time? Or hang with your ferret? Your nutty Aunt Vicki? Everyone’s invited!
TTVJ: Is there anything I missed you wanted to be sure we touched on?
KB: We really want to build an online community for Pooched. Last week, we did a short skit based on our trailer, and also answered some Q&As from fans. We have a few more Q&As and skits prepared. We’re also actively working with rescues from around the world to help with animal welfare, it’s something we’re passionate about and want to share with our audience. We hope that it’ll only be bigger and stronger as this series hopefully progresses.
Are you excited about Pooched? Find out more by checking out the trailer:
For more information on Pooched follow the series on Instagram. Remember be sure to “like”, share and view it as much as possible to increase the series’ funding chances!
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.