A Dog's Purpose, A Couple's Mission: Cathryn Michon & W. Bruce Cameron of Surprise Hit Films, Los Angeles, Part 2
We are back in Los Angeles with the killer couple behind Surprise Hit Films. W. Bruce Cameron and Cathryn Michon are best known as co-screenwriters on the box-office busting movies from the film franchise that began with A Dog’s Purpose. They’ve been involved in studio pictures, independent film, TV, and bestselling novels. In this episode, we hear about how important is knowing who’s the boss—and handling staff complaints about the boss in a way that honors the partnership. This is especially important when the business is clearly not a democracy. There’s also a special warning for a couple considering collaboration—and why you might not want to do it. There’s an very, very VERY important question for any couple in business together: Ever wonder why your favorite scenes from your favorite movies are the scenes they are? (Who saw that coming?) And how Bruce and Cathryn support each other in business is instructive—and speaks to the power of a proper collaborative partnership. Hear some interesting and useful tips about the dynamics of working as a couple with staff—especially when it comes to having a conversation with contentious potential. You’ll hear a few references from Part 1, including “Amber on the slide.” She’s a capable and enthusiastic stunt dog. And there’s a reference to Ruddy McCann, who’s the hero of Bruce’s Repo Madness novels. We get more Hollywood moments from their real life together. They include romantic incredulity and projectile crying. And there’s maybe the best lightning round ever. (Will they win the Ginsu knife?)
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Honey Parker: 02:28 Today we are bringing you episode 93, where we are back in Los Angeles with the killer couple behind surprise hit films.
Blaine Parker: 02:36 Yeah, W. Bruce Cameron and Cathryn Michon are best known as co-screenwriters on the box office busting movies from the film franchise that began with A Dog's Purpose.
Honey Parker: 02:46 This Hollywood creative power couple has been involved in studio pictures, independent films, TV and best-selling novels.
Blaine Parker: 02:54 Cathryn is an actor and director known for her independent comedies, Muffin Top and Cook Off!
Honey Parker: 02:59 Bruce's bestselling book, Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter became an ABC sitcom.
Blaine Parker: 03:04 And as this show goes live, Bruce is touring the nation to promote the third novel in the A Dog's Purpose series, A Dog's Promise.
Honey Parker: 03:12 In this episode, we hear about how important it is knowing who's the boss and handling staff complaints about the boss in a way that honors the partnership.
Blaine Parker: 03:20 Staff complaints about the boss. We've never had those, have we? Who's the boss? Ooh, another ABC sitcom.
Honey Parker: 03:29 Try to avoid it, yes.
Blaine Parker: 03:30 This is especially important when a business is clearly not a democracy. There's also a special warning for a couple considering collaboration and why you might not want to do it.
Honey Parker: 03:41 There's an important question for any couple in business together. Ever wonder why your favorite scenes from your favorite movies are the scenes they are?
Blaine Parker: 03:49 Yeah, who saw that one coming? And how Bruce and Cathryn support each other in business is instructive and speaks to the power of a proper collaborative relationship.
Honey Parker: 03:59 Here's some interesting and useful tips about the dynamics of working as a couple with staff.
Blaine Parker: 04:04 Mm-hmm (affirmative). Especially, when it comes to having a conversation with contentious, potential. Contentious, but that just sounds dangerous.
Honey Parker: 04:12 Contentious potential is that a band?
Blaine Parker: 04:15 Could be.
Honey Parker: 04:15 You'll hear a few references to things that happened in the first episode, including Amber on the Slide.
Blaine Parker: 04:21 Yeah, she's a capable and enthusiastic stunt dog who performed amazingly on a playground slide. And there's a reference to Ruddy McCann who's the hero of Bruce's Repo Madness novels.
Honey Parker: 04:32 We get more Hollywood moments from their real life together.
Blaine Parker: 04:36 And they include romantic incredulously and projectile crying.
Honey Parker: 04:42 And there's maybe the best lightning round, ever.
Blaine Parker: 04:45 Will they win the Ginsu knife? Big questions there. And here, as with part one, if you hear dogs, people and small planes, we've recorded this in their home with the sliding doors open to the beach for authentic So Cal ambience.
Blaine Parker: 04:59 Here now, part two of Cathryn Michon and W. Bruce Cameron of Surprise Hit Films, recorded in Marina Del Rey, California.
Blaine Parker: 05:08 As a couple working together, in this crazy town, would you have it any other way?
Cathryn Michon: 05:14 Oh, no. I mean, I don't know. Like, we're not going to break up the band. But, I mean-
W Bruce Cameron: 05:19 I mean, I guess the answer is... Right, I'm trying to even like grapple with the question. I would find it very difficult to write something and not turn and hand it to Cathryn. Like, if we said, "As an experiment, you're going to take a book all the way from idea to publication without Cathryn reading it." That would trouble me. I would feel like I was really missing out on her fine eye.
W Bruce Cameron: 05:46 And I've come... We know each other's strengths and weaknesses so well as creative artists that I know that I leave some things in my manuscripts and in my screenplays that are kind of unaddressed, because I know that she will make recommendations that would be better than what I could come up with.
Cathryn Michon: 06:02 And to be fair, we are a couple of working, but we work in an incredibly, collaborative business. We have had the same amazing producer on all our studio films. Gavin Polone. We have an amazing manager, Sherri Rosenberg Kelton. We have a fantastic lawyer. Like, I mean we... There are people that are our nearest and dearest creatively that are part of our team that-
W Bruce Cameron: 06:23 And it's so important, too. Especially, here.
Cathryn Michon: 06:25 Yeah. So, you know, we are really lucky with that. And we've had two studios that have been very supportive of us and support the books, as well as the movies. I mean, like, it isn't just us, you know?
W Bruce Cameron: 06:39 No.
Honey Parker: 06:39 No.
Blaine Parker: 06:39 Well, and congratulations on that because finding those people can be such a challenge, not just in this town. I mean, it's hard in Hollywood. But, it's hard anywhere.
Cathryn Michon: 06:48 It's hard anywhere and you know, my goal as a filmmaker was always to be like the Coen brothers who, you know, if you ever watch a Coen brothers movie or West Anderson's same thing. It's like you're going to, they have a cast of players, they're the people that they love, they get cast over and over. They have the same... Well, the Coen brothers are their own editors, but you know, they have the same composers, same, same, same, same.
Cathryn Michon: 07:09 And you know, we are starting to build those kinds of relationships and that would be my goal because, it's like, I come from theater. I grew up doing, Summer Stock and Rep and like that kind of stuff. And it's like, if you can get a core group that's-
W Bruce Cameron: 07:27 Yeah.
Cathryn Michon: 07:27 Or, you know, like I worked in television with James Burrows. He's the same. James has the same DP and the same line producer and you know, like he's got his team. And that's, I think in our business, a great way to work.
W Bruce Cameron: 07:42 Finding a good team is such a bonus and almost, I hate to call it a luxury. But again, it's hard to do.
Cathryn Michon: 07:50 Yeah.
W Bruce Cameron: 07:50 And you know what? I knew people who would work on Jonathan Demme movies so you'd be so excited when the next Jonathan Demme movie was coming around because he had kind of a repertory company.
Cathryn Michon: 07:59 Yeah.
W Bruce Cameron: 08:00 We made a change in our business years ago. We were having challenges with some of our early clients and we decided we were not going to work with anyone unless we would look forward to having dinner with them. And it changed our business completely.
Cathryn Michon: 08:12 It did change everything. Yeah.
Blaine Parker: 08:13 But, it's a small business and you know, it doesn't have the same stakes that, well, okay Honey, I'm sorry, I said it was a small business.
Honey Parker: 08:19 You can say whatever you want.
Blaine Parker: 08:22 Good on you for getting that.
Cathryn Michon: 08:24 Yeah, I mean we're not there yet. I mean, we hope to have a long career as filmmakers and content creators
Blaine Parker: 08:30 Oh, I just figure your... That it's a given this is going to continue to evolve into some... an empire.
Cathryn Michon: 08:36 That's well, the Bruce-iverse.
Honey Parker: 08:39 Bruce-iverse.
W Bruce Cameron: 08:39 Bruce-iverse.
Cathryn Michon: 08:39 I was like-
Honey Parker: 08:39 I like that he gets to, he gets the... The world is named for him.
Cathryn Michon: 08:45 Well, because of you know, our studio business is a Bruce-iverse. And I think our indie business is more of a Bruce and Cathryn-iverse. I don't know. That's [crosstalk 00:08:57].
W Bruce Cameron: 08:54 I'll just say, you go for it, I can't.
Cathryn Michon: 08:58 Catchy.
Blaine Parker: 08:58 Cath-iverse.
Cathryn Michon: 09:00 Yeah. Bruce left the room.
Blaine Parker: 09:02 Okay, for a couple working together in business, what would be a pitfall to avoid? Have you got any advice for people, I mean, you're in a creative business, which is especially difficult for two people.
Cathryn Michon: 09:14 I think you have to be and we've negotiated this out. And I'm usually the one that trips up up. I think there are some conversations that you have to have that you're like, "You know, let's take a 10 and go somewhere else and have this conversation." Because, it can make people very uncomfortable if it's a contentious conversation and it's a couple having it, you know? And like, we might be fine with it, but other people are like, "Oh, my God, they're fighting now what? Mom and Dad are fighting." Like, so...
Blaine Parker: 09:43 Yeah, we know nothing about that.
Cathryn Michon: 09:44 Yeah, so I think that's a really good tip is when it feels like it's going to be a contentious, potentially conversation, don't make other people have to decide whether or not you guys are okay. You know?
Blaine Parker: 09:59 That's really interesting [crosstalk 00:10:00].
Cathryn Michon: 09:59 Which is different than other co-workers. I think other co-workers can sit there and scream at each other and people are like, "Oh, Joe and Jim are fighting again, whatever," you know, like I think we all, and this would be true regardless of the gender orientation of anybody. If you're a couple, if you are in coupled and in business, people will regard you as Mom and Dad or Dad and Dad or whatever you are and they will worry the way kids worry when the parents fight... or seem to be fighting.
W Bruce Cameron: 10:29 I think that's excellent. If I had anything to add, it would be a pitfall is allowing, this is whenever you're, whenever you have staff or whenever you have a production team or a crew, don't let them figure out a way to triangulate. Don't let them isolate you from your partner by sneaking around her back and saying, "Well, this is what she's doing."
W Bruce Cameron: 10:57 Because as, especially in the role I've been playing on the films, which is his producer, being a producer on a independent movie is, you spend a lot of time talking people out of quittin. Because they're... I mean, they're working really hard and they're not getting paid very much money and they get frazzled a lot and they get very sensitive and sometimes it has happened to me and I have to confess I didn't do it, I didn't handle it well because I was trying to be a good manager where I was trying to placate people and forgetting that Cathryn is my partner and if somebody comes to me and complains about Cathryn, I can't take that at face value.
W Bruce Cameron: 11:34 I have to recognize that my loyalty is to Cathryn and kind of no matter what she has done, it's we who did it because we're a partnership.
Cathryn Michon: 11:43 Well also, it's inherent in the job of directing that you have to, sometimes you have to be bad guys. You have to say, "No." You have to say, "We're not doing it that way. We're doing it my way. Go back and fix it." Blah, blah, blah.
W Bruce Cameron: 11:54 It's so not a democracy.
Cathryn Michon: 11:56 It is so not a democracy. And so, any director is going to have people complain to the producer about them and so that's something that is a tricky situation for you, but you have to just deal with it.
W Bruce Cameron: 12:09 Yeah. It's a totalitarian collaboration.
Cathryn Michon: 12:12 Yeah.
W Bruce Cameron: 12:13 If that makes sense. I have no idea.
Blaine Parker: 12:15 What would you say to someone who thinks they want to work with a spouse, especially in a creative capacity?
W Bruce Cameron: 12:20 Well, I'd say if you're at the point where you're just thinking you might want to work with a spouse, you probably shouldn't do it.
Cathryn Michon: 12:25 Right, right.
W Bruce Cameron: 12:27 Yeah, yeah. Don't talk yourself into it. If it feels like it's organic and it's got to happen and it's happening. I mean, what would happen for Cathryn and me was that it was just organic to just being near each other. We found, we would go out to breakfast and we would have a conversation and we'd be making notes and we'd come up with all these ideas for pitches and all that sort of thing without ever stopping and saying, "Hey, let's formally form a partnership and work together."
W Bruce Cameron: 12:55 It just sort of happened. We couldn't stop it. We have the same interests. We're very creative. And when it comes to, I like to make up stories and Cathryn can very often say, "That's a terrible idea." And then, she's right, but her fixation on some stuff that I've considered to be completely unimportant, like how people are dressed in a movie, I don't care about that. But, she is very particular media.
Cathryn Michon: 13:24 Well, it's a visual medium.
W Bruce Cameron: 13:24 Yes. But, what is-
Cathryn Michon: 13:24 You do get a Oscar's for.
W Bruce Cameron: 13:24 Yes. But, what it says about the character to me is just not that big of a deal, for me. There's just one example of where we compliment each other with our skills, but it all happened not on purpose.
Cathryn Michon: 13:35 Yeah.
W Bruce Cameron: 13:36 It happened because we couldn't prevent it from happening.
Cathryn Michon: 13:38 I think that's the best advice. Don't, don't do it unless it's already organically happening.
Blaine Parker: 13:43 All right. Bruce-
W Bruce Cameron: 13:45 What?
Blaine Parker: 13:45 How does Cathryn make you better?
W Bruce Cameron: 13:48 How does she make me better? Well, I'm going to start with the professional side because Cathryn Michon was the one, when she taught me how to write screenplays, I realized I had been writing novels incorrectly. I was just so eager. I was like, Amber going up over the slide. I was so eager to get going that I would just, I would just have an idea and a world and some characters and boom! I'd start writing.
W Bruce Cameron: 14:16 Sometimes, I didn't even know how the book was going to end. I just wanted to get into it. You know? And what Cathryn taught me was, you have to sit... You've got a budget of 120 pages. You have to have a first, a second, a third act. Story needs to be structured. The characters need to be clear. All these things that I wasn't really paying attention to as a craftsmen. I was just bleh, just throwing stuff out there. And so, from that point on when I, now, when I write a story, I outline it three times. I have such an extensive blueprint to follow before I write the first word.
W Bruce Cameron: 14:52 I very often know what the last sentence of the book is going to be when I start writing the first sentence. And she taught me all of that. From a professional standpoint, I wouldn't, I wouldn't be a number one New York Times bestselling author if it weren't for Cathryn.
Blaine Parker: 15:07 It's interesting, you know, you say you were writing novels the wrong way. You're writing, were writing novels exactly the way Stephen King says to write them in On Writing.
W Bruce Cameron: 15:16 Yeah.
Cathryn Michon: 15:16 Right, right. It works for him.
Blaine Parker: 15:18 Yup.
W Bruce Cameron: 15:19 You know, it also took him a long time.
Cathryn Michon: 15:21 Also, I mean I have a theory that I think we stick to both in screenplays and that you stick to in books, which is, I had read a poll that was done. People say their favorite movie, what's your favorite movie? And then, someone says, you know, An Unmarried Woman. Okay. What's your favorite part of?
W Bruce Cameron: 15:40 Unmarried Woman?
Cathryn Michon: 15:40 Well, I just, that was-
W Bruce Cameron: 15:43 Oh, no, I just love that you just pulled that out of nowhere.
Cathryn Michon: 15:43 Random access, but I could, the reason why I pulled it out will be clear. And then, someone says, "Why is that your, what's your favorite scene in that movie?" And it's like, "When she's walking down that street with that painting and she's like heading off and doing her life." And it's like, they will inevitably choose-
W Bruce Cameron: 15:58 It's a great scene.
Cathryn Michon: 15:59 It is a great scene. But, they will inevitably choose a scene from the movie that is in the last five minutes of the movie. Every single time.
Cathryn Michon: 16:07 If you ask someone their favorite movie and then what's their favorite scene? It will be something from the last five minutes of the movies. Because, that's what your takeaway is. That's what... You loved the whole thing. But generally, when you're calling up why it's your favorite movie, it's because it's a movie that succeeded in delivering you the last five minutes that really stuck with you and that's why it's one of his favorite movies.
Cathryn Michon: 16:31 And you know, like The Apartment is one of my favorite movies. "Shut up and deal," is the last line of dialogue in the movie. Like I, because I love that whole movie and I can recall every scene, but that last scene is so important. And so, both in books and movies, we really focus on the last five minutes of the movie.
W Bruce Cameron: 16:50 Well, it, that plays right into my belief that the reason Casablanca, I don't know if it still is, but used to be the most rented movie of all time because everybody keeps watching it, hoping he's going to get on that plane with her.
Cathryn Michon: 17:02 Yes, that scene at the plane! It's the scene at the plane.
W Bruce Cameron: 17:02 But, he can't.
Cathryn Michon: 17:06 Right. But, try to even think of other scenes in that movie. You only think of that scene. The thing that you cling to, the thing that is why you have such an affectionate feeling for Casablanca is that scene in front of the plane.
W Bruce Cameron: 17:17 And it's so much bigger than them. Ultimately, yah, for that.
Cathryn Michon: 17:20 Yeah.
Blaine Parker: 17:20 It's your turn.
Honey Parker: 17:21 All right. I'm going to Cathryn, ask you, how does Bruce make you better?
Cathryn Michon: 17:26 Oh, he cooks.
Honey Parker: 17:29 Smelled really good when we came in here, by the way.
Cathryn Michon: 17:31 I was so hungry before I met Bruce. No, I mean, that's the joke answer. Bruce makes me better because he challenges me not to step away. I wouldn't be a director if it weren't for Bruce and nobody wants any girls to be a director, anyway. Like, it's not like the world was saying that to me and you know, the reason I wrote the book, The Grrl Genius Guide to Life is all about trying to build up my confidence and you know, say, "Yes I can do that." And I was certainly doing that for myself.
Cathryn Michon: 18:13 But, when Bruce came into my life and encouraged me to do things like take the risk to direct a movie or many, many things that he... I mean, I did a one woman show, like there were just things that are like "No one wants someone to do one woman show, please don't do that. Don't... Get more women and then do a show."
Cathryn Michon: 18:33 But, Bruce would always say, "You would be great at that. You should do it." And I think as much as I've always tried to be that person for myself, he has helped me to take the step of whatever the new thing is that's really, really hard for me to do.
Honey Parker: 18:49 Yeah-
W Bruce Cameron: 18:50 Right-oh.
Honey Parker: 18:50 That's great.
Cathryn Michon: 18:51 And he cooks.
Blaine Parker: 18:52 You know what that means?
Honey Parker: 18:54 It's time.
Blaine Parker: 18:55 It's time for the lightning round. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. All right. This is the only reason anybody sits through this show is to get to this segment right here. This is the fearsome five.
Cathryn Michon: 19:07 All right.
Blaine Parker: 19:07 This is where you are going to win all the prizes, everything you [crosstalk 00:19:10] so far.
Cathryn Michon: 19:09 Oh, yes, I will, I'm very competitive. Make no mistake.
Blaine Parker: 19:11 And if you get through these five questions, you get them all right, you do get the Ginsu knife.
Cathryn Michon: 19:16 Nice.
Honey Parker: 19:17 Come on. You've got to work at this.
W Bruce Cameron: 19:19 I hate stuff like this. I'm already, I'm already sweating and shaking. [crosstalk 00:00:19:24].
Blaine Parker: 19:24 I have faith in you, Bruce. I think your Midwestern fortitude is going to break through and-
Cathryn Michon: 19:30 Suck it up, buttercup. Let's go.
W Bruce Cameron: 19:30 All right.
Honey Parker: 19:32 I'm going to ask Cathryn first. So Bruce, you get a little time to think about this, since you're concerned-
Blaine Parker: 19:40 Your like your cheat sheet.
W Bruce Cameron: 19:40 I have no idea what we're doing.
Honey Parker: 19:40 Cathryn-
Cathryn Michon: 19:40 Yes.
Honey Parker: 19:40 What is Bruce's biggest pet peeve about you?
Cathryn Michon: 19:43 I don't save receipts.
W Bruce Cameron: 19:45 Wow.
Cathryn Michon: 19:46 Am I wrong?
Honey Parker: 19:47 Super simple.
Blaine Parker: 19:48 All right.
W Bruce Cameron: 19:49 We could, I would say there's a list of things.
Cathryn Michon: 19:52 [crosstalk 00:19:52] but that would be number one on the list. You hate that.
Blaine Parker: 19:55 Okay, Bruce. What is Cathryn's biggest pet peeve about you?
W Bruce Cameron: 19:59 This is a little difficult, but I think we're going to, we're going to have to go with, apparently in some households, men put their dirty clothes in the hamper instead of near the hamper or near them, or [crosstalk 00:20:16].
Honey Parker: 20:17 Hamper adjacent. [crosstalk 00:20:17].
W Bruce Cameron: 20:17 Wherever the socks come off. That's-
Honey Parker: 20:19 Yeah.
W Bruce Cameron: 20:20 And so, I think that's her biggest pet peeve.
Blaine Parker: 20:21 It's mythological.
Cathryn Michon: 20:23 Mm-hmm (affirmative), that's fair. [crosstalk 00:20:23].
Blaine Parker: 20:24 Bruce.
W Bruce Cameron: 20:24 Yeah.
Blaine Parker: 20:25 What single person living, dead or fictional would you hire to work at Surprise Hit Films if you could.
W Bruce Cameron: 20:31 Hire to do what now?
Blaine Parker: 20:32 Work at Surprise Hit Films.
W Bruce Cameron: 20:34 What person living or dead?
Blaine Parker: 20:36 Or fictional.
W Bruce Cameron: 20:37 Or fictional, would a hire to work at Surprise Hit Films?
Blaine Parker: 20:40 Yes.
W Bruce Cameron: 20:42 I'm going to have to go with Ruddy McCann, the repo man.
Blaine Parker: 20:45 Ooh, good one. I'd hire Ruddy in a heartbeat.
W Bruce Cameron: 20:48 He's smart, he's funny, he's big. He can do a lot of things, physical things. And I really want to meet his dog, Jake.
Blaine Parker: 20:58 Yeah, I don't blame you. All right, good one.
Honey Parker: 21:00 All right, Cathryn, what single person living, dead or fictional would you hire to work with you if you could?
Blaine Parker: 21:05 Knowing Ruddy McCann has been taken.
Honey Parker: 21:09 Your hubby, you have him.
Cathryn Michon: 21:10 You know, I would hire all my Hitchcock, the editor-
Blaine Parker: 21:14 Ooh.
Cathryn Michon: 21:14 Of all of Alfred Hitchcock's films and probably the reason why you love Alfred Hitchcock's films, but she never really gets the credit and you probably don't even know her name. And that's just me off the top of my head. Picking one of many, many unsung women in the film business.
Blaine Parker: 21:34 So the editors ever get any credit?
Cathryn Michon: 21:36 No, they do. I mean, you know, and like it was just really interesting because they were a very collaborative filmmaking partnership, but everyone's like, it's Hitchcockian, it's the Hitchcock film... And no one ever talks about her.
Blaine Parker: 21:50 You know, without the editing on that shower scene who'd be talking about it?
Cathryn Michon: 21:52 That's right.
Honey Parker: 21:53 All right, Cathryn, what is a time when Bruce really surprised you?
Cathryn Michon: 22:00 When he proposed, actually. Yes. We decided to take a little getaway to Catalina. You know, I had said, we were both been divorced. I wasn't sure he would ever really want to be married. We were going to be together. I knew that, I was comfortable in that, but I didn't know if it would be like all wedding-y or whatever.
Cathryn Michon: 22:20 And we went to Catalina and he said, "Oh, let's go for a hike before sunset. It'd be beautiful. Let's go up to that bell tower, that's so pretty." I'm like, "That sounds great. Let's go." And we're hiking. And it turned out there was like a lot of windy roads and you couldn't really get to the bell" tower. I'm like, Oh, you know, it doesn't matter. It's still a nice hike." He's like, "No, we have to get to the bell tower!" I'm like, "Okay, but I don't even know why it's important."
Cathryn Michon: 22:42 And then, the bell tower, it had like a bunch of fencing around it and he's like, "Oh, well." I said, "Well, we can't actually go in there." And he's like, "No! There's a hole in the fence." And we like crawled in the fence.
Blaine Parker: 22:50 A hole in the fence?
Cathryn Michon: 22:52 Yeah. And then, we got to the bell tower and I'm like, "Okay, are you happy? We made it to the bell tower." And he said, "I have a question for you. And if you give a good answer you will get a prize." I'm like, "Excellent. I'm in." And just like I am right now.
Blaine Parker: 23:08 Did you play field hockey as a kid?
Cathryn Michon: 23:10 No, but I'm very competitive.
Blaine Parker: 23:11 All right.
Cathryn Michon: 23:11 And he...
W Bruce Cameron: 23:16 Well, you know, I needed to interrupt. I'll note that before I even asked the question, you said, "Yes, I'll start saving my receipts."
Cathryn Michon: 23:23 That's right. I did say that. And I said, "Yeah, I'll save my receipts, I'll do that." And like, "Give me the prize." And he's like, "That's not the question." And then, and then he, you know, dropped to one knee and produced a ring box and said, "Will you marry me?" And then, I said something so not how I would write the scene. I'm like, "Are you kidding?"
W Bruce Cameron: 23:41 This is such a Hollywood moment.
Cathryn Michon: 23:46 And then, I started projectile crying like a cartoon character.
Blaine Parker: 23:49 Projectile crying.
Cathryn Michon: 23:51 [crosstalk 00:23:51] my eyes and I said, "Yes, yes. I would love to marry you."
W Bruce Cameron: 23:54 How do they rig that, anyway?
Cathryn Michon: 23:55 I know, I'm so glad nobody, the people that film those things, I'm like uh, I would not want that on camera.
Blaine Parker: 24:00 Okay, Bruce.
Cathryn Michon: 24:01 Okay, so-
Blaine Parker: 24:01 What's the time that-
W Bruce Cameron: 24:01 Okay, so I know exactly when this moment was because we wanted to get a dog, but we were living in a high rise apartment and I wanted to get a puppy, but it didn't want to have a puppy in a high rise. We were really sort of casting around for the right equation. And then, my daughter who runs an animal rescue in Denver, calls me and says, :I've got the perfect dog for you." And I said, "You know, Cathryn and I were just talking about this. We're not quite ready.
W Bruce Cameron: 24:24 And my daughter says, "I'll be there Wednesday." And so, we're driving to the airport and Cathryn is, you know, she practically has her talons out and she says, "Look, I don't like this whole idea that your daughter's just thrusting a dog on us. She's just making us take this."
Cathryn Michon: 24:38 Well, I love Georgia Lee. She's bossy and I don't consider that to be a negative thing. I think it's good to be bossy. And by the way, she's a Denver cop and that's how cops should be.
Blaine Parker: 24:46 She's a cop, too?
Cathryn Michon: 24:47 She's also a cop, yeah.
Blaine Parker: 24:48 Wow. Yeah, I knew she ran the animal rescue.
W Bruce Cameron: 24:50 Yes.
Cathryn Michon: 24:51 She's a-
W Bruce Cameron: 24:52 She's a police officer and so, when she says, "Step out of the car, sir," you do, even know though I'm her father, I'll get out of the [crosstalk 00:24:58].
Blaine Parker: 24:57 Someone with a night stick and a Glock, so yeah.
W Bruce Cameron: 25:01 Cathryn says, "All right, look, she's here for the weekend, but she's going back and she's going to take this dog back with her, and I'm doing this as a favor, but we said we were not ready for a dog." And so, we get there and my daughter is standing there holding Tucker, this little, tiny puppy in her arms and Cathryn gets out of the car to give Georgia a hug and Georgia hands Tucker to Cathryn and Cathryn accepted Tucker, turned to me and said, "This is my dog."
Cathryn Michon: 25:27 The baby.
Blaine Parker: 25:31 Oh, wow, you guys are aceing this round. This is terrific. Okay, this one, next one, you can answer it together or separately. Since working together, what has been your best date night?
W Bruce Cameron: 25:41 Oh, God. I got to say it was when we were, we were working so hard on a whatever project it was. And this is very early in our relationship-
Blaine Parker: 25:51 Oh, I know what you're going to-
W Bruce Cameron: 25:53 And we said, and it was, we do this a lot. We'll say, "I didn't thaw anything. There's, I've got no food. We, let's just go out to eat."
Cathryn Michon: 26:00 Or we'll be sitting there like we're both working our laptops and we haven't even gotten up to turn on the lights. And now, the whole place is dark and our little glowing screens and I'm like, "I'm hungry!"
W Bruce Cameron: 26:11 Yeah, so we walked to a restaurant in the neighborhood where we were living at the time, and it's like we pass a restaurant because there's people lined up and we pass another restaurant. It's so crowded. And we finally managed to get into a restaurant and after a long wait we're sitting at the table and Cathryn's looking around and she says, it's just like, I don't-
Cathryn Michon: 26:29 What's going on?
W Bruce Cameron: 26:30 What's going on?
Cathryn Michon: 26:30 Why is everybody so [crosstalk 00:26:31]?
W Bruce Cameron: 26:32 And then, the server came over and said, "Happy Valentine's Day." We didn't even know it was Valentine's Day.
Blaine Parker: 26:40 That is way too far down the bottle of work, but hey, you know, it does tell you that work actually is a little better than it could be.
Honey Parker: 26:47 Yeah. Yeah.
Blaine Parker: 26:48 If you can spend Valentine's Day, doing that.
Cathryn Michon: 26:50 Yeah, we just didn't even know.
Blaine Parker: 26:51 All right, here's the final of the lightning round. Bruce, describe Cathryn in one word.
W Bruce Cameron: 27:00 So... I have to decide, do I want to be accurate? Or do I want to sleep on the couch? Perfect.
Cathryn Michon: 27:12 That's pretty good.
Honey Parker: 27:14 All right.
Blaine Parker: 27:14 [crosstalk 00:27:17].
W Bruce Cameron: 27:17 I'm off the couch.
Honey Parker: 27:20 Cathryn? Describe Bruce in one word.
Cathryn Michon: 27:22 Kind.
W Bruce Cameron: 27:27 Oh, that's a good one too.
Cathryn Michon: 27:27 It actually is a good one and it-
W Bruce Cameron: 27:27 That might be perfect.
Cathryn Michon: 27:29 And it's like, at the end of the day, you're going to disappoint each other and you're going to not be perfect, as it turns out. And someone who is just inherently in their soul, I mean the reason why The Dog's Purpose books are what they are is because it comes from someone who has a very kind soul and can relate to the kind soul of a dog. And so, I think it isn't a flashy quality and that isn't the thing that, you know, people tend to build a statue out of it. You know? How many statues of kind people are there? There should be.
Blaine Parker: 28:06 I can't think of a one.
Cathryn Michon: 28:07 You know, Jesus, maybe, but-
Blaine Parker: 28:08 Oh, okay, yeah, all right, there's that.
Honey Parker: 28:11 There's lots of those.
W Bruce Cameron: 28:11 The whole job of being a writer is to string together words and not just come up with a word. And so, when I said perfect in my mind I was saying, Perfect for me." Because, that's what I meant.
Blaine Parker: 28:24 I assumed that was what you meant.
Honey Parker: 28:26 I did, too.
Blaine Parker: 28:27 But, if you felt a need to clarify, we will leave it in.
Honey Parker: 28:31 Mr. Parker, do you believe that they won?
Blaine Parker: 28:33 I think they won.
Honey Parker: 28:34 All right.
Blaine Parker: 28:34 All right. Here you go.
Cathryn Michon: 28:35 Do we really get a prize?
Blaine Parker: 28:36 You're getting the Ginsu knife.
Honey Parker: 28:36 You get the Ginsu knife.
Cathryn Michon: 28:38 Oh, my God.
Honey Parker: 28:38 We don't lie.
Cathryn Michon: 28:39 I love a prize.
Honey Parker: 28:40 Yeah.
Cathryn Michon: 28:41 I'm so excited.
W Bruce Cameron: 28:41 It's an actual Ginsu knife, wow.
Cathryn Michon: 28:42 That is amazing!
Blaine Parker: 28:44 We thought so.
Cathryn Michon: 28:44 I love a prize.
Blaine Parker: 28:45 It's like, "Hey, can we start giving out Ginsu knives? Yes, we can."
W Bruce Cameron: 28:48 I want to like, be in a Jackie Chan movie now.
Honey Parker: 28:52 Do you remember, there's the commercial like, "There is, this is is one way to cut a tomato, but it's no-"
W Bruce Cameron: 28:58 And he'd karate shop the tomato, was it?
Honey Parker: 28:58 Yeah.
Blaine Parker: 29:01 Anyway, Cathryn Michon-
W Bruce Cameron: 29:03 Thank you.
Blaine Parker: 29:03 W. Bruce Cameron of Surprise Hit Films, the creators of The Dog's Purpose film franchise-
Honey Parker: 29:09 And so many-
Blaine Parker: 29:10 And so much else. I mean-
Honey Parker: 29:11 Other.
Blaine Parker: 29:11 I want to run down the list. I can't even do it. You know what? I'll do it.
Cathryn Michon: 29:15 You know what? It is too much time.
Blaine Parker: 29:16 It is too much time. Oh, you know here's the beauty of being a podcast is we can do whatever the hell we want, but I will do this in an organized fashion when I intro and outro you. Is there a website you would like people to go to after hearing this?
Cathryn Michon: 29:28 I think, well we, I mean, I have CathrynMichon.com, you have WBruceCameron.com but then there's also ADogsPurpose.com, which is our probably our live list website.
W Bruce Cameron: 29:37 Yeah, I'd go to adogspurpose.com ,where you can get gifts and you can answer questions and feedback to us and [crosstalk 00:29:46].
Cathryn Michon: 29:46 And we do something on A Dog's Purpose.com that I don't think any other author in America, certainly not any other number one New York Times bestselling author does, which is that if you buy W. Bruce Cameron book and you think, "Oh, I wish I had gotten it signed to my mother, "Dear Nancy, the best dog mom ever." But, you didn't happen to go to an event or have that happen and you think, "Oh, well I can't do that." But, for free, we will send you a signed W. Bruce Cameron book plate that if you write in the comments section, "I want it to say to Nancy, the best dog mom ever. W. Bruce Cameron." He will do that and we will mail it to you for free.
Blaine Parker: 30:25 That's fantastic. How did I miss that?
Honey Parker: 30:27 And it is so bizarre, because Blaine's mother's name is Nancy.
Cathryn Michon: 30:30 Well, there you go.
Honey Parker: 30:31 And she is-
Cathryn Michon: 30:32 If you don't get a book plate for her, she's going to be mad now. She is the best dog mom ever.
Blaine Parker: 30:34 She might be better with Puppy Tales, though. Which, is the entire series of books for kids, so you don't have to worry about the teary stuff.
Cathryn Michon: 30:41 But, we just decided that we think books are so special and we love that the way Bruce's brand has evolved, that people really, you know, not surprisingly A Dog's Purpose was written to help someone with their grief at the loss of a dog and it helped me. It's truly did.
Cathryn Michon: 30:58 And so, people often give one of those books to someone who's lost a dog and we thought that's pretty important, so we want to always be able to have it be that it can be signed and inscribed to the person that's getting it.
Honey Parker: 31:11 That's lovely.
Blaine Parker: 31:11 You two are dynamic and sweet. All right, Bruce, Cathryn, thank you very much. Really appreciate this. Thank you for letting us into your home and-
Cathryn Michon: 31:19 Thank you, it was fun.
Blaine Parker: 31:20 We'll get ready to get kicked out.
W Bruce Cameron: 31:21 Yeah, all right, thanks.
Honey Parker: 31:23 Thank you.
Cathryn Michon: 31:23 Thanks.
Blaine Parker: 31:26 This has been part two of Cathryn Michon and W. Bruce Cameron of Surprise Hit Films recorded in Marina Del Rey, California. If you want to know more about Bruce and his current tour supporting the new book, A Dog's Promise, visit ADogsPurpose.com.
Honey Parker: 31:38 And join us next time as we go a mile high.
Blaine Parker: 31:41 A mile high. We venture to the Denver area to meet a retail couple who are competing profitably with Amazon, Back Country and REI.
Honey Parker: 31:49 And they are crushing it. Not bad for a business started by an ex-cop in his mom's basement.
Blaine Parker: 31:55 Not bad for people who had zero experience in online retail and who have grown from internet only to having a local retail operation.
Honey Parker: 32:03 These two are amazing.
Blaine Parker: 32:04 Pretty much. Join us as we talk with Amy Danwolf and Jordan Jones of Powder7 in Golden, Colorado. Next time, here on CoupleCo. Working with your spouse for fun and profit.
Honey Parker: 32:14 Copyright, 2019. All rights reserved.
Blaine Parker: 32:16 Love you, baby.
Honey Parker: 32:17 Love you, too.
Blaine Parker: 32:17 CoupleCo out.