This article was updated at 9:33 p.m.
Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows.
The dizzying swirl of art and campaign hype at the Democratic National Convention is providing film fodder for everyone from Robert Altman to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
Triumph and his creator, Robert Smigel, just closed a deal for a feature doc based around the nominating conventions and the presidential campaign trail.
The sock-puppet pooch is mingling with Dem pols and delegates in Boston and — unless there is a strict “no dogs allowed” rule at the upcoming Republican fete — he’ll cover that convention as well.
Feature will be released by Sony-based TriStar in time for film fests early next year.
The strange mix of politics and Hollywood saw Congressman Dick Gephardt giving back-to-back command performances on the floor of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday — one a real-life CNN interview, the other a cameo in Altman’s quasi-fictitious miniseries, “Tanner on Tanner.”
Altman’s series is about a doc that’s being shot by Alex Tanner, daughter of Jack Tanner, the fictitious candidate from his series, “Tanner ’88.” “Tanner on Tanner” is shot through with cameos of politicians, pundits and movie industry characters, including Robert Redford, Al Franken and Bingham Ray.
Meanwhile, Donovan Leitch is shooting an installment of “The Last Party,” a doc series begun with Robert Downey Jr. at the 1992 conventions. This latest installment produced by Norman Lear, features Andre 3000 from OutKast in scenes that will be shot in Boston and next month in New York for the Republican convention.
New York filmmaker Steve Rosenbaum has hired three camera crews to shoot footage on the convention floor for “Inside the Bubble,” a doc about John Kerry’s inner circle. Tony Krantz and Mark Patrickof have joined the project as exec producers. Originally conceived as a story that would end with the DNC, it will now continue shooting through Nov. 2.
Even Alexandra Kerry, daughter of the presumptive nominee, is shooting a doc at the convention, a fact that’s helping to create a funhouse atmosphere in which politicians and actors are almost interchangeable.
Triumph and Smigel showed up in Boston and began shooting footage even as negotiations were being concluded with NBC, which co-owns the character because it originated on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.” The network licensed rights to Sony, which is making a negative pickup deal on the film.
The pic will be directed by Smigel and produced by Mike De Luca and Conundrum partners Peter and Bobby Farrelly and Bradley Thomas. Rich Korsin, who is in Boston following Smigel and his puppet around with a camera, is also producing.
The Smigel-voiced Triumph is a foul-mouthed, cigar-chomping mutt who has offended celebrities for years on MTV awards shows, feuding famously with Eminem.
In the doc, those years of showbiz decadence have left Triumph empty. He vows to redeem himself by becoming a news reporter. The film is largely improvised, and Smigel could find himself in the doghouse if pols don’t play ball.
Smigel did get press credentials at the last moment, and Triumph had a dog-day afternoon Tuesday, getting camera time with “Fahrenheit 911” director Michael Moore and Arianna Huffington, and getting booked for Wednesday’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”
It is unclear whether Triumph will get to interview Kerry, and it looks like the Republicans might be a tougher sell. Attempts to get credentials for the upcoming Republican convention has so far been unsuccessful.
They might need the intervention of a big Triumph fan or a Republican with a sense of humor.