Busted Buggy Entertainment’s Beginning: Shifting into First Gear
Arizona native and Busted Buggy Entertainment founder and owner, Courtney Daniels, originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career in acting, after completing her training at the British American Drama Academy in England.
“I moved to L.A. right after the writer’s strike, so work was hard to find,” Daniels said.
Working in her chosen field meant taking projects into her own hands. Daniels put together pitch pilots with some of her industry contacts. Daniels and BBE partnered with Emmy Award Winner, Dave Thomas, to successfully develop and sell a pilot to a major cable network (name withheld due to confidentiality agreements), which was a huge first step and built Daniels’ confidence that she was on the right path.
“It was my first, ‘I’m not crazy; I can do this!’ moment,” she said.
The First Gear, and Critically Successful Theatrical Release
Through a friend of a friend, Daniels heard about a film that needed production help.
“When I heard about The Girl in the Book, I thought, wow, this is such a female-driven story,” Daniels said. “That—without women (producers) standing behind it—probably wouldn’t have been made.”
The Girl in the Book premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2015 to rave reviews. It was released to select U.S. cities in December 2015 and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick.
Driving the Buggy Home
When Daniels received an offer to play “Bridgett” in Rescue Dogs The Movie, scheduled to release in spring of 2016, she was excited to combine her interests of acting and producing while raising awareness about rescue animals.
“I’ve always had a huge interest in rescue animals.” Daniels said. “Then at the beginning stages of Rescue Dogs, they said, ‘you have a dog, right?’ It just snowballed from there, and so my untrained dog became the star of a feature film.”
Daniels has a total of six rescue animals of her own.
“I grew up with horses, turtles—you name it, it was around.” Daniels said. “My mom has always volunteered a lot of her time at animal shelters in Arizona, so rescuing animals isn’t new to me.”
Once, Daniels spotted a cat in a parking lot and took it to get neutered, then brought it home. For a while, it got to the point where Daniels would receive regular phone calls from friends and shelters about strays.
“They’d say, ‘we think this—cat, dog, or whichever animal it was at the time—should come live with you.’” Daniels said.
On how she balances producing, acting and caring for rescues, Daniels explained she arranges a schedule for her pets while she’s out of town on film shoots.
“They have adventure camp, swimming lessons, a whole calendar of activities.”
For Busted Buggy Entertainment’s immediate future, Daniels is planning for the success of Rescue Dogs The Movie’s release, which will coincide with partnering charities’ live adoption events during the film’s opening weekend.
“I want it to show that a film doesn’t need a $50 million budget and an action hero in order for it to be a story worth sharing.” Daniels said. “I’m looking forward to Rescue Dogs being screened across the country, and I want to see it impact animal shelters in a great way.”