Matt and I were talking the other day and our first short film, Background(ed) came up. I thought I'd go over the history of that crazy project in a little more detail.
Our good friend Benj did a year or so of intense (is there any other kind?) extra work when he moved to LA. He always thought it was funny how much faith extras had in the productions they were part of. Every morning you'd jump into a non-descipt van and it would take you to some random place, and nobody really knew where you were going. What would happen if some nefarious character kidnapped you? Would anyone find you? Would you even care? Would you be treated worse than extras are used to being treated on an everyday basis?
The interesting part was that that Benj wrote this story as a subplot of a larger screenplay he'd written about extras. It was pretty great, but Matt (wisely) told me we weren't ready to do a whole feature; better to refine the idea into a short. And so Background(ed) was born. A group of extras get kidnapped by terrorists but don't realize it. Hilarity ensues! In essence, it was Tropic Thunder with extras (warning: Producer-speak!)
We ran the gauntlet of film festivals with this thing, and I was really happy how it all turned out. Straight comedies can be a pretty tough sell, especially ones with an "industry" bent. Probably the thing I'm the most proud of is that we played all over the country, not just in LA. I got to visit both coasts and a few places in between, and it was fun to see how the different crowds responded to the film. We won a few awards, including best picture (which is a story in and of itself). I even have an award sitting on my shelf, glued back together after a shipping mishap (which is another story in and of itself). Lots of great memories with Background(ed), and a ton of great work behind and in front of the camera. I'll always be grateful to everybody who came out to Walnut, CA on the hottest weekend of the year and worked their tails off, for free.
If you've never seen the trailer, here it is!