This is Jenna Dioguardi’s tragicomic script adapted from her short story of the same name. The short story came out of our collaborative storytelling shows. I directed this alongside a wonderful team who taught me so much. Directing Jenna’s writing for the first time brought a thrilling new dimension to our ongoing collaboration.
When Ari and I made this sketch series, we brought our beloved Andrew Neisler on to direct for some of the shoot days because we knew that he would uphold our vision when we, inevitably, got mired in other details. The producing, writing, and directing process for this series was very collaborative.
This was my first opportunity to direct a sketch that I did not write or produce. I’m glad that Kim entrusted me with this because it was a chance to learn about her voice and to bring comedic performances out of some really grounded and honest (but also hilarious) actors.
Ari and I worked with Scott Riehs to film this on an iPhone 5. (NOT the original plan! Something was wrong with his camera that day.) We had a loose shot list as a guide, but, ultimately, we were running around Battery Park looking for ridiculous things to then cut together. This was a whole other type of collaborative directing with my team: Seeking out and exploiting the wacky opportunities that the city throws at you when you’re paying attention.
College Humor gave us a bit of budget to create something. Ari and I had a longstanding dream of creating a showcase piece for Reggie Watts. That's the impetus for this whole music video. That and the power of napping. We managed to get Aparna Nancherla and Tyler Fischer, too. Some of our favorites are in this one. Directing Andy Zou as he spun around, dancing with his camera amid dry ice created by Jenna Dioguardi, was a highlight of the day, as was the chance to work with members of Dance Cartel.
Ari and I wrote and produced this video in 2010. I think we spent a total of $312 dollars, but maybe I’m misremembering. I’m including this in my directing work because Ari and I worked with our DP, Nathan Blair, on the shot list and every aspect of the look and design. We took turns directing our brilliant actors. We found this fabulous location in a church basement that has since shut down.