SPIRIT TOWN is an "Adult Swim"-style, 20-minute comedy short about a down-and-out spiritual medium who is trying to make ends meet. The short will star the hilarious Jim O’Heir from “Parks and Recreation”, "Key and Peele" writer/performer Colton Dunn, and local L.A. comedians Rawn Erickson, David Harris (from Upright Citizens Brigade), and Lyndsi LaRose.
A tongue-in-cheek parody of such TV drama classics as “The Ghost Whisperer,” Spirit Town follows SAMMY SMILES as he struggles to use his powers for good instead of petty crime. Along the way he is haunted by a bevy of needy spirits. In addition to bringing spiritual healing to the deceased, this project will focus its creative energy on allowing talented comic/improv actors to shine. We plan on releasing the final product on the internet in four 5-minute episodes, and we hope to continue making chapters on into the future. Stay tuned!
Jim O’Heir (as Rodney Smiles) is the hugely talented actor who plays the well-loved Jerry Gergich on NBC's Parks and Recreation. Having paid his dues in the windy city, Jim has gone on to appear in such shows as Friends, Boston Legal, Malcolm in the Middle, Star Trek: Voyager, ER and Parenthood. In Spirit Town we look forward to exploring both his impeccable comic timing and also his darker side. Follow him on twitter @JimOHeir.
Colton Dunn (Buddy) is a writer, performer, teacher, giver, lover and gamer. He writes for the Comedy Central show Key and Peele and plays Derrick on the web series ‘Game Shop‘. He also has a recurring role on NBC’s Parks and Recreation as Brett, The Animal Control guy. In addition, Colton regularly performs at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in the shows Asssscat and Tripod. Colton is a force to be reckoned with. Follow him on Twitter @captdope.
Rawn Erickson II (Sammy Smiles) is an Accordionist, Hip-Hop producer, and Internet Personality. Known Online as HiimRawn he has entertained his audience with bizarre Sketch based comedy, and original 'Nerdcore' songs. In addition to being one of the founding members of Maker Studios Inc., Rawn has worked with many of the biggest names on the web and sees "new Media" as the modern day "talkie". Follow him on twitter @HiimRawn.
David Barton Harris (Chucky) is an actor, improviser, and musician from the mountains of North Carolina. He teaches and performs regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Hollywood. David's acting credits include Status Updates (MTVX), Disaster Date (MTV), and Happy Endings (ABC). He is the co-host of the podcast, Please Be My Girlfriend, and he plays Larry Pine in Purina's "Pure Nature" campaign. David has a degree in music composition from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Follow him on twitter @BartonSmart.
Lyndsi LaRose (Trixie) is an up and coming talent. She is a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and has studied with The Upright Citizens Brigade, The Groundlings, and Lesly Kahn. She can often be seen attending “Urban Night” at local dance clubs, and appearing in several of what her mom calls “skits” on the inter-web.
Brad Fisher (The Blind Cashier) is a song and dance man from a bygone era. Having practically grown up on a t.v. set, Brad has forgotten more things about entertainment than you or I will ever learn. When not acting and dancing, Brad enjoys diving for ground balls and playing with his gigantic dog, Dave.
Rex (as Coco) is a Chihuahua living in Los Angeles. He is also the roommate of our DP. Rex comes highly recommended, and has acted in numerous short films and music videos. He is not currently on Twitter.
Jacob Pinger (Writer/Director) is a filmmaker and cinematographer with a wide range of television and film credits spanning over a decade. He is currently enjoying a wonderful season as camera operator on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. His work has taken him around the world for such clients as Discovery, National Geographic, History Channel, MTV, Comedy Central and many others. In his travels Jacob has learned that there is not enough laughter in the world. He hopes to change that.
Anne Palmer (Executive Producer) is a professional photographer, vocalist, and published writer with a Masters degree in art history. She has worked in public relations and public events coordination for arts organizations such as Angels Gate Cultural Center and Farmlab LLC. She currently serves as a full-time library media technician in the music library at El Camino College in Torrance, CA. Anne has worked with Jacob Pinger on two other short film projects.
Anya Adams (Consulting Producer) Anya's resume in television and film is extensive and includes multiple network dramas, comedies and independent features. She will bring the guiding hand of experience to this project. Anya is a our Yoda.
Tally Barr (Consulting Producer) is a comedy producer who first collaborated with Jacob Pinger on MTV's Viva La Bam. They have since joined forces on several projects, recently the 2012 Emmy short films with Jane Lynch and MTV's Status Updates. Tally has a varied comedy background producing multicamera series like BrandX With Russell Brand, to animated comedies like Celebrity Deathmatch to single cameras like The Bobby Lee Show. She is currently producing on Arrested Development.
Jordan Ancel (Casting) has had a diverse career in the entertainment industry, from directing and producing award-winning short films, to being one of the top print casting directors. He now spends his time as a professional photographer shooting in NY, SF, LA and many other cities abbreviated by only two letters.
Bryant Jansen (Director of Photography) is a Los Angeles based Director of Photography, Camera Operator, and Colorist. He was raised in Western Washington and graduated from the Montana State University School of Film and Photography. Bryant currently shoots a variety of Commercials, Music Videos, and Narrative films. His commercial work in Montana has won multiple Addy awards, including multiple awards for Cinematography.
Trevor Baker (Editor) is a Motion Picture Editor. His most recent credits include the award-winning "Vena Amoris," and the Comedy Web-Series "Man Life Crisis." Along with editing, he also works as a Post Coordinator on the critically acclaimed television show "Breaking Bad." Trevor is very excited to be working on "Spirit Town," especially because he finds dead people HILARIOUS.
Emily Peters (Production Designer) has an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California. Her amazing creations can be seen in many short films, webseries, music videos, and "Sal," a feature film directed by James Franco.
Jennifer "JQ" Quinteros (Makeup Artist) is a film makeup artist based in LA and New Mexico. Whether it be beauty, character, or FX, it doesn't matter, as long as she's in your face, she's happy. Among her talents, she specializes in totally believable fake tattoos. See if you can spot her work in Spirit Town.
Dana Kelly (Hair Stylist) is a regular at fashion shows and photo shoots. Dana is a dedicated master at her craft. In her constant search for new and innovative techniques she has come to specialize in imaginative re-interpretations of classic '50's and '60's hair styles.
Sheree Mason (Costumes) is leaping into the world of costume/wardrobe with a splash. Sheree has added her talents as costumer and stylist to several short films. Her main desire is to tell the story with styling.
Brian Joseph is a composer whose music can be heard on numerous television shows including "How I Met Your Mother," "America's Next Top Model," "Men at Work," and many others. In addition to writing for the screen, Brian has released four critically acclaimed albums of original songs. Brian can be found virtually at http://brianjosephmusic.com and can be found actually at his home in Eagle Rock with his wife, three kids and his elderly labrador.
Where's your investment going?All the cast and crew working on this project are professionals working pro bono to develop something fresh and entertaining.
Your investment will go to fund the following essentials:
- Location permits and fees
- Equipment rentals
- Production insurance
- Wardrobe/Makeup supplies
- Meals and Craft Services
- A Studio Teacher for the kids appearing in the film
Risks and challenges
Our biggest asset on Spirit Town is that so many professional caliber people have committed to being involved. From actors to crew, we have put together a bad-ass group of collaborators. And…this is also the source of our biggest risk: SCHEDULING!!!
The problem with using pros is that they tend to get a lot of paid work. This is why we are shooting in between pilot season and the start of the network production season. It gives us a fighting chance that our talented actors and crew will be available. But nothing is ever certain in show biz. So…we must be flexible.
Flexibility means finding back-ups: Back-up locations, back-up crew members, and even back-up actors.
Also, it means doing things “by the book”. This short will have a SAG contract. We will have production insurance. We will have a studio teacher for the kids that appear in the film. We will have a county permit for the locations where we'll be filming, etc. We are doing everything we can to limit unpleasant surprises, and to be as prepared as possible when they pop up. We are dotting our “i’s” and crossing our “t’s”.
- (31 days)