If you add up my YouTube and Vimeo projects, more than one million people have seen the videos I’ve made. None of these would be possible without the friendships and thought processes I’ve developed through improv. I thought I’d relive some of my personal favorites here.
The Duke Dobbs Campaign: Have you noticed that politicians are saying some incredibly stupid stuff, lately? I launched the Duke Dobbs Campaign to draw attention to this rampant idiocy. Some people think I’m serious, which is flattering.
Green Screen: A simple concept, lots of improvisation and heavy editing highlights the brilliance of Karisa Bruin and Tim Reardon. I’m also proud of how we worked a mistake (“Try act!”) into a minor catchphrase.
Rimshots & Romance: The very first day I went to shoot with Scott Morehead and Karisa Bruin, this was the last (and least planned) thing we filmed. It was all sparked by that dumb book sitting on their bookshelf. We got this all on the second take. And it became a finalist in the 2010 Chicago Short Comedy Video and Film Festival.
Jay Leno is a Comedy God: I have a very, very long story about how I once wrote a monologue for Jay Leno and he ended up stealing two of my jokes. This video appropriately illustrates how much I loathe him.
Dropping the Question: I’ve previously blogged about this, but we created this short in 48 hours, and I got to hear a full movie theater laugh, cringe and swoon with this short. It’s the evolution of nearly two years of working with Scott and Karisa, honing my editing skills and learning to work with a crew that exists beyond my own head.
The Caroling: My homage to the hackery of M. Night Shyamalan. Part of the 12 Shorts of Christmas series.
Elf Chase: A ridiculously complex shoot on one of the coldest nights of winter. I edited the hell out of this. And I turned Tim Reardon and Jeff Murdoch into action stars. (Sorta)
Weather Toss: Watch enough news, and you’ll grow weary of the forced camaraderie everyone tries to shove into their transitions. One day I just snapped and put all these together.
Dog Days of Summer: My station had this feature where they’d show viewers’ dogs on the air. That’s not really news, and it felt kinda lame to me, so I twisted it a bit.
Cheetah Mating Call: That’s my voice as the cheetah. The sexy, sexy cheetah.
Snowmageddon ’09: Sick of the relentless weather hype on TV news, I created this animation to use anytime it snowed in 2009. You want to strike fear in your audience? I’ll give you fear. (This clip was featured on the G4 Network’s “Attack of the Show.”)
Jason Piazza explains the female anatomy: I was laughing so hard during this, I had tears in my eyes.
Jason Piazza offers the worst possible “safe word” ever: Piazza just spoke from the heart, which allowed him to completely bypass his brain. I couldn’t write this stuff if I tried. He was my Karl Pilkington. You can watch the entire Piazza advice series here.
The successes of these collaborations are building toward something incredible. (And one million cumulative views is a nice little landmark.)
To all my fellow artists, I encourage you to keep working. Hone your skills, then find your voice. And when you find that voice, start shouting until the world pays attention. Even if your audience is small, you can affect a life. And that is an artist’s greatest gift.