Brought to you by Upright Citizens Brigade co-founder Matt Walsh, and Brian Huskey (that headless guy in the door from This is the End), A Better You follows the life of Dr. Ron (Huskey), whose self-importance has created a rocky marriage and distance from his children. Amidst a mid-life crisis, Dr. Ron is left to find himself with only Hugo (Horatio Sanz), a day laborer from the local hardware store, on his side. With the hopelessness of a Steve Carell character, Dr. Ron evokes both hatred and sympathy on his humorous journey.
Most notable about A Better You is its rich cast, featuring a plethora of “Hey I know that guy” celebrities, as Walsh puts it himself on his Indiegogo campaign page. Those in the cast include, along with Huskey, Saturday Night Live’s Horatio Sanz, Joe Lo Truglio (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Reno 911!), Rob Huebel (Childrens Hospital), Erinn Hayes (Childrens Hospital), Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), Morgan Walsh (Burning Love), Seth Morris (Step Brothers, I Love You Man) and many others. “They are truly the best,” wrote Walsh on his campaign page.
The film’s dynamic duo met in New York City when Huskey was studying digital photography, and immediately the two hit it off. “I may have been his teacher at some point, and maybe he got me high on the roof once,” wrote Walsh, “but a strong bond was formed and he has become one of my most treasured pals.”
A Better You is not Walsh’s first indie film. In 2011, Walsh directed High Road with Kirk Roos, about the life of a pot dealer, and the film was later acquired by Millennium Entertainment. But what makes A Better You unique is that Walsh and his team improvised entirely off of a rough outline. “You say lines as an actor how you would say them [yourself],” said Walsh in his Indiegogo campaign video. “In scripted movies, things can feel a little stiff.” According to Walsh, improvisation creates authentic reactions from the actors and makes for a unique viewer experience. On his fundraising page, Walsh notes that improv movies, such as Best in Show and Spinal Tap, influenced the film: “Comedians phrase things in unique ways that you as a writer could never imagine.” The result is a chuckle-inducing interaction centered around slapstick meanness, with Walsh abusing Huskey to prove his point.
While Walsh advertises the actors’ authentic performances as one of the film’s strong suits, the donor rewards provide the chance to walk a mile in Hollywood shoes, so to speak. Donor rewards range from after-parties and soiree dinners arranged to honor the most generous, to guaranteed Associate Producer credits and invitations to exclusive events for more budget-conscious supporters. Those seeking opportunities to network with those established in entertainment might think about forking over some cash.
Campaigners: Matt Walsh, producer, director, writer, actor; Kirk Roos, producer
Target Amount: $52,650
Amount Currently Raised: $13,958
Campaign Opening Date: March 12, 2014
Campaign Closing Date: April 21, 2014
Funding Goes Toward: Final Edit, Sound mixing, Color Correction, ADR, Final Score and Soundtrack, MPAA fees, Additional Scene.
Donor Reward Highlights:
$4,250: “Your Entrée to Hollywood: Climb the ladder fast in Hollywood by getting an Associate Producer Credit on our back-end credits, and IMDB. Plus, 2-tix to Premiere (LA or NY), photos on the red carpet, invite to after-party, and pix with some of the cast and crew. Bonuses include: Dr. Ron’s Cure-All for Smoking and 2 nights hotel in LA of our choice (amenities excluded). *Does not include airfare.”
$9,000: “Hollywood Player Package (plus previous packages): Executive Producer Credit on back-end of film credits, and IMDB (in name only). Plus Entrée to Hollywood package. You’ll receive a walk-on, speaking role (1-3 line) in producer Kirk Roos’ next production. *Does not include air travel.”
$15,000: “Movie Studio Chief Package (plus previous packages): You’ll get an Executive Producer Credit, on the front-end credits of film, and on IMDB (in name only). Everything in Hollywood Player package, private soiree dinner with some of the cast and crew. You will walk and be interviewed on red carpet. You will also host the Q and A after the screening. *Does not include air travel.”
$20,000: “***CORPORATE TIER***: Director and some cast will come to YOUR TOWN (must be in U.S.) or town nearby and will rent a theater (our choice) for you to host a public screening of the film. YOUR CO. OR COLLEGE will be listed in end credits. We will also host an after-party at a local hot spot! Matt Walsh can also separately provide an hour-talk about filmmaking. Screening will take place ideally prior to the film opening or during the first week of theatrical run. Prize holder can charge admission to event.” MM
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