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Video Wed Oct 10 2012

Going Door to Door for the 51st Ward

By Doug Rapp

With the national election dominating the headlines, a new web-based comedy series is looking at politics at the local level.

"Door to Door," written by Tommy Reahard and Tyler Dean Kempf, follows brothers Andy and Evan over a single day as Andy tries to collect 100 signatures to run as alderman for Chicago's fictional 51st ward. Andy's task is complicated by the well-intentioned but easily distracted Evan and the eccentric residents in their ward.

Kempf, who teaches writing and improv at the Second City Training Center, said in an email interview that he has always enjoyed politically themed shows and he wanted to try something on a smaller political level, like NBC's "Parks and Rec" but with a Chicago theme.

"The position of alderman is pure Chicago," Kempf said. "I thought it would be a fun office to look at."

Eight episodes have been filmed, with each lasting about six minutes. New episodes are released on Tuesdays, with four more to be released. You can watch the episodes at doortodoorseries.com or through their Facebook page.

The episodes were filmed all over Chicago, but about half of the show was filmed in the Ravenswood area. "We really wanted the series to have that Northside Chicago neighborhood feel, and the epitome of that is Ravenswood," said Kempf. "Plus it's fairly quiet, so it made filming outside relatively easier than if we were to film in Lakeview."

Kempf credits the crew with creating the high-quality production value of the episodes. "Most of the crew are recent graduates of DePaul," he said, "and they had the skills and talents to give the series the professional look we were going for."

A second season of "Door To Door" is possible, Kempf said, but they are focused on promoting the first season, which intentionally ends on Election Day, Nov. 6.

"We gave ourselves a pretty tight deadline to get these episodes turned around because we wanted to have the last episode released on Election Day," Kempf said. "While the episodes are pretty wacky, we never lost sight of the political undertones of this show. The last episode also hits pretty hard on Andy and Evan's ultimate goal of getting 100 signatures in the day."

 

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Feature Mon Jun 09 2014

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Oli Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist working in film, photography, and performance. H. Melt sat down with him to find out more about his relationship to Chicago, the city's queer history, and how it impacts his artmaking.
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