Ad: [ ? ]
TODAY

Sunday, November 23

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« Legends and Luminaries Celebrate WVON's 50th Anniversary FlySpace Dance Series Launches at Jay Pritzker Pavilion »

Comedy Wed Apr 10 2013

Double Feature: A Stand-Up Comedy & Film Festival

DOUBLE FEATURE.jpgIan Abramson, Tim Barnes, Melody Kamali and Marlena Rodriguez are a comedic quartet not unlike "Captain Planet," as Barnes points out. The four can be seen doing stand-up frequently all over Chicago, as well as huddled in dark corners around the city editing films on their laptops. Recently, they had a joint realization. "We looked at the Chicago comedy scene and saw that there were a lot of people who enjoyed both film and stand-up, but there wasn't much that brought them together," said Abramson. In an attempt to foster collaboration and showcase a variety of Chicago talent, the four comedians decided to create and produce Double Feature, a new showcase combining film and stand-up, which will debut on April 24 at the Den Theatre. "We're calling it a 'Stand Up Comedy Film Festival,' Barnes said. Through film and performance, the producers hope to include all of the comedic genres and communities. "Double Feature" will "serve as a melting pot for Chicago comedians," Rodriguez says, "whether they [are] filmmakers, sketch writers, improvisers, or stand-ups." While stand-ups will have new, broader audience to cater to, Double Feature presents filmmakers with "rare opportunities to hear a live audience react to their work," says Barnes. I talked to the producers about what makes Double Feature different and why you can't afford to miss it.

What makes Double Feature unique?
Barnes: Double Feature is reaching beyond the typical comedy audience by seeking filmgoers, and reaching beyond the typical film audience by seeking fans of stand-up comedy. I just hope they all get along.

Kamali:There are successful shows in Chicago that integrate comedic videos with stand-up, but this show will be more focused on the video element, as they will be screened back to back with the comedians.

How did you choose the venue?
Kamali: We wanted a venue that would make performers comfortable and filmmakers eager and proud to showcase their work. We spent our first visit to The Den Theatre suppressing squeals and left in awe of its legitimate yet relaxed environment and its convenient location (on Milwaukee Ave in between the Division and Damen Blue Line stops). The theater's café and lounge area with its full bar and popcorn machine didn't hurt, either.

Rodriguez: When you walk into The Den Theatre, you feel like you've walked into an old lounge from the 1940's. There's a fireplace, a full bar and an incredible vibe. [...] its definitely somewhere you want to spend your night.

You all do both stand-up and film. Do you each have different specialties?
Barnes: I was into filmmaking before I fell into doing stand-up. I've done everything from editing cheesy news segment for public access, to co-producing a web series associated with Tom Snyder ("Dr. Katz," "Home Movies"). What's great about all of the producers is that each of us has experience dealing with both worlds.

Kamali: We all do stand-up and have varying strengths in film. Producing this show is strengthening our skills as we collaborate on promo videos and comedic shorts of our own.

Rodriguez: Tim and Ian have done great work on "Explosion Bus", their own web series, and other freelancing around Chicago. Melody has worked with WGN, The Chicago Underground Film Festival, and is currently in film school. And I have done sketch and improv with The Second City and iO.

How much of the featured art will be your own versus that of other Chicago artists?
Abramson: You will see a little bit of our stand-up and film work, but the big goal is to showcase Chicago filmmakers and performers.

Kamali: Every month we will select at least four shorts to screen in between four stand-up comedians. For each show, there will be rotating roles between the four of us: host, performer, running 'tech', and managing the room and ticketing. We will also screen a new producer's short at the start of every show.

Has it been a lot of work to get this show off the ground?
Barnes: The most difficult part of making the show was coming up with the name. Here are some show titles that could have been: Intermission, Hi-def Jam, Shark Week, Chocolate Wednesdays, Chocolate Shark Week... I wish I was joking.

Kamali: We started working on the show in February. It is a lot of work, but the amount of time we've had to prepare has worked to our benefit.

What is the best part about working on this show?
Abramson: Seeing the variety of film submission--the different styles and approaches have really been exciting.

Barnes: Discovering how each of us works. We make a good team.

Kamali: Getting to collaborate creatively has been the most fun. Also, viewing submissions, which is how we typically end meetings, provides non-stop entertainment.

Rodriguez: Getting the submissions. It's been so fun to watch all the shorts that have come in. There is such a wide range of genre in what we are getting. I'm very excited to showcase the ones we have picked.

What is your biggest hope for the show?
Barnes: I'd love to see a few of the same faces in the crowd each month. I want Double Feature to be a show that people really look forward to.

Kamali: I want this show to both draw in a consistent audience and inspire comedians and filmmakers to produce quality work. There is so much talent in Chicago, and I hope we can tap into it successfully from this angle.

Rodriguez: To give exposure to both comedians and filmmakers who deserve to be seen by the same audiences who pay for shows at The Second City or The Laugh Factory, or any movie theater. And then for those artists to meet, see each others work and then start working together. Yeah, I think that would do it for me.

How do you think Double Feature will change the Chicago comedy scene?
Abramson: I hope that this encourages all the funny people we know to create more and more stuff. There's an absurd amount of talent in Chicago, and I'd love to see more of it put on film.

Barnes: Hopefully this will inspire [the creation of more] shows that don't stick to the same old stand-up showcase format.

Rodriguez: If Double Feature is successful I think it will get more comedians, of all forms, working together to create digital media. Webseries, shorts, mockumentaries, etc., are all things we can do, but the production aspect can be so daunting. Hopefully Double Feature will motivate more comedians to tackle and demystify the process.

What do you look for in submissions? Any insider tips?
Abramson: The bottom line is we're looking for films that we think are funny. Films that have a strong sense of what it is they are going for, coupled with strong editing, I think is they key.

Barnes: We're looking for films that have a unique perspective. They don't have to have the highest quality in the world--they just have to be really funny. The best submissions are the ones that have such great ideas that they actually make me a little jealous.

Kamali: We're looking for thoughtfully produced comedic videos. We want the production value of the short to hold up to the venue provided for it, but above all, effective humor should be a priority.

Rodriguez: Love what you're sending us. Be so proud of it. And more specifically, if 30 seconds goes by and another beat hasn't hit, reconsider whether you need that whole 30 seconds.

~*~

Double Feature debuts April 24th at 9pm at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. For more information, visit DoubleFeatureChicago.com. Submissions should be sent to DoubleFeatureChicago@gmail.com. Submission deadlines are the first of every month for a show on the last Wednesday. The show posts regularly on Facebook and can also be found on Twitter.

 

Melody Kamali / April 10, 2013 11:08 AM

https://www.facebook.com/events/512283185500211/

Hope to see you there!

Add a Comment




Please enter the letter c in the field below:



Live Comment Preview


Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="http://blahblahblah.com">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Culture Tue Nov 04 2014

7,550 Miles from Home, Chicago's Ethiopians Build a Cultural Museum

By Danielle Elliott

Some 7,550 miles separate Chicago from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. For the 10,000 Ethiopians living in Chicago, that distance seems a lot smaller due to the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Nov 21 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Foxcatcher, The Homesman, Force Majeure, America the Beautiful 3: The Sexualization of Our Youth, National Gallery & Miss Meadows

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

 

Events

Sun Nov 23 2014
Chicago Italian Film Festival

Mon Nov 24 2014
Chicago Italian Film Festival

Tue Nov 25 2014
Chicago Italian Film Festival

Wed Nov 26 2014
You're Being Ridiculous @ Mary's Attic

Wed Nov 26 2014
Chicago Italian Film Festival

Thu Nov 27 2014
Second City's Holidazed & Confused Revue @ UP Comedy

Thu Nov 27 2014
Chicago Italian Film Festival

Fri Nov 28 2014
You, Me, Them, Everybody Live @ Hungry Brain

Fri Nov 28 2014
Sing-Along Sound of Music @ Music Box

Fri Nov 28 2014
Michael Milano Solo Exhibition for Trunk Show

Fri Nov 28 2014
23rd Annual Wreathing of the Lions @ Art Institute

Sat Nov 29 2014
Chicago Indie Artisan Market


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: LaShawn Williams, ldw@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15

Newsletter

Sign up for our free email newsletter I Star Chi and get a weekly round-up of the best of Gapers Block, plus our picks for must-do events each weekend!

istarchi

Preferred format    Preferred format