Heads up to improv comedy fans in the Seattle area. Matt Walsh, one of the members of the Upright Citizens Brigade and founders of the UCB Theater, is playing his debut feature film, “High Road” at the Seattle Film Festival May 20th and 21st (for full details go to the SIFF website).
According to the film’s official site, “High Road” is described as the story of “Fitz, a lovable bone headed pot dealer, [who] mistakenly decides to go on the lam. He visits his estranged cross dressing dad, to seek advice. In Fitz’s world, he has the worst possible case of love triangle where he is forced to choose between the three things he loves most: selling weed, his really bad rock opera, or his newly pregnant girlfriend.” Here’s the trailer:
As you can see, the cast is absolutely stacked: Abby Elliott, Lizzy Caplan, Ed Helms, Joe Lo Truglio, Rob Riggle, Horatio Sanz, Zach Woods, and on and on. According to this New York Post interview with Walsh, the film had a unique production as well: it was almost entirely improvised.
“We spent two weeks rehearsing like theater camp — did scenes that would never make the movie. Lots of improv games. It really helped to show people the tone of the film & the process. I’ve done improv for so long and am a huge fan of Christopher Guest. I’ve always wanted to tackle it. Plus, I know so many funny people, I love being able to give them an opportunity to step forward.”
The film won Walsh a Best Director prize at its premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival. And I just realized looking at the film’s IMDb page, that the cinematographer is Hillary Spera, a friend of IFC’s; she shot the documentary “Darkon,” along with a lot of our festival coverage over the years. So that’s yet another reason to seek the film out. “High Road” doesn’t have a distributor yet, so I don’t know when I’ll get to see it. But I’m looking forward to it.