DID YOU READ

Catching up with 2012 Subway Fresh Artists finalist Libby Klein from “The Loop”

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If the world is going to end in 2012, then Libby Klein suggested that it might happen at the end of a Subway sandwich: in “The Loop,” her entry in Subway’s Fresh Artists™ Filmmaker Series competition, two young men discover an unexpected – and hilarious – nexus in time and space when they accidentally create duplicates of themselves while devouring breakfast at their local sub shop.

Klein, the project’s producer, helped her fellow collaborators put together “The Loop” for the competition, which enlisted aspiring filmmakers to create a web series that incorporates their sponsor. IFC recently spoke with Klein about where the idea for “The Loop” originally came from, and about the challenges she endured and lessons she learned in the process of participating in the competition.

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Watch the rest of “Frat House Musical” and learn more about the SUBWAY Fresh Artists™ Filmmaker Series by clicking here.


IFC: Just to get started, talk about how you first became aware of the contest and then how you and your collaborators came up with an idea that you thought would be appropriate or suitable for it.

KLEIN:NYU Stern has a student-run group called Promotion Pictures. And every year Promotion coordinates a collaboration between the business school where I attend, the film school, and this year also the Interactive Media School. So in past years they’ve [involved] a new sponsor for a new contest similar to what we did with Subway this year; although, with Subway it was a much bigger contest. So I heard about it through Promotion Pictures ‘cause they are the ones that really like go out and reach out to the students and kind of work — and did all the organization. And so that’s how I heard about it.

IFC: How did you and your collaborators come up with an idea that you thought would be well suited to the competition?

KLEIN:As the producer I wasn’t that involved in the idea creation. My team originally came up with a script that had to do with he end of the Mayan calendar and I looked at that script and had many comments and was like, I don’t think this is really going to work with what our sponsor wants and I don’t think it works with the medium. And instead of kind of reworking that concept they came back to me with the current script and I was like, “Great, I love this. Let’s do it.” And but it just, the concept in general it was like fresh, it was young, it seemed like it would — it matched like the target audience that Subway is trying to reach. And we just thought it would be like fun and exciting to shoot. We also thought it would be, it was like right on the edge of what we thought kind of technically we should do with the budget that we had and we wanted to push the budget as far as we could.

IFC: What were the specific challenges that you had to undertake for this because of maybe working at a scale that was different than what you had done in the past.

KLEIN:Well, before this I was a reality television producer and I also produced and directed media for political groups, so there were many challenges. I’ve never been in charge of such a large budget and so much hiring, so like balancing the creative demands and our budget was really a challenge, but a great opportunity.

IFC: How much did you have to think about Subway in the process of incorporating them in to the existing story that you guys had?

KLEIN:Our story wouldn’t have existed without Subway. It wasn’t like we had a story and then tried to adapt it to Subway. Like it evolved together with the concept of Subway, so from the beginning we wanted to have Subway in each of the episodes. We tried to have Subway in the episodes with a little bit of humor around it, and then our characters start in Subway in the first episode. In the second episode, there’s more just allusions to it and in the third episode they go back to it.

IFC: Was this dramatically different than other stuff that you had done in the past, or given the sort of experiences you previously had, it was actually not that much different?

KLEIN:It was different in that my role was different. As a reality TV producer, I wasn’t on the budgetary side. I was on the more creative and daily logistical side. So although the budget was definitely was smaller for this than it is for a reality show, this is the first time I’ve been in charge of it.

IFC: How indicative do you feel like this particular project is in terms of what you want to maybe do going forward?

KLEIN:This is exactly what I want to do going forward. I’d like to do both episodic and single production, whether it’s movies or one-hour television shows, but this is a great opportunity to try the things that I had not done before. And in addition to the web series we also produced a mobile app for Android that’s coming out. So for me it was also an amusing experience to have more projects with super deliverables, and really working in expanding the story world that we created in the episodes to a separate app — and trying to figure out how you do that. And how you manage the production and how you manage resources I think will be part of my career going forward, and it was another great opportunity.

IFC: What are you working on now?

KLEIN:Right this moment I’m looking to get a job for the summer producing or working in production or development.

IFC: Ultimately what do you feel like you took away from this experience that you feel like you’ll take with you to new jobs, or that could be applicable to your future career?

KLEIN:Well kind of like I said this is pretty much exactly what I’d like to be doing in the future, producing narrative content. So going forward I’ve been looking for new things and I’m glad [the series] is in my pocket, to say, “Here’s an example of something that I produced and here’s what I can do and how I did it and I think I’m ready for a bigger budget.”

IFC: What through this process do you feel like maybe was the sort of most important lesson that you learned?

KLEIN:I guess it’s harder to manage a team than I expected. It’s important that you communicate with everyone and express expectations as early as possible, or then that’s usually what happens. But also I guess that it’s okay to have a little conflict and resolve it.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
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Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
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Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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