Kickstart This: Comedy Doc 'That's Not Funny' Explores Limits of Humor
by Ben Pearson
April 5, 2013
Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about cool indie projects that need your help to become a reality. This week, we want to shine a light on a documentary film project called That's Not Funny, which wonders "how far is too far?" when it comes to comedy. Are there limits and rules to humor that everyone must abide by? When is it OK to cross a line? These kinds of questions and many more are explored through interviews with comedians, writers, and journalists. Take a look at the pitch video below, leave us a comment, and don't forget to donate if you can.
In the days before YouTube, a comedian could say something to an audience and it would only be seen and heard by the people physically there in the room with them. But now that practically everything is recorded and uploaded (put your phones away and enjoy it, people!), these comedians become lightning rods for controversy. People who have nothing better to do than be offended by a joke get all up in arms about a punchline and take to the internet to voice their complaint, sometimes rallying thousands of people to their side. You've seen this kind of thing happen before. It seems like it's become more prominent over the past year or so, and it's definitely turned into a hot-button issue.
That's Not Funny aims to take a level-headed approach to looking at both sides of this argument, extracting passionate responses from the people who matter. Director Mike Celestino has already conducted interviews with comedians like Kyle Kinane, Greg Proops, Jackie Kashian, and a handful more, but his wishlist has some massive names on it: Patton Oswalt, Seth MacFarlane, Louis C.K., Trey Parker & Matt Stone, Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais, and more. The only way they'll be able to reach out to these people is if they have the funds to film more interviews, and that's where we come in.
Since some of the best podcasts out there are comedy related, and because I live right next to the UCB Theater in Los Angeles, I've become very interested in the behind-the-scenes aspects of the L.A. comedy scene, and a documentary like this would be a great opportunity for everyone to be able to see nationally recognized comedians speak frankly about their art without having to joke about it. I'm sure there will be some funny moments, but I'm more interested in the insights about the state of comedy today that these interviews will be able to provide if we can help fund this project. Take a look at their pitch video below:
For more on That's Not Funny, and to help support the project, visit its Kickstarter page. Director Mike Celestino and his team are looking to raise $50,000 by Friday, May 10th, so let's try to pitch in and see if we can help them get access to their entire wishlist of potential interviewees. That's Not Funny isn't close to being finished yet, but it already seems like a must-watch for comedy fans.
That's all for this week's Kickstart This. Feel free to e-mail me at BenPears85@gmail.com if you come across any cool film-related projects that might need some extra attention to meet their goals. My inbox is always open, and if you send in any Kickstarter or IndieGoGo film project, I can't promise we'll feature it here, but I will always take a look. Thanks for all your submissions, definitely keep them coming. Remember to include a link to the project in your e-mails, and as always, thanks so much for your support of these projects because they couldn't be completed without the help of film lovers like you. Visit our archives here.