Badlands Features / A La Carte Productions
Now that the Veronica Mars movie has come out, we need a new star-studded crowdfund project to anticipate and maybe get mad at. How about the latest from Matt Walsh? He was sort of in a movie with Kristen Bell recently (unfortunately it was Movie 43, and they didn’t appear in the same segment), but you probably know him best as one of the regulars of HBO’s VEEP, in which he plays the vice president’s director of communications. Or maybe as a co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade. His project is called A Better You and it’s on Indiegogo rather than Kickstarter. The goal he’s set up is for the nice round number of $52,650, that’s all for post-production costs. And you’ve got a month to put your money where your love for improvisational comedy is.
Never mind that you can see Walsh for free (via your Mom’s HBO GO account) in two weeks when VEEP returns for its third season. Never mind that Walsh’s last improv movie, 2011’s High Road, has a disappointingly low user rating (maybe it’s that bad; I haven’t seen it). Never mind that you think Walsh should be using his own money instead of blowing it all on champagne and tropical vacations (he claims that’s not where his money goes and blames his kids for why he can’t fund this himself). And never mind that you now dislike Walsh because he blames his kids for his problems. For only $20,000, you can get him and some of the cast to come to your town for a special screening of the movie that hopefully will be great. And for only $5 you can have a bumper sticker.
Walsh will appear in A Better You, but he’s not the lead. That would be the movie’s co-writer, Brian Huskey, who has also been on a few episodes of VEEP. He’s another one of those “that guy” character actors, though you might not recognize him here at first since he’s wearing a wig that makes him look more like Ed Helms. Here, he plays a hypnotherapist going through a divorce and mid-life crisis. The set up seems like the premise for a TV series more than a movie, especially given that there’ll be a lot of guests playing patients. Among the names joining Huskey and Walsh in the cast are Nick Kroll, Horatio Sanz, Rob Huebel, Joe Lo Truglio, Andrew Daly and another VEEP regular, Reid Scott. I think there are some women in this movie, too, like Erinn Hayes and Morgan Walsh.
On the campaign page, Walsh discusses what he likes about doing improv and why stuff like this has to be indie – studios can’t bank on such unpredictable projects, it seems. But then why should you? What if all this is is a bunch of friends having fun and laughing on your dime? Don’t forget, there are perks separate from anything having to do with whether you enjoy the movie or not. If you’re in New York or Los Angeles, for instance, a mere $20 gets you tickets to an exclusive UCB show. For $400 you can get a phone message from anyone but Horatio Sanz. For $500 it can be Horatio Sanz! Apparently Horatio Sanz is worth $100 more than everyone else? And if you do expect to like the movie, there’s the $90 copy of the script, which given this is improv might not be very big – it’s autographed, though.
As is typically the case, this project doesn’t have an incentive in which you get to come up with an idea for the movie (when is someone going to have the balls?), but I’m going to provide one anyway: if the movie is about hypnosis, why not have all the actors perform under hypnosis? Like they’re hypnotized to be the character they’re portraying in the situation they’re going to play out. That would be some killer improv. I think? Anyway, that’s my contribution of a life hack, since that’s something related to A Better You. There’s even one life hack bit starring yet another member of the VEEP ensemble, Tim Simons (who otherwise doesn’t seem to be in the movie). Watch that here, and watch the amusing campaign trailer below. There are also other funny bits to see on the Indiegogo page.