In early 2006 we were supposed to be writing our book, or working on our spec script, or some crap like that, when our collective attention was predictably diverted. Instead of doing our homework, we settled on trying to make diet soda come out of each other's noses.
- "Have you heard those radio spots where the woman gets into a car accident and she hits the built-in roadside assistance button and the guy calls the ambulance for her and she doesn't die?"
- "Yeah, those are lame. What if that customer service guy could get you tickets to the Borzoi ballet?"
- "Isn't a Borzoi a dog?"
- "Well, whatever that Russian ballet is. What if he could get you tickets?"
- "What if he could call in sick for you and lie to your boss?"
- "Or what if you discovered that your son needed a new kidney, so you ran back to your Domestic Minivan, hit the button, and the emergency services rep would fill out all your insurance paperwork?"
- "What if he could find you a whore?"
So we jotted down roughly 127 sketches about some customer service guy named Daryl from OnCar (which, according to our lawyers, bears absolutely no resemblance to any company, real or imaginary.) It was easy because Russ, who would eventually become the voice of Daryl, is legendary for attempting to inflict his will on anyone in society who is unwilling to self-police. We made Daryl pretty much the same way. We put these ideas into our R2C2 comedy database, and never looked back. That’s pretty much what we do with all our ideas: Ask Satan, The Bureau of Muskets, Mead, and Heretics, Time-Traveling Heckler, etc. Write them down, file them away, never look back.
But then we heard about Strike.TV. And we thought: Why not pool all the money we have ($50 in Starbucks gift cards,) find some top-notch professional actors who will work for nothing, set up shop in a parking lot after convincing the security guards that we're the new lienholders on the property, and try to shoot a ten-minute short in two days flat with a crew of three people?
- "What are we going to shoot?"
- "How about that Daryl From OnCar thing?"
Everything went as planned. The camera broke and the D.P. had to hold it together with duct tape and cigarette butts. It was raining (In L.A.) But not consistently. We had no slates. We left a thousand dollar mic out in the rain. To play the part of Daryl, Russ had to be stuffed into the cargo area of the rented minivan, on top of a pile of jagged sound equipment. The only props we could afford were an ugly bedspread (which we returned) and a vibrator (which we kept.)
But somehow, thanks to our exceptionally talented actors, brilliant director, balls-to-the-wall D.P., rock-and-roll production coordinator, genius sound mixer, and fan-freaking-tastic associate producer/editor/post-production guru, it all came together. Not to mention the composers, photographers, A.D., stunt coordinator, assistant editor, casting people, prop houses, rental companies and great friends who got us everything we needed and more, all for free. And having seen many a sitcom get killed by too much network or studio interference, we can definitely say this: it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you put a bunch of creative, talented people together and DON’T tie their hands.
Check out the Daryl from Oncar Trailer!