Anyone who is familiar with the Lonely Island's homemade video origins has to acknowledge they've come a long way. While the genius was always there, the production value and look of their work continually improves, thanks to a hand from Saturday Night Live and, a dash of Rosey Media and friends. With epic hits like 'Dick in a Box',"Iran so Far,""On A Boat," and "MotherLover" under their belts, one might even wonder if "The Dudes" have lost touch with their backyard video roots. The last two Digital Shorts, however, have proven that Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone can still play- and deliver the funny- in any format.
Thursday and Friday, November the 5th and 6th, the Lonely Island were in full-on filmmaking form. Over a nearly continuous two-day shoot, the guys turned out "Firelight," a spoof on the popular teen-sexy vampire book/movie series "Twilight." Not satisfied to simply toss out a parody, director Akiva Schaffer and director of photography Aaron Phillips insisted on recreating the upcoming film's trailer shot by shot. "Firelight" stars the wonderfully charming and talented Taylor Swift, as well as SNL cast members Bill Hader,Jason Sudeikis, Kenan Thompson and Andy Samberg. Also appearing are SNL featured players BobbyMoynihan, Abby Elliott, Nasir Pedrad and Jenny Slate. The result:
To match the trailer's dynamic, cinematic look, the piece was shot entirely on the Red One camera. Rosey Media assembled a stalwart Red crew to deliver movie magic at a TV pace, shooting everywhere from 30 Rock to the gloomy, gothic woods of the Van Cortland Park golf course in the Bronx (which is lovely- really!) Thanks to AC Jason Vandermer and Red Tech Nate Slevin for making this state-of-the-art camera sing, Dolly crew Stian Nilsen and Brad for providing the muscle in a graceful way, Sergei Franklin for the Steadicam stylings, sound wizard Dan Walter for the ear candy, and Brian Townes for keeping it all moving. Thanks also to Dina Moles, Rachael Lynn, and Kim Smelter.
Just when you'd think they'd gone all Hollywood, the following week found the Digital Short team back to their run n' gun roots. Director Akiva Schaffer, cast members Andy Samberg and Fred Armisen, director of photography John Rosenblatt, and a rested-up Dan Walter and Brian Townes were joined by our favorite prop goddess Jeannine Jones. This crew, once again under the watchful eyes and helpful hands of Dina, Rachael, and Kim ran a late-night sprint around 30 Rock, and into the apartment of a couple of only slightly suspecting acquaintances off of Madison Ave. Again, funny was made, but this time with a very mobile camera, streamlined sound gear and. . . a can.
Once again, the Lonely Island proves that, large or small scale, they can still bring it. And we at Rosey Media are proud to be a part of what's been broughten.