A GUY GOING CRAZY: New Comedy Webseries

Rich Camp (right) in a scene from A GUY GOING CRAZY - image source: Rhode Island Monthly

Rich Camp (right) in a scene from A GUY GOING CRAZY – image source: Rhode Island Monthly

“A Guy Going Crazy” is a comedic web series created by Rich Camp and directed by Chris Esper. It tells the story of a budding comedian/filmmaker, Felix (Camp), who dreams of going to Hollywood. However, his drama queen girlfriend, annoying best friends, over-bearing mother, and just plain bad luck make it impossible and slowly unravel his sanity. The first season (six episodes) of the series has been completed. Director Esper provided access to screener copies of these shows in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Camp has the perfect name for the writer and star of this series. His self-reflexive, wry, ironic look at the trials and tribulations of an independent filmmaker trying to “go Hollywood” sometimes verges on just that — “rich camp.” This is meant as high praise. For example, the opening/title sequence is an over-the-top montage of Felix being repeatedly interrupted by his fellow filmmakers, friends, and girlfriend while he is trying to write on his laptop. His mother (Elaine Pelino) has absolutely no understanding of what he is doing and mainly wants him to run errands and do chores, such as repairing her work computer. His girlfriend (Audrey DelPrete), on the other hand, believes everything he says, histrionically inflates it, and then is tremendously disappointed when he does not live up to her expectations. To make matters worse, Felix’s mom periodically suggests other men that the girlfriend might be happier with.

Felix himself oscillates between grandiosity and despair, periodically “breaking the fourth wall” to make Woody-Allenesque, sardonic comments about the action of the scene he’s in. For example, while working on his mother’s computer, he has an allergic reaction to her pet dog. After explaining that his mom has known about this allergy since his childhood but, nevertheless, has always had a dog, he adds as an aside:

My mom’s a weird combination of Italian overbearing and deep-seated Catholic guilt. Mix in a complete adoration of Oprah Winfrey, and you’ve got a Molotov cocktail of narcissism.

Felix’s plan to achieve Hollywood fame receives a severe setback when his agent, a former college classmate on whom he has placed all his hopes, dumps him when he gets a promotion. His agent does throw him a bone, however — if he can produce a funny video that will go viral on the Internet, the agent will promote it. The catch — and there’s always a catch — is that he has only four weeks to produce the video. Felix gets a crazy idea to write a web show from a most unlikely source. But will the collection of “stoner losers” (Derek Colantuono, Alex Pires, Jeff Desisto, Matt Zuena) who make up his cast and crew be able to handle it? More importantly, will he be able to handle them and their B.S.? Indie filmmakers watching this series will likely recognize character types and behaviors with which they are only too familiar.

Director Esper and editor Ben Winter have done a great job of putting together DP Chris Loen’s cinematography and Jared Mann’s sound work to make a smooth, professional product. The script, by Camp and staff writers Christian Borys, Anthony Giambusso, and Adam Carbone, is very funny. The series has the support and sponsorship of Moving Picture Institute. All in all, I think it’s a great piece of comedic work that’s likely to be showing in festivals soon. If you can’t make it to the festival showings, keep your eyes peeled for this series’ online premiere. And don’t miss the great cameo by Jared Mann, who plays a bizarre waiter in the season-ending episode!

Meanwhile, here’s the series trailer: