Well, this is kind of a hard post to write. I’m posting something that I’m really proud of, and really feel blessed to be a part of, but am unfortunately walking away from. The video you see above is sort of the culmination of the band that I got to play the drums for these past two years in Los Angeles – a video that captures us at our tightest and shows you what we had to offer in terms of originality and dynamic as a band. Ichiro, Brandon (or Dregs, as he often goes by) and Alex (who unfortunately had to leave the band last May) were some of the greatest musicians I’ve ever met and some of the coolest, most genuine and talented guys I’ve ever had the chance of working with. I’m 30 years old now and for my entire life I’ve been trying to put a band together. If you’ve ever tried to do that yourself, you’ll know how hard that is. It’s really hard to find people who play instruments that are cool, reliable people, and even harder to find people that you just have a natural, musical chemistry with. The four of us just clicked and found our thing, and it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. It was a life-long dream to one day be in a band and play live shows, and with Orphanette I not only got to do that, but I got to have a lot of fun doing that and grow as a musician, an artist, and a person.
Because I got a great opportunity for work that is just a bit too far from Los Angeles, I have to say goodbye to Orphanette. It sucks, but I can’t thank the other guys enough and I’m really happy we have a lot of things – including this video – that we were able to make and be proud of together.
Hope you enjoy it too. If you do, be a doll and share it.
Hello, people who accidentally stumbled across this page while looking for pornography. My band, Orphanette, for whom I play the drums, recently played a show at The TRiP in Santa Monica. So here are some videos from that show. Watch them?
Yeah, so I know you can’t really see us in them that well, but that’s us playing the songs! Anyway, if you like them, come watch our next show: The TRiP Pre-Halloween Show on 10.30.14. We’re headlining! And it’s free!
Also, keep up with any news from Orphanette or dogwater (my other music project) on the new music section of my page which can be found here.
I’m not feeling particularly creative right now, so that’s it.
Well, this is it. After today, I’m finished annoying you about Right Hand Man. After today, I go back to annoying you with funny-to-probably-only-me-at-that-particular-moment Twitter posts and the occasional stupid poll or Buzzfeed article that momentarily made me feel better about myself until making me feel like an asshole for wasting five minutes of my life.
For those of you who have not hidden me from your news feeds because I was annoying the hell out of you, I thank you whole-heartedly. For those of you who have contributed to and shared the campaign, I thank you more than whole-heartedly, and apologize for not thinking of a better way of saying that than “more than whole-heartedly.” As you probably know, we have already achieved our goal level of funding to produce this web series. Actually, we’ve received just a little bit more than we need, so we have a little bit of cushion to take chances (though not huge chances) and accommodate unexpected challenges, which is amazing. I can’t tell you right now how excited I am for what’s to come. I’ve never spent more than $1,000 on a project that I’ve filmed before, and that was only because I had to shoot that one on actual film. To me, $15,000 opens a whole new level of filmmaking. Consider the pieces you saw during this Indiegogo campaign – the initial video, all of the shorts, the recuts. I would be very surprised if we spent more than $500 total on those pieces. We pulled some favors and got some free equipment, a location, and several other things without spending any money, but on a mere $500, we made 13 videos and did countless other things that we’re pretty proud of.
But they’re nothing compared to this series we’ve been working on for the past six to eight months.
Most of the Right Hand Man shorts you saw were created in reaction – we pretty much never really planned to do them until after we launched the campaign. Once the campaign went live and we truly realized exactly how much money we were asking for – which to any of us is an insane amount of money because we’re all pretty low in the tax brackets right about now – we started thinking of any way possible to be creative and keep this campaign fresh and continuously present to possible donors. That’s where Will’s hilarious haiku’s came from, and that’s where the Hand Job campaign (or Right Hand Man Branded Photos) came from – it was all done in reaction. With these videos – and the idea to keep doing them – we had nothing in the bank to execute at the beginning of this. No ideas, no premises, nothing written. So we would juggle six busy, steadily employed writers’ schedules, figure out when we could meet to develop ideas (which was usually late on Friday nights), then shoot them in mornings on the weekends before Michael Mejia had to clock in for his night shift at Starbucks. We needed to make them to keep putting fresh content out there and stay visible in the public eye. Conception to post in three to four frequently interrupted days.
Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this to better anticipate what this series is going to be. Altogether, Right Hand Man the series is about 60 pages long. We spent 6 months writing and developing that. Every episode went through extensive rewrites. We broke and re-broke the story umpteen times. I have personally storyboarded every frame of the first episode. Consider that amount of forethought and preparation in combination with any shred of creativity in our campaign videos.
And now, thanks to you, we have $15,000 to play with.
I really hope this doesn’t sound like bragging, because that is not my intention. And I really hope I don’t sound like I’m downplaying the pride I or we have in the shorts we’ve created, because that’s also not my intention. My intention here is to assure you that you’ve made an investment. A good investment. You’ve invested in the futures of six people who worked their asses off to make something they believe in. Something vulgar. Something profane. Something irreverent. But something that was made with care and really has a lot of heart in it, and that much I hope you’ll enjoy no matter who you are.
So thank you. Sincerely, thank you more than I can possibly put into words. You can’t see it, but I’m crying right now. Mostly because I’m listening to “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley (gets me every time), but some of those tears are in reaction to the amazing opportunity my friends and I have just been given thanks to the generosity of our friends and family, and we will not lose sight of how privileged we are to have this opportunity, and we will continue to work harder than we ever have before, because you’ve invested in us and now we’ve got the weight of that responsibility on our shoulders.
So again, in case that wasn’t clear: THANK YOU.
I’d also like to thank, individually and collectively, each of my five co-writers and colleagues here for putting up with me through all of this and working with me to create something greater than anything I’ve ever been a part of before. Whether it have been by gaining the respect of each of them or by some level of bullying on my part (the answer I’m sure – and hope – is somewhere in between), I have been bestowed the honor by these five amazing individuals to sort of steer the ship through this whole process and act as “showrunner.” And that means the world to me, that through all of this, these five people have continuously let me work and create among them despite my ENORMOUS flaws and honestly often-bat-shit-insane mind.
But before I go any further, Right Hand Man only is what it is because of all six of us working together. I only bring this point up in public to thank my colleagues for their tolerance and trust in me. Actually, that’s not true. There’s a certain amount of ego wrapped up in there that I can’t control and that I have to appease or it will drive me crazy. That’s shitty, but it’s honest, and it’s true, and I’d feel like more of a piece of shit if I didn’t admit that. It’s a part of me I’m certainly ashamed of and would like to work to correct, but it’s there and I can’t deny it.
Anyway, to continue the ship metaphor, everyone had stations to man, I just got to stand at the steering wheel. We were all together blowing the wind into the sails. But what’s been the engine of it for me, what’s been the thing keeping me personally working hard and wanting to see this project through, is at the end of the day, I wanted to make something amazing with people I love. I love this material. I love this story. I love the work we have done. And I love these five people I’ve created it with like family, because that’s what they’ve become to me. And I really hope this love and level of heart is apparent in the final product we’ll be giving you within the next 6 months to a year depending on various factors.
Shit, I got distracted and wrapped up in my own stupid head. Personal thank you’s (in alphabetical order).
Donald Francis William Buckingham III:
What do I say to Will? He’s the loudest, most unapologetically ignorant man I’ve ever met and I love him for that. But he’s more than that. Will is a little boy dressed up in his father’s clothing smoking a cigarette, sipping a glass of Scotch, and almost pulling it off, but we all know that behind that cigarette smoke and whiskey smell, there’s a little boy there with a big old heart. And he’s pretty damned funny and unique. So funny I wanted to make a web series about him.
Michael Eugene Butler:
Not many people know this, but Mike Butler is probably one of the most genuine people on the planet. This dude listens to people – pretty much every word a person says – processes it objectively, and analyzes it with an amazing and empathetic mind that a writer needs. He’s also a HILARIOUS actor, and none of us knew that because he’s the amazing kind of guy who never needs to tell you that he is. You just find out one day when you see him act. And those the best kind of guys in my book. Mike Butler has also been the guy who continuously throws out the weirdest, most outside-the-box idea you can think of over and over again, and although not all of them stick, he’s always the one who throws out something so out there and original that it solves the puzzle we’ve created for ourselves.
Amy Paulette Hartman:
Amy gets shit done. Amy makes shit happen. Amy has a mind for logistics, networking, and figuring out how to produce something that is nothing short of vital to the successes we’ve had as a team. We needed a place to meet because stubborn-ass, easily-distracted Chris refused to work in somebody’s apartment? Amy made that happen. We needed gear to shoot the Indiegogo video? Boom, Amy’s got it locked down before we even knew what we needed. She’s the best producer we could hope for and her talents were essential to making this happen. She’s also responsible for some of the beautiful photography in our shorts. Beyond that, she is my room-mate and puts up every single fart/laugh combo that I have suffered her through, and that deserves more thanks than I can put into words.
Matthew Duncan McRee:
Have you ever met this guy? Matt McRee is possibly the most likable guy you can imagine. He’s literally always in a good mood, making you laugh, and solving problems you didn’t even know you had. Oh, you forgot to eat before the meeting? Boom, Matt’s ordering food for the team. Oh, nobody’s been writing down any of the ideas we’ve been talking about for the last three hours? No, dumb ass. Of course Matt has. He’s on that shit. He’s always on that shit. Oh, you didn’t think about how to make a joke or story beat fit into the actual rhythm/sequence of the story? Boom, Matt just writes it right in his episode and you don’t have to worry about it. And for the record, Matt was the man responsible for what I consider to be the best and most entertaining copy I’ve ever read on an IndieGogo page. It’s like he just loved writing every word of it as much as you loved reading it.
Michael J. Mejia:
I love Michael Mejia. He’s like a diva you always want to hug. He’s the only man I know that can make you laugh about his misfortunes and feel good about them with him at the same time. He’s one of the most honest and real people I can even imagine, and I think the world is going to fall in love with him when they see he and his silly hand going on crazy adventures. Just so that everyone knows, those shorts came together so quickly we didn’t really have time to script them. 50-60% of the dialogue in those things came from an amazing improvisor and performer named Michael Mejia after he had been given little time to prepare and probably not quite-enough-information. To be honest, at the beginning of this, we hadn’t seen Michael doing too much of the man and hand act, but I think these videos go to show that he took to it quick and he’s only going to get better. If there’s anyone who can pull of such an odd and physical comedic performance, it’s the lovable Michael J. Mejia.
Well, this is quite the lengthy post that probably no one’s going to read isn’t it? Yes, it is. But this is a big moment in the life of a mumbling, lanky, awkward, alcoholic writer/”comedian”‘s life so he had to say something. He had to put it into words. He hopes you’ve enjoyed some of them, but more importantly he hopes you will remember this project is now entering the next step and will soon be shot, then edited, then ready for you to enjoy. And he hopes you stick with he and his friends along the way, because he really thinks you’ll enjoy the ride and he would like nothing more than to share a few laughs and a good story with you, so that you can then go share them with the people you love.
Okay, he’ll shut up now.
P.S. In case you haven’t seen them yet, here’s the rest of the Right Hand Man shorts. Enjoy!
Hi, guys. So, I don’t know how many of you are familiar with this video, but I posted it a few years ago after my performance in it was well-received and I’m pretty proud of it. It really was a landmark moment in defining my voice as an artist, storyteller and comedian. One thing I have become less proud of over the years, however, is the fact that I named the girl that it was about in the video.
That, I’m kind of ashamed of.
I’m ashamed because I kind of publicly humiliated her without realizing it, and it was selfish and stupid. She broke my heart, and I thought the best way to get back at her was to tell this story and let out a little bit of anger for my own sake, but in retrospect, that wasn’t cool. So, I’ve removed the original video, cut her name out of it, and reposted this version where she is not named. If that girl is reading this, I hope she can forgive me and that maybe one day we can be friends again.
Anyway, enough of that sappy stuff. I also wanted to just make sure everyone was up-to-date on all of the cool Right Hand Man stuff we’ve been making, so I’m posting all of the shorts we’ve made so far below this text (minus the first one which I’ve already posted). Hope you enjoy them, and if you haven’t contributed to our IndieGogo campaign, please consider donating at http://igg.me/at/RightHandMan (only 8 days left!)
And there’s two more coming later this week!
Hello. Chris Rebbert here. Thanks for joining me. I wanted to take some time today to talk about a very special project I’ve been involved with called Right Hand Man.
What’s a Right Hand Man, you ask? First of all, have some patience. You’re six short sentences into this blog post and you’re already demanding answers? Jesus, let me take some time to ease you into things, to entice you. I was trying to be formal and polite by introducing myself. Oh, “It’s the 21st century,” you say, and you have neither the time nor the attention span to be enticed, to read a self-indulging blog post about a rookie project with no known talent attached to it. You need a picture – an animated gif if possible, or a sound byte or a video. Alright, fine. Here’s a video so you can have your quick laugh. But do me a favor, if you like it, please come back and read the rest of this article.
Funny, right? We really hope you think so. It’s stupid, and kind of cheap, but it makes us laugh. And, well, that’s just a taste of what’s to come.
So let me really tell you about Right Hand Man. RHM is a six episode comedy web series about the unlikely friendship that emerges between two young men named Michael and Will. Michael (portrayed by Michael J. Mejia) describes himself pretty accurately by saying he is “part Tina Fey, part Beyoncé and part wookie.” He’s a hefty but lovable gay Chicano man having trouble finding love in the highly sexualized and superficial Los Angeles dating scene. One desperate night he decides to take his efforts to the next level by swallowing some artificial courage (drugs and alcohol) and just going for it in a hands-on dance club, grabbing every body part in sight. His ambitious tactics bring him some new friends, but also earn him some dangerous enemies, one of whom curses his grabby right hand to be possessed by the spirit of Will (voiced by D.F.W. Buckingham), a wise-cracking, annoying, and 80’s-movie-loving former frat boy slash hopeless [straight] romantic.
The series follows them as they try and coexist long enough to piece together what happened so they can reverse the curse and get things back to normal, but it hopefully goes a little further than that. Hopefully – if we’ve done our jobs – you’re watching an odd little friendship grow between a man and his hand.
Look, it may seem like a silly idea, but we really worked hard on this. We initially got the idea while we were joking around at a Tisch Asia party last summer, but it quickly snowballed into something we couldn’t stop talking about. We (Will Buckingham, Mike Butler, Amy Hartman, Matt McRee, Michael Mejia and myself) kept having more and more ideas until we knew we had to do something with it. It was one of those ideas that’s just got some natural momentum to it, like there’s just something in the idea that makes it the gift that keeps on giving. The momentum increased even further when the idea to cast Michael J. Mejia in the lead role came about. He was the only one of us who – at the time – had any real acting clout, and he’s such a great, vibrant and physical person/performer that the whole series just developed around him. And who’s the polar opposite of Michael Mejia? Well, we had him too. That’s our good friend D.F.W. “Will” Buckingham. He’s everyone’s favorite loud-mouthed, idiosyncratic, too-dumb-to-be-offensive man-boy with very distinct tastes. The two of them couldn’t be any further apart and both on paper and in real life they make a great odd couple you really have to experience to believe.
Once we got our players in order, we sat around and came up with some fantastic supporting characters. First, there’s Leezo (tentatively portrayed by our good friend Nevil Jackson), a suave homosexual man’s man with an answer for everything. Then, there’s Janet (casting still in process), Michael’s clingy next door neighbor who gloms onto Michael’s good nature and is obsessed with the idea of being his “fag hag.” And finally, there’s Silvanus (portrayed by yours truly, Chris Rebbert), an exotic man of mysterious heritage who is slowly and painfully discovering his homosexuality and attempting to wrestle its existence with his strict, deeply-entrenched religious beliefs. There’s also a dog, but I don’t want to give too much away.
Anyway, once we had our characters and the general dramatic situation, we took some time to sit back and outline a journey for these players, one where all five of our main cast members would see themselves completing some sort of arc and remain relevant to the story. Every time we felt like we were coming up against something predictable, we’d throw a Right Hand Man style wrench in the spokes and mix things up with something unique that would help expand this cartoonish and magical world. We spent weeks planning this out, then, when the time came, we split apart and wrote our respective episodes. But that wasn’t the end. We kept getting back together and re-wrote and re-wrote until everything was as tight as possible. As far as we see, there’s not a single opportunity for a joke that’s wasted and not a plot hole to be found in this series of scripts. All of our emotional beats are there and we butt up against some great comedy set pieces that can only exist in this world we’ve created together.
And now the time has come that we want to make this thing and share it with the world. That’s where you come in. First off, check this video:
That’s the pitch video we put together for our IndieGogo campaign. We put about 1/4 of the time and preparation into that one as we did the actual series, and you can see what we were able to achieve with just that. If you followed the link at the end of the video, it would have taken you to our IndieGogo page, where you could see our whole video gallery (including the g-rated cut of the IndieGogo video, as well as a few other shorts like the one at the top of the article), and you can also see all of the love and support we’ve received so far. It’s amazing to me that as of right now, 3:40pm on Thursday, July 31 2014 we’ve received $6,426 towards our $15,000 goal and I and the rest of the Right Hand Man team can’t thank our contributors enough for the generous amount of money they have given.
But we still have a long way to go. $15,000 may seem like an arbitrary, nice-and-round number that we just pulled off of the top of our heads, but shooting a web series (or anything independent) in Los Angeles costs money, and this is a super ambitious project for such a small budget. We’ve got a lot to pay for: locations, costumes, props, meals for the crew, camera equipment, lighting equipment, sound equipment, post-production (sound work, editing, color correction, special effects, possible animation), and so much more it’s ridiculous. We’re shooting 60 pages of material here. That’s almost as long as a feature-length film.
Before I go any further, I hope I don’t sound like I’m begging. I hope I don’t seem ungrateful for the money we’ve already gotten or the support we’ve received, I just really believe in this project. While working on this project I’ve come to realize that the other five people involved in this are some of the best, most hard-working, talented people I’ve ever met, as well as some of the best friends I’ve ever had. They’ve entrusted me with the role of showrunner, but I mean it when I say that this project belongs to all of us. More than anything I want to raise that money because my good friends here deserve to have their hard work and great talents rewarded, and I really think that if we can make this thing right, we’ll create something that a lot of people can enjoy and enjoy for free. What we’re trying to do here is essentially make a free television show of ten minute episodes and put it out there for the world to enjoy, then if they want to see what else we have to offer, hopefully we can make a career out of it.
So again, I really want this project to succeed, because my friends deserve it. If you donate to our cause, you will essentially be investing in us as filmmakers and people. The six of us have taken some pretty big risks and dedicated a lot of time to Right Hand Man, and now we’re asking you to just help us along on our journey. If you do, we [probably] will never forget you, and some time next year when Right Hand Man takes the Internet by storm, you’ll be able to say that you helped it happen.
Until next time, love and stuff.
Hi there. It’s been awhile because a) I’m busy, and I’ve got more important things to do than update my website (I don’t), and b) seriously, I have been busy. In a good way.
When I’m not PA’ing my way across Hollywood for money, I’m making stuff, and that’s good, because there’s about to be a lot coming at you. For instance, I just made this:
Okay, maybe that doesn’t warrant a proper updates, but I swear I worked on it for upwards of two hours. Rigorously.
Anyway, there’s more shit, so calm down.
In the past year, two short films I’ve written have been produced and started to see the world on the film festival circuit. The first is Godverdomme Coffee, directed by Eric Elofson (which I’m credited as co-writer. Correctly credited. I’m not being shitty and passive-aggressive, I’m just clarifying, because I co-wrote it with Eric. Well, really, he wrote a draft, I wrote two drafts, he took some of the stuff from my drafts and put them into his final draft. So we wrote it together. Separately. So, yeah. Co-wrote.). God damn it, no one’s reading this.
Anyway, click the poster below for a link to the IMDB page, and then watch the trailer because it’s a good trailer.
<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/65419912″>Godverdomme Coffee – Trailer</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/nyu”>Eric Elofson</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Watch that? Good. You should have. You’d really be missing out on the complete website post experience if you just skipped down here and kept reading like an asshole. Anyway, that movie is premiering in the U.S. at the Boston International Film Festival on April 12, 2014. So go watch it.
The next movie is called Bull Shit, directed by Marc Wiltshire, and I don’t really know why I mentioned it because I don’t have anything to share from it. But I will! The website should be going live very soon, and I’ll be posting it right here for you to visit.
I’m proud of both of them, and I think both are worth your small amount of time if you ever get the chance to see them. I’d imagine one or both of them will be available for viewing at some point right here on the World Wide Web.
For right now, that’s all I’ve got to share, but stay tuned, because in the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting a link to the Bull Shit website; Kickstarter/Indiegogo information for a comedy web series I’ve been working on with fellow Tisch Asia alumni Will Buckingham, Mike Butler, Amy Hartman, Matt McRee, and Michael Mejia called Right Hand Man; and even the first song from my upcoming music project, dogwater, called “The Wade Eternal” (with guitars, guest vocals and lyrics by fellow Orphanette, Brandon Otani) (holy shit!).
Thanks for tuning in, kids, and expect more very soon.
Also, share my shit! I need exposure!
I’m not kidding. It’s not just a striking resemblance. That’s actually me. The animators of the game took photos of me, and initially used the Soundgarden Contest Video I did as a starting point, then designed a model in my image and put me into the game. Nuts, I know. It’s pretty bad ass, isn’t it? It didn’t just happen, though. My brother, Sean Ainsworth, was the director of the episode, and knowing that I am such a fan of the Walking Dead comic, he put me into the game. The character’s called Eddie, not Chris, and he won’t have my voice (or even my amazing personality), though I did get to audition for the role. I didn’t get the role of myself. Can you believe that? It’s like something that only happens in a sitcom. What am I, David Justice? (That joke works if you’ve seen Moneyball). That’s how much I suck at acting, though. I’m as bad as David Justice. Jesus. I made it to the final round of auditions and came in second. I’m sure it was the right choice, though (not, I’m quite embittered) and I’m just pretty psyched to be in the damn game. I mean, how many video games are you in? Yeah, that’s what I thought. So be impressed.
Not only did they use my likeness, though, my fictional band – Chris Rebbert and the Hand Jobs – gets some pretty big billing as well. The logo for the band (which I designed and threw onto a t-shirt as a joke a couple of years ago), shows up on the t-shirt of Wyatt, the character Eddie is paired with. You can see it below.
Now a closer look at the original logo I designed:
What do I mean by fictional band? I mean they don’t exist, probably never will exist, and became a thing I created to amuse myself once. I know, it’s stupid, and I don’t even remember how the whole in-joke between my brother and I came about, but the name “Chris Rebbert and the Hand Jobs” as a band name (COPYRIGHTED, along with logo, by the way) was hilarious to me one day and really satisfied my crass, infantile sense of humor. Anyway, the shirt actually may become available for purchase soon, so stay tuned if you’re interested. It would be great for me to make money from gamers because of one dumb joke I made.
So yeah, that’s that.
But I am in a band, and we’ve been busy. There’s four songs on our ReverbNation page, and you can listen to them all by clicking the link. And that’s me on those drums, kid.
We also just played a show a few weeks ago at Molly Malone’s (unfortunately our guitar player’s final show), and we’re probably going to throw some video from that show up soon.
I guess that’s it for now, but stay tuned for some really cool stuff. Maybe.