Welcome to a new series here at Cinematical where we'll shine a spotlight on different films premiering at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in January.
We decided to do something a little bit differently for this post since Successful Alcoholics is a short film screening at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and not a feature film. But with all sorts of hype being thrown at the big feature films, we thought it might be nice to turn down a side street and take a closer look at one of the festival's more talked-about shorts. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by TJ Miller, the 25-minute short features one third of Comedy Central's "hot list" (which names the best breakout comedians of 2009), along with some other familiar faces like Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield, My Best Friend's Girl) and Tony Hale (Arrested Development).
Cinematical caught up with director Vogt-Roberts and dropped him a few questions about the film.
Cinematical: Give us the "dude on the street" description of your film
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: Successful Alcoholics is a dark comedy of substance. It's a 25 minute short, so it falls into the strange category of being a 'long-short,' or a 'medium.' It's about Drake (T.J. Miller) and Lindsay (Lizzy Caplan) as a couple that is young, successful, in love and constantly shitfaced. They are not 'functioning alcoholics,' they're 'successful alcoholics.' A business trip to Denver proves that alcoholism, success, and a healthy relationship may not be able to coexist.
Cinematical: How did you manage to cast this impressive list of up-and-coming and established comedians?
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: I started working on little internet shorts with a bunch of incredibly talented stand-ups and improvisers in Chicago before anyone knew who they were. We all kind of left Chicago for LA or NY around the same time and have just continued collaborating. It can be a small community so you just end up meeting new funny people. Luckily the people we cast just happen to all be getting mass amounts of attention at the same time. T.J. Miller (the writer and lead actor) and I have been working together for a long time and I think comedians like him can be a great untapped resource. I was always struck by John Luvitz in Happiness and how on point he is in the opening of that movie. So it's always such a great thing when you see someone like Galifianakis killing it and breaking through on a mainstream level.
Cinematical: What's the first thing you're going to do once you get to Sundance?
Jordan Vogt-Roberts: Our short is called Successful Alcoholics so I'll probably climb a mountain with a bottle of Jameson. Seriously though, I'm just excited to get settled in and then see bunch of great films and meet a bunch of great people.... and drink a lot. I always like meeting the locals in small towns like that. Usually leads to a pretty interesting experience.
Watch the trailer for Successful Alcoholics below ...
And for another slice of somewhat related coolness, we've also posted writer and star TJ Miller's live-action Yogi Bear audition tape. Basically, Miller had auditioned for a role, but wasn't convincing the studio execs that he was the guy for the job. So, Miller and Vogt-Roberts rented a bear and shot the following audition tape. Needless to say, Miller is now filming Yogi Bear in New Zealand as one of the leads.
For more information, as well as screening times, check out the film's page on the official Sundance website.