Trending? Or trendy? Either/or. Life after the end-times is such a fertile subject for exploring. Just like the vampire wave of the “early aughts” (2000-now) that brought us True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and *shudder* the Twilight nonsense, creators are cashing in on the after-times. From the zombie apocalypse – The Walking Dead, World War Z – to good old fashioned nuclear destruction – The Fallout video game series from Bethesda and the motion picture The Road starring Viggo Mortenson – writers, directors, programmers and artists are imagining what life will be like after a major catastrophic event. Hell, even camp Apatow has given us This Is The End.
Well, there’s another look at what happens in “The After” and it’s brought to us by the comedy team Diani & Devine. The names might not immediately ring a bell, but you probably have heard of some of their projects. A few years back they turned to Kickstarter to fund a project wherein the “n-word” in Twain’s Huck Finn was replaced with the word “robot.” In fact, all traces of Jim’s humanity were replaced with robotic details. “Eyes” became “optical lenses” and so forth. This was done not as an attempt to censor Twain’s classic, but rather to satirize attempts by others who had tried to censor his work in the past (and present.) It turned out to be a pretty marvelous project.
Those two – Diani & Devine is comprised of Gabe Diani and Etta Devine – are attempting to bring their indie film to life! Diani & Devine Meet The Apocalypse is a labor of love, and will feature a handful of nerdy cult-favorites. Personal favorite, and the voice of the Avatar Korra herself, Janet Varney is involved. You might know Janet from her work on the web series Burning Love, her time on TBS’s Dinner and a Movie or as the host of the utterly delightful JV Club Podcast.
They’ve taken to Kickstarter once again to hopefully fund a limited theatrical release:
PRLog (Press Release) – Oct. 22, 2013 – LOS ANGELESE, Calif. — October 22, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Writer/Actor/Directors Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine (creators of the feature film The Selling (http://dianianddevine.com/projects/the-selling/) and satiric book project Huck Finn [Robotic Edition] (http://dianianddevine.com/projects/huck-finn/)) have launched a Kickstarter campaign with over thirty different campaign videos to fund the production of the feature film “Diani And Devine Meet The Apocalypse.”
“This is an ambitious campaign and it’s not news to have a Kickstarter anymore,” Devine said, “We knew that if we were going to get noticed this time around we needed to do something big.”
In addition to their main campaign video which was shot over the course of three months to show their clothes and personal hygiene deteriorate in various apocalyptic locations, the campaign will launch new “APOCATIPS” videos (advice “for a better end of the world”) every day featuring friends and notable cast members of the film like the Golden Globe and Tony award-winning Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City), Harry Groener (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Armin Shimerman (Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Buffy, Bioshock), and Janet Varney (The Legend of Korra, Burning Love).
“The campaign is a project in and of itself,” Diani said, “It’s purpose it to entertain and hopefully it will be entertaining enough that people feel compelled to help.”
There are also several humorous appeals from Bostwick, Groener and Shimerman, and Varney (who actually donned the costume of the popular animated character “Korra” that she voices).
In return for donating to the project, backers will receive rewards that range from DVDs to Skype conversations with the cast and include MP3 commentaries from Bostwick on the cult film “Megaforce” and from Shimerman on two of his “Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episodes.”
“Diani & Devine Meet The Apocalypse” is the story of a struggling comedy duo (Diani & Devine playing versions of themselves) who discover that surviving the apocalypse is almost as difficult as surviving Hollywood.
This marks Diani & Devine’s third Kickstarter campaign. Their first, a satiric book project called “Replacing the ‘N-word’ With ‘Robot’ in Huckleberry Finn,” went viral after its launch in 2011 and ended up raising over 400% of its initial goal. They followed up in 2012 with a successful campaign to fund a limited theatrical release for their first film, the award-winning supernatural comedy called the “The Selling.”
Gabriel Diani and Etta Devine are award-winning actors, writers, and comedians who are often compared with classic comedy teams like Nichols and May and Burns and Allen. They have performed at comedy festivals all over the country, raised over $30,000 on Kickstarter to replace the “N-word” with “Robot” in Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” and garnered over 1.3 million hits on their web series Mary Olson. Gabe wrote, produced, and starred in the horror comedy feature film THE SELLING which played at over 30 film festivals, was in the Top 10 of About.com’s Best Horror Movies of 2012, and received rave reviews from The Huffington Post, Ain’t It Cool News, and FilmThreat. Co-produced by and co-starring Etta, the film is available on DVD/VOD and through Fearnet On Demand. You can see their sizzle reel here .
Please consider donating to help them achieve that goal. I really believe in the importance of supporting independent artists, and especially independent comedy projects. Comedy is a good thing.
For more information on Diani & Devine, why not listen directly to them! Click here to listen to their episode when they were guests on the Nerdist podcast, and click here to listen to Etta alone speaking with previously mentioned Janet Varney on The JV Club!