The gentlemen of Claymore Productions have decided to premiere their TV pilot online this Wednesday, April 16th. I had the privilege to see this pilot last fall at the NYTVF screening in Chicago and it is something special. In my opinion, this would be the pilot offspring of Tim Burton and Wes Anderson. It's a crazy collage of visual mastery and I had the chance to set down with master minds behind Claymore Productions.
After taking home the Best Actor Award for their collective efforts on their full-length television pilot at the 2013 New York Television Festival (NYTVF), Chicago sketch comedy group Exquisite Corpse will be premiering its self-titled television pilot for the first time online. Produced by Claymore Productions, the pilot will be available for public viewing on Wednesday, April 16, 12pm, at www.claymoreproductions.com. Calling on elements of Monty Python, Kids in the Hall, and Mr. Show, the Exquisite Corpse pilot brings its own flavor of absurd, dark, cinematic sketch comedy to the world. Click here to watch the Exquisite Corpse trailer and below are a few words from the gentlemen of Claymore Productions.
What was the initial idea behind Exquisite Corpse?
Tyler Smith: The pilot is the culmination of years of experimenting with our sketch voice and collaborating with some really talented writers and video production folks. Initially, Exquisite Corpse was a monthly live show also streamed live on the internet. It was a monstrous undertaking, so we moved on to a monthly show where we taped everything and then edited afterward, posting the final product online. That also proved to be a lot of work with little return. However, one thing we did discover was that we were making some cool short films with some really talented video guys - Michael Fernandez, Bryan "The Beast" Sentiere, Matt Rice, and Steve Sullivan. The idea then became we would concentrate all of that talent on one big project. We also realized we wanted our sketch show to be like our improv shows - absurd, organic, dark. So we transcribed a lot of our material from Claymore improv shows and then sculpted it into a sketch show with the Exquisite Corpse writers, namely Jared Jeffries and James Chase. The final result is the pilot we're premiering on Wednesday.
What was it like to be awarded "Best Actor" at the NYTVF last fall?
Josh Segovia: It was a complete surprise, we had no idea that comedies would even be in the mix for that award, And when they called all four of our names it was like a dream. All the Chicago people in the audience went nuts and we just high-fived our way to the stage.
Why are you choosing to release the pilot on Wednesday at noon? Any specific reason? What are your hopes with releasing the pilot to the public?
Brian Hurwitz: Wednesdays have always been our ideal day for releasing new content on the web. Why? Because it's Hump Day. It's the day when we're most in need of a mental vacation or that extra boost of morale to get us over the hump. Why at noon? Because it's Hump Hour! If our pilot can fly just one person over the hump(s), we'll have fulfilled our wildest hopes and dreams.
Will the pilot be available to view online after the noon viewing?
Tyler Smith: Definitely. People will be able to watch it forever. But it'll be extra tasty at noon on Wednesday.
What are the next steps with this pilot? Future plans? Any further talks about production possibilities?
Peyton Brown: We'd love to produce more episodes of Exquisite Corpse in the future, and we have a hell of a lot of material from our stage show, which was the germ for the pilot as well. Right now we're focusing on producing both short film work unrelated to Exquisite Corpse, as well as a pilot which is not sketch. Making more episodes of Exquisite Corpse would most likely be a work of love on our part, seeing as how the original hasn't been picked up.
What has been the most challenging factor to overcome so far?
Brian Hurwitz: Explaining what our pilot is in a 30-second pitch. We can say that it's a sketch comedy pilot, but that only explains it in the broadest sense. We can describe the overarching narrative that holds the show together, but the narrative is so absurd, explaining it feels like telling someone about the weird dream you had. We can reference inspirations for the show, like Monty Python's Flying Circus or The Upright Citizens Brigade series, and that starts to give a picture. But really you just have to watch the thing to understand what it is. It speaks for itself much better than we can.
What are you most excited about and looking forward to?
Josh Segovia: To keep creating. Sometimes it feels like we make things in a vacuum, so anytime someone acknowledges your work it feels good. We have been working and creating together for just about a decade now and would love for it to be our jobs.
What's the one thing people should know or keep in mind before viewing this pilot?
Peyton Brown: How much they're enjoying watching it. Please write about it to your local Representative.
Is Claymore performing anywhere right now that people could come see you guys live?
Tyler Smith: Well I'm glad you asked, Kiley. The four of us are going to be improvising as Claymore with the incredibly talented female group WiseSnatch at iO. You can see us Thursdays starting May 1st at 10:30pm in the Del Close Theater. Suffice it to say, we're pretty excited.