Sunny City Shady People

Published on July 14th, 2015

Sunny City Shady People

Crowdfunding3The inherent absurdity that is life in Miami could indeed provide an inexhaustible well of inspiration for an action/adventure/sitcom. Local boys Andrew Schwartz and Dan Gonzalez are hoping to channel all of it, from real-life local politics to local music, in their show “Sunny City/Shady People” (www.sunnycityshadypeople.com). They sure have the sense of humor for it, as revealed in our exclusive Q&A with the writer/director/producer/actors:

PureHoney: What about Miami inspired you?

Dan: This place is just loaded with material. I could write hundreds of episodes about all the crazy crap I’ve seen down here. We’re like a mountain-less Los Angeles with a New York attitude.

Andrew: I was born and raised here. Write what you know, right?

PH: Who do you imagine watching your show?

Andrew: Degenerates.

OER_0331[resized]Dan: My whole family.

Andrew: I think there’s overlap there.

Dan: People from Miami and outside Miami will enjoy it for different reasons.

Andrew: The locals get the inside jokes. Outsiders can laugh at the constant sideshow.

PH: Where would you like to see this series broadcast?

Dan: Ideally? HBO. Not so ideally? NBC.

Andrew: The “Nothing But Censors” network!

Dan: Dude, that’s WAY too obscure.

Andrew: What, the kids don’t appreciate Laugh In references?

Dan: I don’t see us getting on Lifetime.

Andrew: Definitely not.

Dan: More realistically: El Rey, FX, or FXXNetflix. Comedy CentralSpike, maybe?

Andrew: I would be fine with any of those. Or Adult Swim, alongside The Venture Bros. I particularly love the Netflix model, which enables marathon watching. I love to binge on a series in a short period of time. But, honestly, our main focus is retaining creative control while acquiring enough of a budget to effectively bring our show to life. Does that sound like a cliché?

PH: I can’t imagine the guy in the truck is wearing Borscht T-shirt by accident. What’s that about?

IMG_3811Andrew: It’s an inside joke.

Dan: A little homage, just to see if they’re paying attention.

Andrew: Locals — particularly ones in the independent film and video scene — will recognize it.  I’m guessing everybody else will just appreciate the ouroboros-style design if they notice it at all.

PH: Tarantino seems like an influence, who else?

Dan: SNL and Britcoms. We definitely have a dryness to our approach.

Andrew: “Britcoms” is way too broad.  We need to list some. The Young Ones is a big influence, and Monty Python, obviously.

Dan: Obviously. Uh, The Mighty Boosh. Snuff Box.

Andrew: Definitely Snuff Box. It only ran for six episodes, but it was a huge influence on us.  Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place.

Dan: Bottom, New Statesman, Black Adder — a lotta Ben Elton (which people in England apparently hate, by the way).

Andrew: Spaced. We try to seamlessly integrate film and television parodies into scenes like Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg did on Spaced.

Dan:  And we’ve based plots in different episodes on things like Watership Down, Marathon Man, the X-Men

Andrew: And Doom Patrol! We had to change a lot of details while still getting across the similarities between the two Silver Age comic series.

Dan: Point Blank with Lee Marvin.

Andrew: That episode turns into Rope!

Dan: Yeah, John Boorman meets Alfred Hitchcock.

Andrew: Oh, and we did a funeral-based Rashomon episode.

Dan: I think we’ve listed enough.

PureHoney: Why throw in live music performances in the middle of the episodes?

Andrew: We both grew up in the South Florida music scene of the nineties, seeing bands like Jack Off Jill, The Groovenics, Level Nine, Smite, Nonpoint, et al., at all-ages clubs like Cheers (Miami), Squeeze (Broward), The Underground (Broward), Roses (South Beach), etc., and we both really like the way local music was integrated into the show The Young Ones. We wanted to do something similar but showcasing current musicians from the local scene.

Dan: I thought we were ripping off Saturday Night Live.

Andrew: That too.

PureHoney: How is the fundraising going?

Dan: Phase one went well.

Andrew: It was a good start. We’re going to be able to buy all the Castro beards we need.

Dan: We’re getting ready for our second campaign now.

Andrew: Got some funny campaign commercials in the works. The last one we shot had comedy legend Freddy Stebbins in colonial attire and a wig with cat ears. That doesn’t sound like it would have anything to do with Miami, but it actually does.

Visit the duo’s Indiegogo page to help make their pilot a reality:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sunny-city-shady-people/#/story

~ Hans Morgenstern | The Independent Ethos | www.indieethos.wordpress.com

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