An Interview With Comedy Director Rich Camp
Rich Camp is a comedy writer/ performer who has directed two feature-length comedy films, 2009’s “Lumberjacking” and 2011’s “Gotta Find Barry”, both of which are available on YouTube. He is currently seeking funding for his new web series, “A Guy Going Crazy” and talks to me, Dr. Morbid, about his past and future projects.
Dr. Morbid: What inspired you to want to write and direct feature films?
Rich Camp: It started with the movie the Wedding Singer. I saw it on a summer day with my family and that was the day I realized people actually make this stuff and I want to do it. I wanted to be Adam Sandler. I started working on stuff with my cousin and best friend but they weren’t as into it and it forced me to go behind the camera to get things going, thats how I came to write and direct but my focus lately has been writing and comedic performing.
DM: What was your experience like with film school? Did you find the knowledge they gave you helpful in becoming a better film director?
RC: Film school was cool but I had gone in already having made a lot of my own stuff so I had taught myself most of the aspects so film school was more about development. I do think they need to do a better job on helping you find your area of interest because I tried doing everything but only after realized I wanted to write and do comedy rather than direct.
DM: On your IMDB page it listed you as an editor on “Jack Hannah’s Into The Wild” documentary show. How did you get into that gig and what was the experience like?
RC: A friend of my sister gave me the editors name and I contacted him and he had me in for a test. I took like 5 hours of raw footage and made it into a story. Even now he said I am one of the only people he had worked with who could find a story in just the randomness so I did that for a couple of years but I wanted to move onto other areas.
DM: Very cool. Your first movie, “Lumberjacking”, had an unusual concept. How did you come up with the idea for the story? What was your overall experience with it?
RC: My dad had put a wood stove in our house for heating so the winter after college he had me stacking wood and splitting it. I thought who the hell used an axe and thought of today’s older generations hatred for change and thought I wonder if anyone didn’t want to make things SO Much easier.
DM: That explains a lot. I thought it was different and unique. Your second movie, “Gotta find Barry”, in my opinion was a much stronger film. What did you learn from “Lumberjacking” that helped you grow as a director for your second film?
RC: On a low level of filmmaking it’s not even the director producer etc it’s all just lets make this damn movie. I think a lot of GFB (“Gotta Find Barry”) was better because people involved saw the success of “Lumberjacking“ with showings and reception so they were more committed. I also had read a lot more screenwriting books and worked with others on writing, so the structure got much better. Just experience and I didn’t hold back, I wrote what I wanted which is why its dirtier.
DM: It helps to have some early success. Added dirtiness is always better, ha. Much of your humor is derived from the characters dialog exchanges amongst each other. Are there any directors or films that have influenced this style?
RC: I grew up on Sandler, SNL, Kevin Smith and all that. I was always into comedy and anything new that came out I’d watch. Kevin Smith was more of how I wanted my career and his work with the view askew really inspired me. Everything I do is just trying to be my idols and failing.
DM: It’s all about Mallrats for me, way under-rated. Both of your movies are independent films without large budgets. How were you able to secure locations and actors without major funding? What were the budgets for each movie you made?
RC: Jacking was like $500-1000 and GFB was $2000 ish. It’s not easy securing locations and actors, you need to ask around and be persistant but the hardest part is its all favor based so if someone doesnt show up you can’t really be mad.
DM: I’ve experienced that myself. You recently started an IndieGoGo campaign for a web show. Can you explain your project for my readers? What made you decide to use IndieGoGo instead of Kickstarter?
RC: It’s a web show that is semi autobiographical entitled “A Guy Going Crazy”. It follows Felix a budding comedian who is given the chance to make a web show that could jump start his career but soon realized the problems when his overbearing mother, drama queen girlfriend, stoner best friends, off beat townies and plain bad luck slowly unravel his sanity. The show received a fellowship and because of that the indiegogo donations were tax deductible, thats why i chose IndieGoGo hah but I do like their system and that theyre not as crowded.
DM: I’ll be contributing to your campaign and I’ll suggest my readers to do the same. Is there any advice you would like to give to aspiring independent filmmakers or writing tips you would like to share with aspiring screenwriters?
RC: I have a lot of advise. like avoid everything i’ve done hah. I’d say really get your hands dirty, do different things and learn what you want to do and focus on that aspect. you want to do comedy, then just do comedy you want to direct then just direct. A lot of people bother getting skilled as editor camera sound, etc just to turn around and not put that effort into their own area of interest. I wish i had spent more time just being a comedian not learning how to direct or what a camera does in order to just be a better comedian. Have confidence in yourself and just make it happen, you can’t doubt yourself.
DM: Good advice. And last but not least, a stupid question. Which horror character do you wish was real and why? Ash from Evil Dead not included, because that would be everyone’s answer.
RC: Hah that is a hard question because I’ve never been into anything but comedy my whole life so I will go with the shit demon from dogma, if that counts.
DM: Of course that counts, hah. Thanks for the interview and good luck with funding the web show. Where can people find out more about you and your films? Plug away.
RC: There’s whatboy.tv, richcamp.me or YouTube.
How to contribute to Rich’s web series “A Guy Going Crazy”: go to http://www.indiegogo.com/at/aguygoingcrazy. If the series gets off the ground I, Dr. Morbid, might direct an episode. Please SUPPORT THIS PROJECT so that it gets made. I’ll post updates to this story as they are made available.