Andre Hyland's Short Film FUNNEL Set for Sundance 2014
Hyland also produced the film with Los Angeles-based Hothouse Productions, and describes it as a simple story about a man faced with the "fantastically mundane adventure of walking across a frozen urban sprawl Wasteland to replenish his broken-down car with some kind of automotive fluid."
"It's me as a semi-normal dude, for a change, as opposed to my more colorful characters I've played in the past," he said. "Most of my work is grounded in reality, but in 'Funnel,' the funny things are more nuanced and subtle than usual."
Hyland shot the 7-minute film earlier this year, while visiting his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he teamed up with his sister's soon-to-be-husband, photographer/designer Shane Johnston, who served as director of photography.
Actor/director Bob Odenkirk ("Breaking Bad," "Nebraska") served as a creative and strategic mentor on the film, and offered to lend his name to the credits (e.g., "Bob Odenkirk presents FUNNEL"). Odenkirk previously executive produced a pilot with Hyland, for Comedy Central. The network passed, but Odenkirk remained impressed with Hyland's style of humor.
"Andre Hyland has been making funny, compelling videos for a few years now, and I always want to see what he has next," Odenkirk said. "I like funny things that are real-feeling and showcase the comically pathetic side of human behavior. 'Funnel' is that."
Hyland's other experience includes a couple of years as a cast member and writer on the now-defunct sketch-comedy show "Stupid Face" on Fuel TV. However, he feels being accepted into Sundance will allow his work to be seen by a new audience, and he is excited for this latest chapter in his career.
"It's always nice to be included, especially when it's something as well-respected as Sundance, where there is a certain standard of quality," he said. "Sundance is attended by people who are serious about film and are really focused on what's being shown. It's very different from TV development or just releasing stuff on the Internet."
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