Entering the world of comedy and mockumentary series might seem like an unexpected twist for a projection mapping and VJing enthusiast, but here’s the story of how I found myself on this path. Rewind three years, and I wouldn’t have believed it myself, but something changed in me after the COVID lockdowns.
To clarify, I’ve always had a passion for writing, and I’ve been crafting scripts and shows for over a decade. However, in 2020, I made a conscious decision to only write content that I could bring to life in some form, whether through audiobooks or on screen. It was a turning point in my creative journey.
As John August and Craig Mazin often emphasize on their Scriptnotes Podcast, the key is to “make the thing.” And so, in 2021, as lockdowns persisted, I rediscovered my love for filming. It all began with the “NeverEnough Show,” an idea I had toyed with over 16 years ago but couldn’t make happen back then. Fast forward, and I found myself working on another show, almost facepalming at the irony.
Now, you might be wondering what comes next. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure. I have numerous ideas, characters, and story arcs floating in my head, and even complete seasons outlined, but I’m sticking to my resolve to focus on what I can create now.
A significant source of motivation for me is the thought that this little project could become a unique legacy for my family to remember me by. “Remember that quirky old uncle Neil’s project?” Yes, I’m doing it for that and because it genuinely brings me joy.
Writing over 50 pages of comedy every week and being able to film only about 10 of them (when I’m not tied up with other responsibilities) is indeed a labor of love. My venture, ProjectileObjects, is doing well, but with limited free time, I can only dedicate myself to creating videos like the one you’re about to see.
Even this particular project, “Bend – Enter Through the Back Door,” has been sitting on my hard drive for a year now, for various reasons. Coordinating with people in different cities and aligning our schedules for filming has been a rollercoaster ride. We film when everyone’s schedules align, and that’s the only way we can make it work.
Despite wearing many hats in this project (writer, editor, producer, audio engineer, VFX artist, and more), it’s essential to acknowledge the collaborative efforts of several key individuals who made this possible. One standout contributor is Josh Bondi, also known as Pissy Mattresses. He jumped in at a crucial moment, taking the role behind the camera and offering valuable direction for certain scenes. If we continue to produce more Bend episodes, I hope to involve Josh in different capacities (Josh, if you’re reading this, I’m serious about having you write; no pressure, just a public post on the internet).
I’d also like to extend my gratitude to Erin Cooper, Steven Lemmerman (DJ Lemz), Stuart, Jane Saw, Pussy Noir, Kara Kruz, Guillaume, Audrey, The 9:30 Club, and DC9 for their crucial roles in bringing this project to life.
This year (2023) has been marked by a profound loss with the passing of Shawn “Gus” Vitale, an incredible human being and the lead engineer at the 9:30 Club. There’s a poignant moment in the video featuring Gus, which I felt compelled to include. The scene where Erin stands by the VJ table and says, “We have a table for him here,” was originally written with Gus in mind. Little did I know that the first day of filming at the club would be the last time I saw Gus there. It’s a reminder of the importance of seizing the moment when you have it. I would like to thank Gus’s family for allowing our in memoriam at the end of the video.
So, here’s the takeaway: make what you want to make because you want to make it. Seize the moments when they come, and create enjoyable experiences with your friends because it’s fun, and they’re your friends.
This project and this year have been a testament to my creative journey. I’m not entirely certain about what the future holds, but I’m optimistic, and sometimes, that’s all that matters.
If you’ve enjoyed the show (and the ending song by Bjordan), we’d be over the moon if you could spread the word! Feel free to remix, meme, or share it across your social circles—your support is the fuel that keeps our creative engine running. With an abundance of talented performers in our midst, including Drag Kings, Drag Queens, Artists, DJs, Producers, and the spectrum of straight, gay, LGBTQIA+, and wonderfully “undefined” individuals, our vision is to create more episodes, ensuring everyone gets a chance to shine!
In a world seemingly fixated on differences, we firmly believe in forging unity through the power of comedy. While “Bend” might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it could be just the right blend for someone else. Who knows? With your continued support, we hope to produce enough comedy shows to cater to diverse tastes, including yours, and perhaps create one that brings laughter and a sense of connection to your world.
A massive THANK YOU to each and every one of you! Wishing you a fantastic year ahead in 2024. Here’s to more laughter, joy, and shared moments. – Cornelius