This is the first in a series of profiles of TV pilots that were submitted to the New York Television Festival, an annual celebration of independently-produced TV, by Chicago-based writers and performers.
NYTVF is this October, but you can catch local screenings of many of these pilots before then. For example, next Saturday, August 10th at the Public House Theatre at 3pm, four pilots will be screened: Delivery Dudes, Exquisite Corpse, B&B, and Family Heirloom, all of which will be profiled here soon!
What is it? Delivery Dudes follows a group of pizza delivery drivers enduring the inevitable weirdness that comes from driving to strangers' houses to sell them food.
Who's involved? Joe Avella, a local filmmaker and writer, originally conceived of Delivery Dudes as a six part web series last winter (you can read an interview with Joe about the original series here). After the six episodes were released in April, Avella announced he had been working on a full-length Delivery Dudes pilot. "After talking to Steve Sullivan (producer of last year’s NYTVF winner Shrink) I got excited about entering," explains Avella, "Delivery Dudes was still fresh on my mind so I thought I’d use the similar premise for the pilot."
The cast includes many familiar faces from the sketch and improv world, among those who all, in Avella's words, "did an amazing job of bringing their unique talents to my boring script," are Gary Richardson, Joey Dundale, Annie Donnelly, Scott Nelson, Drennen Quinn, Carmen Christopher, and Jimmy Pennington.
Avella credits the pilot's high production value to Logan Hall, who co-directed and produced: "he brought his professional experience and talented team into the mix, which made the production go super smooth and the post process even smoother; basically he's the reason it looks so good."
How'd it go? Thankfully, Joe says, there were no major issues in producing the pilot; though "our original kitchen location was set to be a T’s on Clark and Winnemac, but a few days before our shoot date it got raided by the cops or something and shut down," but eventually a new location was found, and Ranalli's in Andersonville became the new home of the dudes.
The Delivery Dudes crew was very conscious of legal and copyright issues; to avoid any legal issues with interstitial music ( "we didn’t want to take any chances or end up filling out complicated paperwork."), the team worked with Killwave, a synth-heavy post punk group from Chicago, to score the pilot.
There has been no word back yet from the NYTVF panel regarding the status of their application, with Avella's only complaint being that "it was kind of a hassle mailing in a bunch of DVDs, but what are ya gonna do?"
Can I watch it? Not online, but that's the trailer embedded above and the entire webseries is online. The next public screening of Delivery Dudes will be at the aforementioned event happening next Saturday, August 10th at the Public House Theatre at 3pm.