Local pilot profile: B&B

This is the latest entry 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, Saturday, August 10th at the Public House Theatre at 3pm, four pilots will be screened: Delivery DudesExquisite CorpseB&B, and Family Heirloom, all of which have been profiled here!

What is it? B&B  is a sitcom about two young women who open a bed and breakfast in an empty bedroom in their apartment and end up accidentally killing all their guests. 

Who's involved? The show is the brainchild of Mo McKibbin, Kitty Curran, and Joe Underbakke. McKibbin and Curran met through work and became close friends, and Underbakke was soon brought into the fold, after improvising with McKibbin on the team Mrs. Ulysses. The concept was birthed from McKibbin and Curran's shared morbid sensibility, though all three collaborators ended up sharing writing duties: "it was a little difficult to decipher which of our [McKibbin and Curran] ideas were good, and which were just us loving each other's ideas, so we invited Joe along (and I knew he could work a camera, which was A+)"

All three of the show's main collaborators also act in it; Mo and Kitty taking on the lead roles while Joe plays a smaller recurring character. Jessica Landis and Ian McCabe (also of Mrs. Ulysses) also appear in supporting roles. Behind the scenes, Joe Avella (creator of Delivery Dudes) and Dane Kissel helped the core trio out when necessary.

How'd it go?  McKibbin's only real complaint regarding the project is one that nearly all creative people deal with: "I would say the hardest part about [applying to NYTVF] is the time constraints. There could always be more time." Even after the final submission date, there have been tweaks made to the project, and "I will probably continue to tweak it further before it's online release," predicts McKibbin. 

The entire project seems intensely personal, which has made the quest for constructive criticism a more difficult one than the B&B team had thought. McKibbin explains: "it occupies your entire lifeblood... I feel like any criticism would be kind of like telling someone their baby is ugly. We started writing in late October and wrapped up in early June, so yeah, that's about 9 months."

Work has already begun on a second episode, which will boast a noticeable Hitchcock influence; while the initial pilot is something of a blank slate, not paying direct tribute to any one specific subgenre, Mo, Kitty, and Joe are toying with the idea of taking on a different dramatic feel, hitting on the tropes of various film and TV styles with each concurrent episode.

Can I watch it?  The full pilot will be screened tomorrow afternoon at the Public House Theatre (along with the other three pilots profiled thus far), and will soon after be released for online consumption!