The new comedy, We Made This Movie, offers up a couple of lessons in first impressions. Lesson one: Don't presume that the producer of The Late Show with David Letterman and Ed is going to go the traditional, studio route when he makes his feature film directing debut. Lesson two: Don't think that a film about a group of high-schoolers making their own, Jackass-style movie isn't going to have a heart and more than a little insight into how younger Americans regard their futures during these depressed times.
Presented as a found-footage documentary capturing the turmoil behind a group of teens' efforts to mount an astoundingly awful "reality" movie (sample segment: "Chicken with a Boner"), We Made shows co-writer (with Jon Beckerman) and director Rob Burnett taking unusual steps both with the narrative -- everything seen in the film is supposedly captured by the kids' own cameras -- and with the mounting of the production, shooting on a low budget, releasing through the adventurous distributor SnagFilms, and even crowdsourcing the background music with the help of Red Bull. Above and beyond all the production innovations, the film packs in both a considerable amount of laughs and some truly affecting moments into its blurry, glitchy, home-vid scenario.
Click on the player to hear my interview with Burnett.