BEHIND THE SCENES AND Q&A > GLUBE
Feingbergs Sex Products & Home Security
Q&A WITH DIRECTOR ALEX SHIFMAN
1. What is your background in sketch/comedy/film?
When I was growing up, my dad and I bonded over comedy. It was a huge part of my childhood. I wrote my first joke when I was eight and did my first stand-up set at my bar mitzvah. When I was eighteen, I discovered long form improv and sketch at Second City Chicago and loved it so much, I never wanted to think about stand-up again. When I finished my first year at Sarah Lawrence College, where I studied film and theater, I started taking classes at the Magnet Theater and immediately fell in love with the place. I now perform with a few improv teams, one of which (Los
Palumbos) grew out of a Magnet Level 6 class, and I perform sketch with a few groups as well.
2. Tell us about some of the challenges you faced while making your films.
I'd never done anything as weird and specific as Feinberg Sex Products and Home Securities. It required a lot in terms of perfect locations, props, and actors. Production-wise, a lot of those problems were mitigated by having my co-writer/producer/director Aleks Arcabascio around. He can pretty much make anything happen...and has a house. That still didn't account for my biggest problem, which was finding Saul. Saul was a super-specific character in my head and I'd never had to find an actor like that before. I actually didn't think I could get someone who could play Saul until I got Brett Eidman, who more perfect for it then I could have imagined.
3. What would you do differently if you were to make these films again?
Not much. I honestly really liked the process Aleks and I had on these videos. We decided we didn't want to be too precious with them and so just aimed to get them all filmed in one day - and we did! The great thing about the scripts for these was that we could actually take that approach. It paid off, since I think we were able to say everything we wanted to say in the videos.
4. What's next for you? What's your next film project going to look like?
A few things. I produce for my livelihood, so I'm always making stuff. Right now, I'm working with a lot of martial arts schools to produce video content, and I'm trying to branch out into yoga schools and other things like that. My best friend/new sketch partner Nathaniel Moore and I are also going to be capturing our friendship on some videos in the near future. As a member of the Magnet Video Lab, what's next for me is a really strange project that I'm scared and excited to do. It's gonna be soooooo dumb - but I'm also hoping it might just be great.
5. Tell us about the Magnet Video Lab and its role in making these films happen.
The Magnet Video Lab is great because it's both pushed and supported me to do work I would never have been brave enough to do on my own. Feinberg Sex Products and Home Securities, whether it's your kind of thing or not, is a weird concept, almost verging on anti-comedy. I'd never have thought I'd do anything like that. My next round of videos is going to be weirder and frankly that scares me, but I'm able to do it because of the Magnet Video Lab. Everyone is there to push themselves, whether it's to make more work or different work, and everyone is leaning on one another to get that work done. Jim Turner shot my sketch and provided invaluable feedback both on set and in the writers room. Dan Dobransky drove me to and from the shooting location that day. Ruby Marez let me borrow her caulk gun. Every member made this sketch happen, I was just the idiot holding the steering wheel. I also want to give a special shout out to Sean Ireland, who was also a part of the Glube writing team.
Saul Feinberg wants you to have a safe home AND to have safe sex.
Written, Directed, and Produced by Alex Shifman and Aleks Arcabacio
DP: Jim Turner
Brett Eidman as Saul
Leyla Modirzadeh as Miriam
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