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The Independent Critic

Brian Alberth, Jonathan Aldrich, Jarrod Crooks, Greg Kuper, Marie Sirena, Cathy Rasmussen, Shannon McDonough, Cody Laper
Jarrod Crooks, Greg Kuper
114 Mins.

 "Indie Guys" Spoofs the Micro Scene 
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In the zero budget film Indie Guys, Ian (Jarrod Crooks) and Gordon (Greg Kuper) are two friends with a filmmaking history getting ready to tackle their next project, "Secret Formula." 

There's only one problem. No money.

When the two fail to get a workable budget via crowdfunding, Gordon makes a decision that ends up rendering him homeless and on the doorstep of Ian, who reluctantly takes him in. The two, waiting to hit it big in the film biz, work the day jobs - Ian in a miserable restaurant gig and Gordon as a firefighter where he gets some unsolicited advice from Carl (Tim Towne), the station's janitor and becomes even more insufferable as a filmmaking partner than he was before. As seems to always be the case in the indie filmmaking world, tensions rise and relationships are strained but, in the end, the true passion for filmmaking overcomes it all. 

Cue laugh track. 

Working with a large ensemble cast, Crooks and Kuper not only star in the film but serve as its co-writers and co-directors. The two, having worked together before, have a comfortable and believable chemistry and the film, being a micro-budgeted effort itself, believably portrays the occasionally funny and occasionally dramatic struggles of making a low-budget film. 

Crooks and Kuper met when Kuper was independently producing a television show called "Casting Call" on which Crooks was a contestant. The two hit it off and a creative collaboration began. 

Indie Guys is a decent effort made better by the chemistry, intentionally strained in the film, between Crooks and Kuper whose obvious familiarity with the material gives it a more authentic feeling and finds laughs that come naturally rather than in a manufactured way. While Indie Guys tries to accomplish an awful lot in its 105-minute running time, the film feels a tad long and its impact diluted by extended scenes that don't quite nail the humor as convincingly. 

Indie Guys is the kind of film that's most fun to watch at a local microcinema film festival where you're gathered in front of the screen with a room full of people who understand and appreciate the microcinema vibe. The storyline itself is a familiar one, often covered on the indie scene but brought to life nicely by the film's ensemble cast including a special appearance by none other than Jerry Springer. 

Yeah, THAT Jerry Springer. 

Indie Guys isn't going to blow anyone away, but it's a solid effort and it's worth supporting for the up-and-coming filmmakers. For more information on the film, visit the Indie Guys website linked to in the credits. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic

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