“Celebrities are use to going through a gut-wrenching, soul-crushing process,” said Andrew Steele, a 12-year alumnus of Saturday Night Live and current creative director of Funny or Die. “We don’t get in the way of that creative process, and it’s allowed us to thrive.”
SXSW attendees like the walls of the fourth floor of the Austin Convention Center, all yearning to get an glimpse inside what makes comedic minds behind Funny or Die tick. The highly successful media company’s famous founders, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, weren’t on-hand for the hour-long panel, “Funny or Die: Fure of Comedy & Everything Else.” But Steele, CEO Dick Glover, president of production Mike Farah, VP of Marketing Patrick Starzan, and writer/actors Seth Morris and Billy Eichner were happy to regale attendees with tales of how the company was founded, their creative processes, as well future projects. The panel was broken up with trailers for Eichner’s “man-on-the-street” gameshow “Billy on the Street,” Morris’ new Yahoo web series “First Dates,” and Ferrell’s new spanish-language telenovela-based film,”Casa de mi Padre.”
The group emphasized the speed with which their production schedule works, saying their recent bizarre marketing campaign for Kia featuring NBA-star Blake Griffin went from concept to broadcast in just eight days. Though Funny or Die counts an office in Hollywood among its three (the others being in SF and NYC), Glover asserted, “The model is not the studio model… We’re looking to find projects that we love with people that we love.” Indulge in the viral hilarity at Funny or Die’s website here.