EXCLUSIVE: Writer-director Sherwin Shilati broke into commercials with his 2008 short I Kicked Luis Guzman In The Face. Now another comedy short is getting him notice behind the scenes. Writer-actors Neil Hopkins (Lost) and John Forest (Young Adult) star in Neil & John In: The Key, a high-concept, lowbrow spoof of self-help ethos The Secret spun off from their Funny or Die webseries Neil & John. Shilati pitched The Key‘s risque concept to the pair, amassed a crew, and shot it over the course of a weekend. The trio split a budget that “cost as much as a used Xbox and 5 games” by calling in favors and snagging VFX shots virtually for free. But rather than release The Key on YouTube or other digital platforms, the threesome privately sent it around to industry connections, and it began circulating virally around town. It landed Shilati meetings with studio execs and agencies; now he’s repped by Benderspink and UTA. Hopkins and Forest, who are repped jointly by SDB Partners, are pitching Neil & John as a TV property. Check it out:
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.