Longtime Saturday Night Live collaborators Kyle Mooney and Dave McCary have come to the Sundance Film Festival with Brigsby Bear, McCary’s feature directorial debut. Written by Mooney and Kevin Costello, the film stars Mooney as James, the sole viewer of a children’s television program, Brigsby Bear Adventures. When the show abruptly ends, James sets out to make a movie to end Brigsby’s story—and re-begin his own.
Produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, along with The Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, the film features an ensemble including Claire Danes; SNL’s Beck Bennett; Michaela Watkins; and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill.
“It was just the seed of an idea about this kid whose parents force him to watch a TV show that they made just for him, basically. I don’t know where it came from, but we really love TV shows. I watched a lot of TV as a kid,” Mooney said, appearing at Deadline’s Sundance Studio alongside McCary and Watkins.
A story about “love for creativity in film,” Brigsby Bear is very much ripped from the collaborators’ own lives. “Sometimes you don’t know when you’re watching the movie or…you’re just hanging with us,” Mooney deadpanned. Said McCary: “Whoah, that’s cool. I never thought about that.”
There was a lot of multitasking in the making of this film, shot nearby in Utah, and both Mooney and McCary benefited from a balancing act they had honed over some time at SNL. “At SNL, you shoot a video on Friday night, and you’re cutting it to be shown Saturday at like 8 PM. That was pretty similar to this. We literally finished the movie last week…I think it’s a work in progress,” Mooney joked.
“Maybe don’t say that,” McCary retorted.
Brigsby Bear premiered at the Eccles Theatre on Monday.
To hear the repartee yourself, watch Deadline’s conversation with Mooney, McCary and Watkins above.
Actors, directors, filmmakers and special guests visiting the Deadline Studio at Sundance 2017 enjoyed sweet and savory treats, custom cocktails and more at Applegate’s REEL FOOD CAFE. Find out more about Applegate and their mission to change the meat we eat at www.applegate.com
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.