Our Zooppa Member of the Week is DistractChicago! Their first submission to Zooppa ever scored them a Early Entry Prize in the Margaritaville Cargo Contest and they’ve continued to entertain us long after that submission with their terrific sense of humor and mad filmmaking skills.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Distract Chicago Productions primarily consists of two people, Dan Finnen and Derek Cox, who have been making videos together for over five years. Both of us graduated from Ball State University and moved to Chicago about a year ago to start up our production company. When not making video, Dan loves to write and take pictures, and Derek is passionate about long form improvisation.
And how about a little of your filmmaking experience?
Like many others, we both started off making independent movies in college, starting with our first feature length we shot after our freshman year. Since then, we’ve made music videos, advertisements, shorts, sketches, training videos, and everything else for all kinds of people.
What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
That’s a tough one, especially when we’ve done an excessive amount over the past year. One that stands out is a heavy metal music video we shot in an abandoned meat factory. The band brought along a roadie that had a random bag of human bones and the band was determined to make the video as gory as possible. We’re happy to say it came out every bit as hardcore as the band wanted.
What’s your favorite submission to Zooppa?
Captain Compardi for Margaritaville Cargo Mix Drink Maker was our first and favorite. We went for broke on an incredibly strange idea and it ended up winning a prize. You can’t go wrong with a tiny captain climbing up the side of a mixed drink maker.
As a contest winner, do you have any tips for other filmmakers trying to score their first win?
Make a video that you enjoy, don’t try to make something you think somebody else will like. You’ll have more fun, come up with a better product, and most likely, other people will like it too.
You can find more work from this duo at distractchicagoproductions.com. They also run a site chock full of original comedy shorts, sketches and webisode series at distractchicago.com. To enter a contest of your own, head to the Zooppa Contest Page.