'Funny or Die' producer, IU alumnus speaks at screening of new film
Indiana University alumnus Mike Farah was back in B-town Nov. 13, when he spoke at IU Cinema about his role producing videos for Funny or Die, the comedy website founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
He was joined by members of the Funny or Die team, who screened a program of short films, then discussed the process of creating short-form content for the Internet and how it's influencing popular culture.
A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., Farah recalled staring out the window of his McNutt dorm room and, seeing his fellow students playing Frisbee on the lawn, wondering how he'd make friends in a campus full of strangers.
"My whole family, my mom, my dad, my brother, went to Michigan," he said. "I went to IU and didn't really know anyone. And it was just a huge thing for me to step out of that comfort zone. It would've been so easy for me to go to Michigan. But in all those cheesy ways, that's where you're forced to find your identity and figure out who you want to be."
That experience gave him the confidence to move to L.A. after graduation, where he discovered a passion for entertainment, the movie industry and the Internet -- eventually combining all three into his work at Funny or Die.
Farah was joined by brother Chris for a special screening of Answer This! Nov. 14 at IU Cinema. Set in the competitive world of pub trivia at the University of Michigan, the film -- written and directed by Chris, and produced by Mike -- depicts the coming-of-age of a brilliant trivia whiz facing the biggest challenge of his life: a citywide tournament.
"When my brother first wrote the script, I thought, 'This is awesome,'" Farah said. "It will be like Michigan's 'Breaking Away.' That's really how I thought about it."
The brothers also spoke about the filmmaking process from both the producer and director perspectives as part of the Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series, made possible through the support of the Ove W. Jorgensen Foundation.
The Indiana University Cinema is a world-class facility and program that is dedicated to the scholarly study and highest standards of exhibition of film in its traditional and modern forms. For more information on the facility or programs, call 812-856-2503.
About Answer This!
Set at the University of Michigan in the world of competitive pub trivia, Answer This! is the story of a boy finally coming of age -- when he's 30. A brilliant trivia whiz, Paul Tarson is great at answering life's little questions, but struggles with the larger ones, like what he'll do after graduate school. Now he and his friends will finally get a shot at beer, women and nerdy redemption when they take on the biggest challenge of their lives, a citywide pub trivia tournament. For more information, visit www.answerthismovie.com.
About Funny or Die
Funny or Die is the comedy website founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, bringing the world the "Between Two Ferns" celebrity interview series with funnyman Zach Galifianakis along with the High Five Guys and images of Princess Ke$ha gearing up for her day with a variety of cartoon animals guaranteed to give Walt Disney a heart attack.Funny or Die is an award-winning destination for comedy on the Web, averaging more than 12 million unique users per month and more than 40 million video views per month. For more information, visit www.funnyordie.com.