The Bobby Roberts Project is a comedy series about a quest for fame undertaken by the title character, Bobby Roberts, who happens to be the (fictitious) son of actor Eric Roberts.
Bobby hopes to gain celebrity by completing a biopic about George Washington, but a lack of funding, a wealth of inexperience, a delusional ego, and a baffling misconception of America’s first President hamper his efforts.
In his vision, the Founding Father is best friends with one of his own former slaves, and the First Lady is a vixen. Also, the President has terrible teeth.
Such a clueless scenario would only inspire a moron, and that’s where the fun begins.
“Bobby is like a douchebag kid,” says Patrick Richter, who executive produced the pilot with Yajaira Marie and creator Tom Wilbeck. “You hate him and you love him, but you want him to succeed.”
Joined by a pair of idiotic friends, Roberts’ harebrained pursuit of glory elevates the film to a level of deadpan absurdity comparable to great mocumentaries like Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman.
The cast includes several well-known actors who are in on the joke.
Besides Jaleel White and Eric Roberts, who play warped versions of themselves, it features Fred Willard as a studio executive, Chris Kattan in a guest appearance, and Entourage regular Sabina Gadecki.
By day, Richter and Marie work as Post Supervisor and Production Coordinator at Quriosity Productions. At night, they forage for scripts wherever fate happens to take them — airport lounges, industry events, neighborhood bars.
Richter was introduced to Wilbeck while having a drink in Lincoln Park with photographer Kohl Murdoch. He describes the Bobby Roberts creator and director as, “hands down, the most intense, driven guy you’ll probably ever meet.”
“Tom said he filmed some stuff a while back for the Bobby Roberts Project and wanted to turn it into a feature,” Richter continues. “It’s these casual interactions with people that are really important and spur projects that are amazing.”
When Richter reviewed the footage, he saw the makings of a “hilarious, hard-hitting, no holds barred TV pilot.”
Converting the originally intended feature-length film into several episodes of a series was a daunting task, but fate was on their side.
“Instead of reshooting everything, we wrote a script based off of what he already had,” Richter continues. “We were really lucky.”
He and Marie also began assembling a team of individuals and vendors like Noisefloor Ltd. and Periscope Post & Audio to get it done.
The pilot for The Bobby Roberts Project will screen Friday night during a special event in the theater room of The Witt Hotel on State St.
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Directed by: Brett Hudson, Tom Wilbeck
Written by Tom Wilbeck
Seneca Lester — co-producer
Yajaira Marie — executive producer
Felix Pineiro — associate producer
Patrick Richter — executive producer
Tom Wilbeck — executive producer
Vladimir Van Maule
Film Editing by
Miles Santiago (Assistant Editor)
Production Design by
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ronnie Kwasman — first assistant director
Johnny Woj — second assistant director
Stacey Buckner — set designer
A.J. Olstad — re-recording mixer
Jamie Vanadia — sound editor
Katie G. Waters — post sound producer
Visual Effects by
John Zachary — visual effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Joe Cheung — first assistant camera
Jenny Roh — second assistant camera Casting Department
Jacob Hayman — casting assistant
Erin Stewart — extras casting: Chicago
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kate Grube — wardrobe Location Management
Meredith Bahuriak — location manager
Meredith Bahuriak — script supervisor
Nikki Hassinger — production coordinator
To contact editor Daniel Patton, email email@example.com.