Rudd and Fox’s comedy TV pilot to screen Thursday

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Zachary Rudd

Former Filmworkers’ media specialist Zachary Rudd and actor Clayton Fox created and produced a pilot for an off-beat comedy TV series that premieres Thursday, July 9, at the Public Hotel’s Library Bar.

Their proposed series, “F*ck Off, I’m Dead,” centers on the trials of an aspiring Method actor, Red Bartlett (Fox), who has a bad habit of taking it way too far. When he doesn’t get a certain role, he slides deeply into obsession with the Method. His personal life is rocky as his girlfriend (Alison Hixon) is unsure how to handle Red’s ever-expanding sexual needs and identity.

Co-writers and co-EPs, Rudd from Lincolnwood and Fox from Skokie have been friends since childhood, as their mothers had been best friends. 

“We used to take baths together.  Now we’re making movies together,” says Fox, who is an in-demand New York-based actor. The idea for “F*ck Off” evolved from Fox asking his friend to write a character for him to perform. 

Clayton FoxRudd recently left Filmmakers Club, where he had spent three years as media associate, to focus on filmmaking.  He has a portfolio of short films and music videos. He also writes music and performs.

Filmworkers Club Ashley Fornelli and Fred Keller have roles in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes; Fornelli is the pilot’s producer and Keller the colorist.

Other cast members include Jeff Harris, Adam Kriticos, Maury Cooper and Rudd, as Red’s best friend and agent.

The 20-minute pilot was shot over two days in April throughout Chicago neighborhoods. Brett Rolstad was the DP, shooting low budget on a Canon 7D and Zeiss CP.2 prime lenses and also appears on-camera.

Editors were the “Cone Brothers,” i.e., Rudd and Rolstad; Daniel Arteaga, sound engineer; Phil Leonard sound and boom operator and Drew Parks, special effects.

At 1301 N. State, starting at 9:30 p.m., cash bar. The premiere is private, although Fox says anyone interested in attending to email Premiereoftheyear@gmail.com. However, the after-party concert, with the Chicago’s popular alt-rock band, The Central Standard, is open to all.

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