GeekWeek: meet CHAD, MATT & ROB!


I’ve been buddies with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin since the old school New Line Cinema days-- Matt’s a great guy and also the “Matt” in the LA comedy/Filmmaking gang: “Chad, Matt & Rob” who I’ve been following since their inception. I figured it was high time to pimp ‘em out on Geekweek…then I though, “Wait, why should I introduce them? Why not let them introduce themselves?”
So, here ya are-- Chad, Matt & Rob:

As you can see right off the bat, this isn’t your typical Youtube comedy troop--

As the name does NOT suggest, Chad, Matt & Rob are actually five guys: Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Rob Polonsky; Tyler Gillett, who shoots the CM&R videos and Justin Martinez, who handles the special effects.  

I talked to Matt about the origin of the group and it isn’t very interesting--The guys basically met, hit it off, and decided to start making some funny shorts--
The market for novelty short pants (or, “Jamz” as they called them) didn’t take off, so they reconvened and decided to try their hand at making short videos.


I always get a kick out of seeing old CM&R videos that take place in offices (HAPPY HALLOWEEN, COPS AND ROBBERS)-- since, the “office” is usually New Line’s old San Vicente building. I always admired that in a studio office, Matt and the gang were secretly shooting movies against regulation…
(FYI: I don’t know whose rule it was that you weren’t allowed to shoot films in the office, but I’m pretty sure Bob Shaye would have been proud that someone was breaking the rules to make films…had he ever found out.)

The gang kicked off with GOOD ROOMATES-- Goddard said that all you need to make a movie is “a girl and a gun…” The boys didn’t have a girl, but they did have a gun. 

The video is a little rough, but a great first effort-- they quickly followed up with boatload of other shorts-- each one honing their comic timing, characters and production value.

Check out PRISON BREAK and THE DANGER ZONE below to see a comedy troop coming into their own:

“Somebody grab my balls!

It’s around this time that Chad, Matt & Rob have their first viral hit-- CHAD HATES ALIENS-- which you may remember from coverage on G4, the front page of, or your Aunt Millie emailing it to you.

Still working on a shoe-string budget, CHAD HATES ALIENS shows some real filmmaking chops-- I’ll admit to being jolted at the sound effect mid-way through-- Obviously, the intended effect. Also, for no-budget, that isn’t a bad looking alien.

After scoring a massive Youtube hit, the boys set their sights on raising the bar-- most troops might be content with rehashing the same gag-- but it’s here that Chad, Matt & Rob really start to shine:

THE TIME MACHINE, one of the first interactive Youtube features:

Riffing off the old “Choose your own adventure” books-- and taking artistic advantage of Youtube’s link embed feature, THE TIME MACHINE is CM&R’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s seminal work: TIMELINE-- The adventure is based on the book and not the 2003 film. You’d be able to tell me I was lying if you had read the book-- but you haven’t.

They followed up with another Interactive Adventure, but the latest riff, THE BIRTHDAY PARTY is the true culmination of what they’ve been building to.

Not to get all James Lipton, but this Interactive Adventure marks a real turning point for the gang-- The characters of Chad, Matt and Rob are fleshed out; “in gags” are starting to pay off (re: “why do you even have an X?”). Also, it’s here that the special effects, music, supporting players, and camera work all gel together in a really fucking awesome way.
Is the plot ludicrous? Yes. But that’s also what makes it fun.
If you’ve gotten this far in the article, you’re clearly killing time when you should be working-- so, take another few minutes and give THE BIRTHDAY PARTY a spin:

If you’re curious as to how to make an interactive adventure, or would just like to see some behind the scenes stuff, check this out-- of course, I’m not sure you’ll actually learn anything.

Chad, Matt and Rob are currently working on some new shorts and a Television Interactive Adventure-- Keep up with them at, their Youtube channel, and keep an eye out on Geekweek for more from the guys! 


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