“Meet Skinja. She’s a stripper by night, ninja by later that night.”
That’s a joke.
Well, it started out as a joke in a longer bit of stand-up comedian Dan Goodman’s in which he imagines other movies. Only Skinja might actually become a real feature film. “After enough people came up to me, I decided to make it and ran a real successful Kickstarter campaign,” Goodman said.
With a goal of $3,500, Goodman raised more than $6,200 via Kickstarter for his Skinja trailer — hitting his goal in two days, and allowing him to pay the people who helped him on the project — including his roommates in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.
And here is the finished trailer, which hit YouTube in October:
The video received more than 22,000 views in its first 10 days and now has upward of 40,000, with online mentions from COED magazine, Heavy.com, Romanian Playboy, MTV2’s Guy Code site, the French version of Slate and more. “According to Google Analytics it’s being consistently shared on Russian Facebook vk.com and some Lithuanian swinger website,” Goodman said.
“The reaction to video has been overwhelmingly positive especially from women. I think to guys it looks like a total guy movie, but to women, they see it and they want to be Skinja.”
So, what happens next? Do you want to turn it into a full-length feature?
“In terms of the movie I’m weighing a couple options. Feature-length is still the goal, but a couple folks have talked to me about producing webisodes. No money has been talked yet, so nothing definite and the trick is to make a webisode that doesn’t look worse than the trailer,” he said. Earlier, he’d been thinking of around a $10 million budget to make a feature-length version of Skinja so he can rehearse stuntmen for a couple of months and lock down locations. “I feel like making the two-minute movie really taught me what I need to make the whole thing. It was like going to a mini film school for me.”
Dan Hirshon tells me (disclosure: My roommate served as a consulting editor on the trailer) you have a few other high-concept movie ideas in your stand-up. True? How did you decide to focus on Skinja for a movie trailer? Was it your first choice? What other ideas did you think about making into mini-movies?
Before choosing Skinja to film, I did think about shooting some of my more worked out mini movies/jokes. “The Democratic Republic of Zombo” is a zombie movie takes place in Africa so thats a no go. “Klan Dunk,” about the best basketball player in America being a Klansmen and having to play NBA basketball, needed too many extras and real NBA-arena level courts so the scale was way too big. And “Hell Cop,” about the only cop in Hell, needed CGI background so that was out. So I choose Skinja because it seemed like the most filmable on a small budget. All I needed was girl in a bikini and a ninja mask.
Have you watched Mash Up, the new series on Comedy Central? It’s a different approach, turning stand-up bits into mini-movies, because they’re essentially just sketch versions of the bit, and not fully fleshed-out (pardon the pun) movie versions.
“I haven’t seen Mash Up,” Goodman said. “To me Skinja was more about taking a funny idea and giving it the treatment it deserved. Like not illustrate it, but expand it, and take it places stand up can’t go.”
In the meantime, Goodman and his comedy friends already have combined comedy and stripping — or at least, pole dancing — in a new monthly show called “Schtick a Pole in it.”
“Actually, Schtick a Pole in It came out of Skinja,” Goodman said. “A mutual friend of mine and my girlfriend (Skinja’s producer) got breast cancer, so we did a fundraiser of pole dancing and comedy with the dancers from Skinja and a couple comics we used as background and raised a ton of money for her. It went so well we decided to make it a monthly show.” The next show is Dec. 11, 2012, at R Bar in Manhattan.