How Luke Nell went from ‘SNL’ to teaming up with Wayne Brady
Movie producer Chase Crawford, from Monroe, and comic Luke Nell, from West Chester Township, would be the first to inform you they’re – in Nell’s phrases – “Midwestern guys by means of and thru.”
Nell went to Lakota East Excessive College and did the college play and college musical. He is a Bengals fan and loves his spouse, whom he met as a result of she was a barista on the espresso store the place he first began performing comedy as an Ohio College pupil.
Crawford went to Butler Tech, the place he made faux Taco Bell commercials that may later launch his filmmaking profession. He went to varsity at Miami College and loves Skyline Chili. Crawford even has a “Midwest candy” romance, having married his highschool sweetheart.
These two seemingly-ordinary Cincinnati residents have gone on to seek out success within the leisure trade, making their mark in Los Angeles and New York. Nell, 33, appeared on the 2017-18 season of “Saturday Evening Reside” earlier than pursuing comedy full-time in Los Angeles. Crawford, 27, launched his personal movie firm, 4 by Three Productions, and produced a $300,000-budget movie earlier than even graduating faculty.
The pair of Cincinnati creatives crossed paths in 2019, when Crawford noticed Nell carry out at Legends Bar in Cheviot. Crawford had lately launched his movie manufacturing firm and was dabbling in filming comedy specials.
Many telephone calls and a flight to Los Angeles later, Crawford and Nell lastly teamed as much as shoot Nell’s debut comedy particular: “Fairly Songs, Soiled Phrases” on the historic Dynasty Typewriter on Oct. 2 this yr.
The particular is among the finest, full-scale productions Crawford’s workforce has labored on, he stated. Together with a reside band and full set builds, the present options cameos by five-time Emmy winner Wayne Brady and LA-based comedians Steph Tolev and Lizzy Cooperman. It’s going to launch across the spring or summer season of 2024, in keeping with Crawford.
“I simply hope (the particular) reveals to different folks … work with your personal and you may by no means be led astray,” Crawford stated of collaborating with one other Cincinnati-born entertainer.
From making YouTube movies in highschool to producing main movies, comedy specials
Crawford knew he wished to make films for a dwelling as a excessive schooler at Butler Tech. He remembers children his age commenting that, “Nobody’s made a film on this city.”
Which, he says, “kinda lit a fireplace below my tail.”
He is largely self-taught, making YouTube movies and ultimately getting his massive break in highschool by filming faux Taco Bell commercials, of all issues.
One video went semi-viral, he says, racking up practically 10,000 views. The following factor he knew, he was being flown out to Los Angeles by Taco Bell to put in writing and direct content material for them. He graduated Butler Tech early to proceed pursuing his desires.
In 2017, Crawford produced his first film below his 4 by Three Productions firm: a low-budget movie titled “Alan and the Fullness of Time” shot in and round Butler County.
The next yr, he bought a suggestion to supply a $300,000-budget movie known as “Moondance.” He was 4 courses away from graduating faculty. He took the job provide as an alternative.
Since then, Crawford’s workforce at 4 by Three Productions has grown significantly. They’ve produced over a dozen extra movies, and as soon as movie manufacturing prices elevated post-pandemic, they expanded into comedy specials, too.
Crawford noticed gaps within the comedy market, which he knew his workforce might fill.
“Individuals need to see not simply an iPhone (video) with dangerous audio, they need to see the actual deal. We got here from the movie world and understood what it took to get (content material) in entrance of individuals.”
Regardless of coming into the comedy video realm, Crawford nonetheless produces movies. He lately labored on a $1 million-budget movie shot in Spain.
‘Cincinnati is the leisure capital of the world’
Although Crawford has traveled everywhere in the world filming films and comedy specials, he nonetheless adores Cincinnati by means of and thru. His movie firm’s places of work are situated right here. And he believes town rivals different artwork havens, akin to New York Metropolis and Los Angeles.
“I joke that Cincinnati is the leisure capital of the world, (and) now I consider it once I say it,” he stated.
“There’s far more output media-wise than ought to come from a city this measurement, even in Indy, Columbus, Louisville – there’s not as many impartial movies and comedy specials popping out of (these locations).”
It was this loyalty to Cincinnati that made collaborating with Nell so particular, he stated.
“It was a surreal, ‘pinch me,’ full-circle second” Crawford stated.
“He is our Cincinnati boy who made it to ‘SNL,'” he stated.
Nell expressed the identical. He stated having Crawford and his workforce in Los Angeles was like, “having a heat, Cincinnati Midwestern hug.”
Crawford plans to pitch Nell’s particular “Fairly Songs, Soiled Phrases” to Max, Hulu and different main streaming platforms.