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Next Gen 2010: Hollywood's Young Guns

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    Digital
    Mike Farah
    Bill Phelps
    Mike Farah, 31
    President of production, 
funnyordie.com

     

    Farah’s mantra of “shoot first and ask questions later” keeps the Web shorts he produces for funnyordie.com firmly embedded in the cultural zeitgeist, whether they’re pointedly political (Prop 8: The Musical) or just plain silly (Zach Galifianakis’ celebrity interview series Between Two Ferns). The Ann Arbor, Mich., native came to guerrilla filmmaking relatively late in life — “I was not the kid making short films in my backyard when I was 10,” he says — so after earning a degree in finance from Indiana University, he saved up money from his bartending job and moved to L.A. in October 2001 with a vague plan to launch a career in the film business. Eventually, he landed as head of development for writer-director Craig Brewer, until the WGA strike in 2007. To fill the void, he produced Web shorts for comedian friends like Jerry Minor and Brent Weinbach, which found their way onto funnyordie.com, the site founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. By August 2008 he was their in-house producer. Today, he’s forever flirting with chronic exhaustion by leading a 15-person creative team that churns out 20-25 original comedic video shorts a month — featuring such notable contributors such as Jim Carrey and David Mamet — and producing his first feature film, Answer This! written and directed by his brother Christopher Farah.

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