Shelby Marie Smith
Writer, Producer, and Partner at Halleloo Creative
A Comedy About Depression
In the midst of a spiraling quarter-life crisis, Shelby decides to reinvent herself as a standup comedian. The only problem; no one thinks she's funny. After attending an open mic night to impress a fellow comedian she likes, Shelby finds herself in the "Starting 16" of a local stand up competition. Thrust into the "cut throat" world of the local Richmond stand up scene, Shelby must face exboyfriends, a estranged yoga-teaching sister, and, the greatest challenge of them all, giving something a sincere try. You can watch the entire 5-episode series here.
Based on a partially-true story, myself and a 3-man crew of film students started shooting the Pilot of "StandUp/BreakDown" in November 2015 with one camera, no budget, and very little idea of how much work we had ahead of us. In the Spring of 2016 we received the year's largest VCU Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Arts Grant to produce 4-more episodes to create our first season. Armed with a profound sense of encouragement, an extra cup of coffee, and 500 excel sheets, I teamed up with friends, classmates, and community members to eventually employ (and pay) over 100 students in 6 months as we created this monolith together.
This show and I grew together. Writing this script alone in my room last summer, I was inspired by how comedy helped me reach out and relate to people in the midst of anxiety and depression. Producing it a few months later, with a considerable amount of people added to the process, the task became daunting, and a whole lot scarier. This show was about finding my voice and being unafraid to share it, and it wasn't until realizing the show that I was able to do that. I'm very proud of "StandUp/BreakDown" and the work that was done to make it come to life. It is my love letter to an industry that is challenging people to not be afraid of being who they are and I look forward to career centered around the heartfelt comedy of making mistakes and figuring it out.
What am I up to?
I became a partner at Halleloo productions!
I want to know what it takes to make tv! After spending the summer as a production intern, I am thrilled to be joining the team at Halleloo Productions as a partner and line producer! It has been so exciting to participate in the production process from start to finish; from pitching a project, to planning a production, to actually executing it on set (not to mention editing it all afterwards). I have had the opportunity to learn and work on several projects in several different capacities; building a multi-faceted appreciation and insight to every step of film and television production.
"Standup/breakdown" makes its NYC debut!
We've missed making videos! Picking up after Shelby, Sean, and Riley's (real life) move to NYC, my new promo "Rorschach" follows Shelby as she navigates a new city with many of the same problems. Follow our adventure and watch for new videos by subscribing to our YouTube Channel!
I started a blog!
As I build my writing portfolio and work on my spec scripts, I created a place to chat about the exciting landscape of today's television. From breaking down my favorite scene of the week to humous analysis of my trove of tv data (did you know I recorded every single camera angle of the pilots to "Louie", "Broad City", and "Girls" to contrast different styles of autobiographic sitcoms?), I take some time to explore and celebrate my favorite medium.