By Liz Shannon Miller
The Television Critics Association’s focus is, unsurprisingly, on television. But recently, a group of critics, assembled for the TCA’s semi-annual tour through network and cable television, visited the offices of online video mainstay Funny or Die, where its upcoming TV properties were showcased. But the site’s commitment to short-form videos for the web and mobile remains strong.
“We do content we love to do, then find the medium for it,” CEO Dick Glover said to the assembled critics. “But at the heart of [FOD] is digital content.”
The highlight of the visit were some clips from the upcoming third season of “Billy on the Street,” featuring home-grown FOD star Billy Eichner, as well as some clips from a new series, “American Muscle,” which FOD is producing in partnership with Discovery.
The presentation was followed by a tour of the facility, covering the building’s two floors and 30,000 square feet, which contain studio space and editing bays. If you happen to visit in the next few months, you’ll find that things may look a little different from these photos. That’s because the team had only been in the offices for a few weeks; some walls were unfinished, and in the middle of the floor, someone was even assembling a cabinet.
While the unfinished walls seemed to be a (joking) point of contention between Glover and head of production Mike Farah, Glover said it was by design. “It’s not about slickness — we’re not doing things the way everyone else does,” he said. “We wanted it to look like a creative workspace.” Given that FOD is currently producing approximately two dozen short-form videos a month, that environment is essential.
During the visit, the offices were in full operation, right down to writers brainstorming ideas in a conference room nearby and comedian Bryan Safi shooting a series of Academy Awards-related sketches against green screen.
The newest Los Angeles offices of Funny or Die house about 60 employees (the company currently employs about 100 workers in total); this is the third time they’ve moved in the last three years, beginning with a Hollywood bungalow that could barely house 25 people.
That said, there’s still room for growth. “We still only have one bathroom,” said Farah.
PHOTOS BY STACEY WINGET