The most obvious thing to say about the new R-rated road trip film “Miss March” is that it feels like an extended sketch comedy. The crazed plot follows a young man who comes out of a four-year coma to find his high school girlfriend modeling for Playboy. As he and his buddy embark on a cross-country pilgrimage to the Playboy Mansion to find her, they contend with murderous firemen and a rapper named Horsedick.MPEG, pronounced with the “dot” and everything.

Co-leads Zach Creggor and Trevor Moore wrote and directed the film. It should come as no surprise that the two are also the brains behind the Independent Film Channel’s comedically absurd sketch show “The Whitest Kids U Know” (formerly on the Fuse network). During the Ann Arbor leg of their recent promotional bus tour, the two sat down for an interview to discuss their film and the sometimes uneasy transition from sketch comedy to the big screen.

“With sketches you just get in there, hit the joke as hard as you can and get out,” Moore explained. “In movies you actually have to like characters.”

“You have to be responsible with your storytelling so that every scene has a purpose and builds the story,” Creggor added.

Creating relatable, likable characters was a big challenge for the two. After all, they’re best known for sketches on their show featuring a rapping Hitler and an obnoxiously loud Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre circa 1865. Following their first successful season, 20th Century Fox approached them with a rough outline for the movie, but they were dissatisfied with the script and elected to completely rewrite it on their own.

“We didn’t really like the script, but the plot we felt we could do something with,” Moore said.

The pair added their own touches, like the aforementioned Horsedick character and some firemen out for blood.

“After September 11, firemen were the heroes, and rightfully so,” Moore explained when prompted about the inspiration for the villains. “But something you weren’t going to see for a long time was bad firemen.”

The duo’s penchant for offensive humor led them to break that taboo, along with several others, throughout the course of both the film’s production and their show’s new season on IFC. “I don’t think there’s any subject that’s off-limits. It’s all about the tone you address a subject in,” Moore said. “As long as it’s not malicious or super mean-spirited. Unless that’s the joke — that it is mean-spirited.”

Creggor and Moore employed a loose, somewhat free-form writing process with the film. Even though first-time film collaborations are often tenuous at best, the relatively inexperienced pair seems to have avoided tearing each other’s throats out. “I don’t think we have to agree on everything, but we talk things through and figure out what’s going to be the best,” Creggor said.

It helps to have a simple rule to determine what material is film-worthy. He explained, “If you laugh while you’re writing, that’s good.”

Moore and Creggor tried to leave their “Whitest Kids” roots behind during the filmmaking process, but there are many outlandish aspects of the movie that wouldn’t feel out of place on the show.

“It’s a pushed reality,” Moore said about the tone of the film. “It’s not taking place in the real world — it’s kind of taking place in a sketch world.”

Because of this, Creggor said, he saw “Miss March” as “an easy movie to write.”

Nevertheless, the real world will be the one to judge whether Creggor and Moore have a future career in film when “Miss March” opens in wide release March 13.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.