Photo essay: T.J. Miller’s wild “Denver” video shoot at DIA, East High, Casa Bonita, Civic Center, the Wynkoop & moreBy John Wenzel | December 5th, 2011 | 3 comments
Denver-bred comic and actor T.J. Miller has gained a lot of momentum in recent years thanks to movies like “Cloverfield,” “She’s Out of My League” and “Yogi Bear,” but 2011 was his easily biggest year yet.
Between the release of first Comedy Central record, the tongue-in-cheek rap album “The Extended Play EP,” and last month’s hour-long special for Comedy Central, “No Real Reason” (which he taped at the Boulder Theater in May), Miller is poised for an even bigger 2012.
But he hasn’t forgotten where he came from, so he and Denver filmmaker duo the Nix Bros. are throwing Denver some serious hometown love. A week ago they wrapped shooting for the next single from Miller’s “Extended Play” album, appropriately named “Denver,” which finds Miller rhapsodizing about everything from the Mile High City’s sunshine, girls and open-minded culture to our, um, Rocky Mountain Oysters, all backed by a chunky beat and acoustic guitar sample worthy of “Odelay”-era Beck.
Executive producer and Denver comedy booster Andy Juett provided Reverb with some of the best photos from the Thanksgiving weekend shoot, which took Miller and crew to such locations as the famed “Mustang” sculpture (a.k.a. the big blue horse) at Denver International Airport, Miller’s alma mater of East High School, the legendary Casa Bonita restaurant, Civic Center Park, Pete’s Kitchen and the Wynkoop Brewing Company, among others.
“I also had (local comedians) Sam Tallent, Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, Ben Roy, Mara Wiles, Kristin Rand, Hippieman, Chuck Roy, Nathan Lund, Chris Charpentier, Abbey Jordan, Bobby Crane, Morgan Miller, Timmi Ann Lasley, Total Ghost and a team of beagles in it,” Juett told us via e-mail.
“In addition to it being a ‘Denver anthem,’ it’s a Denver comedy anthem too. That was super important… Interestingly, during that shoot, someone came bumping by on Colfax listening to the song ‘T.J. Miller’ (track No. 3 from the album) while we were shooting. T.J. was in the bathub and lost his shit. It was great.”
Ambitious is the word here: Gathering members from Denver stand-up and sketch troupes like the Grawlix, Fine Gentleman’s Club and LadyFace on a holiday weekend was one thing. Sitting in a bathtub full of beer on East Colfax Avenue on a cold Sunday morning and trying to procure eagles for the shoot was something else entirely.
Juett says the video will debut on FunnyorDie.com and YouTube in the coming weeks, so check back here for the embed. Special thanks to Juett, the Nix Bros. and Glen Montgomery for the photos.
John Wenzel is an executive editor of Reverb and an A&E reporter for The Denver Post. He is the author of “Mock Stars: Indie Comedy and the Dangerously Funny” (Speck Press/Fulcrum) and maintains a Twitter feed of random song titles and band names @beardsandgum.
« NEXT: Steal This Track: Monroe Monroe, Dustin Morris and Churchill