When Instagram's video service launched last year, it was only a matter of time before somebody used it for something else other than skateboarding dogs or video footage of their dinner. Enter Artistically Challenged, a new screwball comedy series that describes itself as the first ever made-for-Instagram TV show.
Over the course of snappy 15-second episodes, we follow the life of Nick, a young struggling artist who tells a small white lie and ends up being feted as the darling of the New York art scene. Is it funny? Well, put it this way: if you're at all familiar with the art world, you'll most definitely get a laugh out of the clueless collectors, know-nothing artists and money-minded gallerists that populate the world of Artistically Challenged.
"The world of art creators and consumers has always interested us as a place with interesting personalities, highly opinionated people putting a lot on the line for something that's ultimately very subjective," says filmmaker Aleks Arcabascio. "There's a lot of crap out there, and a lot of genius out there and it's just ripe for parody.
While the series is as polished as any comedy sketch you'd see on TV, Arcabascio and his fellow creators Sam Delmara and Jeremy Boros made the entire thing on a shoestring budget with Instagram in mind.
"It seemed like a really fun challenge that could yield something great," Arcabascio explains. "We wanted to see how the 15 second square frame limit (no way to break those hard rules) would change the way you told a story, for brevity, for clarity, the way you tell a joke or story when you know someone needs to hear you, understand, and think it's funny without feeling too rushed or unnatural."
There are ten episodes in the series so far, with the trio planning to release 32 eps in total, one for every day in July. You can watch the first five episodes below:
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