Katie Graham

Zero Charisma Movie

Editor’s Note: This review first came out during our SXSW coverage, but Zero Charisma is now available on DVD. Scott Weidemeyer (Sam Eidson) is passionate. Really passionate. Probably too passionate. He lords over a weekly table top fantasy game with a few friends, and it’s the only time in his donut-delivering, squatting-in-grandma’s-house, adult boy life where he has any real power. The problem is the passion — he’s become a bully, and the game has evolved into something tedious and bitter. The signs that the camel’s back is only waiting for a straw come as soon as Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews’  Zero Charisma gets going, so it’s no surprise that when a hipster gamer named Miles (Garrett Graham) joins the crew, the loss of his spotlight drives Scott further and further into desperation.

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Scott C Goonies

On today’s show we explore the most obvious cultural trend of our time — the infusion of geeky stuff into the mainstream. We’ll talk with Zero Charisma directors Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews about getting geek culture right in their fan favorite film portraying a D&D-like gaming group and their fragile leader. Plus, Great Showdowns artist Scott Campbell (see above) explains why he puts smiley faces on everything and shares his towering movie passion. And since I’m feeling overwhelmed by the amount of capes on the big screen, Agents of Geek founder Jim Napier drops by to lift my spirits by offering an optimistic outlook on the future of geek film properties. You should follow Scott Campbell (@scottlava), Jim Napier (@jim_napier), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #38 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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sxsw_zerocharisma

You didn’t have to be a nerd to understand what it felt like in high school when a cooler, more personable kid joined your group and threatened your position in the gang. It’s easy to relate to that feeling of jealousy and isolation when they start hanging out with your friends and seem to be having a lot more fun than you ever did. The problem with the characters in Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews‘ Zero Charisma, though, is that they’re not kids at all; they’re grown men obsessed with a tabletop role-playing game a la Dungeons and Dragons and their ringleader really needs to take a chill pill. As Game Master, Scott (Sam Eidson) takes his duties seriously, leading his friends in their weekly quests and battles through their fantasy world. But when a hipster nerd joins their league (Garrett Graham), it just about all but unravels him. But it’s unclear from the trailer why he’s actually having this reaction. Is it that this role-playing game is his whole life, and the new nerd’s presence is threatening the only place where he has influence and feels cool? Likely. Or, is there a deeper commentary at work here about how society has long cast nerds in the shadows for doing stereotypical nerd things like playing tabletop role-playing games, and all of the sudden, it’s hip to be a nerd. Either way, it looks like there’s going to be a geek battle that will be fun to watch. Our own Scott […]

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Zero Charisma

Chris Hardwick might be taking over the nerd world. Which is fine, for the most part, as long as he continues to be a force for good. Firmly in the “force for good” category is getting into the film distribution business and bringing SXSW Audience Award winner Zero Charisma to audiences around the country. In partnership with Tribeca Film, Nerdist Industries will distribute the directorial debut of Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews, which follows the story of Scott (Sam Eidson), a table-top game enthusiast whose quest to lead his friends on Dungeons & Dragons-esque quests comes with a bit more off-table drama than he’s equipped to handle.

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