An inside look into the best tv shows, movies, and podcasts of our time
We decided to shake things up a bit for a recent episode of “Bring Out The Talent” and sat down with Kris Myer, an Emmy nominated and award-winning producer and co-founder, and CEO of Muddhouse Media. TTA partnered with Muddhouse Media, to bring our podcast “Bring Out The Talent” to life so we wanted to get a firsthand view into Kris’s 20+ year career working in the entertainment industry.
In our conversation, we discussed Kris’s work with the comedic duo The Farrelly Brothers on some of the funniest movies including, There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Shallow Hal, Fever Pitch, as well as his most recent venture in podcasting with his new production company “Muddhouse Media.”
In this blog, we will share some key highlights of our conversation and give a behind-the-scenes look at some of the best tv shows, movies, and podcasts of our time.
Q: Was film producing something that you always wanted to do growing up?
A: No, I had no idea that you could make a living in the film business. My whole family is firefighters and cops. I was going to go to law school. In the early 90s, the job market was not good. Five out of six of my roommates in college are attorneys. And I realized two of them had pretty good opportunities right out of the gate. I kept thinking about it and I felt as though I was just going to law school to go to law school. Then I thought, there are other ways to make money. I used to take the train in Boston, to all the independent film houses, and I used to go to the Harvard Silent Movie Festival. I never knew you could make a living at it. It was more of just I loved going to the movies.
When I first got out of school, it was tough. My mom said, “You love movies, why don’t you try to get in the movie business?” I called the Mass Film Office, and I worked on a BU grad film for the first six or eight weeks, and then they invited me back. I worked for about a year and a half in the film space in Boston, and then I need to make a big move. I call it “the big move”. If you’re moving east to west. Luckily, after about five years in the trenches, I finally got a break with the Farrelly Brothers and went on an incredible ride with them.
Q: What do you consider your first big break? Was it in Boston or when you met the Farrelly Brothers?
A: My big break came with the Farrelly Brothers, and I jokingly say when I talked to a lot of the kids today, I now use Malcolm Butler as a crude example that I won the “Super Bowl of movies” that year with There’s Something About Mary and I caught that pass coming out of a little junior college in the middle of nowhere Mississippi, and won the “Super Bowl of films.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about your first movie experience? I’m curious about how different it is between then and now.
A: I had no idea what I was doing. Nobody really taught me what an assistant did or was supposed to do. Every day was eye-opening. I grew up when I moved to Los Angeles, I had to learn to be independent. When we were on the movie, I didn’t know I was available twenty-four hours a day. No one told me I was, and I learned quickly that my phone is to be kept on twenty-four seven.
Q: Tell us the best late-night phone call you’ve gotten?
A: The best late-night phone call and one of the best guys I’ve worked with is Bill Murray. He’s just a legend. A veteran. There’s a lot of stories around him, and his process, and how to get in touch with him, and this and that. He’s always been a gentleman to me, and very respectful to everyone. There have only been two or three actors that come to you at the end of a movie and take you aside or even take you to dinner with 20 people and come around the table and spend 15 minutes with you saying thank you for doing X, Y and Z for me while I was here. He’s one of those guys.
Q: You mentioned you had a lot of fun filming There’s Something About Mary, and especially working with Cameron Diaz. Want to share any stories about her?
A: I was new. When you’re a rookie or a PA assistant and have one of them, you know, entry-level positions, you might never even know or interact with. The C-suite, the director or the producers, the actors, etc. Cameron had just exploded on the scene with The Mask and Jim Carrey. She’s from Long Beach. She’s from a blue-collar working-class family. She went to high school with Snoop Dogg and Willie McGinest. She was just a joy to work with. In my three or four months with her and beyond that she was just down to earth, and just respectful to everybody in and around her.
Q: One of the movies that you produced, Fever Pitch, can you talk a little bit about that?
A: I couldn’t leave out Fever Pitch. I used to work there as a kid, and to come back 10 years later, standing on the field, and a friend of mine who hired me back then, who still worked there, who we had not stayed in touch, but said, “Kris, what are you doing here?” I said, “Oh, we’re producing the movie”. He didn’t know I had moved to Los Angeles and things were happening.
Q: Boston to Cali, what surprised you the most about the move you made?
A: “You’re not in Kansas anymore”. Any young person that moves from somewhere where they grow up to another place, it’s going to be overwhelming. You get excited. I learned how to survive. You need to be relentless in your pursuit of what you’re chasing and be passionate about that. A lot of the folks, I met early on you gravitate towards each other because you’re out there alone. Your friends become your family.
Q: How did you stay strong? Any tips?
A: That comes with your upbringing and work ethic. I always say, There is no “no” in the film business.” You answer every bell, and you just keep showing up, and things will happen.
Q: Out of all the actors that you’ve met, who have you felt the most inspired by?
A: George Clooney, I don’t need to know the gentleman, but he conducts himself with class and tact, and he does an incredible amount of generous work for folks that don’t even know it. He helps a lot of folks which is impressive in any business. There’s a lot of self-serving, selfish folks and he’s not one of those folks.
Q: What made you decide to move back to the East Coast?
A: My folks. I’d been on the road for 20 years plus, and my folks are getting older. I just wanted to be around my family. LA has been very good to me. I love it. I like it there. I have a lot of incredible friends there. It’s been incredible to me, but I don’t have any family there.
Q: What made you take the turn into podcasting?
A: About a year and a half or two years ago I started getting asked to be a guest on a lot of podcasts. Then someone said you should start your own. I started doing a lot of homework and due diligence in the space, and I called a friend of mine who a couple of years prior I had been doing business with, and maybe three years ago, I asked him what he was investing in, and he said podcasts, emphatically. I called to see if it was too late or oversaturated.
There were seven hundred and fifty thousand podcasts in the country at that time or in the world. And he said, “Kris, no. It’s just beginning.” You know, eighty-five percent of those seven hundred fifty thousand podcasts are a couple of kids having fun and fooling around. They don’t have your experience, your network, etc. I said, let’s go for it, and here we are almost a year and three months in, working with you guys and having an incredible number of clients thanks to the team and everyone’s hard work through COVID. What the team has done in your business, in any business, but especially as a startup under the most extreme market conditions in almost modern times, we remain steady and in growth mode.
Q: You are working on a very touching project right now on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
A: We were lucky enough to be introduced by a young gentleman by the name of Chris Russo to Silverstein Properties, who is the developer and family-owned real estate company that rebuilt the World Trade Center campus after 9/11. It’s been an incredible journey, and they’ve asked us and hired us to do a 10-part series leading up to the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on the rebuild and the recovery and the resiliency of New Yorkers in Lower Manhattan to rebuild Lower Manhattan. And bookended by that is the recovery and rebuild coming out of COVID for the City of New York. It’s just an honor. My family is first responders. We have all obviously been touched by 9/11 in some shape or form or directly involved. It’s a must-listen because the guests include a diverse, eclectic group of folks from everyone in anyone that lives in Lower Manhattan residence, world-famous architects, engineers, construction workers, first responders. The podcast series is titled “Top of the World: Lessons Learned from Rebuilding the World Trade Center.”
Q: What advice would you give to our listeners who are curious about getting into film producing or podcasting?
A: I’d say just go for it. A lot of folks think about it, but they never act. You can go to all the schooling you want, right? But unless you go out and do it, you’re never going to know. So, I say, make a movie, write a script, write a novel. Be relentless about your passion of doing it, you know, especially as a young person, and just stick with it.