Interview: Bumps in the Night, Part 3: John Reha

John Reha, the third in the Bumps in the Night trio, is here to talk with us today:
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IFP: Tell us about your current project. What is it called?

JR: Our current project is called “Bumps in the Night“. It’s a supernatural procedural comedy that parodies the reality ghost hunting genre that’s invaded basic cable.

IFP: What was the inspiration for Bumps in the Night? Where did you get the idea for playing ghostbusters who were also pool cleaners?

JR: Our initial concept was sort of that the guys from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia started their own ghost hunting business. The pool cleaner idea came in as a direct response to the guys from the show Ghost Hunters being plumbers by day, and ghost hunters by night, and it led directly into our first episode.

As a note, we’re not really going to see more of the pool cleaning, at least in the first season.

IFP: What do you want to tell the audience with this series?

JR: Whether you’re a “spiritual warrior” or some college dude getting drunk before you sit in a house for a couple hours, you should probably have a sense of humour about all this — you’re hunting ghosts.

IFP: How do you feel Bumps in the Night fits into the horror/ghostbusting genre?

JR: I feel like it’s pretty unique right now, as the first and only parody show in the genre. I mean, cop shows have Reno 911!; right-wing talk shows have The Colbert Report, and now ghost hunting shows have Bumps in the Night!

IFP: What other projects have you done? What was your favourite?

JR: Greg and I started a sketch comedy group called “Kinda Sober Theater”, and I’ve been in a couple TV shows and movies as a paid actor, but by far, Bumps in the Night is my favorite project to date. There’s something about bringing your own creation to life that makes so much else (like money) seem unnecessary.

Not that I’d turn down money, but you get what I’m saying.

IFP: What is your favourite genre in television?

JR: I’m a big fan of comedy. Sitcoms like Better Off Ted and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and more dramedy-style shows like Weeds, top my list.

IFP: How do you think webseries differ from traditional television and film?

JR: Attention. When people sit down to watch TV or buy a ticket to a movie, they are investing their time and money into their entertainment. They’re going to give those media more leeway if there are not-so-interesting bits. On the Internet, it’s not the same: someone is browsing, looking for a distraction, and something catches their eye – and you have maybe a minute to get them interested, and maybe five to keep them around. Not to mention the problem of bringing them back for the next episode.

On the flipside, the internet is a medium where anyone can make a show and find an audience. It’s the great equalizer.

IFP: What do you see as the biggest challenge in producing a webseries?

JR: See above, but also, getting attention from the right people to spread the word. Also, doing it with no money, and really, no guarantee of anything at all. Family always bugging you to get a real job. Constantly checking how many hits your Youtube video has. Measuring your self-worth by how many new users watch it. Crying yourself to sleep at night.

IFP: Do you have a favourite ghostbusting show?

JR: All of the shows I’ve seen have something intriguing about them. I’m not saying that “something intriguing” is always positive; they usually take themselves WAY too seriously —

I have to go with the original: Ghost Hunters. When I first saw it, seemed like this exercise in over-the-top, poorly-scripted, goofball schlock, but those guys know what they’re doing. They have a team dynamic, they don’t take themselves over-seriously, and the result is generally entertaining without being self-defeating, and they’ve gotten some pretty compelling footage.

IFP: What is your favourite film or TV show?

JR: I just saw an amazing movie called The Hurt Locker, about an Army demolitions team in Iraq that has to disarm potential bombs. It’s insanely compelling and tense. On TV, like I mentioned, Better Off Ted and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are two of my favorite shows.

IFP: Who is your favourite showrunner?

JR: Ricky Gervais. The man somehow does it all: acts, writes, produces, and keeps it FUNNY.

IFP: What artistic accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?

JR: Probably my final project for Design II. That was kind of a bear, and it’s still hanging up in my old place in NYC.

IFP: If you could be a Lovecraft/Mythos monster, which one would you be?

JR: Man, that’s tough, considering even contemplating the question has already driven me into a raving madness. Probably Nyarlathotep, though. He’s the only god with a discernible personality, and he seems to be having a good time.

IFP: What is your favourite Lovecraft/Mythos story?

JR: “The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath”. Greg told me once, “This is the story they stole the plot of every Final Fantasy game from.” He’s on the money there, but I LIKE Final Fantasy games.

IFP: Please tell us about your upcoming projects.

JR: Our director, Alethea Root, and I are working on another web series, an environmental makeover series that will teach people the value of “greening up” their homes and lives, not just to save the planet, but to same themselves time and money. Also, fire, violence and hot chicks.

I’m also working on a project on my own, a little thing called “Drunk Shakespeare“.

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Photo by: Arielle Haze Photography

Bio: John wanted to be a ghost when he grew up, but settled on being an actor instead. After convincing his parents that it was a valid back-up choice, he graduated from Drexel University with a degree in Screenwriting and Playwriting. He has appeared on the TV shows Quintuplets, Gilmore Girls, and How I Met Your Mother, and most recently appeared as a Slacker in Live Free or Die Hard.

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IFPInterview: Bumps in the Night, Part 3: John Reha