Adam Carolla reaches out to fans, famous friends for crowd-funded movie

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Adam Carolla was sick of Hollywood.

“I made a movie about eight years ago and never got paid,” he said. “Dejected doesn’t begin to cover it. The whole thing was so expensive and time consuming. And afterwards, all I did was beg people to pay me for it.”

Then the idea of crowd funding came around. “It’s important for people to understand that it’s not just trying to extract money from nice people. It’s about a community with these projects.

“Tonight, I’m going to [TV producer] Phil Rosenthal’s house for a screening and pizza party. The people who will be there wanted to be a part of this movie. It’s not just, ‘Give me $250, drive to Phil’s house and watch Adam’s movie.’ It’s about doing this project together.”

That project is “Road Hard” which opens Friday at the Patio Theater (he’s scheduled to appear at the 7:30 p.m. Saturday showing) and also will be available on VOD. Corolla plays Bruce Madsen, an actor whose movie and TV career has run dry. He’s forced to go back on the road to play the comedy clubs. The film also stars Howie Mandel, Larry Miller, David Alan Grier and Rosenthal.

“I was pleased and touched,” Carolla said, “that the people I reached out to and asked to be in the movie said, ‘Yeah, I’ll work for a couple of days with almost no pay. I trust you. I like you. I’ll be in your movie.’ ”

And perhaps you’ve seen the ads for people who aren’t in the movie, but are helping Carolla just the same, including pal Bryan Cranston.

“Cranston has a really busy schedule and he carved out some time to shoot with me to help me raise money for the crowd funding. I don’t think we could have done that without him. He was finishing up ‘Breaking Bad’ and going into ‘Godzilla’ and only had a few days in LA. The last thing he probably wanted to do was my video, but he did it.”

Corolla says the movie is about “a tough life by showbiz standards.”

“Stand-up is not a tough life by life standards,” he says. “Being a roofer is a tough life, especially in Boston or Chicago in the winter. With stand-up, you’re waking up at different times and going to sleep at odd hours. You’re not eating at your table or sleeping in your bad. The standing up on stage isn’t the hard part of it.”

With 1.7 million fans of his podcast, Corolla is a long ways from his early days doing stand-up and working as a carpenter. The only hard part of his success, which includes stints on “Dancing With the Stars” and “The Celebrity Apprentice,” is that his parents still don’t watch his work.

“They’re not against what I do,” he said. “They’re just not into it. When I say, ‘I just finished my indie movie,’ they say, ‘Good for you.’ Then we move onto some other topic.

“But I don’t know their birthdays, so it’s a two-way street,” he joked.  “It takes the pressure off me come birthday time.”

Didn’t they watch him on “Celebrity Apprentice” or “Dancing with the Stars?” “That’s when it dawned on me how detached they are from my career. When I was on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ I talked to my dad a few days later and he said, ‘Did you ever do that dancing bit?’

“I thought, ‘This isn’t even cable. This is network … and you have a TV set.”

Big Picture News Inc.

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