Even in the ridiculous world that is basic-cable reality TV, a show about who can sit on a couch the longest might be a bit of a stretch. But “Couch Survivor,” a film about a producer trying to pull that show off, will premiere Thursday at the Kentucky Theatre.
Writer and director Jonny Walls says the film is about a TV network executive who creates his own show, also called “Couch Survivor,” to save the failing network. Walls, who grew up in Wilmore and studied in Asbury University’s media and communications program, chose to screen the film in Lexington first, because the film has many ties to Central Kentucky.
Those ties include producers Matt Perry, a University of Kentucky graduate; Zac Heath, an Asbury Seminary graduate; Aaron Champion, also raised in Kentucky and an Asbury graduate; and actors Jeremy Kozeluh, a Lexington Christian Academy graduate who attended Asbury University, and Alex Beh, a University of Kentucky graduate.
Now based in Los Angeles, Walls gathered the Kentucky talent as well as people such as “Crash” actor Alexis Rhee, to work on “Couch Survivor.” Three of the characters in the film are also from Kentucky.
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Walls said he started developing the film idea when he was 19 and he and his friends talked about which of them could sit on the couch the longest, similar to the TV show “Survivor,” which they enjoyed together.
“The nature of the show is that he (the network executive) wanted to do a reality show that was kind of organic and doesn’t have all of the gimmicks of a regular reality show with elimination ceremonies and all that other stuff they do,” Walls said.
In the show “Couch Survivor,” seven contestants sit on a couch and must outlast each other, according to the film’s website.
Walls said he wanted to leave the message of the movie to the audience’s interpretation.
“I think it should be that way for any movie,” Walls said. He said the film is not “heavy,” but is more comedic.
Walls said “Couch Survivor” has a distribution deal with Glass House Distribution in New York. The deal will begin later in the fall, Walls said. The film will also be available on some online streaming services as well.
“Couch Survivor” is Walls’ first film as the writer and director, but he has worked on other projects. His next film will focus on Kentucky’s bourbon industry and the crew will begin filming for that next year.