It’s no secret that Amsterdam’s twenty-year running improv comedy theater Boom Chicago has an eye for talent. It’s most notable alum, Seth Meyers—head-writer for Saturday Night Live since 2006, and soon to be NBC’s Late Night host—first joined the troupe in the late ‘90s. Before and since, members have included Jason Sudekis (SNL, Horrible Bosses), Matt Jones (Breaking Bad), Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project, Eastbound & Down), Jordan Peele (Key & Peele), and Greg Shapiro (Comedy Central, Vara HumorTV). Who is active at Boom Chicago both behind the scenes and as cast members is a good indicator of who we will be seeing more of in the near future.
Boom recently moved to the nicer Rozentheater in the Jordaan and has extended its recognition for talent towards Daniel Hillel-Tuch, a US-trained film student, who follows in the footsteps of talented viral video directors, editors and writers like Jamie Wright (Florida Voting Video) and Matt Chapman (SpongeBob SquarePants). However, Hillel-Tuch was given an unusual assignment.
Make film not for laughs, but to provoke a different involuntary instinctual response: screams, namely ones for Boom Chicago’s second mainstage show—the walk-through haunted house called Nightmare on the Rozengracht.
Andrew Moskos, Boom co-founder, and Nightmare on The Rozengracht director, used his sharp sense for spotting talent to conceptualize and gather the right people for his haunted house passion project, including designer Luke van Veen and Daniel Hillel-Tuch.
Van Veen was the designer of a majority of the decor and walkthrough experience for Sins, while Hillel-Tuch wrote, directed, and edited the commercial for Sins which aired on Comedy Central and screened in Pathè Tuschinski.
The interactive horror show opens with an eerie and atmospheric video by Hillel-Tuch. The high quality production, despite its shoestring budget, was due to a collaborative effort according to him, with luscious cinematography from Stijn Jonkhart, and savvy producing skills from Liza Callahan and Catalina Umaña
Hillel-Tuch: “When I pitched Andrew [Moskos] my video concept, we thought it would just be a commercial, but as we developed it further…the idea grew,
Now I have my own production company, SlapHit, and produce videos for Boom, and I have moved on to my next project, the development of my own web-series.”
The web-series, titled Cast Party, about a local Amsterdam theater company that struggles to put on large-scale productions, might seem familiar, but Hillel-Tuch swears he developed it before working at Boom Chicago.
Hillel-Tuch also brought in longtime friends from Crimson Craft studios, Joaquin Rico, Oliver Tiley, and Joe White, who not only created the sound and music for Hillel-Tuch’s multiple video works, but for the whole Nightmare experience.
The reviews from papers and the public alike have been positive, and the screams have been loud.
Clearly Boom Chicago\\\’s track record for calling talent when they see it remains strong, even behind the scenes.
Boom Chicago is Amsterdam’s premiere improv comedy theater that writes and performs sketch and improvisational comedy at the Rozentheater in Amsterdam