Stellar Interview: Lev Fer Talks About His Upcoming Film Project, LEV FER 20

LEV FER 20 is an upcoming comedy time capsule following the life of comedian, Lev Fer, each year. We got a chance to pick his brain a bit about this groundbreaking project and give our readers a little more insight into what to expect!

Firstly let us say- we are really impressed by this project you've created and excited to see it when it's released! What are some highlights we can look forward to seeing in this series? How long will each installment be?

Thank you, I’m very excited to be putting this out. I try not to tell people what they’re going to see before they see it, to me that kinda ruins the whole thing. I love going to movies and not knowing anything about them and being told the story as the creator intended. But, with this project, I want to be able to show what my life is like every year, as a comedian, and as a person. I’ll be releasing a 10-15 minute piece every year. Hopefully I have thirty years of these to look back on. Maybe in three years I’ll be eating trash. Who knows.

Is LEV FER 20 the name of the entire series or is it safe to assume the numerals will increase each year in accordance to your age?

The series will continue growing, next year will be 21, then 22, etc. It’d be weird if I was 30 years old and still releasing a LEV FER 20 every year like some wine mom lying about her age haha!

Are you hoping this project will allow viewers/fans to get to know you better as a person or a performer or both? In what way?

Definitely both. To me, it’s all about growth. I feel like a lot of young people today don’t do enough to create opportunity for themselves, whether that be as an artist or any career driven person. There are a lot of really grand things that I’d like to accomplish before I go and [sic] I’d just like to accomplish those things. I don’t believe in waiting on people to make my vision happen. I love creating, so I do it, and hopefully people respond to that. That allows me to make more, in a bigger way each time. I want the audience to grow, that way some small town 15 year old kid stumbles upon something I made and feels inspired to chase something as well.

Do you think the series also serve as an inspiration piece for other up and coming comedians?

I think it will for some and won’t for others. Getting into comedy is easy. You listen to Marc Maron’s podcast and then you can just go to an open mic. But staying in it for years can be really fucking hard, and it should be. If you want to be something, you should be challenged on your way. When you’re a little over three years into comedy you’re not usually getting a lot of work, so you’re in a stage of going this really sucks, but my only real option is to put my head down and keep trucking. I dealt with that a lot at 20, and I’m sure I still will.

In the intro of the trailer, you say that you would "never let your kid do this"... is this something that comes full circle in the film?

When I turned 18, I graduated high school early in North Carolina and was on a flight to New York a week later. When I told my dad that I was moving to New York to do comedy he said “Don’t even fucking think about it.” It took time. If I had a kid I’d have those same fears. What if he gets hurt? What if it doesn’t work? Why doesn’t he just want to go to business school? I was 18 slogging through a foot of snow at 1:00am to do two minutes at open mics before I even knew how to get around. It was crazy. But you make friends and learn how the city works, and then it’s less scary. I’ll never forget Rebecca, the owner of the Creek and the Cave, doing a Christmas dinner for comedians. She opened her doors and cooked a ton of food for all these comics who were away from their families on the holidays. That was really something. It’s moments like that, that I'd hope my kid would get to experience if they tried to do the same thing.

How long has this project been in the making from conception to execution? What's the length of time that this footage has been accrued?

I thought of the idea of a comedy time capsule a few months back. I thought about my favorite comedians and how I would always try to find early clips of them as performers. I thought about how cool it would be to see a true master like Dave Chappelle as a 21 year old performer, and be able to hear about what fueled him at that age. We all just want to relate, and it’s comforting to see your heroes not be amazing when they were just getting started, before they really became who they are. Then I called up Mike Lavin, a tremendous photographer and videographer here in New York, and we got to work immediately. We shot over an hour of shows, and a ton of other footage. It’s been a really fun process.

Overall, what do you hope viewers takeaway from this film after watching it?

I just hope that it finds its audience and that people enjoy it. When you make something like this there are always a handful of people that will dismiss it, but that’s insecurity. You make the work for the people that watch the trailer and email you something like “I can’t wait to see that.” I did a set in North Carolina over Thanksgiving and this kid followed me out after and said he’d been a fan of my podcast. That’s unbelievable to me. You make it for those people. I’m lucky to have a few people out there that enjoy the things I create, whether that be my stand-up, my podcast, or things like these, and these kinds of projects are for them. Them, and the kids out there on the internet who want more.

LEV FER 20 will be released online every year on his birthday, December 15th. This year, on Friday, marks the release of his first installment- so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here's a sneak peak:

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Stellar Underground is a blog dedicated to keeping up with the up and coming comedians in New York City. And, since we are obsessed with comedy in general- we also talk about everything in between.

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