Thursday, August 21, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;56.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-08-21 02:16:41

ERROR: Video is no longer available.

pic1
pic2
pic3
pic4
pic5
pic6
  • Nashua native Ben Stumpf, left, and Dan De Lorenzo, of Delstumpfzo, produced the YouTube short "The Man Without a Facebook," which has gone viral on the Internet and is up for a Webby Award. (Photo courtesy of Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez)
  • Nashua native Ben Stumpf, left, and Dan De Lorenzo, right, of Delstumpfzo, produced the YouTube short, "The Man Without a Facebook," which has gone viral on the Internet and is up for a Webby Award. (Photo courtesy of Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez)
  • Nashua native Ben Stumpf, left, and Dan De Lorenzo, right, of Delstumpfzo, produced the YouTube short, "The Man Without a Facebook," which has gone viral on the Internet and is up for a Webby Award. (Photo courtesy of Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez)
  • Nashua native Ben Stumpf, left, and Dan De Lorenzo, right, of Delstumpfzo, produced the YouTube short, "The Man Without a Facebook," which has gone viral on the Internet and is up for a Webby Award. (Photo courtesy of Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez)
  • Nashua native Ben Stumpf, left, and Dan De Lorenzo, right, of Delstumpfzo, produced the YouTube short, "The Man Without a Facebook," which has gone viral on the Internet and is up for a Webby Award. (Photo courtesy of Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez)
  • Nashua native Ben Stumpf, left, and Dan De Lorenzo, right, of Delstumpfzo, produced the YouTube short, "The Man Without a Facebook," which has gone viral on the Internet and is up for a Webby Award. (Photo courtesy of Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez)
Saturday, April 21, 2012

Nashua native, YouTube duo, earn Webby nomination for Facebook spoof

NASHUA – Funny guy Ben Stumpf, a Nashua native, is in a head-to-head competition with Billy Crystal and John Stamos – proof that anyone can make it in the entertainment business, especially on YouTube.

Stumpf and friend Dan De Lorenzo, a New Jersey native, make up the comedic duo and YouTube film team known as Delstumpfzo. Their parody called “The Man Without a Facebook” is in the running for “Best Comedy: Individual Episode or Short” in the 16th annual Webby Awards, which are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

Taking off on a trailer for the 1993 Mel Gibson film “The Man Without a Face,” Delstumpfzo’s video is a tongue-in-cheek take on people who are sticking strictly to real-life relationships and in-person interaction, staying away from social media.

“What’s the point of doing anything if you can’t post a photo of it?” a character muses about the protagonist, who lives locked up in a cabin, missing out on church bazaars because attendees are only invited through the social media network.

“He’s untaggable,” another observes.

Voting for the Webby Awards closes Thursday. Votes can be cast at www.webbyawards.com.

Delstumpfzo’s 21⁄2-minute spot went viral, racking up more than 500,000 views in less than two weeks, they said. As of Friday, it had more than 620,000 views.

Ironically, the pair used Facebook to launch their video.

“We both have Facebooks. We’re not anti-Facebook,” Stumpf said with a laugh. “It’s hard to imagine someone without a Facebook. Those people exist.”

The concept was funny enough to spread like lightning across social networks, all the way to a Time Magazine reporter and a New York news anchor, who ultimately heightened the hype around the trailer and bolstered its following, they said.

“In 1993, ‘The Man Without a Face’ wasn’t even that big of a movie, it just happened to be a movie that we both saw,” Stumpf said. “I don’t think people are like, ‘I can relate it to that.’ It’s an obscure reference, for sure, but it made us laugh.”

Stumpf, the son of locally known high school weights coach Bill Stumpf, and De Lorenzo met while studying at the School of Visual Arts in 2004 and have been writing and performing sketch comedy since 2006.

YouTube wasn’t even invented when they started working together, but after it was, it provided a forum to get their witty scripts and quirky characters in front of new viewers every day.

“We both come from really heavy television backgrounds,” De Lorenzo said. “I would love to create our own shows one day,” pointing to sketch comedy hits such as “Saturday Night Live” and “MADtv.”

Producing a 21⁄2-minute spot for YouTube can be almost as time consuming as a hit TV show, however.

“The Man Without a Facebook” took an 18-hour day, 57 shooting locations, a five-man crew and about $1,000 to make, they said.

Much of the budget went into props and pizza.

“YouTube is a great outlet for us, being able to reach people we wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise,” Stumpf said. “Since we made this video, we get probably about 100 views a day because people can come across it. They search Facebook or YouTube for ‘Mel Gibson,’ ‘Man Without a Face,’ and hopefully, that will lead them to our other videos.”

As “The Man Without a Facebook” collected clicks, Stumpf said they watched a higher-quality version of “The Man Without a Face” trailer go up on YouTube a few weeks later, with more views flowing in after it.

When Stumpf and De Lorenzo first crafted the concept for their short, all they could find of Gibson’s film was a dark, grainy version of the trailer. To get the score behind it, they reached out to its composer, who still had half of the song on a cassette tape, and ultimately sent it over to them digitally.

Because Warner Brothers owns the rights to the song, and “The Man Without a Facebook” includes its logo, Stumpf said they could never make money off their video because of copyrighting.

As a video gets more attention on YouTube, however, Stumpf said the company reaches out to producers with profit-sharing options such as pop-up advertising.

“I don’t expect to cash in on YouTube,” Stumpf said. “There are people who are YouTube stars who make thousands of dollars in front of the computer, so a lot of those videos are simple. What we’re trying to do is make more thoughtful, cinematic stuff.”

Some of Delstumpfzo’s work is simpler than others. Their channel has everything from short, sarcastic commercials to longer spots parodying reality TV shows such as “Cake Boss” on TLC. But those have yet to take off, as their next most-watched film has 2,000 hits, they said.

Hopefully, being up for an award in the same category as Crystal, whose “When Harry Met Sally 2” includes cameos from almost 40 celebrities, will change all of that, they said.

“Exposure is the biggest thing,” Stumpf said. “Hopefully, what we’d like to get out of it is some representation, a manager or an agent.”

In the meantime, Stumpf, a soda jerk at a Brooklyn ice cream shop, and De Lorenzo, a freelance producer, will continue putting their spare time and funds into their YouTube videos in the hope that the Internet’s seemingly infinite audience will one day lead to work on the silver screen.

“At this point, we have more ideas than we can afford to shoot,” Stumpf said. “We meet every single day pretty much either to write or edit. We’re always working on this stuff. …

“Someday we’d like to get to a point where people say, ‘Let’s give them money to make this.’ ”

Maryalice Gill can be reached at 594-6490 or mgill@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Gill on Twitter (@Telegraph_MAG).