One of the great thing about attending Sundance is that I get to see movies months, if not years, before everybody else. But the heartbreak of Sundance, besides the psoriasis, is that some of the great movies I see there never find distribution and just sort of drift away.

Thankfully Mystery Team is not one of those movies. A very funny, very clever and very well made first feature from the web video titans Derrick Comedy, Mystery Team is sort of a look at a world where Encyclopedia Brown never grew up. What I really like about the movie is that it’s a movie, not a collection of skits, which you might expect from guys used to doing three minute YouTube clips.

The film will first go out on a college tour and then be getting an undefined national release. I hope that means it’s coming to most major cities, as I think Mystery Team is a movie that’s just as potentially commercial as it is smart and funny.

A huge congratulations to director Dan Eckman and all the guys (and gals) at Derrick Comedy.

Here’s the official press release:

LOS ANGELES (May 18, 2009) – Roadside Attractions has acquired all U.S. rights to DERRICK Comedy’s MYSTERY TEAM, the first feature length film from DERRICK Comedy, one of the web’s most successful comedy teams, it was announced today by Eric d’Arbeloff, Co-President, Roadside Attractions. The group will embark on an innovative advance-release tour of colleges in the late summer, to be followed by a national release this fall.  Directed by Dan Eckman, whose short film CHECKOUT won Best College Short at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival, MYSTERY TEAM had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.  In addition to Eckman, DERRICK Comedy includes producer Meggie McFadden, Donald Glover (30 Rock), Dominic Dierkes, and DC Pierson.  Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) will handle home video and all other domestic ancillary rights.

“This film is a jaw-dropping mash-up of absurd comedy and a dark crime mystery,” said d’Arbeloff, “It’s no wonder DERRICK’S shorts have been viewed over 100 million times online.  Their enormous fan base will be a key part of this release.  We’re thrilled to be working with the team.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Roadside for the release of this movie,” said Eckman.  “They combine a wealth of experience with an openness to new ideas.  We view the marketing as an extension of the filmmaking process, and we’ve always seen this as an ‘unconventional conventional’ movie.  We hope to carry that spirit through the release.”


Oakdale’s Mystery Team was once a spunky band of kid detectives dedicated to solving child-sized mysteries: who put their finger in the pie, or who stole a tricycle. The town loved them for it. Now the Team is about to graduate from high school and move in to the real world, but they’re still storming the playground to bust little kids.  Needless to say, the town of Oakdale is sick of it. Each member of the Team has a supposed specialty: Jason, the “Master of Disguise;” Charlie, the “Strongest Kid in Town;” and Duncan, the “Boy Genius.”

But those skills may not be enough when one day a neighborhood girl asks the team to find out who killed her parents. The Team is taken for the first time into Oakdale’s dark underbelly. A violent cartel of drug lords and strippers will threaten their lives, strain their friendships, and put their team slogan “NO CASE TOO HARD, NO CASE TOO TOUGH” to the test.