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Why I'm Totally Fine Producer Kyle Newacheck Wanted To Make The Film - Exclusive

The coronavirus pandemic forced us all out of our comfort zones, even those in the film and television industry, including Kyle Newacheck. The producer, director, actor, and writer has a slew of impressive credits to his name, including being the director of the popular Netflix film "Murder Mystery," and the TV comedy series "What We Do In the Shadows," which he directs and co-executive produces. So when the pandemic hit and Newacheck found himself itching to make a film, he discovered the perfect project to produce in the oddball alien dramedy "I'm Totally Fine."

The movie tells the story of Vanessa (Jillian Bell), a grieving woman who becomes the research subject of an alien who has taken the form of her recently deceased best friend Jennifer (Natalie Morales) to study her. The premise is undeniably strange but it's also frequently laugh-out-loud funny as well as poignant and relatable to anyone who's ever lost a loved one. In an exclusive interview with Looper, Newacheck explained what compelled him to produce (and play a small role) in "I'm Totally Fine" and why he felt it had to be an independent production.

Taking a leap of faith during the pandemic

Newacheck revealed that the film was born during a Zoom conversation in the early days of the pandemic with Director Brandon Dermer. Newacheck told Looper, "I said, 'I want to make a movie,' and then he said, 'I got this idea.' He told me the premise, and I said, 'Okay, I'm going to produce that.' He had his friend Alisha Ketry, who writes for 'American Dad!' and they went off and developed the story. Once I read that initial story document, I knew that it was game on. We needed to make that film, and we needed to make it as soon as possible."

In fact, Newacheck believed in the film so much that he said he decided to invest his own money in the project to make it happen, a decision borne out of a desire to maintain creative control. "I've experienced high highs in the film business, but I've also experienced lots of people getting cold feet and saying, 'It's my money, so it's got to be done like this,'" Newacheck noted. "I didn't think I could get it off the ground fast enough in that environment because it takes pitching, it takes script drafts, it takes all sorts of casting conversations. I knew instinctually how this movie needed to be made, and I knew that the people that were involved in it, myself, Brandon, and Alisha at the beginning, were going to make the right choices."

Ultimately Newacheck is proud of what he and his team accomplished with "I'm Totally Fine," especially given the challenges of filming during a pandemic. "It was my only job to protect [the film] and to try and get it out there, try and make it during the pandemic. That was hard enough," Newacheck confessed. "It was December of 2020, and we're like, 'We're going to go do something crazy.' And we did it."

"I'm Totally Fine" is currently available in theaters, on demand, and on digital.