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Film starring Twin Cities comedians to fully share profits with cast, crew

A north Minneapolis man is changing the way actors and crew members get paid for their work.

MINNEAPOLIS — Even when the cameras aren't rolling, the jokes are. That's because, in "Switcharoo," most of the cast members are professional comedians.

"The whole movie felt like a blooper," director of photography Nino Powers said.

Written by Altisha Lewis and directed by Ricky Collins, "Switcharoo" is about two roommates who switch bodies after finding a mysterious substance. Collins, who also handled casting, is the proud owner of Packed House Live, a streaming website where the short film will live. He says, while humorous, there's also a deeper takeaway. 

"With the climate of how our country has been, I think a lot of times we're not … having empathy for each other and what we're going through," he said. 

Comedians Ashli Henderson, Elliot Vreeland and Juice Sutton play the lead characters, while Keith Anthony, Jasmine Clopton, Alleiah McCuiston, Lizette Fonseca and Kelechi Jaavaid play supporting roles. Thursday, cast and crew members gathered to talk about the film at HEREandThere.live, where they held a table read as rehearsals began. Filming took place in the community and within homes. Vreeland, who plays a real estate agent, is also one in real life

"Ricky was calling me; he was like, 'You're a realtor, right? You can get me into some of these houses," the comedian joked.

Trevor Hanson-Voss worked with Powers to film the scenes, which they say took longer than anticipated because of all of the joking around. While the total experience lasted about a month, Collins says the benefits will last a lifetime because of his unique business model.

"Say if somebody pays you $10,000, that may be a good payday, but … on the back end of it, a lot of times creators don't have anything," he said. "This is the first profit-sharing movie in Minnesota history where all of the cast and production members have equity in the movie."

"Switcharoo" premieres this Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis. After that, it's available for streaming on Packed House Live.

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