Writer-producer Neil Garguilo (Bloodsucking Bastards, MTV’s Awkward) has launched Rafael Raffaele Entertainment, a new production company that will house his television and film projects, Collider has exclusively learned.
The company will focus on creating scripted, unscripted and animated projects that take a unique approach toward storytelling and formats, and to develop projects with filmmakers and comedians who have a strong point of view, as Garguilo himself is a well-known comedian with a strong improv background. Rafael Raffaele’s first three projects are all animated, and range from socially-conscious musicals to post-apocalyptic sketch comedy.
The company’s first production was the 2019 animated series Hell Den, which is currently streaming on the OTT platform Drink TV. Garguilo co-created the series with the members of his comedy troupe, Dr. God, and as showrunner, he worked alongside Shout Factory to deliver six 15-minute episodes.
The company’s second production will be an animated musical short-form series called Brainwashed by Toons that has been picked up by Funny Or Die. The series focuses on cartoon bigotry and sexism from the early 1900s, and was created and directed by Garguilo. The show will feature the voices of Jason Alexander, Wayne Brady and Lea Thompson, among other stars, and it will feature music from Gregory Jenkins. Garguilo is also producing Brainwashed by Toons with co-writer Dwayne Colbert, as well as Chris Michael and David Saint of Funny Or Die.
Additionally, Rafael Raffaele is currently in production on its first animated feature, Unicorn Boy, which will mark the feature debut of writer-director Matt Kiel. The cast will be announced this winter, and production is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, as animation is a laborious process that takes time.
“When you have the opportunity to work with a filmmaker like Matt Kiel — someone with such a unique voice in animation — you strive to ensure he has the tools he needs and allow him to create. That’s one of my goals with Rafael Raffaele Entertainment. I’d like this to be a company that can help young, talented filmmakers and comedians develop projects and then watch as they put their visions on the screen,” said Garguilo.
Outside of Rafael Raffaele Entertainment, Garguilo has recently written a feature for Get Out and BlacKkKlansman producer Shaun Redick and Yvette Yates Redick‘s Impossible Dream Entertainment, which is set to begin production later this year. Garguilo also has four different unscripted comedy series in development around town.
“Neil Garguilo is one of our trusted go to writers. He’s always sharp on his feet and brings an atmosphere of fun,” said Redick.
Garguilo spent five seasons as a recurring character on MTV’s Awkward, and his other acting credits include Tacoma FD, Cassandra French’s Finishing School, Super Troopers 2, and the indie horror-comedy Bloodsucking Bastards, which he also co-wrote. The Gersh Agency represents Garguilo, who named his production company after his two grandfathers, both of whom had a profound effect on his writing, his comedy, and his personality.