Web Video / Chad Matt And Rob

Chad, Matt and Rob refers to a group of filmmakers based in Los Angeles known for their numerous shorts that blend comedy with horror, adventure, sci-fi and fantasy.

The group was formed in 2007 by Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Rob Polonsky. Their breakout short, the found footage style "Alien Roommate Prank Goes Bad" was released in February 2008 and has received over 30,000,000 hits.

In November 2008 the trio started posting a series of Choose Your Own Adventure style films on YouTube, called "Interactive Adventures." The films made use of YouTube's annotations to allow the viewer to choose between possible outcomes depending on which annotation they clicked. Their first interactive film, "The Time Machine," is considered to be the first interactive movie on YouTube; it was featured in the Wall Street Journal and on Attack of the Show!.

Between November 2008 and January 2011, the group produced five different interactive adventures:

  • The Time Machine (November 2008) - Chad, Matt and Rob are just trying to get to a meeting on time, the trio end up dodging government agents, a dragon and zombies in a mad dash to get to the meeting without getting killed.
  • The Murder (March 2009) - While filming a short, the trio witness a murder and must decide how to proceed. This is the longest of the Interactive Adventures, with three unique story lines and over 30 separate segments.
  • The Birthday Party (January 2010) - The trio picks a bad place to park for their boss's birthday party, and must run from a gang, dodge demons in a haunted hospital and save a kidnapped heiress from an urban militia, all while trying to make it to their boss's birthday party alive.
  • The Teleporter (November 2010) - When Rob steals a teleporter from aliens, Chad, Matt and Rob are on the run from an angry UFO that wants its property back. This was made in conjunction with Unilever to promote a line of AXE shampoo products, and has three storylines and a total of 10 segments.
  • The Treasure Hunt (January 2011) - Getting to Happy Hour alive is easier said than done when Rob steals a Treasure Map and the trio have to battle a treasure hunter and escape the desert with their lives.

In 2011, Rob Polonsky left the group and the remaining four changed their name to Radio Silence. The new group created a short for the 2012 American anthology horror film V/H/S.

Their "Interactive Adventures" and other shorts can still be seen on their YouTube channel here.

This series provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital - The trio runs in one to escape thugs in The Birthday Party.
  • Argument of Contradictions - Matt vs. Rob in the opening scene of The Teleporter.
    Matt: It's shampoo!
    Rob: It's fuel!
    Matt: Shampoo!
    Rob: Fuel!
    Matt: Shampoo!
    Rob: Fuel!
  • Bathos: In one branch of The Murder when the trio opts to take the subway to escape the Princess Killer, their initial flight into the subway station is filmed with dramatic music - then it switches to a scene without soundtrack as the guys wait anxiously in line to get their metro cards, then it switches back to the suspenseful music as they get their cards and run for a train.
    Rob: He has to wait in line too if he comes.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure
  • Convenience Store Gift Shopping - When the guys finally make it to The Birthday Party, the only thing they have left to give their boss is a teddy bear. Big Hurl gives their boss a gun he picked up along the way.
  • Cowboy Episode - The Treasure Hunt.
  • Crying Wolf - To an extent in Roommate Alien Prank Goes Bad and Mountain Devil Prank Fails Horribly.
  • Deus ex Machina: And HOW in one of the good endings of The Murder. When the Princess Killer corners them in the subway and they try to run for it, Rob tries to make a stand - and suddenly out of nowhere zaps the Princess Killer out of existence with unexplained super powers.
  • Easter Egg - Three can be found in The Birthday Party and two in The Treasure Hunt by clicking annotations that aren't associated with official choices.
  • A House Divided - The trio constantly wastes time yelling at each other in dangerous situations in the interactive adventures, sometimes at their own peril.
  • Leeroy Jenkins - In the interactive adventures, at least, every dangerous situation is always Rob's fault. (He's also the first one to rush into danger.)
  • Improbable Aiming Skills - Matt in The Treasure Hunt. When you choose to duel with an insane cowboy, Matt lunges for the gun at the last minute, blindly fires, and cleanly shoots the gun out of the cowboy's hand before the guy can get a shot off.
  • In-Universe Camera - At the beginning of The Murder, the trio is filming a short, and even after they've abandoned all hopes of filming, the cameraman tags along and films all their escapades. In one storyline, when the trio find themselves Disposing of a Body in broad daylight, they use "We're making a movie" as an excuse, pointing at the cameraman. In one of the bad endings, you actually see the cameraman from behind after he drops the camera and runs after the guys, only to be shot down by the Princess Killer.
  • The Men in Black - The agents pursuing the trio in The Time Machine.
  • Murder by Mistake - In one of the storylines of The Murder, Chad accidentally shoots the Princess Killer's intended victim when the trio tries to help her. The other two are horrified and shocked that he was carrying a loaded, real gun for their short, especially since he was pointing it at them while initially filming.
  • Phony Newscast - Plays over the opening of The Birthday Party for Foreshadowing purposes.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies - Quite literally in one of the bad endings in The Murder. When the Princess Killer kidnaps Rob and you decide to go call the cops rather than rush in, Matt and Chad make it only a few feet before they are killed by a falling asteroid. (There's also a Continuity Nod to this in the good endings, where the newspaper that appears has a side story about an asteroid in the desert.)
  • Scary Surprise Party - The Teleporter opens with Matt on the phone with Chad, freaking out and telling him a disjointed story about Rob going into his room, an explosion, body parts all over the place, as dramatic music swells in the background. When he gets off the phone, he announces, "He's on his way!" to all the people gathered in the back yard for Chad's surprise party.
  • Shower of Awkward - One of the choices in the initial branch of The Teleporter dumps the trio into a random woman's bathroom while she's showering. Needless to say, her boyfriend is not amused...
  • Skewed Priorities - The good ending of The Time Machine in which instead of saving their past selves from death at the hands of the agents, the trio goes to the meeting instead. Rule of Funny is probably the only reason they don't just vanish from existence.
  • Total Party Kill - Pretty much all the bad endings in the interactive adventures.
  • Tranquilizer Dart - In the opening of The Treasure Hunt, the thugs use these to take out Chad, Matt, and Rob and their boss just because he happens to be in the area.
  • Wire Dilemma - In The Birthday Party, this choice comes up when Big Hurl steals a van for the trio to get to the party, only to discover that there's a hostage inside with a bomb. The branching choices literally have you pick a wire color to cut.
  • You Look Familiar - Tyler Tuione plays different roles in all of the Interactive Adventures except The Time Machine, and pops up in at least three other shorts by the group.