MORE FUN WITH “FOUND FOOTAGE” GUYS: WEB EXCLUSIVE
The Found Footage Festival guys, Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, reveal the best thrift store in America and more in this web exclusive. For TheBPlot’s interview last week, also published in The Coaster, click here.
Nick and Joe’s brilliant show is this Saturday (Nov. 14) at Asbury Lanes, 10 pm. Doors open way earlier.
TPB: How do you two decide whether a clip makes it in show? Do you guys wrestle if you disagree?
Nick Prueher (Co-Curator, Found Footage Festival): For us, the litmus test on whether a video makes the show is whether it is unintentionally funny. Whatever the video was trying to do, it has to fail colossally, but in an entertaining way.
We came to heads recently over how much of this “Rich Little VCR Charades” video to include in our VCR Games montage. Rich Little keeps breaking out into these terrible impressions for no reason at all. It’s painful, so the debate was how much could people handle. I lobbied for less, but Joe wanted more. We settled on something in between.
TBP: Does the clip have to be old school and on VHS to be considered? Are YouTube and EBay part of your research or solely brick and mortar thrift stores and audience members?
Nick: We are decidedly old-school when it comes to video procurement, so we don’t take anything off the internet. All of our videos are turned up by digging through video bins at thrift stores, browsing garage sales and even searching in garbage cans. To us, the story of how we found a video is just as important as what’s on it, so taking footage off YouTube seems like cheating.
If anyone has found a video in or around Asbury Park, we highly encourage them to bring it to the show. We love meeting people and hearing the stories of how they found particular tapes – it’s how we keep the show going.
TPB: What’s a clip that has not made it in the show but is memorable?
Nick: There is one video that I’ll never forget, no matter how hard I try. It was this tape that a fan sent in to guitarist Steve Vai to win his affection. In it, this young woman performs various odd sexual stunts that I can’t really describe in mixed company. It’s pretty goofy, but the woman clearly has a few screws loose, so it’s a little more disturbing than funny.
TBP: Do you see current-day clips that would be in the show 15 years from now? Ever think, “I wish I could put that in the show now” – like a clip with Paula Abdul?
Nick: Oh yeah, sometimes you don’t need any time or distance to appreciate something ironically. The one DVD I bought as soon as it came out was R. Kelly’s “Trapped In a Closet” opus. And just a couple of years ago, we found a DVD in a thrift store that was a training video for Elvis impersonators.
TBP: In the Found Footage Festival, you use clips featuring Rue McClanahan, Goldie Hawn and other celebs. Do you ever hear from the celebs or other subjects in your show?
Nick: We haven’t heard from any of the celebs in our show, but we love tracking down the subjects of our videos. Hearing from Julia Roberts really wouldn’t do much for me, but meeting the stunt man in an insurance safety video was a dream come true.
TBP: The Asbury Park area has some great thrift stores. What are some of the best thrift stores across the country?
Nick: We’re really looking forward to hitting the Asbury Park thrift stores when we get to town. One of our favorite thrift stores of all time is this place called Bishop’s Attic in Anchorage, Alaska. It was this untapped goldmine of awesome VHS tapes.
TBP: If you found a Michael Jackson clip would you use it?
Nick: Most definitely…I wonder is “Captain EO” ever turned up on VHS.
TBP: Finally…Nick, you worked at The Colbert Report which is the absolutely most consistently brilliant show on TV. How did you get the politicians to sit down with the show’s corespondents and answer those fab questions?
Nick: I don’t know exactly how it works, but people love being on TV, even if it means they may come off as jackasses. That basic principle has fueled “The Daily Show” and “Colbert” for many years.
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