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Found Footage Festival got more great press this past weekend. Here is an excerpt from Caitlin Donahue’s interview for the San Francisco Bay Guardian…
 
Found Footage Fest: "Hold the phone, is that from Eddie’s Bar Mitzvah? 
 
Rejoice, ye public access hosts, ye corporate training stooges, ye home movie starlets, for thy hour is nigh. No longer will your tapes be the viewing delight of a happenstance few. Film collagists Nick Pruehler and Joe Pickett have vaulted you into a slightly more middling level of obscurity. The fruit of their labor, The Found Footage Festival, makes its way to the Red Vic Movie House for a two night run starting Friday, October 2, bringing with it the panorama of American G-list treasures that Pruehler and Pickett have been discovering ever since a fateful trip to the back room of a McDonald’s in 1991. Discovering, scavenging, stealing — don’t get bogged down in semantics, people, it’s all part of the creative process. We recently interviewed Pruehler to discuss the profound joy produced by combining the FFF with Bay Area cush, as well as his deep-seated man love for Mr. T.
 
San Francisco Bay Guardian: How renegade are we talking here in terms of your video collecting techniques–do you ever dumpster dive for the tapes, or is that something you have "people" to do for you these days?
 
Nick Prueher: We’re not afraid to get our hands dirty and root around through garbage cans and dusty bargain bins at thrift stores in search of VHS gems. We’ll take risks to get videos. A few weeks ago, we were in a FedEx office picking up a package and happened to see a set of three VHS training videos behind the counter. When the clerk went back to grab the package, Joe snuck behind the counter and grabbed the tapes. Unfortunately, they were all pretty boring.
 
SFBG: Has anyone from the home movies ever gotten sassy on you because you put them in a showcase?
 
NP: Without fail, whenever we’ve met people in the videos we’ve found, they’ve been universally flattered by the fact they’ve become unintentional cult heroes of sorts. This footage that they’ve long since forgotten about is now bringing joy to hundreds of people across the country. The one close call we had was with Jack Rebney, a guy we dubbed "The World’s Angriest R.V. Salesman." We cut together some outtakes of this guy going nuts during a promotional video for Winnebago R.V.s and it became a big hit from our first show. Then Jack found out about it and, believe it or not, was pretty pissed off. But we somehow convinced him to appear with us at a show at the Red Vic last year. He came out to a standing ovation and regaled the audience with hilarious stories from that disastrous shoot, then signed autographs for a half hour afterward. At the end of the night, we actually hugged the man.
 
SFBG: Precious! Past FFF stars have been some pretty exemplar representatives of humanity. If you could date one person from the footage that’s made it into your compilations, who would it be? Your choice: loving relationship or dirty hookup.
 
NP: I’d definitely consider a dirty hookup with the host of "Bellydance for Beginners: Buns." She can do things with her "buns" that shouldn’t be humanly possible. As far as a long term relationship goes, I’m not gay, but I think I’d be really compatible with Mr. T.
 
SFBG: Your last movie "Dirty Country" was about an American hero and retired auto worker, Larry Pierce, who has built a name for himself in the music biz recording filthy-minded country tunes. I quote: "She licked my scrotum She licked my scrotum Now I don’t care about those letters Or who wrote ’em" You guys have to run into characters all the time through the videos you watch, what compelled you to make a movie about Larry?
 
NP: We were on a road trip in Wisconsin about 15 years ago and were looking to entertain ourselves on the road. We stopped at a truck stop and happened up a cassette tape called "Songs For Studs" for $5.99. How do you say no to that? So we bought it, popped it in and couldn’t believe our ears. It was well-written, original country music, but with the filthiest lyrics you could possibly imagine. On every subsequent road trip, we’d search for the new tape by this guy, Larry Pierce, and it turns out he had dozens of albums. Our prevailing question was always, who is this guy? So five years ago, we tracked him down, and his story turned out to be far more interesting than we ever dreamed of. We’re excited that the DVD for "Dirty Country" is finally coming out in November.
 
Read more of the interview

On our California leg of the tour, Found Footage Festival got some great press, like this interview by Becky Grunewald for the Sacramento News & Review…
 
Found Footage Festival: Finders, Keepers, Laughers, Weepers
 
The Found Footage Festival will have you in stitches—unless you’re the type who passes out at the sight of a penile-implant demonstration. The third volume of the Found Footage Festival was a hit at local film series Movies on a Big Screen back in May: The crowd roared as the festival’s creators, Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, emceed a collection of rare and odd VHS clips. And the duo’s live patter elevated these mind-boggling gems past your average stoned YouTube surf fodder. Certain images, such as Angela Lansbury “working out” in a bubble bath, or graphic (and implausible) simulated workplace accidents will be forever burned into my brain Prueher and Pickett will bring volume four of their Found Footage Festival to the Guild Theater in Oak Park this Sunday. Here’s Prueher’s sneak preview:
 
Sacramento News & Review: What was the genesis of this festival?
 
Nick Prueher: Over the years, my friend Joe and I had amassed a pretty impressive collection of odd VHS tapes that we found at thrift stores and garage sales. When friends would come over to hang out, we’d pop in our latest finds and sort of make fun of them as we went along. Then, five years ago, a friend suggested that we take our little dog-and-pony show out of the living room and into a theater. So we rented out this space in the back of a bar in New York and, to our surprise, people beyond just our immediate circle of friends showed up and had a pretty good time. Then we started getting offers to bring the show elsewhere, so we decided to entertain those offers. The show has evolved somewhat since 2004—it’s gotten a little more polished and involved—but it’s still just two guys showing off their video collection.
 
SNR: Do you have a favorite clip?
 
NP: It changes from day to day, but right now I’m really enamored with this reel of outtakes from a local furniture commercial in Corpus Christi, Texas. It stars this guy who calls himself Bargain Bernie, who was probably a really good waterbed salesman, but perhaps not the best on-camera talent. But that’s what makes him all the more charming and lovable.
 
SNR: How racy does the footage get?
 
NP: We don’t intentionally try to find racy material, but for whatever reason, there ends up being a fair share of swearing and nudity in the show. Of course, if you’re looking to our show for prurient entertainment, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Trust me, this is nudity you don’t want to see, but one thing we’ve learned in doing the show is that wieners will always get laughs.
 
SNR: Share the weirdest source for a clip?
 
NP: In our last show, we played a home movie that was found inside of a VHS camcorder at an estate sale. When we got the camera home and plugged in the battery, we found this tape still inside, and the footage rivaled a David Lynch movie in terms of weirdness. I guess the lesson is, if you’re planning on selling your VHS camcorder, eject the tape first. Or better yet, don’t. We need more material.
 
Read more of this interview.

That’s right, we are officially store owners. Go ahead and call us shopkeeps if you like. We’ve launched a new online store with tons of awesome FFF stuff: DVDs, T-shirts, and more to come.
 
Best of all, you don’t have to have a PayPal account get these goodies delivered to your door any more. I’m not sure how it works exactly, but we can now accept credit cards directly. It’s like we’ve got an electronic version of those bulky swipey machines.
 
Anyway, as part of the new store, we’re offering some pretty great deals. For a limited time, you can pre-order our Volume 4 DVD (available Nov. 3rd) and receive free shipping. And there are also package deals to order all four DVDs or even our feature-length documentary, Dirty Country.
 
Our fantastic graphic designer, Erik Evensen has whipped up a batch of new t-shirts for Vol. 4, including a shirt featuring the one-and-only Bargain Bernie. Store.foundfootagefest.com is now open for your browsing pleasure. Take a look.
 
Your Pals, Joe & Nick

We are currently in the midst of our biggest tour to date, one that will take us to almost 40 cities across the U.S. and Canada through December. Then we’ll pick things back up in mid-January and hit dozens more through May of 2010. It’s a busy schedule, but we can’t wait to show everyone our newest finds.
 
On the right-hand side of the website, you can check out all of our upcoming tour dates and order tickets online. We’re adding new dates all the time, so check back often to see when we’re coming to your city. Or better yet, sign up for our FFF newsletter and we’ll “zap off” and email and let you know.
 
We’re excited to bring the new show to some of our favorite cities in Texas, the Northwest, the Northeast and the Midwest this fall, plus we’ll be playing some new cities like Vancouver, Asbury Park, NJ, Detroit, and Providence, RI this time around. And three cheers to our 2009/2010 tour sponsors The Onion and AV Club for their support.
 
We’re always looking for new venues to add to the tour. If you’d like us to bring our little dog-and-pony show to your town, send us an email at booking@foundfootagefest.com. So far, we’ve met a lot of awesome people and heard about some awesome videos. Hope to see you in your neck-of-the-woods soon.
 
Your Pals,
Joe & Nick

In honor of the fifth anniversary of the Found Footage Festival, we’ve launched a brand-new website. Take a look around, kick the tires, browse to your heart’s content—we think you’ll like what you find.
 
The first thing you’ll notice is the video player, featuring a new found video every day. Check back often to see the latest VHS nuggets we’ve turned up in thrift stores and garage sales during our travels. We know what you’re thinking, “Finally, a website with funny videos!” That’s right, call us pioneers if you will, but every video on foundfootagefest.com will bear the FFF stamp of quality. We’ve sifted through the garbage to bring you only the best in unintentionally funny videos. Children’s tapes, religious videos, public access TV, instructional and training videos, exercise tapes—they’re all here, awaiting your comments. Make no mistake, we’re still stubbornly old school when it comes to our video procurement. We never take any videos from the internet. Like the videos in our live show and DVDs, all the videos on foundfootagefest.com come from actual VHS tapes we’ve dug up in out-of-the-way places all across the country. Wherever possible, we’ve included information about the original tapes and where we found them.
 
Foundfootagefest.com is also the place to find our up-to-the-minute tour date information, with links to buy tickets in advance so you can check us out in your city. And if up-to-the-minute is too slow for you, you can constantly hit refresh to get our latest Twitter updates from the road. Did we mention there’s also a new blog with news about the FFF and stories from our video-finding adventures? It’s true.
 
Lastly, be sure to check out our new FFF store, where you can pre-order our forthcoming Vol. 4 DVD and get deals on Vols. 1-3. Plus, we’ve got a bunch of new t-shirts and other fun stuff on the way. In short, foundfootagefest.com is your destination for all things Found Footage Festival. It should be the first site you check every morning and the last site you check at night. It could be the next Google (fingers crossed). Enjoy it while it’s still got that new website smell!
 
Your Pals,
Joe & Nick