The Movie Center had a chance to briefly speak with Nick Prueher – one of the brains behind the Found Footage Festival. Collecting various analog video sources and editing the most ridiculous together, Prueher and his partner in crime, Joe Pickett, have criss-crossed the country showing the frankensteined footage to small and large houses alike. If you’ve missed the show in the past, check the Fest’s website for touring details.
Movie Center: The festival is dependent upon your ability to find new, ridiculous footage on a regular basis. How does that happen when you’re on the road?
Nick Prueher: When we do a show in any city, we get there early and scour thrift stores and garage sales in the afternoon. Then at the end of the year we just watch everything that we’ve collected and hopefully have enough material for another show.
MC: Did you guys have enough material for multiple tours when you first started the festival?
NP: The initial show was stuff that we collected over sixteen years. We began collecting when we were freshman in high school, which was 1991. So by 2004, we’d amassed a pretty good collection that we’d entertain friends with in our living room.
MC: Have you been on the road since 2004?
NP: Basically. We tour with a new show every year. The first year we did it, it was just a handful of stops – wherever would ask us to bring the show. It’s grown every year – and we’re in our biggest year yet.
MC: The premise of FFF is as interesting as what it comprises. So how do you decide what’s fair game and what won't be included in the live show?
NP: The main stipulation for us is that it has to be unintentionally funny. That’s our ultimate litmus test as to what makes the cut. Whatever it was trying to do, it has to fail at it in an entertaining way.
It also has to be legitimately found. If it’s somebody’s home movie and they give us the footage, we won’t include it. For us it’s important to hear the story of how things are found. Sometimes that’s as important as what’s on the tape. It has to be on a physical piece of media. We don’t take any videos off the web for our show - it has to come from analog source material.
MC: The process that yields all of this sounds akin to what a deejay does, is there a connection?
NP: We’re really presenting things in a new context. Whereas deejays are taking recorded music and presenting it as recorded music, we’re taking clips that were meant to be watched in a break-room or at home and putting it in a theater in the context of a comedy show.
I don’t know if it’s artistic. I think that there is artistic merit to it, although, we mainly come from a film and comedy background. It’s just something that we did to entertain friends and make people laugh. We just thought that it was a weird hobby.