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Zack Carlson Alamo Drafthouse & Documentary Filmmaking

Zack Carlson explains the early days of the Alamo Drafthouse and the ideas that made people fall in love with it. After some fun Alamo history he describes his experience making a documentary called "The American Scream" where several unique characters from a small Massachusetts town are brought to light working their unique magic.

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[00:00:09] All right, here we go. Hey, welcome back to friends in Austin. My guest today is Zack Carlson and I'm going to read this bio that he wrote, I assume you wrote that Carlson was born in a pizza. He writes and produces movies, some of which may come out someday. He co-wrote a book called Destroy All Movies. But that was a while ago. So who cares? He doesn't eat fruit or vegetables. That's all accurate. Every word. Well, thanks for coming on the podcast. Yeah, thank you. I'm excited to be in this place. So for real, don't eat fruits or vegetables. Yeah, it's true. Yeah. I was raised vegetarian by this hippie idiot called Mom and I was suddenly introduced to meet at age seven by my grandmother who was just like, oh, can I can I swear on your show? Yes, absolutely. My grandmother was just like, you know, fuck this special diet thing, let's go to McDonald's. And I was like, what is McDonald's? And I went with her and I had a cheeseburger. And I was like, oh, my God, they've lied to me. And I just never went back. Like, I just I'm I it's funny. I've dated a vegan and stuff, and I just refuse to to bow to the vegetation scarred vegetation gods. Yeah. I won't do it. So, I mean, I know you work for Elmo. Kind of. Yeah. So we were just talking about a little bit before. But what I mean what do you do for them and. Well I started the Elmo like a decade and a half ago and it was a very small business. They had like basically they had a one screen theater downtown that was upstairs. It was like a tiny movie theater. And then they had just started to expand.

[00:01:43] They had like the village, which is four screens, but it was not this huge company. And it was really like this family, mom and pop thing. And like everyone there knew each other, like there was no turnover of the same employees for years. And it just felt like a group of friends trying to do something that they had no real business experience or really a reason to be doing. And it was great and it was really Wild West. And like, you know, we just have, like, you know, events before a movie or would be like wrestling in a kiddy pool filled with blood and stuff like that. And it was just like the standard. And it was like every night was something crazy. And then the Alamo grew up and I didn't. And so I keep finding ways to still exist in the stupid end of the Alamo business and not in the proper, you know, respectable end of what they do. So, like, I've never seen a Marvel movie, but like, if there's an opportunity for me to do a, you know, like gross out food eating contest, I will organize that and make people vomit before a movie. I don't care what movie it is. We had a kid would tell me the pizza eating contest before a Ninja Turtle screening and the kid I chose, the smallest kid in the audience and the largest adult male to go against each other. And the kid was eating so fast that he vomited on his pizza and then kept eating it. And that made him win. Oh, that's the kind of thing that I am proud to be part of at the Alamo Drafthouse. He's a go getter. He was. Yeah, he's like 50 now.

[00:03:03] But at the time he was an adorable twelve year old. I actually read something that I found online from 2013. Twenty ninth of January, someone wrote in the Austin Chronicle about you, it said the title of the article is that Crossing the Alamo Drafthouse. And then the text said that you said I ended up making a career of celebrating other people's creative endeavors. I should maybe take a crack at a few myself. Yeah, we I well, my writing partner and we've been best friends since we were kids, and his name is Brian Connolly. And he and I went and we made some shows for Adult Swim and we sold some things to be made that never existed, which is unfortunately pretty common in L.A. We sold we made this show for two years for DreamWorks, an animated series for kids. And it was about this island that, you know, all these different kinds of creatures live and, you know, blah, blah, blah. And we developed it and we're like, you know, getting paid as if we're making our own show. And we're like, oh, boy, we're grownups. Kind of. And then DreamWorks bought the Jurassic Park cartoon. They're like, now we have a different island of monsters, BII, and we're just like groups. So there's a lot of stuff like that. But we got to have three things made. And I went made a TV series on Vyse over that time and since then, like we still do projects. And I just realized that I you know, it's not the worst thing to have some kind of backbone, standard income of sorts. But I'm by no means responsible. Mm hmm. So you so you were working for Elmo? Yeah. And I mean, you were doing weird things that you thought were fun, like eating contest and stuff like that.

[00:04:42] And you don't even I mean, you wouldn't even tell me kind of what your job title was, right? I didn't have one. Yeah. Yeah, you didn't have one. So let's go back to Elmo a little bit. So it's like you start working for them. No job title, right? It's a very small company. They've got one theater in Austin. And I mean, you're just coming up with fun things to do with the theater. Just things that are fun, in your opinion? Well, no. It was kind of a film curation job, like a film programmer, which I was doing the Terror Tuesday series. And so what was the territories this year? It's still going it's it's just like a weekly horror film series, usually showing the movies on 35 millimeter. So you get the experience of being in the theater in 1983 watching burial ground or whatever movie it is. And it was a companion to the weird Wednesday series, which was a long running exploitation film thing. So that was like basically like, you know, biker movies or whatever and, you know, just like any exploitation film. So, you know, like 70s black cinema and all this great stuff that would be mixed together. And then they said specifically, let's do a horror series because fans of horror, you know, we'll come back week after week. And so we start doing that. And it was a big fun endeavor that worked out and started doing other series, like there's a VHS series I was doing. And whenever we had, like a really ridiculous guest come out to the theater, like, you know, we're going to have like Clint Howard, Ron Howard's little brother, come out and show one of his movies like that would be me getting that guy on an airplane to come out to the theater, OK, stuff like that.

[00:06:09] It was never like somebody as attractive or successful. But I would bring in, like, the left field, OK, weirdos. And that was became a big part of the Alamo's identity. And that was that's how I was going to say the Alamo has a really particular character about it. And it's still, I would say, holds on to a lot of it today. I don't know nearly as much about it as you. But like when I came to Texas, I never seen an Alamo before. I go to one. I thought it was really cool the way they do, like before the movie, they do these weird they show previews or other just weird clips or something related to that movie. I thought that was really funny. So they do all kinds of weird stuff. So as you were working with them in the early days, like how did the personality of Alamo develop? Like where did that come from? There was really a core of three people that made that happen as far as like the public facing identity of the Alamo and all of its craziness. And that was Tim Ligue, who is, you know, one of the two founders of theater. He and his wife, Carrie. Carrie focused on business and Tim focused on showmanship. He was like the P.T. Barnum of the Alamo. And then he hired Caleb, who was a Canadian illegal alien that came in like snuck into the U.S. to infiltrate and program incredible films. And this guy, Lars Nilsen, who was an ex cab driver who worked at Kinko's but had a comprehensive knowledge of exploitation films. So there was this trio that were kind of like these obsessive maniacs that were doing the stuff and they would create that preshow of all the clips.

[00:07:34] And mostly Lars was putting those together and they would do all this while programing. And then they brought me on. And this guy, Henry Mozza, Henry was doing like the party stuff and like the more, you know, like broadly acceptable film programing. And then I was another one of the, like, subhuman Ferrell movie idiots. And that was it was it became this family of like five or people that were doing all of the programing and the shows that you're talking about, all this stuff. But what's really great, I talk about how the Alamo grew up, but to their credit, and I'm no longer a prop. Alamo employee. They became such a large business that they could have easily sold that screen time before the movie to like Pepsi or whatever, like garbage company, you know, wanted to be on there like some video game company or whatever. And they've always maintained that like, no where the theater where you sit down and you're going to see some Indonesian like, you know, shark puppet movie, you know, like clips before that proper film plays. And I really respect the stuff like that where the Alamo has stuck to their Wild West origins and maintained their kind of childish wildness. I do think that's very cool and I think that probably is the character that led them into becoming as big as they are now. Yeah. So they're fun. Yeah, they are fun, you know. I mean, they have to show Avengers nine or whatever, like every other theater, but hopefully before Avengers nine, there's something worthwhile on screen. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Said you're not a big fan of Marvel movies. I don't get it. Why does anybody like that? I don't know. It's insane. I will admit that I liked a lot of them.

[00:09:01] But after like so many, I was just like I just turned it off. It's the same movie. Yeah. Yeah. It's like, oh, I'm a person who has suddenly given abilities beyond my means to accomplish a great feat in the face of adversity. But I must rally up and find this power within me to do so. And now I'm joined by 20 other people who have exactly the same origin film to do the same shit again and save the universe. I guess, you know, it's like how many times are people going to watch that? It's like pornography. It's like how many combinations of the same thing do you need to see before you pretty much seen it? What are your favorite kind of what are your favorite kind of movies? My favorite types of movies are are honestly, it's not like a specific genre. It's not like, oh, I love, you know, Iranian divorce dramas or whatever. But it's like to me, the best movies are the ones that have an idea that is so much greater than the, you know, then the means that the filmmakers have. So it's like movies that like have like a Stanley Kubrick level of, you know, ambition. But they have like, you know, Ernest goes to camp budget. And to me that's amazing because you watch people like accomplishing impossible feats behind the camera. You know, like when somebody is making a movie for a major studio, especially, for instance, like a superhero movie, they have hundreds of millions of dollars to execute whatever idea that they have. But when somebody is making some movie and like, you know, Central America and they want to make the sci fi epic and they literally just have their friends and like, you know, twenty thousand dollars, like, that's going to be so much more interesting because they have to force that thing into reality, like against all odds.

[00:10:32] And to me, watching somebody do that is the most beautiful thing in the world. Like, I'm terrified of childbirth. But to me, like this is the equivalent of creative childbirth is like like this is going to hurt and it's going to be terrible and it's going to be bloody and I'm going to be like exhausted afterwards. But we have to do it and like, that's beautiful to me. And so when people like the whole mystery science theater thing where people are like, ha ha, look at this crappy movie, it was made with little money. It's like, yeah, let's make fun of, like, you know, this huge budget movie that sucks. That's what we should be poking fun at. Let's make fun of like Avatar or whatever and not make fun, not making fun of this guy who like mortgaged his house in Tulsa to make his vigilante epic because he had to do it. You know, like I get that. I totally get that. Yeah. Don't punch down. Punch out. Didn't you make a movie making fun of movies? Never. OK, no, never. All right. I have is the best worst movie. No, I don't know if it's something that I pulled up here. I can find it later. But I want to I want to look at your picks for a second now that we're on the topic of movies you like, OK? You mind telling me why you like just maybe a couple of these movies? Yeah. So this is you're looking at Alamo on demand, right? It's Zach Karlsson's picks. Yeah. Yeah, man. Yeah. This is a streaming service. The Alamo started OK. I mean, I'm assuming you recall like any one of these that I named. Sure. Yeah. What about demon wind.

[00:11:49] Demon wind is amazing. And it's funny because normally I mean, I normally champion movies that are all new ideas, but Demon Wind is a strange one because it is essentially evil dead. Again, it's like a bunch of friends go out to this remote cabin and it is besieged by ancient spirits from hell. But the ideas that are they inject into that to make it unique are so insane that it's it's really like like it's like a five year old with Tourette's was like writing the script verbally and like it's like, you know, like, oh, these demons are attacking us. And suddenly our friend is dressed as a magician and doing backflips that actually happens like and it's and it's just so it's like you can even be original when you are being derivative. If you try hard enough, you know, and that's the whole thing. It's like, oh, they found a way to make something new out of something that was completely familiar. Sounds interesting. So as I don't know, on demand, something that you like, sign up and pay for you. You can watch it at home. Yeah, it's a streaming service. And it kind of was created in lieu of the, you know, standard Alamo experience because this came into being right when covid really kicked in. OK, OK, OK. That makes a lot of sense. So what about brain damage? Brain damage is amazing. It's by this guy, Frank Hennion. Later, he was a low budget New York filmmaker. He did the film Brain Damage, which is a I'm sorry, the film basket case, which is considered like a. Classic of no budget, you know, like sleazy East Coast exploitation and horror films, but then he got a little more money and they made brain damage is the follow up to Basket Case.

[00:13:15] And it's about this like super whitebread college student, nerdy guy. And he accidentally comes across a brain parasite who's named Elmer, who sings. And he's an adorable little brain parasite who's like looks like a basically a cross between a slug and a turd. And Elmer will attach himself to your, you know, cortex or to your spine and you become addicted to this psychedelic fluid that he emits. But in exchange, he makes you kill people so he can eat them. This is awesome. It's great. Brain damage is an amazing movie. It's really and it's like it's like a total crowd pleaser. Like if somebody is not entirely bloodless and boring, that's a movie they will love. Fantastic fest, 20 20. That's a movie. No, no. I was going to say that's not it makes sense. That's OK. 100 best kills up to Capitec. Oh, good. This is a hundred bucks kills was a tradition from the wild days of the Alamo and something that I've continued doing against everybody's will. But it's just really what it sounds like. It's a clip show and we pick a theme and it's just like the best that's in this theme. So like, you know, we've done we just we actually just did one that was vehicles, you know, which is, of course, the craziest crashes. And movies like Dennis Hopper driving a big rig through a bus full of children in the movie out of the blue. So it'd be one hundred of those under those clips. Yeah, in ninety minutes. So it's just like, wow, you know, and then it's just like and, you know, like and sometimes it's fun like the audience. If it's an obscure one, I'll be like, what does this movie in the middle name it and I'll throw like a box of Lemonheads Atom or whatever.

[00:14:47] And it's just like this fun thing. But people get really into it. And it took ten, no, twelve years for me to finally get my most cherished skills through the gate. And that was called the sweetest taboo, which is all the best child deaths in movies. Oh, my God. Oh, my God, you're twisted. Well, this who looks around the world and says, you know, this is good, but there should be more people. You know, it's like nobody. The manufacturers of covid-19 had that exact thought. They did. Yeah. I don't know if it's manufactured or not. All right. We'll do one more movie. Sure. What about. About FWS, FWS is a an incredibly low budget movie where it's just a bunch of really unhappy, paranoid people in a lighthouse during an alien invasion and it's got to like 70s sweaty, like unpleasantness where like people have kind of yellow teeth. Like, you can tell which characters have bad breath by watching the movie, you know what I mean? It's that kind of film and it's really like a modest production. But everyone is all in and like the filmmakers and the cast and everyone are just like, OK, we're we're this is we're going to behave as if there's actually an alien invading this lighthouse now. And it's kind of tense. It wouldn't be in the top, you know, 25 movies that I'd recommend off this list. But it is unique and that's what gives it power. And that's why it's on this list of things that I like. Like I can't think of any other movie that feels quite like that movie. Oh, so you're talking about throwing candy at some kid Alamo Drafthouse. I know Drafthouse does some weird stuff, but I feel like I'm missing out on half of this stuff and, you know, obviously covid.

[00:16:20] But before covid, I mean, I know that they had, you know, the comedian nights, right, where they would they would show like when they show, like on air and there would be someone on a microphone. Yeah. Like shitting on it. What other stuff like that do they do, you know. Well it's really just that group and that's been like those guys are called Master Pancake and they've been part of the fabric of the Alamo since the beginning. And it was originally basically like a mystery science theater thing. And then they've kind of crafted their own version of comedy where they get up and they do live stuff like in between, you know, it's like an intermission usually where they're pretty much naked and making fun of their middle aged bodies. And it's just like they've kind of crafted their own version of movie comedy. But it's interesting because they actually really like movies and so they're paying attention, which I guess is true of the mystery science guys, too. But to the credit of the master pancake dudes, they will just as soon make a movie like Conair, which is some huge budget flop. So as they would pick on a smaller movie, you know, and and I respect that about them. The only other thing like that the Elmo does is a lot of stuff with Doug Benson, the marijuana comedian who comes out doing fantastic fest and does a similar thing where he does movie mockery. But shockingly, Doug Benson, who is stoned as hell all the time, truly, it's not just a shtick, has like this really encyclopedic awareness of a lot of movies. And he's a true cinephile. And so, again, I have to be like, OK, well, you know what you're talking about, even if you're kind of just sitting on it, OK, I don't even know what is fantastic fast.

[00:17:45] Oh, boy. Fantasy Fest is like the last bastion of true stupid chaos that you can count on at the Alamo every year except a covid year. And it's just an eight day film festival that is essentially celebrating horror, science fiction action, the things that get relegated to the midnight slots at a respectable film festival and at ours, we're like, no, this is front and center. And it's funny because the festival really started to, like, celebrate stuff that was unwanted by most other festivals. But through its existence, somehow it garnered enough, you know, respect or whatever it is that like we ended up doing, like the world premiere of There Will Be Blood and things like that. We're like, how did that happen? We didn't deserve that at all. That's OK. So it turned into kind of like a pretty legit film festival. Right. But we stick to those parameters like and honestly, when we do like if we have a big studio premiere, like say, well, you know, they're going to let us like they want us to play the Joker last year, which we burned down. But, you know, if they do like the Joker. No, I didn't like it either. Oh, thank God. Yeah, I just there's just like me doing this weird laugh all the time and it's like we get it is weird. What else is going to happen in this movie. Yeah, it was a very hollow movie. People were convinced I had some great undercurrent. Yeah. But you know, whenever we show a movie like that that is bigger, it is so we can afford to bring over 20 filmmakers from like Latvia and Slovakia, whatever, who would otherwise not get to come to a festival in America. And we show their movies and they get to have this experience of being like I am.

[00:19:16] I think Film Palmier is my movie, you know, like, that's awesome. That's the reason we do it, you know? I mean, it's like, yeah, you get money from a studio so you can bring over these people that, like, would never get to come to the US to show their films. And that's such a great feeling, you know, and it's really like the magic of the festival. And then also we have less stupid parties, you know, that are fun. I've caused several tens of thousands of dollars of damage to different buildings in the shopping center that the Alamo is now just from people like the a lot of the people doing stuff. Yeah, well, like one night I made a we had a giant slingshot and I ended up destroying accidentally one of the walls of the building and stuff like that. We had a massive pie fight at one time. And, you know, just and oh, we had a food fight, 300 person food fight. That was insane. That was like unbelievable. I mean, it was like two a.m., three, 300 people throwing pudding and tomatoes and and spaghetti. And it was like totally wild. And then two thirty a.m. was over and I was there till nine a.m. cleaning it. But it's fine. That's I mean, it's like that's like a huge bucket list. Items of a food fight that big. I was yeah. I mean, like since I was eight years old, I wanted to do that. I'm still eight years old. So what is it like things that you've done at Alamo that you had the most fun doing or were the most proud of? Well, it's all going to be stupid, but oh, no, that's not true. A lot of it is us is again bringing out people who would never have an audience and finding the audience for them and giving them the moment of appreciation that they never expected to have.

[00:20:49] And the best example of that is there is a 62 year old autistic filmmaker named David the Rock Nelson, and he is lives in Chicago and he's been making camcorder monster movies in his basement, starring just himself and his girlfriend for 25 years. And he goes on busses and tries to sell DVDs of them to people. And that's his audience. And so he sells maybe, you know, initially to like 10 copies of a movie. And he'd be like and he's just very excited and very, you know, just very ambitious and and energetic. But like, you know, if you go on public transit and some guy's waving a DVD, like buy my movie 20 dollars, you know, like, it scares people off. But I love his movies. And so we brought David the Rock Nelson out. My friend Josh and I coordinated the screening and he came out and somehow we filled the Alamo is the downtown 200 seats, you know, at the Ritz. And the rock got up and he was, you know, so excited to be in a room full of people that were there to watch his movies that he was overwhelmed with energy by this. And he tore his shirt off, like, rip it off and did exactly 53 pushups. Wow. That's pretty good. He wouldn't stop. Let's introduce your movie. And he's like thirty eight. Thirty nine. And he's got going. And the audience was like, you know, and then they watched his movies and they loved them because they're so pure and they're so sincere. That's awesome. You know, and they're just unfiltered. This guy's brain unfiltered on screen, like no producers, no middlemen, you know. And the audience went nuts. And that was beautiful. It's pretty amazing. It was it was great.

[00:22:29] And in the car on the way back, you know, all night long, he'd just been raging and ranting and just so excited. And he was silent in the back seat. And my friend Josh Johnson was driving and he's like, Hey, Rock, you OK back there? And he said, All my life, everyone said, no one's going to like your movies will tonight. Everybody had fun at the movies. He said that's a pretty bullish statement. It was. It was gorgeous. Yeah. I mean, I wish I was there in the car when that happened, but it's like he had that moment where he's just like, oh, I'm I am a filmmaker. I am an entertainer. And you helped facilitate the whole thing. I mean, yeah, I like I you know, I can't take credit for what he does. That's great. But to help him find that audience and to have that moment meant a lot to to him and to me. And it just was beautiful that people came out for it. That's very cool. So that's the best story like that. So you pretty much always been obsessed with movies and stuff. Always. And it's funny cause I've always been obsessed with the underdog. Like even as a kid I would pick like the deformed pumpkin on Halloween or I would buy Cracked magazine instead of Mad magazine, which is like the second tier version I get you. Yeah. And I just I've I've always said, like, hey, these people are trying really hard to do something. Let me find out what that is. Yeah. These people have something they want to get across and they're having a hard time doing it. So I'm going to pay attention. And it's funny because like my ex-wife, she would say, like every time, like a homeless person talk to you on the street, you stop it and talk to them.

[00:23:49] I'm like, yeah, because no one else is. That's a human being, you know? And I think I approach everything in life like that. It's interesting. And movies the same way. Yeah. So I appreciate that attitude. I think I have kind of a liking to underdogs to when it comes to I don't know, it could be sports, it could be anything. I'm not really that into sports, but it's more interesting to root for the person that is like trying to get somewhere than the person that's already on the top. Right. And that comes through in like entertainment, certainly like in every movie about, you know, like like, say, every teen film about like Triumph, you know, like like, oh, I was a nerd. And then I finally found my place in school. It's always that there's like an attractive rich, like white jock guy who's just treating me like a turd. The movie is never about that guy and it never should be. It's always about like rising up against that. And so it's funny how that's so common in fiction but so uncommon in life. And to me, it's like you've always got to be rising up against the turds always like you just fight until you die. Like, that's like the only way to live, you know, and that's part of it for me. So you did make some movies yourself. Yes. When you left the Alamo, we talked about that a little bit. I want to get back into that. Um, I saw the American scream. Yeah, that's one of them. You want to talk about that one? Yeah. So that was yeah. I was really happy with how that came out. That was a documentary by the crew who made this film Best Worst Movie, which is a pretty successful film about Troll two, which is considered the worst movie ever made.

[00:25:18] And I became friends with those guys while they were making that movie because I was an interview subject in it and. Their next project was a documentary about people who are so obsessed with Halloween that it completely devours their lives and their families and they spend all year just turning their house into like a spooky house for the holiday. And it sounds like such a limited thing. But then we met these people who are so compelling because they were just like truly giving their entire lives to just decorating their house for Halloween. And it was all in the same tiny town. And we stumbled across them. My friend Brian and I found these guys and it was this beautiful story of just these three families that were really different. And we watched the trailer. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Zach, will you move that light? And then I have a link up there. Hi there. Thanks. What's this video? I don't know. Years ago and over the years, I've done different things and I always goes back to that gargoyle spider. Last year was going to top it, but nope. So this is one of the guys in the family? Yeah, there's three families, and that's Victor. He was just a blue collar guy living in Massachusetts. Everybody in this dock was and he was raised in Branch Davidian. He was part of the David Koresh, his cult in Waco and was not allowed to have holidays as part of that, which we only found out while we were shooting the movie Christmas Trees. Yeah. Then this is Manny. He was a local like a city worker. And he was, you know, like he would go pick up the garbage and stuff and make his hand out of, like, just discarded crap.

[00:27:02] And and but he did it for his family and for his neighborhood, not for his own edification as much. And he was an amazing guy, got tissue paper. And when we premiered the movie in Austin, we had him come out and make a haunted house in secret. So when the audience left the premiere, they entered a haunted house. Oh, that's awesome. Which is great. Then there's these two who are truly peculiar humans. This is the Broder's father and son, and they were also professional clowns who bickered constantly. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, so all of these people live within six blocks of each other in this tiny town in Massachusetts. It doesn't look like a cemetery. Yeah. Because they wanted and this trailer gets more and more intense along with the music. And the music was done by this guy, Bobby Tahawy, who did music for Game of Thrones is like right after this. And so it's like take it way better than we were at his job. Crazy, nice and certainly sad. But we spent a month getting to know these people in this suburban area, a lot of my friends, and becoming really close with them. And it was it was a pretty intense experience, actually. Yeah, but it's all about passion. It's all about doing this thing against all odds. Go ahead. Sorry. You know, it kind of goes yeah. It goes again with the theme that you're talking about earlier of what you like to do. And I really like the trailer for this. I mean, I just found out about it as I was researching and I watched the trailer today and I was like, this is really cool. Yeah. It's it's it's a beautiful movie because of these people, you know, it's nothing that we did.

[00:28:32] But to see people devote themselves this much to something that has so little return is always inspiring to me. Yeah, I thought that guy's art was pretty cool. I like the guy that does he like you said, he collects a whole bunch of stuff, right? Yeah. And then he just kind of starts he fixes some of it up and then turns to the city, the city guy. Yeah. He's unbelievable because, like, one guy is very super professional, like he could be doing like the huge Halloween, like, you know, haunted houses that people pay for at the mall. Like he could be like the head guy at those. Then man is making stuff out of garbage and then the father and son clown guys are just making garbage in garbage. Yeah, remember me. But they remember what I've done. That's what is that's so beautifully positive. Yeah. So I want to know like how did you how did that even start. Like how did that even start that project. Yeah it was funny. Best, worst movie of the you know the previous film by the same director and crew got a lot more success than they expected it like it became this big, you know, streaming thing on Netflix. Everybody was watching and it was getting good reviews. And then the channel chiller, which was, you know, the horror channel, came to them and said, hey, you know, you guys did this great thing. We want a documentary about Halloween. And they're like, well, it's pretty boring and like and then we started talking about it. And they're like, well, there's probably people that are more interesting than just talking about Halloween. Like they were initially thinking, like Rob Zombie hosts the 10 scariest towns in America.

[00:30:01] And I was like, Yeah, yeah, you know? And then we're like, well, what if we just find some actual humans that we would want to get to know and learn about and like get into their lives? And that was the approach. And I think it was shocking because Chiller was such like a, you know, traditional Rob zombie ish horror channel. And then we're making this documentary about like just middle age schmoes, you know, having fun, which is play the opposite of what they wanted. And we kept joking while we were making the movie were like as when it premieres on TV, you're going to say now back to the American scream on Chinon. You know, it's going to be so ill-fitting. And it premiered and it was exactly that voiceover when it came back. And you're just rolling on the floor laughing because it's really like now back to middle aged suburban man. You know, I like nothing less scary in the world than what we made, but it was great and it was a great experience and they were actually very fun to work with. And, you know, they didn't make us change our direction at all. You know, they're like, OK, if this is what you guys think is best, do it. And we did it and it was great. It was received really well. And it like won some awards at festivals and. Right. Before Roger Ebert died, he reviewed it and he said this is one of my favorite documentaries of the year and that made us we were sad that he died, but it made us feel good that he took time out of his busy dying schedule to enjoy the film. So, yeah, that it was a great experience.

[00:31:25] And I'm honestly bringing out Manni, who is the city worker guy who does his more modest, you know, decor and stuff. And having him there for the festival was magical because he'd never been on an airplane before he was 53 years old. Mm hmm. And he got to come out to Austin and make a haunted house for the audience. And it was wonderful, you know, and everybody just like felt like they were part of this thing, which is always the ultimate goal. That's super cool. So, I mean. How do you go about making a movie like that, though, or making a documentary like that? I mean, I know you you got the project, you fly out to Boston. How long did it take? That was a full. Well, it's funny. We did 10 days of scouting, so we were all over the Northeast and we went from like Baltimore all the way up to like the tip top of the Northeast, trying to find compelling stories. And then we found this one town where it was like all of these fascinating people, like our neighbors with each other, and they're all obsessed. And we're just like, oh, this is great. So when you land in town, you start asking around about, are there any weirdos here? Like I mean, I kind of have it like that. Now, we did a lot of Internet research because people that make these home hunts, they're called like, of course, they're going to put them on YouTube, going to be so proud of. They're like 20 foot tarantula that they're going to share this online. And then there's people that, you know, like to make a little map and obsessively go to all these different home hunts. Right. All over like their given area, their state or whatever.

[00:32:42] So we started trying to find those things like like, oh, who made a map of, like, the scariest haunted houses in, you know, like D.C. area? And then we would I'd look at all this families and be like, oh, this guy is like a big boring, you know, just like gym teacher. But this guy over here is a really fascinating weirdo and maybe let's look more into him. And we ended up going out and meeting a bunch of these people. And so we really only had the goal of meeting Victor, who was the, you know, super driven Branch Davidian dad, who was incredibly skilled. We went out there and we're like, oh, this guy is good and his family's interesting, but is this enough? And he's like, oh, you got to meet man who lives down the street. He's a garbage man. And we're like, wait, what's this about? It's like he picks up garbage, makes haunted houses out of it. Like, that's cool. And we go over to Manny's house and I fell in love with him because he's just like he's the most authentic human being I've ever met. You know, he's just like the I don't care about this thing, you know, like I think and I was like, I love this guy. Like, he's the best. And he's like Oscar the Grouch, you know, as a human being. And but, I mean, we became really close friends. And then we're at Manny's house. And this is all within like 30 minutes. You know, we meet the professional guy, then we meet like the city worker guy and the man, he goes, hey, are you going to go over to the clown's house? And like the clowns house there, like, more? Yeah.

[00:33:53] He's like, yeah, down the street is these clowns, you know, father and son, the clowns, they said all they're weird as hell, man. It's like, all right, we'll go to the clowns house. We were down. They were like, oh, they are weird. It's like I said, it did kind of just blossom. And we're like, this is great. And we end up spending like a whole month just in this tiny suburb of New Bedford, Massachusetts. I mean, this is like this town called Fairhaven and it's this like beautiful. Eighteen hundreds town that's like nobody's ever shot anything there ever, you know, and the community, like, really got behind it. And it was great that it's so it's like you had a budget and you guys said, hey, like we need to stay in this town for this long. Yeah. Just get a hotel. I mean, our budget was modest, but plenty for what we needed to do, you know, and. They obviously you were worried about them not liking what you chose to do because it didn't fit into the whole it's not scary. It's about scary theme, but it's not scary. Right. But they didn't like you didn't hate you didn't say like, hey, here's what we're going to do. You just do it. And then they're like, here's the product. They're like, well, you've got it's too late now. Well, they sent somebody out right when we started shooting. They sent out one of their representatives. And I think that person was kind of like just checking it out to make sure we weren't blowing it. And he was nice. But he's like, so who are these guys? And I'm like, oh, it's these, you know, guys who look like they would, like, fix bicycles, you know, for a living, like the stereo store employee type guys, you know? And they're like, oh, that's interesting.

[00:35:15] OK, but at that point, it's like, well, what are you going to do? Like Halloween is on a deadline like this. You know, there's a set day that Halloween is happening. We can't start over. So this is what we're doing. And they're like, OK, and then and then they liked it. You know, it came out well and it could have sucked, you know, who knows? People could have been boring, but it turned out they were all compelling, fascinating, great people. So you spend a month and then you just kind of I don't know, you guys come up with a plan. It's like, here's how we think we might structure this. You get to know the people better. Just kind of start to put the pieces together. Yeah. It's like while you're making the movie, it's kind of when you're deciding, like, what you're going to emphasize. I don't think there's a lot of pressure. It's like, OK, on Halloween night, where are we spending our time? Like, that's the night. That's the night where there's going to be hundreds of people going all to haunted houses like we have to be in the right place at the right time and capture the right thing. And like luckily we did. I mean, you know, we got people being terrified and having fun and laughing. And it was just like this really like natural, wonderful experience. And then we went back there a year later, the following Halloween to premiere the movie in that town. We went to the junior high and in the gym and they set up a screen. And we had all these scenes, like 300 people from the town. We're all there. And they all knew everybody in this tiny little community. And there was so much warmth and so much excitement just around seeing all these people that they knew and like experiencing this thing.

[00:36:35] Again, as you know, the community was beautiful. Bet those guys love that. I bet they love being in that movie. Oh, yeah. I mean, they're permanent celebrities in that town, I would think. Yeah. And the two of the families had kids who were really involved in the haunted house. Right. And so those kids are now like among their classmates are like celebrities. And it was funny that town is just so supportive of this thing happening. We would go into like a fast food place just to grab a bite and they'd be like, or you the movie guys, you know, so I'm sure, you know, and like, that's cool, you know. And it was just like it was people were just like genuinely excited for their neighbors, for the community. Sweetin Yeah, it's great. There's a great feeling. It's actually like the most warmth I've ever had in any project, you know, just like it's like, oh, all these people are here for the right reason, you know? And it was it was really nice. So and it goes along with your thing of like, I don't know, helping people. It's like they're not just regular people. They're not actors. Like, yeah, it's like we help them find an audience for their haunted house, not for their movie necessarily, you know, but just like for what they do. And that was great, you know. And then Victor, the really talented designer guy who makes this thing like now, he speaks at these conventions that are for people who make their own haunted houses and people like, oh, that's the guy, you know, just because he's so good, you know, he's because people watch the movie because of him, you know, and it's it's it's great. Um, so when he came to Austin to build the haunted house stuff here, how much time do you think he spent on that? Well, that was man who's like the city worker guy, OK? And Manny is more like just like throw it on the wall and see if it works.

[00:38:07] It's awesome because we knew, like, Victor is going to take six months to make a haunted house. Manny will do it in five days. So we have five days, you know, and he did a great job and he made this like, you know, super quick, like, you know, like blue collar, like grabbing guy by the bootstraps haunted house. And he's every morning he be like, OK, we got to go to Goodwill, we got to go to the Home Depot. And then I you know, we got to go get a burger and let's do it. Let's go. Go. And he and he just did it, made it happen. It was it was great. And the audience had no idea. There's a haunted house like we premiered the movie. And then when the film is over, everybody's like going to walk out into the bathroom or whatever. And then and he's like, somebody had had a bathroom accident in the hallway. So you guys need to go out the emergency exit. And I was like, oh, God, like gross. And so they went out the emergency exit like, yeah, we lied. And we had corralled the emergency exit in this little tunnel to go into the, like, abandoned business next door, the defunct mail studio, which we had turned into a haunted house secretly the entire week of the festival. We'd covered the windows, you know, brown paper. And inside they'd been, you know, man had been creating his haunted house. And so the audience like, wait, what's going on? Where are we in this weird line? It's like, oh, we're in a haunted house. It's the guy from the movie like, oh, you can't believe it. And it was it was so fun, you know, and it was just like this.

[00:39:26] We he worked all week for this to our party, this haunted house. But he was the king of the world, you know, for two hours is great. Oh, man. So have you done anything else like that since then? Documentary wise, yeah, yeah, our vice series, we did a vice show that was called Outsider and it was very specifically celebrating like zero dollar filmmakers that had enormous ideas, you know, and that was it was our show. And they only gave us I mean, up front, like, you can do four episodes. Like no one's going to watch this. Like, you're absolutely right. And we made four episodes and it was going to be just for Vice's website. And then Spike Jones saw it, the director, and he got it on when Vyse got their TV channel. He's like, this has got to be part of it, which is great. But like that was a really exciting show because, for example, there's one filmmaker like named Lars Rojas, and he had made this one thing in 1991 and then disappeared. He'd vanished. But is this insane four hour video that he made? And we tracked him down, our producer, Evan, and we said, hey, we want to do a documentary about you, like you're such a mystery. And he's like, OK, well, yeah, you can shoot it. But I live in my car with my 80 year old mother and we're like, oh, boy, we didn't know that. We did want to exploit that. But we're like, are you comfortable being part of our show with that thing, with that being your story? And he's just like, OK, yeah. And so we were very respectful of their situation, but we were able to find him an audience and we did a screening at the end of that episode where there were 200 people there to watch his movie.

[00:41:00] He'd never shown it publicly. And he was on stage, you know, doing the Q&A. And somebody said, well, how did it feel to watch this with an audience? You know, was that were you uncomfortable? Did it feel like a triumph? Like, how was that? And he said, well. OK, I'll be honest, I was going to kill myself, now I won't, because now my work has been appreciated. Oh, should. And he straight up said that. And the thing is, it's in the episode he meant it. It wasn't like he was being melodramatic to like it's in an episode of the four episode series of Outsiders. Yeah, yeah. It's his name's Lázaro and it's his episode. It's it's the it's the really you know, it's the best one because of his story being so compelling. And the audience was like it was two hundred people going at the show. And basically his plan was when his mother passed away and she's in her 80s, that that would be that's it. And then he said, now I have the drive to continue trying to make films. So I'm going to I'm going to stick around. And what brought your attention to this guy to begin with? Just obsession with, you know, with these types of movies. He'd been doing a lot of movies. You know, he made one. He made one. OK, well, it's really fascinating. He made a four hour tape. It was two VHS tapes, and it was him playing every character of every gender and every ethnicity in Sampling's from about twenty four scripts that he'd written. So it would be like here is like a seven year old child arguing with a 90 year old woman, and they're both played by Laz. And then like, you know, a man kicks open the door and starts yelling at them and it's also Ladd's.

[00:42:31] And he made this and he did it totally, authentically. It wasn't supposed to be ironic or comedic. Yeah, yeah. He's like, no, he's like I wrote these scripts. I don't know any actors. I'm just going to play every single role. That's how good it is. Yeah. And he just made that tape to send around to different movie studios and agents and everything, and he got nothing back. It was like tumbleweeds and then he just gave up. How did you hear about him? Those tapes mostly got thrown in the trash, but a few people were like, I don't want to deal with this guy. I don't want to represent this guy as an agent. But I'm fascinated. I'm going to show my friends this weird tape I got. Oh, and it started to circulate among, like VHS traders in the early nineties, which I was one of them. Um, and it just became this thing. I was like a party tape, you know, like you'd be hanging out with your dirty movie friends and they'd be like, Oh, you've seen the row has tape, right? And then somebody put it on to people like, what the fuck do you think this is insane? And it was just traded and he had no idea this was happening because he wasn't part of that world. This is pre Internet, so he just thought he had failed. But instead, he had found an audience exactly the wrong way, the opposite of what he wanted. It's like, you know, the audience, the audience that would never make him a dime, you know? But I loved his work. And like my friend Mike, my plan, he's a programmer for Sundance Film Festival, which is the most prestigious film festival in America.

[00:43:48] But he loves stuff like that. And he was deeply obsessed with Lars and he speaks about him in the episode at the beginning episodes, me and Mike at a video store just talking about Lars Rojas, you know, and it's is like how fascinating this guy is. And everyone thought he'd vanished or died. No one knew where he went. And then there's this episode about him and he's just this very tiny, meek guy who had this entire world of ideas. It's beautiful, yeah, yeah. So that's pretty nuts. Do you have any other people like that that you can think of? I mean, there's hundreds. I really are. I mean, Les and David the Rock Nelson are two of the greats because they really were going up against reality in order to make their work. You know, like David the Rock, Nelson is the is the spectrum filmmaker. I don't know him. I'm not the guy I time out earlier that did the push ups on stage. Yeah, OK. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. So like, you know, I mean he like these are there's just people who had nothing. But the thing is if you get into the world of like a shot on camcorder movies from like the 80s and 90s, I mean every single one of these filmmakers was just like, well, got to sell my truck so I can make my movie about the killer octopus, you know, and it goes back to Ed Wood, you know, like and it goes back before that. Like Edward is, you know, there's the Tim Burton movie where Johnny Depp plays this filmmaker in the 50s and 60s who was not talented, but he had the drive to tell his story regardless of his lack of experience.

[00:45:10] I haven't seen it, but I understand it's a great movie. Right. And he's like the most legendary of all these filmmakers. It's like, boy, what a stinker. That guy's movies is the worst. But it's like, but we love what he does because it's so genuinely driven, you know, he's just like, but I want to tell this story even if it sucks, you know, and that's great. But like and then you go back to like there's no budget filmmakers from practically the Donna film, you know, and some of them are great filmmakers. If they had the resources, like there was a whole undercurrent of black filmmakers in like the 20s and 30s that were like, no one's telling our story. We're going to make our own movies. But no studio is going to give money to black filmmakers in 1933 or whatever, you know, like they were racist. So these filmmakers are just like, well, screw it, we're going to make our own movies then. And they would just go out with a sixteen millimeter camera and make these incredible films. You know, Blood of Jesus is one of them. Like, there's all these crazy movies that are just great because somebody had this idea and they didn't have any obstruction of a studio head being like, well, that's not marketable. They're just like, I don't we don't care. We're just going to do it. And it's great. Hey, if listeners just before this episode is over, I want to give you one more quick, friendly reminder to please like and subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast player. Thanks again. That makes a lot of sense. I mean, yeah, I guess there's quite a barrier to entry to making a movie, really. I mean, I guess you could grab some iPhones or whatever.

[00:46:23] I mean, now, but in the past, you know, in the thirties, what that took. Yeah. That's that it took you know. Yeah. I mean the equipment and. Yeah. The guts. It's interesting, so you're very much interested in this class of people that like they're like, I don't care how much this is like anywhere close to reality, like of me succeeding, I just I have to do this. Doesn't matter. I mean, yeah, this is like an archaic reference now, but like it's the same reason I'm obsessed with punk. And like the book that we wrote was all about punk and movies. And it's because when punk music started in the mid 70s, like people like, oh, wait, I don't have to be talented at all traditionally like but it's like I have to be original, like I have to have something to say. But I don't have to be trained, I don't have to know like more than one chord or even one chord, like the Germans couldn't play for shit, but they became this legendary L.A. punk band because they were just like there was nothing else like them. And it's beautiful, and now the guitars from the germs is in the Foo Fighters and was in Nirvana, it's like it's insane how these things grow and work, but it's like always just the originality coupled with the determination is what makes something valuable. And so to me, that's why I love punk music. That's why I love a camcorder like homemade movies. That's why I like there's a type of comic book that came out in the mid 80s where people are like, oh, wait, the Ninja Turtles is huge. And that was just started by these two schmucks who, like Self published their ridiculous comic book.

[00:47:47] Let's all do that. And so I call them power comics. And it's the same thing. It's like it's like determination and like lack of resources combining with drive and just like doing it anyway. And it's beautiful. What is the book that you were talking about? We did a book called Mistrial Movies. My writing partner, Brian and I with our friends who helped contribute, and we decided that the most entertaining stereotype in movies is always punks because either they are like tragically authentic, where it's like, oh, you know, we're homeless kids that are like, really struggling. And that's an interesting story, you know, because that's true. But more often, especially in Hollywood movies, the punk is like, hey, my name is like Scarabus. And then they just show up and they, like, break a bottle over their own head and like, eat a kitten. And there's like what you know, and we're like, that's fascinating. Like, how did they go so wrong with that? But is this like Hollywood embraced their dumb idea of what a punk was and made. And there's literally 800 movies that we found like globally from the 20th century with punks in them. And we decided we're going to write a book about every single punk in a movie in the 20th century, even if they're in the background of a crowd scene. For one second, we're going to write about that movie. And we interviewed like filmmakers and all these actors and musicians who were part of it. And we made this like disgustingly heavy, like 640 page book about the people you interviewed. I, I did all the interviews except for two. And I think I interviewed. Like 60 something people, which isn't that many, but we reviewed, I mean, 1100 movies.

[00:49:17] And then for our next edition that we're doing, we found another 700 movies. You're doing the next edition. It's just going to be thicker. It's not even going to be like a second. Volume is going to be like a phone book, banks and movies. But we had you know, it's all like color images. And the whole book is this looks crazy like it looks like new wave vomit. That's a book. But it's just like, you know, it's it's fun. But it took us eight years of constant research. And this is pre Internet or we actually know the Internet was around. We were just too broke to own computers. So we would go to this video store in Seattle called Scarecrow's Still Exists, largest video store in the world. Even then, amazing every two weeks. And we'd each fill two garbage bags with videos, with VHS tapes, drive in our back home and just watch those movies for two weeks and looking for punks, looking for punks like one out of 12 movies, you'd find one. And it was like basically any movie that takes place in a city or there's a high school or there's a beach or there's a party, or like any of these things might be in the movie or there's a bus, you know, we're like might be a punk on the bus, on the beach. And you'd have to watch the entire movie. And it's like, fast forward. And if the punk is in it, you rewind at the beginning and watch it properly and write the review. And like Brian lost two girlfriends over that. And it's like, fuck you. Like, we hate this, you know, like it was like this arduous task that we put on ourselves for no reason.

[00:50:33] But then the book came out and it was we had fun and, you know, we had fun making it. We we you know, and it sold well and we're like, great, you know. That's cool, though. I love it. It was dumb. We got to we got to crowdsource some of this research. We even know what that meant. But yeah, we even use YouTube. It was all actual DVD and VHS tapes. I mean, idiotic. And when the book was done, I got a really nice postcard from Ian MacKaye, and he's the guy from Fugazi and Minor Threat, which are these legendary punk bands. And he ran and he runs Dischord Records, which is like the great DC punk label, you know, and he's been around since the beginning of hardcore, you know, and he sent this postcard to my house and he's like, hey, I just want to say, like I got the book is like it is the most ridiculous, self-destructive feat of masochism I've ever seen in like the history of punk is like it's it's just I can't believe you guys were this dumb that you made this, but you devoted a decade to making this book. And he's like, but hats off. He's like, I'm so impressed that you guys wasted your lives on this. And we're like, well, that's worth it to me. Like that postcard, which I've kept it. Obviously, it's like that that made it all worthwhile, you know. So what's the book called again? Destroy All Movies, Real Movies, The Complete Guide to Punks on Film. Is it just is it on Amazon? It's like it's way overpriced right now. Like it went out of print and then we're doing another edition in the next couple of years.

[00:51:55] OK, so we're like, OK, just let it stay out of print. But now it's like it sells like a hundred and twenty bucks. Don't buy it. That's dumb. Like you're a terrible salesperson. We're going to do a new one. Also, we don't get paid from some used bookseller making a hundred twenty bucks of that. I got you. So I don't care anyway. Yeah, money sucks but I'm you know, it's fine. But like I mean if I'm going to champion these underdogs who make no money, like, I certainly can't have the ambition to make money off of that. So, yeah, it's like you do it for fun, but yeah. Survival is enough. Yeah. So we're coming close to a time. But I was curious like, I mean, how do you even go about like someone's like, hey, I want to make a documentary. I mean of course like you could just go down the street with your cell phone. But I mean, how do you make a documentary on, you know, where you get a budget and you get a team and you go to a place like how do you get into that stuff? I mean, I think the only way really is to first make one without a budget and just have something really compelling story to tell. There's this great filmmaker duo. They made a document called The Overnighters, and they just did one called It's Something I don't know. There's a recent documentary about, like children emulating politicians, which sounds really dry, but it's like fascinating. It's called Boys Something, but it's a husband and wife. And they make these movies for no budget and they use like the cheapest possible, you know, like tripods or whatever, you know, like they just buy everything you used and they make these amazing documentaries and they're successful with them.

[00:53:26] You know, like they get distribution and they get to premiere at Sundance. They get to do all the stuff because they find fascinating, unique subjects. And yeah, maybe you could even shoot something on a current cell phone, like the technology has gotten better. Um, but yeah, just like get a microphone, get a basic camera and get a really, really special subject matter. And then when that succeeds, when people pay attention to it, then you can maybe get a budget from somebody you can maybe find, you know, like IFC or some network is going to give you probably not very much like seventy five thousand dollars in your next one will be two hundred thousand. And that's probably the maximum. You fine. I'll go up from there. You know, unless you're making a documentary about like some boy band or whatever crap you know, but like. You want to sell out hard like that Morgan Spurlock jackass, you're basically going to be doing stuff at Morgan Spurlock. He's the guy who did Super Size Me, that documentary about, hey, guess what, fast food is bad for you. It's a go to make your next. Remember how fire is hot, like mean dumb ass. Like we know that, like, you know. But he just was like that guy is the most ridiculous, self-indulgent sell out in the history of documentary film, as far as I can tell. Like he's a bad example. And then he tried to make more money and he wasn't quite hitting the amount he wanted. So he literally made a documentary about a famous boy band, you know, so you have like a 53 year old man following a boy band around Europe so he can get paid. And it's like you're truly pathetic.

[00:54:51] Was a band called Something Degrees or the boy band 98 degrees. Yeah. Yeah. He made the 98 degrees documentary. Oh, really? Oh, it's a great integrity dipshit. Yeah, I didn't know. Yeah, he just I don't know. So unless you want to be like that guy and you don't, then you're probably going to be making stuff for, you know, at a certain tier of income. But again, you're only going to really be making documentaries to share a story about somebody who needs that story told. And if that's the drive you have, then you're not really doing stuff for the money in the first place. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, that's cool. So it makes it seem a little more achievable if someone wanted to get into making documentaries like, you know, just try to get a really good story instead of focusing too much on equipment, just buy what you can afford. Right? I mean, you could spend two thousand dollars because you want your sound rig to be good. You don't want to sound as the most important sound. Yeah. People don't realize, like, how much that can make or break a movie, but with two grand you probably get like a passable camera, a pretty good sound rig, you know, just like basic LED lights and go out and do it, you know, and that's I mean, what we did for that American screen thing, like we kind of had a budget and we still were just using, like, one light panel. You know, this is like we're just out there doing it just for the sake of speed. You know, you got it. You're like documenting real life. You have to be chasing it. You know that you can't stop and wait and set it up, you know, like something's going to happen.

[00:56:11] Yeah. Yeah. So you have to just be on the move. And that's that's that's actually the most intimidating part about making documentary. It isn't the financial end. It isn't the resources. It's just being in the right place at the right time, like you can't predict, you know, and especially if you're doing something that's like really intense about like, you know, say you're doing a thing on like this. The police are trying to get all the homeless people out of Austin. Like there better be somebody making a documentary about that because there's a lot of intense shit going on with that, you know, and like, you got to be in the right place when something goes down, you know, when somebody throws a bottle at a cop said, you want to capture that. Yeah, that makes sense because it's not like a planned movie where, like you just like you sit there, you stand there like, you know, like you just have to be the right place at the right time, depending on what your subject matter is. Yeah. Yeah. And it's a miracle and it happens. But it's funny how often it happens, like how often it just lines up and things work out, like it's kind of magical. But yeah, there's um as far as if I may jump over, there's a really I've written reviews for it, but there's a really great website called Bleeding Skull Dotcom, and it solely exists to celebrate no budget filmmakers and their movies. And it's kind of I was a fan of it long before I ever met the people involved. Bleeding Skull is maybe the best online resource to learn about these these movies that are made by people in their backyard in like Alaska. Oh, yeah.

[00:57:26] Um, I try to think of other really great. Well, actually, how about this. If you're in a town that still has a video store like Austin, lost its video stores, most of them this year, what were the video stores VOLKAN video, which have been around since 1985? And then there was I love video which have been around since eighty three. I think they lose them during covid or before, during covid, but not necessarily because of it. I mean, people are lazy and you know, they just they think Netflix is a possible resource. It's just a digital Redbox. It's nothing. They're. You know, people just don't really go out looking for stuff, but if you are in a town that still has a video store, if you're ever in Seattle and you can go to scarecrow video like it's a it's this awakening, people go into a video store and I'm like, oh, my God, wait, there's so much that's not on Amazon or Netflix. You know, like, there's so much, you know, it's like if you like, it's like those are a jukebox. And then a video store is like a library of music, you know, and a bit this is the film equivalent in a store like Scarecrow is actually like the library of, you know, the Library of Congress. But they are to literature this. They are the stories to movies. It's like there's so much there. You know, one of my favorite things in a kid was just riding my bike to video to go was the local video store in my town. And you would you'd be fixated on these boxes. And you still remember the art from those boxes. What did you think of Bumfights? Because I remember when I found Bumfights in the video store, I was pretty young.

[00:58:47] I mean, my friend went home and watched it. We're like, whoa, this is crazy. Bumfights was like even at the time, it was upsetting for me because my mother and I had been homeless for two years when I was a kid. So it was so clearly exploitive of the people still. I mean, obviously, like, that's all it was, was exploiting homeless people. So it was a sour, dark thing. You talked up. It's pretty crazy. It's rugged. I was like how I ended up in the video store. Like in my small town is a town of 4000 people. It's just weird. Like that must have been widely distributed. It was a huge it was a huge deal. I came out and then there are all these like, really sad knockoffs of it. Like there's a movie called Crackheads Gone Wild. And I mean, it's just like I wasn't aware of the knock on Real Dark. Yeah, really dark. Let me try to exploit the exploitation I like that can never end because, you know, human nature is so rotten. So there is this like infinite Bumfights knockoffs. Did you see that guy go on Dr. Phil? And he came on dressed as Dr. Phil and shaved his head just like Dr. Phil. No, Dr. Phil immediately. It didn't even finish the episode. Like, I think he actually surprised them because I was like, how would Dr. Phil not know he was wearing that? But maybe they don't, like, report back and be like, by the way, he's dressed as you, Dr. Phil. Well, Dr. Phil is a notorious asshole, so staff is psyched. I was doing this. He this is true. Dr. Phil is such a whiner that he has a specific weighted parking space that is the weight of his car and his body.

[01:00:10] And it's somebody else parks in that space at the lot. An alarm goes off and the pub and the studio security comes and tows the car. This is real. That's fucked up. That is real. He he had he invested his personal money into having that space made. I knew Dr. Phil was an asshole the first time I saw it. He's a big entitled white man. He's like the worst. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's like a caricature of what is wrong with entitled white man. Well, the Bumfights guy actually pointed something out and he's like your show because Dr. Phil is shitting on him for exploiting people, which he is. But he was like, that's exactly what you're doing. Oh, yes. Your show. Yeah, that's true. Then you take them all. Well, Zach, this has been really awesome. I feel like I could talk to you a lot longer, but we're at an hour. Is there anything else you want to mention or talk about? I know it's hard to put people on the spot like. No, no, it's fine. I just yeah. It's just like I guess I want to encourage in whatever way we can people to be more curious, again, like they reach beyond what's convenient and find something of value, you know, like no one has ever really been illuminated by just like looking on their Apple TV, really, you know, I mean, like I mean, there's weight, there's fascinating things there. But then if you go further, there's even more, you know, and it's just like, don't forget that. I like that. And actually, I'm really curious about the Alamo's streaming service with your picks. Like, because I don't really I mean, I don't really dove into to films like that and just watch like if I see a title like that, I'm like, oh, it looks old, like, you know what I mean.

[01:01:36] But like, obviously you you've been watching those kind of movies and you're very much into movies, like I might give some of those a shot. Yeah. And the thing about movies like from the 70s, 80s, like they're still in color and they still have sound. You know, it's not like you're like trying to get somebody into, like a silent film. You know, it's it's like, yeah, the people like their clothes are different and they don't have cell phones. Otherwise, no difference to me. Yeah. Like things are edited, like, you know, like they are now. But that's kind of nice, you know, like, oh, I might actually accidentally get to know a character that'd be weird, like give it a shot. But then this movie's like Brain-Damaged which are insane and like super fast paced and like as definitely as like OCD as any movie made now. So go for it. Go. Yeah. Thanks a lot man. This is awesome. Yeah. Go get a hamburger.