Now in its 10th year, the Found Footage Festival, which comes to the Beachland Ballroom at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 22, had humble beginnings. Organizers Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett started collecting weird and wacky VHS tapes in 1991 when Prueher found a McDonald's training video. It wasn't until 2004 that Prueher and Pickett put together an official program of some 12 videos that they showed at a New York bar. Since then, their collection has grown along with the festival. They now own more than 6,000 videos and will visit 35 states with this year's festival.
One of this year's highlights will be the screening of new footage of John and Johnny, the duo that Prueher and Pickett call "the world's most obnoxious home-shopping hosts."
"I defy anyone to top these guys," says Prueher. "They become as hyper as possible to get people to buy worthless crap."
A bizarre instructional video from 1997 with the redundant title, "How to Have Cybersex on the Internet" is another highlight.
"I don't know what they were going for," says Prueher. "It's too sexy to be informational but not sexy enough to get off to. This woman goes step-by-step and they cut back to her and she's not wearing a top. It's perplexing."
The program also features exclusive footage of the Chef Keith news prank the curators pulled on stations in the Midwest over the holidays. They mocked up a cookbook cover about leftovers and wrote up a press release for the fictional Chef Keith. He got on seven morning shows.
"The idea was to make the grossest concoctions on air," says Prueher. "As far as we took it, we could have taken it even further."
And finally, the program will include the obligatory exercise videos.
"I think 'Butt Camp' is intended for gay audiences," says Prueher. "My favorite is 'Tiger Moves,' which features this old stocky man from Chicago who says you don't have to lift weights, you just have to tense your muscles and crawl like a tiger. It's pretty good. I'm excited about the show. It's worthy of our 10-year anniversary."