The Found Footage Festival is a one-of-a-kind event showcasing videos found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout North America. Curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher take audiences on a guided tour of their latest and greatest VHS finds, providing live commentary and where-are-they-now updates on the people in these videotaped obscurities. From the curiously-produced industrial training video to the forsaken home movie donated to Goodwill, the Found Footage Festival resurrects these forgotten treasures and serves them up in a lively celebration of all things found.
I attended Volume 7 of the Found Footage Festival tour last night in Memphis, which is also the 10th anniversary of the event since it’s debut in New York City. The sold-out screening, sponsored by Indie Memphis film festival, was as funny as the last time I attended about 3 years ago. Hosts Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, whose credits include The Onion and the Late Show with David Letterman, provide a stand-up routine as they introduce the footage and comment during the videos.
As the event builds year after year, some of the footage has become crowdsourced as fans submit their own footage and leads. A woman in Memphis for instance shipped a box of old Los Angeles public access footage she had after seeing the last show and it became a segment in the current Volume 7 tour.
Another addition is that Nick and Joe have begun creating their own footage by pranking local TV morning shows. We saw footage of Nick playing the role of “Chef Keith” as he appeared on morning shows the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas giving tips on how to use their leftovers.
The event celebrates everything odd and brings back a lot of nostalgia for the 80’s and early 90’s when sharing or making copies of VHS tapes were the only way to share videos. With YouTube, this has obviously changed drastically, and everything has come full circle with the Found Footage Fest uploading samples of their footage online. One of the biggest hits at this year’s tour was “How To Have Cybersex on the Internet.” A bizarre instructional video that is somehow not sexy despite nudity and fails miserably at being instructional.
Here is a small sample:
You can order the different Found Footage volumes on their website FoundFootageFest.com
Check for future tour dates, shows sell-out quickly, so do not miss an opportunity to grab a seat when Nick and Joe swing through your city. I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard in a theatre.