Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 11.29.07


What Once Was Lost

What do you get when YouTube-esque, random videos collide with live, comedic introductions and mediation — in a movie theater? The Found Footage Festival (FFF).

Just as its name implies, the FFF brings together footage the creators found and complies it all into an hour-and-a-half long touring festival. Where do they find these hidden treasures? Thrift shores, garage sales, warehouses, and dumpsters throughout the country!

Found footage, got it, but how did all of this start? In 1991, curators Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett stumbled across a training video about custodial duties at a McDonalds. Since then, the two have complied an impressive collection of strange and outrageous videos. From there Prueher and Pickett created the FFF, and they host each screening in person, adding their personal commentary and observations. With the strangest videos, Prueher and Pickett often reenact the oddity, or bring out the product, in the case of infomercials for silly products.

Prueher and Pickett interact with the audience and provide a human element to the videos that makes going to this festival worth it. Sure, you could watch American’s Funniest Home Videos or some random special thrown together by VH1 or search YouTube for footage that would be a sad substitute for what’ll be at the FFF, but there’s nothing like sitting in the Bijou laughing and interacting with other people.

The videos themselves are the real stars of the show. A fan favorite video montage showcases the hilarity that ensues when the videographer simply leaves the camera rolling during the shoot for an RV promotional video. I would dare you to count how many times Jack Rebney uses the f-word, but you’ll be laughing too hard to concentrate.

The Found Footage Festival stops in Eugene at 7 pm Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Bijou. $7. — Anne Pick