It was pretty surreal. But to us, these people are like celebrities. We’ve obsessed over these videos for so long. We couldn't care less about meeting Tom Cruise, but the guy from the furniture commercial video -- we would love to meet that guy.
Now, you interned for Mystery Science Theater 3000?
Yes, and then I did some PA stuff for them occasionally after that. I loved that show growing up, and these guys were my idols. It was a very small staff there, shot in Minnesota, and it really got me to thinking. I had grown up making television with friends as a hobby, but this made me think, "God, you could get paid to be a smartass." ... Five years ago, when we decided to take it [the Found Footage Festival] to a theater, we didn’t think it would work, but at least there was some precedent. So yeah, that was definitely good training ground for what we're doing.
How did the first tour get started?
We had this large collection of videos that we’d started collecting since the early '90s, and we'd amassed this pretty big collection of ridiculous videos, and whenever we’d find a new one, we would pop in the latest find and have a running commentary with it. But five years ago, we were shooting a feature-length documentary called Dirty Country [which premiered at SXSW last year, and made its DVD debut November 3], about a cassette tape that we found at a truck stop years ago.
Oh, yeah, I read about that.
It’s about this guy, Larry Pierce, who works at a factory, who’s married with kids, and he happens to be one of the raunchiest country music singers in America. We were fascinated by this cassette tape we found called Songs for Studs. And it turned out to be far more of a story than we thought it would be. So we both quit our jobs and pursued making a feature out of it. We were applying for grants, but there just wasn’t a whole lot of grant money out there for a guy who sings filthy country songs. So we were looking for another way to fund the movie without spending money. And we’re sitting on this collection of videos ... [so] we made it into a little bit of a comedy show, pretty low-key. And for whatever reason, the press just ate it up. ... We’re still continually amazed by the idea that anybody besides our immediate group of friends finds this as funny as we do. It's always, "Wait, we found this in a garbage can, and there are 400 people at this show?" -- it’s so incongruous to us. But it’s a pleasant surprise.
Is your new show going to feature a tribute to Captain Lou Albano?
Actually, in the show itself, there isn’t any Captain Lou footage. But we put some online. When he died, we were like, "We gotta find some Captain Lou footage." And sure enough, we looked in our closet, and there -- collecting dust -- was an old copy of "The Best of Captain Lou" from the 1980s. There’s so much good stuff on it. We put one clip up on the day he died, and we have another Halloween-related clip. ... Captain Lou is kind of like somebody’s perverted uncle. That’s his character, the dirty old man. We’re going to be mining this tape all year, I have a feeling.