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September 27, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
A janitor training video started it all. While working at a McDonald’s during high school in Stoughton, Wis., Nick Prueher found a condescending janitor instructional movie with such over-the-top, enthusiastic acting about trash takeout that he took it home to show his friend Joe Pickett. After that, they were obsessed with comical videos — intentional or not.
They’ve been collecting clips for more than 20 years and have been doing the Found Footage Festival formally for the past eight.
When: Mon., Oct. 1, 7 p.m.
Cost: $10 ($2 surcharge)
Prueher and Pickett are coming to Columbia to show their most recent acquisition of the Found Footage Festival, Vol. 6. Clips include crazy videos to instructional films on how to massage possums.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans will relish this festival. “It’s kind of a live comedy show, basically, with clips from our video collection,” Prueher says.
You might have caught their shows in 2010 and 2011 at Ragtag Cinema, but this go-around is certifiably fresh. The festival will open with a short film curated by their friend and fellow film collector Skip Elsheimer, who will showcase his favorite and eclectic educational films from yesteryear.
A plethora of forgotten analog gems will follow, including videos of rapping crew trainers, magic genies who indoctrinate new hires, artists way too excited about sponges, chocolate pies covered in blood and even a middle-aged man dancing in front of elderly spectators while wearing nothing but an American flag-patterned Speedo.
After finding the videos, the duo converts them to digital form and edits them together. Prueher says they have more than 10 terabytes of footage.
This batch of films should knock audiences out of their complacent Monday-night rituals of watching The Voice on NBC or winding down from work while watching Monday Night Football. On Oct. 2, you can pick up a copy of their latest video compilation on DVD.