- 7.20.10 - 10:00AM
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- Jed Stoneham
Our Footloose Remake - Filmmaker David Seger Talks to Urlesque
Remakes, parodies, and gritty reboots have taken over the film industry. Most remakes are terrible and unnecessary cash-grabs. When filmmaker Dave Seger and his friends heard about Paramount Pictures' plans to remake Footloose they had an epiphany. "If anyone's going to ruin Footloose...It's us."
Produced by Tim Marklevitz and Dave Seger, Our Footloose Remake is a crowdsourced feature length film that was meticulously assembled from 50+ separate scenes which were shot by 58 different directors. It stars 33 Ren McCormacks and 27 Ariel Moores jumping between animation, puppets and live-action. The flick premiered in L.A. at the start of July and will have its NYC premiere July 23rd, 2010 at The Tank with future live screenings planned throughout the U.S.
We spoke with the film's co-creator Dave Seger (of Ikea Heights and Community fame) about the project and to find out how many degrees they ended up being from Kevin Bacon.
Urlesque: Where did the idea come from to do a remake with multiple directors and actors?
Dave Seger: It's inspired by a lot of "round robin" video projects I used to do in 2005-2006. Filmfights tried to organize a round robin movie, where one person shoots the first piece, the second person does the next piece, and it builds like a campfire story where each person tells the next part, writing and directing a continuing story. We realized that the best execution would be to already have the plot points in place, and have different directors work on each scene, plot-point by plot-point. I've been involved in a lot of amateur filmmaking communities. From Filmfights to Channel 101 to Next New Networks, I know a lot of people who like to pick up a camera and shoot stuff.
Was it always going to be Footloose from the very beginning or did you have other films in mind?
The big budget Hollywood remake of Footloose is what motivated us to get Footloose off the ground as our movie of choice.
A lot of internet filmmakers parody movie trailers. But few take it to the point of re-creating an entire film. Splitting it up and out-sourcing must have made it easier, but how'd you decide who to give particular scenes to?
At first we let the filmmakers decide, and then as the project kept moving and we had remaining scenes left we told people what scenes to do if they wanted to be involved. We assigned the first batch of scenes way back in October of 2009. At that point people would say "I want a scene with two people." or "Can I have the Factory dance scene?" or "Give me one with John Lithgow in it." We tried to keep the animators apart. We tried not to put two filmmakers with similar styles right next to each other.
Were you aware of the Star Wars Uncut project?
In what ways do you see Our Footloose Remake as being similar and yet completely different from that project?
I remember seeing their awesome website and being pretty jealous and impressed. But then we realized: Our remake is about beating Hollywood to the punch. We're undercutting the 2010 Footloose remake. This isn't so much a tribute, as a fun comedic experiment. We're doing 50 pieces, some of them 3 minutes long. They're doing 15 second pieces. It's a different build and a different experience.
With so many different directors and formats, what kind of major production and/or editing issues did you have to deal with?
The biggest issue was time. When I strung everyone's pieces together, the original cut was too long. So I had to take little liberties and cut pieces from almost every scene. We had to remix a bunch of audio. Add some music to some scenes to keep them flowing. But the different formats helped us. We put a white flash and a WHOOSH between every scene. It's awesome and exciting to jump from one scene to another, shot on different cameras in different cities.
How many degrees to Kevin Bacon did you get?
I hope this is okay to mention, I don't have much industry tact, but we tried to get Kevin Bacon involved. Someone knew someone and we were able to send along some scenes. This was before I'd done any cutting. This was thirty scenes back-to-back. I don't know who watched it. Maybe Kevin Bacon watched 30 seconds of it or maybe his manager watched the whole thing, but we got an official "No, we're not interested" from Kevin Bacon's people, so that was kind of cool. It's better that way.
How was the reception at the premiere? Was dancing allowed?
I feel the reception was really great. I was very nervous about it. It's a very weird thing. I convinced a bunch of talented filmmakers to spend a lot of time and effort on their scenes. Some scenes are unbelievable and some scenes are half-assed, and I didn't want anyone to feel cheated. If people didn't enjoy themselves I would've felt like a criminal. I would've sentenced myself to prison. But everyone laughed and had fun and danced. Dancing was definitely encouraged. We decorated the theater like it was 80's prom. People dressed up in 80's tuxedos. That night was the whole point of this whole project. Let's all make these videos and have one amazing screening.
Are you planning additional screenings beyond this week's NYC premiere?
Yes. NYC is going to have their screening, because Erik Beck put it together. Los Angeles is going to have another couple screenings soon if I can get my act together. There are screenings in the works for San Francisco, Washington, DC and Ohio because people e-mailed me from those cities. I hope they all happen. This movie was crowd-sourced and I'm hoping the screenings will be similar. I have this 1 hour and 37 minute video that I can send around and I want more people to see. If anyone wants to organize a screening I hope they'll e-mail me. Lets do some more free screenings all over. Let's pack 50 people into a classroom at your college and let them watch the DVD I mail you. Let's get some bar in Texas to show this thing. I want the cast and crew of Craig Brewer's big budget Footloose (2011) remake in Atlanta to crowd together and watch it.
Anything else you'd like to add?
My favorite aspect of this project is that there are 58 directors. I want the IMDB page to list 58 names. 54 teams of people producing, directing, editing. We organized it, but the heroes are the people who made amazing scenes. I hope people recognize that we all did this because we loved one silly idea. No one made any money off of this. 58 crazy amateur filmmakers said "Hah, that's a fun idea, okay, I'll send you my scene soon." And it worked.
To keep up-to-date on the project and for future screenings check out:
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