view of hallway in art building

Photo by Madison Lomas

Students gather to enjoy the Found Footage Festival in the university Student Center Atrium on Friday, Sept. 18.

October 6, 2015

Found footage finds audience

By Madison Lomas

Once a project started by two teenagers in a Wisconsin garage, the Found Footage Festival is now being shown on big screens across the country.

Original bored teenagers and co-founders Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher brought the show to New York in 2004.Since then, they have shown hundreds of sold-out theaters clips of old VHS tapes they have collected over the years, as well as been featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“We did a [small] show in New York and got written up in The New York Times, and people saw that, then people [from all over] just started wanting us to come and do shows for them,” Prueher said.

They often make stops on college campuses, and they made a stop at Cleveland State University on Sept. 18 to show students their hilarious collection of found footage tapes — including infomercials, kid’s TV shows and home videos.

Put on by the Campus Activities Board, the festival had food and beverage along with free tank tops for any Cleveland State student who attended the event.

The show was set up in the middle of the Atrium on a large projector screen for approximately 100 students in attendance. As they watched, co-creator Nick Prueher commentated and hosted the show.

The show consists of different video clips created mostly in the 80’s and 90’s, which they have found over the years in thrift stores and garage sales.

The first video shown, for example, was found in a thrift store in Cleveland Heights. It was an infomercial for an arts and crafts tool for painting, targeted toward children. However, the lady presenting the product was extremely enthusiastic and loving the results of the product a little more than a woman her age ever should.

Another crowd favorite was the animal support show where pet owners could call and ask questions to a man that was accompanied with dozens of different animals constantly causing havoc.

“Tonight was considered a ‘greatest hits’ show because we figured none of these guys have ever seen the show before,” Prueher said. “I gotta say Petpourri [is my favorite] — it’s got everything you want, animals [and] slapstick comedy.”

Although it was Cleveland State’s first time hosting this event, students seemed to really enjoy the event, as roars of laughter arose from each of the video clips that were played throughout the night.

“Oh my God, it was chaos with all the puppies falling off the table — it was hilarious,” said freshman Kelsey Green. “We saw it online and didn’t know what it was, and decided, ‘why not?’”

Pickett and Prueher are always taking video submissions. Students can keep track of the Found Footage Festival, as well as watch videos in their collection on the website,

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