Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Benefits of Having Almost Famous Helpers

The Florida tandem of Matt Mamula and Jason Kovacsev have enjoyed a unique advantage when working the film festival circuit red carpet. The stars of their short documentary Just About Famous, shot at the 2009 edition of the Sunburst Convention, can all pass for A-list level celebrities.

“When were a the DC Shorts Film Festival,” Mamula recalls during an interview with FilmStew, “we had all four of our Presidential impersonators (Sean Banks (Obama), John Morgan (Bush), Patsy Gilbert (Sarah Palin), Dale Leigh (Clinton)). That was pretty wild.”

Co-director, producer Mamula

“There was a homeless man who took one look at our Bush and said, 'What's he doing back here!?!'” he continues. “Later, at a wax museum for the opening night after party, a reporter saw our Palin sitting at the Oval Office desk and thought for a minute that it was a real wax figure. He almost choked on his drink when she moved.”

The 14-minute short is a wonderful and very funny tribute to the esprit de corps that permeated the goings on at the August 2009 edition of the annual Orlando Sunburst gathering of celebrity impersonators and "tribute artists." It starts off with a killer anecdote told by Robert De Niro dead ringer Joseph Manuella, and Mamula takes it as a great compliment that many people, including this writer, wish after having viewed the film that it was feature-length.

“If I had a DeLorean, I would rev it up to 88 mph and go back in time to tell us that we should have made it into a feature, but I don't have a DeLorean,” he jokes. “Not yet, that is. This film was made to be a short to help us generate funding and credibility to make another feature doc that we've been working on for quite some time now called Working for Peanuts.”

The other Jared Hess

“It's about the beer and peanut vendors of baseball,” Mamula continues. “We've talked about re-approaching the celebrity impersonators topic to make it a feature, but we would really have to nail down the plot-story to make it as good or better than the short version.”

Ironically, one of the other members of Mamula's Blue Collar Films LLC company is named Jared Hess (pictured, above). But he too is an impersonator.

“If you are a production company or distributor, it is THE Jared Hess of Napoleon Dynamite,” Mamula kids. “Seriously, I'm sure a lot more doors would have been opened for us if it was that Jared Hess. But I'm happy with the Jared Hess we've got. Currently, both Jared and our other producer John Schaub have been spearheading a doc about dwarf tossing.”

Dwarf tossers? Celebrity impersonators? Peanut vendors? And male strippers, the subject of previous short Potato Sac? These guys definitely have their finger on the pulse of 21st century Jackass-adjacent pop culture, and it would seem only a matter of time before Mamula, who also studied screenwriting at UCLA, is driving that DeLorean.

[Just About Famous]

No comments:

Post a Comment