[ASFTW] Diary – Tim and Eric at the Prince Charles Cinema London

Posted: January 14, 2013 in [ASFTW]
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Tim and Eric

We took our first plunge into film making on our home turf, London. Tim and Eric had toured the previous year with their live show, at the time we had managed to meet them thanks to some superb scheming by Michelle who not only got the tickets but sorted them an after party at a Camden Club down the road. It was all going great but a combination of tiredness and a couple of Serafinowicz-es meant they didn’t stay long and though I got to meet the pair they were not in the best of moods.
Still this was a new year and they were under less pressure as they were here to promote ‘Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie’. They were doing two showings an evening at the Prince Charles Cinema just off Leicester Square, one with an intro and Q and A afterwards, the other the same but with live commentary throughout. Once again Michelle had her scheming cap on and got in touch with their agent in order to sort us out with an interview. All we needed was a crew.


Michelle enlisted the help of one her Turner buddies, Fadzai and a guy called Lou, a director working with 1185 films in Shoreditch to help get this started. Lou had previously directed music videos and a documentary about Haiti, he was also a massive adult swim fan which was a bonus because he at least knew what we were on about.

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Me and Michelle arrived at the cinema about half an hour before the first showing and were surprised to see the huge queue snaking around the corner. We took this opportunity to shoot some basic outdoor footage of the fans on Michelle’s handheld camera. We headed straight to the front of the queue to meet some diehard Tim and Eric fans who had been waiting outside for nearly 6 hours make sure they got front row seats.

As the queue started to move we were joined by Lou and a pal of his, Barney, a seasoned cameraman and director who had worked on, amongst others, those Guinness ads with Rutger Hauer in the 90’s. After speaking with cinema staff and Tim and Eric’s PA we headed in to set up the camera, we didn’t have anything too fancy, just a top of the line SLR camera, some decent microphones and a couple of lamps. It was then, once everyone had settled into the theatre that we first saw Tim and Eric. We said hello and they went off to start the intro to the movie, at which point we hurried in and waited in the aisles to get footage of the intro. They arrived to thunderous applause and got stuck into explaining themselves. It was decided that although we wanted to catch the film ourselves, we would wait for the second sitting and the juicy commentary.

Once they did the intro we met them again and they explained they needed to go eat. Off they went for a Chinese, this was our chance to play about with the camera. I’d brought my chimp mask, previously having only worn it at festivals and a Metalocalypse club night I’d organised the year before. I was representing my alter ego The Gritty Chimp and the mask was my uniform, combined with a cheap pirate hat, it was grotesque and baffling.
We took to the streets of London, me in the mask freaking out tourists and commuters alike. Lou and Barney directed me.

“where are you? Are you lost? What’s that over there? LOOM over me, LOOOOM!”

I felt a bit ridiculous but shrugged it off as I love the mask. The funniest part of the whole affair was shooting at the exit of a tube station. We had to wait downstairs and then walk up into the outside. Whilst we were waiting, a flurry of confused tourists walked past, some gasped and I made a baby cry. Brilliant! I couldn’t see anything below my own nose so stairs are a problem. Michelle grabbed my hand so I didn’t kill myself and we got a few shots of us coming up the stairs.
We wandered back to the cinema and got another shot of me sinisterly stalking a traffic warden without him realising. Watching it back, it looks quite creepy!
Then, Tim and Eric turned up. I turned round to find a confused looking Tim looking at me. Great Job!

tim outside

We started the interview just outside the screening room in the noisy foyer.  Tim and Eric had seemed quite nice initially and then stopped us almost immediately in our tracks. I should have seen this coming, most of the online interviews I’d watched were pretty intense with virtually every interviewer cringing their way through questions at the mercy of the madcap pair. They sensed our fear and the fact we were rank amateurs at this type of thing and pounced on us. After a lecture on not asking ‘yes/no’ questions they proceeded to go off tangent on virtually everything else we asked. It was one of the most terrifying things I have ever experienced.
We struggled through to the bitter end, semi-shell shocked and a little star struck. We’d taken a massive beating by the surreal comedy kings but we kind of liked it. After the interview we could hardly look them in the eye but they took us to one side and apologised, they explained that’s what they do when the cameras are on and gave us some go advice on our interview technique going forward. We talked for a while about their movie tour, their trip to Europe and food. Tim and Eric appreciate decent nosh and complimented Michelle on her choice of restaurant which she arranged last time they were over.  Finally we talked about our film, our quest to find Lazzo and they were genuinely supportive. Tim and Eric are lovely, it’s official.
The only thing left to do was to settle down and watch the movie feeling slightly smug having survived possibly the hardest interview of the lot.

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