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Home FEATURES Other Whatnots MachoTaildrop, The Film

MachoTaildrop, The Film
Tuesday, 22 June 2010 17:22

Interview with director Corey Adams about this fantastic comedy/ fable, and 100% just plain weird film.

Winners of Fuel TV's million dollar short film contest, Corey Adams and Alex Craig have created a satirical indictment of our logo-laden, consumerist culture which is equal parts comedy and fable, and 100% just plain weird.

Take the 1971 Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, set it at the enigmatic headquarters of the world's most famous skateboard conglomerate, imbue it with the off-kilter humour of Wes Anderson and the fantastical surrealism of Terry Gilliam and Michel Gondry, and you have Machotaildrop.

Walter Rhum dreams of escaping his boring, small town existence and becoming a professional skateboarder. He sends a golden highlight reel to the world-famous Machotaildrop skateboard company and is chosen to come to their headquarters, a remote country estate with a half-pipe sitting on a lake, to study under its eccentric leader, The Baron, and ride alongside his idol, Blair Stanley. At first, everything seems normal for Walter. He has his own room, is fed roast goose in bed, provided with a custom wardrobe and groomed for stardom. His bashful personality is a hit, launching his new signature skateboard to massive sales.

Matt Irving interviews director and writer Corey Adams.

How did you end up with the opportunity to make "Machotaildrop"?

Well it all started after trying to drive a cheap pick-up truck to the top of a mountain at a place called Cat Lake. We ended up with a flat tire about half way up and no tire iron. There were a few of us who had camped there the night before and I think it was as we were walking back down the mountain, two men, one Jeremy Fish and the other Mat O'Brien, started telling me about this contest that some action sports channel was having that involved them dishing out a hundred grand to make a short film, with the chance of winning a million to make a feature.

Were you excited or skeptical about it?

My first reaction was an informal turn of the stomach. The thought of making a fictional film about skateboarding put a real fear into me. That fear quickly diminished and I remembered that I was at the time dishwashing for a living. Not that I hated scrubbing used food from plates, but having a hundred grand to make a short was definitely a better option, no matter what the subject. I also started to like the idea of possibly making the first fictional skateboard film that didn't make the fine act itself look like a clown show. Although it's up to the viewer to decide that one I guess. So to make a long story short I teamed up with Alex Craig and we ended up winning the contest with our film "Harvey Spannos" and received a million dollar budget to make a feature that is entitled "Machotaildrop". It's amazing how a random camping trip with two strangers from SF can change your entire life.

How would you summarize the film for people who haven't seen it?

Fantastical and farcical journey of a young boy trying to live out his dreams as a professional skateboarder.

Was this something you'd always wanted to make? How did the script come together?

Funny enough I never actually dreamed of making a skateboard film, or two for that matter. But the opportunity arose and I would have been a fool to deny it. The script began with me and two friends, Jeffro Halladay (who was the production designer for "Machotaildrop") and Justin Lukyn, traveling to Hope B.C. where they filmed the first Rambo movie. There we strung a long extension cord from a friends cabin into the woods, powered up a small TV and VCR, set up some tents and a hammock, hung a few inspirational paintings from the trees, and set out the beginnings of the script. We sat out there in the woods for seven days conjuring up many ideas. The last half of the script involved me and Alex, sitting at a greasy spoon in Vancouver called Reno's. I think we went there almost every day for about two months. The food was absolutely terrible but some of the characters in there were just wonderful.

Did you consciously want there to be an undertone about the childhood dream of being a professional skateboarder clashing with the inner workings of a skateboard company?

Yes, but we didn't want to give the impression that all companies are bad, because there is definitely some good ones, especially in skateboarding. We just wanted to show that there are a lot of people involved in it now who's main purpose is to make some loot, and once you can no longer make them money, because your body has been abused to long, then you're out the door.

Where did you dig up the main characters with key acting roles? The two guys that run the skateboard company were obviously well experienced.

Well James Faulkner was the guy that played "the Baron", he did an amazing job. Originally we had another guy cast in the role named Brian Blessed, who in Britain is quite well known. But the day he was supposed to shoot he was flying to Budapest, where we were shooting, and on the plane decided to black out due to a heart condition he had. So as soon as he arrived he dropped out of the project and had to fly home. But as he was being driven back to the airport, in the midst of apologizing for not being able to stay, he told us that the only other man who could play the role was James Faulkner.

So the first guy got a free flight out of the deal and then took a commission from his buddy getting the job. Excellent.

So we called James on the Friday and he agreed to do it, noting that if Brian said he was the only one then it was his Christian duty to play the role. He flew in on the Monday with an array of wigs and moustaches, took the character and just killed it. The other guy was named Lukas and he played the character "Perkins". He's pretty well known in Hungary and we cast him mainly on his ability to high-kick.

Rick McCrank mentioned that he found himself slipping into the roll of Blair Stanley even when the camera wasn't rolling. Was the character somewhat written with the intent that he'd identify with it to a degree?

I think for "Harvey Spannos" it was basically written to be like a caricature of him, although in "Machotaildrop" Blair showed a darker side of himself and was quite mean at points. Rick is definitely not a mean man, he's probably one of the nicest I know, so I think for this film it wasn't so much him in the character traits, but in the things he was going through with his body it wasn't far off from what he was actually dealing with.

What happened with the pheasant that didn't quite make it across the Danube?

That poor pheasant, hmmmm, that might have been illegal. We shot the film in Budapest and so about half the crew was Hungarian. Some of them spoke great English, others not so well. The prop-guy being the one who spoke, and understood English the worst. Although he also used a skill saw while only wearing a Speedo, so there were some merits to him. But there were also many miscommunications with this man. The main one involving a giant cage with four pheasants. He some how got it onto his head that we were done shooting them, even though we had never started shooting them, and decided to go there on the banks of the River Danube, let the birds go and take the cage home. Well I guess he let them out and they just tried to fly their way across the mighty river, but that type of bird is not great at flying, so they all ended up in the middle. Turned out they weren't that great at swimming either.

Where did you guys travel to create this film? How did you do most of your location scouting?

We filmed in Hungary, Slovenia, Vancouver, and San Francisco. Most of the scouting was done by me and Alex before we even wrote the script. I flew over to Scotland and we drove across Eastern Europe with a few stops in France and Germany. We were trying to make it to the Black Sea to "dip our balls" in it, which is a tradition over there, I believe. But it was November and cold so we opted to head over to Croatia and get some sun and our balls never reaching the Black Sea. But we did manage to see Bosnia and Sarajevo, which was quite nice.

Mavie Murphy helped out a lot and played a couple of rolls in the film. Do you have some Mavie Magic stories to pass along?

I'm sure everyone in the world knows who Mavie, as he has been everywhere, so I can almost guarantee that he has personally told you every "magic" story that he has, Some of them twice, so I will spare you this time with a Mavie story. But hopefully he writes a book soon so that he can pass on these tales to the generations to come that won't be so lucky as to meet the infamous Mavie "Measles" Murphy.

What about some of your other films? "Harvey Spannnos", "Of Wolf & Limb", "Ming Juice" all have an recognizable style to them.

I sort of feel that you could place all the films together and they could be a part of the same world. The idea of creating an alternate universe always appealed to me. I was very inspired by illustrators that created a fictional world and stuck with it throughout their work, so I tried to do the same but with motion pictures. Now I'm comfortable working in that world that has been created and still feel like there are many places to explore. I actually don't think I could make realistic films, I just don't really see the world that way.

Canada has a long history with experimental film due to all of the Canada Council for the Arts funding in the late 60's and early 70's. Do you think growing up on National Film Board productions has influenced your style?

I hope it has, but I can't really say. I was a huge fan of all their work growing up, and still am. They actually have an incredible website where you can watch tons off the early films they made (www.nfb.ca). I don't have cable TV so that has been my main source of viewing pleasure for the past while. Hopefully one day I will be lucky enough to have that logo at the beginning of a film. It is one of the greatest institutions that Canada has to offer.

All of your work has a surreal quality to it. I feel like they often have a slightly drug induced dream-state to them. Do you view film as an escape?

Yes of course. When you watch a film everything else in the world is gone and it's just you and that film. I also really like the surreal qualities of life. I think growing up near Hastings Street in Vancouver gives you an appreciation for the bizarre. It's like watching a real live Ralph Bakshi cartoon or something. So these ideas just seem to come naturally when doing this type of thing.

What degree of reality does a Director need to embrace to maintain the audience's attention?

I think there always has to be a base of reality, otherwise most people won't be able to hold on and stay with the film. People want something to relate to when they watch films, and if they don't have that connection then your audience is going to be very small. I haven't always felt this way but I'm starting to realize more and more that it's true.

Are there any films that you really love that you'd encourage readers to watch?

1. Werkmeister Harmonies
2. The Holy Mountain
3. A Zed and Two Naughts
4. Miami Vice
5. The Saddest Music In the World
6. Contempt
8. Brazil
9. Stardust Memories
10. City of Women
Watch them all.

So what's next for you Corey? Are there any projects in the works?

I've been doing some ads for a friend of mine who is starting up a shoe company called Native shoes. Just helping them out in a new business adventure, which has been great seeing something just starting up from nothing. I'm also writing a new feature and doing a few music videos. There is a film I would really like to make about a man who escapes a dark past in Germany and sets out in a canoe down the Danube with his family goat. He is heading for the Black Sea to find his former lover who is living in a gypsy caravan.

Where do you see this all going? Would the dream be to work on features, shorts, documentaries, commercials, music videos?

I like working on all kinds of projects, be it short, small, long or tall. I think in doing small things you get a lot more opportunity to try things creatively that you wouldn't necessarily get to try on a feature. But I would really love to make another feature, nothing beats getting to go so deep inside a world that you have created. Doing a documentary would be good too. Me and Alex have been talking about making one about this transvestite soccer team that lives in a remote village in Ecuador. But so far no one wants to fund that one.

Who made it all possible? Is there anyone that you'd like to thank for helping bring your vision to reality?

The list would be huge. My parents have helped me a lot; they have always been supportive of me not wanting to get a real job, which is great. But there have been so many others that have helped in some way or another. Definitely Alex Craig who I co-wrote and directed "Machotaildrop" with. He has been a part of many of the things I've made. And of course Fuel TV, because they paid for the whole thing.

Let's end this with a story about the single most bizarre or lucky circumstance to have happened on this production?

There were so many bizarre things that happened on a daily basis, Amputees on riverbanks, pay off's to the cops, it's hard to talk about just one. I did meet a lovely French girl and moved to Paris for a year after the shooting. We had a wonderful romance, that of fairy tales.

Links
http://www.coreyadams.ca/
http://www.machotaildrop.com/

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contact FF

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 10:34

When works of art become commodities and nothing else, when every endeavor becomes “creative” and everybody “a creative,” then art sinks back to craft and artists back to artisans—a word that, in its adjectival form, at least, is newly popular again. Artisanal pickles, artisanal poems: what’s the difference, after all? So “art” itself may disappear: art as Art, that old high thing. Which—unless, like me, you think we need a vessel for our inner life—is nothing much to mourn.

lead

Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it? --continue reading

 

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17_ms

Work by Meryl Pataky

 

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Ron-Turner

Ron Turner of Last Gasp

"[Satire] is important because it brings out the flaws we all have and throws them up on the screen of another person," said Turner. “How they react sort of shows how important that really is.” Later, he added, "Charlie took a hit for everybody." -read on

 

Solidarity
Thursday, 08 January 2015 09:36

charlie

 

SF Bay Area: What Might Have Been
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tiburonbridge

The San Francisco Bay Area is renowned for its tens of thousands of acres of beautiful parks and public open spaces.

What many people don't know is that these lands were almost lost to large-scale development. link

 

1/5/14 - Going Back
Monday, 05 January 2015 10:49

As we work on our changes, we're leaving Squarespace and coming back to the old server. Updates are en route.

The content that was on the site between May '14 and today is history... Whatever, wasn't interesting anyway. All the good stuff from the last 10 years is here anyway.

###########
 

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park_life

 

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 17:39


Headlands Center Fundraiser -6/4/14
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 07:54

SAN FRANCISCO --- The Headlands Center for the Arts is preparing for their largest fundraiser of the year set to go down on June 4th at SOMArts here in the city. Art auction, food, drinks, live music, etc and all for helping to support a great institution up in the Marin Headlands. ~details

ABOUT HEADLANDS
Headlands Center for the Arts provides an unparalleled environment for the creative process and the development of new work and ideas. Through a range of programs for artists and the public, we offer opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and exchange that build understanding and appreciation for the role of art in society.

headlands

 

Congrats, Dudes(ette)
Monday, 19 May 2014 09:29

Just want to say congrats to Fecal Face's Rachel Ralph for graduating from SFAI with her masters in curatorial studies. Also want to congratulate Alex Ziv who also just got his MFA in painting. Also a high five to the talented Mario Ayala who also just graduated from SFAI as well! --- All super talented artists (thinkers), and we're excited to see what the future holds for them!

 

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Wednesday, 25 August 2010 12:50


 

 


 

 

 

Alison Blickle @NYC's Kravets Wehby Gallery

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Peter Gronquist @The Shooting Gallery

If you like guns and boobs, head on over to the Shooting Gallery; just don't expect the work to be all cheap ploys and hot chicks. With Make Stuff by Peter Gronquist (Portland) in the main space and Morgan Slade's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow in the project space, there is plenty spectacle to be had, but if you look just beyond it, you might actually get something out of the shows.


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Gator Skater +video

Nate Milton emailed over this great short Gator Skater which is a follow-up to his Dog Skateboard he emailed to us back in 2011... Any relation to this Gator Skater?


Ferris Plock Online Show Now Online as of April 25th

5 new wonderful large-scale paintings on wood panel are available. visit: www.ffdg.net


ClipODay II: Needles & Pens 11 Years!!

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BANDES DE PUB / STRIP BOX

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AJ Fosik in Tokyo at The Hellion Gallery

Matt Wagner recently emailed over some photos from The Hellion Gallery in Tokyo, who recently put together a show with AJ Fosik (Portland) called Beast From a Foreign Land. The gallery gave twelve of Fosik's sculptures to twelve Japanese artists (including Hiro Kurata who is currently showing in our group show Salt the Skies) to paint, burn, or build upon.


Ferris Plock - Online Show, April 25th

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GOLD BLOOD, MAGIC WEIRDOS

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Jeremy Fish at LA's Mark Moore Gallery

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John Felix Arnold III on the Road to NYC

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FRENCH in Melbourne

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Henry Gunderson at Ever Gold, SF

Ever Gold opened a new solo show by NYC based Henry Gunderson a couple Saturday nights ago and it was literally packed. So packed I couldn't actually see most of the art - but a big crowd doesn't seem like a problem. I got a good laugh at what I would call the 'cock climbing wall' as it was one of the few pieces I could see over the crowd. I haven't gotten a chance to go back and check it all out again, but I'm definitely going to as the paintings that I could get a peek at were really high quality and intruiguing. You should do the same.


Mario Wagner @Hashimoto

Mario Wagner (Berkeley) opened his new solo show A Glow that Transfers Creativity last Saturday night at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco.


Serge Gay Jr. @Spoke Art

The paintings in the show are each influenced by a musician, ranging from Freddy Mercury, to Madonna, to A Tribe Called Quest and they are so stylistically consistent with each musician's persona that they read as a cohesive body of work with incredible variation. If you told me they were each painted by a different person, I would not hesitate to believe you and it's really great to see a solo show with so much variety. The show is fun, poppy, very well done, and absolutely worth a look and maybe even a listen.


NYCHOS Mural on Ashbury and Haight

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Sun Milk in Vienna

With rising rent in SF and knowing mostly other young artists without capitol, I desired a way to live rent free, have a space to do my craft, and get to see more of the world. Inspired by the many historical artists who have longed similar longings I discovered the beauty of artist residencies. Lilo runs Adhoc Collective in Vienna which not only has a fully equipped artists creative studio, but an indoor halfpipe, and private artist quarters. It was like a modern day castle or skate cathedral. It exists in almost a utopic state, totally free to those that apply and come with a real passion for both art and skateboarding


"How To Lose Yourself Completely" by Bryan Schnelle

I just wanted to share with you a piece I recently finished which took me 4 years to complete. Titled "How To Lose Yourself Completely (The September Issue)", it consists of a copy of the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine (the issue they made the documentary about) with all faces masked with a sharpie, and everything else entirely whited out. 840 pages of fun. -Bryan Schnelle


Tyler Bewley ~ Recent Works

Some great work from San Francisco based Tyler Bewley.


Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery

While walking our way across San Francisco on Saturday we swung through the opening receptions for Kirk Maxson and Alexis Mackenzie at Eleanor Harwood Gallery in the Mission.


Jeremy Fish Solo Show in Los Angeles

Jeremy Fish opens Hunting Trophies tonight, Saturday April 5th, at the Los Angeles based Mark Moore Gallery. The show features new work from Fish inside the "hunting lodge" where viewers climb inside the head of the hunter and explore the history of all the animals he's killed.


The Albatross and the Shipping Container

Beautiful piece entitled "The Albatross and the Shipping Container", Ink on Paper, Mounted to Panel, 47" Diameter, by San Francisco based Martin Machado now on display at FFDG. Stop in Saturday (1-6pm) to view the group show "Salt the Skies" now running through April 19th. 2277 Mission St. at 19th.


The Marsh Barge - Traveling the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to quit my job, move out of my house, leave everything and travel again. So on August 21, 2013 I pushed a canoe packed full of gear into the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, along with four of my best friends. Exactly 100 days later, I arrived at a marina near the Gulf of Mexico in a sailboat.


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