If you have any internet skills at all you should be well aware of Everything Is Terrible– the found video site that sets the bar for weirdness on the web. Every time I visit EIT, which is daily, I wonder what geniuses are responsible for finding and editing these VHS treasures into surreal clips, exposing the absurdity of American culture caught on film since the age of the video cassette.
I had the privilege of talking to EIT crew member Future Shock to try to see what goes on inside the minds of the greatest thing to happen on the internet since broadband.
What are you wearing right now?
A pink foam rubber monster head, of course.
What was life like for you before Everything Is Terrible?
Before EIT, I worked on a series of found footage DVDs called Future Schlock with another EITer, Defenestrator III. So we spent all our time screening and editing VHS then too. But about 100 people saw the Future Schlock DVDs, so this is much nicer.
EIT is long-running and influenced loads of people. Who or what inspired the origins of EIT?
Pinky Carnage of TV Carnage is the Mr. Miyagi to our Daniel-san.
When did you know that Everything Is Terrible was a success?
When it stopped being a big deal and became routine to be linked on Gawker, Boing Boing, Videogum etc (big-name blogs)
There are 7 of you that work at the site, how did you all meet?
We all knew each other previously from our time together at Ohio University.
Do you divide the labor?
Oh yes. One person could not do this all alone, even full-time.
Which one of you is the best overall Everything Is Terrible crew member?
What’s the process of collecting and producing your materials? Is there any place that you consider a “gold mine” for terrible video?
We collect all our raw materials from the flea markets and thrift stores of North America. There is not one particular place that is the “best” but generally the farther off the beaten path, the better the pickings.
Have you learned any life lessons or practical information from any of the videos you’ve used?
I did learn cat first aid from one video.
Is there any single most WTF clip in EIT history?
The Singing Babies clip still blows my mind pretty hard. Similarly, Rainbow Spirit is the single most difficult to sit through. It is a 45-minute, unedited hippie jam circle.
Tell me about your new movie, ‘2Everything2 Terrible2: Tokyo Drift’- how long did it take you to complete?
It took 2 months of effort by 4 folks who basically did nothing besides stare at screens the entire time. It was intense. It’s more psychedelic than our first movie since we’re better at video effects now than last year.
What can we expect from a live showing?
Brand new EIT! shorts, an inspirational speech/occult ritual with giant monster outfits, 2E2T2, and special guests.
Have you ever had any contact with the subjects in your videos- specifically Duane.
No Duane, but Mary Jean Ballner the Cat Massage lady is very nice.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9MnF3BMCmY
How do you score your movies?
We simply excerpt Terrible music from the site.
Do you like anything that’s not terrible? Like Mad Men or something?
When left to my own movie-watching, non-Terrible devices, I like slow, art-house Asian films. They’re a palate cleanser for me.
How has the quality or content of your work changed over the years since you started Everything Is Terrible?
We’ve gotten much better at manifesting the pictures in our heads onto the screen. This is due to getting a better grasp on the intricacies of our editing software.
Are There EIT groupies? If so, tell me the quality.
EIT “superfans” (as we like to call them) are usually awesome folks. We have gotten some very nice presents from superfans over the years- cookies, artwork, 65 copies of Jerry Maguire.
If EIT had a clubhouse, what amenities would you make sure to have at all times and what would you need to have in your movie collection?
Pizza, kitties, and Duane.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
People say I am. If asked I say I am a video editor, or an archivist, or a comedian. Depends on my mood that day.
What do you see in the future for everything is terrible?
Terrible will never die, simply move to DVD.
Come see Everything Is Terrible Live and Unblogged tonight at Solly’s U Street Tavern.