Monday, January 18, 2010

Powerwalkin': The Movie


Greetings, People of Earth. Now that I've finally finished my Masters and have at least a little bit of spare time on my hands, I've decided to start working on some projects I've had simmering on the back burner for a while. One of these projects involves taking all my old home videos (recorded on VHS and VHS-C tapes), converting them into digital files, and storing them on my external hard drive for posterity. Thus far I've devoted a good week or so to this task, and today was sort of a milestone: I uploaded Powerwalkin'.

Powerwalkin' was made in 2000, right at the very beginning of what I call the Apartment 86 Era of my college experience. Though ostensibly about powerwalking, the movie's real purpose was to poke fun at the stereotypical shallowness associated with Ole Miss girls: the husband-hunting, the constant cellphone chatter, the dingbattiness, and, of course, the obsession with staying in shape. It's not especially funny, but it marked the first time we Apartment 86ers made a movie using a title sequence, professional editing equipment, and an honest attempt at structure.

A few things to watch for and a little bit of trivia:

(1) In the opening title sequence, you'll notice that Wendy's credit is a lot more elaborate than anyone else's (her character - "The Dead Girl" - actually gets a name). This was part of a deal she made with me. She said would agree to not having any lines and lying under the car, but she had to get her attention somewhere.

(2) Nat's name is spelled "Nayet" in the opening titles to mimic his mom's Georgia accent.

(3) The "You look like you're in a hurry to get somewhere" sequence featuring Garrett and Crystal is based on a true story.

(4) The pervert in the sunglasses is none other than Jim Ciscell, mythical anti-hero of many an Oxford urban legend. All of his lines were completely improvised. No script. No pre-planning. And the object he's holding, in case you're wondering, is a box of Cookie Crisp.

(5) This is the most tragic piece of Powerwalkin' lore...Towards the end of the opening title sequence you'll see a shot of me driving a car without paying attention to the road. Watch the background and you'll see a small dog take off running right in front of me...As you can see from my reaction, it didn't end well. :(

For years I've had several of the people involved with Powerwalkin' griping in my ear about putting it online. One of the reasons I've always held out on them is because my VHS-C copy has been watched repeatedly and is not in very good condition. Today, though, I finally went through it and replaced all of the most well-worn parts with identical scenes from the master footage. (Fortunately, the titles were in good shape. I don't have those anywhere else.) As a result, this is probably the best copy of Powerwalkin' that's existed in the last 10 years. Here it is in all its amateurish, voyeuristic, misogynistic glory.


Anonymous Scott said...

I like seeing my truck again. Thanks for uploading this!

4:01 PM  

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