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SXSW 2010 Interview: “Jimmy Tupper VS. the Goatman of Bowie” Director Andrew Bowser

by David Cornelius

The South by Southwest rundown on “Jimmy Tupper VS. the Goatman of Bowie”: Jimmy Tupper is a loser, a tramp, a go-nowhere-do-nothing-type of guy. Until one night he sees something... something no one else has seen before. Did he witness a century-old urban legend come to life? Or was it merely a drunken hallucination? Jimmy is determined to find out.

Just what is “Jimmy Tupper vs. the Goatman of Bowie”?

It is a “found-footage: horror piece that follows Jimmy Tupper, a young man in the suburbs who has become convinced the Goatman is real.

Why did you choose to use a “Blair Witch” “found footage” format instead of a straightforward narrative?

I thought it would be a fun sub-genre to experiment with. Of course, it’s also easier on the indie-filmmaker in a way because there are no expectations on found-footage films to have “high” production value. It’s a genre that demands a low-fi approach which is welcoming to someone like me. Also, I think there is a lot to be toyed with within the genre. “JTVSTGMOB” is less an entry into the genre, it’s more of a comment on the genre itself.

You've said you tried to stick to strict “found footage” rules, only including scenes that would logically be videotaped by the characters. How difficult was it to stick to this rule?

It was difficult, as a writer I found myself wanting to take the easy road to down exposition lane. But instead, I tried to reveal things visually the way you are taught to do from day 1 in film school with “show and don’t tell.” In film it’s really easy to write dialogue that explains everything outright, but it doesn't provide as much tension. I attempted to create a tension through relying on visual storytelling and not talking heads.

The movie's website calls it “part one” in “The Goatman Trilogy.” Dare I ask what awaits in the next two chapters?

Ha! I can’t say without giving away too much about chapter 1. But I will say, the chapters grow in size and scope with each new entry.

Would you call this a horror with funny parts or a comedy with scary parts?

Hmm... I guess I wouldn’t call it either. To me every film (that’s attempting to reflect real life) should be scary, funny, dramatic, and a million other things. The moods and emotions in our lives run a wide spectrum so our films should too.

This film is attempting to show a real life affected by something surreal or fantastical. But there is no agenda behind, no scene is set up to be funny, or scary, or one thing or the other. The scenes just are what they are and some people may laugh when others are scared and vice versa.

Fess up: Do you believe in the Goatman?

Heck yes I do! Goatman, Loch Ness, you name it I believe in it!

What got you started making movies?

“E.T.” Like most filmmakers it was early Spielberg films that got me excited to make movies. “Raiders” and “E.T.” lit a fire in me to want to act, which as I grew up turned into a passion for filmmaking as a whole.

Any lessons learned while making this movie?

This film was an exercise in letting go. I wanted it to feel visceral and unkempt. It was hard to NOT do shots over again or take a scene again. But again, most “found-footage” films are too perfect and I feel that detracts away from the concept. I wanted to set up this concept and deliver on it. So it was hard for me to... alllow certain errors you might say? I needed to let the film be flawed in order to give it a truly “found-footage” feel. That was very difficult because like most directors, I’m quite obsessed with perfection. But the funny thing about “JTVSTGMOB” is that it wouldn’t be perfect without imperfection.

What's next for you?

Goatman 2!!! Hopefully I can find financing for the sequel that I have already written. Also, my first film “The Mother of Invention” is being released in the UK early this year!

Are you nervous about coming to South by Southwest?

Not nervous at all! I am nothing but excited. I have wanted to go to this festival for years, I have been rejected as a band, I have been rejected with other films, so to finally get in with “JTVSTGMOB” is a dream come true!

Finish this sentence: If I weren't a filmmaker, I'd probably be…

A day care worker, I love kids.

Beatles or Stones?


In ten words or less, convince the average moviegoer to watch your film.

If you think “Cloverfield” felt contrived... if you thought “Paranormal Activity” was horribly acted... then come see “Jimmy Tupper VS. The Goatman of Bowie”!!!

“Jimmy Tupper vs. the Goatman of Bowie” has its world premiere as part of the Midnighters series. It screens 11:45 PM March 14, 11:00 PM March 16, and 11:00 PM March 20.

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originally posted: 03/02/10 21:32:25
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