Tripping Video (1999)

During our high school senior year, my friends and I saw a video from a Jackass-esque comedy troupe where they would intentionally trip & fall in public places, recording peoples’ reactions with a hidden camera. We thought it was hilarious and decided to make one ourselves. Here it is:

During the last month of the school year, they would sometimes air a “countdown video” to the whole school–usually an entertaining video made by students as a fun way to count down the last days. This became one of those. I think when this originally aired it may not have had any music. A few months later in college, Tim let me come with him to the Education department’s computer lab and we edited it together in Premiere with this music from the Rushmore soundtrack (and added credits). Tim is a famous, extremely talented artist now but to me he’ll always be a master VHS co-editor.

I think the other guys were a lot better at the falling down than I was. I guess I couldn’t really stop catching myself with my hands. And yes, holy cow, Ty really did break his toe on that last shot. I remember he also got scraped up bad in that parking lot. What a method actor! Sorry Ty, that sucks. Did it heal yet?

All three of you guys have so many shots that crack me up. Stack of pillows. Rolling down the hill. The cart. Crossing the street. Sprinting into class. Seizure, drop, & run away. I also love the canoe oars–who needs oars in all of these places around town? Don’t ask questions if you can’t handle the answers.

I was surprised at how often no one noticed the camera. Biggest example: the kinda-empty science classroom with the group of five people–none of them saw the camera sitting in the middle of the room on a tripod.

0:58 – We had no idea there was some kind of teachers’ meeting going on in a nearby classroom, so the principal and others managed to sneak in an inadvertent cameo appearance.

2:48 -I think the people nearby (e.g. Josh, who jumps up from his chair) didn’t know this was fake for a video, ha. Also, my friends may not remember this, but I was against even recording this shot. In my mind at the time, it just didn’t fit; this was supposed to be a tripping video, where you trip and fall down. This was walking into something, which is totally different and by golly just didn’t belong in this video. But guess what? This part always gets the biggest laugh with almost every audience. And for awhile I didn’t understand it, which is crazy because it’s hilarious. I learned a life lesson: even when I’m so sure I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong and I want to continue to try and surround myself with good people who can tell me so.

Shooting locations, all in Park City: a park near my house, Kmart, Taco Bell, in & around the high school, Main Street, Starbucks, middle school play rehearsal & hallway, Racquet Club, side of the highway, city library, Dan’s Foods parking lot, math class, morning announcements studio, a bunch more high school. I think the only staged reactions were at the Racquet Club and in the high school library. And I think the only place where was asked for permission to shoot was at the city library, so don’t tell anyone because I ain’t coughing up no retroactive permit fee.

This video was fun–thanks for the good laughs & memories you guys. Let me know if there are any more fun behind-the-scenes details to include here.

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