News: Found Footage Festival Duo Raise Funds To Fight Lawsuit

US comedy duo Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, the team behind the hit Found Footage Festival shows, are facing a legal battle.

Last November and again in January 2017, the pair appeared on US local TV morning news shows as fake strongmen Chop & Steele and in March 2017 posted short snippets from some of these segments online. The parent company of one of the news stations, Gray Television, has filed a lawsuit against them in US federal court for copyright infringement and fraudulent activities.

The pair are now fighting back with a GoFundMe campaign launching today, seeking $80,000 to help offset their legal fees. 

Of the campaign, they say: “We've secured a great lawyer, Anderson Duff (yes, that's his real name!), who's working well below his rate to take on these corporate bullies who are trying to suppress our First Amendment right to freedom of speech and our right to criticise the press. But even at discount rates, our legal bills are piling up and are expected to reach $100,000 by the end of the trial. We are confident we will win this important First Amendment case but we are suddenly faced with a very real possibility that we'll bankrupt ourselves in the process. In order to continue doing what we do and secure the future of the Found Footage Festival, we need to raise $80,000.”

Throughout the campaign, they will be releasing never-before-posted footage of various pranks including footage of their fake yo-yo expert Kenny Strasser. 

Prueher and Pickett are best known for the Found Footage Festival which they set up in 2004 to raise money for a documentary they were making, Dirty Country, about a smutty country singer. Prueher was then a producer on The Late Show with David Letterman, where "part of my job was to track down embarrassing old footage of celebrities and actors".

The pair were already old video buffs, as they explain: "We grew up together in a small town in the midwest where there wasn't a lot going on. Out of boredom, we started finding and showing these videos to one another, and even now it still seems like an inside joke."

The Found Footage Festival is at the Edinburgh Fringe at the Underbelly, Cowgate from Aug 3 - 27. Tickets here.




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