Thursday, October 20, 2005

Eleven courses with Scott Allen Perry of "The Outdoorsmen"

Scott Allen PerryScott Allen Perry, director of The Outdoorsmen: Blood, Sweat, and Beers may hang out with beer-chuggin' manly men in the woods once a year, but he's not ashamed of his more refined tastes. Perry agreed to answer our questions in exchange for some of the finer pleasures of gastronomy.

How did you find out about The Outdoorsmen?

You must bribe me with a fine swiss cheese to get that answer out of me. I suggest a fine Gruyere.

An actor I've cast in a several of the short films I've done went to high school with a lot of the guys in the film at Cascade in Everett, WA. They tried to recruit him for the competition but he was not up to the challenge, however, he did think it would be a good film and came to me with the idea of shooting it as a documentary. I did not want to a doc, but it was such a cool idea, and the guys were so interesting, I had to do it.

Did any of your budget go towards beer?

Ahh, this question will cost you a tasty port wine to compliment my cheese laden pallet.

The deal was, if we film them, we supply the beer. We started out at 22 cases, then had to make a beer run (1 hour to the nearest store) which upped it to 28 cases. That soon became 32 cases of beer, which is what's advertised on the posters for the film. At the end of the weekend the grand total was about 38 cases of beer. I drank one of those with my Gaffer/Grip extraordinaire, Ralph Walters.

The Outdoorsmen - Blood Sweat and Beers Do you think the film will change the event in any way?

Yes. I think they will buy 38 cases of beer at the beginning, especially with gas prices lately.

Your first screening is at The Hideout, which happens to serve beer. Should people drink during the film to get in the mood?

Only if they are cute and will try to take advantage of me during and after the film. The more you drink, the cuter and funnier I get. Don't believe me? Do a couple of shots then come back and read this profile. You'll be giggling and touching yourself ... it's really making me uncomfortable thinking about it.

Will there ever be a version for women or a co-ed event?

I am feeling a rich and creamy dessert coming my way. Something layered, like a Napoleon.

There is no way they will ever incorporate women into the competition. Women can start their own weekend but this is, in the words of Scott Walker, "about the dudes." When you see him next to his wife, calm, shy, and quiet, and then see him screaming like The Incredible Hulk as he runs through a freezing riverbed with a 60 pound log over his shoulder, you'll understand.

Have you heard about similar or copycat events?

There are a lot of people who do things similar to this, but there's no groups I've come across that are as committed, organized and intense about the competition as these guys are. There is no prize money, the prize is pride, glory, and a big cup that they pass around year to year. This film was the 14th year for the Outdoorsmen. The other groups I've come across have done their thing once, maybe two or three times, and it's usually nowhere near as intense as the events these guys have created.

Are there any new competition challenges that have been introduced since the film was made?

No new ones, but the competition has been finely honed over the years. Some of the events were eliminated when deemed too ridiculous or too dangerous to continue. Like Speed Walking and the Between the Legs Log Chop. And all the beer drinking that is part of the competition is actually strategically placed to level the playing field. They call it "The Great Equalizer." It doesn't matter how good you are at chugging a beer or how amazing you are at the physical challenges. When you combine the two of them everyone suffers.

The Outdoorsmen - Blood Sweat and BeersWhile in production, did you camp with the Outdoorsmen or keep more civilized quarters?

I slept in a tent with my Gaffer, Ralph, and a couple of our PAs. I was too sleep deprived to remember much more than that. I think I slept a total of 8 hours over 10 days. 7 days of interviews, bonfires, and Bar-B-Q's, then the grueling, nonstop Outdoorsmen Weekend. The challenges we faced as a crew are clear when you see the film. You could break a leg walking through that river much less running through it like these guys do during the competition. And we had to stay ahead of them the whole time. There was no waiting for the film crew to catch up so they could do the next event. It was 10 hours of straight competition with about a half an hour lunch break, most of which they spent joking around with each other. There was very little food consumption before the Competition was over.

Have you had to defend the film on any level?

Someone almost spilled a root beer on one of the DVDs last week. I leapt between the rogue beverage and the newly pressed DVD, keeping it dry and giving me a tasty spot on my shirt I could suck on later when I needed a little flavor in my pie-hole.

A lot of people told me they thought this movie would only appeal to men. That women would hate it. Well, every woman who has seen it that I have spoken to loves the film. Unlike a "Chick Flick", this film appeals to both genders, and probably a lot of the in betweens and/or undecideds. I guarantee you, if you see this movie you will laugh, cheer, and smile 2.353339% more in your lifetime than you will if you don't see it.

Is there a mandatory retirement age for an Outdoorsman?

No retirement required. These guys say they will do it until they can't do it anymore. They will change the competition to incorporate the use of walkers and metamucil before they give up.

What's your next project?

Can I get a napkin over here?

Changing the business of film so better movies get made. I want to start by making my own films. A big budget narrative version of The Outdoorsmen: Blood, Sweat, & Beers is in the workings of my brain. Imagine Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Owen Wilson, maybe even a Bruce Willis as Outdoorsmen. I have about 5 projects ready to go, just waiting on the magic bullet (AKA moolah) to set them off. I want to create a real film industry in my hometown, Lafayette, LA. Much like Robert Rodriguez has done with Austin. But mine will have better craft service. You can't beat crawfish étouffée.

The Outdoorsmen: Blood, Sweat, and Beers premieres at the Austin Film Festival on Thursday, October 20th at 9:30 p.m. at the Hideout. An encore screening will be held on Tuesday, October 25th at 9:30 p.m. at the Bob Bullock IMAX.


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