If you were alive in the 80s and 90s then you probably came across Teletext; the low-res information service that was accessible on a large number of TV sets. Before the internet was accessible in everything from light bulbs to creosote, this was the main source of information on all kinds of things. If you were a gamer, then you would have likely read Digitiser, the eccentric videogaming magazine found on aforementioned service. That magazine's creator and chief star Mr Biffo (aka Paul Rose) is back in 2017 with an altogether different artistic creation: Mr Biffo's Found Footage.
Funded via Kickstarter as a series of ten minute shorts, the sprawling epic is now 6 episodes of between 15 and 30 minutes, after Rose "got carried away". We're glad he did though, as the series of surreal dark comedy shorts, which have the backing of one of the genres masters in Charlie Brooker, have gone from strength to strength over the last few weeks.
After creating a number of films and TV programmes through traditional means, the creator got tired and decided to go it alone this time. Clearly he was eager to avoid the studio interference and difficult production process that comes from something like Pudsey The Dog The Movie, his first full-length film and one of the worst rated moves on Rotten Tomatoes.
Says Rose: “I got sick of the development process in film and TV. I’ve worked on so many projects – including a BBC1 sitcom pilot with Dylan Moran and Maxine Peake – which nearly got made, that my heart just wasn’t in it anymore."
“I was worn down from making compromises to create stuff that was more palatable and commercial, and it wasn’t having an impact on its chance of success, so I decided to do something for me.”
“It isn’t for everyone – it’s weird in a late night, Adult Swim, kind of way – but nobody in the UK is brave enough to make shows like this anymore. Found Footage has shown that there is an audience hungry enough for this kind of absurdist humour that you can make it happen without having to worry too much about ratings.
“I think I’ve created something that is completely original, extremely high quality, and – most importantly – done it without the backing of a TV channel or movie studio. Those who love it really seem to love it.”
Finale The Trojan Arse Protocol will be available on Youtube as of Sunday the 22nd of November, and it stands alone as a short film in its own right. The work is a sci-fi action epic, influenced by directors such as John Carpenter and Ridley Scott. Also, it's got living bottoms in it.
With the series having already seen cameos from the likes of Larry Bundy Junior, Stuart Ashen and Iain Lee, there's a lot of videogaming celebrities involved. The finale stars some other legends in 90's gaming media as well, with Violet Berlin and Andy Wear of Bad Influence fame making up some of the cast of this dark 20 minutes.