Oklahoma documentary filmmakers Bradley Beesley (“Fearless Freaks,” “Okie Noodling”) and Ben Steinbauer (“Winnebago Man”) are collaborating with well-known Okie music stars Tyson Meade (Chainsaw Kittens) and Steven Drozd (The Flaming Lips) on “Calls to Okies,” a documentary about Park Grubbs.
They have launched a Kickstarter to help fund the project, and you can go to it here.
In the early 1980s, before Jerky Boys, Crank Yankers and all the other modern envelope-pushing pranksters, Park Grubbs, a trio of Okie teens imitating old geezers, was there at the forefront conducting strange backwoods experiments with a little help from a landline. Flippantly tossed out of a car window by one of the pranksters, a cassette tape, containing dozens of these prank-call recordings, was then immediately recovered roadside.
This cassette tape was copied and copied again making its way across the USA molding the local vernacular among punk rockers, slackers and art school dropouts alike. These legendary calls gained infamy, garnering fans such as The Flaming Lips, Daniel Clowes (“Ghostworld,” “Art School Confidential”), and Peter Bagge (“Hate”), according to the Kickstarter.
Although these prank calls were often risqué, there was something innocent but daring about the caller that kept the unsuspecting on the phone. For several minutes, both prankster and pranked could escape from the tedium and unending sameness of small town life on the Oklahoma prairie.
With reenactments and interviews, including ones with the pranksters and the pranked, the calls will come to life in this one-of a-kind documentary by these Okie filmmakers.
The money raised via the Kickstarter campaign will help cover the costs of actually finishing the movie. This includes filming, traveling costs, editing, legal fees, licensing, music, sound mixing, festival entry fees and more in getting the film and bonus rewards to supporters.
The campaign goal has been set at $18,500, and the deadline is Sept. 11. It has already raised more than $7,600.
Here’s the Kickstarter campaign video (caution: there’s some language and sexual references involved):