Le Pétomane: Parti Avec le Vent - A Fart Movie
Editor's note: Steve Ochs has done something any PoopReporter would appreciate; he's made a movie about farts. These aren't just any farts, though. These are the farts of the greatest farter in history, Le Pe`tomaine. I strongly urge you to check out the website, where you can find a trailer for the movie. I am sure that you will appreciate the sound effects.
For about fourteen years, including the great comedy boom of the eighties, I worked as a touring stand up. Somewhere in that time I was doing a few minutes on a real-life character named Joseph Pujol, better known as Le Pétomane. While performing in Alaska, I was asked after the show if I had read the book on his life, which I hadn't. A short while later, the questioner sent me a copy. After couple of years went by, I had switched to writing professionally and had written a full-length spec script based on the life of Pujol.
Not long after a cinematographer friend of mine who loved the script, asked me if I could re-construct it as a short. I did. The result is "Le Pétomane: Parti Avec le Vent."
The project was to be self-financed for hard costs and reliant on freebies and returned favors for everything else. We expected to shoot it as minimally as possible on HD using whatever locations we could get that might pass for the set ups we needed. We were just about settled on using the fantasy suites of a swinger club/porn studio for the interiors (study, doctor's office, etc.) and a local turn-of-the-century historical park for the exteriors, until something crazy happened; we got an offer we couldn't refuse from Universal Studios!
By the time the film was done, over three hundred people had participated. The result is as big a low-budget short as may have ever been made. The props, costumes and actors are all top notch and the post-production was done by the book.
While the true story of Pujol's life is chronicled in various sources, it barely served as a guide. The characters’ names and professions are correct, but the interactions are, for the most part, fictionalized. This is pretty standard for the Hollywoodizing of a true story. However, the props, sets and wardrobe paid a great deal of respect to history.
When all was said and done, we had created an absurd experiment in “drama”; the story of man discovering his gift, the love of his woman, and his deliverance from the Jevert-esque pursuit of a doctor gone mad.
On the first day of production, while speaking to the heads of the various departments, I made a promise. I told them we would be making the biggest, stupidest period piece we could.
I believe in my heart that we have succeeded.