Meet Snag Filmmakers is a feature that profiles filmmakers whose work is available to screen for free on SnagFilms.com, Indiewire’s parent company, via First Person features penned by the filmmakers themselves. Below, get to know filmmaker John Trupiano, who went on the ultimate football fan road trip for his series, “Trailgate 32.”
What’s It About: Kerouac-style road trip adventure–brothers Mike & John drive 25,000 miles across America in an RV to tailgate 32 NFL games in one season.
What’s It REALLY About: “Tailgate 32″ is a tribute to the great American traditions of roadtripping, tailgating, and professional football, focusing on the communities and fan culture throughout the country.
The show’s about people. Football has an impact on the community structure throughout America like no other sport. What drives fans to routinely travel thousands of miles cross country to see “their team”? Why spend hours and hours dressing up as a Viking to support your team? Why do fans across the country gather 6, 8, 12 hours before the game to tailgate? There’s something deeper at work here. I’ve heard people say that the tailgate has replaced the neighborhood picnic, that it’s the last true American past time. While we all love the football, I think more than that we love the sense of community, the joint ownership, the shared experiences that are part of living and dying with your team.
And what’s just as American as football and tailgating? Road tripping back and forth across the country. What happens when you put 5 people with little mechanic experience into an RV and have them drive 25,000 miles? A whole lot of crap goes wrong, that’s what. Interspersed throughout the season, we get to dive deep into life on the road, the hazards, the sights, the vast stretches of land and communities that connect the major cities. We sleep in Walmarts across the country and shoot the shit with truckers at truck stops across the country. This is America, both big and small.
Why I Made This Film: The journey itself was the primary inspiration. Mike and I are both thrill seekers, and we enjoy tackling larger than life challenges. There are very few people who could, let alone would, pull off a 25,000 mile road trip in a 42′ RV (with no prior experience) and assemble a film crew (for their first ever filmmaking experience). And not to mention the difficulty in actually finding a workable route for us to hit a home game for all 32 teams in the NFL in the 17-week regular season. All of it screamed “CHALLENGE” and we were totally up for it.
Anthony Bourdain Meets Football Fan Culture: We drew a lot of inspiration from Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” In fact we often describe the show as “Anthony Bourdain meets football fan culture.”
Up Next: We’re considering doing a feature length—everyone we talk to is clamoring for it. We’re also in the process of pitching the show to various networks. Whether the next project is derivative of this one or goes in a totally different direction, we expect it to cover some sort of adventure. Stay tuned!
Watch It Below:
About the Filmmaker: I’m a technology entrepreneur that was ready for a new challenge. My brother Mike has a similar background as well. We were looking for a project and honed in on this football odyssey. After cutting a fundraising video for Kickstarter (and meeting a very talented director/editor in the process), we got very excited about the prospect of making films. This is our first foray both as executive producers and on-screen personalities, and it’s been quite a ride learning the ins and outs. The experience has been fabulous, and we both hope to continue making adventure films and documentaries.