Behold My Butt-Numb-a-Thon 14 Silliness

In December of every year, Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News hosts his birthday party as a 24-hour nonstop film marathon in Austin, TX. This extravaganza is the aptly-named Butt-Numb-a-Thon, and nobody except Harry really knows what will be played. You just show up, and Harry just shows you stuff: everything from crazy vintage films to secret screenings of the latest Hollywood extravaganzas.

The thing about the BNAT, though, is that a lot of people want to go, and there are only so many seats in the theater. Thus, there is the yearly ritual of filling out the BNAT application. This is a questionaire during which you are often asked to describe who you are in the nerdiest possible terms, provide entertaining photos of yourself, and otherwise dance for Harry’s amusement. There are many reasons for this elaborate ritual. First, it weeds out people who aren’t willing to (or lack the sense of humor) work a little for a coveted ticket. Second, it builds community between BNAT hopefuls (as we are prone to gather together and share our work with one another). Third, it amuses our Mostly Benevolent Puppetmaster.

This year, there were three audio/visual components to the application process. First, you were to take a photo of yourself that explains what sort of movie nerd you are. Second, you were to take a photo of yourself that would approximate what you would look like if you weren’t chosen to attend Butt-Numb-a-Thon 14. Third, as extra credit, you were to create a video of yourself, acting out your favorite scene of your favorite movie (with bonus consideration if you managed to morph it into a reference about your favorite terrible film).

BNAT hopefuls have been gathering all week on Facebook, sharing their photos and videos. There are hours of videos strung together in a YouTube playlist, if you want to cruise everyone’s public entries.

But for now, here’s what I did.

Exhibit 1: the photo of myself as a film geek.

Self-Portrait with Death Race 2000 Car

Yes, I already showed off this photo earlier this year, but it’s entirely appropriate. I’m still worth 10 points!

Exhibit 2: What I would look like if I didn’t get an invite to BNAT 14.

BNAT Seppuku

I only realized after I took the photo and moved all the furniture back that I had been holding the knife the wrong way. I should have read the Wikipedia entry on seppuku much more closely. And I should have looked down.

Exhibit 3: A recreation of my favorite scene from my favorite movie.

That’s right. Dead Alive is indeed my favorite film of all time. Second is Lawrence of Arabia. So there.

I am extraordinarily thankful that I was able to bribe Jerry Belich into being cameraman for this video. There’s no way I could have filmed it myself in a reasonable amount of time, as my DSLR is my only proper video camera, and it’s extraordinarily fussy in terms of focus. It’s also great that Jerry and I are great collaborators and work super-fast together; there are something like 60 shot setups in this 5-minute film. We filmed all of the live stuff in the space of a couple hours. (The time-lapse and stop motion work was all me, and I did that on another evening.)

I did all the ADR myself. I’m so sorry, everyone.

Exhibit 3a: How I bribed Jerry to help me with my BNAT 14 video.

That’s right. Jerry walked up to me and said, “Will you be my John Belushi?”

I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone to say those words to me, and I didn’t even know it.

Anyway, Jerry worked on my video because I helped him with his. We filmed this in about 20 minutes at the end of a cul-de-sac near my apartment. We borrowed the black ties, but I’m now convinced we both need to have black ties of our own.


  1. If at all possible, you and Jerry must do Iron Artist as the Blues Brothers.

  2. That’s a really cool car! Would like one of those babies!

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