The Ultimate Ultimate It's a little known fact that being cool can be a damn right burden. It could get you sacked from work. It could make you enjoy the film, 'Your Highness'. And it could also encourage you to form your own production company and create a flick that smells like Frank. Huh? What's that? You don't know what the f*ck I'm talking about? Oh! OK then. Fair enough. So you best check out this interview I did with my mate Joe only the other day, whilst setting ice cubes on fire. 

1) What are your own origins, Joe? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today?   I began when my old man banged his wife. Cut to: some years later, William Striker is bonding adamantium to my skeleton. That’s the short version. I've been doing this movie / comedy stuff for so long, I couldn't tell you what I did prior. I worked at a recreation center. I worked in a hotel restaurant for, like, eight years. Nothing of note. It was a dull path. It wasn't scenic.

william shatner
2) What inspired you to form ‘A Set of Works’?   I started 'A Set of Works' in ’07 -- maybe. Just the name. The first thing we did was a YouTube video called “Ripfest” -- that might've been ’08. I loved comedy in all forms; I wanted my production company like 'View Askew' and 'Happy Madison'. That was before Apatow’s crew, before McBride & Hill’s 'Rough House'. No Gary Sanchez yet. 'Happy Madison' and 'View Askew' -- those were big ones.

3) How did ‘The Ultimate Ultimate’ come about?   'The Ultimate Ultimate' is an indirect sequel to a little movie we did called 'Days of Lightning'. 'DoL' is weird. I love it ‘cause I think the comedy is great -- the writing, the characters, but it’s so poor. We shot it with a little camera, no mic. There are entire scenes that have unintelligible dialogue, but God, it’s some of the best comedy I've ever written.
We did that, and we were so happy with the characters and the story that we decided to go back to this world with a follow-up, but one you didn't need to see DoL to get. We knew to make it work we'd need an equipment upgrade, though, and we took care of all that. Our production values caught up to our comedy. Actually, no, they didn’t. They made some ground. They got close enough to see the comedy, but then the comedy took off again ‘cause it’s fast as f*ck.

4) In your own words how would you describe this film?   It’s a very funny, very layered comedy for guys. Seriously, if you like “Eastbound and Down”, “Workaholics”, the R-rated Happy Madison stuff, you'll like this. And I say those names as references, but we're very much our own thing. You can’t say we copy any of them, because we predate a lot of them. To be honest we kind of predate time. I don't know how? But…maybe we don’t. Maybe that was silly. This is that point when the wife tells me I've had too many Lone Stars, and I throw my dinner plate at the wall like Kevin Spacey.

5) If your movie omitted a smell, what odour would it be and why?   Hmm. Good question. I’d say it smells like Frank -- a guy I worked with for years at a grocery store in Philadelphia. Frank had a real pungent alcohol and cigarettes smell. Now you might say “Then why doesn't your movie smell like alcohol and cigarettes?”, but it wasn't that cut and dry. There was something about those smells, when they converged in Frank, they became something else. They realized their potential. Like, anyone can host the 'Witchblade', but not everyone can use it right.

Basically, Frank is Sara Pezzini. And it wasn't only booze and smokes, there was a little aftershave, too. He didn't shave, he just applied it. The faint air of a Banquet frozen dinner he microwaved at three in the morning. 

Yes. That’s The Ultimate Ultimate.

Seth, Danny, James, and Co.
6) If you could get a known celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your production, who would you choose, and why would you want this particular person?   I’d say Danny McBride would be good. 'The Foot Fist Way' was very influential. McBride is funny as hell, but he’s also a sharp dude, and a knowledgeable film guy. An endorsement from him would be huge. It would tell me we've done something right. Nick Swardson would be nuts, also. I think his fans would like our shit, so that’s a good match.

7) Could you compare ‘The Ultimate Ultimate’ to a film or a collection of films?   Everyone compares it to Kevin Smith’s stuff, but I think it’s more like a Jody Hill or David Gordon Green pic, and honestly, those two were probably the biggest influences on this. 'Observe & Report', 'Eastbound and Down', 'The Foot Fist Way'. I like 'Your Highness' -- I might be the only one [Editor's Note: Yeah. You are]. 'The Sitter'. They all helped shaped our visual style and how we shoot. We got 'Trailer Park Boys' comparisons, and that’s cool. I can appreciate that.

Gimme Your Money
8) What were the main obstacles you had to overcome?   Not having enough money to do everything we want. Time wasn't really an issue because I got fired during production. I was too hot to handle. I was a loose cannon. I got fired for being cool as hell. Pretty much. I think that was the official reason: “This guy is cool as shit. We need to let him go. He’s a goddamn stud. We think he might play professional baseball on the side". That story is a 100% true, by the way.

No other major obstacles, fortunately. We had some flakey actors bail, sure, but stuff like that happens.

We rebounded.

9) If your film had a motto, what do you think it would be?   The tagline is “Someone’s gotta be last”. My character, Joe, says that in the movie. I heard a guy say that at work once, and he was serious. 'Shit, man, what a horrible way to think'. It felt appropriate for this character’s mindset in the movie. This movie is fantastic -- did I mention that? Watch The Ultimate Ultimate.

Hey! You heard the man. So what are you waiting for? The Lindsay Lohan school of etiquette? When you've got the time check out 'A Set Of Works' website, Youtube account, facebook page, and twitter stream. Go on. Shift. A laugh is as good as a gun. BOOM!