June 23, 2009

The Winnebago Man Gets His Own Movie

I recently went to the Rooftop Films screening of "Winnebago Man", a documentary about the Angriest RV Salesman in the World. Jack Rebney is the star of one of the original viral videos; a VHS of outtakes from a 1989 industrial for Winnebago that was duped and passed around until it ended up on YouTube in 2005, turning him into an international sensation.

Ben Steinbauer's indie doc "Winnebago Man" tracks down the reclusive Rebney and, in the process, ends up being a fascinating rumination on internet celebrity. The real-life Rebney is a bit of a puzzle at first but as the filmmaker gets him talking he reveals himself to be something of a noble and even tragic figure. But he also is just as profane and hilarious as his internet persona, if not moreso. Congrats to my friend Joel Heller who produced this doc. "Winnebago Man" is currently doing the festival circuit but hopefully will be released commercially soon.