Low-budget film comedians talk funny business, piracy


(Photo courtesy of Tim and Eric).

Karin Samelson

Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are the eponymous comedy duo behind the new movie “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie,” which is being released in Austin today following a special Alamo Drafthouse screening last month. Their TV series, “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” showcases their own characters as well as famous comedic actors Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. “Billion Dollar Movie” follows suit with the same setup.

The movie revolves around the pair’s attempt at renovating a shopping mall after they fail in their endeavor to make a movie with a billion dollar budget. Though Heidecker and Wareheim filmed with a tight budget and time constraints, they delivered a movie sure to delight anybody who finds their controversial comedy funny, not tasteless.

The Daily Texan spoke with Heidecker and Wareheim about “Billion Dollar Movie,” Internet piracy and the simple pleasures in life.

The Daily Texan: Eric, why did you let Tim’s name go first?
Eric Wareheim: It rolls off the tongue better. “Eric & Tim … ” [shakes head]

DT: What was your biggest inspiration when pursuing comedy?
Tim Heidecker: “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “America’s Funniest People” with Dave Coulier.

DT: When did you first figure out you wanted to be comedians?
Heidecker: From the birth of our consciousness.

DT: What was your inspiration for the movie?
Wareheim: We draw from everything we do. We make things different and wrote the scripts that we wanted to write. There were no boundaries.

DT: Do you ever think to yourself this might be too much?
Heidecker: Sure, anything controversial. We either move forward with or kill it. We’re keeping it going.

DT: What was your biggest obstacle during filming?
Heidecker: Time constraints due to our budget. We had a short schedule of 20 days.
Wareheim: Wasn’t it something like 19 days?
Heidecker: Doesn’t matter, 20 sounds fine.

DT: How do you create your characters?
Heidecker: Everyday people. A lot of people use faces in the background that we put in the foreground. Those seven faces that people tend to always use aren’t our inspiration.

DT: Has the movie been getting the response you expected?
Heidecker: Yes, fans are loving it and everyone else is polarized. They’re either on board or not. We began selling it on the Internet, and the response is great.

DT: What else would you be doing right now if you weren’t making people laugh?
Heidecker: Installing lighting fixtures.
Wareheim: Tequila tasting at Cabo Wabo.

DT: What do you enjoy most in life?
Heidecker: My dogs and wife. Not in that order!
Wareheim: Traveling and good food.

DT: What’s your message to people who try and download the movie illegally?
Heidecker: You can go fucking jump off a bridge.

DT: Would you rather have an actual group of boys defecating on you in a tub, which happens to you in the movie, or never make a movie again?
Wareheim: The former. Would make it happen on set so it can draw inspiration.
Heidecker: People always say our work is random. We don’t like the word “random” because the work that goes into it is never random.

Printed on Thursday, March 1, 2012 as: Comedy duo speaks about filmmaking, creating characters