From the award-winning filmmakers, Berndt Mader & Ben Steinbauer behind WINNEBAGO MAN, comes CHOP & STEELE. The feature documentary focuses on a pair of childhood friends, Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, turned professional comedians and the founders of the wildly popular Found Footage Festival. When Nick and Joe book their gag strongman routine on unsuspecting morning news shows, their pranks go viral and land them in federal court with a vengeful media conglomerate. The stress of the lawsuit and pressure to continue their pranks threatens their livelihood and tests their lifelong friendship. Co-director Ben Steinbauer (Winnebago Man) join us for a lively conversation on the joyous journey that he and Berndt Mader (Booger Red) took in documenting the long and winding tale of Nick and Joe have been on for decades as pranksters, strongmen, family men, and hosts of the Found Footage Film Festival, enlisting Howie Mandel, David Cross, Reggie Watts, Bobcat Goldwait and Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum to give context to the rich comedic tradition being carried on by Chop & Steele.
Available On Demand beginning on May 9th
About the filmmaker – Berndt Mader is an Emmy Award-winning film, television and commercial director. The son of a prominent Dallas photographer, Berndt spent the majority of his childhood running from cameras, only to now find himself most at home behind one. Berndt’s vast portfolio includes Chop & Steele (2022), a comedy documentary that he co-directed with The Bear’s Ben Steinbauer. The film premiered to great acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival. His hybrid narrative-documentary, Booger Red (2016), led him to co-direct a television series for Discovery+, based on his original film. Berndt has directed award winning advertising work for notable brands like Budweiser, RAM, Fritos, Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Indeed, Yeti and many others. thebear.us/directors/ben-steinbauer
About the filmmaker – Ben Steinbauer grew up wanting to be an author and astounded his preschool teacher when he made a book at age four. In college at KU (Rock Chalk!), a gruff creative writing professor told him to pursue film classes and there’s been no looking back. Since then, he has become an award-winning film, television, and commercial director. His feature documentary, Winnebago Man, Michael Moore called, “One of the funniest documentaries ever made!” and Roger Ebert named it one of his favorite films. His most recent documentary film, Chop & Steele, premiered to outstanding reviews at the Tribeca Film Festival and stars David Cross, Reggie Watts, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Howie Mandel. He has directed commercials for Yeti, Crate & Barrel, Shiner, Whole Foods, LinkedIn, Popeyes and Indeed. thebear.us/directors/ben-steinbauer
“We’re essentially watching two guys with a lifelong dependency on each other, and a seeming addiction to cringe, consider the possibility for the first time in decades of giving up some key aspect of their own identities.” – Jim Vorel, Paste Magazine
“A very funny and entertaining documentary about friendship, the art of comedy, and the skill and creativity it takes to execute the perfect practical joke – even if it lands you in serious legal trouble.” – Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots
“Chop & Steele plays like one act of artistic defiance after another in celebration of Pickett and Prueher’s love of obscure content, much of which was never cleared for public consumption.” – John Fink, The Film Stage