Cheers rang out as Flula Borg, a comedic German YouTuber, arrived today at Kiwanis park in Provo, for the filming of his original Sundance film “Johnny Fist.” The atmosphere buzzed as about a hundred people waited to be featured in his film.
Borg approached the Provo crowd dressed in a cowboy hat, a rainbow scarf and a flowing poncho. His instructions were simple: have fun, be loud, and go along with his script. Borg ran about with his handheld camera, casting everyone who came. A crew doing a documentary on Borg’s filmmaking followed him with their own camera equipment as well. It was a film within a film — filmmaking within filmmaking.
Casey Picillo, a cast participant and Sundance filmgoer, claimed she did not know what to expect before her arrival.
“I haven’t heard of him until today,” Picillo stated. “I just flew in from Indiana for the film festival and heard about this from my friend.”
Several BYU students attended the event, and some even skipped class.
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Borg made it his priority for everyone who came to participate in the finale of his film. Although most were confused with what was going on, everyone maintained excitement.
The script consisted of lines like, “I want to marry you, Johnny Fist!” and, “We love your poetry, Johnny Fist.” With the sporadic style of his filmmaking, Borg managed to keep the crowd entertained.
Documentary film director and Borg’s friend Alex Simmons noted that Borg’s filming was spontaneous, but he enjoyed himself in the process of making it.
“The film process has been completely unique,” Simmons stated. “I’ve made a few bigger projects before, and no project has ever been done like this. There was zero planning, zero preparation and zero script when we left, but it has still been magical.”
Simmons mentioned that Borg and the crew were expecting around four people to show up to their casting today and were surprised that around 100 people were present and ready to film. He noted that his biggest obstacle with the filming of “Johnny Fist” was time. Simmons claimed that he was used to filming documentaries that took months to complete and stated that they are “doing the entire thing in less than ten days.” Although there was a time crunch on this film, Simmons also stated that it was an “incredible” and “fun” journey.
As the filming came to an end, Borg gathered everyone with their backs to Y Mountain and had them shout the word “DANCE” for his final scene. Afterward, a large line commenced as Borg took his time to meet every person who came to support his film. Cast members were thrilled to meet, speak and take pictures with Borg. While Borg proceeded with his “meet and greet,” Simmons and the rest of the crew managed to interview some of the cast members for his own documentary.
Borg enthusiastically described the original plot of his film.
“Johnny Fist is a cowboy poet who has discovered that he is terrible at poetry; so then he drinks a serum with his nose and becomes the best poet in all of the land; but then he gets sad, and later he gets happy again. The end,” Borg explained.
Although Borg’s film explanation came across as peculiar to the crowd, his energy and filmmaking style kept the crowd wanting more. With his thick German accent and colorful attire, it was no surprise that his fans patiently waited in line to meet him. Even known Utah college YouTuber Stuart Edge was there to be a part of Borg’s film and waited to meet Borg in person.
With a vibrant cast, Borg got the needed content to complete his project for the popular Sundance Festival, or as Blorg calls it, the “Fludance Festival.”