You never know where your love for a certain movie might take you. When Goonies-fans Ron Fugelseth and Patrick Radcliff needed a holiday, they decided to go to Astoria, where much of the classic eighties adventure movie was shot. They took their videocamera with them, turned what they found in Astoria into a documentary, and put it online. Before they realised it, the download counter reached 75.000, Steven Spielberg and Richard Donner watched their movie and loved it, and many fans from all over the world visited the site and shared their memories. Which led to a new idea: what if Ron and Patrick would do it all over again, but this time professionally? I was able to interview them about the upcoming release of their ultimate Goonies-documentary, their love for the movie and the legendary Truffle Shuffle.
"The Goonies are good enough"
The Goonies is one of those movies you can watch over and over again. I loved it as a kid, and when it came out on DVD a few years ago I still loved it just as much. It's mix of adventure, comedy and cool characters makes it the perfect movie for anybody looking for a bit of Indiana Jones-style excitement. It wasn't a huge success when it came out in theaters, back in the eighties, but when it was released on video, more and more people discovered it. People like Ron and Patrick. "Both of us missed it in the theaters, but we watched it many, many times on video as kids."
And it must have struck a nerve with them, because many years after the release of the movie, they came up with an idea. An idea that would have big consequences. Ron explains:
"I guess I should start at the beginning. Patrick and I own a Web Development company called Oxygen Productions Inc. We both work long development hours together on projects. We decided to take a vacation without the wives and go fishing somewhere. I had been looking up Goonies stuff, and thought it would be funny to drive to Astoria and see the sites, along with fishing for some salmon.
Once we got there and started searching for the movie locations, we never actually got around to fishing. We ran around town for two days videotaping all the fun stuff we found. We planned on making it into a funny video for our wives when we got back. After we got back and made the video, we showed it to all of our friends and family and they all loved it. I was about to shelve it, when I found a Goonies message board and thought I should post it on there. Once we started getting TONS of positive feedback and it was getting downloaded more than our server could handle, we created a Goonies website to host it. www.thegoonies.org"
Q: What was it like to be in Astoria and see all those locations from the movie in real life?
A: It was like going back in time! The place hasn't changed much over the years, so most of the locations look the same as in the movie! It was great.
Q: Did you expect the success that the documentary has brought you?
A: Not one bit! It sort of fell in our laps. Once we started getting calls for radio interviews and newspapers, we were pretty surprised. But when we got an email from The Donners' Company (Richard Donner's personal company) to tell us that he and Steven Spielberg saw our movie and loved it, we were VERY excited! It's been such a weird experience to have all this happen from a silly home movie.
Q: Why did you decide to go back and make a longer, professional documentary?
A: After all the press and knowing that Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg had seen our work, we thought this might be the best time to re-do it professionally. We had been creating videos for our corporate clients at Oxygen Productions, so we had the equipment, we just needed to start from scratch.
Q: Can you already tell us a little bit about what will be in the new documentary?
A: It's all about the making of the movie, but also shows what happened from 1985 till now. The Goonies is still VERY popular as we now know, so we set out to answer all the questions that fans wanted to know, but were afraid to ask. We get lots of questions on our message board on www.thegoonies.org, and lots of emails. We interview the cast and crew to get all the Goonies facts and memories we can.
Q: I read that the people in Astoria were very cooperative while making the documentary. What do they think of living in a place that is so important to movie-fans that people come to visit, just to see where the movie is made? And are they bored with people doing the Truffle Shuffle in front of their houses yet?
A: HA! Yes and No is a good answer for that. As a whole, it seems Astoria loves to be in the lime light. LOTS of movies have been filmed there, but none as influential as The Goonies. Most people we have met just love the movie, and think it's really great that it's still attracts so many fans. But for those people who own some of the locations, it's not always easy. Those locations are like celebrities, and you get every kind of person wanting a piece of it! Things get stolen all the time, and people are always around starring. It's very interesting to see it from their perspective. We kind of feel a little bad stoking the Goonies fire so much that they have to deal with so many people!
Q: What was the highlight for you about making these documentaries?
A: I guess it's really two fold for us. On the one hand, we love this type of work, so it's been a fun experience traveling all over and doing interviews, getting into secret locations etc. But on the other, deep down there is that little kid inside who is just having a ball meeting the actors and seeing the sites first hand. Our wives are almost getting sick of it. We always have some new story to tell them!
Q: What are your plans with the documentary. Will it be available for download online or will you release it on DVD, and when can fans get their hands on it?
A: So far our plans are for sales on DVD, but we have talked about downloads from the web. It's just takes a lot of bandwidth when thousands of people are downloading it all at once. So we will see. I don't want to elaborate too much till it's finally done.
Q: What were the reactions to the new documentary when you showed it at the Goonies 20th Anniversary Event? Were you nervous during the first showing, to see what the reactions would be?
A: After being 7 hours late to Astoria because of technical problems getting edited and to DVD, we barely made it to show at the 10pm showing. Patrick couldn't make it, so Brent Holland (camera man and music creator for the documentary) and I sat in the back a few minutes after handing them the DVD. We were SO nervous! I had been editing this for a year and a half, and for most of that time not even letting our wives see it. A million things were running through my head, I didn't know what to expect. But as the movie started, I looked around and people were glued to the screen! Everyone loved it! All weekend people were stopping us and asking questions, telling us how much they enjoyed it, asking when they could buy it. People of all ages! I even got an email later from a girl who said she cried during one emotional scene! It's been a very accomplished feeling. Now I can't wait to finish it!
Q: Will the documentary reveal the secrets of how to do a perfect Truffle Shuffle?
A: HA! No, you will have to see Jeff Cohen speak to get that information!
Q: What would you like to see in a second Goonies-movie?
A: I don't know if it's what we would like to see, as much as we want it to be done right. Something true to the original, and not a modern knock-off version.
Q: I read on your site that you are both married. What do your wifes think of your Goonie-addiction?
A: They love the Goonies also, and are very excited for all of our opportunities with this project. But I think they will be relieved when it's all done. The problem is, just when we all think it's about to finally die down, something happens and it takes off again.
Q: Would you ever do something like this for another movie? If so, which one?
A: We have thought about that a lot, but it's not easy to find a movie with such wide appeal that hasn't been over exposed. The Goonies is a unique movie, with a unique following. People of all ages from all over the world have some sort of emotional connection to that movie. Nostalgia is a powerful thing...
Q: What is your favorite scene from the movie, and is there a character you really wanted to be as a kid?
A: Both of us like the character Chunk. He's the funniest part of the whole movie!