Daily updates from the first annual AFI DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Target, founding sponsor Victory Park, March 22 to April 1, 2007

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ten Burning Questions: Matthew Killip, MASTER OF REALITY

Matthew Killip, MASTER OF REALITY You know the saying, "You couldn't make this up"? Well, you couldn't make a character like Ronny Long up.

He is a self-professed cryptozoologist, founder of Texas Boneyard Wrestling, avant-garde filmmaker and artist of the macabre who enjoyed a fleeting 15 minutes of fame when a piece of video of Ronny bashing a light bulb with his forehead made the rounds on the nation's nightly network news - horrifying and confusing the people who actually pay attention to the nightly network news.

Director Mathew Killip gives Ronny Long all the close up he can handle in his short film MASTER OF REALITY (Screening as part of the Documentary Shorts Program on Thursday, 3/29 at 5:00PM and Saturday, 3/31 at 6:30PM) and you'll be both entertained and more than a little relieved that he doesn't live next door to you.

1. Who or what introduced you to Ronny Long?

I came across a website Ronny had created for his new backyard wrestling federation called Texas Boneyard Wrestling. The idea was to unite Ronny's twin interests of rasslin' and horror movies, but the project imploded shortly after its creation because of infighting amongst the wrestlers. It's a shame, as a lot of energy and imagination had gone into it and every wrestler had their own character complete with horrendous back-story (cannibals, mental patients, stuff like that). Ronny was 15 at the time.

2. Did he ever show you his cryptozoologist degree?

No, but Ronny did show me his T-Shirt from the Texas Bigfoot Research Center. Anyway, Cryptozoologists don't bother with bullshit like degrees. Saasquatch don't care about no academic qualifications.

3. What is the best thing about having your film at AFI DALLAS?

I really love Texas so I'm delighted to be showing our work in Dallas. And because Ronny lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area he can come to the screenings, which I'm very excited about. He'll be packing his light bulbs and giving on-stage demonstrations of pure wrestling heat in the Q&As. Ronny will also be handing out previews of his latest film, called Bad Breed. It's about a transvestite terrorist spy, some killer robots and a virus. You can find out more here: www.myspace.com/stoggamproductions.

4. It took three years after you shot the film to complete the editing. Why so long?

Ahh. I'm very, very, very lazy.

Ronny Long 5. What was the biggest challenge working with a subject like Ronny?

Keeping him supplied with Nachos and Dr. Pepper (which I like to call Prune Juice). Things could get ugly if Ronny didn't receive his regular dose of the good Doctor's beverage.

6. Did the two of you ever have to settle a disagreement by wrestling for it?

I'm not sure that would have been altogether wise on my part. Ronny is a young man whose commitment to the noble art of wrestling is such that he smashed a light bulb into his own face.

7. How many times did he try to get you to touch the scar on his forehead from the lightbulb?

You lot are creepy. We didn't do any scar touching.

8. Is Ronny more underrated as a painter or a filmmaker?

Ronny's just an amazing artist, and all his projects, in whatever medium (painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, film-making), are expressions of a unified creative vision. The fact that his work is largely unrecognized only contributes to the purity of his practice. He does it to please himself, and no one else, and that's one of the
things I love about him.

9. I don't remember ever seeing his parents in the film. Are they in the Witness Protection Program?

You didn't see his parents in the documentary because Ronny Long doesn't have any. He's a feral child raised by ape-like hominids in the suburban wastelands around Dallas.

10. Popcorn or candy?


Matthew Killip (and Ronny Long) will appear at MASTER OF REALITY's screening at part of the Documentary Shorts Program premiere on Thursday, March 29th.

By John Wildman, Staff Writer