Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Will Dumb Drum swede “The Interview?”


UPDATE: Dumb Drum’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” swede is up now. Watch it here or click through to the jump.

Kase Wickman, a writer over at MTV news (the dot com site), had a novel idea for those upset with Sony for delaying or refusing to release the Seth Rogen, James Franco comedy “The Interview.”

The suggestion: Swede the film.

As we know, Fresno is arguably the Swede capital of the world (arguably, in that no one will likely contest the fact). The city has its own festival dedicated to the form.

It’s also the HQ for Dumb Drum, the guys behind all those awesome shot-for-shot trailers recreations (Wickman linked to Dumb Drum’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” trailer in his post).

If anyone were to tackle something like this (and get the viral hyper buzz that follows), it seems like Dumb Drum would be the guys.

Both Bryan Harley and Roque Rodriguez have hinted at the possibility online. They may even have a script.

So, will Dumb Drum swede “The Interview?”

“Kinda depends on if anything new comes from Sony about distribution,” Harley says. If the company decides to release the film, they’re probably hold off on doing a swede.

If not, then there’s something to talk about.

First, the team will finish up work on its “Star Wars: Episode VII” trailer, which they’ve been teasing online with pictures like this.

That swede should be out by Wednesday, Harley says.

In the meantime, click through to the jump to see the sweded version of the trailer for “Pacific Rim.”

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Swedies: Swede Fest XIV


Fresno’s Swede Fest held its 14th installment over the weekend at the Tower Theatre and audiences were treated to some of the best entries of the festival’s run.

The close-to-30 short film parodies offer some interesting interpretations of what it means to “swede.” Some stick with the tried-and-true cardboard- and duct-tape, lo-fi aesthetic, while others embrace digital technology as a tool for the form.

While, it would be against Swede Fest ideals to judge the films, the Beehive has taken to offering its best-of-the-fest with the Swedies.

All judging for this year’s awards was done by me, based on categories I chose and my knowledge of the form. Winners receive their names in this post (and forever in Google search) and the knowledge that they left me totally inspired.

You can see all the entries at Swede Fest site.

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Call for entries: Swede Fest 14


Organizers of Fresno’s Swede Fest have opened submissions for the fourteenth edition of the low- or no-budget parody film festival, taking place 5 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Tower Theatre.

The announcement comes just in time for Halloween, which means you may have your costuming done. That’s two birds with one stone.

For consideration in the festival, films must be no longer than four minutes and suitable for all ages and entered by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 17.

Swede Fest, is an internationally known festival loosely based on Michael Gondry’s 2008 film “Be Kind Rewind,” and spawned several satellite festivals on the East Coast. A “sweded” film is a summarized recreation of a popular movie. It takes the best (and often the worst) of Hollywood and combines it with the creativity and ingenuity of the biggest film fans. The results can be epic, as in the case of Dumb Drum’s series of scene-for-scene movie-trailer recreations.

Swede Fest is free and open to all ages thanks to the generous sponsorship of Fresno Filmworks, The Tower Theatre and Geekwise Academy.

Check out previous festival submissions.

Call for entries: Swede Fest 13

Swede-02-01Swede Fest, the low- or no-budget parody film festival, has announced a call for submissions for Swede Fest 13, May 17 at the Tower Theatre.

You have right around two months to put an entry together before the deadline, 11:59 p.m. May 12, but the first 20 entries get screened, so there’s benefit in getting yours in early. Films must be under 4 minutes suitable for all ages. Submission is free and open to the public (film makers of all ages are encouraged).

To get a sense for the festival, here are some previous submissions.

On a side note: This year, the Swede Fest coincides with Kingsburg’s annual Swedish Festival.

The Swedies: Swede Fest XII awards

1292850_10151576155731595_1138219569_oSwede Fest XII (that’s 12 for those who don’t count in Rocky numerals) happened this weekend at the Tower Theatre. It was a packed house.

While the semi-annual celebration of sweded films isn’t actually judged, The Beehive has made it habit to hand out awards for what we see as the best of the fest. You can see all the entries at Swede Fest site. Winners receive their names in this post (which they can feel free to link on IMDB) and my sincerest admiration (seriously, the efforts are inspiring).

And the Swedies go to:

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The Swedies: Swede Fest XI awards

SwedeFest11-PosterThough it’s called Swede Fest, Fresno’s semi-annual (that mean’s twice a year, right?) celebration of sweded films isn’t judged like many festivals (It’s not judged at all). But being the arbiters of art that we are, we here at The Beehive have taken to handing out awards for what we see as the best of the fest. Swede Fest XI happened last night at a packed Tower Theatre. You can see all the entries at Swede Fest site. Winners receive their names in this post, which they can feel free to link on IMDB.

And the Swedies go to:

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Swede Fest + “Be Kind Rewind,” May 19

SwedeFest11-PosterHere is a Swede Fest two-for-one.

  • Fresno’s favorite low- (or no) budget film festival, Swede Fest, returns to the Tower Theatre 6 p.m. May 19. For those not familiar, this is the only film festival dedicated to sweded films. A “sweded” film is a summarized recreation of a Hollywood movie using friends as actors (and directors and camera people). Homemade props and costumes are also encouraged. This will be the festival’s 11th installment.
  • Before the festival, Fresno Filmworks will present a special screening of “Be Kind Rewind,” the 2008 film that inspired the whole “sweding” movement. Tickets are $5 and are available in advance at the Tower Theatre box office or the Filmworks website. Admission to Swede Fest is free.
  • If you are interest in submitting a film, entries are being accepted through May 13. You have until 11:59 p.m. Films should be under four minutes in length and suitable for all ages. Contact organizers for more information on the event, rules for submission or to see entries from past Swede Fests.

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Announced: Swede Fest 11 entry deadline

SwedeFest_11Teaser-01-285x300Would-be film makers: It’s time to pull that cardboard out of recycling, sharpen up the box cutters and get to work on costumes for the next Swede Fest.

You have until May 13 to come up with your take on a film classic for entry into Swede Fest 11. Once again, only the first 20 entries will be accepted, so even though the deadline is two-months out you’ll want to get to work ASAP.

Other stuff to remember: The time limit is 4 minutes, the film must be suitable for all ages and contain no content that violates any law.

If you need some inspiration, check out the festival’s previous entries, or Dumbdrum‘s shot-for-shot remake of the “Pacific Rim” trailer, which is currently getting much-deserved buzz. These guys have elevated the art of the Swede and should be applauded for continuing to push the boundaries of low-budget film making.

Viralling: The sweded ‘Iron Man 3′ trailer is all up in your Internets

Looks like they did it again. The “Iron Man 3″ trailer that was sweded by Fresno nerds The Dumb Drum and debuted at Sunday’s Swede Fest X at Tower Theatre, is all over the Internet. You might recall their previous efforts, particularly their sweded “Avengers” trailer, have conquered the geekiest corners of the web and racked up hundreds of thousands of YouTube views.

So far, their “Iron Man 3″ swede has been featured on the front page of Buzzfeed, YahooMTV Geek, The Superficial, First Showing, Devour, I Am BoredUproxx, iGeekTrooper,  Vulture and Slash Film, which declared it better than a Jimmy Fallon sweded trailer. This list and the vid’s view count — currently 15,000 in about a day — should continue to grow. Help that by watching the video below:

On a Swede Fest note: Organizers Bryan Harley and Roque Rodriguez say Sunday’s event, its first at Tower Theatre, drew 500 people, which is a good crowd for the Tower, which seats about 761.  Other swedes from the festival should be up today. Check

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than taking the new downtown ice rink for a spin or watching the Veterans Day parade.

Swede Fest is bigger and better, back for its 10th installment Sunday. It’s happening at Tower Theatre, a dream realized for organizers of this quirky film festival.  It showcases low-budget parodies made by everyone from average joes to seasoned pros. Creativity, ingenuity and a sense of humor are king at Swede Fest, so you never know what you’re going to see. It’s free and open to movie lovers of all ages. For more on Swede Fest’s growth and rise to popularity, read this Q & A with the organizers. [More]

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Fres-Know: The ‘Scoopy for President’ edition

WATCH THIS: Latest episode of  “Nothing to Do.” [GottaLoveFresno]

NEWS: City Council votes down Mayor’s requested dough for downtown. [The Bee]

ENDORSED: Obama’s second term by The Bee’s editorial board. [The Bee]

CHECK THIS: Parker’s trip to the San Francisco Giants victory parade. [Storify]

THIS WEEKEND: Two Cities Marathon. Plan your church routes carefully, Northsiders. [The Bee]

VINTAGE: A look back at the 1939 Fresno State football jerseys. [Uni Watch]

WATCH THIS: New promo for next weekend’s Swede Fest. [YouTube]

PWNED: Fresno Teachers Association, by Bill McEwen [The Bee]

ANNOUNCED: Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals’ annual honorees, banquet. [FLYP]

FROM THE BLOGROLL: Livening up your Day of the Dead. [Fashionably Bombed]

Mark your calendar: Swede Fest X

Swede Fest is back on Nov. 11 for its tenth installment — yes, tenth. How cool is that this funky little event has stuck around as long as it has and continued to grow? Signs of that growth are definitely evident this time.

This newest Swede Fest has two cool new things going for it: It’s moving to the Tower Theatre this time (the most fitting home, methinks) and Fresno Arts Council is on board now to award $50 “micro” swede grants. Deadline to apply for the grants is Tuesday, Oct. 23. More info on the Swede Fest site.

If you’re unfamiliar with Swede Fest, it’s a homegrown film festival started by Roque and Bryan from Dumb Drum. Inspired by the film “Be Kind Rewind,” Swede Fest invites people to remake a movie as a “swede” — a low-budget parody, where humor and creative use of props often trumps film-making acumen. The point, simply, is to get people interested in making movies, while having some fun in the process.

Since Swede Fest’s humble beginnings (in a small downtown art gallery), it’s grown to the point where it draws standing-room-only crowds and gets national press exposure (NPR, yo!) Even with that, the point is still the same: Anybody is welcome to create a swede of their favorite film. Deadline to submit one is Nov. 5, so you better get working.

It’s about to get all Swedish up in here


Oh snap, guys, have you heard the Swedes are taking us over for the next week? And by that, I mean the people and the movies.

Tonight is the start of Kingsburg Swedish Festival, the popular annual celebration of the culture of Sweden. There’s traditional dancing, smorgasbord, costumes, all that kinda stuff. It runs through Saturday night.

Next Thursday is the ninth Swede Fest, which has nothing to do with Sweden and is actually about movies. It’s an interesting turn of Swedish fate (or maybe a conspiracy?) that these two events lined up in the same week.

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Welcome to the Internet, Gotta Love Fresno


A new Fresno-centric web portal for videos launched this morning. It’s called Gotta Love Fresno ( and it’s backed by Comcast. Fresno is one of six cities in which Comcast launched similar sites as part of its Project Open Voice.

Much like YouTube, anybody can upload content to Gotta Love Fresno. Unlike YouTube, the folks behind Gotta Love Fresno invested in our local Internet community, commissioning new, original shows from some faces you’re probably familiar with. (Because it needs to be said: Kudos to Comcast to shelling out some money and getting behind some proven voices, instead of just recycling content.)

Gotta Love Fresno has three clip-style shows that’ll have new episodes weekly:

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Calling all local film-making enthusiasts — The Germ wants you


In the same community-film-making spirit as Swede Fest and the Lookie-Loo Showdown, comes The Germ.

It’s the brainchild of Windsong Productions, which is offering up various “germs” — basically a prompt or inspiration — for people to turn into film.

Windsong’s Anthony Taylor — who you might remember as a local actor, blogger and hate-mail enactor — explains in more detail:

Very simply, it’s us creating a reason, source of inspiration and a set of parameters to create a film. We’re inviting people to go make a film from the same Germ and then share it with others at our first Germ event on January 26th. Anyone is invited to participate. Filmmakers, photographers…writers, artists…executives, administrative staff…baristas, accountants…if you’ve considered expressing yourself through the medium of film or video, we want to see what you’ve got.

Head over to to get even more germy and wrap your brain around the first challenge.

Obviously, I need to step up my parenting game

You know, being a new parent is hard enough without having to deal with the pressures of those *perfect* parents around you. Here I am trying to figure out how to keep my eight-month-old out of the dog’s water bowl, and I have people like Nate Smith and Emily Cleaver going around making me look like I’m not nearly as awesome as I could be.

Case in point, this is how Nate Smith teaches his son not to touch things:


What have I been doing with my life?!? At my house, we’ve been trying to teach Baby Oz the word “No,” but that’s not really working as well as it could. So from now, I’m going to yell, “Stop! Hammer Time!” Maybe that’ll help.

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The Swedies: Swede Fest 8 awards


Once again, The Beehive is honored to host the semi-regular Swedies, the only semi-legitimate awards covering the Swede Fest.

Swede Fest — the homegrown festival dedicated to low-budget movie remaking — held its eighth event on Saturday, a standing-room-only affair at Full Circle Brewing Co. Swede Fest 8 represented a new height for the festival in terms of attendance, entrants and all around hype. Swedes came from around the Valley, and around the world — France, Australia and New York.

Picking winners for Swede Fest 8 was also the toughest of all the festivals I’ve attended. But below you’ll find what impressed me. You can watch all the films for yourself at, then come argue with me. Oh, one note, for obvious reasons, I’m not considering “The Avengers: Sweded” for any awards. It’s already conquered the Internet. It can live without a Swedie.

To all the rest of the winners: Take a screenshot of this post and make it your desktop image at work, then tell all your co-workers you won a Swedie, then spend the next 10 minutes attempting to explain what the heck that is. Congrats!

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

While you sharpen up your Tetris skills

Lindy Perry — the former 4 Non Blondes singer and songwriter/producer whose credits include Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Grew Stefani and Alicia Keys — brings her new band Deep Dark Robot to Audie’s Olympic tonight. Read more in this interview with Perry from today’s Bee. [Info]


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Shameless self promo: Sexy Oz


This Saturday night I’ll be playing some tunes at Tokyo Garden and helping Creative Fresno raise money for more downtown murals.

It’s part of Creative Fresno’s “Sexy” DJ series — and to make sure Sexy Oz lives up to the name, my wife is going to be there. *Wocka, Wocka*

Keeping with the theme of the night, you can expect sexy and smooth tunes, ranging from 90s R & B (but not the stuff that’s on The Beat all the time), indie rock, electro-pop, hip-hop, etc.

Money raised goes toward Creative Fresno’s mural project — which has helped erect many murals around downtown.

If you’re heading up Swede Fest on Saturday — and you should — this will be a great afterparty.

Get more info or RSVP on Facebook.

Frebby Awards: videos & winners

The Fresno interwebs patted itself on the back last night at the second annual Frebby Awards, held at Fulton 55.

I’m proud to say that I was among the winners for my work here on The Beehive, so thanks to everybody who reads all my “information.” As a whole, the Fresno blogosphere was well represented among the winners. Here’s the list:

There’s a long list of honorable mentions you can see at The Daily Dues. Congrats to everyone.

Now that all that award stuff is out of the way, I need to say something about the videos. They were great — my favorite part of the Frebbys. The wonderful intro video (see above) was made by Windsong Productions and stars Frebby host Zara Arboleda of CBS 47. Each category had an intro video, created by folks like Dumb Drum and Dead in 60 Years — and those were quite entertaining. Some of them are below for your enjoyment.

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Frebby Awards: The top 20 nominees


This year’s Frebby Awards are Thursday night at Fulton 55, and seven local web-centric companies, services or people are going to walk away with 20-pound statues anointing them as online “standard-setters.”

Who will win? You have to wait until Thursday night’s ceremony — tickets cost $15 and are available here if you want to watch with your own eyes.

For now you can peruse which entries, out of the 60-some-odd submitted, that Frebby judges decided were the best. These 20 scored the highest across all seven categories and are essentially the “finalists.”

Here they are, in no particular order:

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Fres-Know: Our Fuse is lit. Is yours?


GO TO THIS: Lineup announced for this year’s Fuse Fest. [The Fresnan]

LOOK: Swede Fest 8 poster is dope. Oh, start your Swedes too. [Dumb Drum]

NEWS: We finally got $100K from Walmart. [The Bee]

KNOW THIS: List of 9/11 events in the Valley. [The Bee]

BLOGGINGS: Worst Flier of the Week … politics version? [Daily Dues]

BLOGGINGS: Is Fresno ready for an adults-only movie theater? [CBS 47]

LAW & ORDER: Fistacuffs outside Fresno State-Cal game. [SF Appeal]

YUM: Start drooling over these weekend food events. [Taste Fresno]

BLOGGINGS: Fresno Burger Wars continue: Five Guys vs. In-N-Out. [Fresno Bites]

NEWS: Chaffee Zoo breaks ground on Sea Lion exhibit. [The Bee]

A beautiful Saturday


I’m talking inside, not outside. On a truly busy weekend, I managed to cram in three events in one day:

Gala piano concert. Olga Quercia and Matthew Horton put on a beautiful duo piano recital of Gershwin songs (plus a nod to Louis Armstrong) at Fresno City College. It was the first big-deal concert to take place in the gorgeously renovated Old Administration Building auditorium. The space is stunning.

Swede Fest 7. Full Circle Brewing Co. was jammed for the 25-Swede extravaganza. Nothing like hanging out with a bunch of Swedes on a warm spring night! (And we’re talking about the amateur depiction of famous movie moments, not the festival in Kingsburg, which is where one person I talked to at the next event I attended assumed I’d gone to when I told her I’d been Sweding.)

“Sing Out, Louise!” A star-studded homage to the music of Stephen Sondheim, this exhilarating concert featured great vocal talent from local theater folks. (More to come, including additional photos by Kyle Lowe, later this afternoon.)

I missed a lot of things, too, including the Fresno Philharmonic’s Eagles concert. I’m curious how that went.

How’d you spend the weekend?

2010 Rewind: Favorite event of the year?


It’s the last week of the year, a perfect time for The Beehive to look back at our favorite moments of 2010.

We’ll have posts each day this week on different topics (our favorite Fresno additions, our favorite releases of the year, etc). We start today with our favorite events of the year.

Check out our picks, then leave your own in the comments.

HEATHER: My favorite event was Swedefest, parts 5 and 6. I submitted a video for each festival; the first was a parody of “Forrest Gump,” the second was “Raising Arizona.” Both films featured my brother James — we had a lot of fun filming them and then having an audience watch the fruits of our labor. And, of course, watching the other Swede entries is always a good time.

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The Swedies: Swede Fest 6 awards


Welcome to the third semi-regular Swedies, the Fresno sweding community’s most prestigious award ceremony — that is, until Fresno Mag adds a category to the “Best of the Fresno” awards.

Saturday’s Swede Fest 6 was a standing-room-only hit at Starline, bringing together a wide ranges of ages to marvel at the inventive, low-budget and all around wacky local film-making. There was a full dockets of films — 15 total — with a number of great performances.

Without further ado, here are the Swedie winners. Honorees win the chance to print out this post, highlight their names and put it on their refrigerators. Highlighter not included.

- Best Motion Picture (drama): “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”
- Best motion picture (comedy/musical): “The Three Amigos”
- Best Actor: James McLane, “Raising Arizona” (and briefly in “The Three Amigos”)
- Best actress: Brittany Stapleton, “Psycho”
- Best supporting actor: Ryan Jones, “The Big Lebowski”
- Best supporting actress: Petra Carter, “Citizen Kane”
- Best director: (tie) John Rios, “The Breakfast Club” and 5-year-old Jimmy Cosentino, “A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit.”
- Best cinematography: Kyle Lowe, “Mean Girls.”
- Best props: “The Godfather”
- Best costume design: “Planet of the Apes”
- Best swede filmed over dinner: “The Wizard of Oz … at Yoshino’s”
- Best Mike Oz cameo: “The Wizard of Oz … at Yoshino’s”

Watch all the swedes from Swede Fest 6 (or any past ones) at If you went to the event, you should take this survey and give the Swede Fest dudes some feedback.