Monday, May 30, 2005

The Difficult Questions

I dug this up this morning - it's most of the text of the email I sent to Wienerschnitzel's PR people, trying to get an interview with the VP of Marketing. They had demanded I send a copy of any questions I would be asking, so I did...


Subject: Questions for the interview

Hey Adam:

Here are my preliminary questions for the interview. Obviously they are mostly tongue-in-cheek (like the whole film). This might not be all the questions but gives you a gyst of the tone. Please let me know asap if we can finalize a date so I can lock in my crew.

[crap deleted]

I'm having a terrible time getting anyone from Adville [Wienerschnitzel's PR company] returning [sic] my calls. I really don't understand what the problem is. This is a film about Wiener Dog Racing. I don't know what they are afraid of but any help you could give me in getting them to participate would be greatly appreciated.

This film will be great for Wienerschnitzel - it's going to be a family film that will have wide appeal. But if Adville doesn't cooperate it makes it look like Wienerschitzel has something to hide (which is retarded but still kinda funny).

If you have a list of dates/contact people for the events I'd really love a copy so I can schedule my crew. I was also hoping that you might be able to get me a letter from Tom et al giving me permission to film these events - that way I don't have to deal with Adville at all.

Again thanks sooo much for all your help. You're going to be in my credits.
If you need to get in touch with my I can be reached at 858-XXX-XXXX.


PS - check out
  • Tell me about the history of the Wiener Nationals.
  • How critical are the Wiener Nats to the Wienerschnitzel marketing effort?
  • What are your favorite memories of the Wiener Nationals?
  • Who are some of the more memorable or famous characters you've met?
  • Some people really seem to take the Wiener Nats to heart. Have you had any run-ins with these people?
  • Some racers complain that others cheat by "launching" their dogs. Have you seen this happen? Is it forbidden under International Wiener Dog Racing Federation rules?
  • Are there any formal rules for the wiener nats? How are they developed? Is there a world governing body?
  • Is there any gambling on the Wiener Nationals? If so, can you hook me up?
  • How are the judges chosen and trained?
  • The DCA has come out in opposition to wiener dog races. What's your stance on this? How do you allay their fears of wiener dog racing becoming a for-profit circuit?
  • Would you be tempted to go to a track that had nothing but wiener dog racing?
  • I understand that the Wiener National events have raised money for humane societies across the country. Do you know how much money has been raised?
  • Noodles seems to have had the hardest time of all of the dogs - two years in a row he was robbed (the owner's words) and in 2004 he finally won. Unfortunately this year Orlando at Los Alamitos is not going to let Noodles run and defend his title. Do you think that's fair? Would you like to see Noodlesbe able to defend his title?
  • The Noodles and Pretzel rivalry was one of the more legendary wiener dog racing battles. Have there been any other rivalries that you can remember?
  • What's the fastest winning time for a Wiener Nats?
  • In your opinion, Who was the best champion wiener dog racer - Noodles or Baron?

Pretty hard-hitting stuff huh? I can see why any VP Marketing worth his salt would go scurrying to the hills. WHAT IS WIENERSCHNITZEL HIDING???

Wienerschnitzel Officially Sucks

Ok, we’re through the looking glass. Wienerschnitzel is officially refusing to give us any interviews on camera, or cooperate with our film in any way whatsoever. Why? Because I had this picture on our website… well as another pic of me getting my stitches out. Wienerschnitzel's PR flacks said they are concerned that I won’t reflect well on their “family values”. I explained to their PR people that the first photo I don’t even own – I posted it because I thought it was cute (it is), and the second was for my friends who wanted to see the stitches in my arm. Neither is destined for the film, and my site gets 10 hits a day (at most) - from blood relatives. My pleas fell on deaf ears.

The more I think about it, the angrier I get. “Wienerschnitzel has wholesome values and an image we need to uphold”??? Wha...wholesome??? You feed kids hotdogs

Here’s what Wikipedia says about hotdogs…

  • Hot dogs are generally regarded as unhealthy insofar as most have high sodium, fat and nitrate content. Contents can also be questionable, with cheaper types of hot dogs having been known to contain snouts, ears and organ meat blended.
Hmmm, I guess those high moral values involve feeding kids wholesome fatty chili-covered crap. For the record, I DO NOT ENDORSE GIVING WIENER DOG PUPPIES BEER OR SMOKES. Wait until they are 3 years old, the legal wiener dog age of consent, and even then only let them drink if they're REALLY Jonesing. I guess what I'm trying to say is "moderation" people...

Back to reality, I suspect the *real* reasons Wienerschnitzel won’t speak to me are:

  1. They seemed to be very panicked at the 2004 party that we *may* have filmed a couple of their executives drinking (but not drunk). Gee, drinking at a party - not exactly a scandal... I promised that we would not use any footage of people drinking – but that didn’t seem to satisfy them.

  2. They were also (or so they say) unaware that the Dachshund Club of America is officially opposed to wiener dog races for a variety of reasons. I had told Wienerschnitzel that I’d like to get their side of the story. They have declined. Fine. I guess I’ll tell their side for them.
Seems pretty bizarre (and pathetic) that a company that sponsors an event won't go on camera to speak about said event. What the hell are they hiding? It's WIENER DOG RACING!!! How controversial can it be??? Corporate America is running scared and I blame Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock - they've ruined it for the rest of us documentary filmmakers! Dammit Mike and Morgan, you owe me!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Tucson party and doping allegations

We just got back from Tucson for Vinnie Barbarino's birthday. We met Vinnie and his owner Paul Aman at last year's Wiener Nationals in San Diego, and drove out to interview them both as well as get a spring time split. Vinnie's time were impressive - he's a real contender - when he stays focused. I'm pretty sure Vinny has a serious case of canine ADD - he has a predisposition to chasing dogs in other lanes instead of focusing on winning his race. But when he runs straight he's very fast.

The party was a blast and we had a fun interview with Paul. One surprising accusation that he made is that Noodles was "juiced up" at the finals. We're going to investigate the allegation to see if there's any substance to them. We'll keep you posted...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Heidi Spring Visit - Noodles Loses!

We met up with Heidi Roo at the Riverside Dachshund Rescue Picnic, where she set a blistering pace for her spring time trial. That dog loves to run – at the picnic they had wiener dog races, and Heidi was going berserk as she watched other dogs racing – she wanted a piece of them so badly. Noodles made a surprise appearance with his owners, and was upset in his match with Stretch, one of the regulars at Huntington Beach’s Old World monthly wiener races. Hopefully this was just a glitch. Could it be that Noodles is losing his touch? Doubtful.

We also met up with Skittles, a sweet little doxie that suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of a “man of god”. I’ve attached some video of our meeting with her.