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Animal House Of Blues World Premiere @ Eugene International Film Festival, Oct. 20, 7:00 PM

October 13th, 2012 by Anne Richardson · 1 Comment · 2010's, News, Oregon director, Oregon editor, Oregon film, Oregon film new definition, Oregon film old definition, Oregon location (primary), Oregon producer, Oregon singer, Oregon writer, Oregonians as inspiration, Videos


On October 20, at 7:00 PM at Valley River Center, the Eugene International Film Festival presents the world premiere of Animal House Of Blues, a student made feature length documentary about the contributions Eugene made to Animal House (1978) and The Blues Brothers (1979).

Katherine Wilson remembers getting the call which started it all. She was at her desk in the Oregon Film Factory, a Eugene production company, where she worked as a casting agent.

Q: How large was Oregon Film Factory?

A: They had exactly two 16mm cameras. One was on loan from Ken Kesey.

Throughout the 1970’s, Ken Kesey was king. Bill Murray, John Belushi’s fellow Saturday Night Live cast member, attended a Poetic Hoo Haw on the Kesey farm in 1976. In the photo below, Murray holds a microphone while Kesey operates a video camera.

Murray attended the Hoo Haw as part of a video collective which also claimed Harold Ramis, one of the writers of Animal House, as a member. Murray was not yet part of Saturday Night Live.

Belushi traveled between Eugene and New York to make weekly appearances on Saturday Night Live throughout the duration of the Animal House shoot. Here he is with his back to the camera, waiting to film the cafeteria/food fight scene in Erb Memorial Union.

Actor by day, Belushi was a music student by night.

The centerpiece of Animal House of Blues is a fascinating chorale of four interwoven eyewitness accounts, none of which corroborate each other, of the first encounter between John Belushi and Eugene blues musician Curtis Salgado. Floored by Salgado’s stage presence and musicianship, which he first witnessed at the Eugene Hotel, Belushi initiated a friendship/mentorship which would culminate in the creation of Jake and Elwood Blues. One of the eyewitness accounts comes from Salgado himself, a tart, unsentimental presence in a film which easily could have become wall to wall nostalgia.

The teacher/student relationship got off to a rocky start because Salgado had never watched Saturday Night Live, and had no idea who Belushi was. The first Blues Brothers album, Briefcase Of Blues, would be dedicated to Salgado, and the character of Curtis, played by Cab Calloway in The Blues Brothers, is named in tribute to him.

Animal House of Blues uses interviews and archival photos to trace the intertwined history of two classic Hollywood comedies, one shot in Eugene, and the other inspired by a Eugene musician. A big bonus: One of the most respected online film critics in the blogosphere, Dennis Cozzalio, appears in Animal House Of Blues to speak about his experience as an extra. That’s Dennis in the yellow cardigan, below.

Animal House Of Blues was written and produced by Katherine Wilson, directed by Jay Richardson (no relation), and edited by Jay Richardson and Matt Brauer. I hereby claim it as an Oregon film, based on multiple qualifying criteria.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Steve Wickham // Oct 14, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Nice review and overview of the film. We are all looking forward to this documentary to take off. Katherine and her crew worked really hard on the movie and the documentary. She deserves to have this documentary get the accolades it deserves. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard on it.

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