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Interview with Jonathan Karsh

-Page 3

By Fred Topel and Rebecca Murray

What are you working on now?
I'm doing other documentaries now. I'm doing a film for MTV that I really love and I'm excited about, and another one for AMC that I'm really excited about. One is for the "True Life" series on MTV called "I'll Do Anything For Money," and it's college kids who are donating sperm and eggs and donating their bodies to science. I'm shooting that all myself and creatively it's really fun to put that together and get it on the air in February.

How do you distinguish it from "Jackass?"
Oh, it's completely different. They're not doing stunts for money. "Jackass" is stunts. This is people who really need money who are finding creative ways to doing it - like sperm donors, egg donors, that sort of thing. There's nothing "Jackass" about donating your egg. It's a pretty invasive serious procedure that women go through. And the other film is for AMC about celebrity look-alikes. They're all very different films. I don't want to do the same kind of thing again and again. I like the idea of mixing it up.

How did you find these subjects?
For MTV, it was a casting process through MTV. They cast the net wide across the country to colleges to say, "What are you doing for money?" People wrote in. And for AMC, it was just a lot of research to find celebrity look-alike agents. But it's not hard with the Internet nowadays to research any film. Thanks to Google and the Internet, it's not too difficult.

Whose look-alikes did you find?
I went to the Look-alike Convention in Las Vegas. There are two Willie Nelsons, four Britney Spears, two Sean Connerys, a Steven Spielberg, a Robert DeNiro and a Gilligan, all having a drink at the bar. I think that's going to air in January.

Anything else you'd like to say?
Just that people seem to have the reaction to the Tom family that I had meeting them. They are initially skeptical. A couple minutes later, they get sucked in and by the end, they're bonded to one kid or another and they're profoundly affected in some way. So I just hope that people hear that and give this film a chance and go see it in a movie theater. It was a lot of hard work to get it to where it is, and it's been really well received. It won two awards at Sundance. So it's a film that I hope people see and enjoy.

Do you want to make narrative films?
I really love documentaries. I really believe truth is stranger, weirder, more bizarre, wonderful, frightening, and poignant than fiction.

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