Tim Conway

Being able to talk to Tim Conway presents many possibilities—what was it like to work with Sandra Bullock in Speed II: Cruise Control? What’s the methodology behind Dorf Does Golf?

Of course, that’s not the Tim Conway we spoke to, so those questions must wait.

St. John’s Tim Conway runs Capitol Video (134 Military Rd) and sits on the board for the Nickel Film Festival.

If you’ve ever been disillusioned by video stores stocking 100 copies of You, Me & Dupree, but not having a single Bunuel, you’ll love Capitol Video. Where else can you rent David Lynch shorts, The Virgin Spring and Braddock: Missing In Action III at the same time? We recently spoke to Conway about filmmaking, Tarantino and Space Jam.

What prompted Capitol Video’s extensive selection of foreign and classic films?: “Customer requests, mostly.”

What trends have you seen from emerging filmmakers at the Nickel?: “With the advent of cheaper cameras, people confuse independent with amateur. Film was once expensive, and there was a lot you had to learn before you shot your first frame. …So people who wanted to get into filmmaking used to go to film school. Nowadays, if Johnny’s parents are rich enough to buy him a camcorder, he thinks he can make the next Tarantino film.”

So, only negative trends then?: “No. I think for anybody who’s willing to take that first step, there’s promise there. There are talented people out there and there are people out there who need to work. Tarantino’s a good example, ‘cause he learned by watching films. Everything he does, he learned from somewhere else; he’s the film equivalent of a music sampler.”

What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve seen in working at Capitol?: We used to have—from a studio courting Oscar voters—a promo piece that pushed a best actor Oscar for Michael Jordan in Space Jam. Unbelievable. You own the rights to a goldmine like Bugs Bunny and you have him play basketball with Michael Jordan.

­— Adam Clarke