Pasty Northerners Document The World. A critique of “Off The Cuf”

Episode 1: The Pennsic war: The Largest Roleplaying event in the world.

What happens when two talented filmmakers from Northern Minnesota explore the United States with nothing but the clothes on their back their cameras fully charged and the will to make amazing content? You get “Off The Cuff” Flutter Brothers newest project, a web series, that covers the wildest and weirdest locations in the great country of the U.S.

Flutter Brothers debut episode of Off The Cuff gets nerdy. With live action roleplay a long ways from ol’ Minnestoa in a 42 minute episode.

My first impression is the excitement, the energy level of hosts Chris and Harris is equal to that of an overweight cat laying in the sun. Which hardly hooks in my attention initially. First impressions aside the content is intriguing. Harris is the consistent voice as the episode goes on and details information about the history and rules of the event.

20 minutes in just about all of the information that can be said about Pennsic in this documentary format is covered and the visuals switch to first person battling in the actual RP wars of the event. I love how Chris’s Minnesota side comes out and he does his Minnesota ancestors proud ( presumably vikings) by yelling out manners during the thick of battle. Wrinkled foam sticks and padded armored figures blur around the battlefield leaving tennis shoe imprints in the mud as far as the gopro can see and Chris is like ” Excuse me!” ” How are you?”. That cracked me up.

I dig the celtic music.

I dig the celtic music. The visuals are nice enough with evenly exposed footage all around. The font and effects on the text fit only because they were well established. I think “glitch” effects on the reveal of the titles were a little off-period but like I said it fits because there is little effort towards immersing the viewer in the period of Pennsic. During the interview of Stephan and his wife towards the end of the episode there is a clear sound of a large truck underneath conversation about being authentically in the 14th century. Which was hilarious.

The ending 10 minutes or so are definitely most interesting with shots of the market and information about the new generations of event goers to Pennsic.

Overall, I feel well informed and mildly entertained at the information put in this episode. Episodes teased after this one look great. I get a Vice vibe from Flutter Brothers approach to shot choice and storytelling but drastically different choices of places to cover that put it in a Public Access setting.

Episodes of Off The Cuff can be seen for free on Amazon.com or at this link:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R6PKR45

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