Private Project

STAREMASTER: The Lost Tapes and 2002 Championship

STAREMASTER: The Lost Tapes and 2002 Championship is a captivating seven episode mini-series that dramatizes to absurdity a weeklong tour by the STAREMASTER project, a staring contest game show in which contestants compete against one another for the title of STAREMASTER Champion.

Originally an hour-long film, STAREMASTER: The Movie, was first produced in 2003 and focused only on the climactic final night, the Tournament of Champions. That film gained minor cult status as it was passed hand-to-hand on VHS cassettes around the Lower East Side of NYC in the early 2000’s. This elusive VHS document was the origin story of a 20+ year narrative arc that has generated volumes of press and created opportunities for performances at international music festivals, multi-media Art installations and even a spin-off Japanese Gameshow pilot. Despite its impact, the lack of digital preservation meant the original film, along with its colourful characters, slowly faded into obscurity, becoming urban legend.

That was the story until almost 20 years later during the 2020 pandemic, when a box containing “the lost tapes” of raw footage from the 2002 tour were re-discovered. These historical artifacts were carefully digitized, meticulously re-edited, and lovingly restored.

The resulting mini-series is a verite bar-hopping whirlwind and an intimate portrait of a small town in Florida from a time before the internet; a place where “nothing” was happening and nothing was being taken very seriously. With a deadpan sense of seriousness and purpose, the series also delivers a playful critique of popular entertainment and without resorting to heavy-handed polemics, it calls into question the increasingly arbitrary distinction between spectators and the spectacle.

  • sean linezo
  • sean linezo
  • jay hufford
  • Jaimes Miller
    Key Cast
  • Adam Moon
    Key Cast
  • Wes Sparks
    Key Cast
  • Phread Touchette
    Key Cast
  • Melissa Hills
    Key Cast
  • Patrick Gillan
    Key Cast
  • John Loftis
    Key Cast
  • Eric "Elvis" Jones
    Key Cast
  • Dave Wiggin
    Key Cast
  • jay hufford
    2002 Director
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    2 hours 43 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 9, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - sean linezo

Sean Linezo (a.k.a. AnArchivist) is a co-founder of the 309 Punk Project, a non-profit local history archive and artist residency program in Pensacola, Florida. Since 1999 he has travelled the world extensively, recording video and collecting oral histories of subcultures and indigenous communities. Since the 2020 lockdown he has begun a transition from obsessively collecting and producing data to editing and publishing elements from his archive.

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Director Statement

In a STAREMASTER battle, the longer that "nothing" happens... the more dramatic it becomes. I have been taking nothing very seriously for over 20 years and feel like its finally time to make sense out of all of this nonsense... so with The Lost Tapes and 2002 Championship we go back to the beginning, to the first chapter of our trilogy, to the very origins of The Staremaster Project in the year 2000. After the miniseries, we already have 2 sequel films that create a narrative arc around the world that unfolds over 20 years, following the same group of international characters as we produce the grand finale! The spectacle of spectacles!! The moment we will all be waiting for when it finally happens... the Staremaster World Championship!!!