I tended to focus on entertainment and pop culture stories, everything from interviewing Justin Bieber when he was touring to a story about a survivalist who likes to eat frogs. I tend to like the humorous content.
What piqued your interest?
I wanted it to be a two-minute story. It sounded like the weirder version of Ultimate Frisbee. I noticed that New Zealanders were being flown over and being paid good money to be tickled. What elevated it was when they responded that they did not want to deal with a homosexual journalist. That was such a dismiss of what the videos were and what they seemed to be about. I thought, there has to be more here. Dylan saw my post and poked around as well.
How did they know you were gay, David?
There was debate going on about gay marriage in New Zealand at the time so it was a hot topic. They Googled my name and found out I was in a relationship with another guy and I took offense with the replies we got.
We started independently. David was writing about it and I was intrigued, wondering who was behind this. I was wondering if it was real. I started looking at domain names. Both of us started getting legal threats and it was getting complicated to write about. I went to his house and we thought a documentary made sense.
Did either of you know anything about tickling?
Farrier: There is a fetish for everything but I had never thought about tickling before. We discovered a lot of people like it in a sexual way. We talked to Richard, a profes-
What was it like taking the film to Sundance?
It was amazing. It was the first time we watched the finished film with an audience. It was nerve-racking and surreal but validating in many ways.
So we understand that when visiting Richard [the professional tickler], you tried getting tickled?
Reeve: It was pretty difficult. It’s one thing being tickled as a joke, or by your brother growing up, but strapped in and not being able to get away, you’re laughing - but it’s not at all funny.