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Tim and Eric drop a 'Billion' at Sundance

PARK CITY, Utah - Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are guilty of a bit of exaggeration with the title of their Sundance Film Festival premiere.

PARK CITY, Utah - Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are guilty of a bit of exaggeration with the title of their Sundance Film Festival premiere.

In "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie," the writer-directors play filmmakers who squander the biggest movie budget ever on helicopter rides to work, a personal guru and other extravagances.

In truth, their own expenses were in line with the low budgets on which Sundance filmmakers typically get by.

"Imagine what goes into the cost of one of these gifting suites at Sundance. It's probably close to the budget we had," Heidecker said, referring to the merchandise hotspots that pop up at the festival for stars to stop by and collect free swag.

"Billion Dollar Movie" marks the directing debut for Heidecker and Wareheim, the comedy team behind TV's "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" The movie is playing in Sundance's midnight section, a collection of over-the-top horror, action, comedy and other extreme films for night-owl crowds.

They also co-star in "The Comedy," director Rick Alverson's tale of aging, directionless Brooklyn hipsters that is among the 16 films in Sundance's U.S. dramatic competition.

Debuting on video-on-demand Friday and in theatres March 2, "Billion Dollar Movie" centres on efforts by Wareheim and Heidecker's characters to renovate a derelict shopping mall to earn back the $1 billion they owe for their cinematic misadventure.

The movie features such pals of the filmmakers as Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Will Forte, who all have appeared on Heidecker and Wareheim's TV show.

Both 35, Heidecker and Wareheim met in film school at Temple University in the mid-1990s. They found they shared a warped sense of humour and have been partnered up ever since.

"Billion Dollar Movie" blends the gross with the grosser, featuring gags about crude sex, penis piercings, scabby skin conditions and other crudities. It also includes subtler, off-kilter jokes.

"We like mixing some of those potty jokes with things that have some awkwardness," Wareheim said in an interview alongside Heidecker. "One of my favourite parts in the movie is when Tim takes a man's son and claims him as his own. So that kind of father-son awkwardness is something we really love."

"We try to mix the lowbrow with the highbrow and the no-brow. All over the place," Heidecker said. "Weird stuff and stuff that's manipulating the editing and sounds. Really kind of create a general seasickness feeling for the audience."

Co-star Forte said there's a late-night indigestion quality to Heidecker and Wareheim's comedy.

"I described it at some point as your dreams when you've eaten right before you went to sleep. Everything's a little crazier, a little more insane," Forte said. "It's hard to explain. They're definitely people, and they're saying words, but it's bonkers, the way they put everything together."




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