After what some might call a post-apocalyptic week, Scott’s Pizza Tours might just be the documentary to remind you that you can have fun again. The documentary follows the life of Scott Wiener, pizza enthusiast and New York’s slice-spirit guide, letting you in on the secrets of New York’s unparalleled pies. We interviewed director Ryan Jones to tell us more about the film and why this is the doc you’ll be craving. Scott’s Pizza Tours makes its world premiere at 2016 DOC NYC.
This isn’t what one might call a tradition subject for a documentary, when did you first become aware of Scott Wiener and what was your motivation to choose him as your subject?
I had known Scott for a few years through my wife, but I hadn’t had the chance to go on his pizza tour. I knew the depth of his knowledge, and his personality, so I had mentioned to my co-director, Shawn Willis, the idea of doing a doc about Scott, but it was kind of on the back-burner. Then I went on a tour and I was blown away. I called Shawn from the tour and said, “We need to do this movie immediately.” He is a true showman on the tour, and I knew that would translate on-screen. Plus, he’s talking about the most popular food in the world! We felt that it was a great combination of food doc and personal profile of this quirky pizza lover who has taken his passion and turned it into a successful business.
What do you hope the audience takes away from seeing Scott’s Pizza Tours?
We hope that the audience comes away with a better idea of the history and science of this food that everyone loves so much, but more importantly, we hope that Scott’s story inspires people to see what can be created from their own passions.
In a brief summary, can you tell our readers why they should see this documentary?
This is a movie about pizza, and Scott Weiner, a really lovely human being, who wants to tell you all about it. There are no skeletons in the closet, no dark secret life; it’s just a funny, uplifting story, and it’s the perfect escape from the post-election depression we’re all feeling.
That is an excellent sales point! So what’s next for you and the doc?
We’ve just re-cut the movie into a short, so we’re re-submitting to some other festivals that passed on the movie before. Next, we’re hoping to do a documentary about the rise and fall of Gawker.
Can you give tips to any prospective Documentary filmmakers?
The great thing about making a documentary is that you don’t have to have all the best gear, a huge production team, or a bunch of industry connections. All you need is a good story well told. Production quality can be forgiven, and the film will find its way to the public, so long as you tell an engaging story. So my advice is to just go for it. Don’t wait for the stars to align; just start shooting by any means necessary.
Did you run into any roadblocks trying to get Scott’s Pizza Tours made?
Our only roadblock was trying to hold a camera with one hand and eat a slice of pizza with the other.
You can get more information and buy tickets here.