Joe Frantz of the CKY Crew
July 17, 1976
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Joseph "Joe" Frantz (born July 17, 1976) is an American filmmaker and author. He is a director, producer, cinematographer, and member of Bam Margera's CKY Crew. His body of works includes the CKY Video Series, Haggard The Movie, MTV reality television shows such as Viva La Bam and Bam's Unholy Union, the Jackass motion pictures, and music videos for bands such as HIM, CKY, Clutch, and The 69 Eyes. Frantz is also a collaborative co-author of the book Dreamseller, which he wrote with MTV / Jackass personality Brandon Novak. Frantz is also a television documentary producer and cinematographer whose works have aired on National Geographic, The History Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, and The Travel Channel.
- 1 CKY
- 2 Independent Films
- 3 Jackass
- 4 Reality TV
- 5 Music Videos and Documentaries
- 6 Dreamseller the book
- 7 Radio Bam
- 8 References
The CKY Video Series
Joe Frantz is noted for serving as cinematographer for the CKY Video Series, a predecessor to the Jackass franchise. The series was directed by Bam Margera and starred the CKY Crew and popular extreme sports icons such as Tony Hawk. As director of photography for CKY 3 and CKY4, Frantz introduced high production quality 35-millimeter and 16-millimeter film sequences to the action sports genre, which was then primarily shot on various low quality videotape formats. Among the most noted film segments in the CKY Videos are the "Shopping Cart Slams" and the "HeMan BeastMan" music video for Gnar kill (for which Frantz also crafted the stop-motion animation sequences).
CKY The Greatest Hits
In 2014, Joe Frantz reunited with the key talent from the CKY Video Series, and directed / produced the one-hour documentary CKY The Greatest Hits, which highlights the most memorable moments and unreleased footage from the CKY Videos, and features recent commentary by Bam Margera and the CKY Crew, with special appearances by Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine of Jackass.
Haggard The Movie
Following the international success of the CKY Videos, Bam Margera approached Joe Frantz with the script for his independent motion picture directorial debut, a comedy titled Haggard The Movie (2003). Directed by, starring, and financed by Bam Margera, Haggard costars Ryan Dunn and the CKY Crew, and features cameos by skateboard legends Tony Hawk and Bucky Lasek. For the production of Haggard, Frantz developed a production method through which he could serve dual roles as both producer and director of photography, and shot the movie in super-16 millimeter film.
Minghags The Movie
Directed by and starring Bam Margera and the cast from MTV's Viva La Bam, Minghags (2009) is an homage to one of Margera and Frantz's favorite genres, born out of the 1980s, the "Screwball Comedy" (such films as John Landis' Kentucky Fried Movie and Amazon Women on the Moon). As co-director, executive producer, and director of photography, Frantz shot it in super-16 millimeter film, in the same colorful style as its predecessor Haggard The Movie.
Bam Margera Presents: Where the ♯$&% Is Santa?
Bam Margera Presents: Where the ♯$&% Is Santa? (2008) is a modern-day Christmas saga, a reality comedy feature reminiscent of the MTV predecessor Viva La Bam, in which Bam Margera along with Brandon Novak who are the only cast members from Viva La Bam trek across Finland to find Santa in order to make good on a bet with Jimmy Pop of the Bloodhound Gang. They are also joined by the Dudesons. The film features other cameos by Kat Von D, CKY, and Andy McCoy of Hanoi Rocks. Frantz served as the film's co-executive producer, writer, and director of photography (shooting the film's montage sequences in super-16 millimeter film), and appeared in a cameo role.
Joe Frantz is noted for his camera work in Jackass Number Two (2006), Jackass 2.5 and (2007), Jackassworld.com: 24 Hour Takeover (2008) (in which Frantz made his first Jackass cameo appearance), Jackass 3-D (2010), and Jackass 3.5. Frantz is also noted for shooting the "lost" Jackass Number Two scene of Don Vito, the "Don Vito Tooth Pull" (2006), in which Don Vito had his tooth pulled out via string attached to the bumper of a Lamborghini driven by Bam Margera and Johnny Knoxville. The footage quickly became the "big stunt" in the official Jackass Number Two trailer, but due to legal allegations centered around Don Vito, the footage was omitted from the film, and it is rumored that Frantz still owns Don Vito's tooth. A few seconds of the "lost footage" can be seen in the original Jackass Number Two trailer.
MTV's Viva La Bam
The Jackass spin-off Viva La Bam (2003–2006), MTV's scripted-reality series starred Bam Margera and his friends from Jackass and the CKY videos, known as the "CKY Crew". The program was shot from 2003 to 2006 (from pilot to the "Viva La Spring Break" special). Each episode presented a theme or mission, and took the cast and crew on journeys across the United States, South America, Europe, and Scandinavia. The show also often featured appearances of Margera's favorite bands and celebrity friends such as HIM, CKY, Clutch, Slayer, Gwar, The Bloodhound Gang, Johnny Knoxville, and Tony Hawk. For Viva La Bam's five-season duration, Joe Frantz served as director of photography and contributed to the aesthetic of the show by shooting scenes and montages in super-16 and 35-millimeter film, using a variety of experimental cinematographic in-camera techniques (such as stop-motion), producing the only motion picture film presented on a reality program in the history of television.
Bam's Unholy Union
Joe Frantz was producer and director of photography of the Jackass/Viva La Bam spinoff Bam's Unholy Union (2007). The series chronicled the marriage of Bam Margera to his high school sweetheart Melissa "Missy" Rothstein, and featured Ryan Dunn, Brandon DiCamillo, Brandon Novak, Rake Yohn, and Joe Frantz in a cameo role.
MTV's Blastazoid was the featured show on MTV's highly advertised "Gamers Week". The half-hour special was created by MTV's internal division with Joe Frantz and Brandon DiCamillo, who were signed on as producers to head up the project shortly after approaching MTV with their idea to create a "Live-Action Donkey Kong" a five-story, life-sized version of the classic arcade game. MTV's Blastazoid chronicled the lives of the hosts Brandon DiCamillo, Rake Yohn, and Joe Frantz as they brought "Live-Action Donkey Kong" to life. MTV's Blastazoid also showcased user-created gaming, fan, and tribute footage found on the internet. Although MTV's Blastazoid special ended with a "trailer" for a "Live-Action Frogger" episode, the teaser was a spoof and MTV's Blastazoid had never been intended for a series.
Music Videos and Documentaries
- "Buried Alive By Love" (featuring Natural Born Killers star Juliette Lewis) (2003)
- "The Sacrament" (2004)
- "And Love Said No" (2004)
- "Solitary Man" (2004).
The international success of the HIM videos initiated the production of a series of documentary features by Bam Margera and Joe Frantz:
- HIM: The Making Of "Buried Alive By Love" (2003)
- HIM: The Making Of "The Sacrament" (2004)
- HIM: The Making Of "And Love Said No" (2004)
- BAM presents HIM: The Making Of "Dark Light" (2005)
Interspersed with Bam Margera's signature antics, the documentaries highlight the history of the band and depict challenges of the video productions, and have received heavy rotation on music video channels worldwide.
In 1999, Joe Frantz served as producer and director of photography with director Bam Margera for the CKY video "96 Quite Bitter Beings" (1999). The video was a success on MTV's Total Request Live, and the Margera / Frantz team has since released a total of thirteen CKY music videos, the most popular of which were played on MTV: CKY "Flesh into Gear" (2001), CKY "Attached at the Hip" (2002), CKY "A#1 Roller Rager" (2009) and the MTV half-hour music documentary, The Making Of "A#1 Roller Rager". In addition, the Margera / Frantz team created the DVD release Infiltrate•Destroy•Rebuild: The Video Album (2003), which features twelve music videos and "Behind-The-Scenes" documentary features.
The 69 Eyes
Joe Frantz has served as both producer and director of photography with director Bam Margera on three music videos for the Finnish band, The 69 Eyes: "Lost Boys" (2005), "Dead Girls Are Easy" (2009), and "Dead And Gone" (2009). The videos received heavy rotation on music video channels such as Kerrang! TV, and The Box, throughout Europe, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom.
In 2010, under the direction of Caesar Augustus, Joe Frantz produced reggae legend Barrington Levy's "NO WAR" (with Busta Rhymes) music video. The video was shot in Frantz's hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, features Kardinal Offishal, Ninjaman, Louie Rankin, and Wayne Wonder, and thematically encompasses unity of the underclass in urban culture.
The Bloodhound Gang
Joe Frantz directed The Bloodhound Gang music video "Screwing You On The Beach At Night" (2008), which is a visual parody of the classic black-and-white Chris Isaak "Wicked Game" video. Frantz reconstructed the "Wicked Game" video shot-per-shot, using the same camera angles, lenses, and shot composition as the original. Bloodhound Gang frontman Jimmy Pop Ali's performance is a spoof of Chris Isaak's notably sexy performance  in which Jimmy plays a drooling, cross-eyed, girl-chasing simpleton.
Viking Skull's signature lifestyle of "drinking and rocking" is depicted in the videos directed by Bam Margera with Joe Frantz as producer and director of photography: Blackened Sunrise (2007) and Hair Of The Dog (2009).
Joe Frantz teamed up with director Bam Margera to produce and film the music video for the hard rock band Clutch "The Mob Goes Wild" (2004). The video features antics from Ryan Dunn and Brandon DiCamillo of MTV's Jackass.
Vinnie Paz and Jedi Mind Tricks
As a lifelong friend of Jedi Mind Tricks founder Vinnie Paz, Frantz directed the first Jedi Mind Tricks video "I Who Have Nothing" (1996), which features experimental in-camera animation and effects shot on a 16-millimeter Bolex camera. When frontman Vinnie Paz pursued his solo career, Frantz served as director and cinematographer for Paz's debut video "Keep Movin' On" (2010). The video features cameos from several of Frantz's friends and associates: Philadelphia personality Tony Luke, Jr., Scott Vogel of the hardcore band Terror, and Gina Lynn of the adult film world. Frantz followed the release with the Vinnie Paz documentary "Keep Movin' On: A Portrait Of Vinnie Paz".
Viva La Bands
The CD/DVD sets titled Viva La Bands (2005) and Viva la Bands, Volume 2 (2007), were released by skater/Jackass alumnus Bam Margera and had international distribution. The CDs were compilations of songs from Bam's favorite bands. The DVD features include popular music videos, "behind-the-scenes" documentaries, and the "lost episode" of Viva La Bam, titled "Iceland Waterfall" which were directed by Bam Margera and produced and filmed by Joe Frantz.
Dreamseller the book
Joe Frantz is a collaborative coauthor of the book Dreamseller, which he wrote with MTV / Jackass personality Brandon Novak. This "cautionary tale" chronicles Novak's career as a young professional skateboarder, descent into heroin addiction, and subsequent rise to MTV fame. Frantz documented the life of Novak in "Dreamseller: The Documentary Series. The film outlines Novak's career, and the effects of drug addiction on relationships, and features interviews with Novak's mother, Bam Margera, Tony Hawk, Bucky Lasek, and Ryan Dunn who comment on their relationships with Novak and his history of drug abuse. In December 2007, on an episode of Radio Bam on Sirius Radio, Frantz accuses Novak of being high, frisks him, and uncovers hidden drugs. Consequently, Bam, Frantz, and company kicked Novak out of Bam's studio and sent him home to Baltimore. In March 2009, in an attempt to dissuade young people from trying drugs, Frantz interviewed Novak who was then committed to a mental institution for recovery from prescription drug addiction. Frantz and Novak have started writing the second book in the Dreamseller series, which is centered around Novak's relationship with his father, now deceased.
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