Footlong - The Present

Hot Dog Documentary "Footlong" schedules final shoot date at Windmill Restaurant, Saturday, October 2nd, 1999.


Almost three years and 140 hours of footage in the making, "Footlong" will conclude its shooting schedule at the hot dog eating contest at The Windmill in Long Branch, NJ, October 2nd. Co-Producer Chris Patak will be participating in the contest in-between interviews with the owners of the Jersey Shore landmark.

"Well, we started almost three years ago covering the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Competition so it seemed fitting to end our project at an eating contest. Also, Co-Producer Gerry Beyer, said, "'s time for a little payback". Beyer was entered into the Nathan's contest in '97 and '98. He presently resides in Ocean Grove, while Patak lives in Jersey City.

Chris Patak and Gerry Beyer, producers of the hot dog documentary "Footlong", have traveled across the country in their customized Chevy van, investigating America's beloved hot dog. From New York to Los Angeles, Chicago to New Orleans, the filmmakers have captured the history of the hot dog and its' impact on American culture, past and present. "I really think that people take the hot dog presence in their lives for granted," observes Beyer.

Through visits to hot dog stands, festivals and historical sites throughout the country, Patak and Beyer will comment on the distinct influence of the hot dog. "When we started talking to people about the concept we realized that everyone has a hot dog story. Whether it brings back childhood memories or simply thoughts of fireworks last fourth of July, it becomes a personal connection," notes Patak.

"We visited historical hot dog sites and talked to vendors while visiting all the infamous hot dog stands across the country," Beyer mentions. "Then there's hot dog festivals, a recently established Hot Dog Hall of Fame and a Hot Dog Ministry. NASA also recently approved hot dogs for consumption in outer space. There are numerous avenues we have to explore."

"It has the potential to play to a big audience because it's such a universal, yet intriguing, topic," interprets Patak. With Americans consuming 20 billion hot dogs a year (that's 60 per person; men, women and children), "Footlong" is a film everyone can relate to. An educational tour-de-force, filled with humor and appetizing anecdotes, "Footlong" will engage every audience.

"To understand America, you must look at the hot dog," says "Footlong" Producer Gerry Beyer.


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