Olde English Looks Back at ‘Cave Miners’

Splitsider is thrilled to offer our first digital download, The Exquisite Corpse Project, a fantastic film from the former members of legendary sketch group Olde English. I recently sat down with the guys to look through some of their classic Olde English sketches. Here, the group looked back at…

Raphael: Cave Miners is a big one. In the same spirit of Boxcar, Cave Miners was a video that was kind of bigger than anything we’d done up until that point.

Adam: Yeah, that was us wanting to do something longer. And it’s similar to Boxcar in that it’s this really long mockumentary format, based around this ridiculous idea that there exist an industry of people who mine for caves but they don’t know what caves are. So they think they’re discovering the caves but in actuality they’re creating them, and that’s the mistake that they’re making. This is an idea Dave and I had in a hotel room at 3 am on the road trip, I think. We’re like, that’s really funny. “I mine for caves! And then, uh, most of the time I find one! It’s pretty cool.” [They all laugh.] And then from that, we postulated four other characters who also didn’t understand what caves were but all in different ways. So like one guy would like strip mine for caves, another guy, I think Joel played like a cave caller…

Joel: Cave trapper.

Adam: A cave trapper, yeah, but he also sort of was a cave whistler in a way.

Joel: He was like an outdoorsman, mountain man.

Raphael: I was like a cave innovator, trying to use new technologies to find caves.

Caleb: Yeah, there’s like the rich cave guy, cave baron, on an airplane.

Raphael: Which is Ben, right?

Chioke: With a terrible Australian accent.

Adam: And then we made a 15-to-20 minute short film about these characters. This was a sketch that Super Deluxe paid us to make.

Raphael: And they were like, what is this? Because also, I think sometimes we’d try to be like, “Alright, what can go viral? Like, what’s a really hooky idea?” And in general, when we tried to make something go viral, it never did. But more often, it was like, “Well what do we want to make? What’s a cool fun idea?” And we weren’t that interested in web. At least I wasn’t; some of us were more than others. It was fun when things got popular and poppy, but I was always more focused on, what do I think is funny and what would be a cool thing to watch and see? And this was definitely an example of that. There’s no way this would ever go viral in a million years, which is why our bosses were like, “This is not what we’re paying you for. There’s no way to monetize this.” But we had a great time.

Adam: I think our argument was, “Well, this is 15 minutes. What if we give you two seven-minute vidoes and it counts as two?” And they were like, “No. Just cut it down.”

Chioke: I remember around the same time I started working with Julia Segal, who’s Dave’s sister…

Raphael: And our producer for a lot of these.

Chioke: And she has a very successful comedy career in her own right. But we were like talking one day and she’s like, “I’ve got to get a jet today.” And I was like, “You mean, you need like a shot of jet going by?” She’s like, “No, I need to rent a jet to make a sketch.”

Raphael: We needed to film inside of an airplane.

Chioke; And she did it.

Raphael: She was great.

Caleb: I think for free.

Adam: She didn’t rent it. She was a production rockstar. She got us a private jet for free. The pilot was there the whole time we were filming because I guess he had to be. She just got a private jet pilot to like hang out for two hours with us while we like filmed in the jet for free. I don’t know how she did it.

The Exquisite Corpse Project is available for download for $5 from Splitsider Presents.

Olde English Looks Back at ‘Cave Miners’