q and a with paul budnitz

> byn: hello paul , how are you ?

A little sleepy today. I was up way too late working last night.
Our fall clothing line is due and I kept getting out of bed with new
ideas, working on them on the computer, then trying to sleep again. I
got in and out of bed a half dozen times. I should have just stayed
up all night!

> byn: where are you from ? where did u got to school?

I grew up in Berkeley, California in the 1980's, which was pretty much
like growing up in the 1960's. Berkeley was full of hippies who
refused to let go. Most of us were really into ska though, early
80's ska and punk.

> byn: can you tell about normal day for you ?

Wake up, work, brush my teeth, eat, work, walk to the office, work,
eat, work, eat, work, work, work, work, work, tai-chi class or boxing
class, eat, time with wife, work, bed.

> byn: how did u professionally coding safety analysis
> software for nuclear power plants by the time you
> reached high school?

Well, I was really into computers. I had an apple II+, and
Commodore 64, and when i was 13 I was spending a lot of time up at the
University of California with all the computer geeks. I used to bike
up the mountain after dinner with my parents, then stay there writing
games on their mainframes until 3AM, ride my bike down the hill and
get a few hours of sleep before school the next day.

My dad is a nuclear physicist and one of his friends was trying to
figure out how to write a program to figure out if a nuclear reactor
was going to melt down, and I didn't have any work for the summer, so
I wrote the software.

The only thing that saved me from a life of writing computer programs
and eating Twinkies is I actually had friends, and I liked girls. So I
quit computers more or less and got into photography and making movies.

> byn: how was yale ? was it boring or super crazy good
> partying times ?

It was a lot of both.

I thought the classes were pretty dull, except the art classes. I
never had any identity as an artist. My dad was a scientist and I
was good at math and computers, and Yale let me in because they
thought I was going to be a famous physicist someday, and then I just
started taking art classes, hahaha. My advisor said, "what are you
doing", and I said, "it's this or I quit" so they let me into the art
department. When I started I couldn't even draw, I was a joke. I
actually did pretty well in the end because I have a lot of ideas, and
the teachers took pity on me.

The social life was pretty good, I had great friends. Going to a
school like that is interesting because the kids there are actually
pretty interested in doing stuff. I wouldn't actually say they are
smart, it's just that they're often willing to stay up with you all
night working on something.

> byn: can you tell us about the movies you mad 93
> Million Miles from the Sun and Ultraviolet? where can
> we watch them ?

Ugh, that movie. Admittedly it got lots of awards at film festivals,
and I sold it and made some money as it was distributed all around
Europe and Asia. It played only a few times in the USA. I was kind
of into these arty films. It's really, really, really, really,
really slow. So I don't encourage people to go see it. Frankly, I
think it's the most boring movie every made, and it has its charm.

We made the whole thing for $13,000, and everything was one take. Me
and a bunch of friends in California. We shot it at night because I
had a friend who worked at a film lighting and camera rental house,
and we'd just go over after hours and "borrow" whatever equipment
wasn't in use, and we'd have to get it back before sunrise, and then
my friend would go back to work for the day.

I think you can rent the film from some online art-film companies,
though I haven't looked in years. Kim's in NYC used to have it, I
don't know if they do any more.

> byn: how did u hack your editing film programs ?

I had an apple, and I just took apart the first version of
Quicktime. I sped up my film to 30 fps (from 24), transferred it to
the computer, then slowed it down again for editing. When I was done
I used the video to cut the film.

I had 16 tracks of sound, which at the time was a lot.

I was buying and returning hard drives -- hard drive storage was
expensive then -- on a dozen credit cards. I'd keep them for 29 days
and then return them for a refund on the last day, then buy a new set
of drives and do it again.

> byn:do you still own any vintage levis or any jordan
> classics ?

No, I sold them on. I mostly wear Japanese denim jeans and stuff I
design for Kidrobot, and clothing people give me. I have a lot of
friends that make clothing. I really love Mishka, I think they are
the geniuses of streetwear.

> byn: how did u get into vinyl toys?

A friend had some and i fell in love with them, and I went to China
and Japan and bought more.

> byn: what makes a vinyl a good one ?


> byn:whats the most selling vinyl ?


> byn: so r vinyls are art or toys ?

Both. That's why we try to make them not too expensive. Our toys
are now in the permanent collection of MOMA. And, kids play with them
too. I love that. If I wanted to make just art, I could do that,
but the whole thing is, I'm using this machinery in China that they
also use to make GI Joes and Barney toys.

> byn: hows kid robot doing now , is the toy scene
> dieing out or getting bigger ?

Oh, its growing all the time.

> byn: how did u come up with dunny and munny idea ?

i started Kidrobot in California, and Tristan Eaton and I were working
on lots of sketches for a toy that could be customized. we wanted to
make the best possible canvas for a toy.

> byn: can you mention some of your fav collaborations
> you did with other artist (on the dunny and munny
> serious) ?

There are too many -- hundreds! I can't list 'em because I'd leave
someone I love out.

> byn: do u get alot of girls for what you do ?

I got one girl once, and she ended up staying. Lucky me!

> byn : whats on your ipod ?

The Dead Boys.

> byn:whats your fav vinyl toy?

Anything by Bounty Hunter.

> byn: whats your fav pair of sneakers?

Blue Tokyo Taxi Cab Dunks, came with white gloves.

> byn: whats your fav. place to be at?


> byn: whats your fav. font?

Arial bold, because it's so ugly, plastic, and it is everywhere. I
just use it for everything I can, because it has no flavor at all.

> byn: whats your fav book?

War and Peace. I've read it six times.

> byn: whats your fav type of girls ?


> byn:whats your fav food?

Grape jelly.

> byn:whats your fav drink?

> byn: whats your fav drug ?


> byn: whats your fav child hood toy ?

Gi Joe's, but only when combined with a brick of M-80s.



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