DOVER -- The Trupiano brothers arrived in the Deerfield Valley on Monday, ready for their first festival screening as collaborators.
The brothers had filmed "Tailgate 32" throughout the entire football season, stopping at each city where an NFL team played. Before coming to the Independent Television and Film Festival, they attended the Washington Redskins game. Their next stop is in Green Bay.
"We were in the middle of a promotional tour," said Mike Trupiano. "We're back at NFL stadiums we were at last year."
The 8th Annual ITVFest began Sept. 26 and runs through Sept. 28. Tents and stages are set up around Dover and Wilmington. Schedules for specific showings and performances are available at ITVFest.com.
The independently produced web series "Tailgate32" will be screened four times this weekend at ITVFest. On Friday, it will appear at the Sawmill at 5 p.m. On Saturday, it will appear at the Sawmill again at 1:30 p.m. and then on Sunday, at the Dover Movie Theater at 4:30 p.m. It will also be shown at some point in Wilmington.
The Trupiano brothers are currently living out of their jeep instead of the RV they rented last year for the project. Although they didn't bring the RV, they will still be tailgating in Dover during the festival.
On Friday, from 3 to 5 p.m., the Trupianos will be tailgating across from the stage where musicians will play at Layla's on Route 100 in Dover, before the screenings begin. On Saturday, they will be tailgating again outside the panel tent from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. After that, the brothers will be participating in a question and answer session.
"Our schedule is a mix of games and screenings," said John Trupiano. "We have a festival in Atlanta in a few months."
According to their website, the Trupianos toured the country "in a 42-foot RV to explore the American traditions of road tripping, tailgating and professional football. They push themselves to the extremes on this 25,000 mile non-stop trek, struggle with an RV that seems to have a mind of its own and discover what drives the world's most passionate and colorful fans."
This will mark the first production that the Trupiano brothers created together.
"We finally got to work together," said Mike. "We were independent before."
People often state that their goals include visiting every ballpark or stadium before they die. It is the dream of many sports fans, the brothers said.
"We said, ‘Why not do it in a year?' 17 weeks, 32 teams," John added. "Just kept coming up with that number, 32. We thought it was important for the branding of the show. Now, that's the name of our production company."
Although the Trupianos were exhausted after filming, editing and releasing the episodes as they traveled to the different stadiums, they said it was a tremendous amount of fun. As they toured around, fans began to recognize them because the episodes were airing as they traveled.
After attending a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, where John dressed as a pirate and carried a real sword, the brothers took their crew out to the Everglades as a break from filming.
"In terms of what we found in the parking lots, there were a lot of similarities in one fan base to the next," said John. "Everywhere we went, people gave us a great reception."
He told the Reformer that the brothers have heard of the tailgate described as the modern day picnic.
"Everyone's happy to be there. There's no one not having a good time, while food, drink and camaraderie is shared," said John. "It's an inclusive experience."
The brothers currently are working on other projects that can be described as "big adventure travel documentary work," Mike said. Their next series, "Revved Up," has the brothers filming similar trips to NASCAR events.
Coming to ITVFest is a way for them to promote their project but also meet potential partners.
Besides the activities related to the festival, the brothers are finding the Deerfield Valley to be no exception to the rule when it comes to warm receptions.
"We've already gotten a chance to meet some of the people at the key venues. I feel like people are already aware that we're here. We've been meeting all the locals," said John. "One of our goals is to meet as many people as we can while we're here."
The Trupianos made it clear that they will be attending a New England Patriots game -- they have plans to watch the team battle the Denver Broncos.
For more information on "Tailgate32," visit Tailgate32.com.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.