The Maroon

Q&A: ‘Quarter Confessions’ creators explain the process of making the show

Tyler Wann

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I didn’t even have both feet out of the car before I heard what would be the first of many enthusiastic onlookers gawking at Andrew Callaghan, the star of the hit show “Quarter Confessions.” Standing nearly 6 feet tall with a bowler hat and a bright green jacket decked out with fleur-de-lis, he’d have been pretty hard to miss before his show went viral. But after several comedians helped the show gain traction on Instagram, people are willing to wade, or more accurately push, through a thick Bourbon Street crowd for a chance to tell Callaghan their deepest, darkest secret.

A few people watch from a distance as the crew prepares for the shoot. I agree to hold a hat and a button up for him, he’s going to have his hands full wrestling the mike away from some of his drunker guests, because he’s got a photoshoot after the show.

“That’s not real, by the way,” said Callaghan as crew member Martin Bégué pulls what looks at first glance to be a boom mike. Apparently, it’s an attachment for a vacuum cleaner, but it completes the look, and Bégué never once breaks character throughout the night.

No matter how absurd the confessions got throughout the night, Callaghan and crew, which also included director and videographer and Loyola alumnus Mike Moises stay professional and on task, committed to recounting those hidden tales of yore.

Previous episodes have involved confessions of sexual deviancy. Affairs have been admitted to. Childhood secrets have been revealed. One very flexible man showed the world a very surprising talent. So maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me when we heard a man loudly express his love for a scandalous sex act in the company of his mother.

As the night went on, I realized that this was going to be pretty par for the course. As soon as it was clear that the show was rolling, everyone and, in some cases, their actual mother crowded Callaghan, reaching for anything that might make it into an episode. Not every secret was sexual one man recounted the tragic tale of the time he soiled himself in public but the acquisition of carnal knowledge fueled many of the stories we were told.

It became clear pretty early on that Callaghan had reached some sort of celebrity status. Wherever he went, a moderate crowd would follow, some for a chance in front of the camera, others just to watch the spectacle unfold. Like Moses parting the Red Sea, but in reverse, people from either sides of the sidewalk would converge onto the street behind Callaghan and the crew. Some faces stuck around longer than others, with different people getting on and off the ride at different points around the quarter. After about three hours, we had made it back to the car where we originally began.

 

I later sat down with Callaghan and Moises to talk about the shoot and their experiences with the show in general. It was not their first interview. They were already expecting, and seemed a little tired of answering the usual “how did you come up with idea?” (“It was just an idea I had,” said Mike). We ended up talking about some of the questions I had regarding the shooting process after seeing it first hand, and how it’s been impacted by the group’s success.

Does it feel less “raw” now that you guys have sort of blown up?

Callaghan: Yeah, well we don’t post the less “raw” clips, but the experience of filming is definitely less raw because when we hit the streets everyone’s like “it’s those f—ing guys!” It used to be that we had to explain ourselves to people and some people were more open to it because of that. It makes people more down to talk to us, but it also makes people more apprehensive I think.

Moises: Before we used to have good footage and bad footage, and now we have good footage and bad footage, as well as people who are just thirsty to be on the show.

Callaghan: Now that everyone knows who we are, sometimes they lie and sometimes they just come up and don’t even want to confess.

Yeah, I noticed that we didn’t make it fifteen steps before people came up to you. How recent is that?

Moises: Like the last couple of months. This stuff has been happening really fast.

Callaghan: To put it into perspective, we did our first shoot in October. It didn’t really pop off virally until December.

What’s it like having people all over you when you shoot?

Callaghan: Good, I guess!

Moises: I feel like we just, like, roll right through it to.

Callaghan: It’s obvious when someone is just freaking out, like when they aren’t going to say s—.

So when do you guys draw the line of at “this person’s too drunk to talk to, they’re going to be pissed if they see themselves tomorrow?”

Moises: We can just feel it out when we’re doing it. Most of the people we do interviews with who end up going in are pretty much fully coherent.

Callaghan. Yeah we don’t do that, I think it would turn our audience off too.

Moises: It’s also extremely frustrating. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to interview someone who’s blackout drunk-

Callaghan: If a fool’s blacked out, it usually goes horribly after two or three questions.

So has anyone ever gotten really pissed when they saw themselves on the show?

Moises: We’ve had a handful of people who will hit us up and ask us to blur them and we’ll work with them. But really, it’s been like one person.

Callaghan: So this girl, she’s a college sorority chick and she said the name of her sorority and said that she was cheating on her boyfriend and pointed to the guy she was next to and then flashed the camera, which we obviously censored. That girl threatened to sue us, and I think she got dropped from her sorority. So just out of respect we took it down.

Are you at all worried that the show is going to affect your ability to get a job?

Callaghan: I mean, this is probably going to get me a job. If I wasn’t doing this, what would I be doing? I think I’m making my own land. I think we both are. He’s a director, I’m a journalist. I’ve met people that I never would have been able to talk to if it weren’t for this.

Moises: Having the following that we have, way more people want to be in touch with us, and that’s only going to keep growing.

It is kind of an honor that people have been copying your format?

Callaghan: Well, it’s not really my format, like “man on the street.” But I think that it’s a great thing that other people are doing it. There’s a couple imitators, but thankfully they aren’t smart imitators. I always describe our content as “highbrow-lowbrow.” Like, there’s something that appeals to smart people about it, and also something that appeals to really dumb people, like crass humor, that goes viral. So I feel like our imitators go for that only, like the sex-only.

Moises: The more people that do it just make us the best version of Quarter Confessions.

So what, if anything has this taught you about the city of New Orleans.

Moises: Honestly, for me, I grew up here so I already this demented image of New Orleans. And now I think that I’m just sold.

Callaghan: It’s funny how it’s transformed in just four years. I remember, as a freshman, I would just catch the streetcar with kids in my dorm and we would just go party. And now it’s the opposite of a party street, it’s like a work space. Like, I feel like I’m going to work now.

How’s your work been influenced by your time at Loyola?

Callaghan: I wrote like 40 articles (for The Maroon) my freshman year. So that’s how I started interviewing people.

Moises: Before I came to Loyola, all of my film stuff was just like playing around with VHS stuff at home. But it was the first time where I realized that if I want to be a filmmaker I just have to film stuff all the time. So at least I got that from here. I was just constantly trying to film stuff all of the time.

Would “Quarter Confessions” exist without Loyola University?

Moises: No.

Callaghan: No. We edit most of our s— in the fourth floor. Loyola gives us a lot of resources. And if you’re a Loyola student you can just kind of do what you want. There’s a lot of creative freedom.

Moises: And most of the stuff I did here was not restricted by what class I was taking. It was more like “what do you feel best doing? Do it.”

 

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About the Writer
Tyler Wann, The Wolf Editor

Wrapping up his four years at Loyola and The Maroon, Tyler serves as the The Wolf Editor. He hopes to portray the views of the editorial board, and has...

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Q&A: ‘Quarter Confessions’ creators explain the process of making the show