11 Episode results for "Hank Corwin"

Adam McKay

You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes

3:11:37 hr | 1 year ago

Adam McKay

"You. With me. Happening. This is Adam McKay. Holy shit. I love Adam McKay. You love Adam McKay, Adam McKay, you know, anchorman can stepbrothers we talk about all this and most recently vice my favorite movie from last year as you're about to hear in this episode. Vice was for me, I enjoy device I got vice? And if you haven't seen it it is now available on itunes with special features wonderfulness like that. I bought it. Even though I had the show biz people screener for it. Because I wanted to sweep sweet extra features obviously Christian bale won awards for his performance as Dick Cheney as Vice President Dick Cheney vice with respect Vice President Dick Cheney. It's an incredible movie. If you haven't seen it as you know, me from this podcast. I'm not like a politically obsessed person. But I love that movie. It's hilarious. It's incredible very very interesting and very very important also have been getting more and more in Tatham other films. Even since we did this podcast the big shorts. I've watched twice since this conversation. I sort of I sort of woke me up to his style and even deeper appreciation of what he's done. So check out all this stuff. But especially vice which is out. Now this conversation. We actually recorded the day. I found out crashing wasn't coming back. I tell you that because you'll see it's such a great conversation. So obviously, I got this bad news. And then I went and talked to Adam. And he was such a delight that for three hours. I didn't even think about it. We just had like a lovely effortless chat. And I'm so happy that we know each other. Now, it's a classic. It's a classic. I think you're gonna love it. So let's get into it. I do wanna plug, you know, I'm gonna plug someone else's book. This by Michael Gungor? Remember, Michael Gungor? If you didn't listen to that. Episode incredible episode his book, this is one of the books currently reading it's incredible. I'm blown away. It's so so amazing. You can preorder this. You can also preorder my book comedy sex God on Amazon or you can go to Harper. Wave dot com slash Pete, Holmes and pre-order it there. Also, get it as an audiobook, which I'm currently that's what I was doing all day today. Reading as a part of Harper audio please please watch the path. No, I've been working on comedy sex God for over three years. It is a real labor of love. It's been my passion and my joy for the past three years. And it would mean so much if people read it, so if you like this podcast and you've ever wanted to look for a way to say, thanks. I'm not ashamed to say. It would be wonderful. If you bought my book and Michael book this. I'm also going to be doing Largo March twenty eighth that is my only live. Stand up date right now. And we have to Pete's picks. For this episode could chara cadaver which people are reaching out to me by the dozens on social media telling me that it's changing their lives could cha- is a plant based SuperFood drink mix which is nutrition overload. It is a Neo in a pill is the fastest easiest most delicious way, I found to get more nutrients than most people eat in a month in one shake it's one hundred percent plant based it's gotta mega threes from Chia and flax seeds got eight super fruits. It's got seventeen greens and veggies. It's gluten free soy free. It's free of artificial, sweeteners and preservatives. Scott digestive support biltrite in. It's got a thousand milligrams of of adaptive Jains got twenty four grams of protein plant based protein and nine grams of fiber, basically, everything you need in one place so easy. I had one for breakfast. And. All you do shake bottle two scoops that job. I like one scuba chocolate. One scoop vanilla tastes like an Oreo. Just enough. Coconut powdered coconut milk in there to make a creamy and just enough coconut sweetener in there to make it delicious. All you do is add water and shake it up. I know a lot of things claim that they're delicious just in water. This amazing just in water as I always say vow doesn't like the sort of. She actually loves good job. Sometimes I may it with almond milk and a handful of frozen strawberries, make that could travel ice-cream, boom. It makes me feel amazing because of the Makah macaroni and the cow. And I thought I bought it to add to my smoothie, but come to find out is the smoothie it's close as we've come to a meal in a pill wonderful for when taking care of baby Lee, and I only have one hand to make food or I'm traveling on the road, and it's really hard to eat healthy on the road. You can get twenty percents off your order go to K C H h. VA dot com slash weird. He'll get twenty percent off and show your support of this podcast and the other pick. You know, I'm under a lot a stress these past couple of days have been working a lot been swearing by Charlotte's web hem oil made by my friends, the Stanley brothers in Colorado. This is the only oil made from him grown in America made for human consumption. So it's not just mass purchased industrial hemp, this is farmer. Grown reasonably grown responsibly. Deliberately produced him that they use science to remove the THC THC is obviously what gets you stoned when you smoke or eat weed, and they leave the body and brain and mood beneficial CBD CBD something I've sworn by for the past. I don't know three or four years. I take it every day almost every day. It's a wonderful mood elevator. It's a wonderful. Exiled reducer helps me sleep helps me relax me a little bit quicker to smile makes me a little bit quicker to laugh and ease into the flow of my day. I love it. It's not an intoxicant. That's what I'm saying. They take THC out. But it gives you that body and brain beneficial glow. They also make some wonderful topical things like and bombs that you can rub on sore muscles and aches and pains. It's a wonderful plant ally to help you with pain management, and as I'm saying stress management. It's wonderful. It's the original pizza pick for reason, the first company that I reached out to and they said they'd be happy to give us a promo code. So you can try it. I got the everyday advanced. I get chocolate that way it's a little bit more expensive. But you can literally just take a couple of drops. Go to see w ham dot com slash weird and use promo code keep it crispy and try some CB. I know there's other CBD brands this is really the most reputable beautiful wonderful ethical company that I am in line with their mission. And the guys if you've ever heard the Stanley brothers. They were on this podcast. So give it a try. It's good for what else. Yeah. All right. Try Pete's pick get vice on itunes, get Michael Gungor this. He doesn't know plugging. Let's let's blow Michael away with preorder sales of this. It's an incredible incredible book. It's like enlightenment in a book. It's crazy. He describes reading the first chapter of that book was like taking mushrooms it really was. And also if you're nasty, please preorder comedy sex. God it would make me so happy to get some pre orders on that going in. In the meantime, enjoy this three hour conversation. But I'm happy to say, my new friend, the incredible Adam McKay get into it. I'm so delighted to meet you such a pleasure. And I'm so delighted to be in your whole. Delighted to air by forty five minute drum solo. I'm about to be I'll become delighted twenty two minutes in is that possible. I said I'm just forgot her name, even though she just I just told Stacy I said how many people say because I was in here alone. And then I said how many people say I put my balls on the drums, which crazy, you are actually the first person that's ever actually. Kidding? That's not true. It is. Well, it is kind of maybe not rude. But Braise them to say, he's amazing that no one's made that come in is not even remotely rude. Well. Nothing but love and fond memories of singer fall nut sack on a Hatem. Well, I I didn't know Jake. I knew I that moment. And we let's I wanna talk about you now. And I wanna talk about what you wanna talk about. In fact, we don't even have to talk about vice if you're tired of talking about I will talk about whatever you would like to talk about. But I don't wanna make the mistake of let's talk I happen to love stepbrothers more than anything. We probably watch it three times a year. That's that's one of my favorites as well. That's incredible. It's the hardest. I think I've I had. I mean, you love everything you do. Of course, like anchorman was like a unique special experience. Well, each movie, obviously, the sounds cliche, but it's true is completely different and enjoyable. I like a child is like a CIA cliche and by child I mean nineteen year olds that's still a child. He's every in vote is like an unruly adolescent film. No. But when I would drive home from stepbrothers, I would be sore from laughing like my dealer soar. There's a couple of things that come to mind when I think of that one of the balls, and I saw it in theaters as a when did it come out? What you're you're just trying to figure that out seven. Okay. That's not right somewhere around that zone. Sounds about right. Six six six. So I was like twenty eight and I it in the theaters. And by the way, saw vice them the that. That's the real combo had. The screener often the RT light eater. Was made to be seen in theater. I love you did that and -pletely loved it in the theater showed a preview for us. The the theater was audibly upset that such a terrifying. Before I don't know what you pair with. But they didn't want us people yelled out what the fuck someone yelled at what my wife was. She doesn't like scary things. We just had a baby understand next way. So she's closing rise and plugging ears. I watched because I had already seen it. But I not great. Although your movies. Vice is is scary. I've heard people describe vice as our movie. Yeah. I can I tell you what I describe it. I want you to talk. But I am excited to tell you this because I'm sure you've heard a lot when I I leave the arc light with Val. And we ran into some people. I don't know if they were fans are we didn't know them. But some something we've got got us talking. Right. I was very conflicted. And I'm sure you've got this before because I was like I sort of liked Dick Cheney. I understand right, right. I understand. I know you get it. But I'm telling the same thing. Yes. Yes. I don't understand. I cried when his daughters were hugging him in the hospital. I loved him when he said to specifically to his daughter like being silly. He's being silly with her. Yeah. All these like really saved the cap moments where I'm like, really touched, and we can talk about that. But separate from that. I started thinking so I've seen it two or three times since then. Oh, it's a perfect movie. Oh, God bless you. I really think you should be proud of it. Oh, yeah. It's not like I'm really glad to hear that. It's not like a movie that was just great by accident or anything. There was just clearly so much. It's effortless. But there's clearly so much. We put a lot in that one. I mean, every choice. Yes is like six hours. Yeah. Yeah. There's no mistake. And the thing about him being kind of likable. I mean, that's what drew me to the movie was early on his story is like he's a screw up. And I mean not early early on early early on. Actually, we didn't have it in the movie, but he's kind of a normal kid. And then he met this woman who was like, we're doing stuff limb. Yeah. And and then he couldn't quite handle it, you know. So he drank his way out of Yale started causing trouble linear thing because she ambition on he wasn't that wasn't the kind of guy. He was he was like a regular Wyoming guy really worked on telephone pole. Yes. 'cause I was dying to say to you the number of things that are true. That are perfect symbols in the film. It's crazy are insane. How about the black VW bug? What about it? Metaphorically the black bug driving into DC, a friend of mine said genius great pick that car is a metaphor. I'm like, no, that's the real car. He drove leg. I have a list as long as you're nightshirt of the things that are like my nightshirt as long like crazy. To cover your dangling, deep dangling tackling. Yes. And so when I take my little hand-held candle at night. I heard some sounds downstairs, and you can't afford a Kandal GRA advocate elaborates, definitely something bad if it's a single candle. Maybe it's go single candle, and I got the little hat on multi candle. It's not Santa Claus. It's a bunch of methods taking a crap on my living room carpet. I don't know what that ferry. It was like a European like a German scary already very traditional kids know, my mother's Lithuanian first generation, so all the stories that she knew and books that she had where like and then the wizard hurt all the women into cats. Why like something like kind of psychologically disturbing odd bless those retails all our fairytales used to be like that. But then they Disney clean them up. Well, they're designed to deal with like, it's always like a powerful metaphor like, you know, your your father. And we all know kids are I think they're deep thinkers, I think they're in touch having just arrived there more in touch with the idea of not being here than we are without a doubt. You know what I'm saying? Now, I don't know just came through the portal are we allowed to ramble this much because I have a theory on clowns. I want you to ramble. So my theory on clowns not around this is definitely around the sidebar. We're about Lithuanian fairy tales. And now we're talking about clowns. It's a sidebar like better. It's much more. Respectable in the first twenty you put all the irons in the fire. And then you spend the rest of the podcast taking mental combeback nicest one in there. It's getting nice not. Stepbrothers in their stepbrothers in their demands in their height press height prosthetic nut sack home, I go. Sing it in the theater. What did the fan say to me after the got which we haven't heard that got a lot? You think we're gonna forget no way. Forget I don't forget you. Yeah. You really don't forget Katie Ken, forget you can forget this is a day off review. You're not gonna forget I forget. So my theory on clowns is that for two thousand years men would just get hammered drunk and punch people and bite people, and I would have big clotting feats and swollen noses. And for a long time. We had a process that like with you are his I'm picturing you in my mind's eye doing a cannonball into a quarry. But you're spinning. Because that's how excited I am about. We with all dark things you need to laugh. That's right. Clowns were like, oh my God. That's like my dad. That's my own coal. They do look like alcoholics a hundred percent and their pale and even theory on been bald. You know, they have receding hairline the hair pulled out on the side right there. They're mad men. They're madman. Yeah. There there are dads. And there are tackles the World War One veteran. Theory on pie in the face to tell me. So the reason pie in the face was so funny was because it would take you like nine hours to make a pie. That's then you had to make your own cross to do everything from scratch food abortion. I'm not even trying to be funny. It's like there's a lot of effort. It was baked and it goes. Yeah. Guess what? Life is chaos if cooling on a window. So today is an architectural model that yes that would be the thing you could slam into someone's face. Ooh. And that looked like it took. Although now they have three D printers. You're right, but ten years ago the Jenga of pastry comedy. Yes. Glands clowns and pies why they were once funny and why they're like disturbing. I think people that are disturbed by cleanser probably understanding them better than even people. That are good at one hundred percents. Yeah, they don't have to be dream bleeding. Wait. Isn't there bleeding note? That's in wait for it. Bill. Madison leading clown. Billy, madison. He's literally in the pool. Norman. On the table. Any moment at any moment Leary. And this just like people are are listening. This right now, do we just go all Billy Madison for the next week? Could I once had a very long discussion who is that with about Billy Madison versus happy Gilmore, and they convinced me, so wholeheartedly that it's Billy Madison all the way and rewatch to both. And they are right. No, madison. Yeah. Notice happy Gilmore is a little bit meaner. They pointed out a little meaner. It's still very enjoyable. I go Billy Madison. Yeah. Billy Madison has that. Like, not not as often seen. But there was sweet innocent Sandler. That's just like he's just wrong. It's nudie magazine day punching people it's not like the agro. It's not the hockey Sandler. What kind of like clowns is the movie animal house? Yeah. Can you even watch that anymore? I can tell you, you know, Chris rock fire director because he didn't like the movie. Spice vessel. Gentlemen, Lenka Pepsi, not spies like us any hall. So I don't want to fall out of your favorite by telling you that. I've never seen animal seen. It. Just wasn't that whole like panty raid? I'm almost forty. I'm gonna be forty. It's not young. I'm fifty. I just missed it. We're weren't you young? When you want the super young? Yeah. I remember the movie theatre had heaven can wait animal house. My mom said do not go see animal house, you go see having way. Larry. And of course, we went and saw animal house in a trench coats in a trench coat. Yes. With watches hanging on the inside of it. I didn't know you were kids disguising yourselves, but you had more thought out selling watches coach usually watches on the inside of and remember when that was just funny that men were revealing themselves like what are you gonna trench coat? You're gonna show your giggling somebody's Larry is. It's like a big hoot. It was like on laughing for that. And we're all looking back and going like that's not. But that's animal house, man. I mean, it's a house. Now, you gotta watch it. I will. Because like legally, I don't know if you're allowed to watch it like there's a lot of walled wall harassment's racial depictions in it or like questionable super questionable, and that was the number one movie for like, I don't eighties nineties early two thousand most people would say number one comedy of all time. I mean, or a lot of people would I understand that. And I feel that coming off of them. I feel that opinion in their DNA. And it's fine. I just I'm just like I'm an ace Ventura like it was sweeter. The silly man coming in not the guy like necessarily panty rating. I mean, by the way animals is really well made really well directed. It's coming off. I turn the air conditioning off my daughter, my daughter, God bless, you definitely can say that it's legal in California. She the second. She feels warm cranks the air conditioning in the house typical. So I was like I literally have a scarf on him so cold, and it'll come off in a second. But yeah, animal house, you gotta watch animals down. I will I jet. Appetite loves life of Brian. For example, I've gone back and watch like life of Brian. There's a lot of movies I missed and I don't want to paint with too broad a brush, but I do like clown humor like punched in the face stuff or means stuff or anything that was like, very even revenge of the nerds was just like kind of harsh. It was it was will what you've forget was like back in the eighties into the early ninety. Also, rated r movies that were rated PG. Like revenge of the nerds has a hard core. Sex scene in it doesn't allot of. Yeah. And like, I think it was PG. It could not. Not have been maybe it was right when they started going to PG thirteen or are. But I'm gonna tell you in the eighties for sure there were like new shots in PG movies. Like jaws Johnson are is it. I don't think. So. In fact, I know it's not. Yeah. Work hard to make it not an and have nudity in that. They also have a shirt because I used to watch it on TV and guys wearing a shirt that says same shit different day. But it he wrote an art like a comedy shirt same shirt different day. But it clearly says same shit different day. And I'm watching it at home, and I'm like. On that were old were you that would have been like sixteen fifteen even TV in the bays traumatized by that? I mean, that's a hard court. Oh you. What did she? I used to love that when they would say they said asks on Melrose place, and I was like that was all talked about it. What was the Steven Bochco show that showed a guys ask or woman's asked? And it was a big deal eighty blue. Yeah. That I was governed though, I gave up my Iowa's allowing myself to be governed by the TV if they said ass on TV. Bart simpson. Says sucks now Icee socks. I'm not saying. This is good full range one to ten curse on this podcast. Yeah. Oh because one time it SNL. I convinced one of our writers when I was head writer that I still don't feel comfortable saying, I'm not gonna say this e where the ad that you could say the word. I almost said it is a for comedic affect when he's a scale of one to ten we're now he's one to want to quite say. You said it should a jaw said that. So. Context. It wasn't as bad. Right. Did. I didn't say context confidence. Yeah. But I convinced one of our staff writers, you know, once a year, you can get the sensor to let you use the c word. And I remember this hesitant staff going really, oh, I think this is a good use of it. And of course, my friends like pick up on it immediately. Like, yeah. Like, the writers starts to read it in the script. I'm like, no hawking about desktops. What's realize? That's desktop. That's the other guys. Oh my God. You're right. You recreated that prank in the movie the other guys, and you didn't even know it until this interview. I don't like thinking the my life is that patterned. I just did a show where it was science and comedians together, scientists were explaining fairmont's. And I was like I don't want to think that I smelled my wife, and now we have a baby. Free will I actually allusion met I actually entirely met. My wife offer Centene tell me she lived a block away in one area like millions, and I walked out of my apartment just with my nose in the air and banged on a door like a pie and came up. Through by on a window sill you picked up. What's real? Oh, that's okay. But there's no my why I know that's not real. But I thought maybe there was a kernel of truth and their because my wife, smell first of all is very similar to remind people tease me they say it's twins says that my wife looks like me, but why what might even be strangers that she smells like me. So like the girl version, I mess your sense when you're married, I'm guessing our house sink, they sink like our house, probably as smell, and it's funny. My wife, very nice, very nice, very nice neutral odor. You're being polite. Definitely a weird Muskie stank under. I'm very sensitive a sun dried tomato, a piece Uber and aided in this living room about ni-. I've had cat. We used to have fourteen cats. No, I'm gonna stop believing. I'm looking for the scoop us as a scoop. They scoop be I'm trying to think. Well, I'm looking for click bait mckay's, seventeen cat house, smells like and three. Does all my God. Which is the same smell room. We have one cat and by the way, one cat can leave plenty of urine smell around. So cattle. Fuck you up our dog when I was pitching crashing. And it was I still get a kick out of talking to on the phone. But I think one of the first time I talked to Jeddah on the phone my dog took a hot piss on our Christmas tree. And I don't know if you've been on a business call like an important make your lives hall like a. Mehboob HBO suppose like big foot? Stick. Did he's good tied Judd into anchorman, which lead his his line for an a no, I also know Josh churches line in the other guys because I'm all appetite come on give it to me. He kills free hot dogs or he's as free. Then he goes not sodas. Can't do it profits are Canada. He killed it. He killed it. Josh's funny is very funny. But we will watching it. And we're like, that's our sweet friend, Josh. And he scores twice. So he can take ninety degree turn. He can. He did it. He knew how to do it. And I didn't that wasn't a last second casting. You knew a liked his look, and I knew he was funny. You never see that. Look I ever see it do you? And I commit right now to doing a ninety five minute. Like, Josh brothers style movie with judge starring in it. Line only outline only, I don't know if you know, did you watch paddle to. No, I it's amazing. I was texting let's just let it be. I texted Ray Romano to town. How Grady wasn't because I whatever I gotta catch. Do. I have not seen that. I'm coming out as life now off of the face the dog and pony show of the press in last forever. Do you care that? I'm like you guys got robbed. It was the best picture. I don't because it gives a shit. I only your perspective. It is definitely here's the funniest conversation. I had was during the Oscars. I went I was talking to Christian bale and done best actor yet. But everyone kind of knew Romney from bohemian rhapsody was kind of didn't teeth when the Oscar has moved ahead. They gave an Oscar with huge teeth. Say anything. Let me be the rascal the run the Oskar went to his teeth. Right. Okay. Come on. I'll say because you can't say Christian bale fucking smoked everybody. Always performances. Incredible. I can definitely say that. Yeah. But I'm saying deserved to win. And that's maybe I don't I don't want him into the. I just said to him. I go do you care. Yes. I don't I don't care, and I go, but really, and he looks and he's like, no, I really don't care, and I saw it in his eyes like he's a healthy human. He's he's an artist. He's about man. He's an artist. He's Batman not the actor. We deserve. I believe that I do too as you can feel it and speak to this Adam because I will chat all day on fucking podcast people leaving comments talk too much. Second. Really? Well, sure, that'd be wrong. You know? I know I think they've gotten wise people that have that problem but Christian meal, you the people that got into show biz for the most part to be famous or to be rich or to win awards. I guess let's throw in the mix. Sure. Just don't really make. Or you feel it feel it you feel it coming and he does not have absolutely that. So he have to read says machine. Oh, my guy going after do you know what I mean? He's like I just wanna go to the Vanity Fair Oscar party, that's a guy. That's like I wanna make fucking haunting art we'll our first screening of the movie where we kind of we did one Westwood that was a big public screening. And we got all these great responses to it. And I was this is cool. And then some reviews came in and some critics like, no, no, I hate it. And all of a sudden there was this mix that was going on. And I talked to Christian about it. And I go. Yeah. I mean, these amazing reviews, and I go, and then these people hate it. And he goes now, it's getting interesting. He was like that. Since. In our lives. He's already in your life. Get him in my life. I want this. He's like we all like to be liked, but come on, isn't this? Why we made it go be a movie star? What I did there. That was nice and to the writer director. You're outside the movie theater, you're at the Arclight your with your way, let's do that. But let's do this. When you're directing bail in that last scene, which you wrote which is why I left conflicted, which leads to my conversation afterwards is so at the end of ice if you haven't seen this is not a spoiler. He does something to the camera. It's very famous you're spoiling anything as a monologue to camera. Yeah. And a lot of the lines are actual lines that Dick Cheney said that true. Yeah. I thought it was you going like this is my take on what percent of what he says are actual lines that Dick Cheney has said, well, here's my big question. Get the hunt plate says limits here. So we're about to shoot that scene. Yes. And bail says you're doing this unusual style where you can break the fourth wall. We know that you didn't want Cheney to break the fourth wall. Should we do a take where he does because we were just supposed to shoot that famous interview where he says so to the question of what about the Iraq war, people are realizing it's not so great and Cheney actually said, so so we were shooting that and he goes if it was ever going to happen. It would be here. This is Bill is bail. And I go, you're right. Can we please I'm gonna carve him an Oscar? Oh that he can go. I don't care about this shit and throw it in my. It's incredible. Yeah. And so I- being the improv guy as you know, from working with Judd, and yet sure you are two second city films. Second city. Co founders second city chappie. So I said, of course, so I told Greg Frazier DP, I go he's going to turn to this other camera, but don't and Drake Frazier's. Awesome dp. I'm not going to account for it. Well, that's a great choices because the camera that turns to the shot as dirty exactly looks like it wasn't expecting him. It wasn't. He never adjustments wasn't exactly. And there's a light-flare in it. And frazier. Got to the credit of the movie, everything feels so deliberate. The flies field deliberate Carell hitting foot on the way in feel everything. Everything is like, well, let's what if we just did it fucking excellent. That's for this felt like the dirty shot with the flair doesn't once. And I wrote some stuff he pulled some lines from we kind of combined. Any does it and everyone just gets chills? Yeah. And it's like that's both the most frightening and amazing thing I've ever seen. Yeah. And then my great editor and Corwin, of course, without me, telling him takes an ends the movie with it. And I'm like, holy crap. That's a ballsy move. Like just take in the audience to the pits of hell, we've seen the guy lose his soul to the darkness. Yeah. And then to come out and give him the last word. I know. And I love it is that a digital zoom. Are you jumping between takes? It's just to cut. I thought it was the same. Yeah. Faces exactly take. And then my editor, Hank. Corwin just he did he smash cut. Hey, Hank Corwin killer. So they were pushing in. I guess we were not pushing Digital's. That's zooms. No, no. It doesn't. That's it's a hard cut. I'm assuming you've seen it more than it's I remember the discussion because we were gonna pay for it to be digital. And then Hank was like look at this. And I was like, oh, we don't have to pay for it. That's better. I wanna watch. I know you're right. I'm definitely I know you're right. There's no part of me. This we discussed what a million. I just watched it again this morning, and I was like you really for sure how I'm not fucking around. And I thought for sure it pushed in half an inch. And I was like what an interesting cut right there. And this is this is what I was talking about some leaving. So Cheney gets the last word in the movie. Yes. And he gives us very. I just remember what it was like in the early two thousand and feeling that way, you were scenting at that time. I was I was young. But I was also like, yeah. Seen animal house, you weren't fully mature, right? Yeah. But I remember being like the feeling in the air after nine eleven being like, yeah. You need fucked up shit needs to happen. Fucked up shit happened to us like you need like we need villains on our side or something would have put it that way. Janey? Did he said we gotta go to the dark side to fight this. He actually said that in an interview it takes a thief. Exactly, he gives a speech, and I'm going what the fuck is having. Here's here's the million dollar. Why have two questions let's get to the second one was when you're directing bail. You're about to do this bail idea build you that he's going to do the monologue in the interview. Do you say you mean, it thank you for letting me be your servant does? He mean it or. Absolutely means it. No question about it. I felt that he meant yo. And he means every line. He says there. That's what that helps us understand doesn't it. Yeah. I think so I think what's what I loved about. It. Everyone has a different reaction to it. I mean, I had a friend of mine told me you have to take that out. And I was like why? And he goes you give them the last word, it's kind of convincing. And I'm like, it's not for me. But it was for me the first time. Yeah. It begs the second view and keep going, please. I think like you look at what he's done, right. He lot you know, tweak the intelligence to take us to war. There was no call for he tortured. He crossed that moral line of torture, which it's going to take one hundred years to go back from you know, there's a bunch of other things stopped action on global warming the world economy club, blah, blah, blah on and on and on six hundred thousand six hundred thousand of billions and the number could go as high as over a million when you include military, so well, the those those stats actually get the Laos word. It's not bail. So good, right? That the stats the number. I actually wrote on my notes, and I think everybody in the theater should have to write six hundred 'cause you read six hundred and then I go to write it down on my notes, and you go wait what it is too many here. It's John dropping it makes you sick. It makes you sick. So I feel like the whole. Away billions of the whole way from the Republican revolution on from the Reagan revolution on part of their line has been we're going to keep you safe where the grown-ups they're all rugged individuals. We added that going downstairs with a gun to investigate the noise. It's exactly you stay in your bed in his nightshirt and watch your fast and furious that great last show. Yes. You guys fasten the fierce. That's fine. Exactly. And even have illegal. We'd by the way, people were anyone the internet? We're mad at me about the fast and the furious joke. Really? Yeah. There were like, how dare you diminish? Fasten the fear is unlike demand Telladega nights. What are you talking about like the ideas daddy's gonna go downstairs going downstairs and the candelabra because he's a elaborate music candelabra guy for shirt ears single. My thinking of all of that was this his rap at the end is how we got here. Yeah. And if you can't as as an audience member, well, some of it, but I didn't ask for it. I know I'm marched. In the protests. Yeah. And I had friends who did and the support for the war. I think was seventy five percents of there was millions of people who didn't support it. Right. And even some of that support was tapping so not every one of us ask for it. But if you can't watch this movie and end up with that monologue and kind of a little bit see through it, or I don't mind that you've got pulled by it. That's interesting. Yeah. But I feel like we got to be able to withstand that temptation of that monologue. Like if we can't agree. Yeah. I know I wasn't defending the temptation that we all deal with heart versus mind. Exactly. And your mind says them, you're the film doesn't amazing job guy falls off a telephone pole. These are no spoilers. Go. See the movie fucking late idiots somebody. I'm kidding. You're great to do. I don't I know sitting that one guy. Listen to us right now like. I call them in idiot. What what did your? I'm just saying for fun. So the guy falls off it starts with the potential for human calisi callousness to see someone in pain and to get on back to work every night. You know what I mean? And and it actually opens with him we wouldn't playing dice which is challenging. Yeah. That his motive is he just drunk and playing dice because the whole time you're wondering, and then at the end, it's actually kind of a relief that he's not entirely being drunk and playing dice at least he was being a little bit of both. I mean, I think the the talking points. If I kept you save. I mean, the big thing we really discovered with them. And we did a lot of a lot of research on them. He's kind of the ultimate codependent in a way, what's his partner? So his partner is power. And he is a that's why in the beginning. He would be a servant power in the Andes. Why love the line in the end. And once again, we're not ruling anything where you asked me to serve you. And I did you honor to do. I asked is. I don't think he's talking to the American people there. He's talking to power. He's confused too. Yeah. There's a dark shape. He's like I grow Christian. That's like bible analysis where they go. Well, who is Jesus talking to when he says, you know, what I mean, that's like that's real deep. Literary should really. I did y'all really wait for it. There's good iron in the fire. I had a born again Christian mom, and I think I might your stepmom stepmom she and my dad a little while religious with my mom, and then they split up and then more like us. Religious. But not my mom is very very really can't wait to talk about that. Yeah. We're going to stay on for ten. There's a lot of that. I think in vice there's a lot of like like really kind of epic power, imagery, light and dark. I mean once we started walking into the story. I was like, oh my God this stories like a thousand years old. I didn't I had its head versus heart the heart wants, this is Ramdas says he wants to give away the store. Heart loves everybody. Can't walk over the homeless person. You can't ever step over a homeless person in New York. You have to right, right. They'd be passed out in front of my apartment. That's what I mean. Yeah. That me too. There was a guy that slept in my stairs. And my head would help me walk over him because my head would go. He's a homeless person. I would give him McDonald's gift certificates there were there were times that I would do. With the heart can't handle it to the head creates others. So yeah, these moments where you see the Cambodian bombing Iraq, by by the way, it's one of my favorites in the movie, it's the point. Yeah. Who is other? I had this moment where I was kind of speaking not against Louis kind of talking badly about how he handled some of the aftermath of the scandal. And a lot of people were like how could you turn your back on one of your own? And I said valejo who isn't one of my own. Yeah. You know what I'm saying? I'm not trying to get to new no saying, what do you mean? My kind of thing a comedian like line like scary. I'd actually find that's why if you you've seen the movie three times. So maybe you caught this. Yeah. We have a shot of like hyenas in the movie like vision, goggles hyena. Yeah. And that's the thing I always referred to as like at a certain point. You're not arguing ideology, you're not arguing. That are bad, it's fishing. It's it's exactly my God. Well, that's our. You're moving. First time how many times people were like Why's he keep using the fishing metaphor? It's that line the key to it. They just keep cutting back to the vision. What is like, no? He tells the daughter that's what it mean to children. He's telling children. It's I don't wanna hurt this one. I mean, everything is good. Here's what skills. No it is bible now for going. Why is this in there? What am I favored things about by one? We always talk about God at the end. But they go like either the bible is true. I don't believe. It's literally true. And I don't think that's the point. But they go if it's not true. Let's say the Bible's not literally true. Then why is it in there? And that makes you then what is the author trying to do if you didn't walk on water. Then why is it in there? And now you're and I'm not trying to be funny you're like having sex with like, you're merging with it. And you're getting inside. Well, it's an imprint of the human subconscious from thousands of years ago. And the fact that this stuff still resin. Nate you could say whatever you want about religion. Yeah. In a weird way divorce the bible from religion religious, look at it for what it is actually gets more powerful. That's right. Yeah. That's what I mean. And that's actually one of the greatest discoveries of adult life was if you don't look at it as literally true, a textbook, and you look at it as something more complicated history overlaid with mythology. Suddenly, you're having your understanding why it still existing you can dip into you can still be religious. You can still feel respect for the mystery of the unknown. The, you know, share ninety nine point nine two billion power of the reality that we will never know. But at the same time, you can also dip into young you can also look at and then it makes that more powerful as well. Couldn't couldn't agree. It's your only shot. I think you're really in my passions on used to think that myth and metaphor meant not true and young and Joseph Campbell and all these people and Rudolf Steiner red Rudolph's. Oh, you have a trim entry. Okay. I'm gonna take your copy LUSA affair purses. Ehrmann ick evil. Rudolf steiner. Yup. That's very Michael's, by the way. Okay. He's the wanna turn me on new Rudolf Steiner as I can't wait. But these these things being the only shot you have to touch something. That's ultimately unknowable talking about ninety nine point nine. It's unknowable. But the closest you can get this weird. Like like just for a second. Yeah. And it takes story Eramet together. It's how we wake up after having really intense dreams. That's right. And we wanna tell everyone just comes out as a jumbled mass. That's right for moment in the quiet in the morning. You were you were at you. You. I was working in a writer's office that was also at appear for some reason this one had the other night that was like in a harbor, but it was a writers office at SNL when I was working in it. But there was a harbor ships in it like, and you wake up, and I was starting to tell my wife about it. And I can't believe I just set it on this podcast gibberish. I just read a book in my editor was like, right. A right. A dream loser reader, but we're not writing a book right now. Fascinate the host. That's great. Yeah. Yeah. But anyway that moment after that dream. That's really what I'm talking about. Is that moment? Yeah. There was something. So true in that strange overlay that was going on. And I start telling my wife and five seconds into it. I'm bored. I yeah. Yeah. But the most interesting things are boring, and that's why with those girls actors in the beginning of the movie, the ones that are listening to the music, wait, which are you talking about in the beginning of ice. We're talking about how life is hard. We cut from the Amazon worker, they're not actors. No, that's off YouTube. Really? Yeah. That was we just found that makes me so happy because I was like I almost don't want to ask because I don't want to be disappointed that you tell me that you were like, no, we told these girls to go nuts. We. About this movie. And this is once again shut out to Greg Frazier. One of the great DP's, you can't tell an R movie what stock footage, and what's not agree. I had to the UN and stuff you're like what exactly? And it's mixture of both obviously did you put Rockwell's face on Bush. We put Rocco's face on Bush, we re shot terrorist attacks because we didn't feel comfortable using the actual. So we reshot the subway attack in London. Yeah. And I had a British journalist go where did you get that footage of that attack? I've never seen like we shot. Like when I says introduced that bombing. And that looks very real that actually is read that's the one. But it's why jot it is why I didn't know what to that was the big if that Malibu on fire at the end, I don't know there's a shot of like, oh, it's driving on the front shots and the whole movie funny. I'm so stupid. Sometimes I'm not afraid of it. Like, I thought you didn't know what I was doing. There's a fiery road talk about the movie like the fact that you caught the line to the daughters. Shing that's not good or bad. Like, the boy, it's we lived inside this movie for nine months editing, this movie or eight months, or whether it was and no we know every nook everything was choice to hear you catch. That is like the. Yeah gifts. Here's my thing. The hot sizzle that. I've been waiting wanting to say not waiting. But wanting is that I think the reason I was conflicted about him. Was you did have I wrote down all the save the cat moments specifically when he's silly with the girls when he's good about her his daughter coming out like you'd think it's such in the theater was so tense. No word for word. What they build said. Really? He said doesn't matter. We love matter. What she started crying and said there's going to be so hard for you. How do we know that Mary and a couple other accounts Mary road out of get out? Peel. I'm just saying Jordan Peele now when I get support the it's a superhero movie, he's compared to galactica in the movie, it is a marvel movie. It's the same myth as a marvel movie who said this after they sought in Roberts from the upright citizens brigade. I know he and walks up to me and goes, I feel you made like the origin story of doctor doom. Yeah. That's what it is. It kind of is because I mean, I also look at it. Because one of the knocks we got from certain corners was why did you humanize him? And I'm like, well, there's no point in telling the story, the whole reason there's a story there is because he was human. Yeah. And he did change. And why there's a story, right? And if you don't do that, we're just, you know, it's a political cartoon the entire time. You know? Right. And so you are on percent, correct. Like actor doom when he was at the academy had some interesting ideas, but they laughed at him. But you know, so Jaideep do you mentioned the plastic Dave due to this podcast, and we were talking about mythology and how we both Joseph Campbell. And we're talking about how America currently has a broken mythology. I'm guilty of enjoying it. But it is the look at captain America. Look at Nick cage the played by Sam Jackson, the agent of shield. That's Cheney, you know, we're going to have this thing, and it can shoot a laser that can kill anybody, and captain America's like, I don't know about this. But they use it or look at Christian bale in the dark night. We have surveillance thing that listens to every cell phone number signed batmans conflicted about vigilantism vigilante, and do whatever you can and the biggest gun wins. That's the problem. Cooling thing about marvel. And I gotta give Feigen ton of credit. He knows that. So winter soldier actually addresses that like. And I wrote on the first man like we actually deal with that like. Yeah. We. Yeah. Yeah. The movies if they didn't seem winter soldier ten times. I've seen man. You know, what I'm saying is really good. I don't know. I keep going back to ragnarok is my all time favorite. It has what I call. No offense humor. Which is that New Zealand guy who I love what I'll be like am yourself. Nice little jacket. Don't that? It's too little just right? Good coupling elephants. You sit whatever you say you act as if they might be offended by. That's totally legit. I like the magic shouldn't behind that movie. I don't mean to be putting it down Arte Ling. Like who'd like how I wanted like studied the process of writing that script. Yeah. That movie knocked me. That's my all time favorite marvel. But I way far afield your idea of broken mythology. Yeah. That's like at the core of vice? Yeah. Like that is it is it's the real life broken. That is I mean, they buy I mean, the money interest were really smart, they redesigned American mythology. They basically told us if you use government your week. It's a nanny state you gotta wear a cowboy hat, and you got to do it on your own except bilionaire is because they that's their money. And why would you ever want to take it, and that's our predominant even with people? Sometimes that are left wing Democrats. You still see them kind of buying the idea that anyone who takes Welfare's lazy? Anyone who's right? And I was pointed out after the economic collapse in seven eight I'm like, so what suddenly five million people just got really lazy? No. But you do George lack off at all. Oh, God, you're gonna love lack off he talks about political metaphors studied the Republican party. And how they use the father figure as their kind of central messaging device. Really? Yeah. You'll you'll oh the topic. Oh my God. You'll inhale off. And he's good begging Democrats for years to say, the only thing that counters the mythology of the father is the betraying father. The only way you have to get into that. Like deep sense of the father, betraying the family, and that's laser rot our movie. That's why have him he in with his daughter. In fact, when his daughter cries, I cry every time, and I'm just like, oh, it's it's archetypal. Yeah. Daddy, fucked you I don't mean. I know what you mean to you over. Yeah. Because oh God. And it makes it worse for how sweetie was when you we laced all of that in their constantly when Lynes. Father the suspicious death of mom. They don't really know what she murdered was it. A suicide one's exactly sure. But we know that her father was troubled guy. And it was a rough household, and that's when Cheney becomes the father at that funeral and and that's also save the cat home. And that's two pronged thing. It's funny to hear you phrase it as a save the cat because we were in the edit room. Like this is the fatherhood. This is the essence of the fatherhood coming into fruition. Power is meshed with Lynn we were talking about like that. I love hearing just save. Yeah. Yeah. It just makes likeable. Well, you wanna talk. We're doing it for that. We were doing it for. Oh, it's humanizing him. Because that is such a that is the story is that he's the he's the dad that says stay away from my family, exactly. And the terrorists are going. I killed your mother one hundred percent. He's going say away from my family. But this is why at the end of the movie, I go he did help asleep. Peaceably? You know what I mean? Like, we have to think we were sleeping peaceably. That's right. And that's why it's the betraying father. He put us in much greater danger. I mean, the destabilization of the Middle East made Icee made. I mean, they really don't you? See this is the problem. I'm offering myself as the problem, I see a movie, and clearly I'm understanding the movie, and I'm going, oh, they made ISIS because of this lie. Poor Colin either fuck, Colin Powell report going somewhere between the two makes ISIS here's real footage a wide shot albeit toward of two and the torture horrible stuff. The duct tape over the is is going after the constitution. Ten different ways. Executive theory. Yes. Which is terrifying. We're seeing it come into play now. And still a strong guy goes look at all the power, I have and I go captain America love it. So you're aware of it right now. I mean, that's awesome. Like well. That's the problem. I've some right wingers who there was some dude on Twitter who was like, I'm right wing. I loved the movie Cheney kept us safe. He's a father. And I was talking to hang Corwin about this my editor. And I was like what do you think of this? And he's like knew that was coming. I mean, you should we showed it may. What's going back to the bible, look at how many different this is? There's your click bed p compares vice to the bible just saying there's a lot of times when we entered it is that right for off at all definitely talked about that kind of Campbell Joseph Cambell, biblical look at how many ways you can project yourself onto it. So this is like a mirror, whatever. But can I just say the fallen father and a half to? Let's just put it this way. There's a leading comment not a question. I hope it wasn't. I don't know. Why? Who cares if it was? But there's no better fon father than a guy at his wife's funeral saying. I'll do a handstand right here that was that in the script God that was improvised with with shea and myself, my photos of drunk dad, I can do a hand that we know that guy, you know, where I got that from tell me photos of my grandfather was a bit of a madman type character in the fifties and sixties and doing handstands at like, weddings. Events. That's where I got it from and no doubt like lit up drunk like and by LA by grandfather, he did get well, we're in the seventies. But that remind I've said that Trump is sort of a perversion of data energy, meaning dad, I don't wanna take dad's down dead energy isn't a bad thing that energy is you're going to school and dad goes you want to go to Disneyland. Yeah. And you don't go to school that. So that's kind of good use of data energy way. Amazing. How Donald Trump? I've always. And it's so obvious that we don't even talk about it. Literally looks like an early twentieth century clown. My literally, right. I've said either looks like an early twentieth century clown. Yeah. Late nineteenth century, political cartoon, come to life hilarious. Right. And perfect. And the kind of sidebar Cheney's heart is like the perfect metaphor like the symbol. It's a symbol. It's like it's like an Arthur Miller play such an obvious symbol. And the fact that it's real. When you start going Jesus Christ were in a simulation. Like, it's a joke. That's waiting for us to wake up when I was reading the stuff when I was doing the research. I was saying that this is Cray in the best way. It feels like you got a bunch of great studio notes, which I know you didn't. But I'm just assuming you didn't. But you know, when they're saying we want to understand the drive. We wanna see the you've got you have a different reaction to studio. Oh, no, no, no, not at all. I've gotten I used to work with Matt toll Mak over at Sony. Great good. On a language over Universal's, where they usually want to ground the audience to the picture, and there's these real life things that help probably more plan B who we worked with Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and that was me, and my editor that was us because I like to and I know you work with I like to screen movies for people. I like to do test screening like to show it to friends. Yeah. I like to just see it through fresh eyes as much as I can. Right. And the thing we kept learning is because it's a wild movie. Obviously. I mean, we jump from here to here instantly break the four people go like while the inciting incident happens on page thirty nightly eat ah shit sandwich. You fucking assholes look at this. You'll never understand the dream about the SNL writer's room in the harbor. Don't tell me. This is math. I suppose you have everything guy say there's actually two prelude to the movie. And I was just like go jumping their own at like, what are you talking about? I know I know said field three extra. Jurors anyone we talk about that. Well, when there's a lot of like quotes, and there's a lot of time jumping, but when you're looking at it, you're like, this is the only way it could have been it doesn't feel like the studio notes and not exactly studio notes. But those are those notes of the more we went towards the family the more. We went towards the love between the two of them, even though it's not front and center it's backbone and the moment that really we discovered towards the end of the edit it, which is a big one is when he finally becomes vice president, which basically means he's president. And he's in that doorway and go back to Lynn, and he's telling her how to make the MAC and cheese. I can't. And then the other one was when we're about to bomb Iraq, and we go to the family dinner table, and they're talking about American idol. Yeah. Those two you'd like that all I like that. He's talking about Simon like that. Oh, yeah. You wanted to make a fish from smelling. He tells a joke. Yes. Cut off its nose. You can't hate the guy that and then you're gonna be bombed Baghdad. That's right. And then we kill a million people. That's well. Let's fucking Erica Mann, America's complicated complicate, its refining, and heartwarming and terrifying and heartwarming. Yeah, it's a huge. If it was a book my God. It's like infinite jets times a million and a lot of degrees understanding watch like the San Francisco forty Niners or you hear the mascots for teams. She likes them a forty Niners fan. I was laughed like forty Niners or horrible guys. They're like drunk dudes who showed up and just dug holes everywhere looking for gold like, and I know the gold rush led to don't you see doesn't that stuff this cultural, our cultural subconscious understanding that our food? There's a quote. Who said it as long as we have slaughterhouses will have battlefields. There's this. There's this great. Leaping right. There's this idea that pain, we can't we stole our land. And these things don't go away. We dug these holes we are the White House was the slaves issue. Fucking shaina, which is the shy by the way. Everything's the shining. Everything we do we drop our mites jumping my cold pool. One man. I love that feeling. But it have you seen room to thirty seven the kind of. Yeah. And they have all the native Americans never caught Jesus Christ. It is about American really is. But we can't it is your dream though. You're still dreaming about this SNL writer's room. And I I I'm divorced. So I would occasionally it's been years, but I'd wake up and remember that I dreamt about my ex wife or had some weird, you know, you're done with the past. But the past isn't done with you. That's what's going on here. So when we can't make peace or sense of the atrocities of the past when we can't come clean and say like we fucked up or or this or that they keep I mean that is the entire reason because we knew this movie was going to be SOB. We knew it was gonna be a rail son of a gun. Oh, my pud. What a comedian, you know? Pulls you pod. You know, like you making notes late sixties a big debate about that leg. Jank your wanker, whatever. And I was like, no, no he would say pud. That's what you said in the late sixties. We had a big debate about that. Anyway, it's a win new at it. Just that crazy feeling like you said of having lived through this and knowing what went down and knowing how it connects to where we're at. But yet. Yeah. No one talk. It was just the weirdest feeling and that guy in the middle of it. What a mystery was it was like, we couldn't resist. It was like that's amazing one point one of my call one of my producers. I was like Kevin Mesic a great producer. And I said I got an next movie, and I was like Dick Cheney, and he laughed. He thought I was kidding. Oh, my and I go, no, I'm for real. And I was like did you want me to say Spiderman three? You know, it's funny when you say the beginning of the movie, you even set up that he's like monotone and that he did it like a fucking ghost old Plemmons chills. That. Get it and old Plemmons gives us. He did it like a ghost even that. And and that quote, beware the silent, man. Yeah. In the theater people. That's right. That's right. People set it like black church. They set it out loud while or any color enthusiastic. Yeah. But they were just like, that's right. And I was like Jesus Christ. 'cause I had a sense of where it was going. And there's this quote that sort of inservice Cheney, and we all know what happens, but you go like, yeah. It's the art of war like we're built on. Anyway, I love that moment from her saying I won't put up with this. And we came up with that go to black when he says never disappoint you again befo. And then that score that nNcholas retell score that peace over the end credits and nNcholas Patel, by the way of note. Like have you ever heard the Beale street score that he did it's one of the most beautiful movie scores. I've ever in the one he did for us is crazy this into an isolated. I think we've got like a grandmaster on the. How he did this? He did the score for succession as well. Okay. Yeah. Christian bale saying that in the room or was that he's still in the room? We're just played over black really audio. We're real did. You have a fly Wrangler. We had you've used the fly. Right. You know, the guy from town. Oh, yeah. Timothy bench wa. The best. You gotta fly men because he's up in Alaska and got seven flies that can actually turn. When you want them to roughly. I mean, there's e- tell you over and over again with wet sound keep in mind, there flies. He's claps different. No. This totally made up. Are. Just a lot of flies in the room and headquartered I like this. Why need like that's sometimes on the show because I- gullible I do improv in some. But you know, the stakes like we gonna play I defend you for a second or through so many crazy things in movies. You know the goal. You got to sing. Used a rat. Wrangler on stepbrothers, did you? I'm not kidding. They had a rat. And they're were like if you put the food, and then the rat. Couldn't do it, of course. But so the idea fly Wrangler is not that crazy and we're back to fake ball. But I like the different gradients of clapping. That's how they control him. I love I did say sound and you're like, it's clapping. I mean, I'm kinda believing there were just tons of flies there and everyone kept saying you're gonna take those flies out. Right. And I was like, no, no, we're not taking those flies out, and they somebody had to go like Wolfer consistency for continuity. They won't be in the other shots lands on bill's fate. It's incredible. And crawls down. That's when I knew they were real. I was like, oh, they added these in post because it took the second or third viewing before I was like, oh, this is Lin's mom's house, right? Very good. You know what I mean? Because you kind of. Well, this is a good day for me. Can we talk about Cheney eating being responsible with his body and his heart? And there's something about how Trump will needs fast food, like there's a great Trump movie and U2., although it's almost beneath you this great. I feel like it's the brother the brother who died. That's that's the Trump movie. Yeah. That's interesting. I there's something it's animated, and I'm not saying children's animation. I mean, beautiful darkly. Yes. Some things need to be animated. I think that's why they did scanner darkly agree in that Charles burn Halas style. Because we can't did, you know cartoons like the -bility for people to picture things as cartoons predates like cartoons. They they discovered that. It's like deepen our psyche Lucent twenty four I've heard that about the twenty four frames per second know, what that is actually, you know, obviously films twenty four frames per second. Although nounce digital, but we shut ours on film, which was nice. You can tell. Yeah. Take that. Nice kodak. That a great job, and we did not clean it out entirely either. We left to dirty, and so yeah, you can tell it's Red Eye. Picturing the shot where they're watching the election where Carter wins in the White House film. It's beautiful so warm, what am I filmed jerk? Jerk. I just old up anyway twenty four frames per second. We believe it's it's exactly what you're saying. It's hardwired enor- brains. Like, if we were bats or we were like possum would be whatever sixty three frames per second one three frames per second Mako shark, right? It would be two frames per second out noise. Exactly. Good movie flailing against water. They would use that to carry the sound. Isn't that interesting? So there's something about the heart. And then when Plamen says he he doesn't refer to it as my heart. He refers to it as his his new heart, which he just said recently actually said in some interview, but that is the like, and I'm not trying to be anti meet here. I'm just saying that is a it's not cow like in German. They eat flesh the same word for flash grew from meat. And obviously English we have meat and we have flash in if you're eating hamburger. And I say how's your flesh? You tell me to go fuck myself because I at least I would I would laugh you mica cool guy. Anyone else? Think ninety percent of the population say scream and run out of the Denny wouldn't like at least it would give them pause or that have to make a choice and be like, you're goddamn. Right. It's flash. Are you enjoying Scott? That would be the next step. That's pre-. That's way preview the sketch about naming the lobster. Remember? Oh my God. I'm trying to remember. I don't know that it's like early seventies SNL where to showing lobster, and they're like, we're going to boil this lobster, and then I think it's a crawl, and then they go like his name is Larry. Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. And this is family. I mean in fairness to my Scott joke, naming your food is an old is not. It's a great one. It's a dad joke because I make my youngest daughter my thirteen year old left by doing that by telling her all about that's the line the food. We're about to eat know. Ghardaia? Of course, I would have been shocked. We are in LA. But I love Akra toll, and he makes his really kind of chillingly maybe not excess central but kind of brings you into that nice hollow place where he goes like when we watch it's like when you watch planet earth, and you see a fish die. You're just like it's the circle of life like the fish has died, and he goes, but we don't look at our own world's that way. And then he goes, but if you name to fish, and then you print it up a little piece of paper. He's funny. He says he's funny. It's in the power of now, he goes printed up a little birth certificate for the fish and the time it was born in the city. It was born and you named his kids, and you had pictures of his kids. We actually do so said with the push when we're little kids. We name our fish little burials for him. You need a fish funeral. But this battlefield slaughterhouses. Like, we're all looking the other way. And this is the guy who falls off the telephone pole. Get that manage shot of whiskey is the best we can do. And then. Like the Dick Cheney guy that goes drive him into town. He's the dad we house of cards, Kevin Spacey's. Character kills the dog. Strangles the dots. Right. You know what I'm saying? I think you do. Well, it's har-. It's that part of America. That's like my grandmother was from Texas. And she told me when she was eleven years old doctor came into town. They lined all the kids in the street in the middle of the street from age five to like nineteen and the doctor went down the line with a pair of pliers and pulled all their tonsils out. Just would know Anna, she's at all and they all ran away. Crying and kids were screaming. Way. I've been had on this podcast this one hundred percent true. And it's crazier than the flight ranked is crazy. And then she had a sister who there was a tornado, and they had to go in the root cellar, and they realize their knee high water, and they hear the sound of a rattlesnake in the pitch blackness. Like that's the backbone of America. Like, America's like the settlers. Yeah. Harsh the shining. They don't make it the years. Don't make it. It's a Louis CK bit. I understand controversy noted afraid controversy noted he has that bit about going across the country, and you'd leave whatever New York you'd get to Utah. And it would be a different group. Brad, and those people that have died and at different group would arrive in Utah. And there's something I think the American about that hundred percent and have you seen About Schmidt? Yes. Jack Nicholson goes to the native American Museum goes they got a raw deal. And it's like we're About Schmidt. We're Schmidt where Warren Schmidt going like, we don't really know. We don't think about it. It's the shining and we're back home. God Alexander Payne is actually directing a movie for Gary Sanchez or production. And I just spoke this seems namedrop. But I think of it more as world film fans and sharing information just spoke to a couple of hours ago, get shit as the nicest guy, he and I and David Russell my Alexander. Payne story went to the Nixon museum about fourteen years ago. Almost got thrown out several times making jokes. It's the Nixon museum and pain is very funny. So as David Russell, and we were just doing bits little time. If you keep doing this. We're gonna have to ask you to leave. And then later she's like, I'm tempted to ask you to leave. And I was like kind of wish we'd all thrown out. How did chaining get the boot the movie it's not I'm not gonna use the word glaring? But they go Cheney got the boot from Yale. What it said we had more know the original draft, of course, one hundred eighty pages long. I he got shot it like that. And we yeah, he openly says he drank the entire time and didn't go to classes. There's a story of him riding a tricycle down like two flights of stairs for a party. They had in their like, they don't call them dorms there. They call them like colleges or whatever wherever he was staying. And there's insinuations that may be some raucous punches kind of stuff, and is then so he lost his scholarship, and then his parents scrimped to pay for them to see pull it out. And then eventually was like get out of your, but the stories ir where they use very insecure. He would wear his cowboy boots around and shot of the boots. Yes. On the word boots. My God, you made the movie for me little freaked out caught everything you didn't know you made the movie and little to Bush. He was like an yeah. Secure guy would treat everyone like they weren't real. I'm from Wyoming look at my boots and the Yale guys like this guy. Kind of sad. And then one of his friends described seeing them on the day. It was thrown out. I guess I'll just go back home, and like he was afraid to try that was kind of the story and want to go to class at one classy liked, but he was afraid to try and fail. And it was intimidating. These are the the ultimate rich powerful people were there, and he was like so the pound let's talk about power because that seems to be as motivation. Yeah. And this is a point that's been really controversial about the movie too. There's been a lot of arguments about with what is the motivation. And I looked at it like an addiction story. I looked at it like Sydney ANSI was a movie I watched a few times that it's a love story that has an absurd Sinatra like movie stuff. Yeah. Yeah. And so I really looked at the whole story as Lynn needed to be safe. She grew up in a tough household. She had something none of the women had in that town. She had this ambition. She wanted to go take control of life. So she could make her. Home safe. Right. She sees the shots. There's a couple of professors that would date me like she knows. She's thing. The future. Exactly, she's going are you in this future? Exactly. And so she says to him or you're gonna taste what I'm tasting, basically. He goes. Yes. And he turns out to be the real master. He ends up because he's got this a line from the real Lynne Cheney. She says if you want to understand my husband, you'll only have to know one thing he's a fly fisherman, and he has a patient that gave me like IRRI chill. Yeah. I almost put it in the movie, but it was so crazy on that. Yeah. That I went with a quiet, man. And I actually think that's the right. And I'm not buttering your bread. I have butter to your about a lot. But you have. I didn't want people to know that it's not butter, but I'm very excited to talk to you. But this is not just bread buttering. That's better choice because the fly Fisher. There's something cute about it. Like on in text, you'd be like or something you tried. It. We tried it for one screening. I was like, oh, I hate that. It's way too on the head. And it's one thing to say for Linda say, he's a fly fisherman. But why because he's a fly fisherman. And why is he draw to it? And I thought the exchange with the kids was a better of that. But the Yuri almost serial killer like patients fly-fishing, art. I mean, by the way bailed, of course, being the act. Learn how to do it first time he goes out catches a fish, which the instructor was like that doesn't happen. Very often. Actually got pretty darn good. Not the great ones are great. Yeah. But he got quite respectable. You have a fan. Then you like are you still excited to work with Christian? But I know he was in the big big short. I said the big sick movie. That's great. I love directing the big. My show hard. Yeah. Yeah. What it is now because obviously your friends. Yeah. It's just being onset. There are times where you feel like I can't believe on five feet away from this. And it doesn't mean I'm not giving notes doesn't mean I'm not having conversations and the same with Amy Adams same with Sam Rockwell. The whole other guy blew me away was Tyler Perry was like crazy good. But the bail moment of like when he does the monologue in the end, you just get goosebumps. That's the fan part of it. And he's mantle Streep. Oh, that's nice and. A little St. there's nothing better beat it. And it wasn't very good. We should Christian crystalline crystalline crystalline, Maryland, Meryl. Bill Maher crystalline Belp terror. I know you probably don't add a lot at that. Or because you know, what that was that was compassion. That was a real join me on your old school right here. Couldn't believe you went into that area. But there's no way I didn't have your back man going in. So you'd be five feet from the greatness. And. Yeah, you get bumps. It happened. A lot on this movie. I feel like it's one of the great performances. I try and separate myself because we made the movie, but even separating myself the crew was saying everyone was saying it's like one of the great performances like Christian Bale's, regardless of what anyone thinks politically thinks of the movie all of that aside. Yeah. It's jaw-dropping. That's right. Yeah. And Adams to is agreed jaw-dropping good and. Don't call me Linney shape or guys that fucking great. Yeah. It's things like that. Where someone it's almost Mambety where someone is responding to something three lines ago. It's the best that I as a writer. That's all I'm trying to do the joy of and then they respond, my scripts have a lot of readers in them. Like, I wanted to be like, no, you know, in the way, you say, no that you're agreeing. Because I want people to do what she was doing awkward, and that's also once again credit to my editor hand Corwin in. He loves that kind of awkwardness goes towards it. Yeah. He looks for moments where the actors break that he can actually put in the movie. Yeah. Was a couple of in the movie whole, wait, all if you get these then that's downright eerie. I'm trying to think which one St. in. Oh, there's a big one. There's a big one. There's kind of actually one that gets a giant response when he first meets our second time he meets with Bush with the chicken with chicken member. When it cuts to him laughing is and then it cuts right back to him deadpan. That's failed. The breaking in the scene Sam Rockwell made him laugh. No, that's actually bail just laughing. And that was my brilliant editor hand Corwin was low, Hank. Oh, my God and your DVD's and Greg will and your there's no question in Nick brutal. I also as someone who's eaten and scenes now admired how much Sam was eating chicken. And how essential it was that he was eating the check we had a running get that chicken. And it's one of those stories of as I can I get some chicken. And we're like, yes, you can we'd like the speed in a car to go try and find chicken tiddle nowhere that he get the burn. Thank god. We did. Because all my what do you like the Danish now, I don't give a shit. It's my guess, but the Danish the sound of the Danish you go that's a White House. Danish. You gotta be kidding. Twenty minute conversation about the movie for me. This is freaky. Sarah. Crab service. Dana, Chris, Chris Carrabba's, your sound mixer does Paul Tom movies. You know, he's always. Yes. You know, he's the best. I thought of when you said twenty minute conversation about the sound of that Dana. Well, when you said, nobody cares about the sound of the Danish. You didn't see Pete Holmes? 'cause I was like they have to eat the best. Dana tweeted. Dana tweet did more times we this onto that. Danish. He moment because he's fully in his power that that flash forward. There's one. He can't be eating a baby's head and not hear the crunch of the Risi. If we named our podcast would call this the sound of the Danish head to I very old, and we SNL where I was a baby had vendor. No woman come through with Brian stack. I know Brian stat LeBrun, and it was an are torn company, and they would come there and go hot dogs, pretzels pain heads and I'll go baby ads. The guy would come up to me. What did you say fry baby? And it was one of those ones you could do it like on certain. Yeah. They were like, but be careful with that one you'll clear room. But it's funny because that is clowns to is like that the jokes like that. When I was a kid we used to tell dead baby jokes that babies dumpster eighties nineties. Yeah. And it's a little animal house to be in that way. But there's that darkness. That's when I'm like kids, I'm not like a weirdo with kids. But I notice when I talk with them my friends have six seventy eight year olds they have an awareness of that stuff and in need to salve it, oh more than you think. Because even though they're the farther. I already said this the from death, but they're the closest to having not been here. And I think they now and the. I mean, what you're doing your kid is your reeling the entire time. Right. Yeah. You're trying to figure out what emotions in my allowed to put out there, which ones of my not. Yep. When I can't what am I going to do? Let me try biting someone that doesn't work. That's right. Let me try smashing something. Oh, you know, what I'm going to do throw snowballs at cars. That's right. Well, now, you're eighteen you can't do that. Anyway, by the way, with throw snowballs at cars right now, if I could I love rate is thing ever. So you're figuring out and then you go. Well, I'm gonna eat a cow's zone. I'm gonna watch worn three episodes of Sanford and son. That's right. And you sweat is available alcohol is available. Cigarettes are these are. Fortunately, smoked for twenty five years foolishly. And so kids are closer to that. Route emotion they have in with right? Yeah. You don't know their options. I was just talking to somebody about sexualizing your anger. It's like why is it you want to jerk off when you're angry? And it's like, don't he? And he was like don't do it. We're close enough that he can really do. He was just like when you jerk off. He was like let it be sexual be sexual in be in your body. Don't just be like like, I think of my father drinking or something that stupid, and I'm like doing the same thing with pizza in. And I'm saying like, you can we be big enough to go. Can I steer very dark right now for second. Did you? The Ted Bundy tapes on no because we we have a five month old. So I watch I have this joke. Yeah. Don't watch them. But I'm gonna tell you one exchange from it. Which is exactly what you're saying. Yeah. Which is will ruin it -tective goes to see Ted, bundy's parents, and the FBI guy if it is and he has a tape of Bundy describing one of the murders, and we have recordings of your son. Do you wanna hear this doesn't force it on them? And they're like, yes. And they sit there, and they listen to their son describe a murder, and there's a beat and the mother just goes SU who wants apple pie and ice cream, and the and the FBI Asia goes, and we sat there and we ate apple pie and ice cream. And it's it almost makes me want to cry. Yeah. It's like the soup Stephen song about John Wayne Gezi mother, cried embed like when you see the humanity behind that. And you see like the kid who never found even smoking as an outlet even punching a hole in a wall. Which is a great shot. The oh, I know, you know, what I'm talking that something, you know. And that is elegant while I love that show too. Great. We try to get the exact right amount of blood on there. We don't wanna go too far, he cut his hand. But yeah, got it to people this thing Cheney's, dorm room wall has a punch in it. And I'm like this is that's the feeling of being a kid. I don't know what. My dad didn't punch walls or anything. But I remember being a little detective and going like, wait what you know, like trying to put together a narrative who you're always. I mean, I tree of life my editor cut tree of life fucking a mate. Well, that movie is the entity that movie is in. Yes, he made the movie, then he's an amazing world class like crazy brilliant. But anyway, this is Hank Corwin who did also JFK Natural Born Killers. He was over stones guy for wild. Then he did Terrence Malick worked with ham. He did big short needed this one. Anyway, he's he's brilliant. But the whole idea of like piecing together the mo-. Ocean mystery of your parents, and their parents, and you get outta my face. Here's what I found a lot of it goes back to World War Two. Is that right? Yeah. I really found. There's even pictures of like my grandparents up on the mantle they were two and both my grandfathers World War Two. And a lot of it goes back to that. They were different people when they came back. Yeah. And then there was a lot of like how does the how does the wife and the kids account for this? How you'll with the distance slaughterhouses battlefield. Yeah. And war tends to be the kind of ripple of lot of these mysteries. But that was global traumatic event if we're the therapist of earth. Yes, that's a global trauma. Do you have? We should we should devote some time to that. We've gotta talk about. I mean, I'm being the therapist. Oh, yes. Yeah. Two sessions to see you twice a week. Let's just talk about dressing just talk about dress to the earth. We might wanna do threes a week. I love mystery of like our motion history mystery, heavy one speaking of Oliver Stone. I'm just gonna let you had that nine eleven movie, and this is kind of a stupid question, and we can fast forward through it. But I remember when I went to see this. I remember when nine eleven happened. There was that guy the secretary of transportation Norman Etta. I was going to tell you that gives the testimony of Cheney allowing the attack on the Pentagon from one perspective, you could say, yeah. And I was like movie sort of allows that that did happen. But you don't see it. It was that the shootdown order of the planes or you're talking about the Pentagon. Well, there was the shootdown order for the planes. And then there's the plane is coming for the Pentagon. Yes. And they're like that's debatable. That one we tried not to put anything in there that was considerably debatable. And it's not there are there are Republicans who until you didn't order the shoot down of the plane. They're lying timeframe doesn't make sense. He had to have given it before he talked to Bush. So we knew that one was true, right? The Mineta was tricky. I mean, you're the Mineta testimony the guy references. There was a shootdown order. We think from the president. He said. Bus on that. Flat out lying about four times where they were like, oh like scooter Libby and Cheney with the Valerie plame. Oh, no. They're straight up line. There's no doubt. There's a meeting at this day at this time. Clearly, we're Cheney gave it you can follow the spread of the rumor after it. Why would scooter Libby take the order from anyone like? Yeah. And even the lawyers about we're like, oh, yeah. Scooter Libby, got it for the change. And then you'll hear you know, he didn't Armitage, right? No. It was Cheney. So yeah. There were a bunch that were just like naked lies one was a little tricky. I people like that. Because they thought that Cheney was leading nine eleven and I don't I didn't see any evidence of that. I watched it when I was really I I went through a conspiracy period because nine eleven overwhelming force. I really wanted to like look into everything, and I have some theories about nine eleven they're more psychological conspiracy theories share, I've talked about these people are always hesitant to do it. But we we've talked about like. Why the towers collapsed and people always give me comments about this. And I understand that. But it was interesting to to research, but that Mineta thing used to be used as as evidence that Cheney lead it happen or something. So we keep recording someone's walking in the door right now. Hilarious total. We got here. I was shooting me twice. That was not your. Yeah. No. That's morgan. That's my assistance, Oregon family. What is your psychological? So here's my psychological, by the way, the FBI just sent her into destroys so funny. Three days of the Condor just a mmediately. And then we see Morgan walking. Of course, she's on the run they want Morgan assistant. And Robert Redford some out falls in love while being. I love they do that in movies. Like you're gonna be killed yet. You have time to meet a woman. Yeah. Develop a relationship f on love Jason Bourne, Bourne, down bless him. Yeah. Although you didn't have movie they kept it a little he fell in love in the first one didn't he but that I buy because it was a trauma relationship. I you know, what you're right. I kinda did buy it in that three days of the Condor felt a little bit less. So yeah, I mean, she was beautiful. Don't get me wrong on AXS seat. How trying to kill you. What you're? I feel the same way about trauman boos whenever movies always show booze is the thing that you do when you're stressed or upset or need to make a huge decision. And I've never been like my life's about to change. Let's get lit nev-. I've never seen that movie. How about say develop? I wish booze was what it looks like it is and madman. Which is one of my favorite shows. Which is something to celebrate something when you're sad your stress something when you're just winding down something when you're trying to pep up. I'm like, it's none of those things. That's be witched. All the old shows. It had a drink card in the living runs, right? It was something that was that. Oh, I love the idea of drinking while you're writing exactly what a train wreck. Route would be right. Like what a mistake like one or two beers. And I would like wanna go to sleep like. Yeah. Well, there's one line in madman where she says, I don't know how you drink. Like, you do I would be asleep all day. And I was like that was them winking at the camera. Yeah, we get it. We understand. I remember asking my grandfather. Like, did you do the two MARTINI lunch because he sold steel in Manhattan? Oh. Three or four martinis. Wow. And I'm like I said to him because it was it was five years before he died. So I was grown up enough. He could talk to me straight. Mike. I I drink one MARTINI. Go to I'm bombed. I wanna say though, not to take away from this man's legacy as his Steeler legacy. But they were smaller cups were they you get a MARTINI now on you're like, oh, look at Martinez in sex and the city then look in the Martinez and madman. They were smaller that that's good. Very good. I think they still burned it down back in. But the whiskey was stronger. The vodka was very interesting last MARTINI was the green mill in Chicago twenty. That's how drunk got me the end Martinez Martinez. I stop doing used to drink martinis in gulps. What I do Manhattan's. I'd call it fast. Manhattan's? I knew I had to stop drinking because it was what I would like rap parties and stuff it'd be like we're doing fast Manhattan's get everybody in Manhattan and would drink it into. And that's not what are you doing there? I don't I'm not sexualizing. My whatever. At that wasn't great. This is actually sat on my part. I was about to say it depends on old. You are because twenty three that's a blast. Yeah. But I think if the one that because the religion. So I do later is now but going back I say this all the time like chasing a narrative that wasn't mine. The like you're successful. So get fucked up isn't really isn't a wise use of your joy God. No, right. You no. There's a better way that the man doesn't want you to know about. Me like that. That's what I'm saying. Yeah. I bought into the cigarettes when I was like twenty two once you get hooked on a may or hard to lose believe that so psychological theory nine eleven. They we heard from Clinton himself. We were in New York, and we were doing that Bush shou. And we had lunch with Clinton will Ferrell one. I'm sorry. Yeah. Farrell did a one man show is W Bush. You're welcome America, directed it. And did some of the writing on it? And he was amazing, and it was a blast and taking a shower after those eight years mazing experience, but in the middle of it. We got a call Clinton's up in Harlem have lunch with you were like, yeah. Clinton fan. But I was like what you love this act. Can't say no to that. Yeah. I love the. Here as a sack. I want you to know right off the bat. I only one sunglasses and play sax. Or that's like that's like thrash black metal Arkansas is setting the me. So we go of laundry, he tells us he goes, I do the exit interview with tradition going president meets with the incoming president. And he said he said, I looked right in the eyes. I said listen, I know that you are concerned about Saddam Hussein. But I'm telling you right now, we have him contained, and he is not a threat right now. No to keep an eye on this Osama bin Laden he is determined to strike you'd like us almost the exact same line. But she is committed to striking America the teller. I've read he is an immediate and real threat. And I said, oh my God. Two months painting toys. And he's only rolled his eyes at me. And I was like, no. I mean, I'm sure if you're a Republican or Bush supporting outs Clinton, we're having lunch with them. It's the three of us in like an assistant at the end of the table. Like, I believe them. Ever later that Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism guy was in the White House trying to get meetings with them, and they were blowing them off like, and we know that they sent that intelligence down to Texas. They had a CIA guy FBI hand delivered to the president saying this is a big deal. This guy's going to attack us and the president said to him you covered your ass. No, go back to DC. So I think that's a true story, and so psychological conspiracy is I just became a journalist. To the right question is here. You blind yourself to this looming threat because you kinda want the the teacups to topple. Well, you want you wanna problem to happen because deep down inside, you know, that's when your power activates. And then with Cheney's all about exactly that's unitary executive theory. Right. It's like when that really what does he say about war war is your belongs to war belongs to you. Yeah. Yeah. You get to do it. That's the superhero. Where is yours? That's put on the Cape and count. Oh, go get and don't let the UN habit. Fucking bail scares me like seven times in that movie. And that's one of about is. No, you're absolutely right along to you. Oh, it's very very curious. It's a lighting the fuse of the ego. This is about you. And it's not about your dad and the eagles the pain avoidance. It's like safety. Yes power. That's my powers addiction, and one of the other things we talked about was like people don't talk about power the same way they used to it used to be when I was a kid. They would be like absolute power corrupts. Absolutely. You have to have checks and balances, and that seems to have gone away. It's almost viewed as naive. Oh, yeah. Childish talk about power being an addictive corruptive for. Nobody's writing Lord of the rings. Now. Exactly my doctor God, I wish I could rate. Yeah. What's that? Lord of the rings is a great reference because that ties into that's CS Louis which ties I'm sorry. He was friends with Louis which ties into all the union stuff ties into mythology. Right. That's like that era. That's right held this Huxley. Good. The lettuce. Oh, Chris that gets like your chips. Greasy chips the burden the baby have you've been there. That's the bar. They used to drink added an Oxford. Oh, really? Oh, yes fund. What was I going? I hope our my doctor light the ego safety protection. He said he was like when I was a kid Star Wars everybody where Luke Skywalker t shirts. And now, they'll wear Darth Vader, stormtrooper t-shirt. It was like fuck. My dick hall that is it. What do you mean? Would you know that muck? I mean, you might see the symbol of the rebellion from time to time you still see it. But you see a lot of stormtrooper stabbed. You hear the quote from Steve Bannon, if you're read that he goes real actual Steve Bannon, you know, the guy who some thought was going to be Trump's Cheney until thank God, Trump didn't have a healthy enough ego to have a chain. Yeah. So we had to boot him out. Bannon still out there working over in Europe. Now and his quote was care. I'm going to paraphrase it here. It's like you look at the devil. You look at Darth Vader. You look at dick Chaney, that's real power. Give me that kind of power. And we once again considered opening the. Movie with that? But it was too on the head. We tried it one day and that feels to on the head. So we took it out. But it is crazy that Steve Bannon said that in Dick Cheney and Darth Vader, Dick Cheney the devil. Well, the idea of curbing your ego and getting rid of power or being wise enough to realize that we need to share it, or that's what the American political system is supposed to be exactly interesting the documentarian Adam Curtis. I got to speak with when I was over in England. And he raised a great point is like the left is afraid of its own power. The left is afraid of movement politics. A lot of the people on the left or the moderate left view, like Cossio Cortez as like danger, like it's a movement in power, the people, and there's a lot of the left that doesn't want power that rail they associate that with like Matthau, communism and Bernie Sanders gets lumped into that. Right. Right. A little bit Elizabeth Warren not as much too much change. Yeah. Yeah. And he was talking about that. He's like the right wing has no problem with their power. I understand that. Yeah. What do you think? I'm not a very I hate saying this because it's not cool anymore used to be cool to go. I'm not very political. It's not cool anymore. I don't know. I always say, I hate politics. But okay, I'm interested in government. You know, I think politics have been sold to us in a certain way that is boring and bullshit, right? But I think government and the throne like, yeah, I would say we're not talking about politics. We're talking about the throne. We're talking about it changes our live like the, you know, the people wrote the constitution, we're screwed up, and they were slave owners. But they knew enough to do checks and balances and try and put the people right thrown. Well, that was my theory is and I wonder what you think about this. So it is a question. I as I get older, I see the value of of both. Meaning I think the system wouldn't be perfect. If we were all democrat, nor would it be perfect. If we were all Republican, the beauty of it. I suppose is in the tension is in the middle space. So even. When you have a league it it should be no tension in the middle right now. It's all to the right? I mean, and that's a perversion of what's what I'm saying. Is we have had in heart for lack of a better term, and the left can sometimes have what ROY Scoble has great joke about when you're. Stop and go traffic, and and the Republican is the person in the third to left most lane who cuts in front. Oh, it's when they're closing, Elaine. Yes. Yes. And some people get over right away. And that's what you're supposed to do. And then the asshole stays in the left until the very end acts like he didn't know that the lane was closing. So we can cut in fed tennis. And that's a Republican and he goes, but the liberal is the one who leads them in. Yes. And that's the left having no power. That's what I'm saying. So when I and this can I give you money to four for the Republican party. I used to say Republican party. And I don't know if this holds anymore has gotten much darker, but used to be when we were kid, and you saw rocky three, and you left the movie theater and kind of wanted to get in a fight even though you weren't good at fighting. That's the Republican party. That's even better. Please. Someone tickets swing at me right now. And then like two days later like I'm not even that good at fighting wanted. I want that to happen. Anyway, keep going. No, no, I wanna put it to you. It's like it's almost like Republicans are surgery and sometimes Democrats can feel like homeopathic medicine. Yeah. I think that's certainly what's been put out there. I mean, that's a talking point emotional, right? Correct me because I'm not an expert, and I won't be sensitive. I so it's so complicated too. There's so many sides to the left. There's the progressive left, which is movement politics, which is burning Sander Lisbeth, Warren into the woods. Exactly. And that side is real power to the people. Then there's the corporate dams or more like, you know, what Debbie stabbing now Chuck Schumer that Dianne Feinstein. There's that side which they would have really been Republicans in the seventies and the eighties really like Republicans. So it's so complicated. Then you go to the right wing the right wing used to have kind of fringe right wing. And then it had the more moderate right-wing like, I guess you kind of say like Mitt Romney type thing. But now the right wing as we know is mostly become very very extremist almost across the board. And then the moderate dams have become more right wing. And then there's this little kind of progressive movement. So it's very complicated. So the homeopathic side is kind of the person who still listens to NPR and his a corporate damn but thinks they're a liberal, but really isn't backing any people's movement, and that can feel really powerless. I know that vibe, but what I'm saying? I guess it goes to the dad mom thing too. Chamie being this perversion of dad energy, like I got the gun, and I go downstairs, can you get in touch with the part of you. That's like there is an appropriate way to have the dad that goes downstairs. Still say I'm against the death penalty with the head because I know it doesn't work with the head with with by head used my head to be against the death penalty because it doesn't work. It doesn't work as a deterrent. They put innocent people to death. There's no way to be certain about it it actually costs way more money. There's cruel and unusual punishment with my heart. I if anyone hurt one of my loved ones, I'm waiting on the courthouse steps to take them out like and by the way, if I did that I would expect to go to jail. I would say like put me in jail. I just killed that guy who were hurt my family. Like, I was Charles Bahrain. Right. He'll be in jail, Christian bale and Batman begins trying to kill homages. Wait a minute. My parents were killed in a back alley. No. That's about him. I get confused. But he learns that there's another way Adam you didn't learn the message in begin bail on speaker. I think I think what we've lost is just the constructive dialogue. The thing of like there are problems we can solve forget right left. I think it's just like come on. It's rebuild our bridges and roads, let's have universal healthcare every other country has this is nonsense. Don't have machine guns legal like all that stuff. That's like if you really even talked to a public, and they'll even go. Yeah. Agree with that like that stuff. And then the big one, of course, now is global warming. I mean, that's going to be bigger than everything. And like just start the conversion like, we know it's happening. Scientists the solar panels in your movie, or that isn't it funny that you have all the stats about murdering stuff, but the solar panels coming out that really kind of helped me go like these guys the dark side. You know what I mean? I mean, they might be going on man. I mean, look what's happened. I answer that people were like why is it? So against the Republican party. I'm like look around like, it's Donald Trump. Look what they're doing that party has taken a wrong. Turn it. Doesn't mean. The people who vote for them. Yeah. Are evil family members who? Are Republicans ever? Really good message with the party itself has really become acidic. But men that solar panel thing, my gut hurt. And you know, you looked it up. It's hundred percent true. I believe, but then when Rumsfeld at the beginning bangs, the Mike, and is so funny, and he goes, I'm what he is. I understand the hundred percent, and I went to Christian college and this year nicely, especially in respect for your time. When we talk about religion at the end, so this'll your nicely. I went to college a lot of Republicans. And I remember meeting my I like really adamant Republican and just being like completely transfixed by him. And also noticing that he was sort of full of shit, but like here so passionate about what he was full of shit about he stayed up all night, we were in Israel. I was studying in Jerusalem, stay up all night to watch the Bush Legua lipping out and praying about and all this. I remember Michael J, FOX on family ties who that's right? Yeah. The cool became the most popular character in America in a way, the writers never intend. That's right. He wants to be a joke. He was supposed to be a joke and suddenly everyone was one hundred percent with him. Right. And that's when I remember Reagan getting elected and all the cowboy imagery, and I remember people in America. I remember hearing China calling America paper tiger. When I was like in third grade or second grade, and I remember the post Vietnam hangover, and it was kind of a bummer, and I remember the Iranians taking those students taking the hostages and people felt kinda crappy to be Americans after Vietnam my answer to that. Now would be maybe we should've felt crappy for a little while and that feeling pass through us. But instead America went I want cowboy hat, I want actor and from then on it was like, I'm so glad you mentioned that because the use of the rifleman right Chaney Chaney's the rifleman. Now, I'm taking you to dinner with composer producers go I'll be there any day you so everything in the movie, so clearly purposeful. Yeah. Like the shining. Yes. So the kid is watching. The rifleman which is the most phallic rifle I've ever seen almost seems inappropriate that a little girl is watching. And we laughed. We were the only people in the theater every time. We would we would love so ARD. It's a huge vented. It's demented the angle on rifleman. And then just right in his crotch and the whole, by the way, the whole premise of the show was all right. Have this great idea of her show? It's guy. Right. And he's got a family, but he's got a rifle. That was in the eighties remove the horror movies where it was just he has a motorcycle. Time brighter. Is that what it is time writer is think about a guy who went back into history time traveled? He had a motive on the eighteen seventies. When they almost invented motorbikes, and he had a motorbike the motorbike was like six years away. But the guy is a motorcycle. And we're like heard about one of those. I love it. I'm working on that. I'm going to time travel back to the nineties with my car. That is electric art the rifleman, though, definitely that area tension. That's cheney. That's I'm gonna. Kid and talk about cigarettes. That's a story. It's theology that we were sold hundred percent at a young age putting me too. That's what I'm saying. That's why when I left your movie the first time, I was like, you know, what I mean? I mean because I like the rifleman by the way, I do too. And I like, I've course want a strong hand wheel. But then you look at the what that strong hand did and the prophets made off of it for his old company. Isn't it scanned like our dads though? It's as complicated as bad. Yes. Absolutely. We go like my dad with us. But he also did this, and this that's as complicated as you just want the dad, who's has traffic anger to take a breath. That's all you're asking for Cheney never took a breath can win that fucking ram. The guy's car off a bridge like yourself, just if you can just all we're asking for is like take a little bit of like, I would say sometimes like the. Technocrat's or they not technocrat. That's the right word. But but real bureaucrats take two way too, many Brett's and it gets frustrating. But it's that's right. That's right combination of the heart and the head, that's right breath. And we get one breath. Can we just get one breath middle way and like Bill Clinton when he went into the Serbia and Croatia that with Milosevic I supported that? Like, I'm not a pacifist guy like Melissa vich was committing genocide. We went in there. We didn't lose a lot of soldiers. I know people were hurt and killed you never take it lightly. But it worked it took Milosevic out. They save lives like war can be used in that way. And I thought that was a good combo of heart and head even though I don't like what I hear the economy. What did he eat when you eat some anything, he ate japodlay, huge labor Reto and a milkshake? He had a salad hit a salad because he's posed heart attack, and he's very trim now and very healthy. And he had a very spare little salad. And he commented on it to have you seen the show? He had seen had not seen the show. But he's a giant xactly true giant anchorman. Talladega nights fan because we just work with Mary Steenburgen. But it was very apparent. He didn't mention stepbrothers. So you're like, I don't think he like stepbrothers, but he loved Talladega nights and anchorman. He's a big comedy fan. I also love those. But stepbrothers come on stepbrothers, though has a few more power chords in it. It did lose like my mom afterwards was like I didn't like that. When you mean, like, the balls well that fighting each other in the low, I mean, the language to a little more absurd. We're back to you know, what it helps is the cheese on the chips and the microwave and Ugo it's the leanest character description there's ever been. It's. And I go I I remember thinking that was not chose to. And I grew up other doing more. But he's happy even seeing it. I'm like, oh, he's about to have a good hour and a half L my God. And the other one is dad, you gotta give me more money. So to buy pizza like just you all that stuff was Riley Pharrell, and I just channeling none of our childhoods. But like when we were nineteen, you know, like that feeling crazies was the end of the movie when we screened it. There were stories of people actually tearing up at the apartment. I find very moving is when he goes I want to get the line, right? But he's like, that's funny. That's that's a truly funny survey Shen at the at the Catalan wine mixed around 'cause you're talking about when we're kids, right? And we don't know how to sedate our emotions with the culturally appropriate sedation. That's it. So there honest people I'm gonna get Jesus here. This is very impressive, by the way. You just linked back to children processing emotion without destroying them. Connected to step brothers for the promised. I would as I'm sitting down. You started this with because the drum set behind us, and you've lived it. And then you told me in the beginning, you're gonna religion. And you're about this is I'm just sitting back. Well, Jesus says favorite. I don't even know the verse. But it's it's in the gospels these less be converted and become as little children each enter the kingdom of God. You know, I love numbers is everything. How about what you believe? How could it be a system of beliefs or something that you understand the logically? When Jesus is saying you need to be like kids, and what our kids they're free. Why? So in that moment will is learning until his John learning to be grownups, which is a little death. And and it's making me emotional talking about and what they end up finally learning is that becoming a grownup isn't about killing yourself. It's about being confident with your freedom. That's right that you don't need and really that whole movie even though it's very silly. We were talking about that stuff. And that's right. Yeah. And in the end, nobody would give a shit if you weren't. Yeah. Whenever I picked something or jetty. He's always telling me to be and he's right less philosophical because all I wanna do is talk about how movies Christmas story kid wants a rifle. He wants. He wants an election wants a big doubts and the dead with the leg. The most Freudian movie. I've ever fun. Have you done press in France? No with they they do talk like this. My whole got to do K hair cinema famous film journal probably saying incorrectly. But all they do is talk about they wanted to talk about my comedies and the symbolism. That's all they want about. And then they would come in. And it was the only place because vice was like people either loved it or hated it. So you'd have people loved it. But the French would come in and go you've made in masterpiece. Thank you for making this film. Now, can we talk about stepbrothers? You gotta do press in France. I do oh it was so much fun. We had the best time. We will kick me under the table because I'm talking about this. Now, I when I watch John wick I'm like this is about Buddhism. It's about loss of attachment and becoming Powerball we fairly and I with the comedies always buried that stuff in the middle of our movies. We always had that as the central drive. I would say why you care if it wasn't exactly I would say fairly go pretend this is art movie. We made anchorman is based off of umbrellas of Sherborne that was the movie that I looked at for the look of it. And the vibe of it always used an art film as kind of sister or brother to the movie we were doing so we would always compare it to something. And so we would have these philosophical discussions, and then I would tell Farrell now don't tell anyone this is what side the movie. That's right. I was going to tell you off the Jesus thing in my office over Gary Sanchez, one of my favorite pictures, and I've had it for almost thirty years. I got it at a. Yard sale back in ninety two. So is that almost thirty years yet in Chicago when I was there for upright citizen, forget and all that stuff. It's a hand-drawn picture of Jesus just laughing hard. I know that picture, you know, it passers off. Oh my God. You never think of Jesus laughing. And I was like, you're right. Of course, he's laughing. He gets the job, and I had that. And I have Martin Luther King's mugshot or the to rate mug show big pictures. I have info in that faith, both benjor mind. Such an interesting way that fuck Sinatra's. I'm the world is mine shot give me more than Luther King. Do it's almost like Erie that he knows you're looking at it in twenty nine hundred nobility that like the sense of dignity. That's right. Isn't the most dignified, but bad ass like hurt but powerful? It's incredible. The difference between dignity and respect is a big one like peop-. That fly off the handle and get angry too much. Always talk about I'm not being respected. But respect is something you can't control. Right dignity is inside you dignity is yours, and you could see in that mugshot Martin Luther King in a nutshell. It's like what what you can control this. You can't really control what they're doing. But we can control how we react. It's I mean, that's very I mean, that's next level. That's buddhist. That's christiane. That's right. That's that's toll lay. Right. That's a good mythology. That's not sax on a drum set John's rallies. Character should've said, I can't control this. Downstairs and taking a deep breath. And I I'm dying day, by the way to make a movie where nothing happens where everything's just cool dying to make like an hour fifty five minute movie. That's just like, no. It's his panel. Tin is it's not a spoiler. It's about a guy dying. And almost nothing happens. Really? It's it's it's in the best way. It's one of those elegant movies I've seen and you think oh, they're setting up is not going to ruin it. I think it'll make you more. Maybe you think they're setting up a symbol that they're going to do something with and then they don't and it's almost like that's the point is it's it's like the straightest ERO. I can't wait to see it. I'm excited. It's devastating lead. Sometimes with his movies gets close to that. Mike Lees, you know, the British filmmaker he does movies where it's just characters behaving. There's not that three act traditional rise false story or there's only a semblance of it is sweet. Yeah. Or a couple others. Emily watson. Anyway, check out Mike Lees. Yeah. So we're talking Jesus. And all that let me look at this. This is just to make sure I'm not missing anything on on on vice or anything, and then we're gonna get into God is that. Okay. Yeah. Of course, phone how eats nine eleven the rifleman. What do we believe say the can't motivation style shots? Oh, I had the quite the bird and the heart monitor. You'll. Yeah. See because I've made a not a lot of TV. But from my experience, my subjective experience twenty four hours of TV is a lot. That is. I'm like, I know how not it's such a quick shot the bird in the heart monitor. And then I'm like, well, that's stylized, and that's lit, and that's deliberate. And it's time and it's money. Yeah. I was like did you shoot anything like that that you cut? My god. I keep leave you caught that. So there was a line in the bar when he was drunk in the beginning of the movie where the old guy says give that son of a bitch shot of whiskey that ports. He is talking about the old guys talking about his wife dying. And he tells young Cheney your heart's like Kook o'clock. It's only got so many tics. For that comes out and the bird, and we it was just people weren't connecting it to the dialogue. But we like the bird and in a weird way almost kind of played without it like, yeah. And but it was seated it was always supposed to be a reference that came back. But like you said this movie just the true story was so there's so many symbols. That's we actually had to get some out of it. Like, we're like get rid of the cuckoo clock get rid of. So there were a few like that that we cut. I mean, the biggest thing that we took out when they release it. I think it's an April. They'll do the DVD Blu Ray, I tunes all that kind of stuff. Was we had a whole thing with their young love story of how young Lynn? Yeah. Kind of picked Dick Cheney that was just oh my God, some of the most beautiful footage you've ever seen. Tremendous acting is incredible note, we did younger people, and that's what got us into trouble with the audience was like, wait a minute. I drove out here bad enough. You got me to come see. A movie about a vice president. Now, I don't even get to see Christian bale and Amy Adams. Yeah. And the audience just we lost adds an abusive power. It was Finally I was like all right. We'll take it out. I mean, I kept it in there for months and months, and so that was a big one. And there were symbols in that that would get called back later. There was an oil pump that we would use. It was kind of like his heart. And it was about obviously, straight up oil and power, and we kept referencing that in the sound of that. And I'm actually glad we got that out of there because it was like that in the Kuku clock. We got the tree very moving the heart. You mean on the yeah. Which is looked at as his heart. I'm not sure that's a separate swell. I guess it is the heart. You have the fishing and those are the two big ones or the heart and the fishing. I'm sure you've gotten this compliment before with the credits rolling. That's all you have to see it in my favorite roles. You know, I'm a comedian. So I- pride my sense of timing. It rhyme. It rolls for the exact to the frame. Exactly. How long it should bless you. And when you're reading them, and you know, they're real. Yup. It just people walked out. I've heard stories people getting up and leaving a little baffled. I've heard stories of people getting up to and then stopping in the aisle and in standing in their position in the aisle for like ten minutes watching the movie, but there's been a fair amount of people just straight up leaving the theater at that point the jokes it the car Joe, they don't entirely notice. Joe? I mean, think of the audience we're pulling in for this movie. Like, it's a lot of it doesn't intersect with comedy say, he ran the ironman competitions. I remember some screening didn't get a lot. And I'm like, I would lean over go. Like today think this? He really runs. Then you also realize there's young people in the crowd who don't know people that have lost track. And then they're like, I remember one person saying like, yeah, it was wondering like, oh, I guess they just chose to movie about Dick Cheney's younger years. So good, so good. That's rich. Yeah. Do you think he is seen it? He has to write. I don't think he's soon. It. No. I think he's he's I think he would be cool with it. If you saw it for the most part like the last five minutes the stuff about the daughter. I think Lynnwood really got about. I think the last five to ten minutes. I think everything up even the moment where he gives the okay? Yeah. Yeah. Which had to have happened will they wrote a letter of support for Liz two days later. So we don't know if he actually nodded, but they wrote a letter supporting that's another scary moment. Yeah. That's another one of those. That's the one where I saw people crying and let Christian Bale's wife was really shook up just like betrayed the daughter like. Yeah. Like, okay, they invaded a country killed a million people. They they betrayed the daughter. It was the one thing about him. When I researched his life. I kept coming back to that. It's the one thing about him. Everyone says he was a great dad. He was there for his daughters, and how could he abide by this? When this happened. You know, what I'm not proud of this. But I like sharing that I'm not her feelings proud because we all have them the first time. I watched it cuts to the gay daughter is named Mary so Mary to marry wonderful actress Bill credible home. I got also very funny, by the way, I know I've met her and very taken with her and everything she does when she's crying. And her wife is comforting her the first time, I saw it. I was like what he expect. I had that. I don't know why. But I was like your dad's vampire, and you thought, but the second and third I was like I was kinda surprised that I felt that way. The I it's only because he supported or so nakedly the first time in research. And then when I was reading about was like, why would he do you don't need to do this? She she wasn't even gonna win the race. It was. Like, you could've just waited. But there's a story of Lynn telling Alan Simpson to shut up at some party. And like Simpson was like, why are you going against Enzi? What are you doing shut your mouth and later? They're like go Lynn, did you say that? I did not and Simpson was yeah. Yes. You did set it right to my face in front of twenty people. And like it was just like they kinda gone beserk at that point. Like, it's rational, it's the ring power, and you can't be trusted with it hundred percent. Do you think ws art? He made it more than anyone. I mean, he interpretation of him is just so negative and once again through all our research. That's what I what it was. I've talked to journalists who covered we're like. Yeah. He was pretty bad pretty ill prepared. I mean last couple years he kind of woke up to what Cheney was doing. But I mean, the guy really didn't know how was done like he had no experience and Cheney ran circles around when I knew we were okay on that was win. Bush's dad said I regret recommending Cheney to my son because I didn't know Cheney was going to run a shadow empire out of the White House. His dad's exact words when I heard that I was like, we're good. His dad to say that even though I've been hearing it from other people and done the research when his I was like, okay, I'm assuming w won't watch it or like it. But I might watch it as Mary my watch the daughter. Oh, yeah. Might be the one who would watch it. Maybe when it goes on TV, you know, you just flip through channels on a plane. One of them's gonna just like Lynn's gonna stand at the TV and watch ten minutes of it. Like that's gonna happen. Yeah. A little explosion. When that happens like, there might be like some rumblings that Lynne Cheney wants to sue Adam McKay or some be some weird, right? But Mary's the one I'm curious about well, I mean, she's kind of the soul of that story. Yeah. She is. She is. So let's talk about sweet, geez. You were you were raised relig-. Six grade. I think it was my mom came a big born again Christian what happened, but my parents were kind of hippie. I was called the more hipsters vineyard. They were my dad was a musician. So there's a photo my dad with alongside burns, and my mom and a leopard skin code fake. Of course, would like long, straight blond hair and big circular glasses. They were like in the buffet bail. Yeah. Exactly. That's exactly and they were cool cool. And they got married when they were like eighteen and nineteen and then they split for a while. And my mom was like a single mom. She was like a waitress and we were living with in Worcester. Massachusetts for awhile. It's pretty tough from Lexington. Are you serious? I didn't know that. It's fine. I lived in Chicago little crazy Christian understand your movies. Wow. And and then fifth sixth grade, we were we were poor. We were like living in a crappy little houses list to Worcester. And then we moved to outside Philadelphia. My mom was like if we're gonna be broke. Let's move to a better town because we have to was tough back then no offense to, but Gary Goldman has this great joke where he's talking about bullying. He's from Boston. He was like to get bullied for drinking sprite. It was considered a week beverage. Oh you can't handle caffeine. I was like that. The most Boston joke I've ever heard in my life. So good. You know what I mean? Dark beverages. Oh, I had to get on a fight like first day of school. When you go in you gotta fight. So that's the way stuff just ram that way. And so we moved to this little scraggly town outside Philly called Malvern, which is now really fancy but back then was more scraggly, and we lived in a little split. Duplex. My mom was a waitress and we would get the free presence from the church every Christmas. Yeah. But it was nice. I never felt like nothing's what brand of Christianity. So then she how we area. Work when we were living and things were tough. Who was like, you know, you seem to be having a hard time. What you pray with me? And they she was like what are you talking about? And the fr-. I can't remember who the friend was. But was like something of Nazareth. And they prayed, and she later told me it was like a light went on in her heart, and it definitely opened up a part of her. You know, she became more aware of it. So she than just one hundred percent went into it. Like, we started going to church every Sunday. She was doing like I remember after about a year going to services where they'd be praying in tongues. Oh, I went to a faith healer one once or twice was a Pentecostal. It was everything she took us to a Mennonite church for a while. We went to an Episcopalian, she was just going to all. But then there was one called the abbey that was right around the second. And that was more like the guy with the guitar and the hands raise. I I didn't care it all I just was so pissed I was missing the NFL and was just like I would go on bathroom breaks that would last twenty minutes and save your boobs for church. Exactly. And the one thing I knew was my mom was happier. And she was and things were. A little better, relax. She went back to college. She got her degree. She got a decent job. And after a while. I didn't even mind the church on Sunday. I remember really liking the Mennonite one because they would just play music the whole time. And then the guy would do a sermon. And then we go downstairs and eaten credible food. And I was like Jesus thing is not bad. Loaves and fishes, and then I went to college. And then after I went to college, my mom remarried, and then started tacking towards the right? They started watching Fox News. And now, they're super right-wing Christians. God bless them. Still love him. Oh, but pretty hard core. Like Trump supporters now it's much trickier. Now, they'll tell you once again love, my mom love her husband, Pat, but they will tell you you're going to hell they're pretty loose with it more that and that's not as fun once again, God bless them. But. But I'll work. Do you? Go to therapy. Yeah. To to be able to keep your heart open in the face of that. I don't always succeed. We've certainly had a couple arguments through the years. But the one thing I've learned is the arguments don't work. Yeah. And like the heart is the only thing that seems to write keep us close. And she really is a wonderful woman that she's really funny. I mean, a lot of where I get you know, my love of humor. Yeah. And she's very creative and really quick minded. And when she's on her game. She's one of the most lovely people you meet but occasionally her and her husband get a little sour. Yeah. Need to tell you. You're going to hell boy. Yeah. Yeah. Tricky. Do you believe them? Oh god. No. No, it doesn't bother me in that sense. At all. And I believe in God, I'm not an atheist. I definitely can. We creek Ferguson came to mind for to the park. Gezim separating God in the afterlife is such an essential thing. Yes. He was. He was mentioning that. When people say, they don't believe in God, they're often saying, I don't believe in heaven and hell because that's that's sort of how packaged us. Well. I guess I definitely don't believe in heaven L. There's no question about that. But I always say this. I can go this far with my logical mind, I go as far as we know nothing and the idea of getting on your knees every day and bowing down to that overwhelming mystery makes perfect sense. And supplicating yourself in front of that mystery, then I can take this leap, I can say, we know nothing, but we know that our highest level that we can live on is love. We know that love builds things forgives it makes things be created. So the idea projecting our highest emotion into that mystery. I can go that far. This is all just would logical Maya and then with a little bit of a leap, I get to full on like, yeah, I believe in God. You know? I mean. I mean, Jesus I don't think was God. They can't hear my smile. But. I don't think Jesus had magical powers. But I do believe he was a holy man. I believe you believe there's a way to wake up to tuning into this frequency hundred percent. I think like I can read the New Testament, no problem. I can I believe in God. I have no problem praying. I'm one hundred percent down with it. I just don't believe in organized religion, in any way, shape or form. But if you told me you were doing a service with like twenty five friends, and it's not a building that's owned by any church that's far away. Doing a service. I'd be there in a heartbeat. And I believe in activism to I went to a church in New York. Saint Mark's church that their whole service was around activism. So they would say, okay, we're helping the guys who deliver the food from the Delhi. They're on strikes who's going to volunteer to do that. I was like I feel God in this room is real so, yeah, I'm definitely religious when Jesus talks about like, you know, when you feed the needy. You're feeding me sort of thing that. Him really challenging something the God in all of us. The idea that loving each other as as as a piece of God as a piece of the whole thing. And as you get older, you realize how hard that is the loving yourself low that goes back to Cheney the other other other affiliation of people. Yes is really actually kicking around this idea. I don't know if it's right. 'cause sometimes I get in that frequency and these thoughts, and then I come back here. And they're not always correct. But I was like sometimes I think the other fixation of people is not just pure hate. It can be the overwhelming -ness of love. So if I love everybody, if my heart really opens, and that can be a scary place. Then you start carrying about a lot of people that you start hurting for you know, what I'm saying if that's me being wrongly imprisoned or murdered or starving or leaded. So then I go it's actually in the dark Knight. Tell bill. I'm just kidding. The joker as that. Great thing where he goes like a group of gangbangers dies. Nobody panics because it's all part of the plan that that to me feels like love can be so overwhelming that we start hating things to protect ourselves. We go like a bunch of extremist died or a bunch of what was the country that up on by? Sorry indonesians. Oh, no. Bodine? Sorry. Yeah. Bunch of Cambodian or you know, or. Yeah. But we see this all the time. So one of the most holy people. I feel like I've ever heard about is like ten twelve years ago. I read an article about a woman who is up at I think it was Canada, and they were releasing child molesters from prison, and obviously once you're convicted of child molestation, and you get out you're scrubbing. That's it you're over. So no one would rent them an apartment. No one would give them a job. So they're all living out like past like some overpass in the have you heard about this? And this woman said I'm going to create a house for these people. And she went and created a house and help them all get jobs and the whole community was like your awful. And then I heard the woman speak, and it was like she's like we have to love everyone. These are the people who are really sick. And this is the highest calling of God, if you like this woman's a Saint, I was like I couldn't do that. Yeah. I could not. I mean, I would hope I could. We're not circumstance, but that is hard. I understand there's another woman. I heard about her kid was killed by some lunatic. And she went and prayed with the guy who killed her kid in prison. I'm like, oh, they should have a stained glass window of her church. Like the guy who took LSD and broke into house and beat her because he was having a bad tribute. Never take him loosened Jim before any freaked out and thought she was a demon or something and they were on the today show or something and she was a Christian and she fully loving this kid. And I was like fuck the you're a superhero. I mean, you really why when your parents are no disrespect to your mom or dad. I understand I've been the person that thinks everyone's going to hell, but the immensity and the Infinit nece, you rob L, my dear my brother, he's a spiritual teacher talks about you can't divide Infinity. And there's parables tells where the message it's about giving. I'm getting it wrong. But giving land to his servants or something Jesus always telling stories about rich people giving things away and the. The stupid -ness of asking how you're going to divide it because he's like you can't divide Infinity. So when you think about God's grace and God's love it's so irrational, and it's light here's night, only, universal concept, and what we don't get is. That were afraid we're gonna lose things by tapping into that we're going to give everything away and the truth is it gives more back, but actually energizes you the old thing of like your wealthier away doesn't literally mean you have more money. But it means you have more energy and light and you look healthier. I've always said like people once again, scientifically speaking, people are good because when we're productive and loving. We are physically healthier can actually see when someone is miserable and self destruct only. They agree. Good. I was thinking about that with Trump and eating KFC all the time. Like, you can see it. It's like a vibration coming off of a person when you're just like something's off when somebody is in that flow, which is what I got as a flow to. Dance you can participate in one hundred percent, and then you are healthier it yet in the system to reward. You wanna give away stuff for a rash park? Eighty. What do you want? You know, I friends over in sometimes when my talk about being in that place when I'm in that place, I go I should do a tour called the free tour and just tour. When I'm in that place. I go every time friends come to my house. You say take something take anything. And I wouldn't do that with my friends. Your friends are also rich show. Not it's just like my friends. Like, yeah. I understand you guessed it your house. That's a Hindu thing that really I didn't know that when when they treat everybody is God, there's the so you're awareness, the phenomenon that science can't explain right, which is not to put down science. I've actually been tripping out on the things we agree about one is the mystery of consciousness. Yeah. We don't have a theory of consciousness, and maybe we'll look back and be like well now we do. And then I'll be an asshole. Who cares? I'm sort of like, I don't think we'll ever fully get into sheet music for consciousness, Philip k Dick's entire career is conscious and identity. What the hell does it mean? But we also agree did figure that out. I don't feel like telling you read, I got other shit. Oh using charge. You charge you I'll tell you for nine grand. Should've gone higher. By the way, I've the secret of conscious keep moving on. Really have an idea to you. I actually did crack that I actually win. I studied that Shambala mountain center with a bunch of great Buddhist. One hundred percent. This is I'm sorry. I'm sorry you and I love the Bala putting specific in their very good. Very good improvise. And it was a good specific wonderful, your the specificity in your riffs is so funny, the human that would be human torch was delighted denied a Bank law. You know, what I'm saying get outta my face. A man was in truth in comedy, the problem. That's deep rough day. Mike Myers is references saying he would say pass the Hinds not pass the catch. That's comedy. I remember hearing the story. Someone told me because I got to Chicago right as Myers Myers been gone for a couple years. And so I got there, and I was a huge fan as I mean people we know his movies. But people forget how good he was on SNL brackets is one of the great sketches of. So I asked a friend of mine who would improvise with him. I was like what was Myers likely Myers was kind of guy, and you have to remember this is like nineteen ninety one on talking about Zoll long time ago. But he's like if you're doing an improvised seeing where it's a newscaster. He's the guy on your team. It goes behind the newscaster in waves as arms to get on TV. And I was like, oh, I like that. I like that. That's like nowadays. That's a common joke, but back then it wasn't as much like he was he was the detail specifics. Yeah. Yeah. Obviously do characters as well. But that's really funny. That's. That sort of ties back to the complemented gave vice or something human or real happening in literally every scene like the flies or the stubbing the toe something or the chair the chair going back to far in your first office. You're feeling great on the slight humility. But then the owning it. He doesn't come back. Yes. Comedies has come back. You know, chaplain comes back. I'm not I'm not I'm just saying comedy goes fix it. He goes back and goes, no, I'm glad that it goes. I'm glad that the chair leans too far thing is wrecking this day. This is my was conscious effort once again Frazier hand, Corwin myself bail, all the actors like let the messy in this live. Yeah. Just let it go. Also knew we were dealing with a pretty classical framing of the movie. I mean using film like you said the language the mythology of it is very classical. I mean, literally we break out in his Shakespeare one point classical. And so that being kind of the idea behind it. We're like, let's make sure the quilt. What is the thing where the Amish make a quilt and put them? Yeah. Yeah. Oriental rug is it really, okay? Yeah. I think it's the Amish. But look I don't want. This is the air in the podcast. One of us has neither. There's an Amish guy sneaking spot gas mine barn right now. It's neither you lose. I have a friend who does a lot of writing and research with the Amish, and he's like the adult he said like I told him I I work with you. And and we don't know who he is. And then all the adults walked away the kids came up like we love Ackerman. Oh god. I've heard stories like the technology the Super Bowl in one bar. Exactly. Exactly. Where were we Jesus? I took us off the guy we were cooking with God. I think we're doing great with God. I think the things that we agree about. Yes. Haunches? I like that a lot and I was saying 'cause sometimes I worry about being on Bill Maher show. Have you been on it? No. But I wrote a book in my what's that? I've been on twice is it fun. It's okay. Yeah. Yeah. It's you, you know. So you'd be gritting actually, be amazing. I appreciate that. Yeah. But I they were like, well, maybe we'll pitch you Bill Maher show. And I was like, okay. So I wrote a book about God. And then it was like oh boy. And then I was like, well, what would I say to Bill Maher? And I would say like it's interesting that we agree that the big bang, right? Which is a theory. I know science concedes that that but most people put stock in that theory, we measured the radiation from. Boatswain particles exact evidence for this theory shirt support Siri. But so I'm not holding anybody. We don't know what happened before the big bang. That's absolutely no flat out tell you that. We also don't know what's on the outside of the expanding unit. They'll tell you that. Yes. So we understand that there's a certain degree of can't explain quantum mechanics at all or little bit string theory. But it's not really an explanation if you cut him all acumen, half and rotate one half in San Francisco, why the molecule that's New York exempts rotate were soaked in ministry. Yes. And yet the fast and furious wants you to forget, not just what's happening in the government. But everything is pulling your your awareness away from what's really had. God bless the fast and furious. And God bless my mother. But yes, you're correct. Yeah. I know. I know I like. Periods. And you know valve for her birthday wanted to watch an episode rupaul drag racing. And it's not for me. It's not I'm not saying, it's bad. But it was and we're like, let's watch what you doing it. But as I was watching it I was like I've never felt further from being in tune. Yeah. It's fine. And I watched them garbage TV. But I would just like I need to listen to. I I I wanted to be in a sensory deprivation tank for an hour. I know that feeling when I was a sophomore in college at temple university in Philly. My roommate got tickets to orchestral maneuvers in the dark and Depeche mode. And I was in a hard core. Punk and hip hop. Phase. That's all I listen to was like, the damned and schooling D And steady be in like Philly rappers. And but I wanted to be a nice guy. And I said I will go to the concert with you. And I went on. I realized I hated it. I'm usually pretty light out a guy like I'll make the best of anything. I just sat there miserable without gunned. That's I didn't I couldn't even fake it. And that's what I was doing. And vowed will listen to this Val. You are my heart. So like facial expression doesn't match what he's saying, by the way. I was literally using it as a meditation to go this to say yes to this too. And my mind got the better of me. And obviously, I kept all this myself. And it was I just can't I can't merge. What happened? I wonder if it happens it happened for dinner the other night too because we finished this whole vice run of the release the award stuff and the Oscars on Sunday. And I was like I am staying in for like four days. And then the second night we had a birthday dinner for a beer close almost family member like friend, and I'm like, there's no way I can't go to that. And I went and the entire meal, I was like cranky. And I was like so high should be home. So it was almost like a baby. Like, I told my wife like I was like, it's just you know, finally tonight, I could be home. And then like an hour later. I was a jerk. Like, no, it's okay. Fortunately, I didn't wreck the meal I kept it under wraps enough. I had a good time. But a late too. I think everyone can relate to that. There's sometimes when you feel like a baby and you go like, it's okay. And to the point where a little bit wanted to cry. I understand like a little bit felt like not a hard Saab, but like just tear up a little bit. I get and felt really sorry for myself backer till I would say. Is that your belief in your story? The story that you're telling yourself and your identification with that story is causing you suffering. Don't you see what we're doing is? We're going. This was my night. Obviously. It's just the moment and eternity is not a concept is time as a concept we're in eternity, and that's all it's real. And that's what I'm telling myself watching rupaul drag race, and it doesn't fucking work all the time. He's colors too bright. I can't I keep going like, isn't it beautiful that that these men are expressing themselves? I couldn't find a way I daughter loves rupaul, everybody watches, everyone has been the conventions downtown with their friends people. I've never watched an episode. But every time she talks about it. Of course. God bless you. But I didn't do it. You did. I didn't watch an episode. I'm actually impressed. Well, oh God. And see you just did for me what I did for you with your movie 'cause I I wanted to be seen. Yeah. I think the fact that you you even knew and told your wife love you. I'm gonna do this. You actually were like I can't swim. Let's go for a swim. Come on love you. And you went out and Maury. You'll wrapped itself around. To go to this is fun. I knew like you're drowning that is. And now, you feel bad that you were drowning. Yes. And you weren't prepared for that. You don't think less than me that I like it? I was like absolutely not raise anatomy was that one for my wife about ten years ago. She got integrates outta me. And my wife's at theater directors directed film, very talented discriminating person, she felt kind of almost bad that she liked it. My cunnie. I watched I watched like dateline crazzy bad TV enjoy your show, and she loved it and had a blast watching it. And then one night she said, please watch with me. I think it's really good. And I did it for ten minutes. And I I actually smart enough to do this. I don't wanna wreck this for you. You should just enjoy this. It's not my bag. Let me get outta here. Don't feel bad about right? You don't watch them a walkie box play the Cavaliers with me. Right. Enjoy. I think that might be what we'd is for. Because if I I'm not a big we'd person. But if I had I probably could have been like this great. I think I got a high up until I was like twenty three maybe twenty four I think and when. It was good. That's what it does it. You actually want to do. I have a conflicted relationship with it. Meaning like, I can't quite cleanly classified in my mind. I'm not surprised I eat a lot of successful. Intelligent, great comedians. That are secretly like. Yeah. I think it would affect up my process like fucked up my career, and I'm one of them and yet sometimes I'll have a little edible and I'll watch rupaul drag race. And I'll be like I'm here with you. Experience. I remember freshman year at college bunch of buddies. I went to Penn State for one year, and then I transferred to temple university where I basically did the next three years before I dropped out. But anyway, I was with a bunch of friends in a car. I keep in mind. I'm mostly listening to hip hop a little bit of punk rock. We're driving him. I never listen to Pink Floyd before. And I was in college maybe heard it in the distance or something and my friends all pass Ron joint. We all get super high, and they played wish you were here. And I could feel the groove of the road. Like it was running between my legs. Like, I was riding the road. And like the music was like washing over me, like the most beautiful music I've ever heard and at the end of it. I was like that's one of the most amazing experiences of Radha my entire life. And then, you know, two months later, I got high pissed on the side of a building rested by campus. Police I think you just touch on something Valentine talk about a lot which is like booze or weed or whatever it is you. You have this amazing experience. And then every other time you're chasing that one hundred percent even coffee like I have memories of having coffee and being like everything it's great yet in the next day Cup of coffee, and you're like, I'm still angry. I still have a headache. I don't have any energy. You know what I mean? Like, it's one of the fundamental feelings of being Hume. I noticed it was cigarettes, obviously, spoke for years and years and terrible for my health, and I loved it. And then now I've had a health scare, and I've I've slipped off about five or six times where there's been like, screw it. I'm gonna have to pops or something. Yeah. And the first time you do it. It is the greatest thing you've ever done, especially when you're quitting. You're like, oh, you're getting no one tells me what to do you get the no one tells me what to do and the nicotine? Yeah. And you're like this is pure magic. Yes. Is I'm having sex with an actual eunuch. Let's right. Yeah. And and then the third or fourth time, I slipped off it. I wasn't even thinking about it. When I was doing it. I was like this. Bad. Yeah. This is there's nothing going on right now. It's just a habit of chasing the first one, right? And there's nothing sadder than that. That is creating a date with your wife. A magical day at the restaurant, and you go like, wait a minute. He was never the day. He was it was your internal world mixing with the with the circumstance. You know what I'm saying? You know what I'm saying? And the rubik's cube of who we are as always shifting. It's so absurd to think that we have any we have some grasp, but any real grasp on on how we feel that that's mixing with what you're adding. This is why taking psychedelics is. So tricky as you never know what your inner rubik's cube is set to it always feels like the first couple times with anything. Feels like you are experiencing. It would get about anything. It's a car accident or whatever it does feel like an honest encounter. And then it's like within the brain something to compare it to the fourth or fifth time. It's just now you're in its data. Yeah. Exactly. What like that turned into data? Yeah. That's the head a thin. It's product it becomes products right thing that you think about the habitual is product. And that's when God becomes on a balance sheet at that point right now. Yeah. And this actually ties back to God effortlessly because when God becomes a product something that we think about we are no longer merging with it or flowing with it becomes a concept. And then it might as well be something that you order on Amazon. I love the idea of never, and this is something might my wife is chose my daughter's Jewish and we go to temple sometime. And it's a very cool temple. I love the idea that you can't say the word God, I gotta say, I think that's Rehavam. I'm right there with you. Right. I recently had that revelation. I've had I'm not saying we voted before like from the. I clearly is right on g dash d. I thought so stupid on your fucking a right G Dashti. You're going to write it down. Like, you write down, a hang and. Yeah, get the fuck out of my face. You think you have it eat shit that which cannot be named agency here. She that's all. I want to say the wrong concerts of the ages that shall haunt us. You know, the Joseph Campbell got his metaphor for a mystery that transcends knowing and not knowing. Yeah. Which is. Yeah. Transcends knowing and not knowing it's outside of knowing and not knowing your ego. Your art gets a chance to get that. But your brain will never get it. I have two reactions that I love it. And number to call in the police, you're in a lot of trouble. You can't speak like that our country is well that is ego. Right. So borders boundaries sports teams all these things. Please ego identity boundaries. Like, you said once we made God into something that you have and you make a clan, and then you're either in or you're out. I really like your idea that the reason we back off some of this stuff. The reason we do us and them is to quote to level by the way back to for those actions. Is because I'll do the route. It's too. And. Okay. Three years later. Hi, I'm just tired. Little paranoid tired my mouth. So dr. But I love that idea that it's too intense that there's like actually a big it's the old cliche of the cynic is actually the one with who's the pushover Antic, you know, but times one hundred right and the bully is hiding wound. The bully always wants to be friends with you. There's a thing that a lot of bullies end up coming friends with who they bully don't know how to express that need. Yeah. No. I think it's a good way to have. I try to have empathy for obviously for everybody. And so when you think about like, a real cliche like the guy the movie who punches the lib trying to open your heart to him, you go like, maybe he's overwhelmed at how scary it is. Again to say what Rhonda says the heart wants to give away the store, and guess what happens when you give away the store while you're job is gone. And you can't buy food. It's frightening shea. You look at the suffering that has gone on with these towns losing their industries for I mean, I get that. Level of pain and traditionally throughout human history. Unfortunately, people turn towards hating emigrants skin colored seems to be the go to move your brain. Is why advertising works? You know? What I mean? Like, we're very, of course, you go like, and sometimes you go factor. I call. It you go go. Oh, yeah. You're just straight up. You know, start making really loud sounds and working together in a small group at right and nipping larger animals to bleed them out and go. At that dinner. I was going. Yes. I was. I was just like. See this is what Balan I been doing lately too. Is you know, she's very conscious person. And it's like trying to work with that. Instead of seeing that night that you had where you were like I could be in as a flaw that we wish hadn't happened going this too. And so when you're suffering go. Yes, thank you even to that. Does that help you with is with that is what we do is the best for them? And that is art that is I think the word artists 'specially now in America gets kicked around quite a bit. It's viewed as like, pretentious and. Yeah, that's all fine. I get I get that side of it. But there is like a crazy. Powered the fact that you could go on stage and talk about how you couldn't handle watching rupaul. And like, yeah. To turn it into that. Or I can do the time. I was my friends like and do it as performance to it as writing do it as a painting. Do it is. That's right. A friend in Chicago who is a painter worked at a restaurant with him. And he came in. He had a mom who was meant. Ild and he was like really upset. And I was like what happening goes, my mom cut up in tore up all my paintings, and I was like heartbroken form. And then like an hour later. I was like you should do a show called art. My mom destroyed. And he was like that's the greatest idea ever heard. I feel how you feel about the the house for the child molester. You know, what I'm saying like, the alchemy the redemption the universe bending towards redemption. Share it. Yeah. Yeah. Not to. That's what I got a divorce. Now, I have a book out of it. I have a TV show out of it. I have stand up you married for. I got married at twenty two. I get divorced one is twenty eight. So that's six. Yeah. Thank you of kids. No kids. It really was. I got I know it really was very very, no I'm friends with the love pray writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, I was friends with her. And her ex husband. We were in the middle of that whole thing that went down that she wrote the book about and I'm still friends with her ex carefully talked to Liz I like both a lot. But my friend Mike Cooper, remember he was saying she's going to write a book about this. It's going to be a bestselling I'm getting dumped, and she's going to read a book about it. Obviously became one of the biggest bestsellers like ever seen that scene in the book where she's in the bathroom like on the floor like deciding to leave that was at my house get out. Yes. Jordan veil that was. To call. I'm straight up stealing. I'm saying. Will Jordan Bill? Will never catch on. When someone makes a nice reference. I say nice leery because Dennis Leary was in the movie the ref. Oh, it's good. Never work. Why I go. Nice leary. I'll go with you get to work. And here's what I was gonna say about God, eat pray. Love it or we don't we all? I just thought it was weird. You were talking about a divorce wrote a book. Oh, yeah. I thought maybe more interesting. Interesting little tidbit. It's the point of life falling than talking about. It falling talking about it is the point of taking rob L. Again, says he's like that story where your car breaks down foul, and I would just going over the grapevine into Bakersfield. And there was snow, and we had to turn around was horrible becomes your best story. You know what I mean? And this is the one of the great secrets of life. So that's why when you're suffering. Yes. Thank you. If you can even be conscious in the moment while you're suffering. That's next level. Have you ever read or heard any Robert Thurman at all he's a teacher? He's actually Thurman father. Oh, I've heard of him as a podcast. So he has one of his great collections is called like the jewel wish. Tree. I thank or something. I polished any Buddhists out there who fully know this. I'm butchering it. He should call it. The Bill is already killed the Bill. Don't kill Bill. Kill Buddhist would do like thing about like where he make a joke. No. But anyway, so the jewel wish giving tree or whatever. And it's a meditation that he guide you through. And it's this tree that's filled with all these jewels. And then people from your life and one of the centers of the Jewish giving tree are the people that you hate the people that have given you pain, the people that have thwarted you, and they are the ones who get the most amount of thanks during this meditation. And I remember the first time I heard it going like what excuse me. And then I did the meditation couple times and was like, oh, yeah. That's good stuff. What's it called? Everyone's going to Robert Thurman, Robert Robert Thurman, I won wish giving jewel wish giving tree station actually had a long ago on a collection of cassette tapes. But it's definitely I downloaded at a. A month ago because I just remembered it it's books on tape. It kind of anywhere. It's amazing one of the games of life for me is to have those fifties in real time. You know what I'm saying? Wow, you're suffering. And I actually notice I said, this is such a stupid example. But it's not a fancy massage. There's the cheap time place in our neighborhood. And sometimes they're a little rough and all like painful, and I'll say, yes, thank you. While it hurts yet. It makes the pain go away. Well, by the quivalent of that is breathing. Yeah. Reading into the pain. That's right and breathing as we know in difficult moments. Like we were talking about. Yeah. We want just the misguided father figured it. Just even just take a breath. Yeah. Like, that's how powerful that's right is. I don't know if you've ever done yoga both enormous men. But I remember that it'd be like see if you can give that space, and why does even concept of giving something space relieved tension, doesn't it someone goes like you're angry? You're angry. Can you give it space, and you just go fuck you because it's like a magic hazy. We have breathing space. Room. No expectation. That's right, prizes stepping out of the story. That's why I was like you're suffering was identifying moody this great Saint on on YouTube. I love he says your thoughts have no power, except what you give it your having the thought and the thought itself as benign all your thoughts, Powell's it's the belief in its truth that you give it that gives it its chart. Yeah. It was like Jesus. And a lot of times what that is. Is that power you're giving it as like, it's it's a need that you had that's legitimate need that you maladaptive too. So let's just say for that night. I didn't want to be at that dinner. I wanted it to be my night that could go back to some primary foundational thing where was my birthday party. But my parents had an argument, which by the way that never happened. But that is right. And so the way I learn to deal that was to get really mad, and they actually stopped arguing like, oh when I needed to be my emotional space. Get mad. That's right. I mean, that's. Obvious. But yeah that it's so essential. And that's so we wanna look dispassionately at our lives. But we also want to look compassionately like you don't wanna get lost in your feelings, but you wanna have compassion because you don't know the fucked up rubik's cube that were saying inside. Yup. That was not even program by you know, what the best is laughing. I mean, the best would have been if I said to the table. That's right. And unfortunately, I wasn't strong enough. Guys. A pardon me. I'm being like a cranky cartoon old man is right. Because I thought this was my night, which is ridiculous because the tasha you are the best. And I'm here to celebrate you, but I'm being a baby right now and feel free to laugh at me at what a bait opening the windows and drawing the blinds. And that's what good comedy can be. And that's what hard though, it's hard. Sometimes you couldn't get there with rupaul. Oh, I couldn't. That's what I'm saying. I couldn't I was toward it by forty minute reality show. Like, this music is going to be in my head all night was a lobster dinner that that's what I got. It's it's really important to remember that like suffering isn't just getting punched in the face that is certainly suffering. Sometimes it is you can suffer in Bora Bora. You know what I mean? In fact, rich people Eker, Tony again, he talks about like rich people can be some of the most miserable because the material world is taking a stronger hold. That's right. It's much more sparkly for those people talks about like, oh, I think it was does he was like going on dates with some of the most because he was a hot shit Harvard professor, which of course, back in the day was even more impressive, no YouTube celebrities to compete with him. So he was hot chicken date all these like supermodels, and he was like he could always feel this panic behind them because they knew they were getting older and someone under more of youthful was gonna come behind them. So this is another Jesus thing store not your treasure where Dustin moth can corrupt. So what do we hockey great line? What are you doing? The the Cup is already broken thing. Bill has been killed. What do you do die two thousand years ago? That's right. And he'll die a thousand years from now. That's right. Get him get out of it. But only but still kill Bill. That's right. He'll Bill but don't get lost in the thought that anything is happening whatsoever. Exactly. What's happening is? What is always happened Jesus? Talks about. It's still feel like still kill Bill though. Right. Yeah. Kill bill. Okay. What do you mean? Well, it just when you don't get lost in the sense of what's happening. I felt you'd downplayed the importance of killing Bill little we gotta kill Bill bill's got to be killed. We agree on that. Right. That's a funny. Scat people having buried deep conversation, if the movie doesn't exist, even without it funny. But we're gonna do it. Right. We are going to do it. Right. No. But what we're gonna do is. We're gonna put it in its place and understand the longer. We're going to breed infant give. It's totally with you. We are going to do it. I'm still gonna rob that join and get the crystal meth five maybe we don't get the Christopher. Maybe we do. So what I was going to tell Bill Maher talking about the big bang is that we ought to go on Bill Maher. So I knew the head writer I'm evenly. He's got to get you on that Scott Carter who's like, a lovely lovely go. There swimming is well, you could definitely go on by the way the way you talk about religion. That's not what Bill Maher. I know. Well, that's the funny. One of my passions is showing that we agree. And that's the the heart of what I'm saying. Is that the theory of the big bang and the mystic agree that at one point everything was one thing. But you're mixing thoughtful news, you're mixing openness, you're mixing humor science. I mean, the things you're doing I think in fairness to Bill Maher. And they're certainly things I disagree with Bill Maher about, but I think when he's complaining about religion. It's the exact opposite of what you're doing. I think he's too. I think you're right. Yeah. I love religious like I saw that movie theaters. And I was like all agree. The Catholic church should be disbanded legitimately think. It should. I think it's a cr-. Criminal enterprise. I really do. And I'm Catholic I was raised Catholic up until my mom became aborting. Six. That's Jim Gavin six kids Catholic. You have to get Africa. And that's the one I can listen to in the car with my daughters were little and all of us would laugh, and I realize gaffe against good to do to get the forty year old dad and forty year old mom little kids are real. Fucking. He's good. Well, this has been great. We talked about God. And we ended with Jim gaffe. Again, it often goes there is that we're any chance he's got like a messianic purpose or is here savior that seems to much than you saying say, John the Baptist. We'll bring me Gavin Ted on a bladder. Let's do a speed round. And then and then last question love it. Oh, proudest riff is a director proudest riff. You might have named it already. I do love the vocal warm ups and anchorman, which had a Bank loan. Yeah. The arsonists had oddly shaped feed all that stuff. For me. It's always about king will the break. Can I get Carell the break? Of course, Inouye am I not wanting that to happen? It's the entire goal, and that's the electric city. That's where the magic not entire movie and most of our comedies were driven that even to some degree big short and vice to build a break a couple times. Where he says go outside on the white Christian bale got him to break. Yeah. We improvise the puppet the puppets. I provided that line off the Mike and he took them five minutes to build a jet. Mike do but I do easy listening. I always I asked the actors. I'm like, I'm sorry. It's just easier because we do extra lines, and I'm always very gentle, especially with the more dramatic movies. Yeah. Yeah. Because otherwise running back and forth. You gotta sit on the some scenes. I do sit by the camera. I watch I watch do it a little bit. But it does work. Really? Well, he does the same thing. He goes. This is just how it is. When I go, I go anchorman, arsonist oddly shape feed. Yeah. Don't act like nothing. Anchorman, two has one that I really like a lot where he screaming. There's somebody house cool, the please, and that's his Boca warm-up domination. My God is you were laughing so hard that first off terrible for your local core. Yeah. Emotionally disturbed time. Applegate, doesn't even look at them. She's just acting like every night years. So good. I realized talking now that in my book, I this is a great copy editor story. I tell the story about jerking off to my dad's playboy calendar in his garage. I su- books called comedy sex God because it's about how like sex and gone for good title. Oh, thank you is it out yet or coming out. It'll be out in may. All right. Give me a offer a tweet. I would love it tweet. I would love it tweet. And I just signed up for Instagram, which I'm not doing very well on Instagram at oh, you know, what I would love grabbed if you're offering a gram of you with the book, I'll send it. We'll do it. I consider it done look friends help in front, right? No. But that does so far. You've only helped me I've got nothing for you your detail your understanding vice that's right is thing ever few people. There were few that connected. Like you did. But I mean hearing you catch all the time that I was hoping. Would be all that we spent hours and weeks on so-called the Danish. Let's come on so important. It's a White House. Danish. Yes. Changed it for five times. I am not getting it reminds me of Radha to remember they go. How do you know bread is good? Did you see route it, of course, it's the sound and crinkled? It sounds like that Brent. We love bread. What was I o in the book I wrote? So I'm drinking off to the calendar. And I don't say this crudely. But as I come who cares if I did. But I don't I come. I think like Ron burgundy jumping into the bear pet. I immediately screaming immediately regret this decision. Right. Which is such a cultural thing, my not my editor, Luke Dempsey the copy editor whose name, unfortunately. I don't know because they freelancers. But if you here's us he put in in the margin, he wrote sorry. But he whispers that line. He doesn't wanna wake the bears. So I changed it to whisper screaming I regret, but he whispers screams, it he goes. I usually regret I made it with him yelling to whisper screaming still screaming in my book. Yes. But I like the differentiation. I mean that is that is really the fact that I was like, I don't even know of anyone will get this to the fact that copy editor in like North Carolina's like well. He I'm sure you didn't like fire up the movie he was just like doesn't do. He knows all my gosh. Gap in our it's mythic in our cultural subconscious. Greatest lesson. You've learned short. We can do short answers. It's up to you in my life. No, I'll give you topics. Okay. That's too much. I wouldn't do that to you could probably it'd be have to be a couple answers. What's life greatest lesson? You've learned life is. It's kind of what we've been talking about. It's not about the materials specifics is as much as the material specifics change, and tantalize you and draw you in and want you to look at them. It has nothing to do with them. And I learned that through old friends of mine that I grew up talking about. Oh, my God, you're in Hollywood. And then when I would hang out with them, we have the same life. That's right. And it was like, oh, it it could be anything for me. It's a hula girl. Dashboard thing for them. It's a fencing mask or you know, what? I mean. It's just all right. I guess you pieces thing, dick. It didn't have to be away. It could have been anything. That's not the point of Moby. That's right. Yeah. Although it is a little bit. But you know, what? I mean, I love that determinants of referential -ality. What when I was in college. We would have called it different pieces. Same game is same game. Greatest lesson. You've learned about writing. Oh my God. Pound away because you've got to get really comfortable with writing bad stuff. Just make it your friend and do not be afraid of showing your naked. When you write honest to God is just you're gonna write lousy drafts. You're going to write whole chunks that are going to be cut. Yeah. Don't over think. It don't perfectionism is death. That's the big thing writing. That's Ryan holiday Ego's the enemy. It's the idea that you're going to like. The belt perfectly. Ultimate creativity killer is perfectionism completely agree directing directing. I actually I think I'd learn this one more from my background in improv and theater and like collaborative work SNL. You're lucky enough to have great people around you. I mean, that's an if sometimes especially when you're first starting out. But definitely by the time I got to directing short films SNL and doing features. I'm surrounded by stone cold professionals. Let them do their job. Don't micromanage. Yeah. Let them find their inspiration their place. Then I can always later say no change that or I'm so sorry. I actually wanted this doesn't mean you don't tell them what you want. But man, give people room to do their job. You're my energy. Is it makes it miserable for everyone? All our directors were great on crashing. But the one I would notice a cage Nally because we do block. So if a director for two than another one, so I would. Switch directors doing a really long, but there's four directors or six five whatever. So you'd notice the difference. And sometimes you just be like you'd notice somebody didn't give you as much space. And you just let me let us fuck up a few times before you tell me exactly it. That's it. That's the big lesson gives. And this goes, this is something. I would remember my daughter when she was like six was like mistakes really are fantastic. That's not a cliche doing. It's written on a lunch pail. They really are the greatest the Amish oriental rug. Yeah. Exactly only with way, more mistakes. And it's not useful as a rug. I I couldn't agree. More turn it into a shawl at the last second to cover it up. That's right. And the shawl is beautiful. That's right. I went way to go ahead. I love it was also zen Ellen wants talks about that the sand paintings. They do the reference I don't say all my God any sweep it away. That's it. Yeah. That's a better lesson for what? Okay. Good. I might release this that I did at Largo because it was so great. And I said at the end I was like, it's never liked us. If you if you plan a recording. It's never this release it I'm going to release it. And I say it's like, it's Abedin San sculpture sweep it away. And because obviously is like that long for him. But that was the next one greatest lesson of improv. I'd lot of good ones. I was lucky enough to get to work with del close and Manno man, the biggest one he taught he told lot of good ones. But I would go third thought he would make you stand on stage and suffered through your first thought, and he wouldn't. And then you go to your second one. And he wouldn't let you get away with that. He would make you go to your third, and I don't know if you're familiar to Z comment of risky at all thinking fast thinking slow, they do a lot of other cognitive neuro psychologists, and they talk about the way, our brains work. A thinking fast is bitch will thinking slow is like actually a little painful, and it's thinking things through and that's really what Dell was teaching by going to the thought. And I was like one of the great lessons, which is just to take that breath to take that beat. And the look what else is there because sometimes we lift the rock up, and there's like sixty cents go my God. And we run away really fast and underneath. It was a dagger worth one point seven million dollars as Eum quality. I love that. That's wonderful. I once had to Nick Kroll, he was like we were talking about dating. And he was like I just wanna grow that. Will let does ADC which obviously, you know is don't go your eighth thought do your seat. My God or like jumping from you know, what a lot task. It is not how our societies designed it. Usually people have an element of their life that they go to eight ac- like they'll have a part of their life. Yeah. Do that. But not even have like tons of parts of my life. Obviously if I smoked better bitch. You'll and I think fast, not slow, right? Charlie Parker the greatest sax player ever. But then outside is in his normal light hair. Stuck in traffic and had to take right? Couldn't figure out how to get the key in the lock, right? Yeah. That's right. Well, that's Michelle Obama said about Barack that, you know, running the free world leaves the butter out. Yeah. Yeah. We have the same dryer fucked up that he left the butter out. I mean land of lay feel like she was being cute about it. Yeah. She's is Christ Barack not cool if she threatened his life federal offense the greatest lesson about collaborating. I mean, you work with. Yeah. Collaborations? You don't need to have every. Every decision doesn't have to be hashed out in the moment. You can let sometimes you can let things go. You can you can I was on your best day. You're right. What seventy one percent of the time. The best day I've ever had in my entire life. And when you're working with someone else what's great about. It is you're checking each other. And there are times where you can just go that doesn't quite feel. Right. But you know, what I'm gonna just let that one go. And let's see how it feels in four days in four days. If you're like, I don't know you bring it up again and go, you know, let that one go. But and people appreciate it. You can actually do it as opposed to everything has to be hashed out right now. That's right. Like, it's more important to let the collaboration build than it is to get everything. Exactly. Right. Exactly. Now. It's right now. Yeah, now and once the art of doing nothing, he's like there's moments where the right choices to know. My god. It's almost always that might actually be the best advice for directing like get out of the way. A lot of time. Let your brilliant set produce all set designer do their work. I love it. The greatest lesson about showbiz. I don't in any way, treat it like business. Like just do. I mean, don't be stupid get paid your fare wage that everyone else is getting paid. But I think career is one of the ugliest words there is I actually think. Yeah. It's very selfish. It's disconnected. I think what what makes you good at. What you do is that you're connected to a world, you're asking questions if you walked around thinking career career, you kinda spell that on people. I agree. And there's a standoff he was about career. It is a frequency and so with show business. Yes, you're making a living. Yes, you're being paid. But that should be about fourth on your list. I'm glad that you can hear the guy doing gardening. So they know it's not just dead air or like something went wrong like sopranos finale that was just me appreciating the quiet. Thought about quiet. We're off a busy road. But. This is this loud as it gets right here. Because I think this is rush hour out here. Well, I just heard a weed whacker. There's a we'd record. That's not our yard. I wanna be careful not to talk about my private house too much on this podcast. But my gate code is. Did I just outright? Not Bill Clinton told w about bin Laden. We'll let it out your Geico. I a lot to tell that story over of course, I could tell in fact, he wanted what am I saying? He wants us to tell that story. You don't tell to you don't have anybody. You don't see whether you have permission refer to me as. Yahu? Owns this ties in Graz lesson. You've learned about being American. Man. I don't know. I feel awfully confused right now five years ago. I would have given you really confident stride answer to that. Yeah. We are big big countryman? We're about nine countries in one. And I'm not sure what one America means because there's a lot of different kinds of people. And I think that's okay in a lot of ways. But there's a lot of I'm more in the land of questions about being an American right now, I know of loved growing up here. I know I love this country without a doubt. But it's in a tough spot right now. So I don't know. I you know, what aren't here it is. I just thought of it. I'm surprised by how much I am an American. That's what surprised me about the time. We're living through I was really Mr. cool neutral guy. I would just moving to France or I'm leaving. And I really am an American, and I really do care about this country. And not surprise me took Donald Trump for two hundred percent realize that I realized that with Bush and Cheney but shit I care way more than I thought it there you go. Therapist is like when you get all worked up about your parents. Are you talking about conflicting feelings about your parents, obviously, you love them? Because otherwise, why are we talking about this? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yep. Yep. Yep. Family you've been married a longtime. Biggest lesson with family? I have. We're proceeding are well this is our nineteen th anniversary coming up the twentieth. We were together for three years before that. Well, yeah, we have an eighteen year old and a thirteen year old. We appointed. Was appointed here old alone. I mean is true. She's a musician. She goes to Cal arts. She's brilliant. I love her. I was laughing. The idea of a thirteen year old. What's not that crazy? Although no Pearl does not smoke pot. She's the one from the landlord Pearl thirteen year old. Do you? Remember the Lord? Oh, she was great. She and sacked. She is not a crazy question. Just she's not she's now a really good singers, very music, and she loves dancing, and our older sister, very talented musician just recorded an EP no way for original song. She wrote that we're going to do a little mini release party for like a witchy. Do it here that whether Mike Trumka this is crazy room? We had the living room that no one went into and growing up. I said this is so dumb living room knowing goes into. So I turn this into the living room. No one goes into. That's also a music rooms and record an album in here. You could also just play with friends, and there are many parties we've had where everyone will show up and just play an I'm terrible drummer and a terrible singer in bad bass player, but they're all friends, and who cares. And we have a great awesome. That's what we did to this room. So far as family goes, I would say almost relates to the collaboration, which is you don't have to hash everything out. Right. This second. Doing nothing in family and letting going to sleep and waking up the next day to see if the feeling still they're like really just checking your work, and like checking your emotions because you have this precious amazing thing that you have to be very delicate and loving with and there's a long term thing, and as a long term thing, you don't want because you banged your knee on the coffee table or you learn to suddenly say, you're dead to meteor way. Skip lunch better. And that has happened. I skipped lunch and said stupid things and we've gotten dumb arguments and kids are a whole almost different zone, but marriage just for marriage like relax take time. Give it a week give it a night. Always eventually, you gotta talk about stuff. And we go to couples counseling when maybe once every three months just to kind of do maintenance work, occasionally, we'll get caught in like, a gully, and we'll go, but yeah, I think a lot of this stuff is just to try and take the breaths, and relax and let the world be the world as opposed to fix things right away. Almost these answers. I love the world the world. Yeah. I was just reading something down. Watts wrote about that where you're going to check out lots by the way reference to grade into there's a lot of stuff for free on YouTube and people have cut together, like really, nice, mon- music and stuff. Right. But he has his thing about like the difference between the day. Oh, Christian approach and the Zan. Approach and he was like the approach does acknowledge that there's a world that can be better with art and music and science and reason and goodness. But they also realize that that's just a fleeting and small part of everything just being how it is. And always has been and always will. Jesus. You know what? I mean. He's like, yeah. No, they knowledge that. But that's what Jesus saying when he's like, the poor will always be among you. You know what? I mean. It's just like can't you give it space the movie, I always for some reason, I was a little kid. Remember, the movie Billy, Jack. There's all my God. You have you ever seen Billy Jack Jack workman? It's early. What I said Billy, Jack horsemen nothing. Not a joke. Technically, let me check it legally that was. I Bill Jack, you have to watch always think of when I think of the perfect sweet love, it's the story. Basically if a native American school for children that's outside this town full of racists. And the raises are always bothering the native American kinda hippie kids. But there's a Vietnam veteran. Half native American guy named Billy Jack who protects the school and beats up races throughout the movie. It's one of the most incredible movies you've ever seen. Nick Offerman is equally as obsessed with it as I am a lot, and it's an incredible movie. It's a handmade movie. There's real people in it Howard Hessman is in at the improv group the committee that dealt close used to be a part of there's like the song. You would know the song that that's the lead song became a hit during this time by a band called coven, and it's an amazing movie. But I always think of like the hippie girls and then playing guitar and the artists and that is. Like, that's perfection in that movie. There's about three or four minutes where they show what they're doing at the school. And I'm like, we I don't know why just because I was like nine years old when I watch it. It's always been the state of utopia for me is the school and Bill Jack. Yeah. I have a lot of reading recommendations. And now a movie recommendation, Billy, Jack is an odd one. Yeah. You might want to do that with some friends. Actually, that's a good one. Well, honestly higher. Always. I can't watch movie. I won't see it. I'll just be like that movie was about the feeling of my but in the cushions and like the taste of caramel. Maybe Billy, Jack. It's all say. All right. Well, what is this is the last question? What what can you think of the hardest time in your life? Maybe that you've laughed. Oh, that's a great question. Love that question. Here's a few of nothing is better than the lose control of yourself. Almost embarrassed. By the sound you're making it starts get high pitched weird. I one time freshman college, we all got really high Sam kennison's record just come out his one and only or maybe made another one the famous one we all got very high ordered pizza and listen to it, and I laughed so hard. I pulled a muscle in my back. So for two days walking around campus. I it was slightly hunched. And my friends would point at me from across the campus. Go back still hurts like knows the greatest laugh ever. And you were injured that was a really good one Adam McKay injured by comedy injured, laughing other one I would say was directing will. Will in the first anchorman, and there's a scene that's actually cut from the movie where he's with Veronica, according stone with Christina Applegate at dinner apologizing for saying on the air that we been having sex. And in thing he started working people start coming up in the restaurant congratulating them on having sex. And we'll just improvise this response where it was like, I've got a bad back bad lower back. But I'll tell you you get me on the right night. I'll do some things in the bed that will blow your mind just improvised this line. And I'm not saying me repeating right? Now's the funny thing. It's one of those things in the moment. And I was directing the movie, and I think the budget for that movie was twenty two twenty three million dollars this back in two thousand two and I started laughing like lose control. Oh, like weird sounds. I had to run off the set in the daily you can see me in the background to run off the set. And I was like embarrassed. I was like, that's it's one thing a laugh as the director. But like I lost. And so those to optimize. Well, those are both great. Well, that was to pop in mind. Well, Adam Helen was eighty three hours. They went the full distance the fans will say McKay went the distance you really release three hours horse. That's incredible. The record. I think is three forty five. Wow. We could have done another half an hour to we could. I mean, we don't. No, no, no, three hours is bind blowing. We both feel good about this. Yeah. A younger may-maybe even more naive me would have been like, let's see how long he'll go. These days you have family. Why? A lot going on here. Leave it while it's still hot. That was a good conversation. So much are usually say like you feel you feel satisfied. I feel completely satisfied. Good. Yeah. Well, we have the thank you honor to meet you. Thank you. My absolute pleasure. Thank you for having me on. We have the guests say that the catchphrase which is keep it crispy. And that's how. Latest gentlemen, in your car at home, laying in bed on your phone outside some sort of work function because you wanted to listen to this keep it crispy. Was. On the faith. Or so Crispin Crispin?

Dick Cheney Michael Gungor Adam McKay Billy Madison writer Pete Hank Corwin Oscar America Amazon Joseph Campbell editor Iraq Judd Christian bale Greg Frazier Harper Vice President Josh
Stray Q&A - Joe Sill

The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith

00:00 sec | 1 year ago

Stray Q&A - Joe Sill

"It always seems really unfair to all the light bulbs that all these young adults break when they unexpectedly come into their supernatural powers. I know it's overwhelming but come on. Maybe you could just for once consider the environment try to get things under control a bit better. Thank you. Howdy. I'm Jeff Goldsmith. Then this is the QNA. My agenda is simple each week. I plan to bring you in-depth insight into the creative process of storytelling folks, were jumping right into it today with a brand new genre film, and it's fine kids. You could break all the light bulbs you want when you're supernatural energy kicks in. I will allow it because I was quite happy to sit down with director. Joe sill today to chat about his new film stray, you know, this was a fun one because Joe has been coming to my screenings for longtime and has been directing commercials, and it was cool to be able to do a Q and A with him for his feature debut stray as a totally independent film Joan is team willed into existence that if you want to support independent, John realms like this. I hope you'll search. Out because you could find it online you could rent stray in IT tunes and find it other places that are streaming and on demand as well. So if you want to give an indie film a chance, and I hope you do technology is certainly on your side. And speaking of technology this episode is brought to you by NABC show. There's actually a special deal going on right now where you could register NABC show dot com with code Vegas, and you will get a free exhibit pass in a B show is one of the largest convergences of storytelling and technology in the world. So hope you'll check it out and find new ways to tell your tail so head on over to enable show dot com to start now with code Vegas. And while you're surfing around online. I'm pleased to tell you that. We just published backstory issued thirty six remember you could read us on a desktop laptop. Or through our ipad app or even an Android device on Google play. So make sure to check out backstory dot net for all the details now while issue thirty six or twenty nineteen. Oscar's issue. And it even happens to feature interviews with both Oscar winners for screenwriting. Yep. Black clansmen and green book, you will find plenty of TV and current cinema articles along with a lot of other cool stuff, including an article with the co writer directors of captain marvel so you could see the whole table of contents at backstory dot net. And I thank you for stopping by. But now without any further ado, let's jump right onto the stage at the fine arts theater in Beverly Hills. Right after introduced director Joe sill to chat about his debut feature film stray. Portsmouth guys. So Joe the easiest place to start is your breaking in story weird. Where'd you go to school, and how did you start making movies on my my my childhood story? Yeah. So I I grew up in a pretty suburban neighborhood. I grew up in Orange County. And I grew up an only child still an only child. And my parents were both working class teachers, but we grew up in a pretty affluent communities, which was a strange dichotomy to grow up in I'm half, Taiwanese and half tralian. So the only reason I'm providing this context is because I I'm starting on pack like, I think why I got into movies, and and why ended up going to film school. I went to Chapman to answer your question. Okay. And I think a lot of my childhood made me feel like an outsider. I think feeling like I was outside of the pack. You know, made me really feel like I wanted to be part of a family. I had my two parents and. But I think I wanted to feel accepted, you know, I recognize, you know, DIY learning how to do film using a camera shooting editing doing visual effects on my own learning through my school library like these little tutorials. You know, I picked up quickly. This was how I could get my, you know, my voice out and also show to my community. Hey, this is what I can do. This is this is who I am, you know? And so I learned film was my way of billing a family outside of my own family. So went to film school, the earliest credit that I found was two thousand nine birds of passage or was this something you made it Chapman though. I may I made that short film in high school, actually or the end of my high school, and yeah. That was one of many projects that I kinda just went out, and did, you know, just on my own because I you know, with my own initiative wanted to make something, you know. And so I know that you worked in effect house, and then eventually kind of the important part of your breaking in story was you made a suspect spot called tesla modern spaceship that puts you on the map when you on musk sought and liked it. And that helped you get agency representation tell us about that process. Just the surreal thing of kind of going from outsider as you say to making your own stuff. Just what's inspiring you. But wanting a commercial career and kind of having an effect background and seeing it all coalesce together. Oh my God. So yeah, I guess there are a lot of things. I should explain it here. Like, I I went to went to Chapman to pursue film direction. I did a lot of projects at Chapman. But. Yeah. No. So I went to film school for direction and. It was out of my own kind of idea that I'd got into visual effects, and a lot of the projects that I wanted to do because I you know, I grew up watching movies that were very escapist at heart. You know that a lot of the projects I was thinking about naturally gravitated towards going to another planet or going to another time period or or just doing something that was very escapist at Har, you know, this obviously. Stray has echoes of escapist ideals, which lend to visual effects being necessary to pull those ideas off. So I had done a couple of short films at Chapman. But I also ended up minoring an advertising my junior year because I started catching onto a couple of my favorite filmmakers that had started their careers off doing commercials like David fincher and Ridley Scott had built their careers off of it. And I told some of my colleagues at school like, hey, you know, we should maybe think about this. Everybody's gearing up to do their feature film like right out of film school and finished with these get their thesis as a proof of concept to get their feature. And I was like I was like maybe we should get into this commercial game. And learn a thing or two, and they I mean, I can't tell you how many times I got laughed up my friends because they were just like that's like selling out. That's like the. No, that's not art. And I was like, but wait a second like all our some of our favorite filmmakers anyways. So I might add an advertising, I graduated I made some short films that you know. Through learning the internet platform as the audience got a lot of attention. I had my first taste of viral whatnot. And you know, I had also thought like my short films would do something for my career, but I wasn't getting jobs outside of film school. Like, I wasn't getting opportunities to direct. And I think that was really discouraging. I was working part time freelance visual effects houses doing composite motion graphics, and I will just look at it systems reworking on doing capacity. Like, we're doing like adobe after-effects types that I was doing a lot of after. Okay. Yeah. A lot of adobe programs because that's what I grew up on weight. I mean, that's that's kind of like for your generation technically because I believe twenty seven right? Yeah. So I mean, you grew up with having, you know, high definition composites software at your fingertips as like an program, which is kind of a first for filmmakers, of course. And it just allows you to pull things off, you know, you could try things out, and it was pretty real time. So how old are you learned after effects? I was about twelve or thirteen. Okay. That's amazing same for like editing software. Oh my God. I mean like I picked up a camera at twelve and then learned how to use. I think like pinnacle studio or Microsoft movie make sauce twelve. So I started everything pretty young because I just wanted to do everything. So I could make the film and share with my friends as quickly as possible. That's. Right. And so tell us about the Yulon Muskie experience, right? We will. I promise you wanna give y'all sense of where he where he comes from. Yes. So my friend, and I ended up going in writing a spec, which is you know, speculative not with permission. Tesla didn't ask for that. They didn't pay for it. And so we went out and made it with some friends, and and then. And then we just we shot it and and. You know, I had always felt going into the car. Like, I thought I was in a spaceship, and it likened myself Harkin me back to being a kid and building these little cockpits out of cardboard boxes. And again, I was imagining myself going to outer space. So that was the feeling I got out of the car. So I was like if I'm gonna make something I'm gonna tell a story I want to capture that feeling like, you know, careers side making this to to build a career off it like what is the feeling? I'm getting and what story can I tell? So we made it with out any expectations. You know, when it gods to Ellen any saw, and he wanted to share it, you know, and put it onto homepage, which was ended up. You know, the best case scenario, you know, none of us were expecting that. So. He he said, you know, like I hate advertising. But this was a story. Like, this was me as a kid, and I actually I saw him. Well, you know, Tesla's sent that red car out into space with the space, man. And I was like all right, dude. Like Where'd you get that idea from but? But spiraled him on my God. Well, wait, I would be remiss if I didn't bring this up. You also worked on visions of harmony, which was a collaboration between apple and NASA and not everybody knows it had score by Trent Reznor of the nine inch nails which I'm the hugest fan. 'cause Ross Ross, of course, is Parker. They won the Oscar for social network. I love that score. But so what was that experience like being director young director, especially and working with somebody like Trenton addicts on my good. Well, I mean, it was working with them. And it was also working with apple and working with. The head scientists at NASA like everything should have just thrown me off like, you know, just, but they came to me with the project because of all kinds of space related things. I'd done in the past. And ironically, the test the thing kind of this felt like a graduation into. And they said, look we love space, and we're trying to connect science and music together because the head scientists and NASA is like a musician as well. He thinks that all things space is musically artist artistically inclined. How can we talk about that? We know nothing about space. And I was like, okay. They're like, what do you want to do with it? And I was like, well, let me pitch an idea. And so I put this project. You know, together and the script and this deck in. You know, Trent and Atticus and the head scientist had been talking about like what the sounds would feel like. And then once I got into the picture we started talking as well. And when we finally finished the film we shared it back with them. And you know, it was nerve wracking to put the music in the picture together. But it was very, no pun intended. It was very harmonious and. And it worked out, and I had few notes, and I was nervous shit to give and trend ner inadequates Ross some notes. Her notes, you know, I just the film at the end was building towards a very concussed climax and their music was waning out. So I was like, you know, guys, I love this. But like, I think we need to like, you know, have the music build up into a really rousing climax. And they were like, well, let me explain what we were thinking like the film is about a satellite going into outer-space disappearing Jupiter. And so they were like we were kind of thinking about the satellite waning away from us. So the music it's quieter and quieter the satellite goes away. I was like, yeah. I totally see that. And I think the visuals go in the opposite direction. And there was like a silence for a moment. And I was like fuck. But they were like, yeah, we get it. I was like, and I was in, you know, so last space question twenty fourteen car, a Star Wars story, you made a short film that was a fan film. First off. I think anyone can do it and the legality is that you can't sell it or make any money from it. You could make your own Star Wars film experience like dealing with Lucas film. If you did and just just what was your biggest lesson on it to moving forward? And then we're on straight. I promise, you know, the the film was was done out of love Star Wars. I like I on intrusively love. The the franchise and the myth behind mythos. I just made it because I was passionate about it. The films were coming out. And I was like I'd like to make something and put my own spin to it for six minutes. So Lucasfilm was pretty, you know, pretty fine. They're pretty chill. They said, hey, like, look, go out and do it. You're going to get some actual like storm troopers to grab that's tight, you know. And so you ask them beforehand. Yeah. We told him, you know, we wanted to make sure we weren't going to shoot ourselves in the foot. You know, but they were very receptive. They're very accommodating to fans. And you know, I done it because I wanted I've been making projects in commercials and music videos. I building building a career. But I think the film industry was coming back to me like projects or as like open, directing work to say, hey, would you like to direct this, and I was not necessarily sure the industry knew what I wanted to make. So I decided to make short just because I wanted to give back to the industry. Like, hey, these are the types of projects I wanna make which can time to stray as well. I'm sure you guys can notice some of the. Force conscious times. So. So yeah, I just I wanted to give more and more examples of what I'd like to make in the future, and that was one of them. All right getting destroyed. So you have a story by credit? The script was written by JD Dillard, and Alex thir- of slight and more recently sweetheart at this year's Sundance twenty nineteen tell us what the story idea was. And then why did you decide not to write a script with them? Or was it just something that you wanted them to go off on do on their own. Yeah. So the idea came from saw back up in like I'll start by. I'd made the Star Wars short. I've been talking to some producers and a young producer. Eric Fleischmann came to me and said, hey, I really like your work admitted through my managers, and he said, hey, you know, based on your work. I can I really see you taking some money and going with it like what would you do refined hundred thousand dollars, and I was like. Tough question. Let me get back to you. And then a month later, he was like, so what are we gonna fucking do, you know? And so he basically had five hundred thousand dollars from from investors somewhere, and he was looking to make a movie that was a. Yeah. Obviously JD had done slide with him in the past. So I could see like, oh, well, this this model works like you build a slate you build the money, and then you approach filmmakers, so I it was reverse engineered like I was approached with a set budget and a set timeline and intrigue in Oregon having me shoot something. And so I started thinking about you know, I think we had talked to basically about like our interests in magic and magical realism. And so I went back to the drawing board about the topic of magic. And I wanted to take what I loved from Star Wars and other magical films that I love like PAN's labyrinth as well as some of, you know, MS Ocoee, films that have a very close connection to the earth and take a spin on that. And you know, I think there are a lot of ties to. To Star Wars. I think with Norian Jin, I think they are very vodka tive of force conscious human beings that took very different emotional turns based on their upbringings. And I also, you know, we'll get to the spoilers in a minute shore. I wanted to tell a story about a an unlikely pair, you know, I've been playing the last of us, which is one of my favorite stories, not just video games, one of my favorite stories than I had got into experience, and I really appreciated that that dynamic of this jaded more world weary human being that had lost a lot in their lives and and learning to build a relationship again with a younger person who was looking at the world with much more innocent eyes. So that was where that dynamic grew. And I think for myself also being you know, where I come from. I wanted a character that was more villainous that was tragic and multidimensional and had had a lot more to say than just been like a bad guy. And so were you ever going to write the script JD, and Alex or did you just kind of let them go off? Oh my God. I mean like I. Stabs at outlines. And it was my first time making a feature, you know. And I think I knew what the heart of the film was, you know, and I knew what I wanted to go after, but I really wanted to work with people that I trusted that had had screenwriting experience before because you know, when you jump into it, and I had a time line. You know, I had I think February of two thousand sixteen we decided to make the movie based on a pitch in an outline and December was are shooting. So I think with that very. Expedited process, I really wanted to work with people that had been in this circle family that I trusted the producers trusted and make sure that they. Captured that heart. So you had a very unique aesthetic, you know, it's kind of like a blend of film Noir. And also Japanese ghost story and tell us about kind of doing that on a budget because we'll we'll get into specifics more later, but it almost seemed like there was even read I light at one point like somebody. I could sworn almost ad blade runner is going. Yeah. That. I mean, there were definitely some visual references to blade runner in our book. Yeah. No, Greg hot. And who was this? And we'll talk over and argue precaution was the gaffer and the entire Sydney team. We we had a lot of visual references to films or styles that your reference like seven ironically, it was a big reference that was also shot in Los Angeles and made to look not like, Los Angeles. It was a very anonymous city, and that was one of our intention. So we took downtown Los Angeles and shot in many familiar locations. I'm sure you guys all live in L A like are very familiar, but we try to make sure to look at it from a different angle to point up words or point in angles that you haven't seen before to to give it a little bit of an ear, Innis and. I love to craft with light and shadow. You know, I think like Hayes is one of my favorite tools to just to give a little bit of an atmosphere to an wait, especially to the scene, but I definitely love creating contrast both visually as well. As motion. Like, I think that was definitely evocative in cinematography. So you have a five hundred thousand dollars budget. What was your suit schedule? How long did you have to shoot the film? So we shot this film in seventeen days. Wow. You get a lot there for seventeen days. That's great. Yeah. Absolutely. And does that include all the green screen for your sequences? Or was that done as as re-shoots later or was it was there ever reshoot period? There were in. I don't think there were any green screens on this set, actually, no. Because they were all very organic and natural like the roots. There were CG my friend hunter cut to pull off some of those CG elements. But a lot of them were very organic. You know, it was mostly composite. He was a lot of composite yet which was played into what I was capable of doing like if it had been, you know, animation of a creature like planet of the apes. I wouldn't go there because that's not in my skill set to pull off her budget. So well, so you had what sounds like about six or seven months of pre production? What was what was your most important aspect as a director? Like, what advice would you give to other first time filmmakers that are trying to do some effects in a movie for pre-production because if you get it right in pre production, it really makes your your shoot better and easier. So I'm guessing storyboards were big part of what you were doing or previsions ation. So you tell us so I I really admire the I mean, I respect. The storyboarding process. Like a lot of the commercial work. I do it's it is a natural part of the process, you story board, and you try to explore every different avenue before you actually shoot you shot list. And then ideally story aboard and store bought a couple of different ways of how you would shoot the scene. So, you know, going into the scene for the first time after your tech scout I've already thought about this a couple of different ways. So I've tried in my head imagining different ways shooting this. And then suddenly, you're not sitting there know imagining what the camera for the first time is this might only option, you know. And I think that was. When you mentioned storyboarding extraordinarily helpful for a time line like that. Right because you would scouted your locations. You knew the space you knew where you were. And then you knew what the shot was that you needed. That's how you get through seventeen days. I would guess that's key. You just you have to plan ahead of time. All the time that you're gonna lose by not shooting thirty days, sixty days schedule, you're going to to plan for a lot of it. And you're also plan for, you know, happy accidents. But. But I think a lot of forethought is is imperative how many cameras issue with one. What kind of camera? It was an Alexa them. How'd you how'd you decide directory Lee as landing on Alexa, rather than a red preference? You have or is it just what was available and what your DP wanted. I mean, I obviously there's a contentious come for sation for the cinematography communities. I my personal opinion. I don't think it's the camera. I don't think as the camera that makes the film. I think it's the lenses the lenses are the characteristics or the choice, and they're how you frame in photograph your characters. So how you capture their emotions. It doesn't really matter. What camera use like you're going to change the color impose so people that argue Alexis softer red is harsher and sharper. It's like, it doesn't matter like, you can emulate whatever you want. That's one of the more, honest answers. I've heard in quite a while. Good for you. All right. I think we're out of anything that we could talk about without getting into spoilers so podcast listeners. If you have not seen this, please go see tonight tunes. Look for it online. It's in different places press. Pause comeback listened to the rest of the podcast after you. After you see the movie so spoilers being on a low budget. Because this is your spoiler alert being on a low budget. Means you have to make compromise more. Sometimes you have to abandon an idea that you've stayed with for a long time. What were some of the things that you had to? Figure out an innovative way to accomplish based on your budget. And or something that you really wanted to have in the film that just there was no way it would have been too much too many more days too, much of the budget. Oh, man. I mean. You know, I could go back into early drafts of an outline. I had originally wanted man. And you guys are gonna be like, ma'am, I do that. I would want to Nori to go and visit her family's old home in Japan. And for her to kind of, you know. You know, similar to sky fall where JAMES BOND revisits, his home. Old home Nori to actually go back to her home and for her to encounter Jin there. And to kind of just bring up all these family secrets and family lies and also for her to experience that for the first time having never seen that side of her family, and then eventually for the climax to be of that house literally falling apart and burning because of their epic showdown. And so, you know, obviously, that's where the finale was gonna take place. We ended up trying to take that and place it into a space that Jin had made his own home like say, he came from Japan and was a was living in this abandoned space like this become his home, which was vodka of kind of like how empty he is. And how tragic is I think we found a middle ground that I was I was willing to go and pursue. But there was there. For different versions. You know, if I went and shot in Japan, for instance, could you have shot around here like in little Tokyo or other places that are set that you could have built somewhere like abandoned that could have like doubled his somewhere in Japan. I mean, building sets is definitely very troublesome for budget. So I think what you guys saw here in all the apartments every set was custom built they were completely standing sets like empty rooms before tie with practioners entertainment and from the groundout built everything. So that was I think already pushing ambitiously what we could pull off or the budget. And personally like I've I've seen spaces here that cheated for different countries like Japan, and I just I didn't want to go that far that makes sense the movie stray is a story of secrets, and it's a slow. O'byrne as to when you reveal the two secrets here. Jen is his long lost abandoned, brother. That's why he's hunting down and killing her family and the husband wife, please team of Murphy and Jake or essentially still in mourning over the loss of their young child. What were the conversations like with with JD, and Alex about win in your movie, you're going to decide to reveal that like I could see a version where maybe it was revealed that that Murphy and Jake lost their child earlier. But I like the fact that you really saved pretty much all of that for your third act. What were the challenges of plotting that reveal? And then also directing it, obviously. You know, I I think what we wanted to accomplish with Jin coming in at the end of the second act for us to you know, I think the movie is a hybrid genre of a police procedural as well as a. You know, a supernatural anime. Coming of age, and we wanted at the end of the second act for the movie to change, you know. And so I think that's why we wanted to wait until the end of the second actor reveal Jin to let the third act become an entirely different film. And I think, you know, go like looking back Jin is one of my favorite characters. So I think in retrospect, I would have liked to to bring him in earlier. But I think that's one of the lessons. You learn in making a feature film for the first time is that you learn a lot of lessons that you wouldn't never known before doing. So folks jumping in really quick to tell you that we just published issued thirty six twenty nine hundred Oscars issue, and we had both the screenwriting winners in there along with plenty of other cool content as well. Now, remember you could read backstory on a desktop or laptop or via our ipad app or on Google play on an Android tablet. So there are plenty of ways to read us and. I truly hope you do. And hey, are you passionate about storytelling? Then you need to be at NABC show, April eighth through April eleven twenty nineteen in Las Vegas. It's an amazing conference where technology meets storytelling because N A B show is the single largest gathering of the world's most renowned storytellers and the technology that allows them to bring their tails to life, you could get hands on training network and interact with industry I cons and find inspiration. So I hope you'll registered today at NABC show dot com with code Vegas, and you will get a free exhibit pass. So make sure to take advantage of this amazing offer while it lasts. And while you're surfing around online. I'm pleased to tell you that. We just published backstory issued thirty six in our Oscar issue, you could read our Oscar lessons section which has great interviews with seven out of ten Oscar-nominated screenwriters that include the writers of stars born black klansman the favorite I reformed green. Book if Beale street could talk and vice in each of these articles, not only do we talk about certain scenes that you could read excerpts of you could also read the entire screenplay as well. Plus, our Oscar issue features an interview with actor Willem Dafoe, and even Oscar-nominated editor Hank Corwin who chats about editing. Vice other great articles in issue. Thirty six include our blacklist profile of the script Escher by Jason Kessler. And not only do we interview Jason. But you could read his entire blacklist script as well. Oscar winner Terrell Alvin mccranie of moonlight chats about his new Steven Soderbergh directed Netflix movie, high flying bird we interviewed Steve Lightfoot about the latest season of punisher we interviewed the writers of comedy central's corporate and director, David Slade talks about Netflixing groundbreaking. Choose your own adventure black mirror Bander snatch. We also did a funky cool peace with writer Eric Heiser yet. He's the writer of a rival. And he wrote a TV pilot called kingmaker, which was unfortunately, never made. But Eric still loves it and wishes it was a TV show. Show and hopes one day, it still might be cool enough to share the entire script with us for your reading pleasure issued thirty six also features Sundance stories and so much more. And while this hasn't been announced we are going to chat with the writer directors of captain marvel, but that's the fun of a digital magazine. We are always loving to add things into it. Even after we, officially publish. So look, it would really mean a lot to me to have my podcast. Listener's support my passion project over at backstory dot net. Even if you go read, the free issue and consider subscribing. I hope you give it a shot. But now, let's jump right back onto the stage of the fine. Arts theater were director Joe sill continues chatting about his passion project stray, I've known Ross Partridge for years. So it was great to Solomon Gajah. Yeah. Yeah. The AVI as Jen was awesome. He he's a musician. And like tell us about directing that scene between them because he seems really possessed like you could see it in his eyes. You're doing it as one take. You're actually not doing a flashback. And I thought it was. It was a great scene. Tell us about the challenges for for that scene because the the acting was creepy as hell, and I think I'll start with the rehearsal process. So just to kind of preface. I worked with me AVI away from the rest of the actors. I never we never had him meet Christine or Karen beforehand, and that was kind of very specific choice. Just because I wanted to make sure when Christine met him for the first time in the interrogation room that was very. Meeting of very strange minds. And so I wanted that to be very very special. They're they're them searching each other in there is for the first time like just who the hell are you? And why are you doing this and same with Nori to me, AVI? And I I started talking about how he was a troubled character and he wants to be loved. That's his goal. He wants to be loved. That's that's why he's here for an Ori. He's he's not here to just be bad guy. Kill entire family. Those wrong me sees this person that could be his family, and he he wants her to accept him to love him. And so I think that was an emotional part of it. He I gave him a music playlist that I think channel a lot of emotions to that that we had him stick to that playlist and listening in between takes so to mention you know, what you were saying about being possessed. I think he was in a trance the entire time. And I think he put himself there. Keeping in mind all the emotions of we had talked about. But I think the music definitely drove his performance. Yeah. And you could see it in his eyes. I'm curious about was there ever a flashback considered of like him as a boy like activating, his powers? Oh, yeah. Yeah. Oh, that's the that's the X men prequel movie that we would. No. But that was only something that again had I I would have loved to go onto the streets of Japan and shoot those scenes where you have this boy whose experiencing. Awful atrocities or like seeing the world as the glass half empty Nori is is coddled and kept inside. So she sees the world have a glass half full. And where we have been able to pull off flashback like that. I would've loved that. But it was it was great. It was. It was great that he says it, and you could see it in your mind, a young boy like literally burning someone's arm off because he feels like his mother's being accosted. And you know, we don't even know point of view, if she really even was or if it was just somebody being rude on its rain. So so I mean, that's that's an interesting thing about that. The artistry was great it gave you kind of the ghost story feel and it was great for tone. You know roots growing all the all the smoke and ask that we're going around. And I love the body that was turned to thick ash. So was that just like one big great prop because like, you could see these gold veins through it? Or was it something that you created digitally because it looked beautiful, and it was all. It was all practical. So I'll I'll also back up to that. So I. In addition to storyboards, we did a bunch of concept art, which is typically something I think you would do for much more conceptual bigger budget blockbuster movies. And I think it was very imperative to do this the same, you know, with that same process, I had a concept artist's name Tony into several different designs for how the petrified body would look like the wooden body would look like and the different powers the roots, the growth, decay, the destruction. And what these visuals will look like because I wanted to be able to communicate to the actors the crew everybody, you know, what are these visuals going to look like so we emotionally no what we're getting into, you know. Storyboards sketches. So I wanted to visualize it painting. So he designed all these corpses. That were just like supposed to be horrifying but beautiful at the same time. And when we got to pre-production he was like, how are you going to make this? And I was like, well, I think we're going to do a little bit of a combination of visual effects, and the practical actor and make up, and he was like I used to be a sculptor pack in the day. And I was like, okay. And he said, I design these I would love the opportunity to build these. And I was like dude we have to do that. And that was part of like one of the happy accidents of just working with a group of extraordinarily collaborative and creative. People was that was not my original intention, but that was something I really chased once I saw that was in our tool house. To do. So you mentioned the gold in. The gold cracks as well. So that was practical as well that was harkening back to I guess, a Japanese pottery are our practice called consumer which is taking broken pots and putting them back together with actual gold as a as a way of acknowledging the beauty of the cracks and fractures in the sadness of a broken thing rather than you know. It looked up. And it was great to see you know, it is practical as well. It was editing last age storytelling. What was your biggest lesson in the editing room? What was was a scene that maybe you cut that you really wish you could've kept or seeing that you really expected to keep the had to cut. So there there was an incredible editing process with my friend in and we had done the apple NASA film together. So we were very experienced, you know. Well versed in. Retelling the story afterwards. And so we were looking at the film, and we placed in temp music from other films and really trying to set a tone, and I think the pacing as well. We were trying to make sure while it's a slow slowly unfolding movie into brooding film like to to make sure that our audiences is staying along. So we ended up finding a lot of scenes that while they were nice scenes. They're not in this final film because they kind of meander and take you away take the audience away from the attentive direction at hand. So even still there there was a I guess, quote, unquote, slower version of this film. And that was just something we realize the way we shot the film and the way we wanted to handle the performances made for a very brooding. Project. And so I think there were scenes that we wrote in the script that read well on page that play out very differently in the way, we captured it so we ended up. You know, leaving scenes that were nice that just didn't need to be there again, practical effects on your last seen when Nori is gonna bring Jake bras purchases character back to life. You rather than having some big glowing effect emanating from his chest. He plays the camera behind him. And you let the effect be the reaction shot on people's faces. And then you kind of cut to black which was which was great because we're not even sure if he's brought back alive until the next scene was was that always the plan because I thought it was a really greatly constructed shot. And I'm just curious if there was an effect sequence that you had to forego, and that's how you came up with it. So I think it was. It was very late that day. And and so we were we were running and getting we shot that entire where abandoned mall, we shot that in two days. So which easily should have been a two week sequence. If you plan it out accordingly. So we got to that last scene. And I was like guys like we're not going to cover this every which direction there's just not enough time. And so it was just how are we going to tastefully cover this? And I never wanted to show him actually, you know, come back to live. But it got to that point where we were like, let's door. This is all going to be about Nori, and Murphy and really Murphy. She's like she's in the wings. She's waiting for this miracle to happen. And we have no idea what's going to happen. So let's tug on that. It's all anchored in her. It's not about Ross waking up. It's all about Murphy. And nor was confidently come in just essentially killed her brother, you know. And but also brought him peace as well as her mother. So she's not the she's coming in with the confidence in the power. It's all about you know, Murphy and her tension of is you're gonna fucking come back to life. So all had to be about that. So. I think one of my favorite films as children of men, and I love the fact that a single shot will carry you emotionally with the character so carrying it, you know, from Nori passing it off to Murphy. And then having the swat members come back to life in this very eerie fashion in the background tell you maybe maybe something happened. You know, I think that was. We wanted to tease the audience a little bit and toy with it was a great shot last question before we take one really quick from the crowd. Doesn't know. We're running out of time. What was your toughest seen? What was what was the scene as the director? You kept coming back to again. And again that you were sweating, and how did you creatively rise to the challenge of it? The toughest scene. There were two scenes that I think are easily the ones that come to mind right now. So the morgue scene when Nori Caesar our mothers potty for the first time that was really challenging. Because again, it was something that I decided to omit in the rehearsal process where would like to show. As much as I want to show visuals of what things we'll look like I didn't want nor is or Cairns character to see what her mother was gonna look like, so no, no concept art to never while. We were rehearsing the scene on the set never see the actual body. So over the first time, we shoot her close up that had to be the first time she saw that body and that was very challenging to pull off. And so so that was a challenging one and the mortgage filled with a whole bunch of special effects as well that was from her reaction to it. So that it was just just before you get to the second seen. How long was your formal rehearsal process? Did you have one on this? Because I forgot to ask her it was very informal and so. He was out of country. He was in Japan, he was on tour for being rockstar, and and, you know, Christine, Karen and sake and some of the other actors were here. And so we did some rehearsals with I wanted to make sure that Karen and sake who plays her mother and two plays or grandmother to get very close. They have to feel like a family, but Nori interesting they can't ever hers because they haven't met each other yet so Christine, and I would would peel off every talk emotionally about what she was going through. And you know, and Ross was just like he was the last piece of the puzzle. Actually, so he was like this like saving grace to to find him. And he was like the greatest joy to work with cool. And how how long was that period? Oh, sorry. Yeah. So that was. How? About three weeks. Okay. Three weeks. That's great. No. It was. I mean like, but it was like sporadic right of. Obviously a lot of films. Don't get that much time because that's almost as long as you shoot. Ross. I'm at the weekend. One the second scene. That was the toughest seen the second scene was when. I mean, you know, what I thought the scene that Jin meets nor for the first time was difficult. But I think actually the scene that gin and Murphy interrogate each other for the first time that was electric, and that was the scene I was very nervous leading in to. Because again, I played into this. This idea of like, they're not gonna meet each other as actors, so this is going to be the first time they going to sit down and this interrogation and meet each other for the first time like I have no idea what's going to happen. Like I've worked with these actors individually, but I'm very curious to see what happens, and I think you know, everybody was game to play ball and the first Hake. People got chills onset. And I was like, okay. Thank God that worked. But I think that was just a decision I had to stick with you know, how long did it takes his shoot that saying was that one day or two days that scene was shot in about an hour and a half a while. I'll really like say, it was all quick how long how many pages were the script. The script was about ninety pages. Okay. We're gonna take a question from the crowd, right there user, he said, I films could be chaotic sometimes, but he felt this was very cohesive it blended. Well, it felt like it was meant to go. Well, it wasn't jumbled together. What do you think was was a secret to being able to keep a cohesive feel and look to your narrative to your through line to your look of the film as well, man. We fooled you it was chaos. No, I, you know. I appreciate that. You know? I think what what I went into it wanting to to get out of it was I wanted to I've always wanted to examine families in my films because I think that's really why I got into movies. That's. Those are the stories. I want to talk about is like the dynamics of families universally, and how families can build together how they break apart and why they break apart and how they come back together. Again, if they do, and what are the subtle ways that they do? They just happen to be in these like escapist fantasy platforms. That was the that was the core. So whatever we were shooting had to stick to that, you know, emotionally. And I think that was what? From the actors to the heads of department down to the music, everything had to communicate that and vote that so so that was the the the I guess the guiding light so to speak and the cinematography had a match that the again, the music how to match that. So everything had to capture these are fractured families. And how do we capture that didn't have a fractured feel? What's next? There's the we're sitting here in a movie theater. Your movies in theaters. It's also going to be on digital on digital right now. So so another crowds coming in. What's what's your next project? Because we're we're out of time. What's something that you're working on or or hoping to put together? Well. I'll start by saying my first next project was a commercial for mortal combat than just shooting that was very very fun. And we got to do some incredible action sequences, and we actually shot it back in that mall. So I have a proclivity for going back to locations. My next film is probably still too big for me to make yet again. But I I like to think big and then try and temper myself, I wanna make something that is I guess my version of ET so to speak. ET coupled with my love for the Cowboys of Star Wars so to speak. So I think blending the childlike wonder, and what it's like to be a kid and imagining your space pilot, and and then obviously the grand jurors of actually being a space cowboy or. Again, pairing that back down to family, dynamics and dysfunctional families. Does it a title? It does. But I'm gonna keep that wanted to wraps for now. It's not too. You could say you could say, I'm joking. Look you've been very generous with your time. Congrats on your first film. Give it up again for Joe. Thank you. Thank you guys come in. And that's how the QNA went down special. Thanks again to director Joseph for coming down to chat about his debut feature film stray, and if you want to support independent film, please make sure to go rent stray, and I tunes or find it streaming online. Your support makes all the difference to independent filmmakers. So thanks for considering of course, thanks again to the fine folks at NABC show dot com for sponsoring this episode. And remember you could get a free exhibit pass to attend the show on April eighth through April eleventh in Las Vegas. All you have to do is go to NABC show dot com and use code Vegas, and you will get a free exhibits pass. So I encourage you to join storytellers in the technology that helps them make their stories. Possible by going to NABC show dot com to learn more about this special deal. And while you're surfing around online. I'm pleased to tell you that we just published backstory issued thirty six which is our Oscar issue. So there's tons of great stuff for you to read in there and plenty of non Oscar stuff too. So I hope you'll just go to our website backstory dot net. Check out the table of contents to see what's inside it consider subscribing. And if you wanna test drive us while you're there, you can of course, read our free issue on a desktop or laptop or via our I Pat app as well. So thanks for considering and hey, if you're in L A or going to visit LA make sure to sign up for my screening series. You could come to these events as we're happy to have you. You could sign up to get on the free Email list at backstory dot net slash events. So I hope to see you at a screening sometime soon to QNA with Jeff Goldsmith is a copyright of unlikely films Inc. In two thousand nineteen all rights reserved. And hey, if you'd like to show your support and donate to this free podcasts. So it can continue to buy new. Equipment and use these funds to pay all of my podcast hosting fees. Feel free to send it pay pal. Virtual tip to yoga Smith at g mail dot com. Any amount is greatly appreciated as for your social networking needs. You could follow yoga Smith on Twitter or check out my Facebook fan page. I'm Jeff Goldsmith the publisher of backstory, and the host of the QNA thanking you for tuning in and telling you to stay out of trouble till next week.

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Best Of: Adam McKay / Driverless Cars

Fresh Air

49:42 min | 1 year ago

Best Of: Adam McKay / Driverless Cars

"From WHYY in Philadelphia. I'm Terry gross with fresh air weekend today at McKay, he wrote and directed the new film vice which is nominated for six Golden Globes, it stars Christian bale is Dick Cheney and traces how he became George W Bush's powerful. Vice President Cheney survived five heart attacks and a heart transplant after McKay. Finished filming vice McKay had a heart attack, he recognized the symptoms only because of a conversation he'd had with Christian bale onset. So I called Christian bale week later. And I said either you or Dick Cheney just saved my life. Also, we talk about driverless cars with former New York City traffic Commissioner Sam Schwartz author of no one at the wheel and Lloyd Schwartz reviews. The recording of stravinsky's the soldiers tale made by pink Floyd's, Roger waters who voices the characters. To sit and listen support for this NPR podcast and the following message. Come from wicks dot com a web platform for creating your own professional website with wicks, whether it's your first time, creating a website or you're a longtime pro you can do it yourself shoes from hundreds of stunning templates or start from scratch with dragon drop technology and powerful web features. Join over one hundred twenty five million people already using wigs to create their own websites. Go w I x dot com to create yours today. So what will you create guest Anna McKay road and directed the new movie vice which is nominated for six Golden Globes more than any other film, the movie stars Christian bale is Dick Cheney and covers Cheney's years from the time he flunked out of Yale to his eight years as President George W Bush's vice president when Cheney used various means to turn himself into perhaps the most powerful vice president in American history. Vice draws on the work of investigative journalists and combines that with some speculation and comedy in that respect, it's similar to mckay's. Previous film. The big short about what led to the financial crisis of two thousand eight McKay has also made straight up comedies like anchorman and Telugu nights. He's a former head writer of Saturday Night Live. He directed will Ferrell's two thousand nine one man Broadway show satirizing, George W Bush McKay, also co-founded funny or die and the improv group upright citizens brigade. Getting back to those six Golden Globe nominations. They include best motion picture musical or comedy acting nominations for Christian bale is Cheney Amy Adams as Lynch Cheney and Sam Rockwell as George W Bush and nominations for McKay for his writing, and directing let's start with a scene from vice when George W Bush asked Cheney who at the time was CEO of Halliburton to be as. Vice presidential running mate, I want you to be my VP. You solution of a problem CEO of a large company. I have been secretary of defense. I have been chief of staff the vice presidency is mostly a symbolic job. Right. Right. I can see how that went. Enticing. However. The vice president Xi is also defined by president. We were to come to a. Different understanding. I'm listening. Since. Here kinetic leader you make decisions based on instinct. I am people. I said that very different very different from from your father in that regard. Now, maybe I can handle some of more mundane jobs overseeing bureaucracy, managing military energy, foreign policy. That sounds good. Adam mckay. Welcome back to fresh air. And congratulations on the film Cheney has a legacy. He's one of the most powerful vice presidents in American history. How are his accomplishments still with us for better or worse, depending on your political point of view? I mean, there's no question Cheney is a brilliant bureaucrat, a brilliant operator. He has a patience in an intelligence in viewing Washington DC in how the gears power work, what Cheney conditioned us to get comfortable with was the idea of, you know. Extraordinary rendition extreme interrogation. These ideas that twenty thirty years ago would have been considered outlandish, suddenly we're very comfortable to the American people. And then the biggest thing he did was by going to war. And then in the end turned out the intelligence was bogus which I think you're right wing or left wing. I think you have to be that was the case and how America just moved on from that. And I think at that point we started to get comfortable with the fact that our government wasn't entirely working for us. And that there were agendas inside our government that didn't represent the will of the people. So I think in an abstract sense. He changed the way we view government. But then in a very tangible sense. I mean, let's face it the Middle East became completely destabilized. You have the rise of ISIS. You know, the tripled the the debts, and then obviously the world Konami collapsed, and they were really the. I administration knew nakedly put lobbyists and corporate insiders in regulatory jobs. So we're talking pretty seriously about former Vice President Dick Cheney's legacy. Your film is not only. A kind of historical look back at Cheney. But it's it's it's an entertainment. I mean, it's it's funny. It's lively, and it's it's not a documentary, you know, and that's not a straight out drama by any means. So you had to find a tone like had to do with the big short you had to find a tone detail a complicated story that has had a profound effect on the world. And to do it in a way that's entertaining. And that's you know, fun to watch. And that's fast paced yet, you can absorb the information that you're getting so what kinds of things did you have to think through before figuring out? What is the tone? What is the structure, how do you pull this off a lot of it comes from the fact that I do this research and a lot of it looks very dry and seems not that interesting. And then I'll find. Things like the Dick Cheney had an office, basically everywhere in Washington DC, and I'll go, holy moly. This is crazy. And I think a lot of the ways that people like Chaney have gained power is that they rely on us being bored. They rely on us looking at what they do and assuming that it's just bureaucracy, and who cares? And when you really dig into it. It's it's very exciting stuff. And it's major stuff that changes the world. So as kind of a fan of movies, I I really get a kick out of bringing that to life. So boy when you're talking about Dick Cheney, I mean, he really has no signature speech. There's no great. Dick Cheney moment where he was in front of a, you know, a pulpit, delivering a great line. There's no moment of Dick Cheney sort of stabbing himself as a figure in American history. He's always kind of just been in the background. And so. Oh, I had to bring him to the foreground to show what he was able to do. And there's a lot of moves and a lot of stylistic, leaps you can take in movies that you can't do with other mediums that that worked really well with this guy. There's a scene I wanna play from fairly early in the film. And this is when Cheney is a young man, and he was and I I didn't know this about him. But apparently, this is true. Because you say most of the stuff in the film is true. He was expelled from Yale. And. His Lynn actually worked with a local businessman who was able to give out to scholarships to yell every year. But back then yelled, did not accept women and so- Lynn was a straight is student. You know, Dick Cheney was more of a B student, and she talked her boss in the giving dick a scholarship. So how how did he did he flunk out? He. There's one story he tells and he doesn't tell a lot of stories, but there's one story tells about being drunk at a party and riding a tricycle down a staircase very very drunk, and I think he partied a lot. Yeah. He was he's basically he lost his scholarship initially his family tried to scrape together money to keep them there. And then eventually he flunked out. It's so hard for me to imagine Dick Cheney writing on a tricycle drunk town staircase. But you also in in the screenplay have how he he was arrested for driving under the influence and Lynch any reprimands him. And basically gives him an ultimatum what background. Did you use for that seem that is the story that to Jenny talks about a lot and Lynn's referred to a lot? And you know, that was a moment where the change he had flunked out of Yale. He was working as a lineman and Wyoming or talk in the early sixties that's tough state to work in and what would happen is. They would work on the lines all day. They would you know climb up and put up the power lines at he was an apprentice lineman, actually. So maybe it wasn't fully climbing to the top of the pole. But and then at night, they would go out and they would drink like old fashioned nineteenth century drinking. And he got a couple of to you is. And I think it was even a little bit more than that to you know, to get a DUI in the early sixties in Wyoming. You're really doing some shenanigans with your driving. So we we know there was some extreme stuff going on. But he loved her. He loved Lynn Vincent from the second. He saw when he moved from Nebraska, Wyoming when he was I think eleven years old. He was crazy about her. And you know, there are a lot of cases where the your girlfriend would say that speech to you and you'll go we'll. Chew Batum doing this. But not him. He white knuckled it and what he did. It's actually amazing story. He stopped going into town at night, and he stayed in this little crappy trailer with an old World War One veteran, and they would sit there, and they would eat like canned tuna fish and dick would ask him stories about World War One. And that's how he stopped getting into trouble. And then eventually got back into college. When she university of Wisconsin started doing quite well and got on track with Len. And then they got married they were actually boyfriend and girlfriend in that scene. And then later got married C. You kind of depit Glenn Cheney is the kind of motivating factor and the power the the MVP behind Dick Cheney's initial climb. No question, we interviewed some people from casper Wyoming to this day. And they still say no matter who she would have married would have been president or vice president that this young lady back in. In those days was so smart so ambitious so talented, but at that time, there weren't a lot of opportunities for women. So she needed a solid guy. And she picked Dick Cheney. In the early part of the George W Bush administration when you were head writer on Saturday Night Live, and we'll Farrell was in the cast. He often played George W Bush even during the campaign, and you were his writing partner on that. And then after Saturday Night Live you and will Farrell did one man show. And so it was will Ferrell as George W Bush on stage do Cheney and Bush look really different to you now than they did then with the amount of time that has elapsed since you work with will Ferrell, George W Bush material. In the middle of that show. I really started noticing what w pushes position was that. He was a name. He was not a serious guy. He was you know, by a lot of accounts, a fairly okay guy was fun to hang out with. And it was really clear when we were doing that show. And I think everyone kind of knew the joke beforehand that Cheney was pulling strings, but really it was during that show that I just was startled by how many decisions were made by Chania started hearing all these stories, you know, the second tax cut. They did for the super-rich. They were at the big, you know, the table and Cheney said, we should do a second tax cut, and and pushes like we just did one and Cheney goes. Yeah. But that's our base, and they did it and they did the tax cut. And there's another story where finally, you know, W Bush has gotten Rumsfeld outs. And he's meeting with the next secretary of defense. He was gates and. In the middle of the meeting. He just leans forward. And he goes W Bush leans forward to gates and goes, what are you gonna do about Cheney? I thought that is a, wow that is a very telling story like you're the president. Why would you so during meant by that? Thank you meant like he was he didn't want to handle them. You know, we we know that Bush's father, H W Bush, God rest, his soul said I never would recommend Cheney from my son. If I had known he was going to run a shadow empire out of the White House. I mean, that's an actual coat from his father. So, but that gates story really stuck with me. I remember hearing that and just thinking like, wow. That sounds like a guy who's I don't quite want to say afraid of someone but can't handle someone. My guest is Adam McKay, he's nominated for Golden Globes for writing and for directing the new film. Vice this is fresh air weekend. Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from the Annie E Casey foundation developing solutions to support strong families and communities to help ensure a brighter future for America's children. More information is available at eighty CF dot org. Let's get back to my interview with Adam McKay, he wrote and directed the new film vice which is about Dick Cheney and how he became one of the most powerful vice presidents in American history, it stars Christian bale is Cheney Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Sam Rockwell as George W Bush, so making vice was a very eventful period for you. You had a heart attack before the movie was finished. Thank goodness you survived and seemed to be in good shape. Now, what point of the movie were you in when you realize you're having a heart attack? We had just finished a filming. I think we'd raft for about a week. And it's that period where the editor is putting together the Iraq assembly of the movie Hank Corwin was working on its you kind of have this little week and a half two week break. And I just realized I was not in the best shape. I put on weight during the movie, I was foolish enough to continue smoking not a ton. But I was you know, about a half, a pack a day below half a pack a day, and it just I didn't feel good. My doctor was warning me. And I was working out with my trainer. And in the middle of my hands started tingling and my stomach felt queasy. We'll those aren't normally symptoms you think of with heart attack, usually think of pain in the chest and the arm. So I told my train hard on fine. I'm fine. I'm just tired. This is just weird and he left and his soon as he left. I remembered the heart attack seem shot with bail when he. Is running for congress in Wyoming in the late seventies and pale. It asked me said how do you want to do the heart attack? You want it to be a pain in the arm the chest. He goes, I could also do the queasy stomach. That's really common. And I remember ask him like, what do you mean? I've never heard that before queasy stomach, and he goes, oh, yeah. It's very common. And so that moment just flash back to me while I was sitting on the couch, and I went holy Lord. And I ran upstairs, and I just down for baby aspirin and called nine one one. And God bless nine one one within three minutes they were there, and they had me at the hospital another three minutes after that. And the doctor was like why did you take those baby aspirin like I think he knew usually the queasy stomach thing. People don't react to that one. And I said, oh, my lead actor in our movie told me that's how that's how hard attack works and. The doctor said because you acted so quickly. You have no damage to your heart, your heart. And then he said not only that you have an extra strong heart. So he said the only dumping you're doing is smoking. So he said if you stop smoking, there's no reason you shouldn't live to be one hundred years old. So I have stopped smoking. That is the good news. And and my heart is as good as new, but man, what a scary experience. So I called Christian bale week later. And I said either you or Dick Cheney just saved my life. And the craziest thing was they took me they call it a cath lab, which I had never heard of before the catheter lab, and they take you in there. And that's where your heart. Doctor comes in your cardiologists. And this was a guy named Dr Henry is one of the best in the world. Thank god. And they get to work on you. And they're you know, they're going to clear out that blockage. And they did and they were amazing, and then towards the end I was on drugs, obviously. And for some reason, I thought it was very important that everyone at the table. No that I just done a movie about Dick Cheney. And how how ironic this is that I'm on a table having a heart attack. And of course, no one cares. But I saw sort of mumbled it. I was like this is weird. I just said a movie about tick Cheney and everyone ignored me as they should have except one voice to my right. Just after beaches said the Cheney great American. That's not the point of your movie. You know, it's I in my mind, I was like I don't want to argue with this guy that these people just say my life. So I just went it's. It's complicated. And for anybody who doesn't know Cheney head, I think like eight heart attacks and heart transplant. So, you know, the whole heart connection is is very very relevant. Yeah. It's pretty crazy. I mean at one point he had it basically a little EKG or little jump starter in his heart. So when he would have a heart attack. It would give his heart kick to keep it alive and it had like a little computer in it. And I guess a couple years after he had put in they were worried that terrorists could crack the computer code on his heart computer that he had in there. So they actually took that out at one point. But yeah, he had I think he had five heart attacks. But. Well, no, no, no. If you count the transplant if you count the device they put in. I mean, you might be ready might be that high. It's kind of hard to calculate, but he during the nineteen seventies. When he was working in the Ford administration the youngest chief-of-staff in history. He was smoking three packs of cigarettes a day in inning dozen donuts every day, so clearly not treating his heart that well. So your wife hero Piven had a brush with more talented to she was in a car accident. She broke her neck and an imaging her injuries. The doctors found a spot on her lung that turned out to be malignant and she had to have lung surgery. How is she? Now. She thank you for asking. She is a hundred percent great turned out that it was a very slow moving cancer. But boy talk about a miracle. She went through this horrible car wreck. And they discovered this spa. And she's she's too great. She's she's the opposite of me. She's so healthy and vibrant. I think it's just so that you both went through these transformative experiences at a similar time. I don't know how far apart her accident and diagnosed which was from your heart attack. That was like a month for accident was a month and a half before her car accident where she broke her neck and the diagnosis was about three months after the heart attack. So you you went through these life changing experiences at basically, the same time didn't make it easier for you to talk about it with each other. And to understand what it means to have into, you know, a life changing diagnosis, or, you know, profoundly transformative. Medical experience. The big the big thing. I think we both experienced when I came out of the heart attack was I just had the biggest dumbest smile on my face for like a week where I could not stop joking around. I was so happy to be alive. And what it does. Is it kind of for me personally reaches reaffirms what you care about. And you know, there's a lot of things I love in life. But one of the things I love in life is like laughing laughing, really hard. And I mean that even in the face of these tragic stories that we're talking about. I just think it's one of the great things we can do it did make me miss the comedy. I gotta be honest. It did make me feel that like maybe there's something to be said about if you can come up with a raucously funny movie that there's just something about that. That's undeniable. So I definitely started talking to pharaoh about maybe we have to get back in the saddle again and do another big old comedy because it's just no better way to spend your life than. Unlike laughing every single day, so that I would say that's a change that came out of it. Well, it's really been a pleasure to talk with you again. Thank you so much. Always a pleasure to talk to you too. And McKay is nominated for Golden Globes for writing and for directing the new film vice. Pink Floyd's, legendary frontman Roger waters has made a recording of stravinsky's the soldiers tale with a new narration that he adapted. He also performs all the characters are classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review. Down a hot dusty. Try comes soldier with. Ten days leave he has to spend. Jenny navarine. He grew stravinsky's least Wadoux sold dot the soldiers tale was a small scale stage work conceived between the time of the Russian revolution. And the end of World War One when elaborate productions were unthinkable Stravinsky and his collaborator. The Swiss writer Charles fared, non removes created an intimate entertainment based on a folk story about the fateful meeting of the devil. With a tired soldier trying to get home from the war? The soldier gets talked into trading away his precious fiddle for a book with the devil secret for making money Stravinsky uses only seven musicians in what was his first real attempt to incorporate jazz or ragtime, it's an irresistible piece. The manageable and musically alive full of marches rags Tango an off. Off kilter walls, stravinsky's soon turned the piece into a suite of music without any story at all. The folk tale is so ripe with contemporary overtones various writers have adapted. The libretto the first cast consisted of a narrator to actors and a dancer playing the Princess the soldier marries. Jean Cocteau narrated a recording in which Peter Ustinov played the devil mime. Marcel Marceau once appeared as the devil. The strangest version I know was one rewritten by the Avangard New York, author Kenward Elms -ly a new adaptation by pink Floyd's. Roger waters is hardly a radical revision. But with waters himself narrating the story and reading all of the characters, it's totally seductive. He's an effortless narrator delivering the proper British English of the storyteller with impeccably good diction. Switching to a cockney dialect for the soldier. A German accent for the devil and a higher pitched voice for the Princess. And because he's a good musician his timing in the places where the narrative is woven into the music is just about flawless, his English rendering based on an earlier translation is full of tricky rhythms and witty and mostly understated rhymes. Here's the first meeting of the devil and the soldier the devil stops to listen for while. He's intrigued he quietly approaches the soldier and touches on the soldiers stuff alled springs back in alone by oh, you gave me a fright approaches. Excuse me, could you by any chance be persuaded to give me a fiddle? What dome be duffed? I would. I no way. Very well. What if I pay? Hey, I don't think. So. No, can I say this fiddle mine is just not for sale. The devil puts down his but fly net and holds out a book a book bound in red somewhat touted tone book he's been carrying under zone. I'll give you fart. No accomplish read makes no difference with this book is really no need. It's more than a book, it's wealth. Untold. You've only open it and low and behold banknotes points called. Gome while I suppose could just Luke Sydney p my guest here takes when I first heard about this recording. I was suspicious that it was going to be just a gimmick to cash in on waters fame, but waters is surrounded by the terrific musicians of the bridgehampton chamber music festival, including Colin Jacobson, one of the founding members of the popular string quartet Brooklyn rider, playing the devilish difficult solo violin part. This is a serious -ly. Enjoyable addition to the Stravinsky catalog. Looks Wirtz teaches in the MFA creative writing program at the university of Massachusetts Boston. His most recent book of poems is called little kisses. He reviewed new recording of eager stravinsky's the soldiers tale with narration adapted and performed by Roger waters coming up. We'll talk about driverless cars with former New York City traffic Commissioner Sam Schwartz author of the new book. No one at the wheel. This is fresh air weekend. Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from the Walton family foundation where opportunity takes root more information is available at Walton family foundation dot org. The future of the driverless car is going to affect the future of how we travel and what we do in cars. Driverless cars are also likely to transform roads, cities suburbs jobs, the economy and daily life. My guess Samuel Schwarz expects it to be a very disruptive. Technology Schwartz is the author of the new book. No one at the wheel driverless cars and the road of the future, which he says about the good the bad and the ugly of how driverless cars will change our world. He knows a lot about transportation systems. He served as the traffic Commissioner of New York City and chief engineer of the city's department of transportation, he now has his own consulting firm and his work with cities around the world on transportation related issues. We're going to use the words driverless car interchangeably with the words, autonomous vehicle or av. Sam shwartz. Welcome to fresh air. I've always until reading your book I thought of eighties autonomous via. Driverless cars as looking like my car, except that I wouldn't have to sit in the driver seat or if I was in the driver's seat. I wouldn't have to do anything. But as you point out in your book, once once you have an autonomous vehicle, you get to rethink the whole design of the car and probably also what the cars made of. I mean, let's face it. Our cars or designed for like the gas engine under the hood and steering wheel. And the brake pedal. So give us a sense visually like of how a car might be designed differently. A lot of people have have the image that you have Terry. And a lot of them. They kind of look will call looks like a smaller car, like a smart car, and it's got some intelligence on top of it. But I like in this a bit to the cell phone in one thousand nine hundred has traffic Commissioner had one of the first cell phones that I could use during emergencies and the cellphone came with a man carrying it on a twelve vote battery, and this you phone and today, the cell phone of today doesn't look anything like the cell phone that I had in nineteen eighty two the same thing can happen with cars, it could the the autonomous vehicle of the future. Most people think that by the second half of the century at least, and maybe sooner we'll have no steering wheel have no break. It will be a room. It could be a room any size. It could be a conference room. It could be you know, the width of a house. A there's no reason to think it's going to look like a car other than that's what we're used to. So others are beginning to think of these vehicles as being something totally different different uses. And I see that has real potential as meeting places sleeping place in eating place, medical facilities will come to you to look like a hospital room more or a doctor's office a place to be examined by Dr remotely in which a remote stethoscope listens to your hot. And your your blood pressure is taking and all those types of things apossible some of this is good, but we should be why co forward with our eyes wide open. What's your Cessnas so far of the safety of autonomous vehicles? And what that would be like in the future. I mean on the one hand you don't have a driver's misjudgement or driver falling asleep at the wheel. So that could eliminate certain crashes on the other hand technology is always subject to failure and computers often mess up, and they you know, everybody's been on the computer when it just kind of freezes, and you can't work anymore. So imagine that happening to your car, and it could happen. Of course. Hacking could happen, but many features that Thomas vehicles are oh operators are claiming are needed. You don't need in the autonomous mode. So there is automatic braking. Features their lane control features. They're blind spot monitoring. There's a whole host of things that are being offered today to people who could afford it. So the low income people. Are not getting all these safety features that could cut town on crashes tremendously. And then you take the driver out of it. Yes, you'll you can reduce crashes further because you don't have to worry about the judgment of a driver. But you may create other types of crashes right now, the industry is in sharing anything, this is really an industry that has tons and tons of data, but they're not sharing it with the public. The only data. That's acceptable is the state of California, which is reporting anytime there is a crash when vehicle is an autonomous mode, and so far the results are not good. So far, we know of three deaths and not because of any reporting that's the media reporting of three deaths in autonomous mode for conventional cars that would take two hundred sixty million miles before that would occur. And here we have three deaths and vs have driven. Maybe ten fifteen million miles in California, which requires the reporting of. Crashes the cars in autonomous mode crashing nine ten times. More often than the conventional cars will they solve a lot of that. Yes. The going to they could solve a lot of the safety problems in the next few years. Everybody could have automatic breaking. Everybody could have a lane control protections and could have blind spot monitoring and other safety features. But there is this mean that we have to wait until we have Thomas vehicles for safety instead of the meme that maybe we could do a lot now. So what kind of features are you talking about right now in for example, I have a car and twenty seventeen Volvo that will stop on its own if not paying attention and about two rear end another car. There are features that will let me know if I am leaving the lane, the car itself will tug and tell me that I'm crossing, Elaine. And so if. I'm drowsy if I'm not paying attention or if I had too much drink, which I would never do. I would know that I know that there's a warning if there's a car in my blindspot, and I'm trying to change lanes. So they're they're lots of features that exists today that if the industry that is claiming safety safety Stacey. And that's why we need av. Swith would really focus on safety. They'd say we can have by twenty twenty two every single car sold in America could be the safest car possible. And we'll make it even safer eventually with Thomas vehicles. But so far the track record is not very good with Thomas vehicles. They can't figure out what a pedestrian is what a pedestrian has going to do. They can't separate a child from a dog. Sometimes a tree branch overhanging the road will be taken as something in the way. So, you know, we're fall from perfecting. How good are av recognize. Zing a human being there in the high nineties. They record percent wise. But there are times that they'll have a false reading or they still say, I I think this is a person. And this is what happened with the Uber crash Tempe. Arizona that killed a woman. The woman was walking with a bicycle. So you would think a it would recognize the woman and two it would also recognize a bicycle, but the system said, I'm not sure what this is. It doesn't look right to me. So I don't wanna stop suddenly because that also contributes to crashes I'm gonna plow right ahead and plowed right ahead and killed her. Yeah. I think I didn't understand how that happened. So let's talk about how AV's could affect transportation in terms of like traffic, and you know. Driverless cars are great. If they're not stuck in traffic, and they're going to affect the amount of traffic on the road. And then they'll also affect what the road looks like y-, you lay out a scenario. There's a family with a couple of kids to parents the av. Takes one parent to work drops them off at work comes back home picks up the kids takes them to school drop them off at school. The autonomous vehicle comes back home picks up the second parent takes them to work, and then the car does. I'm not sure what I'm not sure where it stays in between all of these trips, but you point on in between trips you have an empty car. You have what you describe as like a zombie car. So what does that mean? In terms of the number of cars that's going to be on the road. Well, one way to look at the future is the intent of many people in the industry is to replicate Uber lift via an other costs services, but without a driver. So in lots of cases, you it would be an app. Oh, whatever succeeds app, you will call for call the difference between that and new Bor today is that will be no driver. So the we've already been able to determine a lot of things about these new at bay services, the average Abbaye service when it carries you one mile it in needs to travel one point six miles so ten mile trip. Means vehicle would have traveled sixteen miles of the cost of the day. And that's because it's empty during portions of they the car has to get into position to be near with his density of people. So we already know it increases vehicle, miles traveled. We also know that there's a concentration. Unless we're smart there's a concentration of where the well-to-do are. It's a concentration in most cities like New York, Philadelphia like San Francisco in Chicago that a lot of the will to do are now near or in city centres where we already have the best transportation than the best transit systems. So what we've been finding as the congregation of the lifts a where we already have good transportation service be with where many of our wealthiest citizens live and see where we already had the worst traffic so the future unless we changed that model is quite bleak. Because so be many many more autonomous vehicles out there because it'll be so inexpensive to run them, especially if they run as a fleet they'll be no downtime. The average caught today is in ninety five percent of the time sits idle these cars will be. Moving around doing their job. Eighty ninety percent of the time. So far more vehicles will be on the road. The other thing is there is this hype from the industry that Thomas vehicles are so officiant they could follow each other so closely that we could replicate on a highway the capacity of train that's nonsense a train or a bus an exclusive lane could move one hundred people in sixty feet or certainly a subway car, whereas an autonomous vehicle in less. We change our behaviors can have one one person per car, even if it has one person for car may of zero less than that. We'll be moving at most two or three people in that same distance. So it the math doesn't work. Are you like making an argument here that in spite of vs, we need good public transportation. Like, Mike trains that can move a lot of people at one time with high density within each car. Autonomous vehicles are coming. There's no doubt about it. We should maintain good public transportation systems. We should make an I and I use the adjective good 'cause they're bad public transportation systems out there ninety percent of the country has lousy public transportation. It's called a bus that comes around every half hour hour, it's largely serves poor people. When a system only searchable people, it's a poor system often, it's largely people of color. We have an opportunity to transform public transportation in those areas not to offer a half hour service, but we can triple the service by using micro transit av vehicles small buses that are smart buses that are on demand that no where the people are nowhere. They want to get off. We already have that technology. We have a company here called via that is doing it in New York, Chicago and a few others. We have four chariot that's beginning to do it in San francis-. Cisco few other places the technology is here. So AV's could be terrific for lower density, public transportation, but we're going to still need in the in the big cities or in places where we want to move lots of people the northeast Cardi, you're gonna still need trains still gonna need subways. Streetcars? We can't substitute cars for that kind of service. So you know, we're talking about cars changing. And we're talking about the road infrastructure. What kinds of new highways will driverless cars require like how might highways change. If we're really smart. We can have less infrastructure, if what Thomas vehicles really look something like cars, if they have a width of six feet as cars have today, if you have a three lane highway the average three lane highway is thirty six feet, you you're probably going three twelve foot lanes only gonna need say twenty one feet. So you can either add more lanes and Admiral capacities to highways or do something else with all that land that will be unleashed and not have to maintain as much infrastructure. Let me interrupt you for second because you were saying that we're going to be able to like eat and sleep and have romantic evenings in our car. So that require. There's room, but if you're making the car smaller because there isn't going to be a dry for then there isn't going to be, you know, space to like live in your car. The way you described it before. Yeah. So I go through the good the bad the ugly right now is the good. And and and the good is they look like cars, they don't look like conference rooms, they don't look like houses of they don't look like coffee shops. They look like cars what a great opportunity if they stay in looking like cars because of the narrowness of cars that six feet wide, but we have twelve foot lanes because people we've back and forth there imprecise and they're driving then pay attention an autonomous vehicle could be like attract vehicle stay in lane. So for six foot vehicle could have a seven foot lane. So in that three lane highway. That's thirty six feet. You can get a three lane highway down to twenty one feet, and it'll be a more efficient highway in terms of moving vehicles because the autonomous vehicles could be more closely together GM recently announced plans to shut down five factories in North America and co cut about fourteen thousand jobs. Earlier this year Ford announce it will start making sedans in two thousand sixteen Fiat Chrysler, stop making small and mid size cars, I think GM is also going to be cutting back its, you know, mid size cars and the emphasis seems to be in two directions one on AV's autonomous vehicles and the other on like, trucks and SUV's. So we seemed to be heading in two opposite directions at the same time in way, like the most fuel-efficient, and the least fuel efficient cars, and, you know, more lightweight autonomous vehicles and credibly like big and heavyweight larger vehicles D C S heading into directions at the same time. I'm very disappointed in in that the auto industry, and you know, they're reflecting the desires of American people to be in bigger cars be heavier vehicles and to have these front ends that are so high that that has an impact that's why pedestrian deaths that's one of the main reasons. Pedestrian deaths of sword is that people are getting hit by SUV's getting hit not no longer with knee injuries. And this comes from from ER doctors who've seen me who talked to me there's a real connection between the health industry right now. And transportation they say in the past someone got hit by a car. It was a knee injury hose leg injury. Now. It's a it's a chest injury. And those are more likely to be fatal. So I'm really not happy about that. But yes, it is going to be a problem moving heavier vehicles and trying to consume less energy similar. It's a pleasure to talk with you. Thank you so much. This is really interesting. I appreciate it. Frank. You. Samm Schwartz is the author of the new book. No one at the wheel driverless cars and the road of the future. He's a former traffic Commissioner of New York City. Fisher weekend is produced by Teresa Madden. Fresh air's. Executive producer is Gandhi. Miller our technical director and engineer Audrey Bentham. Our interviews and reviews produced edited by any salad Phyllis Myers. Roberta shorrock Sam brigger, Lauren. Crendall Heidi Simone, lose eighty Thia Challenor and Seth Kelly. Molly seavy nesper is our associate producer of digital media. I'm Terry gross.

Lynch Cheney Dick Cheney vice president President George W Bush Cheney Amy Adams New York City Adam mckay Commissioner stravinsky Lloyd Schwartz Roger waters Terry gross president George W Bush McKay Golden Globes writer Saturday Night Live America Christian bale Washington
Filmmaker Adam McKay On 'Vice'

Fresh Air

49:19 min | 1 year ago

Filmmaker Adam McKay On 'Vice'

"Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from slack slack is a collaboration hub for work. That makes sure the right people in your team are always in the loop. And key information is always at their fingertips. Learn more at slack dot com. From WHYY in Philadelphia. I'm Terry gross with fresh air today. Adam McKay, he wrote and directed the new film vice which is nominated for six Golden Globes, it stars Christian bale as Dick Cheney and traces his rise from flunking out of Yale to serving as George W Bush's powerful. Vice President Cheney survived five heart attacks and a heart transplant one week after McKay finished filming vice McKay had a heart attack. He says he recognized to symptoms only because of a conversation he had with Christian bale onset. So I called Christian bale week later. And I said either you or Dick Cheney just say my life vices a comedy that draws on investigative journalism Mikhail. Also made anchorman and the big short later linguists. Jeff Berg explains a communications breakdown at the Mexican border between border patrol agents and asylum seekers support for this podcast comes from the Neubauer family foundation, supporting WHYY's, fresh air and its commitment to sharing ideas and encouraging meaningful conversation. I guest Anna McKay wrote and directed the new movie vice which is nominated for six Golden Globes more than any other film, the movie stars Christian bale is Dick Cheney and covers Cheney's years from the time he flunked out of Yale to his eight years as President George W Bush's vice president when Cheney used various means to turn himself into perhaps the most powerful vice president in American history vice draws on the work of investigative journalists and combines that with some speculation and comedy in that respect, it's similar to mckay's. Previous film, the big short about what led to the. Financial crisis of two thousand eight McKay has also made straight up comedies like anchorman. And Talladega nights, he's a former head writer of Saturday night. Live. He directed will Ferrell's two thousand nine one man Broadway show satirizing, George W Bush McKay, also co-founded funny or die and the improv group upright citizens brigade. Getting back to those six Golden Globe nominations. They include best motion picture musical or comedy acting nominations for Christian bale is Cheney Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Sam Rockwell as George W Bush and nominations for McKay for his writing, and directing let's start with a scene from vice when George W Bush asked Cheney who at the time was CEO of Halliburton to be his vice presidential running mate. I want you to be my VP. You solution of a problem? CEO of a large company. I have been secretary of defense. I have been chief of staff the vice presidency is mostly a symbolic job. Right, right. I can see how that went. Enticing. However. The vice presidency is also defined by president. If we were to come to a. Different understanding. Gone. Since. Here. Connecticut leader you make decisions based on instinct. I am people. I said that very different very different from from your father in that regard. Now, maybe I can handle some of more mundane jobs overseeing bureaucracy, managing military energy, foreign policy. That sounds good. Adam mckay. Welcome back to fresh air. And congratulations on the film Cheney has a legacy. He's one of the most powerful vice presidents in American history. How are his accomplishments still with us for better or worse, depending on your political point of view? I mean, there's no question Cheney is a brilliant bureaucrat, a brilliant operator. He has a patience in an intelligence in viewing Washington D C and how the gears power work, what Cheney conditioned us to get comfortable with was the idea of, you know, extraordinary rendition extreme interrogation. These ideas that twenty thirty years ago would have been considered outlandish, suddenly we're very comfortable to the American people. And then the biggest thing he did was by going to war. And then in the end turned out the intelligence was bogus which I think you're right wing or left wing. I think you have to be that was the case. And how America just moved on from that. And I think at that point we started to get comfortable with the fact that our government wasn't entirely working for us. And that there were agendas inside our government that didn't represent the will of the people. So I think in an abstract sense. He changed the way we view government. But then in a very tangible sense. I mean, let's face it the Middle East became completely destabilized. You have the rise of ISIS. The tripled the the debts, and then obviously the world Konami collapsed. And they were really the first administration knew nakedly, put lobbyists and corporate insiders in regulatory jobs. So we're talking pretty seriously about from Vice President Dick Cheney's legacy. Your film is not only a kind of historic look back at Cheney. But it's it's it's an entertainment. I mean, it's it's funny. It's lively, and it's it's not a documentary. You know, and it's not a straight out drama by any means. So you had to find a tone like had to do with the big short. You had to find a tone detail a complicated story that has had a profound effect on the world. And to do it in a way that's entertaining. And that's you know, fun to watch. And that's fast paced yet, you can absorb the information that you're getting so what kinds of things did you have to think through before figuring out? What is the tone? What is the structure, how do you pull this off a lot of it comes from the fact that I do this research and a lot of it looks very dry and seems not that interesting. And then I'll find things like the Dick Cheney had an office, basically everywhere in Washington DC, and I'll go, holy moly. This is crazy. And I think a lot of the ways that people are Cheney have gained. Power is that they rely on us being bored. They rely on us looking at what they do and assuming that it's just bureaucracy, and who cares? And when you really dig into it. It's it's very exciting stuff. And it's major stuff that changes the world. So as kind of a fan of movies, I I really get a kick out of bringing that to life. So boy when you're talking about Dick Cheney, I mean, he really has no signature speech. There's no great. Dick Cheney moment where he was in front of a, you know, a pulpit delivering great line. There's no moment of Dick Cheney sort of establishing himself as a figure in American history is always kind of just been in the background. And so I had to bring him to the foreground to show what he was able to do. And there's a lot of moves and a lot of stylistic, leaps you can take in movies that you can't do with other. Mediums that that worked really well with this guy. There's a scene I wanna play from fairly early in the film. And this is when Cheney is a young man, and he was and I I didn't know this about him. But apparently, this is true. Because you say most of the stuff in the film is true. He was expelled from Yale and his Lynn actually worked with a local businessman who was able to give out to scholarships to yell every year. But back then yelled, did not accept women and so- Lynn was a straight is student. You know, Dick Cheney was more of a B student, and she talked her boss in the giving dick a scholarship. So how how did he did he flunk out? He. There's one story he tells and he doesn't tell a lot of stories, but there's one story tells about being drunk at a party and riding a tricycle down a staircase very very drunk, and I think he partied a lot. Yeah. He was he's basically he lost his scholarship initially his family tried to scrape together money to keep them there. And then eventually flunked out. It's so hard for me to imagine. Dick Cheney writing on a tricycle drunk down a staircase. But. You also in in the screenplay have how he he was arrested twice for driving under the influence. And so what happens before the scene? I'm gonna play is that he is arrested for driving under the influence during the time after his flunked out of Yale. And he's moved back to Wyoming and his job at the time is kind of hanging power lines in in Wyoming. So he's doing a lot of like climbing poles to hang power lines. So after his arrested for driving under the influence Lynne Cheney reprimands him, and basically gives him an ultimatum. So here's that scene and Lynch Cheney is played by Amy Adams and Christian bale is Dick Cheney two times. Two times I have to drag you out of jail. Filthy hobo. I'm sorry. What? What did you just say Shari Linney? You're sorry. Don't call me. Lenny. You're sorry. One time is I'm sorry. Two times makes me think that I've picked the wrong, man. You already got your Astro out of Yale for drinking and fighting, and you're just going to be a lush that hangs power lines for the state that you're gonna live in a trailer. We're going to have ten kids says that the plan. No, we're going to discuss this right now what you smell like vomit and cheap booze does tick want some coffee. Get out did outdid dick want some cosmic Jesus Christ. Okay. Here's my plan. Right. Either you stand up straight. And you get your back straight. And you have the courage to become someone or I'm gone. I know it doesn't guys in a few professors at school who would date me. Then prove it. Prove it. I can't. Go to a big Ivy league school, and I can't run a company your be mayor. That's just the way the world is for girl. I need you. And right now, you are a big fat piss soaked z ro okay scene from vice written and directed by my guest, Adam akeso where does that seem come from what background? Did you use for that seem that is the story that to Jenny talks about a lot and Lynn's referred to a lot? And you know, that was a moment where the change she had flunked out of Yale. He was working as a lineman and Wyoming. We're talking the early sixties that's tough tough town tough state to work in and what would happen is they would work on the lines all day. They would you know climb up and put up the power lines at he was an apprentice lineman, actually. So maybe it wasn't fully climbing to the top of the pole. But and then at night, they would go out, and they would drink like old fashioned, you know, nineteenth century drinking. And he got a couple of you is. And I think it was even a little bit more than that to you know, to get a DUI in the early sixties in Wyoming. You're you're really doing some shenanigans with your driving. So we we know there was some extreme. Stuff going on. So, but he always he loved her. He loved Lynn Vincent from the second. He saw when he moved from Nebraska, Wyoming when he was I think eleven years old. He was crazy about her. And you know, there are a lot of cases where your girlfriend would say that speech to you and you'll go we'll too bad. I'm doing this. But not him. He white knuckled it and what he did. It's actually amazing story. He's stopped going into town at night, and he stayed in this little crappy trailer with an old World War One veteran, and they would sit there, and they would eat like canned tuna fish and dick would ask him stories about World War One. And that's how he stopped getting into trouble. And then eventually got back into college. When she -versity of Wisconsin started doing quite well and got on track with land. And then they got married they were actually boyfriend and girlfriend in that scene. And then later got married C. You kind of depit rent Cheney is the. Kind of a motivating factor in the power the the umbilical behind Dick Cheney's initial climb. No question, we interviewed some people from casper Wyoming to this day. And they still say no matter who she would have married would have been president or vice president that this this young lady back in those days was so smart so ambitious so talented, but at that time, there weren't a lot of opportunities for women. So she needed a solid guy. And she picked Dick Cheney. So when he's in the hospital after his first heart attack during his first congressional campaign. She starts campaigning on his behalf because he can't go out and campaign, and you have her saying in a speech to a bunch of. A bunch of men who were working working men. And she says something like women in New York right now are burning their bras, but women in might Wyoming. We know what to do with our bras. We wear them. Where does that come from? Did she say my favorite line in the movie, we looked everywhere for her speeches? We couldn't find them. We looked through all the old Wyoming papers. So at that point, you just gotta go with it. And so I'm definitely having a little bit of fun there. But, but we do know that she was really good at campaigning and audiences loved her, and they were in a tough spot right there. You know, Dick Cheney was not a good campaigner. He had a heart attack. And Lynn was very charismatic and she went out there and she kept their lead, and he got elected. And also, the big thing is she was even ahead of Dick Cheney and starting to play this idea of the cultural divide of, you know, the east coast versus the middle of the country, and she had a very good nose for that. And understood that that was powerful tool that could be used in the early part of the George W Bush administration when you were head writer on Saturday. Live and we'll Farrell was in the cast. He often played George W Bush even during the campaign, and you were his writing partner on that. And then after Saturday Night Live you and will Ferrell did one man show. And so it was will Ferrell as George W Bush on stage do Cheney and Bush look really different to you now than they did then with the amount of time that has elapsed since you work with will Ferrell, George W Bush material. In the middle of that show. I really started noticing. What W Bush's position was that. He was a name. He was not a serious guy. He was you know, by a lot of accounts, a fairly okay guy was fun to hang out with. And it was really clear when we were doing that show. And I think everyone kind of knew the joke beforehand that Cheney was pulling strings, but really it was during that show that I just was startled by how many decisions were made by Chania started hearing all these stories, you know, the second tax cut. They did for the super rich. They were at the big, you know, the table and Cheney said we should do a second tax cut. And and is like we just did one and Cheney goes. Yeah. But that's our base, and they did it and they did the tax cut. And there's another story where finally, you know, W Bush has gotten Rumsfeld outs. And he's meeting with the next secretary of defense. He was gates. And in the middle of the meeting. He just leans forward, and he goes W Bush leans forward to gates and goes, what are you gonna do about Cheney? I thought that is a, wow that is a very telling story like you're the president. Why would you so during he meant by that? Thank you meant like he was hidden on a handle them. You know, we we know that Bush's father H W Bush God rest, his soul said I never would have recommended Cheney from my son if I had known he was going to run a shadow empire out of the White House. I mean, that's an actual coat from his father. So, but that gates story really stuck with me. I remember hearing that and just thinking like, wow. That sounds like a guy who's I don't quite want to say afraid of someone but can't handle someone getting the presidential campaign between George W Bush, and Al Gore when will Ferrell was playing W Bush, and you were working with will Ferrell on writing writing, the Bush sketches Bush was usually depicted as a kind of bumbling, not very smart frat, boy, kinda guy who drank a lot and didn't take things very seriously like to party and have beer, did you have any idea in those days? During the campaign, the Bush would become along with Cheney. So consequential in changing the course of American and world history. That's the scariest single sentence. I've ever heard. No, no. I did not. It was amazing. I often refer to this moment when I talked to people about wind. We know that America was going down, a very, strange course. And once again, you know, regardless of your political opinion, whether it's right or left. I knew something was different after that first bait with gore and Bush, we were all at thirty rock watching it on television in one of my friends offices. And I just thought it was embarrassing. I thought we were clearly seeing a guy who had no qualifications to be there, and George W Bush had a ten year gap and his employment history. That's actually true ten years where he didn't work at all his first job at a college was selling tropical plants, clearly the only stock in trade he had was his family name. And by the way, I'm not. Not saying gore was perfect, but you know, Gore's a professional he's been around for a while. So we were watching this debate. And we were like this is really ridiculous. And then I went and I walked around the hallways of SNL, and I saw several people, and I said, can you believe this craziness that's going on? And they went what do you mean? I think Bush is great. And I'll just never forget the look in their eyes. And I realized at that point we had slipped in two different reality. And sure enough, you know, he I don't know some people would say didn't win, but he squeezed, you know, he squeaked out a win. And I'll tell you for sure the second time, he ran he definitely one. I mean, America definitely picked him and Cheney it was that's one of the strangest moments I've ever experienced in my life. My guest is Adam McKay, he's nominated for Golden Globes for writing and for directing the new film. Vice we'll talk more after a break, and Jeff nimberg will tell us about a communications breakdown between border patrol agents and migrants from south of the border. That's getting little attention. I'm Terry gross. And this is fresh air support for this NPR podcast and the following message. Come from wicks dot com a web platform for creating your own professional website with wicks, whether it's your first time, creating a website or you're a longtime pro you can do it yourself shoes from hundreds of stunning templates or start from scratch with dragon drop technology and powerful web features. Join over one hundred and twenty five million people already using wicks to create their own websites. Goats w I x dot com to create yours today. So what will you create? Let's get back to my interview with Adam McKay, he wrote and directed the new film v. Ice which is about Dick Cheney and how he became one of the most powerful vice presidents in American history, it stars Christian bale is Cheney Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Sam Rockwell as George W Bush there each nominated for Golden Globes as McKay for both his writing and directing McKay also made the comedies anchorman. Talladega nights and the big short. He's a former Saturday Night Live head writer, Christian bale is really fantastic in the movie as Cheney, particularly as the Bush era Cheney wouldn't and some of it is the makeup and press FedEx. But he gets the voice so well, and the breathing like you can always hear Cheney when he's breathing when he's inhaling before the next phrase, he's about to speak, and he gets the pacing and the breathing perfectly. Right. And also, you know Cheney when he speaks. It comes out a little more on one. Side of his mouth and the other and in Christian Bill got that perfectly. Why did you think of him? I mean, physically he's the opposite type of Cheney. He's you know, he's he's got a very narrow face, or at least that's how I think of it as opposed to Cheney's much, you know, kind of rounder or more more square face Cheney's, heavier than bale bale had to put on a lot of weight for the role Christian Bale's, Australian which I never remember when he's playing an American. Welsh welsh. Okay. Yes. Well, but I never remembered that he he's not like. A native American accent speaker? So why in the world did you think of him? He I think you just said it I I didn't really care about him. Looking exactly like him. I was more interested in the kind of psychological build of the character. And there are just very few actors like Christian bale and Amy Adams that can do that kind of work where they really build a character, psychologically, and so it's not just mimicking gestures or mimicking motions. They know why that motion is happening. They know why that gesture is happening, and there's a psychological history to it. And there's an evolution to it. And man, I I've never seen anything like it with this movie as far as getting to watch Christian put this character together as everyone on set every day. He would walk on. There was like this quiet reverence for what he was doing and the depth to which Bill win. Wow. It's I'll I'll never forget. The first day where his weight gain mixed with the makeup mixed with all the psychological work mixed with all the character work when it all came together. I just literally the Harris stood up on my arms. I've never experienced anything like it. So in your film. There was supposed to be a musical number that I'm sure would have been really funny. And when I read that that was supposed to be in. There got really angry be edited it out. And I I really wanna see it. Okay. So it will be a DVD extra. But how long I'm I going to have to wait for that. But so tell us something about the production number. What it would you can sing it. You can sing some of the lyrics so good. It was so good. We have Britney Howard from the Alabama shakes. We have the choreographer of Hamilton. Get Christian corral. It was basically a Don Rumsfeld teaching Cheney neither a borrower norlander. Be except you know, always a bar. Always borrow borrow be. And yeah, it was amazing. It just tone wise, and story wise did not work in that part of the film in we tried and tried and tried it almost worked, and it definitely have had a little Pang recently. A man maybe I should have just left that in there. But the good news is it will be out with the, you know, when the release of the movie happens, and streaming and DVD and all that kind of stuff, and it really is tremendous issue to call them because here's what you could have done. Okay. So you could have in the close credits had them roll over that number. So it would be kind of like an extra within the movie. Yeah. We actually did discuss that call me. But why did you why did you not do that? Because it felt weird. It felt like you're going way backwards in the movie it felt like you're like, oh now we're back to him as a young, man. Like it didn't quite work. My daughter and her friends were so pissed they're like how could you cut that? I may have made a mistake I will openly admit that. I may have made a mistake on that one. But boy it did not quite feel right? We tried and tried that was probably our biggest cut in the movie. I mean, the nice thing is most of the other stuff state in. But that was a tough one. So making vice was a very eventful period for you. You had a heart attack before the movie was finished. Thank goodness you survived and seemed to be in good shape. Now, what point of the movie were you in when you realize you're having a heart attack? We had just finished a filming. I think we'd raft for about a week. And it's that period where the editor is putting together the Iraq assembly of the movie Hank Corwin was working on its you kind of have this little week and a half two week break. And you know, I have a company with will Ferrell Keri Sanchez productions where I was working on TV and movies. So I was doing a little bit of work producing. And I just realized I was not in the best shape. I put on weight during the movie, I was foolish enough to continue smoking not a ton. But I was you know, about a half, a pack a day below half a pack a day, and it just I didn't feel good. My doctor was warning me. And I was working out with my trainer and in the middle of it. My hands started tingling and my stomach felt queasy. We'll those aren't normally symptoms you think of with a heart attack, usually think of pain in the chest and the arm, and so I told. My train her on fine. I'm fine. I'm just tired. This is just weird, and he laughed and his soon as he left. I remembered the heart attack seem shot with bail when he was running for congress in Wyoming in the late seventies and pale. It asked me said how do you want to do the heart attack? You want it to be a pain in the arm the chest. He goes, I could also do the queasy stomach. That's really common. And I remember asking him like, what do you mean? I've never heard that before queasy stomach, and he goes, oh, yeah. It's very common. And so that moment just flashed back to me while I was sitting on the couch, and I went holy Lord. And I ran upstairs and power upstairs you having heart attacks. So you run upstairs. Yeah. I mean, you know. Maybe run is not the right word stumbled staggered. That's a better word careened. And I got upstairs, and I just down for baby aspirin and called nine one one and God bless nine one one within three minutes they were there, and they had me at the hospital another three minutes after that. And the doctor was like why did you take those baby aspirin like I think he knew usually the queasy stomach thing. People don't react to that one. And I said, oh, my lead actor in our movie told me the sets out that's how heart attack works and the doctor said because you acted so quickly. You have no damage to your heart your arms. And then he said not only that you have an extra strong heart. So he said the only dumb thing you're doing is smoking. So he said if you stop smoking, there's no reason you shouldn't live to be one hundred years old. So I have stopped smoking. That is the good news. And and my heart is as good as new, but man, what a scary experience. So I called Christian bale week later. And I said either you or Dick Cheney just saved my life did the doctor. Thank the baby aspirin helped. Oh, yeah. For sure. No, no. That's what they give you. And when I got in the ambulance, they gave me more. I mean, the aspirin thins the blood which allows it to get around the blockage. It's it's definitely one of the moves you want to it's not going to save your life. You still have to go to the hospital, but it mitigates damage. There's no doubt about it. Did you at any point think that your life was in danger? It's funny. You're going through an experience like that. It's such a roller coaster. You don't even really think in terms like that. It's just moment by moment feeling by feeling and there were a couple moments that got very intense where I thought oh, and I remember the one doctor saying when I was in the hospital because I started to feel better. And then all of a sudden, I did not feel better. And I remember hearing a doctor going he's having a hard event right now. And I thought oh man, I could really die in this moment. And the craziest thing was they took me they called it cath lab, which I had never heard of before the catheter lab, and they take you in there. And that's where your heart. Doctor comes in your cardiologists. And this was a guy named Dr Henry is one of the best in the world. Thank god. And they get to work on you. And they're you know, they're going to clear out that blockage. And they did and they were amazing. And then towards the end I was on, you know. Drugs, obviously. And some reason I thought it was very important that everyone at the table. No that I just done a movie about Dick Cheney. Oh, how ironic this is that I'm on a table having a heart attack. And of course, no one cares. But I saw sort of mumbled it. I was like this is weird. I just said a movie about Dick Cheney and everyone ignored me as they should have except one voice to my right. Just after it beaches said there Cheney great American. That's not the point of your movie. You know, it's I in my mind, I was like I don't want to argue with this guy. These people just say my life. So I just went, sir. It's complicated. Anybody who doesn't know Cheney head think like eight heart attacks and heart transplant. So, you know, the whole heart connection is is very very relevant. Yeah. It's pretty crazy. I mean at one point he had it basically a little EKG or little jump starter in his heart. So when he would have a heart attack. It would give his heart kick to keep it alive and it had like a little computer in it. And I guess a couple years after he had it put in they were worried that terrorists could crack the computer code on his heart computer that he had in there. So they actually took that out at one point. But yeah, had I think he had five heart attacks. But. Well, no, no, no. If you transplant if you count the device they put in. I mean, you might be ready might be that high. It's kinda hard to calculate, but he during the nineteen seventies. When he was working in the Ford administration the youngest chief of staff in history, he was smoking three packs of cigarettes a day eating a dozen donuts every day, so clearly not treating heart that well. Well, let's take a break here. And then we'll talk some more. If you're just joining us. My guest is Adam McKay who wrote and directed the new film vice about Dick Cheney, and he also wrote and directed anchorman and Talladega nights and the movie the big short, which is about what led to the financial meltdown of two thousand eight. We'll be right back. This is fresh air support for this podcast and the following message. Come from season two of choice allergy and original podcast from Charles Schwab season, two of choice. Allergy is. Is hosted by scientists Katie milkman, listen as she shares real world stories of people facing monumental decisions with special guests ranging from sports heroes, two Nobel laureates choice. Allergy also provides tools and strategies for making better choices in life. Download the latest episode and subscribe at Schwab dot com slash podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts planet money tip. Number seventeen. A great analogy doesn't have to make sense measure in a one leg. Bob cat covering up his own crap on a frozen pond. Just make that. Well. Yeah. Planet money a poetic podcast about the economy. My guess is Adam occa- who wrote and directed the new film vice which stars Christian bale as Dick Cheney. So your wife European had a rough with mortality to she was in a car accident. She broke her neck and an imaging her injuries. The doctors found a spot on her lung the turned out to be malignant and she had. To have lung surgery. How is she? No. She thank you for asking. She is a hundred percent great turned out that it was a very slow moving cancer. But boy talk about a miracle. She went through this horrible car wreck. And they discovered this spot, and she's she's too great. She's she's the opposite of me. She's so healthy and vibrant. So she's already doing like yoga and hot yoga. So she's doing fantastically. Well, I think it's just so that you both went through these transformative experiences at a similar time. I don't know how far apart her accident and diagnosed which was from your heart attack. How far apart was it was like a month? Well, accident was a month and a half before her car accident where she broke her neck, and then the diagnosis was about three months after the heart attack. Then in the middle of this. Our family dog died as well wasn't that old? It was like nine and a half ten years old. So you you went through these life changing experiences at basically, the same time didn't make it easier for you to talk about it with each other. And to understand what it means to have, you know, a life changing diagnosis, or, you know, profoundly transformative medical experience. The big the big thing. I think we both experienced when I came out of the heart attack was I just had the biggest dumbest smile on my face for like a week where I could not stop joking around. I was so happy to be alive. And what it does is it kind of for me personally reach just reaffirms what you care about. And you know, there's a lot of things I love in life. But one of the things I love in life is like laughing laughing, really hard. And I mean that even in the face of these tragic stories that we're talking about. I just think it's one of the great things we can do it did make me miss the comedy. I gotta be honest. It did make me feel that like maybe there's something to be said about if you can come up with a raucously funny movie that there's just something about that. That's undeniable. So I definitely started talking to Farrell about maybe we have to get back in the saddle again and do another big old comedy because it's just no better way. Way to spend your life than like laughing every single day. So that I would say that's change that came out of it. Well, one more question and this relates to vice you new movie about Dick Cheney. So the movie isn't about the Trump administration. It's about the Bush Cheney administration. But are there any people from the Bush Cheney cast of characters who have reappeared in the Trump administration and through making vice you have a different understanding of who they are the new otherwise would have, you know, big one was in the middle of entity in the movie, we had John Bolton pop up in our story of Cheney W Bush, and I thought, you know, maybe we should cut that that guy. He's such a fringy kind of lunatic. Just get him out of your and I swear to God three days later. The Trump administration appointed him and that kept happening throughout the movie. We kept thinking that there were these characters, and these ideas that we're going to go away, and they just kept popping up over and over again up of the bolt. One was really funny. I mean, my editor and corn just couldn't. Believe it. It was like we're about to cut that. I was like well, he's back. Bolton was UN ambassador during a Bush Cheney and is now national security advisor heart believe, that's correct. Yeah. And known for very hawkish, very aggressive foreign policy recently. There's footage of him with a giant smile on his face shaking hands with Putin. That's the image. I f fresh in my mind, and he was very anti U N when he became the UN ambassador. Oh buttons a character. There's no question. I really thought that was the end of him. So I couldn't believe it when he when he popped up in the middle of that. And and, you know, the funny thing too is you see a lot of these characters from W Bush Cheney administration who are still out there. As pundits on you still get to hear them, everyday talk about their views of foreign policy, and that's also very strange to see these these characters still walking the earth, exposing exposing ideas, but it, but it also points. The fact that really none of these stories are isolated. This is a longer arc of four or five decades. It's a bigger story in transition that's gone on in America. Well, it's really been a pleasure to talk with you again. Thank you so much. And I'm so glad that you and your wife recover from what happened each of you that you're both. Well, and I'm sorry about your dog. Thank you. Thank you. Although he did his name was pumpkin, and he had an incredible life. And we loved them like crazy, and he was at rescue. So that does give us some comfort and always always a pleasure to talk to you too. Adam McKay is nominated for Golden Globes for writing and for directing the new film. Vice the award ceremony is Sunday after we take a short break our linguists. Jeff number will, tell us about an overlooked communications breakdown at the Mexican border that can be a life and death issue for migrants, this is fresh air support for this podcast and the following message. Come from the Annie E Casey foundation developing solutions to support strong families and communities to help ensure a brighter future for America's children. More information is available at eighty C F dot org. What's unique about the human experience? And what are we all have in common? I'm guy Roz every week on Ted radio hour, we go on a journey to the big ideas, emotions and discoveries that fill all of us with wonder find it on NPR one or wherever you get your podcasts. The tragic death of a seven-year-old girl in US custody at the border last month brought to light among other things. The communication breakdowns between border agents and asylum seekers who were speakers of indigenous languages with limited Spanish, according to our linguist. Jeff number must people aren't aware of the millions of central Americans who speak languages, other than Spanish, nobody should need reminding that there's more to the cultures of the land south of the border than just tequila and tacos, but people aren't always aware that there's more to them than just Spanish to that was brought home a few weeks ago by the heart rending story of, yuck. Lean collar or Jackie as people have been calling her the seven year old girl who died of dehydration in US custody. A few weeks ago administration officials denied they had any responsibility for the death shortly after he turned himself into the border patrol the girl's father had signed an English language form saying she had no health problems after it was explained to him in Spanish, and after that they. Said he'd been given plenty of opportunity to tell them about any changes in, yuck. Leans condition, but Janka leans father is a subsistence farmer from a remote area of Guatemala, who has limited Spanish, his native tongue is the Mayan languages, she which has about a million speakers journalist weren't sure what to make of that language CNN, and Reuters called it a dialect a word that sometimes used loosely to suggest a sub-standard form of speech rather than a proper language, but from a linguist point of view, that's like referring to Russian as a Slavic dialect. A Washington Post story called it a pre Columbian Mayan tongue as if it were the relic of a vanished civilization rather than one of a family of languages spoken by six million people in Mexico and Central America as one linguists pointed out, you may as well, call English a pre Norman invasion Germanic tongue. The fact is that the roots of every language stretch back forever. Okay. These are just the quibbles of a linguist. They certainly don't diminish the quality of the reporting of this story, but they reflect a widespread cloudiness about the heterogeneous, cultural and linguistic landscape in this part of the world cookie monkey Che Archie. And so on those are distinct peoples each with its own language, some with hundreds of thousands or even millions of speakers, many of the monolingual their literacy rates are generally low, but they have their own writing systems. In fact, several of them have supported in the most recent release of Google, Android. Beakers of those languages have been migrating to the US for many decades, the majority legally, they're fleeing poverty, repression, gangs and state sponsored violence, the northern triangle as it's called of Guatemala Honduras, and El Salvador is reckoned one of the deadliest regions of the world taking together. There are more speakers of Mayan languages living in the US than Navajos, which is the most wide. Spoken North American indigenous language, the recent influx of migrants from the region has created the need for more interpreters. According to a two thousand seventeen Justice department report, the Mayan languages, mom and Kichi are among the languages most often heard an immigration cases ahead of French and golly and Korean. Border agents are supposed to make use of interpreters when they have communication problems often over the telephone. But the procedures aren't always followed when homeland security secretary Kirstin Nielsen was asked at a house hearing in December with an interpreter had been called for, yuck. Leans father. She sidestepped the question and said only that the agents had done all they could in fact in its public communications, the DHS seems to suggest that a knowledge of Spanish is all that border agents need to do their jobs in a press conference last June secretary Nielsen boasted that all US border patrol personnel in the southwest border are bilingual every last one of them. It's true all agent trainees are required to take an eight week Spanish courses part of their training program and many speak it better than that. But that may not suffice when it comes to obtaining medical information or explaining an English language form to somebody who speaks only Mark. Spanish and maybe illiterate in the bargain, a two thousand fourteen report by public health consultants found that half the adults detained at the Zona border. Didn't get an explanation of the legal papers. They signed in a language. They understood with all the opportunities for miscommunication. It's not surprising that, yuck. Lynne's father and the border patrol agents have given very different accounts of what he told him about his daughter's health when I talked to the university of Arizona linguist Robert Henderson who works on these languages, and is a co founder of an organization called the Maya health alliance which provides health services in the region. He told me that even those cookie who speaks some Spanish aren't up to using it when the topic turns to medical or legal issues. Why doesn't secretary Nielsen bring up the problems of indigenous language groups when she's talking about border security in the wall and press conferences, or to congress, maybe because there's no place for them in the administration narrative the wall. Wall is about the Hispanics were threatening to infest American communities with gangs, drugs, human trafficking, and massive crime. As the president put it in a recent tweet, all the malign stereotypes that are packed into the single phrase. Batum brace but indigenous groups like the cookie and the mom don't conjure up the same baleful Specter's. In fact, those people aren't Hispanics in the first place. No, more than Inuits and Navajos are Anglos never mind that people like, yuck. Lynne's father are in bad. They're not even Hombres. Jeff number is a linguist at the university of California Berkeley school of information. If you missed our holiday week series of favorite interviews from twenty eighteen you can find them on our podcast where you'll also find all the interviews. We do in twenty nine thousand nine. Fresh Air's executive producers, Danny Miller, our interviews and reviews produced an edited by EMI salad. Phyllis Myers, San brigger, Lauren crendall, Heidi Simone. Theresa Madden moves eighty the challenger and Seth Kelly. I'm Terry gross.

Vice President Dick Cheney Cheney Amy Adams President George W Bush Christian bale Wyoming vice president George W Bush McKay president America Terry gross Bush Cheney administration Ferrell Keri Sanchez Yale Lynn Vincent secretary writer Golden Globes Adam McKay Washington Fresh Air
Rami Malek / Adam McKay

Fresh Air

48:59 min | 1 year ago

Rami Malek / Adam McKay

"There's message comes from NPR sponsor Comcast. Comcast values your time. That's why you can schedule to our appointment windows, including nights and weekends that way. You can spend more time doing what you love. Comcast working to make things. Simple easy. And awesome. From WHYY in Philadelphia. This is fresh air. I'm Dave Davies infra Terry gross today. Our series of interviews with Oscar nominees continues with actor Rami Malik who's nominated for his role as Freddie Mercury lead singer of Queen in the film bohemian rhapsody to play mercury Malik head to learn how to sing dance wheeled a microphone and exude mercury's confidence and charisma onstage. There was a moment where I stepped on stage in sequined Leotard. That leaves nothing to the imagination and one point. I said, listen, if you're going to play a man who Iraq this thing out like nobody's business, you better own this also Adam McKay, he's nominated for writing and directing the film. Vice it starts Christian bale is Dick Cheney, George W Bush's powerful. Vice president. The Academy Awards ceremony is Sunday today. We continue our series of interviews with Oscar nominees we begin with actor Rami Malik who's up for best actor in the film bohemian rhapsody playing, Freddie, Mercury of the band Queen the films also nominated for best picture best sound editing and sound mixing the title of the film comes from the title of one of their most famous songs. Your skill. Gun then. Much rigor. Mama. Yes. Bam. Jerry. Really mad. Queens. Biggest hits were in the seventies and early eighties among them bohemian rhapsody. We will rock you. We are the champions and another one bites the dust, but those records have endured beyond their time on the charts. We will rock you, and we are the champions became popular chance at stadium sports events. Freddie. Mercury was a very theatrical performer with the big personality. He died of complications related to aids in nineteen Ninety-one Rami, Alex performances. Freddie, Mercury is a big contrast to his starring role in the TV series mister robot. As withdrawn hacker with social anxiety disorder. Jerry spoke with Romney Malik in November. Let's start with a scene from bohemian rhapsody. It's nineteen seventy five and Freddie Mercury in the members of Queen or in the office of a record executive played my Mike Myers talking about the record. They're about to release, Freddie. Mercury speaks. I late. Call the album a night at the opera. I aware that no one actually likes opera are like do you? I do don't misunderstand diving. It's a rock and roll record with the scale of opera the pace of of Greek tragedy. The wit of Shakespeare, the unbridled joy of musical theatre musical experience. Rather than just another record something for everyone. Something. Something that will make people feel belongs to them. We're mixon RAs with cross boundaries will we'll speaking bloody tongues. If we want to. Malik welcome to fresh air. It's so much fun to watch you as Freddie Mercury with singing part of your addition. It ended up being part of that audition. I warn them. I was not a singer. I told them don't play the piano. What I do when I'm out on dancefloor could be considered something having to do with rhythm. But probably not. Yeah. All the music credits in the movie or attributed to Queen. So you sang as you were filming. But the music that we're hearing is actually, Freddie Mercury and Queen. It's actually an amalgamation the large majority of it is Freddie Mercury and in order to sink it up properly use bits of my voice in the beginning. It will lead in with my voice, and then pick up for the majority using, Freddie, mercury's voice tops entails as you. Call it it very difficult to get my voice up to those high notes at some point my voice breaks and breaks pretty quickly when I'm trying. To ascend. What Freddie Mercury can do? There's actually a scene where you're at the piano singing sketch of Bahia mean rhapsody, and your voice breaks is any of that you there. Her parts that are me. I think the the parts that break. Yes. That would be considered Rami Mallon. She we just hear that bit. Sure. Let us know if you can tell which part is you okay? Okay. So the final note, his yours. Voice breaks. What are we hearing? Gosh, the majority of that is obviously, Freddie Mercury. But somehow they've they've found a way to to put me in there. And I can't I really can't tell you feel so seemless to me. And that's I think one of the greatest aspects of this film is even I watch it. And I cannot tell beaming rhapsody is book ended by a basically like a reproduction of the famous Queen performance at Live Aid. That was this you've benefit concert in nineteen eighty-five for the benefit of people suffering from the famine the opium and your performance. There were multiple stages for this the Queen. I send your performance the green performance wasn't Wembley stadium in London to an audience of seventy two thousand people. So you as Freddie Mercury had to reproduce. Performance which is considered one of the great performances in rock history. So I'm sure you must have studied at move by move, including learning, Freddie, mercury's microphone technique because he he'd basically be handed the mic on the stand. But not not on the base. So is just like the poll with the Mike on it. And then he'd use that as a prop, you know, starting around on stage and using it as a, you know, strumming it like it was a good tar putting it across his his groin as if it were a large phallus, you know, of all the other tricks. So talk to us about like studying, Freddie, Mercury during the Live Aid concert. And also like how he used the microphone. I walked around London for about two months with this half. Mike, and I think now when you say half Mike does that mean like the poll with the Mike on it? Like, the correct. Yeah. You walk around with the Mike on it. Yeah. I walked around with them. Mike attached to I just never wanted to lose focus of of what I was doing. And that was a very constant reminder. Sometimes I would tuck the microphone into my backpack. But otherwise, you just look like you're walking around with a piece of metal. And that's quite scary. These days. It looks like a weapon. Exactly. So I kept a Mike on it. Just to remind people. Hey, I'm not out to hurt. Anyone? It was the first thing we shop live eight day one. We came out. And it was it's that massive crane shot that goes through the audience and comes right up around the piano and opens to Freddie, Mercury myself playing him singing bohemian rhapsody and talk about a baptism by fire. Never worked that hard in in my life on one particular piece of filming I spent hours with a movement teacher named paulie Bennett. I always wanted to keep it very spontaneous. But at the same time honor this fantastic performance that he and Queen gave another thing we should mention is your teeth. He had what four extra teeth in in his upper mouth at an and he had very buck teeth as a result. And so you had fake teeth that you used? Made for you by a famous Hollywood prophetic teeth designer what was it like for you to wear them. Like, how did it change your feeling of your mouth and your ability to talk and sing like not only did you have to sing for the performance? Even though they weren't necessarily gonna use your voice, you still had a sing. So you're doing something you're not used to doing singing, and you're doing it with teeth at aren't even yours. The teeth were difficult to to get used to initially. I put them in my mouth a year prior to shooting and immediately felt. Insecure. I felt like I was on my back foot in a way a didn't feel like myself, which did help me quite a bit. But it was a feeling of insecurity that had to cover them up as well. And I'd been watching so much footage of him. You see him covering his teeth so often that I thought how many ever gonna do that? Well, as soon as those teeth went in it was second nature about myself covering them up so often, my my lips would dry up. So I found myself licking my lips as he did. But another thing happened. I started to compensate physically by holding my posture better along aiding my body sitting up, very straight. And that's something. You also see him do. And I don't know if that was something that affected him or he was born with the elegance that he has. But it did give me away in understanding a little bit more about him. His name is original. Alie for Rupel Ceara, and he wasn't even called that as a kid very strong set of buck teeth and most of the kids in school called him Bucky. So you see this young man who travels from Zanzibar and goes to a boarding school called Saint Peter's in India. He's travels there on on a ship. He feels very I think removed an isolated and when he comes back to ends of our his country's in the midst of a revolution. They have to immigrate to London, and he's a young man at that point feels like a fish out of water in the nineteen seventies trying to identify himself sexually as well. Let me so much stands in the way of this man becoming who he is. There is something burning inside of him this dream that he wants to see realized. This music that is so vibrant and uring to exist outside of him and everything stands in his way. But when he gets out on stage, he holds everyone's attention and says, hey, I may have been an outcast and misfit, and I may feel like I don't belong. But here on this stage, we belong together. And I had to dimiss defy him. Somehow, I thought to myself here's a young man immigrated to a country defied all obstacles to do what he loved, and that was one thing that that I could understand not to compare myself to him in any way, shape or form. But I am a first generation American my family came from Egypt and saw a better life for their children in the US. And you know, obviously, like so many people they would've loved for us to be doctors and lawyers. My sister is a doctor. So she fulfilled that. Aspect, but it was very difficult to convince anyone that I wanted to do this. And that I could do this. Did you feel like you were going to be letting them down if you failed that they came here an often with immigrants the idea is it's for the children. So if you failed as an actor, would you have been letting letting them down did you did you feel guilty for even trying for an acting career? It's a good question. Yeah. I did feel guilty and the only way to compensate for that was just to to give it my all I was in my apartment that we were living in four of us in a two bedroom apartment, and I had a stack of Manila envelopes and every morning, I would get up and put my head shot and resume in the Manila envelopes. And remember, my father one day standing next to my mom, saying, very Taneja, son. And I don't think that he knows that I heard him, but I heard. That and it gave me that extra boost I needed to just keep going and would take as Manila envelopes at was delivering pizza would put them glue them or take them to every pizza box. I would send out I would keep them behind. The register of the fast food restaurant would be working at anyone even produce Oriel came in. They were getting a head shot and resume in there to go back. Did you did you deliver pizzas to like famous producers directors? I did get an audition out of it once and I did. Yeah. I did was for commercial and of still kept in touch with that person gaming the audition. Did you get the commercial? I did not. What was it? Art for Eminem's. Wow. I will tell you one day. I did get a call. I got a call from Maura Casey who was a casting director for the Gilmore girls. And she asked to speak with the Romney Malik agent. And I said speaking, and she said, well, can I talk to about ROY Malik coming in for a role on the Gilmore girls? And I said, yeah. And she's in whom I speaking with I said, this is he and she said, you don't you don't have an agent, do, you know, but we can work on that. And she started laughing, and she said, well, are you are you sag are you part of the Screen Actors Guild nice as of yet? No. But that's something else. We can we can work on as well. And she kept laughing. She's like listen. You're you're cute calming. When you get a representation, and I said, listen, we're we're. Doing. All right. We're having a good time. I see that the scene has only three lines and how about giving a guy break, and if you're laughing now chances are might have you laughing in the room, and she took a few seconds. And she said, you know, what can come on in? I couldn't believe it. I could not believe it. I went in on that day and later on that night. I had a had a callback for that show. And in between that one of these Manila envelopes that I had been stuffing sending to every agent in Los Angeles happened to call me in between the audition and the callback. And the confluence of the things that happen on that day. Still defy me to have any explanation for them. But it was very profoundly successful day. See you got the Gilmore girls part. Right. It got the part the next day. Let's. A little bit about mister robot. Now in this. You're you're you're somebody who has serious mental health issues serious social problems. It's very hard for you to be with people. You're very withdrawn you literally withdraw into your hoodie most of the time and you're a hacker by night. But you're like a tech worker during the day in the opening episode of season one you walk into a coffee shop Ron's coffee shop and you start talking to the owner of the shop. Let's listen to that scene. Iran. Rooms hit. Meta you changed. It Ron when you bite your first Ron's coffee shot six years ago. Now, you've got seventeen them today. More coming next quarter. And. I like coming here because your wife, I was fast. I mean, you one of the few spots that has a fiber connection with gigabit speed. It's good. So good it scratched that part of my mind part that doesn't allow good to exist without condition. So I started intercepting all the traffic on your network. That's when I noticed something strange. That's when I decided to hack you. I know you run a website called Plato's, boys. You're using tore networking to keep the servers, and honest, you made it really hard for anyone to see it. But I saw it. The wording protocol. It's not as an honest as you think it is whoever's in control, the exit nodes is also in control of traffic, which makes me. The one in control. I must ask you to leave everything or Email, all your files all your picks. Get out of here right now. Lease. You want them to find out about the hundred terabytes child pornography shift to your four hundred thousand users. Personally, man, I was hoping it was just going to be some Bedia Sam stop, you realize how much simpler that would have been. You did. Bushman? I. I understand what it's like to be different. Very different to. That might done like an expression of sympathy. But right, right after that Rummy Malik character is offered money by the coffee shop owner to cover this up and Elliott Rami, Alex character. The hacker says that he doesn't care about money. And it turns out he's tipped off the police and has he gets up to leave the coffee shop the police get out of their cars, and they start walking in to bust the coffee shop owner, it's a it's a great scene in kind of hooks you right at the episode one. How did you get the part of mister robot? You weren't very well known at the time. I mean, mister robot is really what made you well known. Correct. I got the part actually auditioning with that very seen Sam 's male who is the creator of mister robot had seen me do a mini series. That was from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks called the Pacific and at some point. I. Came in with another hundred actors or so did my best and kept coming in and coming in until finally did a network test. And. I got the role. I never thought that I would be the lead character in any show, and this proved me wrong Rummy Malik. It's really been so great to talk with you. Thank you so much. Thank you for your performances. It's been an absolute pleasure. I don't usually share this much myself. But I figured what better place to do it then on NPR with you, Terry. Thank you very much Rami Malik recorded last November. He's nominated for an Oscar for best actor in the film bohemian rhapsody coming up we hear from Adam McKay who's been nominated for Oscars for best direction. Invest original screenplay for his film. Vice I'm Davies at this is fresh air. Every day. Support for this NPR podcast and the following message. Come from racket in one of the largest member base loyalty programs in the US, offering members cash back on purchases at Amazon EBay Sephora groupon. And more rockets gets paid a commission from its retail partners and shares it with its members in the form of cashback. Members can earn up to forty percent cashback over twenty five hundred stores more at rackets in dot com. The Academy Awards this Sunday, our guest Adam McKay wrote and directed the movie vice which is up for eight Oscars, including best picture best director and best original screenplay Christian bale who starves invites his Dick Cheney is nominated in the best actor category. Vice covers Cheney's years from the time he flunked out of jail to his eight years as President George W Bush's vice president when Cheney used various means to turn himself into arguably the most powerful vice president in American history, vice draws on the work of investigative journalists and. Combines that with some speculation and comedy in that respect, it's similar to mckay's. Previous film. The big short about what led to the financial crisis of two thousand eight mckay's also made straight up comedies like anchorman. And Talladega nights, he's a former head writer of Saturday Night Live where he and will Farrell created the sketches satirizing, George W Bush Terry interviewed McKay last month shortly after vice was released let's start with a scene from the film when George W Bush asked Cheney who at the time was CEO of Halliburton to be his vice presidential running mate. I want you to be my VP. Use Lucien problem. CEO of a large company. I have been secretary of defense. I have been chief of staff the vice presidency is mostly a symbolic job. Right. Right. I can see how that me. Enticing. However. The vice presidency is also defined by president. If we were to come to a. Different understanding. Gone. Since. Connecticut leader you make decisions based on instinct, I am people said that very different very different from premier fall in that regard. Now, maybe I can handle some of more mundane jobs overseeing bureaucracy, managing military energy, foreign policy. That sounds good. Adam mckay. Welcome back to fresh air. And congratulations on the film janey has a legacy. He's one of the most powerful vice presidents in American history. How are his accomplishments still with us for better or worse, depending on your political point of view? I mean, there's no question Cheney is a brilliant eurocrat. A brilliant operator his patience and intelligence in viewing Washington DC and how the gears a power work what Cheney conditioned us to get comfortable. With was the idea of extraordinary rendition extreme interrogation. These ideas that twenty thirty years ago would have been considered outlandish, suddenly we're very comfortable to the American people. And then the biggest thing he did was by going to war. And then in the end turned out the intelligence was bogus which you're right wing or left wing. I think you have to be that was the case. And how America just moved on from that. And I think at that point we started to get comfortable with the fact that our government wasn't entirely working for us. And there were agendas inside our government that didn't represent the will of the people. So I think in an abstract sense. He changed the way we've you government. But then in a very tangible sense. I mean, let's face it the Middle East became completely destabilized. You have the rise of ISIS. You know, the tripled the the debt, and then obviously the world Konami collapsed, and they were really the first administration knew nakedly, put lobbyists and corporate insiders in regulatory jobs. There's a scene I wanna play from fairly early in the film. And this is when Cheney is a young man, and he was and I didn't know this about him. But apparently, this is true. Because you say most of the stuff in the film is true. He was expelled from Yale. And his Lynn actually worked with a local businessman who was able to give out to scholarships to yell every year. But back then yelled, did not accept women and so- Lynn was a straight is student. You know, Dick Cheney was more of a B student, and she talked her boss in the giving dick a scholarship. So how how did he did he flunk out? He. There's one story he tells and he doesn't tell a lot of stories, but there's one story tells about being drunk at a party and riding a tricycle down a staircase very very drunk, and I think he partied a lot. Yeah. He was he's basically he lost his scholarship initially his family tried to scrape together money to keep them there. And then eventually flunked out. It's so hard for me to imagine. Dick Cheney writing on a tricycle drunk down a staircase. But. You also in in the screenplay have how he he was arrested twice for driving under the influence. And so what happens before the scene? I'm gonna play is that he is arrested for driving under the influence during the time after his flunked out of Yale. And he's moved back to Wyoming and his job at the time is kind of hanging power lines in in Wyoming. So he's doing a lot of like climbing poles to hang power lines. So after his arrest for driving under the influence Lynne Cheney reprimands him, and basically gives him an ultimatum. So here's that scene and Lynch Cheney is played by Amy Adams and Christian bale is Dick Cheney two times. Two times I have to drag you out of jail. Filthy hobo. I'm sorry. What? What did you just say Shari Linney? You're sorry. Don't call me. Lenny. You're sorry. One time is I'm sorry to times makes me think that I've picked the wrong, man. You already got your Astro out of Yale for drinking and fighting and just going to be a lush that hangs power lines for the state that you're gonna live in a trailer. We're gonna have ten kids the plan. No, we're gonna discuss this right now will you smell like vomit cheap booze. Does tick want some Kobe. Get out did outdid dick want some cockney Jesus Christ. Kate. Here's my plan. Right. Either you stand up straight. And you get your back straight. And you have the courage to become someone or I'm gone. I know it doesn't guys in a few professors at school who date me. Then prove it. Prove it. I can't. Go to a big I've you league school. And I can't run a company your be mayor. That's just the way the world is for girl. I need you. And right now, you are a big fat piss soaked z ro okay scene from vice written and directed by my guest Etem acacia where does that seem come from what background? Did you use for that seem that is the story that Dick Cheney talks about a lot and Lynn's referred to a lot? And you know, that was a moment where the change he had flunked out of Yale. He was working as a lineman and Wyoming. We're talking the early sixties that's tough tough town tough state to work in and what would happen is they would work on the lines all day. They would you know, climb up and put up the power lines. He was an apprentice lineman, actually, so maybe it wasn't fully climbing to the top of the pole. But and then at night, they would go out, and they would drink like old fashioned, you know, nineteenth century drinking. And he got a couple of you is. And I think it was even a little bit more than that to to get a DUI in the early sixties, and Wyoming, you're you're really doing some shenanigans with your driving. So we we know there was some extreme. Stuff going on. So, but he always he loved her. He loved Lynn Vincent from the second. He saw when he moved from Nebraska, Wyoming when he was I think eleven years old. He was crazy about her. And you know, there are a lot of cases where your girlfriend would say that speech to you and you'll go too bad. I'm doing this. But not him. He white knuckled it and what he did. It's actually amazing story. He stopped going into town at night, and he stayed in this little crappy trailer with an old World War One veteran, and they would sit there, and they would eat like canned tuna fish and dick would ask him stories about World War One. And that's how he stopped getting into trouble. And then eventually got back into college. When she -versity of Wisconsin started doing quite well and got on track with land. And then they got married they were actually boyfriend girlfriend in that scene. And then later married C, you kinda depict Lynne Cheney is the. Kind of motivating factor in the power. The the Embiid behind Dick Cheney's initial climb. No question, we interviewed some people from casper Wyoming to this day. And they still say no matter who she would have married would have been president or vice president that this this young lady back in those days was so smart so ambitious so talented, but at that time, there weren't a lot of opportunities for women. So she needed a solid guy. And she picked Dick Cheney Adam McKay wrote and directed the film vice which is up for eight Oscars, including best picture best original screenplay and best director will hear more of Terry's interview with McKay after a short break, this is fresh air support for NPR and the following message come from Amazon prime video and executive producer Jordan Peele, presenting lorraina, a Sundance official selection lorraina is the new docu series that shares lorraina, Bobby. Side of the story and investigates the headlines and press coverage twenty five years later, the docu series is an exploration of the issues women dealt with in nineteen Ninety-three that aren't different from today. Lorraina now streaming on Amazon prime video let's get back to Terry's interview with Adam McKay, the writer director of the movie vice which stars Christian bale as Vice President Dick Cheney it's nominated for eight Oscars the Academy Awards or on Sunday in the early part of the George W Bush administration when you are head writer and Saturday Night Live and we'll Farrell was in the cast. He often played George W Bush even during the campaign, and you were his writing partner on that. And then after Saturday Night Live you and will Farrell did one man show. And so it was will Ferrell as George W Bush on stage do Cheney and Bush look really different to you now than they did then with the amount of time that has. As elapsed since you work with will Ferrell, George W Bush material yet in the middle of that show. I really started noticing. What W Bush's position was that. He was a name. He was not a serious guy. He was you know, by a lot of accounts, a fairly okay guy was fun to hang out with. And it was really clear when we were doing that show. And I think everyone kind of knew the joke beforehand that Cheney was pulling strings, but really it was during that show that I just was startled by how many decisions were made by Chania started hearing all these stories, you know, the second tax cut. They did for the super-rich. They were at the big, you know, the table and change that we should do a second tax cut, and and pushes like we just did one and Cheney goes. Yeah. But that's our base, and they did it and they did the tax cut. And there's another story where finally, you know, W Bush has gotten Rome. Feld outs. And he's meeting with the next secretary of defense was gates and in the middle of the meeting. He just leans forward. And he goes W Bush leans forward to gates and goes what he can do about Cheney. I thought that is a that is a very telling story like you're the president. Why would you so during by that? Thank you meant like he was hidden on a handle them. You know, we we know that Bush's father H W Bush got rest sole said, I never would recommend Cheney from my son. If I had known he was going to run a shadow empire out of the White House. I mean, that's an actual coat from his father. So, but that gates story really stuck with me. I remember hearing that and just thinking like, wow. That sounds like a guy who's I don't quite want to say afraid of someone but can't handle someone. So the movie isn't about the Trump administration. It's about the Bush Cheney administration. But are there any people from the Bush Cheney cast of characters who have reappeared in the Trump administration through making? Vice you have different understanding of who they are the new otherwise would have, you know, big one was in the middle of entity in the movie, we had John Bolton pop up, and our story of Cheney W Bush, and I thought, you know, maybe we should cut that that guy. He's such a fringy kind of lunatic. Just get him out of your and I swear to God three days later. The Trump administration appointed him and that kept happening throughout the movie. We kept thinking that there were these characters, and these ideas that we're going to go away, and they just kept popping up over and over again up the bolt. One was really funny. I mean my hand core. And just couldn't believe it. It was like we were about to cut that. I was like well, he's back. Bolton was UN ambassador during Bush Cheney and is now national security advisor heart believe, that's correct. Yeah. And known for very hawkish, very aggressive foreign policy recently. There's footage of him with a giant smile on his face shaking hands with Putin. That's the image. I f fresh in my mind, very anti U N when he became the UN ambassador. Oh, Bolton's character. There's no question. I really thought that was the end of him. So I couldn't believe it when he when he popped up in the middle of that. And and you know, the funny thing is you see a lot of these characters from W Bush Cheney administration who are still out there. As pundits on you still get to hear them, everyday talk about their views of foreign policy, and that's also very strange to see these these characters still walking the earth, exposing exposing ideas, but it, but it also points. The fact that really none of these stories are is located. This is a longer arc of four or five decades. A bigger story in transition that's gone on in America. Christian bale is really fantastic in the movie as Cheney particularly the Bush era Cheney and some of it is the makeup and press that ex, but he gets the voice so well, and the breathing like you can always hear Cheney when he's breathing when he's inhaling before the next phrase, he's about to speak, and he gets the pacing and the breathing perfectly. Right. And also, you know Cheney when he speaks. It comes out a little more on one side of his mouth and the other and in Christian bell got that perfectly. Why did you think of him? I mean, physically he's the opposite type of Cheney. He's you know, he's got a very narrow face, or at least that's how I think of it as opposed to Cheney's much, you know, kind of rounder or more more square face of Cheney's, heavier than bale bale had to put on a lot of weight for the role Christian bale. Australian which I never remember when he's playing an American Welsh Welsh. Okay. Yes. Well, but I never remembered that he he's not like. A native American accent speaker? So why in the world did you think of him? He I think you just said it I didn't really care about him. Looking exactly like him. I was more interested in the kind of psychological build of the character, and they're just very few actors like Christian bale and Amy Adams that can do that kind of work where they really build a character psychologically, and so it's not just mimicking gestures or mimicking motions. They know why that motion is happening. They know why that gesture is happening, and there's a psychological history to it. And there's an evolution to it. And man, I I've never seen anything like it with this movie as far as getting to watch Christian put this character togethers. Everyone on set everyday. He would walk on. There was like this quiet reverence for what he was doing and the depth to which bell win. Wow. It's I'll never forget. The first day where his weight gain mixed with the makeup mixed with all the psychological work mixed with all the character work when it all came together. I just literally the hair stood up on my arms. I've never experienced anything. Like it. Adam McKay is the writer and director of the film vice which is up for eight Oscars, including best picture best original screenplay. Invest director Christian Bale's nominated in the best actor category for his role as Dick Cheney will hear more after a break. This is fresh air support for this podcast and the following message. Come from the Annie E Casey foundation developing solutions to support strong families and communities to help ensure a brighter future for America's children. More information is available at eighty c F dot org. Let's get back to his interview with Adam McKay, the writer and director of the movie vice which stars Christian bale as Vice President Dick Cheney so making vice was a very eventful period for you. You had a heart attack before the movie was finished. Thank goodness. You survived in seem to be in good shape. Now, what point of the movie were you in when you realize you're having a heart attack? We had just finished filming. I think we'd raft for about a week. And it's that period where the editor is putting together the rough assembly of the movie Hank Corwin was working on its you kind of have this little week and a half two week break. And you know, I have a company with will Ferrell Keri Sanchez, productions were always working on TV and movies. So I was doing a little bit of work producing. And I just realized I was not in the best shape put on weight during the movie, I was foolish enough to continue smoking not a ton. But I was you know, about a half, a pack a day below half a pack a day, and it just I didn't feel good. My doctor was warning me. And I was working out with my trainer. And in the middle of my hands started tingling and my stomach felt queasy. We'll those aren't normally symptoms you think of with heart attack, usually think of pain in the chest and the arm, and so I told. My train her on fine. I'm fine. I'm just tired. This is just weird and he left and his soon as he left. I remembered the heart attack we shot with bail when he was running for congress in Wyoming in the late, seventies and pale. It asked me said, how do you wanna do the heart attack? You want wanted to be a pain in the arm the chest. He goes, I could also do the queasy stomach. That's really common. And I remember ask him like, what do you mean? I've never heard that before queasy stomach, and he goes, oh, yeah. It's very common. And so that moment just flash back to me while I was sitting on the couch, and I went holy Lord. And I ran upstairs and power LAN upstairs having heart attacks you run upstairs. I mean. Maybe run is not the stumbled stagger. A better word careened. And I got upstairs, and I just down for baby aspirin and called nine one one and God bless nine one one within three minutes they were there, and they had me at the hospital another three minutes after that. And the doctor was like why did you take those baby aspirin like I think he knew usually the queasy stomach thing. People don't react to that one. And I said, oh, my lead actor in our movie told me out, that's heart attack works and the doctor said because you acted so quickly. You have no damage to your heart. Your news. And then he said not only that you have an extra strong heart. So he said the only dumping you're doing is smoking. So he said if you stop smoking, there's no reason you shouldn't live to be one hundred years old. So I have stopped smoking. That is the good news. And and my heart is as good as new, but man, what a scary experience. So I called Christian bale week later. And I said either you or Dick Cheney just saved my life. Did the doctor the baby aspirin helped? Oh, yeah. For sure that's what they give you. And when I got in the ambulance, they gave me more. I mean, the aspirin thins the blood which allows it to get around the blockage. It's it's definitely one of the moves you want to it's not going to save your life. You still have to go to the hospital, but it mitigates damage. There's no doubt about it. Did you at any point that your life was in danger? It's funny. You're going through an experience like that. It's such a roller coaster. You don't even really think in terms like that. It's just moment by moment feeling by feeling and there were a couple moments that got very intense where I thought oh, and I remember the one doctor saying when I was in the hospital because I started to feel better. And then all of a sudden, I did not feel better. And I remember hearing Dr going he's having a heart event right now. And I thought oh man, I could really die in this moment. And the craziest thing was they took me they call it Catholic, which I never heard of before the catheter lab, and they take you in there. And that's where your heart. Doctor comes in your cardiologists. And this was a guy named Dr Henry is one of the best in the world. Thank god. And they get to work on you. And they're you know, they're going to clear out that blockage. And they did and they were amazing. And then towards the end I was on, you know. Drugs of is Louie. And some reason I thought it was very important that everyone at the table. No that I just done a movie about Dick Cheney. Oh, how I Ron ick. This is that I'm on a table having a heart attack. And of course, no one cares. But I saw sort of mumbled it. I was like this is weird. I just at a movie about Cheney and everyone ignored me as they should have except one voice to my right. Just after beaches said that Cheney great American. That's not the point of your movie. I went. You know, it's in my mind. I was like I don't want to argue with this guy. These people just say my life. So I just went. It's complicated. Well, it's really been a pleasure. Always always a pleasure to talk to you to Adam McKay wrote and directed the film vice which is nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best director best original screenplay and best picture. The words will be presented Sunday. On Mondays fresh air. The story of the real green book, the pre civil rights era travel guide for African Americans. The book that helps travelers find safe places to stay each shop and do business. It's the subject of the documentary the green book guide to freedom. We'll talk with director, your ruby, rich and hope you can join us. Fresh Air's executive producers, Danny Miller, our technical director and engineer is Audrey Bentham with additional engineering support from Joyce Lieberman. And Julian Herzfeld, our associate producer for digital media is Molly seavy nesper. Roberta shorrock directs the show Terry gross. I'm david.

Lynne Cheney Adam McKay Dick Cheney President George W Bush director vice president Freddie Mercury Fresh Air Christian bale Academy Awards Vice president Freddie Mercury NPR Wyoming Cheney Romney Malik Mike Myers president America
2019 WGA Awards

The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith

00:00 sec | 1 year ago

2019 WGA Awards

"It's the award season. Let's have some awards, shall we? And also had like, some drinks and absent dinner, and maybe even desert if they don't clear it away while I'm off trying to talk to a writer one last time. Howdy. I'm Jeff Goldsmith. Then this is the QNA. My agenda is simple each week. I plan to bring you in-depth insights into the creative process of storytelling, you might have giggled. But that was a traumatic moment at the WG awards kids as I had my desert in my last free, drink, and my wine all taken away when I was up for like five minutes trying to talk to a writer, and I'm still not even sure if I fully recovered folks, I got to give a special thanks to all the fine folks of the writers guild of America West for continuing to allow me to bring you. They're awesome award show. It really means a lot to me to be able to bring my listeners right into the room. So thanks again to the w west now, there are limitations. I actually am not allowed to podcast the entire show. So I've had to make some tough choices here and there and one of the easy things that I did was to cut out all of the nominees being named now. I hate. Doing this because it means so much to actually get a nomination, it, isn't accomplishment, but doing that actually allowed me to add more awards speeches. So it had to be done. But that's why you'll hear me abruptly cut straight to the winner. When it comes time to announce the nominees. I apologize profusely to all the winners speeches. I had to cut because I did have to lose a few of those as well to hit my time, but agreed to certain guidelines and had to stick to them. If you wanna watch some of the speeches, you could check out the WGN's YouTube channel and their website as well. So encourage you to seek that out now at one point during the show, you'll hear a clip of a writer talking about being interviewed for a DVD bonus feature wanting to get paid for that interview since you're hearing it, and you can't see the titles on the screen that we were shown I would just like to point out that it is a great clip of writer Harlan Ellison who passed away in twenty eight teen, and it's from the two thousand eight documentary about Harlan that was made by Eric Nelson called dreams with sharp teeth, which I hope you make sure to check out if you've never seen it before. Now before we get fully into the. Show. I wanna tell you really quick about a brand new amazing offer that's going on for a limited time. So you have to act now. That's right. I said act now because time is running out on this offer. If you buy our upgrades, the world's premier screenwriting software final draft eleven you could get a free six months subscription to backstory magazine. Plus, you can even use a special coupon code that will save you thirty percent off your final draft purchase. So the coupon code that saves you thirty percent off a purchase or upgrade to final draft. Eleven is FD backstory that's F like final delight draft backstory all one word FD backstory, and it can only be used during checkout at final draft dot com. The good news is you could save thirty percent with that code year round. So you don't have to act now in that one. But I do recommend it because if you act now, there's a special deal going on that will give you a free six months subscription to backstory magazine, and that offers only good until March eleven twenty nineteen. So if you're thinking about buying final draft. Now is your time. The free subscription is also like. Final draft using that code only available to people who buy final draft at their website final draft dot com and final draft will generate a special code for you that you could then use over at backstory to redeem it for your free subscription. But remember you got a buyer upgrade to final draft eleven at final draft dot com by March eleven twenty nineteen to get your free six months subscription to backstory and speaking of backstory, we just published our twenty nine teen Oscars issue number thirty six which you could read backstory dot net. The issue features seven out of ten Oscar-nominated screenwriters a few of which are also WGN nominated as there is a difference between those two organizations, and we also interviewed actor Willem Dafoe about his Oscar nomination in that issue as well along with a ton of other stuff, and you could see it on our table of contents at backstory dot net. Remember, you could read us on a desktop or laptop or through our ipad app or even on an Android tablet via Google play. So make sure to check out back story dot net for all the details. But now without any further. Do let's jump right into the awards room at the Beverly Hilton. Hotel for the twenty nineteen WGN awards, right? As host Chelsea Peretti. Takes the stage. Okay. Guys, launches here lunches here. Just trying to get every writers attention. Guys. I'm so excited to be hosting the WGN as all the glitz and glamour of the Oscars without the pressure of public interest. This is a great warm up for an even bigger award show. I'm hosting next week the line producers extravaganza. Oh, if any of you wanna come up and give me performance nodes, do it. I love getting tips on emotional nuance from someone with asp burgers. God I've been going to so many Hollywood parties it's refreshing to just look out. And remember what regular people look like? Thank you. I'm on a new diet. It's basically try not to eat anything bad. But if you do that's okay, all the time. Sorry in advance of my jokes aren't hitting. I couldn't afford union writers. So I had to pay a couple of guys under the table. Speaking of payment. Let me know how you feel about this. I'm not getting paid anything tonight is they're hosting guilt. I'm you to join. Let's do some crowd interaction. You guys kicked it off. How many have you went to Harvard? Get up. Where do you guys stay on Israel? Who do you think makes the most money in the room point at them? I'm not supposed to talk about the agent thing. But I just wanted a logistical question. Do I have to fire all my agents or could I just cherry pick? Greg coders? But seriously guys. I'm here out of a genuine love for the craft of writing. And I truly believe in a time. When the world is deeply fractured. Us writers have grave responsibility to give ourselves awards. The writing staff of the good places here. These guys took an unbelievable premise, Kristen bell being friends with a black person. And. They turned it into an amazing show. Don't come for me backs. I know your podcast has a million followers. I don't want that kind of trouble. Everyone loves the marvelous MRs is it Mazel Meisel? Everyone loves the marvelous MRs weasel. Especially stand up comedians because it's cinema verite about our profession. I'm always like, oh, I made it brisket. Could I have some stage time oil vais? I made a humming tasha and can I head lying your club? Please. Oh, noodle Koogle. Homemade. Schmendrick tuchus commission. Schick? Drac? Now, I just sound like Andy kin lower. It's kind of weird that the lead isn't Jewish was Natalie Portman not available. No. Of course, she wasn't. No. But it is so brave to set a comedy in an era when comedy wasn't funny. Wedding crashers and a low Hawes Bradley Cooper is here. Bradley if you win there's no way I'm not collapsing on the stairs like noon one. Did I rast bit enough? Bradley has famously said he dreamed parts of star is born before writing it Bradley did your dreams take place in one thousand nine hundred thirty seven one thousand nine hundred fifty four. Nineteen seventy Seahawks. There could be one hundred remakes of a star is born in a room and Bradley will still think he's the one person who thought of it. Adam McKay made stepbrothers and vice what's the through line men? Colin Powell said giving that WMD speech was the most painful moment of his life and telling you learnt he'd be played by Tyler Perry. The big bang theory is ending after twelve seasons. My grandma would be so sad if she was still alive. She liked it more than Brooklyn nine nine which I was on. And she told me repeatedly none then my dad's third wife would say she also loves it. And my aunt would agree. Yes. Being big Bing bang theory is a great show Brooklyn nine nine moves too fast. And grandma has a hard time understanding it. Thanks gang, will guess what? Grandmas dead. And I'm off the show. In that one. You're a proxy for my family. Okay. Isn't it? Crazy. This is a section called. Isn't it crazy? Isn't it crazy that my one year old child is physically stronger than everyone in this room? Isn't it so weird how in sports the word team means a diverse collection of athletes, whereas in writing it means to white guys? Every woman. This is still part of that. Isn't it crazy section? Every woman is obsessed with procuring a flipped roll, right? Roll. That's good. That's written for a guy. And then they just name it as Miranda in you, try to get it. My kooky ideas. Why not just write a good role for a woman? That too kinky. Like, here's a simple way to do it. If you're struggling so you know, how you like guys. Just imagine you liked women. You know, I was reading written by magazine. That's joke. You go. I wonder if they're distributor could just make direct contact with the recycling company. It feels like it would save us all a lot of fancy footwork. Which reminds me please save some energy after the show. I will be reading my all to the valet area. Okay. Guys. We're gonna pass around the tender greens menu for breakfast tomorrow. Hopefully, you know, what you're in the mood for in fourteen hours. Enjoy those chewing sounds they say writers should always write what they know. So statistically speaking that means tomorrow. Most of you are going to be writing about losing awards. Please. Remember when you're working your ass off on a script. Pouring, your heart and soul into it. That will never be as popular as Jenny McCarthy, and Dr Ken trying to guess who's this thing and manatee on the mask singer. I'm thank you guys so much you look great most of it. Some of you. Thank you. And enjoy the show. And if you do win an award tonight, there are two FBI agents will serve the dual purpose of handing out awards and spying on subversive liberal elites, please walk them. Field agents, Beth Saunders and Bill Hanko. Our rights if your acceptance speech goes over thirty seconds, you'll be interrupted by the w studio orchestra led by concert master, Hugh Fink playing queen's another one bites the dust. So either that will happen or your next project will be directed by Bryan singer. Yeah. Rock and roll. All right. Our next presenter once famously misspelled my name in Twitter at reply, and I will never forgive her for that. Please welcome Jayme. Lynch. I'm the first presented because the writers guild wanted a gorgeous strong beautiful woman who has never taken shit from anybody. To kick off the show. And also I have a reservation at Mozart at seven thirty. So let's do this thing the nominees for outstanding episodic drama are right. And the writers guild award goes to Alex Genza for paying land. Okay. They're not here. So I am going to accept this award on their behalf. Thank you so much. Sarah silva. Fucked up. I was like we have time you always get your Lee. And then I only have half a lip on her. How about that? Chelsea peretti. Hard. And I think we all appreciate it. We need. All right. I'm here to present the outstanding outstanding animation. And if you're wondering what the word animation. Come because I was like word is animation where they get that word really just break it down. Anima like animal, and then shun like to shun or like, no. So it's just like shun animals or like, no animals the nominees are. I wish you could all win. But you can't. And the winner is Stephanie Gillis for BART's, not dead. The simpson. Okay. I'm nervous after. All right. Well, she's looking around the room tonight. I have to say this exactly how I imagine. The problem would be seriously. Everybody's so smart and funny. I didn't think that we'd be close to the bathroom. That's the problem. Fellow nominees. Honored to be in your company and to be at your table drinks on me some hard liquor. I wasn't the extrordinary creators of the Simpsons. Jim Brooks macaroni and see. I'm simon. Sam miss you dearly. Thank you to the fantastic. Director of the episode Bobby Anderson and to the whole Simpson staff there has never been when like it in the history of television. And I'm so grateful to be a part of it. Dowling violent Matthey Voller. You've made me a better less combative driver. And to my parents Lamey watch so damn much TV they knew what they were doing. To my super sexy. Arm candy tonight. I'll gene love you. This is the point where I am supposed to thank my agent. Whatever. That's right. I mean. I wanna thank something more important. And that's the guild because. Yes. Guild stands up for us as writers and not really good at that. And so thank you guild. Thank you for those gorgeous, green envelopes. Most importantly. Thank you for the best damn health insurance. A girl could ever dream. Thank you. Get a call yesterday from a little film company down here in the valley. And they're doing the packaging for. For GM on Jeff Warner Brothers on Babylon five which I worked on did a very long very interesting on camera interview about the making a Babylon five early on when Joe Stravinsky hired me, and they wanna use it. Young woman calls me, and she says we'd like to use it on the DVD can that be arranged? I said absolutely all you gotta do is pay me. And she said what I said, you gotta pay me. He said well, everybody else's just doing it for nothing. I said everybody else may be an asshole. But I'm not I should do a freebie for Warner Brothers. What is out of that? I patch. It a tin Cup on the street. No. They always want the writer to work for nothing. They don't even send you a copy of the DVD. You know, you have to call the but say, whereas the whale it's been up. You know, we'd go to the store. Buy you go to the store. Buy you. Go to the store you send me the. Gonna come down to your stick come down here. And I'm gonna burn it to the ground. How about that? Please welcome EMMY award winning actor from HBO's veep. Hey. Hello. I think it's time for some honesty. I'm fully aware that when you writers have slaved over script for years. The last thing you want is actors feedback. However, you do your best to hide it like when you say to an actor. Thank you so much. I'm gonna go. Make those changes now. What you really want to say is. Thank you. I'm killing your character off. But the truth is we actors don't always mean what we say either. Like, we say, please, I'm fine with last minute script changes. What we really mean is why didn't read the original version anyway. Now that we better understand each other the nominees for outstanding episode at comedy are right. And the writers guild award goes to know, I need to read that. Alec Berg and Bill Hader for on your heart. Barry. You're an actor. Why do I have to talk high? Thank you. So. It's your time, buddy. I mean, this all you, man. This is this is how script and it. It took us nineteen months to get it done. Yeah. No. Thank you guys for voting for this in an era where there are this many shows on the air, this many good shows to even be recognized at all is awesome end to win is absurd. And we don't have all our writers over there at the table one. Oh, five they have to deal with me. Stand in front of a whiteboard. Pay seeing an hour on the other side quietly wanting to kill my soul. Yeah. And I wanna thank Alex just because this is the first kind of narrative show that I've worked on. And he taught me a lot of great things. Like, you know, an episode should have a beginning middle and end Bill and. And like, you know. You need dialogue, and you know, and all that stuff. So. Thank you guys high Brown. Ron howard's. Get your great, man. God God, it's. Right, Erin, hood was fucking awesome movie. My favorite movie. Backdraft, willow. I mean, the fucking did you see TV? Yeah. Yeah. No. I saw it TV. They're all good. All right. HBO? Yeah. Amy, grab it HBO. People always ask when you start working somewhere writers, ask Howard, the notes like that's always a terrible awful thing. And how do you skirt them and how do you avoid them? And I have to say HBO has truly been a supportive partner. And I look forward to sending outlines and drafts and HBO because we genuinely want to know what they think they're the only people that we could be like, it's a hitman wants to be an actor. And they're like they start throwing money at us. So anyway, thank you. And thank run our Ron Howard. Thank you. Thank you. I'm as Jordan here. My husband Jordan, Peele, Jordan, stand up. I know he would be heard support me on my big night. Getting worried you not here baby. Oh, man. All right. From glow. Please. Welcome. Good evening. The Patty tchaykovsky laurel award is presented each year to a WG member. Who is at Vance, the literature of television and made outstanding contributions to the profession this year that honour goes to celebrate a show runner and my boss, Jen, gee Cohen. If you've met gingy, she's most likely changed your life. And if you've watched her shows you've met Janci, she's a lot like the characters that populate her work a portrait in contrast powerful. But kind modest, but prolific opinionated. But with sprawling empathy a serious person with a fanny pack, and until gingy began writing for television, not the sort of person you'd seen represented on screen. She's spent her career giving audiences complicated characters fairly warmly and hysterically rendered and often with a great toilet hoops recipe. She has revolutionized the way we see women onscreen mostly by sheer volume the number of dynamic funny complex roles. She's created especially for women is staggering. If you've ever. Ever seen gingy? You may have notice she has a different hair color almost every month. Because her mother once told her if you can't fix something decorate it, but Jen she's never trying to fix her characters or the talent. She fosters simply give them the loudest voice. I'll never forget meeting gingy while additioning for glow to this day. I'm pretty convinced that I got the role because of an improv. I did rhyming Natasha and Boris with stump on your clitoris. Play a Russian wrestling character. So if you haven't seen the show, that's make sense. She has a pretty strong poker face audition. So getting that laugh from her we'll always be a point of pride for me. But I quickly learned that gingy never withholds praised for good work. She never resist an opportunity to foster new talent. She's listening more often than she's telling you where to go or how to be or what your characters thinking with her unique hilarious inclusive and vibrant body of work. She has changed the lives of many. She has certainly changed. Mine. Take a look blending comedy and tragedy to make TV gold is what defines gingy comb. Caney realize? I'm all cucumbers carrots. Can't hang onto anything shape. Sorry. She began her career in sitcoms on fresh prince of Bel-Air and road on many other groundbreaking shows in two thousand five she introduced the world to a dark comedy about a pot dealing suburban single mom. You are these. Much. I don't really recall right now, there's a man bringing back seat at summer school really into shows like those field as the sopranos, and I really liked these flawed main characters who would do something unacceptable. Get had created their own moral code. So you still love them. Anyway. And your life long. Shame. His house. Weeds entertained audiences for eight seasons capturing numerous awards, including two Emmys and a WG award with its high stakes stories and deliciously dysfunctional characters. I came out I came out. Yeah. Well, I have radiation I had radiation. So did I plus I'm low blood sugar type one diabetes tattoo for me. Fuck you then in twenty thirteen gingy proved she had more than pot smokers leave when she created another EMMY award winning drama de orange is the new black folks glimpse of what happens behind the razor wired walls of a women's prison. Seila showcasing a vastly diverse in predominantly female cast, orange has never shied away from hot button topics using Chris dialogue that tells it like it is now is not with Judy king. I'll find what a system don't give a damn about. What people gingy continues to develop bringing her pension for humor and heart to her role as executive producer on Netflixing globe. Further solidifying her place amongst the Hollywood greats. We are proud to honor Chico Han with the twenty nine teen Patti ski laurel award. Unfortunately, gingy couldn't be here with us tonight. She's filming the final episode of orange is the new black. But she did send along this video message take on my writers. Thank you out. Some brief for all the nice things. I can't hear you saying, you are brilliant complete package. Awesome person and performer, and I'm grateful to work with you and be of your core. Strength. I I want to say that. I'm so sorry. I couldn't be there in person to see this Alestra award, but sadly due to circumstances beyond my control. I didn't want to it's not for lack of gratitude. But rather an abundance dread fear and self conscious when it comes to award shows and public events in general, I'm a writer. I am not a performer, which means I have many things to say. But I prefer that other people say them, I have more excuses. I'm currently in New York shooting the final episode of oranges and new black seven years lots of feels around that. And also the food of these things is often really mean. Jio ker, but I eat it anyway. And then I go into the spiral of regret, and anger and sadness at having eaten crap when I could have had something really good. So anyway from the relative safety of digital recording. I want to express my, thanks. I've been doing this for almost thirty years. I have a file cabinet full of pilots. I've worked at half hour hour variety and scotch, and hopefully, I'm not done I've been incredibly lucky to work with enormously, talented and funny and kind people who dazzle me and make me look good. I love the people. I work with life is too short to work with assholes, by the way, don't be deck. There's really no reason if you're damage turn it inward don't smear it on others. That's public service announcement when I was in college, I was on a quiz bowl team with people who are much smarter than I. But then a question came up that none of the brainiacs can answer, which a less stress. American screenwriter won Academy Awards for the films Marty the hospital and network. I rang my. Shouted Patty Tchaikovsky because I was a child of Hollywood. And I was the pop culture ringer and won this award has extra. Meaning for me. It represents victory. Patty tapes is also responsible for one of my favorite quotes. He said artists. Don't talk about art artists. Talk about work. If have anything to say, the young writers, it's stop thinking of writing art think of it as work writing my work. It's what I do for a living from identity from my pain, and for my joy and people think it's art or find comfort or joy or a dentist. Then it so much the better. I am very honored that my fellow scribes have chosen to acknowledge my work with a heavy statuette of a bird. And now I have to get back to work and joy the rest of your night. And thank you. And if you can make it through the evening without eating too much. I suggest you hit the taco zone Chuck on Alvarado by the bonds when this is over the need or for those of you in New York with soccer is always. As adema. Thank you. Please welcome merica, sad clown. Puddles pity party. Tell me something. Are in Chile. In such a huge. Funny. How? Your name is. And you're also big. I lost. My screener. Can you? These. On the sound at all scoop. Conned. The same dude who James Brown. You're not the movie. Me. Starla small. Third spin ren- may God. God. Judy. Thank. Thing was in Spanish. Spike lee. Chime. But somehow you kept it fun. Do you street? Everybody. Go. Joan. Like this. Buddy was. You do. Union dues. We sped on. Way to go. There was a sound goats here. So I'm jumping into tell you at this point. They introduced journalist Chris Hayes from MS NBC. Understanding the earnest portion of the evening, so forgive me for that. We live in an era right now. I think it's fair to say of relentless forgetting it's a time when the world ending and head-spinning story of Monday is all but forgotten by Wednesday where each new scandal eats the memory of the last one, and where the present long emergency washes out the past and tempts us to focus all our energies on the president. And just let bygones be bygones, the problem is that a society needs. It's memory it needs to grapple relentlessly aggressively. Honestly with its past and culture. And I think particularly film is one of the most vital ways that we do that as a Sidey it into that. Void comes out of McKay. The big short made us all remember, the brutal and enraging truths of the recent past that very powerful forces would like us all to forget. Thank you very much. And now vice forces the viewer to re- remember, the vaccinates of the harm and the destr-. Function and the human misery that was caused in our collective name by our government just a few administrations ago with a kind of Brechin audacity using a wildly ambitious at a storytelling techniques. Vice tells a story of one man his family, and the political movement that very much made the world we live in today. I've never seen a movie like it's funny, and it's gripping and strange and wild. I'm here tonight as a fellow writer with an appreciation for our shared craft the artist, and the journalists are both called to tell the truth to name things for what they actually are George Orwell one set in a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. So our job is to help us. All see what it is. That is staring us in the face. But in this moment, I actually think it's even harder to see what is just behind us. Adam is in artists ruthlessly committed to making us see what is just behind us a recent past that so many forces are conspiring to erase and every single day, we see the consequences of letting them get away with that a razor. The Paul Salvin award is given each year to the WGN member who's script. Best embodies the spirit of the constitutional and civil rights and liberties, which are indispensable survival or free riders everywhere, and whose Defense Paul Salvin committed his professional life is migrate honor tonight to present this year's award to Adam McKay. Thank you to Chris Hayes that was amazing. This guy every day day and out is working on his show, which is not a lot of fun to help us all understand this behemoth, we call American democracy. Real. Talk about vice and the movie we made also we should pay a moment of recognition to the the estimates vary. Six hundred thousand to one point two million people that died from the United States invading Iraq. That is real that number is real, and we should pay them. A a beat of silence. For what happened it's not each and every one of our faults. Many of us protested, many of us raised our hands many of said this is wrong, but it happened, and it happened from our country and in making this movie every day, we felt that responsibility on top of us. We felt the torture our country tortured. They like to pretend we did not we did. And there was a consensus. If you look at the poll numbers to this day, sixty percent of Americans still support torture as an option. Maybe a million people died, and we tortured, and that's not even getting into the tax cuts for the super wealthy gutting regulations. None of this is written, by the way, just off of Christmas shows just I was like Jesus. Oh my God. And every Mon of making this film was like this every moment of this film. We felt this responsibility on top of us that this was a story. We were about to sweep under the carpet, and we're going to move onto what an Orage goon, Donald Trump is. And don't get me wrong. He's an orange goon. He definitely is. And that is Ron Howard right there by the. Which is awesome. Which is awesome. One of the coolest most talented guys ever. And I love him that aside. I'm sorry guy with the crawl your your lost here at this point. Honestly, I just want to thank I feel so proud to be part of the writers guild right now. I really do. And the work that Paul's Selvyn dead for freedom of speech, and for all of us to have healthcare and for unions because that's the good part of America. It really is. And another big part of this movie are the journalists journalists like Chris Hayes back here. Speak out every day. And there was a recent study from journalists without borders. That said America is the fifth most dangerous nation right now to be a journalist in. That's true. That's crazy that were all flounced in around here. And that food was good. Don't get me wrong. It was it was it was tasty. It was a great. But. And in making our movie there are so many journalists that were vital part of this. Whether they liked the movie are not used their info to make it people. Like Barton men. David corn? Michael Isikoff, Ron Suskind. Jane Mayer, Louis Dubose, Maureen Dowd, Todd Purdham and on and on and on if the movie felt accurate give them credit. If it didn't then blame me or blame. Hank core. Win my editor. In fact, definitely blame. Hang core in my editor. Anyway, thank you for everyone that helped us make this movie, Robin Woolley, my EP Paula would the best of the best Nick Patel, my composer. I don't like him personally. He's not a great guy. But he makes beautiful music Jeremy Kleiner over there. From plan b he's got a nice pool up. Jump shot from about fifteen feet. Thank you so much. Back from fake news with Ted now, and the new film offered animals. Welcome. Thank you. Guy thought I was winning something. Okay. Laughter. Some say it's the best medicine. While many scientists argue that penicillin is the best medicine. But the joke's on them because the word penicillin also has Pena Senate. And I think that's pretty funny. The nominees for best comedy series. And the writers guild award goes to the writers of the marvelous Mrs Maes. Kogo knish brisket. Thank you tonight. The president of the writers guild of America. West is a position of great responsibility in power that person says the direction of our guilds future and the values for which we stand the nominees to deliver the message from the president are. Davide good. David a good match. David a Goodman. Okay. Who's it going to be? And to be deliver is David Goodman. Really? Jordan. Dame? Start my remarks by apologizing to remember just knocked over on my way to the bathroom. Dues free next quarter. I need to I tell you about a writer Christopher enough who passed away this week. He wrote for television, though, most of you have never heard of him to fact of the matter is changed your life. He was president of the WJ from nineteen sixty five tonight sixty seven and he was an active member of our leadership for forty years where he helped lead the fight to all the things we now take for granted pension health benefits residuals in perpetuity today, a few furs that occasion to upholding the standards of our profession and commitment to the well being of our members. We thank him and honor him. I suppose the welcome some guests. I actually don't know if they're here so representing the fifth district. Watts Angeles city councilman Paul Koretz. All right. Representing the thirtieth. Congressional district in the US house of representatives. Brad Sherman grad you here. Guys here representing the thirty third congressional district in the house. My congressman Ted lieu. The night off but tomorrow's president's day. Most of us would like a new one. Interesting conversation with a member of weeks ago to call me wanted to complement the guild, which I found suspicious. Remember lauded efforts to kill had made towards inclusivity advocating for women people of color, the Q community. But the writer was very upset that quote, the guild has abandoned white men. He was certain. It was a guy. Probably why I didn't ask I guess he could've been a person of color uniquely concerned with how white people are doing. He was certain that during the last most recent network staffing season. No white men had been hired or even gotten job interviews. After explain the doesn't actually have anything to do with who gets hired a bunch of white guys. I knew who gotten jobs. Two things to take from the story. If you call me to complain I might use it. Two. There has been a change in the perception of the role of our union it began, I think when the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke into seventeen and there was an outcry from writers for the w to take up the issue of sexual harassment and abuse. I'll be honest, I was hesitant to take that on because I didn't think that the guild had the power or jurisdiction to do anything serious about it the guild staff and aboard subcommittee. Co chaired by vice president Marjorie, David and board member, Glenn Missouri has made serious productive efforts. We've not begun to fix the problem in a global way, but we are providing support and education and help and in a couple of very meaningful cases relief and Justice that we are constrained by the limits on the power of the guild the effort is still a worthwhile for those. We are. Problem has resisted for years. Why is the only now taking it on the obvious answer is for the first time in its history. Our board of directors is fifty percent. This change in the gender makeup of our leadership profound effect. I learned a little late that no matter how well meaning and enlightened to white male writer is Sarah limits to his ability to empathize with the problems faced by writer who is in white. Or is it a man because he hasn't had the experience for instance, it was the personal experiences and passion of the women on negotiating committee in two thousand seventeen specifically Nicole York in steam that led to the Debbie Jay getting its first parental leave clause in our MBA. And others like them have proven that the guild is the one bureaucracy where you can affect change. But if you want change you need to get involved, if you leave it to others, you will be disappointed as a union we can aspire to more than though are cynicism should temper. Our hope it shouldn't replace it. As I mentioned in earlier, the guilt has never regulated who gets hired. But we could we could demand the company's move to a quality and hiring practices in our next to MBA negotiation. If you think that's a worthy goal, you have two choices you can risk leaving it to me. A straight white guy or you can try to take my job. I'm very beatable. I ran for the presidency of the Jebby on oppose. Same election. Marjorie David ran for vice president unopposed, and she got ten more votes than I. Good luck with your decision. And thank you very much. I wanted to do something for the network that would really breakthrough more than three decades ago. Steven Bochco, blew up the boundaries of network television, bringing to life stories that we're uniquely grounded Bochco shows where defined by grittier storylines and diverse on samba casts that Spokane acted in ways that thrilled audiences and terrified network. Exact send sensors we had lost. We actually have lost of words. And then we have we negotiated the number of times, you could say. These words in an episode and do not ask me how I can't remember we finally settled on the number thirty seven always in service to the integrity of the script. Bochco would go to the mat with the network and Phileas to protect writers vision. I can say asshole, I can say this. I can't do that. No. It's not accepted. I said, okay. I tell you. I said send sardine says I can use any combination of words thirty seven times, I'm gonna add this guy, call sip, which any asshole thirty seven times in one c. Or you can let them and they fold. But beyond the boundaries broken Bochco shows folk to come Roderick, integrity and love. Got to be clean. Vision created the template for the golden age of television and his belief in collaboration mentor, a generation of great TV writers making Stephen Bochco, one of the most honored creators in television history. From Billy on the street. Good evening from green book to Bohumil arap city. It's been an amazing year to cut down the gay scenes. Who knew a year ago, there'd be more gay sex in a movie about Queen? And then a movie about Freddie, Mercury. I guess that's progress. When I was growing up as a young gay kid obsessed with the entertainment industry, the first place. I saw gay characters were not in fictional shows or movies, but actually documentaries. We're talking the eighties and the nineties Madonna's truth or dare Paris burning tongues untied, so it warms my heart to know that these days a young gay person can turn on Netflix or Hulu and see over one hundred thirty seven documentaries about the fire festival. We've come so far. All right. I don't even more inspiring note the nominees for outstanding documentary screenplay are. The WGN or goes to Ozzy and Guangzhou and David with per bath over Broadway. Thank you. Ron howard. This is such an honor. Thank you WJ for recognizing our work. Thank you everyone involved with the film, especially I'm hand us us Daniel the team overblown house, Jason MARCY. Jeremy, Mary, Chris, Dan and Jenny at impact partners, David Letterman and focus features also to our boyfriends and families for their unwavering support. Mommy Papi seeing Ted knowing now that little kid. Lastly, we wouldn't be standing here without our hero. Steve Young who trusted us with his story. A comedy writer who is able to see what others didn't. Thank you. Steve for shining light on so many artists. Who's remarkable work was considered disposable? You're living proof that life can be so rich and wonderful when we step off the logical path and embark on eccentric adventures. Thank you much. Ladies and gentlemen. Please. Welcome. Actress Jay Lynn Sigler. Twenty years ago show premiered on HBO that would change television in profound ways exploring the family dynamics of a mob boss creator, David chase elevated television drama into an art form and helped HBO set the bar for procedures programming with us tonight is the man responsible for bringing the sopranos to HBO, ladies and gentlemen. He's the FOX network executive passed on it Adam Campbell. So you're the guy who passed on the sopranos. And instead, you didn't you you you green lit Ryan Caufield year one, right? And that that aired for how long to. Two seasons episodes. Eight. That's impressive. I think you you might have missed table. You're doing great. Thank you. Well, that's it. Thank you. Good night. From black clans. Please welcome toll for grease. It's a tricky political climate that we live today. And there are some. Unfortunate pictures of me out there. So I figured just get right ahead of it. And make this announcement before the story broke. I appeared in a klu Klux Klan robe. In the film, black clansmen. You have to remember this is a different time different place. These pictures are taking all the way back in early two thousand seventeen I was just immature kid thirty eight years old at the time. I hope that you can all find in your hearts to forgive me. And now Stacy my crisis manager says it's time for the healing to begin. Here are the nominees for the outstanding original screenplay. Bo Burnham for eighth grade. Thank you very much. To the other nominees in the category have fun at the Oscars losers. Now. All right. I prepared nothing. This this all belong style. See Fisher who perform the scrape no one would care about the script if she hadn't done it. So thank you to hurt. Thank you to the guild is incredible. Joined the Gilbert, I was eighteen and my mother who is here. Sign me up for it and did the paperwork. So thank you to my mother for doing that. And my father who did nothing who's also here. How is this happening? This is wonderful. I believe in love. Thank you too. Eight twenty four. Chelsea for Eddie was incredible another half. Chelsea is the greatest this has been a fun eccentric awards ceremony. Thank you for everything. To- for. Ron you're you're good. Ron. Thank you very much. Have a great night. Folks, I'm jumping in really quick to tell you about a special deal where you could get free six months scripture into backstory magazine for a limited time if you buy upgrade to the world's premier screenwriting software final draft eleven you could get a free six months scripts into backstory magazine. Plus, you could even use a special coupon code that will save you thirty percent off your final draft purchase. So the coupon code that saves you thirty percent off a purchase or upgrade to final draft. Eleven is FD backstory. That's F like final draft backstory all one word FD backstory, and it could only be used during checkout at final draft dot com. But the good news is that code works for year round. However, the special deal that you got to act now on and yes, I just said act now that deal will give you a free six months scripts into backstory, and is an offer that only works until March eleven twenty nineteen. So if you're thinking about upgrading or buying final draft. Now is your time. The free six month backstory subscription is only available to people who buy final draft on there. A website final draft dot com and over there. They will generate a special code for you to use it backstory dot net. So make sure to upgrade or by final draft eleven at final draft dot com by March eleven twenty nineteen and hey that free six months of scripture has perfectly time as we just published issue thirty six it's our twenty nine thousand nine Oscars issue. Remember you could read backstory on a desktop or laptop or via our ipad app or via Google play on an Android tablet in our Oscar issue. You could read our Oscar lessons section which has great interviews with seven out of the ten Oscar-nominated screenwriters that include the writers of stars born black klansman the favorite I reformed. Green book if Beale street could talk and vice in each of these articles, not only do we talk about certain scenes that you could read excerpts of you could also read the entire screenplay as well. Plus, our Oskar issue features an interview with actor Willem Dafoe and even Oscar-nominated editor Hank Corwin, chats about editing. Vice other great articles in issue thirty six. Include our blacklist profile of the script Escher by Jason Kessler. And not only do we interview Jason. But you could read his entire blacklist script as well. Oscar winner Terrell Alvin mccranie of moonlight chats about his new Steven Soderbergh directed Netflix movie, high flying bird we interviewed Steve Lightfoot about the latest season of punisher we interviewed the writers of comedy central's corporate and director, David Slade talks about Netflixing groundbreaking. Choose your own adventure black mirror Bander snatch. We also did a funky cool peace with writer, Eric Heiser. Yep. He's the writer of arrival, and he wrote a TV pilot called kingmaker, which was unfortunately, never made. But Eric still loves it and wishes it was a TV show and hopes one day, it still might be was cool enough to share the entire script with us for your reading pleasure issue. Thirty six also feature Sunday and stories and so much more. And while this hasn't been announced we are going to chat with the writer directors of captain marvel which isn't even out yet. But that's the fun of a digital magazine. We are always loving to add things. Into it. Even after we officially published. So look, it would really mean a lot to me to have my podcast. Listener's support my passion project over at backstory dot net. Even if you go read, the free issue and consider subscribing, I hope you give it a shot. But now, let's jump right back into the main room at the Beverly Hilton and continue with the twenty nineteen WGN awards. Film. Welcome comedian and actor in scouts go. So. My name is Sebastian at a scowl co and I'm here tonight to present the award for video game writing. I had no idea that was even an award. For video game. Right. I mean, I think the last video game I played when I was eight years old. And it was it was pacman. And but what I do know is that we got grown men in this country. In there on the where our basement. Playing fortnight what another guy in New Zealand? All right. I mean, they're passing up making love. Tudor wives. Now, I know my beautiful wife who tonight came down in the negligence. And said baby meet me in the bedroom in fifteen minutes, and I told her on bad whole, I gotta kill these Nazis. Is the day. You could take that controller and bash me in the skull with it. No, we're don't no disrespect to the nominees. Who are the winner? The writers of God of war. This is so weird. We have we had an animator who look just like Ron Howard always called them the fake, Ron Howard. So. Mike henry. I I wanna thank the writers guild for giving video games a seat at the table. It's important. It's important. And it's. It's it's amazing. And thank you for that. Also wanna thank all the other nominees. This has been you guys may not know a pretty incredibly strong year for story driven games and your work inspires us. Both as writers and gamers. Thank you to seventy Santa Monica. Your your faith in us was absolutely humbling. And of course, our families Suzanne. On a Mattie and Sarah. Our parents are children without you. We couldn't do any of this Corey. I also wanna thank my extremely supportive wife. My son who is my inspiration. My production partner throughout all of this who continually cold me crazy, but supported me and talked me off of a number of ledges throughout this process. My mother, and my father who has been a writer sense. I could remember and passed on probably the best lesson that I could ever get because everybody around those kind of laughs. You know, I grew up in the mid west was not a very normal profession for anybody to have you in our family, wasn't exactly the most supportive Shiites. Sorry. I'm twenty feet from Ron Howard. This one's for you, buddy. Nominees for outstanding comedy variety series. All right. And the winner of the writers guild award goes to. The writers of Nathan for you. We lose every year at a siren I live. So I didn't. Preparing anything. But. Right. As the other word issue. Right. Right. Something right. Ron howard. Seriously. Everyone here is we we did not expect a witness. Everyone up here is incredibly talented and amazing writer and. I truly feel we have the best team in television. Design else wanna talk or? Say everyone so great. Thank you. I don't know we weren't expecting to win that. So I thank you so much for this honor and comedy central for lying us might this show. Very cool. You guys wanna say wanna? Great. Thank you so much. The nominees were outstanding comedy variety special are and the winner is the writers of the fake news with Ted how now. Thank you very much though. Thank you, very exciting. Sorry, fellow workers. It means a lot that as members of the lumpen proletariat, we can all get together and event like this. And celebrate each other. And we really appreciate it. I I think we'd all like to thank the continuing dissolution of the country. We live in which has forced satire riders to reach ever new heights of strangeness to make any sense at all. I don't know. Anyway, I didn't win either. So I didn't write anything I should have. Anyway. Thank you very much for this one. Thanks to the guilt for everything. It does for us. Thank you very much to comedy central for letting us do this ridiculous show. That makes no sense at all. And if you haven't seen it, you should see it. It's a crazy show. I'd like to thank at Helms for making the whole thing possible relay and it was his real vision. I would say that the whole thing through and made it really really possible. I'd like to thank all of our writers who joined us on this ridiculous sprint to make it. And I think came out really nicely. I don't know other people do do you wanna say something? Well, yeah. Elliot Kaelin the head writer of the fake news now. Now. This is an incredible amazing writing team just so damn funny. And you probably this this show probably slipped under your radar like it did most people at aired last December. When when the world was going, so absolutely insane. And not a lot of people saw then months later this nomination came up, and I have to say, this is the most meaningful affirmation, we could ever hope for I look around this room. And there's so many people that I know and love dearly and have worked with over the years, and I just respect like hell, and so this recognition from our peers is just the coolest damn thing. And I hope that I hope this puts the show on your radar. Maybe take a look, and I'm hoping that another one bites the dust kicks because I know all the fucking words that I'm gonna I'm gonna do it. I'd also like to thank our production staff. Everyone on the production crew, everyone who worked on this from the lowest person to the highest top of the totem pole. Thank you very about. To present a lower award for screenwriting chievements. Please welcome by popular demand round. Our surprise. He looked that's been very very flattering. I have to I have to admit everybody. And I felt like, you know, sort of like, they the the Oscars. You know, they always pointing out till you Roberts. Oh, Brad Pitt. Oh, Jack Nicholson is the w you get Ron Howard. But. Thank you. Well, I'm here on behalf of my dear friends Lowell Ganz in Bob, Lou Mandel when all and Bob. Well, when they asked me if I would do this. I was I was honored. And I immediately said, yes. But I also thought these guys are known to be genuinely funny. I mean, they have built their lives on funny. They're funny helped build my house and other people's as well. So, you know, I just intro of mine was going to have to sort of live up to them comedic -ly. So right after I said, yes, I followed immediately with you guys still punch up my speech forming. I usually. Yes. No. They didn't. I always go to them, but they didn't say their usual. Sure, Ron wasn't quite ever know coming out of their mouths, but I just feel that under the circumstances. You know, they thought it was kind of weird. And I got that. I got that so left to my own devices. I take the deal here is the intro. You're going to get be. Yeah. Yeah. Pretty damn flat. Thank you for that. At kind chuckle. I I don't need your pity. Just is what it is. This situation. You're just not gonna be particularly entertained, but there is one quality that I can't sell generate. And therefore, the one thing that this introduction will be and that is Ernest. I can be really really earnest. Earnestness just fucking flows out of me. So here are just a few things to know. These guys these tables are first and foremost good men as in you, probably won't find better. For them family is always first, but they also worked their asses off and are world class friends to have in life trenches with now I've known Lowell sense. He was the wonder can show runner. Gary Marshall brought over from odd couple to revitalize happy days Lowell and then writing partner. Mark Rothman took our show which was falling out of the top twenty to number one. We were all blown away by low and for the record the infamous jumped the shark episode was not on his watch. Brian grazer? Brought me a hilarious outrages original idea of his for me to direct I recruited Lowell who was on his own as as a writer at that point. He liked the concept, but he wanted to work on this with a new writing partner, and he said he was going to ask the funniest guy. He knew to team up with him. And that was Bob blue whose wife Denise weirdly insists on calling Mark. I don't know. I'm sure he's got some crazy names for her to bright. But that's between them. On the back of their writing. And Henry winklers willingness to commit we got the green light for my first studio movie as a director nightshift they wrote. They roll lines that comedy lovers. Still liked to poke to me all the time things. Like, I'm an idea an Chuck old hold it. I got one feed mayonnaise to the tuna call star Kist. And of course. Barney rubble what an actor. No, the amazing Michael Keaton who recommended for that part, by the way, did not improvise those lines. Now, their partnership and friendship deepened. They would just sit across for each other at a desk as they do today and talk and pitch and laugh and act outlines and write them down on a yellow pad over and over before rewriting them again once they were typed in their scripts were hilarious, but they also wrote with wisdom and heart and they became hot. They went on a tear writing originals where they were virtually never rewritten. I mean, I won't miss the titles because we're going to have a video here in a minute. But one of those movies was parenthood, which my friend and your nominated colleague, Peter Morgan always reminds me he considers to be American checkoff. And speaking of rewrites, well, they've made a lot of filmmakers movies hell of a lot better. Over the years. They were nominated for an Oscar they made Hollywood's most powerful lists. But they never wanted to produce our direct or have a company they just wanted to write and deliver quality material and writes, more success continued just blowing past the career expiration date and ageism that we all know shamefully exists for comedy writers. But they don't look back. They just want to come to work each day round ten. Start wrapping things up around four. So low can be with genie and his family, read, great literature and watch sports with a comprehension as deep as any teams general manager and Bob who wants to go home and be with his family, and he likes to tackle home improvement projects involving lumber plaster and beans and the most macho looking power, tools, you can possibly imagine. Now, I find this a little paradoxical. But see what you think? Would it gets up here? He's the shorter one. But see, Bob Lou is a fixer. They both are and you know, what from the note meetings through production to those painful test screenings, they have always found joy in every facet of this crazy work, and I simply could never have landed in the position that I find myself in today without their brilliance, and I'm not alone. So with that in mind, let's take a look at some Ganz and Mandel scenes that I'm sure you're gonna recognize. Lowell Ganz and Bob blue Mandel know, what people want. One that I wanna meet a woman. I don't wanna fall in love, and I don't to get married, and I wanna have a kid wanna go play a tooth in the school play. You are hereby ought to serve time as a to fair. My ass hurts just watching this. All right, guys. Call yourselves comedy writers. Donny ride is. A fine fine. I fear. This come as a shock to you. Shitting sailboat that's a shock people want funding and for more than four decades Lowell Ganz, and Bob Lou Mandel have served it up super sized. They began as writers on some of Garry Marshall's biggest sitcoms of the nineteen seventies. Then they segue into movies there. First feature nightshift starred Henry Winkler and newcomer Michael Keaton in a role that made him an overnight star. So this moment, I think it's important. I see all of your breasts. I don't have to breakfast. Their second film, the first released by touchstone made a star of Tom Hanks and forever change the perception of Disney film. Something here is not working. There are worse. Organs to be working the screenplay for splash was nominated for an Academy Award and was followed by a string of films that combine laugh out loud funny with relatable characters like Billy crystal's. Mitch lectures grade school kids on what to expect from life. Seventies. You win the wife retired of Fort Lauderdale. Dating dinner at two o'clock in the afternoon have lunch around ten breakfast before it's been most of your time wandering around malls. Looking for the ultimate soft yogurt muttering? How come the kids all come the kids? Don't call their most memorable lines have even become part of everyday life. Are you crying? Crying in baseball having written or script. Doctor many of Hollywood's most successful comedies Lowell Ganz and Bob Lou Mandl's films. Always deliver the funny. Your mouth used all up our side and give audiences that comedic. What is this? Ladies and gentlemen. It is my less than hilarious. But Ernest pleasure to present the laurel award for screenwriting achievement via two great friends. Low Ganz, Bob. This is the first time I have been back at least I have to a writer's guild function since splash. And it's true. And that night, I immediately knew we're going to win 'cause they sat us, you know, that over size doughnut Nangle would. Yeah. So anyway, we are receiving this award for screenwriting excellence, which to me is a little ironic 'cause nineteen eighty seven this guy. And I wrote a movie that was horrendous horrendous I believe it's what the killed. Cisco ebert. Anyway. Anyway, if you couple minutes, I'll just I'll just highlight some of our career, I mean, most everybody touched upon it. But I go back go back to the beginning of nineteen sixty my parents was fifty nine my parents took me to see some like it hot. And by the time and ended I had a dream of goal. Life's ambition. I wanted to be a screenwriter and moved to the valley. We jump ahead to when we met it was it was nineteen nineteen Seventy-three. We're outside the comedy store, I met low and his partner rock Offman when we formed the media bomb, the love of comedy Billy wilder movies and soon Namie baba loo after a character from a book they loved portnoy's complaint. So by the name eventually went to work for Mark Lowell on TV series, creator created called busting wheels years later, Mark and Lowell terminated their partnership and low was granted full custody of me. And I went to work on happy days and bleakly that led to tonight's shift where Ron asked lull to write the movie and low turn asked me, I was always wanted to work with Ron because we as we all know, this guy has been working since he was sperm. Anyway, nineteen Eighty-four at the urging of Brian and Ron Ron, Brian Grazer, and our wives. We wrote a movie about a mermaid splash and and win the mermaid child appeared in the beginning the audience was ours. They saw this child and we own them big. Joe little jokes were big be jokes with giant. We soon we decided that we were gonna put a mermaid child in every movie we wrote. But then we soon realized that we were under the influence of coca people were snorting. Nineteen Eighty-nine parenthood again with Brian and rhyme. We wrote about all our lives influenced by our children, and our wives. And it is our best written film because the words simply ring true. It's a film that Judd appetite gave me the kindest compliment he told me Larry Gelbart who gave me a shot on TV Sheri's mash that his memorial. He said to me parenthood is a film. We all wanna right, but can't nineteen Ninety-one city slickers. I'll just do quick. Billy, crystal presented us with a great premise began a writing partnership in three subsequent. But here's the point beyond that Lowell. And I was treaters equal in the writing room. There was no eight hundred pound kademi, what hosting Tony award winning guerrilla to live with this man is was and always movie a match nineteen ninety two a league of their own people come up, and you say how how to two guys write a female driven movie like I can't speak for low could speak for myself. I have a giant. Pretty close to it. As my wife will tell you. Although works, and I do have six, okay. Anyway, but all the credit all the credit for that movie goes to the late Honey Marshall human being never toiled harder. Harder during that, Indiana. So Mer nor during the editing process, and she was a writer's best friend when you understood will may will go it'll be when you finally understood her you believe you understood that cheapo once she believed in the words that lady protected those words, and this is a true story a lead actress had been cast wasn't Gena Davis. And she wanted to change our words and through guile penny. Got this actress to quit and every time I pull into a Home Depot parking lot. I'm hoping to spot. This actress looking for work. Vindictive. You fuck in bent out. Don't fuck with the words. They're not they're randomly there. We spent a long time putting on there. Twenty-nine teen now now after a mildly amusing self deprecating time constraints speech, I sincerely thank the ride is sending our work worthy of the Lord for placing us into company and this series of writers that we idolize among them Billy wilder down who aluminum away the way and gave me your dream Neil Simon who's plays. I read over and over again when I was a struggling young rider. My wife Denise a forty four years who I've known since high school. The journey with you has made it better. That's all made it. And to our six kids cost us a fucking fortune. The biggest thank you goes to Mr. Ganz for mentoring me in the TV days as I observe your leadership skills pitch. Perfect ear for dialogue, and brilliant editing ability. I'm pretty ensuing. Thirty years sitting up laughing. Improvising. Never fighting always trusting each other's instincts. Thank you for having helping at eleven year old boy for Phillips rain. I am a screenwriter and I do live in the valley. Doing. That was very nice. I came out here. Nineteen seventy two I was twenty three is old and don't get scared. I'm not gonna go year by year. It's one out of. My first writing partner, Mark Rothman, and I threw just an absolutely ridiculous fluke got hired to be writers on the odd. Couple TV series. So we're working with with Gary Marshall, Jerry Belsen Harvey Miller, Jack Klugman, Tony Randall we were in heaven are most fantastic dreams that literally come true. Six weeks later, we will fired. You can laugh. I like to say about that that it was unfortunate combination of office politics in the fact that we were no good. So so now, what do we do? I mean with three thousand miles from home. The only people we know that people are just fired us. That's not a good contact. So so here's what we did the couple shot before a live audience every Friday night and in the afternoon, they did address our her. So that was open to the public. We attended every Friday afternoon. Now, you understand nobody invited us. We just showed up and sat in the front row of the bleachers. Sensually will haunting the odd. Couple. This went on for five months. Finally one afternoon. Gary Marshall, God bless him came up to us and said, I think maybe you guys aren't doing. So well. We chose not to dispute this. He told us the just hired a new story editor who hadn't worked with us before. And he was going to tell him that he could give us a meeting, and if we came in at pitched an idea that he likes it would give us an assignment. So we went home we stole a story idea from the honeymooners. That's a good lesson. Few kids out there. We came in. We pitched it. We got the assignment we went home. We wrote it we turned it in. And then we waited a few days went by. And we got a call Gary would like to speak to you. Okay. Hello. I read your script. Now, I'm sure the pause didn't actually last that long. But that's what it felt like. And he said, I think maybe we were little hasty with you guys. How would you like to come back on staff? So you know, how in a cartoon or like three stooges a guy at hang up and you'll be on the phone. He'd say how soon can you be here and hang hung up. They're already there that was. I was being mentored by Gary Malauri winner himself was the first and probably the biggest lucky break. I got his Ryder. But there've been many more. And movies starting with Ron, and Brian we've not only worked with many talented people, but we've been treated like partners, not employees participating through casting production editing, right through looping. A work wasn't farmed out to other writers thrown onto a punch-up table. So that afterwards, we had something even more valuable than credits. We had pride of authorship. We've also had the sheer joy of craftsmanship we will lucky to find a trick that made our writing easier and better trust dot characters really believe in them. And they'll do a lot of the writing for us still tell us what they wanna do and say when they wanna be funny when they don't. It's lucky to have a writing partner having a partner is good for a lot of reasons for one thing. No matter how old you get people still referred to you as the boys. For nother whenever you're studio meeting, and you're getting notes on your script and afterward you walking back to your car. There's somebody standing right next to you that you can turn to say, wait a minute where not crazy, right? But having Bob Lou is a writing partner has been special piece tremendously funny. He has a great deal for what makes characters real people. And he's a really good soul. We have spent thousands of days laughing together. Fortunately, some of it even got on the page. My wife of forty two years is very very shy. So anything I would say about her she'd consider to be too much. But the truth is nothing. I could say would be enough. And last thing. So many people have been giving this award over the our idols in heroes. But while you surely given this award to people more deserving, I promise you you've never given it to anyone more Braschi enough. Thank you. Guys, look sleep. Don't worry. We have another Jeonju Cowan video. No about wake up because we have a very special person here. Ted lieu of congressman. Ted. Where are you? You're right in front of welcome Ted. I love you on Twitter. You're a sassy defiant force, and you deserve w. Trophy. So follow Ted congressman sorry, those informal. Okay. Our next presenter Grace's us, not only with his talent and artistry about with his generosity of spirit. We are all better for basking in his work and being in his calming yet. Thawra Tatum presence of sorry. That was the introduction for Sydney TA at the nineteen sixty three Oscars. Our next presenter is David CAC ner. All right. Thank you. I think she had it. Right. The first time. This is my third time presenting at the W as last time. I was here. My buddy Adam McKay saw me and cast me in the movie vice. That's not it's not true. It was Christian bale. Wasn't it? Christian bale to play Dick Cheney. He's. Not an American. Zia papers. Kidding me with this Batman? Okay. Batman these play. A middle aged bald pudgy guy. Guy was in the makeup chairs three hours every day, you cast David character. And all you gotta do is slap some baby powder on that thing. And you give me a pair of glasses. Boom. I'm Dick Cheney. What is saved you millions of dollars in their views the reviews, what have been exactly the same? The special award. Mckay got earlier, you you pick Chris Hayes to give it to you. Did you? Brek D And audacity. What makes him so special? Hayes. Anchorman. I was in two acre man's all right? One end to. Here's the messed up part. I'm the only guy that had to Riyadh dish in for the second. Still got it. Talking about long-form here tonight. I think it's time you come back to your roots. Adam started as an improviser with me back in the late eighties early nineties. You just make it up as you goes along essay off the cuff a mad lips. It's all there time to stop. This writing business you come back to your roots? Put you on team. Anyway, the category. I presenting four. Outstanding original long form, and I hope to hell these these don't forget where they kind of problem. And he's somebody forgot glasses. I'm a nice guy was it. You are these yours. Gonna give glasses out anybody guy. And the writers guild award goes to Castle Rock. This is wild. I thank you so much the guild we love the guild so much and we're so proud to be members of this union, especially now of all time. So thank you guys. Thank you to the fellow nominees. We're really honored to be in your company. I guess we have to think are two benevolent overlords. Stephen King who gave us the keys super weirdo car and also Jj Abrams without whom we would have driven it into a lake and. Also, I guess we have to Joe Cohen for everything always forever dusty we say some things because that's it for me. Greg. Thank you to Hulu, Craig Jordan Sasha. Kate Warner Brothers, and it is very strange to be an long form original category. When your work is based on the collected works, Stephen King. But we'll take it. And to my wife Marie? I wanted to tell you that eventually the show we'll get cancelled. And we will go on vacation immediately afterwards. I promise by the way. It's dusty birthday happy birthday to my very old friend. I love you. Seems like they shorten up the acceptance speech award time there, right? Still waiting. All. Right. The nominees for outstanding adapted long form is that the one I just did. No. That was a dad did there is they seem pretty close. By the way. Available for short-form, long-form, whatever. Dish. I got five kids. So I'm not choosing. If you've seen my resume. I'll do. I'll do it. All. That's used car in the lot gang. And the winner is Tom Tom, rob Smith and Maggie conversation of Gianni, Versace, Jay American pride. Thank you. This is great an exactly overwhelming because I thought it would be. As we all know, it takes a village Aaron out of rob, Jamie. Thank you for being my moorings, and the tempest and thank you to my parents never doubting me. At least not to my face. I'd also like to that. I I do truly believe that the pan candy mightier than the sword. But that strength is not inherent. We must imbue the pen with that power. So I encourage everyone in this room when you sit down to create the world's that you will share with the world, which will eventually shape our world. I ask yourself is my pen mighty enough. Thank you. Present this Sean wire award. Please welcome our rat. Sean Renoir award is given to that international writer who has advanced the literature of motion picture it's through the years past awards have gone to such luminaries sue so Cecchi d'amico, grandma, Akira Kurosawa Pedro dove are and up us Kiarostami tonight. We honor Varda whose contributions in both fiction and documentary films have more than earned her a place among this distinguished cohort. The women of the French new wave were mysterious were diabolical updates of lost were objects of worship in short. They were women as seen by the gaze of men until on your Sparta to Cleo of Cleo from five to seven a pop singer, whom we follow in real time through the two hours in which she awaits the results of a biopsy was the first female character of that era to see the world through female is Varga was. Leading light of that decade and every decade since from vagabond to the gleaners. And I no one no one is more generous to the people in their films. Her groundbreaking documentaries are written and credited as such they're playful, they're moving and they're deeply necessary. She's changed the way I see the world. I don't know which of her films will do that for you. But I know that one of them will for the forty four films. He has written over a span of sixty four years and counting. Her most. Recent film premiered last week. We are not honoring Varda with this award. She is honoring us with the example of her life and work. She could not be with us here tonight. But she recorded this video. Show. What was great female? I remember meeting him in Angeles. Not to be with you tonight. But I'm proud to receive an award named upset him. Good evening. Joining us tonight. And yes, fart is Matthieu. Demi. Thank you Howard for this. Great introduction. So yes is not here. She was in Berlin, presenting her film. I know she's very thrilled about this. Thank you very much on make sure to give her this award, very soon. Thank you. It's time to get cozy array. Congressman I'd like to dedicate this next introduction to you. Coming to the stage. Now is the star of my crazy ex girlfriend. Rachel bloom of no relation to Orlando bloom whose deck we all saw. Was it an awesome, dick? I don't know. It depends on your taste and Dick's please. Welcome ratio. To whoever wrote the teleprompter. The show's called crazy ex girlfriend, not my crazy girlfriend. Thank you to my guild for respecting what I do what a great intro. Okay. Honestly, I had some other jokes prepared tonight. But Chelsea Peretti did them already. She did them better. And we are two and a half hours into the ceremony. And I am too drunk to ride more jokes. It's true. You guys don't know this. But I am pulling a star is born and pissing myself under this gown right now. Thank you so much. Crazy ex girlfriend. Crazy, it's not my my makes her possession. Anyway, I'll tell you later. I will say this. My fellow women in the audience. You all look stunning tonight. You all extending I know that. Yes. Please. I know all of you often write in offices with no dress code, I right in the same office, some of you right from home, but you all showed up tonight looking fancy to the men three quarters of you, look like shit. Here's a tip from woman who likes men either grow a beard or don't. Make a fuck and choice. Here's something else. Say while I'm up here. I am from Shoko crazy ex girlfriend. We are a musical television show. We are ending the season this season. We will have written one hundred fifty seven original songs for television. Thank you. I'm here to present the award for outstanding drama series the nominees are. Yes. Also, give a big hand for our host Chelsea Peretti. She's been killing at. So the best monologues? I've ever seen done by a host of any award show anyway, and the writers guild award goes to the writers of the Americans. Hold your enthusiasm. The writers the Americans could be here 'cause they're too good for us. But I'm here any your here. So I guess we all accept on their behalf. Thank you so much. This is the last category of evening. Whereas the industry people call it the MARTINI category. The. These. You guys are like we're not even know. These five nominees are the only people who have an ordered their Uber's yet. Feel like that should be lifts now. All right. Okay. The nominees for outstanding adapted. Screenplay are. Okay. And the writers guild award goes to Nicole hall of center, Jeff Webster, can you ever? Forgive me. Wow. This is so cool. Thank you riders. Kill. Thank you. My peers, this is a really wonderful honor. I loved working on this movie. It's been a very long road. Started with David yarnell. And I wanna thank him who found Lee and helped Lee and. Encouraged her to write this book an Carey who produced the movie. Who? And has been working on this movie for so long. And I it's wonderful baby that was born so thanks and hi. I wanna thank Marielle Heller. Obviously, she directed a beautiful movie. And the wonderful Melissa McCarthy and Richard E grant. Dahlie, wells, wonderful. I want to thank my agent, rich kleubeck. And my mom. And Tony Howard and Matthew greenfield at searchlight. And I wanna thank Lee she'd probably be sitting in this room. Judging all of us. She thought she was the smartest person in the room. And she probably was. I wish she was here. And I hope she's watching, and I'm very grateful that she was nice to me. Everyone. She said in my parents as well in FOX Searchlight's, and Chelsea Jordan is here. I was sexually pleasure. Him up in room. Three eighteen. That'd be the after glow is finished. So thank you very much. That's so hard. Guys. I hate to say it, but that the show is over, but I brought the first draft on my screen play. And I thought we could do a punch up Brown table favored nations, but the nation is Yemen. Anyway, thank you guys so much, congratulations. And have a great night. And that's how the QA down special. Thanks again to the fine folks of the writers guild of America West for allowing me to put you in the room of their fantastic award show. Of course, big congrats to all the nominees and winners as well. At folks backstory just published it's Oscar issue over at backstory dot net, which you could read on a desktop or laptop or via our I pad Apso. So I hope you go check it out. Now, if this award show is the sparred you to write your own script remember to use code FD backstory at final draft dot com, and you will save thirty percent off your purchase or upgrade of final draft eleven and the cool part is if you act now, and I can't believe I just said that act now, but I if you act now you get a free six months of scripture backstory magazine, remember the deal only works for people buying or upgrading to final draft eleven at final draft dot com on or before March eleventh twenty nineteen so while the thirty percent coupon works year round, if you wanna get a free six months scripts into backstory magazine, you got to act now. And the good news is the timing is perf. Kicked because we just published issue thirty six of backstory magazine, which is our Oskar issue. So there's tons of great stuff for you to read in there and plenty of non Oskar stuff too. So I hope you'll just go to our website backstory dot net. Check out the table of contents to see what's inside it consider subscribing. And if you wanna test drive while you're there, you could have course, read our free issue on a desktop or laptop or via our I Pat app as well. So thanks for considering and hey, if you're in L A or going to visit LA make sure to sign up for my screening series. You could come to these events as we're happy to have you. You could sign up to get on the free Email list at backstory dot net slash events. So I hope to see you at a screening sometime soon the QNA with Jeff Goldsmith does a copyright of unlikely films Inc. In twenty nineteen all rights reserved. And hey, if you'd like to show your support and donate to this free podcasts. So I can continue to buy new equipment and use these funds to pay all of my podcast hosting fees. Feel free to send it pay pal. Virtual tip to yoga. Smith at g mail dot com. Any amount is greatly appreciated as your social networking needs. You could follow yoga Smith on Twitter or check out my Facebook fan page. I'm Jeff Goldsmith the publisher of backstory and the host of the QA. Thank you for tuning in and telling you to stay out of trouble till next week.

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Bruce!!! Q&A - Eden Marryshow

The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith

00:00 sec | 1 year ago

Bruce!!! Q&A - Eden Marryshow

"Bruce is looking for a new roommate and the good news is that Bruce has an amazing Brooklyn apartment. The bad news is that you'd have to live with Bruce. And you kinda don't really wanna do that. Howdy. I'm Jeff Goldsmith. Then this is the QNA. My agenda is simple each week. I plan to bring you in-depth insight into the creative process of storytelling. Folks. I was quite happy to chat with writer director star Eden Mary shero about his new film, Bruce. This is a totally independent film that Eden and his team poured blood, sweat and tears into. And if you want to support independent films. I hope you'll go see Bruce this weekend, March fifteenth twenty nineteen at participating AMC theaters in the United States. And also then later consider renting it in. I tunes when Bruce finally comes online in June twenty nineteen so you have two chances to see the film and remember when you search for the official title its name is Bruce and then three exclamation points because BRUCE'S bit wacky. But look Eden was very forthcoming about as creative process. Sewing. No, you'll dig this episode. And I do hope you go see, Bruce when you have a second chance to see it when the film hits I tunes in June. It's a simple reminder that if you want to search out and give a chance to independent films technology is certainly on your side. And speaking of technology this episode is brought to you by NABC show. There's actually a special deal going on right now where you could register NABC show dot com with code Vegas, and you will get a free exhibit pass in a B show is one of the largest convergences of storytelling and technology in the world. So hope you'll check it out and find new ways to tell your tail so head on over to enable show dot com to start now with code Vegas. And while you're surfing around online. I'm pleased to tell you that. We just published backstory issued thirty six remember you could read us on a desktop or laptop through our ipad app or even an Android device on Google play. So make sure to check out back story dot net for all the details now while. Issue thirty six or twenty nine thousand nine Oscars issue, and it even happens to feature interviews with both Oscar winners for screenwriting. Yep. Black clansmen and green book, you will find plenty of TV and current cinema articles along with a lot of other cool stuff, including an article with the co writer directors of captain marvel so you could see the whole table of contents at backstory dot net. And I thank you for stopping by. But now without any further ado, let's jump right into our conversation going through our fancy USB microphones in sound mixers. As I went online chat all the way to New York with writer director actor Eden Mary show about his latest film, Bruce. Okay. So Eden, you know, the place that we love to start with everybody is kind of like from Winston style. Hale who food that are yet? Did you did you go to school? Did you did you study film, where I'm guessing Peter because you you have a lot of acting in your path. Well, I I'm from flatbush Brooklyn born and raised whilst born in Manhattan, which people like to tell me I was only there for two days, though, when I came to Brooklyn, I did go to film school. So I went to college for film school for film production. And then we're ready to go to where did you go to school starting up? Oh, no worries. I want to I went to Brooklyn college. Okay. Some Brooklyn through and through in them has set in Brooklyn as well. So that's consistent, my friend. That's right. So I went to Brooklyn college while I was while I was a teacher's assistant at the at the board of education, and yet once I got once I got all my film credits. I was like I don't know why I'm still here. So a dropped out probably like thirty credits left, and then survey school, you didn't want to take the GE's is what it comes down to yells and. Interested. Yes. Like, I did all that stuff. High school is go at it needed anymore. Kind of knew what I wanted to do. And then I got I wor- I taught at the department of Ed p two fifty six queuing for Rockaway queens for ten years. Try to make a long story short. How I got to. This point was one of my students that you know, truly loved the name is Latina Bilbo shoes killed in a drive by shooting Ono. Yeah. Washes walk home from cousins houses, her hair. She just got caught in crossfire. And she knows in Brooklyn. I was actually a far Rockaway sorry now. No worries. And she was you know, shoes was like, you know, one of my little babies men. And so, yeah, we got to eighteenth birthday that happened. And just kinda made she always believed in me. So I was like, okay. It's time to to make this dream happen. I need to to prove to these ninety to prove the shows in that, you know dreams. Of possible. So that's was started me on this track. And then I ended up Jumba bag into acting in in trying to assemble a movies out of my van, a friend. Sean Clark now is selling this movie that we made for like three hundred bucks with some friends. What was the name of it? It was called this thing called love and submitted sa- festivals guy rejected, but we made it on mediev-. Anybody remembers that? So he is back. And then so were you were you just handed out were you like selling tapes is that where you're selling or actually actually we had like a DVD operation con? Okay. Okay. Do as yeah. We we use DVD studio. Pro anybody also remembers that I know that I know that I'm a MAC guy. That's some high tech stuff. Well, you know, love is not even on your I m db profiles. So we're would love tell us tell us about it. And how long was oh did a feature was short. This thing called love was ninety one minutes. So it was our thirty one minutes, and it was it was a romantic comedies like this. Couldn't cut a romantic comedy. I was like, okay, I'm going to make this film. And then I'm going to get the money. I want to make the other film that I wanted to make which end and actually when you when you when the stakes are high it kind of frees you up to just make the thing. So stakes weren't very high. So we made it we had like is really nice premier at the Brooklyn museum. It was like six hundred people in there s standing-room-only. And then and then I have the confidence. I think that I needed to kinda like press on. So once I left the board of Ed though, a supplemented my income by selling that out of my Ford or Alon van it all my friends used to make fun of a conversion van like ninety three. We saw. So we were we do is. We had a battery like a car battery verte, and we hooked it up to this flat screen television. I was in my room in then we would hold the TV to trying to get people's attention. And that people usually come over and say, why holding television just put it on a stand in the we'd say, well, you would be talking to his right now if we weren't holding it, so whether it was like, ten degrees or ninety degrees. Hold on a television playing the trailer of the film, and then we were selling the films like ten dollars, and we sold three thousand copies. That's great. Yes. Well, I guess did you recoup your cost? Oh, the movie was three literally cost three hundred dollars to make the move. Oh, okay. That's nice. Great like. I think a hundred dollars worth of pizza. Alza run a club. And what what what year was that? This is when we shot it we shot it in two thousand four and we had to we literally make like from beginning to end from the first word to like, the the and the was like six months because other thing we had was a deadline. So we booked this thing at the at the Brooklyn museum. So literally had to be a movie, maybe it was seven months, but it had it had there had to be a movie, and then my magma MAG four froze on me, literally the day of like what I was trying to when I was trying to impress up the DVD struggle if like two thousand and I was like, you know, I'm going to get a haircut. And then when I came back, then got it turned on. And I literally was running with the DVD to the Brooklyn museum. Did you? Okay. Only because I really did use this offer. Did you have time to test it because sometimes you could have a bad burn like sometimes the DVD would not be right? Yeah. Man. I fast forward through it. Okay. That's all. I can do. Yeah. My boy. Crusher? That's why would Russia right there. Oh, it was a weird mix at the end because I didn't have time to mix it so just into sound will raised volume. That's that's what we'll do. You know? I know that like you you have a bunch of acting credits. And you were also doing some short films like you were directing a short film called he's Liam in twenty fourteen. And you were you were also acting on stuff like that were, you know, short films, but you started acting for TV your first your first TV credit was on unforgettable and eleven twenty seven. So once you were getting paid for it. What was your what was your takeaway for that? Like finally booking job. Getting I'm guessing getting your into sag, and and kind of seen the professional side of it. Well, that was a huge deal. I mean, I I jump back into an acting class called Bruce boost scenes acting workshop because I wanted to meet professional actors that I could make. Movies with? So I really went in with the intention of like. Yeah. Acting also like directing writing, and and trying to find my tribe, and I just remember how much just love to act. So then that was definitely that was definitely the track and to to be around the professional set, really cool. And yeah may get in that sad card or I just remember being able to. Yeah. Being able to call my my parents and say, hey, actually, the first gig. I got was on the history channel plane zombie. But what? But yet being what was it in? What was it in? It was it was it was a something. They may Halloween like basically taking what's the name of it. But what how could zombies really like if there was a zombie power. Our that happened, and I was like this nurse that be and and that to me was, you know, I'm coming from this thing where you know, I'm I'm teaching for like ten years so to come into this world everything. It's kind of like gravy to me. I'm like, wow. This is awesome. So there's an appreciation that I think that I had and have it just being able to call my parents. They hey on. I'm going to be on. You know, I'm going to be on on television. Was the craziest thing, and then we had like this like viewing poma franchise house and. Yeah. And then when people ask you, you notice the thing being an actor man where a lot of times, especially to when people aren't following their dreams. They like, oh, so what have you been in this like nobody nobody does it with any other career? You know? So, you know, somebody could say that to me and can say, oh, actually, I've been in this. But usually, I don't do that. Usually, I usually leave with my purpose. I don't leave with like, I don't leave form yet accents. That makes you were doing a lot of TV. You're you're you're remediating fellow actors and to my knowledge in twenty fifteen you directed three. Episodes of TV series called welcome home. And tell us tell us about what that was like because because again, you're like assuming the mantle you're you're you're directing here. What was it that was that was really cool. It was a is a web series that essays pleasure wrote as she asked me to direct. And you saying that right now, my was that when I got when I was like, okay, I'm gonna do this. Maybe maybe maybe that was like when I got not the bug. But like kind of. Oh, yeah. This is the thing. That was a. Yeah. It was a great. It was a great experience. Just just getting back really really getting back into it into it. I'm glad you brought that up. I forgot I it's it said TV, but like that it was a web search. What was the most difficult thing for you? Because I mean, you've been on a lot of television sets of that point. So being able to run your own set must've been liberating and fun. What was what was kind of looking? I opening moment on that. Like like a lesson of a lesson. Specifically, the one thing that comes to my mind when you talk about the liberation of it is that I guess being on the other side like as director now, I kind of go into situation saying, you know, what we're gonna do it to times. It's kind of like the way that I had it in my mind. And then from there, I'm gonna let you do your thing. Whatever your thing is you get like a taker to do your thing because I feel like as an actor you go into certain situations, and you've been with the character longer than the director and even the writer at times. So it's like you have an understanding of this character. And then you come on set, or you you kind of like pitch these ideas and the person just kinda shuts down like, no, that's not we're gonna do. It's gotta be like this, and I feel like that you can shut off creativity. Like that this other person, you don't know everything like this other person might have a much better idea. Like, let them do their thing. As I was a huge lesson from me. Yeah. That makes sense. That makes sense. I'm gonna jump forward in time before we get to Bruce because you made Bruce and twenty seventeen but you you played chain on Jessica Jones, he s and you know, it's marvel it's not there there was there was a lot of cool things going on. It was it was a great show. What we're we're just some of the things that that you kind of picked up as an actor being on a show like that. And just some of your favorite moments will the the the majority of the set was was a female. And that was just a really great experience. It was. So then I never felt before. I never through the crew you may crew. Yeah. So I'm sorry. I wasn't specific enough. Yeah. The crew from the director aides or whoever it was just there was a kind of just a well, a welcoming and embracing of creativity. A lot of times when I feel like it's too much on the other. End you it can be kind of rigid. And I feel like I don't know if it's a societal thing or nature, nurture, whatever it is. There was just this. How do I put it in order like in order to be creative? There has to be a base of owner ability for somebody to to encourage somebody to take chances and to take risks. And I feel that it was never more evident than on that set. I felt so comfortable, and so welcome in a lot of times, you do guest stars or even recurring type of situations. It's like the first day of school. So you're going there. Everybody knows each other your freshman. They're seniors and you're just like hi guys Munnings Eden in NFL that for one second on that set. And it was a blast was awesome. That's awesome. Awesome. Yeah. I mean, having having a safe place where you could experiment. We trust the people that you're were guess, that's key on any budget. Really? Yes project. Let's get to Bruce. So you're. I future. Tell me the idea because you you became the writer director and the star. How did how did Bruce start? Whoa. Bruce boost onto my my writing partner, Jesse Wakeman and myself we were in this acting class when I jumped right back in jump back into acting in it was called Poos honesty's acting workshop so we hit it off. We had like a second seen together as a scene study class that we really hit it off. And we get pitching these ideas that we had like we were talking about like writing film, right in a film, whatever. And then we noticed that they kind of we were around the same age. So they were kind of crossing and. I driving Java home in my my my minivan, which is now deceased and condolences. Thank you. See his, and yeah, she dash shortly after we may Bruce. But but I was talking to talking to Jesse you just like you. Why don't we just do this together? So we took like the next nine months like took weekends and days. And and and wrote it this is this is your first screenplay like you you've been on TV sets. You've you've seen scripts before how do you how did you guys? Essentially, learn your way around writing what are some of the the ways that you you guided yourself towards a feature script. Yeah. Well, actually, it wasn't a mean it wouldn't be in anything. But I I I've actually written a at that time. I think I wrote like four screenplays before prince. So, you know, going to school getting that kind of background. Yeah. All the acting stuff like. Breaking down scripts breaking on plays. It was. So I had the structure down. You know, like I knew I knew the new screenwriting structure what I was learning with Jesse. I think was what was I'm learning with Jesse. Jesse was really good at taking the air out of things and is really good at that as kicking kicking the tires, basically. Yeah. Really good at that. And we would just shoot ideas like back and forth and just let like if it made us both laugh, and it was moving the story along it was like, okay. Yeah. That we had like a hundred and forty three page first draft. That's that's a little long. But I know means impossible impossible just a tad and. Yeah, give it just to give our listeners a sense. How long was your shooting draft islands shooting a one hundred and forty three pages? Oh, okay. Wow. I thought. Okay. Well, that's interesting because your mind veep, by the way is an hour and forty three minutes. So all that is that look the sense easy. That is crazy on. Well, that's interesting. So so, okay. We'll so tell me this when when you sit I want to talk about your habit for a second. And just go writing when you sit down to write like in your early phase. How important was outlining to your process was that something that you and Jesse gave it importance to? Or did you just kind of dive in? I think it was a combo. I think we dove in. And then we kinda did like, you know, like a save the cat kinda beat she'd econo- thing will be like, okay. We'll we kinda like river you we will watching. We're trying to make an eighties movie. So we will washing a lot of like like like older eighties flicks. Right. And we were looking at that for met with a payoffs were. And yes, so we would go we would go back. That's how we kind of look at our format in them that we did this little be thing. And then it was we just started throwing out like ideas, like things that happen to us or happen to our friends that we thought were really funny and kind of fit like the profile of this asshole named Bruce. So that's how we kind of. Yeah. It was kind of like a cornucopia of stuff, man. It's the cat was a book that you read early on that you really liked like structure that they go for in there and stuff like that. Yes. Save the cat. And the writer's journey was another one. Seattle one that did that escapes me right now on couldn't be hero's journey which the writer's journey is based Joseph Cambell, definitely definitely of thousand faces was huge. And I was going to say, oh, Robert Mckee story. You know, all the kind of books that on the noble in checkout. So yeah, we definitely referring to those sift field screenwriting like that kind of stuff when you when you sit down to write did you give yourself a page count that you wanted to hit each day. Or did you kind of decided you were going to do it for a certain amount of hours talk about kind of working together? And if if you were in the same room where if you send it back and forth reach other. Yeah. I feel like we will go to coffee shops. Right. Some Email each other like really long emails meet up again, the number. Remember there was his one weekend. Housing Poconos parents in we like drove out there in pre Qin like snowstorm in us, really hard. I think I remember if I forgot the keys or whatever it was hard to like get in the house with like go through the back in we just gave ourselves like the weekend. I think it was three or four days, and we just didn't leave. And I remember we left with what was close to. I think what was close to the first draft. All right. So how long have you been working on it until that point? Or was was that weekend? Like your first attempt to get to the first draft. I think was coffee shop outlining, and then the house was the going for the first draft. Yeah. I think coffee shop meeting meeting after meeting after acting class in then coffee shop do the big thing the Poconos in a little bit of coffee shops after that in the ad. We had like a a reading of it in June. Simple studios or something like that. What year was that? Shoot of guessing the scene of its if shot in seventy or came out and said it was gone. Actually, it's a wild story Maso. We wrote we wrote this thing in like. I want to say two thousand and ten. Oh, okay. I didn't realize it goes back. Yes. We wrote it in two thousand ten maybe it's eleven but I'm pretty sure it was ten. It was ten we finished in the summer two thousand ten it got we sent it out to some friends. They thought it was you know, a hot pilot. You know what? You know? And then we kinda got really dejected and left it alone, which I think is a lesson to are. They either gotta have soup. You know, I had a a really like a really well known writer. Tell me you have to be careful who you let see your baby and make sure that they're not telling the story that they wanna tell. Because that could really derail things, and I'm not saying BRUCE'S was not perfect. It was called hitting thirty at the time was not by any stretch of the imagination. But you have to be careful about who you're showing your baby to her. Not an adult's. Right. It's still it's your baby. You mean a first cut of your the first cut? Yeah. Yeah. And also know that you know, it's not complete even my southern like, dude, it's not complete like you don't have to stop which is a lesson that I learned over the years. So we left it alone. I wrote another screenplay called peanut that was dedicated to Latino student that passed away, and I wrote it with a gentleman Charleston. Neil was one of my great friends and had a bunch of meetings in LA. They all got they all it again. Like, I wasn't ready for that. Like, I go out there spin like a spin money to guard them sleeping on my friend's couch to have all these meetings for producers of all got cancelled actually, call say-so apart on the phone, and we both had the idea at the same time to make in thirty. But it now we're talking about five and a half years later. So we started we so I called Jesse to get his blessing. He said cool. I call every. Body. I call all my acting friends up to meet at my at our apartment, and we read the hundred and forty three page first drafts. And we read it out a recorded it in. I was like all right. We're going to be shooting this in less than a month. Just kind of the Genesis of what happened. That's crazy. That's crazy. All right. Where would so I went out asking other question. What do you 'cause I wanna get into that? Of course. What do you do if you get writer's block? How do you handle it? If you get writer's block. Whoa. That's a great question. I think I'll just start writing something else. Okay. Which ended like I'll I'll write something else or. All actors something like I'll find something else creative to do. While just write something cannot curse. I don't know. Of course, cures one. Yeah. I mean, if it comes out, I'll just it comes down to like daring to write something. Really shitty. Yeah. Of course, I think that that's what it is. So like, you know. You have to get over the fear. You have to get it out of. I think a lot of the blocks of comes from the fear of not being good enough. And I think that as also a lesson that I really learned in Bruce the minute. I read these two great books. One was called mindset by Carol duet in this idea of like, a fixed mindset, believing talent like the take talent, for example, like talent is actually a real thing. Right. The problem with thinking talent is a real thing is one you're either either not gonna do anything because people are telling you that you're you're unto you're not talented. So you're just not gonna take a chance or if you actually do have talent the kind of doubtful of that is saying to yourself. Oh, will I might get found out? So I'm not gonna take any more chances. I'm gonna play safe. And that's the idea fixed mindset, as opposed to a growth mindset, which is just like, hey, man. I'm gonna get better. I can't get better if I don't start. And that was the thing with Bruce the minute. I realized I was like, you know, what? This really could be the piece of shit that people thought it was. But you know, but one I'm not gonna know unless I try into I have to grow a half to get better. And if the goal is to get better, I'm gonna learn a lot of stuff on this journey, and it probably in, you know, maybe he goes could be could be a pilot crap it hearkens back to the concept of progress. Perfection. If you keep trying to say, you're not going to complete until something's perfect. You know, most people their their version of perfect can almost never be achieved initial if you don't. If you don't then you never move forward. So it's a typical case of progress progress versus perfection. So that's that's a that's cool to know the of that attitude, really just try and get it out there yet you and you and Jesse did you necessitate any sort of a rewrite after reading it with your friends before saying, we're going to go shoot this in a month? No, okay. My my thing was like an as I was thinking about it one. I didn't. So what I would do is. I would look back at the script to say. Okay. Like, we could do this. I can move this around. There were a couple of times where I listened to the recording with the actors, which I think is very very valuable to me right now, I'll do that like as opposed to even reading the screenplay wanna hear how it sounds. But for me, it was just like films one hundred years old we act like it's thousands of years old. They're these like tried and true things that you have to do that. You're supposed to do. I get knowing the rules. I remember one of my professors like listen you have to notable. So you can. Them. Right. But look, I'm not shooting thirty five millimeter film. Did that cost is not a real thing? So if I'm making, you know, if I'm making a soup, if I'm making this low budget thing or whatever anybody thinks, it is what are the advantages that have the advantages that have our I have my friends, I could go on and reshoot something. So for me, it was like, let's bang out this hundred forty three pages, which we shot pretty much all of it on this is about an hour on the cutting floor. And then it was like, oh instead of like editing it in this might sound crazy to people like you can edit something on the page. But if you actually see it edited on the screen like, oh, I'm missing this. I can go grab that I can grab that in in an hour or two. Of course. I mean, it's very common for people to do re-shoots. So that totally makes this. Yeah. But I feel like, but yes, a agreed. I feel like there's a hesitancy to just be like, yeah. I don't have everything figured out right now. So it's really tough to get a film made. So so what kind of hoops to jump through to raise your budget, and what what did your budget and schedule wind up being for hidden thirty as it was called at the time. Well, I think. I think it was about twenty one days. Yeah. It was twenty one days. Twenty today's the budget. Was you know, I have what I have what money I had in the in in the Bank was wasn't must. I think it was like twenty three g something like that. It was twenty five or thirty thousand was the budget for the movie. Oh, no, no. Actually, we had about to start. We had like twenty five hundred. Well, what happened was this thing? It was just like it was just a it was a is like an act of love. Right. So I'm an actor at all my friends that were actors we we basically came together. There was an apartment, my friend had a my friend. Julia in on my friends Julian honor, they had a they had an apart-. That was open because they had just moved in there. And there was another roommate Katie that was coming so say, so it was like why don't we rent out that room for the month? So that's what we did most of it took place in that apartment. And my friend Sasha who I thought I was helping out he he comes. He was like I want to get into film, whatever it was. All right, cool, man, like we'll do this thing. And then he's like y'all got some equipment at my house unit. Come check it out and let me go to his house, and he's got a a Sony a-7 as to he's got Kansas cinema lenses. So he's got the look of it was really good. So it wasn't even shot on a red or anything like that. No, no. It was Sony a seven to and also to it really helped us because some the DP one Carlos Barreiro he shot a lot of like dachshund done a lot just a lot of work in. We were talking about. We just wanna be mobile. We don't have again, you're trying to shoot one hundred forty three pages and twenty something days. You don't have money. What you do? Like, okay, let's be as mobile as we can. So we had a general lighting setup in the apartment that we like kept Todd that we can just like us, and we could move the camera which again, if you have a larger cameras is harder to do. And it was a three man crew. So it was it was one the DP. It was sausa- who was like a Swiss army knife and myself, so yeah, it was a three man crew. If you look in the I was mentioning to somebody that day. But if you look in the credits, you see under second AD's, there's just a there's like thirty something names because all the actors are acting in it or any friends that came on set that day, we will. Oh, okay. You got to do this. You know do slate. Whatever it was right. So it was really yes. So that's what and then are going. No, no. And then I was going to say what happened was, gene. Pope who plays my dad in the film. He wanted to see some he's eating, you know, let me check out some dailies Sochaux showed him the dailies and gene came along. Said, hey, I'm gonna I'm gonna put up the money to get this edited. So it's great so g put up all the post production money, which is like where the line share of. It would align. Share of the money was sure we had it in the can. Yeah. I mean, you know, that's that's that's amazing that a fellow actor put up the money. You weren't even sure how you're going to get into post guessing. Yeah. You must running and shooting stumps yet. That's that's pretty great. Once we kinda like kind of like made up in this kind of beep having allegiance to my friends and be like, I'm not going to let them down right now. So once once kind of like once I was just like we're going to make this movie. You know, I was like, well, I'll have to edit it, you know, I've edited a bunch of other stuff, you know, got paid you for you like to add it on we're gonna talk about editing later in the spoilers section, especially. But what what do you like to add it on when you add it is going to is going to sound silly. But she, but you know, that final cut seven men I left program. So my final cut seven. Yeah. Yeah. No me before they went to X right yet before. They went to excellent. It was like a little avid yet. I'm embarrassed to say it, but I still use it like like, I have a computer that. I never updated the the software on because it was just so tight and solid. It was so damn easy. And I it's great to go back to in like, I've never updated any the sufferings, computer. It's just an old computer that I fire up every now and then yeah, final cuts. Great. And we we, you know, we shot the film all four K in them. Dabbled we use final cut seven to edit it, and it was it was seamless, man. Like supported it. Really? Well, that's that's awesome. I'm glad tell me tell me this. So did you have how did you prepare as director for this? I mean, you wrote your scripts so it could be shot on a low budget because you have a low amount of locations with things happening at them. You have a series of apartments corner of a restaurant garage outdoor of the garage. You know, like a different apartment or to mix it up or maybe you were. Just redressing the same apartment. I don't know you were bringing in those leather couches I could see as happened at that same apartment, maybe to make Greg's place. But what what were some of the things you did to prepare before you shot to make sure that your shoot would go a little smoother because it's so interesting that you you got it. You did read you listen to the to the recording. And then you were ready to shoot within a month with not much cash. So they'll still for me I loved and I think it's something that's gone away. Every love like the DVD special features run into the director talk. So. The obsessed like obsessed in our member in the late nineties when the godfather will one I'll always watch a mighty before. I made a film 'cause I was like dude this, but this guy did was incredible robberies and then listed at director's commentary. And I did that for Bruce in then on the godfather trilogy in the special features. There's no for any people out there. Remember this? But Coppola has this book that he had for the godfather? Absolutely. You know what I'm talking about? Right. So we're it has like, my I hope you're sitting down, my friend. But do you know that they published it a year ago? Yeah. That got it. Oh, it's the best. The godfather notebook is the best. Do I have been when I saw that. That was coming out. I think we were Sanjay era festival or something like super random. Why is not so random, and I saw that on it was on like a post like a lamp post or something like that? There was something out in November in I looked at say than I was like. It's him. Yeah. So excited. So yeah. So what you would you late from the for their notebook like just going through and writing notes on every page yet right in the no song every pages of script. But that that that that Yemen open it up right now as we. As what I what I remember really liking about it was after after some of his bigger scenes, he would do like like a little beach sheet analysis. Exactly, what was the purpose. The sad is what was he wanted the audience to be thinking? And I thought that was like actually really helpful yet a slick move. So that's exactly what I did. So I will go through. I was okay. What's the synopsis of the scene? I didn't do the times because that was more. I think kind of like more godfather because he with with that. I definitely did the imagery and tone, and it was like, whoa. You know, what were the what were the visual themes? But also like the auditory stuff like what was going on like in the soundscape sonically like what what what I cared about in. Again, what the tone of the scene was and then to two huge things for me were one the core that that he got from Ilya Kazan was basically like you can can if I had to have to distill the scene down to a word. Or a sentence. This needs to be able to be distilled down to a word or sentence. And if he doesn't have anything to do with that is gotta go sure. And then the pitfalls to me were huge because against this. I was directing it in. I was like doing a lot of other jobs. It was like a half the know how I could fuck this up. So for me, the pitfalls was super important. It was like, you know, if getting carried away with the fact that you think you're too you'd think that you're really funny, you know, remembering that story is king. Right. Like all of these little things that I had to remember. So that in that was the one thing I did do in that month, and I plant so thoroughly. Because I needed to. Because when I was said, I needed to think about so many other things I was also producing I was also, you know, picking people up like it was it was wild. So I knew that I did all of this preparatory work. So I can look in this book specifically at Asena say, okay. What am I doing? That's what I'm doing share. My story boys. Here's my layout. Here is you know, all the all these things, and it was all in this book. And I feel like that godfather thing was super important. Also. Yeah. And also gave me the confidence and opportunity to let people do their thing. If that makes any sense, did you did you do any formal rehearsals, obviously, because you're working with all your actor friends, or did you really just want them to know the script and figure it out on set a. Yeah, they were I think. One or two things that we were Hearst rehearsed. But we just kind of like got into it reheard, we rehearse it. A couple times like getting in our body it, and then we would just go I'm at trusted everybody implicitly. And we literally you'll meant we laughed the whole time. We we laughed the whole time making this film. He's a great. So telling me this, you know, you're you're we're going to get into the spoilers in a second. 'cause it's going to be tough to to keep talking around it. But you know, you're you're doing a low budget movie. Was there anything that you really wanted to shoot that you just had to take out of your script or you had to cut down on something that you wanted to put in the film that you couldn't afford. But if you had more money would have been in there, or did you get or did you really write it knowing that you were going to be kind of doing it on the fly e we kind of. Wrote it that that was that was actually superintendent. We would like dude, we don't have like, you know, when we shoot this or whatever we we have to we have to write it. So that it can be shot. So yeah, we didn't have a lot of big things. They're definitely worth things that I may have a little bit more, buddy. We would be we had like this weird. There was Wild Thing at the end where we had like the door of a DeLorean, and he was going back in time like goofing around with. Yes, I was going to go back and fix life. Like, yeah. Just like he was talking to into jet cool to type thing on. No. It was why guess it kind of is a spoiler. So, but but just like when when when Bruce talking at the end like he hops in like a DeLorean like not a real dorm, but he's like goofing around. He's creating like these little I think there was also a golden child. Eddie Murphy reference in there like this brand or on the video that he makes his friends. Yeah. Baby shower. Okay. Okay. So he was just gonna get sillier in that. All right. We'll we'll we'll get to that stuff later. So look podcast listeners. If you have not yet seen Bruce, go, see it. Well, Bruce, opens it theaters nationwide. Select cities at AMC and AMC theaters this the March fifteenth, so we're in twenty four cities rum in these United States of America. And yeah, we open up this weekend. And when you go digital for the people that aren't in those cities glee late late June. Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah. They're all there will be time for people to catch up on this as well. Defy so go see Bruce at an AMC theater near you. If is in one of those cities, otherwise please look to rent it in June. 'cause now we're gonna get into the spoilers. You've been warned. Here's something interesting. It's it's it's kind of an awkward comedy. Because Bruce is specifically not entirely likable. So you're writing an anti euro. Yes. What were the challenges you had of writing an answer here? Why? Yeah. The challenge in the fund is China figure like how do you make zoo really unlikable person away a little more likable, you know? How can how can you create a character where at times in the film people can feel like they are him or they've been through it or they know somebody who's just like him. I think that that was like that was the biggest challenge in the most fun at the same time. The the film centered on friendship with his his mess friend, Greg who's been friends with since he was he was a little kid. But you know, you could see early on that he's just gonna kinda burn bridges with everyone. And it's not like some it's not like some dark drug addict movie here. He's just kind of selfish jerk. He doesn't know how to take social clues, basically. So so I mean, like dill's about kind of navigating that that the friendship in decline with Greg and also strangely, you know, Bruce has his friend Trevor who seems a bit clueless. But I guess is his consistent friend who's never mad at any anything. Does the whole movies talk talk about that balance? Why think the the front? Sorry. I didn't even put this on site interrupt. But essentially the movie in in a way aside from Bruce reconciling with his family is him reconciling with Gregg yes who who moves out in the beginning of the movie yet. And then basically kind of takes the movie, you know, he moves on the beginning of the movie not because of something Bruce did, but because his girlfriend is pregnant he's growing. These Russa's just not growing up. So you're full circle comes at at at Greg's, you know, baby shower yet when when Bruce kind of formerly grows up a little yet goes up a little I like that. I like that. Yeah. I think we'll just just with with that was I feel like with stories it. Oh, it doesn't always have to be like a huge like a huge transformation. Right. Sometimes just a little bit. If you see the person just changing a little bit. There's hope so we've definitely thinking about that. And with with with the friendship stuff. Yeah. Me, greg. Greg was Greg. Greg was the marker of probably what should happen with a person, you know, like when you know when they're ready to grow up in in. So we had that to to kinda gauge BRUCE'S progress. So Greg was definitely set up in in that way was going to say that it's totally that's totally fine. With with Gregg out of the way, you know, he looks for new roommate? And he he finds curia who he totally is also falling for which again is like a very clear road to disaster. And I'm kind of surprised that she had I decides the datum for a bit. We're we're there were there any drafts where she doesn't. And it's just a disaster from the start or how did you decide that? She would give Bruce chance only to you know, ditch him when she realizes that. He's just basically to mature. Yes, I think it was important. For us. I think it was important for us to kind of set up this kind of female archetype from these kind of eighties movies who, you know. And then they end up getting, you know, and then the then the guy for just a huge amount of asshole that he is still ends up getting the girl at the end, right? It was important for us to to to kind of like give them because the thing about Kira is it's kind of like Heathrow's what he thinks. She is at her. He's like he's come up with this image of what she is. And she's not like, Bruce. But she basically gives Bruce where he got in the beginning of the movie. So it was a way of him to get you know, for him to get his his come up. So I don't think there was any with. We we kept calling her magic girl because we were like, oh, yeah. That's what they do in the eighties. They make they make like these two dimensional characters to the two dimensional female characters. And we were interested in. Okay. What what happens if you think it's that an end she kinda like flips the script. So that's what we were thinking about with with Kierra in relation to to Bruce. I don't think there was ever a time where we didn't where they didn't kind of hook up because it was like the fun and games part of the story where all right? You know, they're going to get together. And then it just comes crashing down. Yeah. Insane. Right. And and you know, meanwhile, he has Catherine who's his long term friend. There's there's there's definitely you know, it's clear that they had a previous relationship before this. And he keeps coming back to her. And it's fascinating. Because. You know, by the end of the movie, he showing up at her house with a black guy as Cas 'cause the fight that he got in with with curious, you know, new love interest when she's moving out, and he's he's really sinking to pre much the lowest, and and Catherine takes him in and they're about to have sex and BRUCE'S just kind of into much. Yes. Bruce's basically been through too much a basically cannot do it. Yeah. And and Catherine just as like, you know, maybe this is the time to tell you you gotta take a hike. You know, like she she kinda sets them out as well. Because she just knows that their relationship is kind of toxic. So what did the character of Catherine mean mean to you in writing it? Well, she she was again going back to that kind of thing. Like, you know, she's the girl she's the girl next door. She's the best friend, and you know. I guess in this kind of like eighties movie thing he would end up being with her because he would see the era of his ways. Right because it's a classic trope that oh right in front of me. My best friend. Free. Right. Exactly. And she's like, Molly ringwald, or you know, what I mean like somebody like it in. And so I again that that was was super important to set up in that seat specifically. And again to Meredith is ready to be is ready to be a grownup. And she's you know, she also has some a little bit of grow into do herself. And and and I think that Bruce eventually provides the for for her in a really weird twist away. But it is more about him. The interesting thing about that seen as like it's kinda like a save the cat thing with the whiff of death moment in a row, and like all his dick dies, this this this guy his dick has to die. And. Yes. So that's amid spoiler whatever. But. Yeah. Like that that we're in the spoiler section congrats on the whiff of death for Dick's. That's that's just exactly what was intentioned when Shavkat book was written. It was only a matter of time before somebody hit on the head. What's funny? You bring that up because you know, you're also getting into some territory earlier with the concept of. Sex comedy. You know, you have you have a few sex scenes, but you know, you have Gwynn who was getting orgasmic when she's interviewing for the apartment. And and is like, you know, reciting everything that that are the benefits of such apartments with walk in closets. And you know, all the other things it's like it's like really getting her off. So what was it? What was it like for you as a director to to get sex scenes filmed? Because it's it's really tricky from from anything anyone's ever told me as to how you film them. What you have to do to keep everybody comfortable and safe as we were talking about earlier, you know, and this is a sex scene that that has some choking at it. And then later on he Bruce winds up, you know, to show the just how long your movie has been as around he's going onto the casual encounters section Craigslist, which here we are in March or twenty nineteen. There is no such section anymore. It is at least been shut down that that part of Craigslist. So so. So I like like like, basically he runs into a dominatrix there. You have a whole other crazy sex comedy scene. So what was it like to to navigate the filming of of your sex comedy scenes, you know, as director, and as an actor because you're in the middle of them as well will wanna think once they helps is that the people that are in those scenes with me or like to to a my really super close friends. And then they weren't you know, they just again we were a small crew. So in the in the dominatrix seen I believe it was myself, Nicole molar, and who plays Dr was named Madame feel your pain as what she called herself. And then and then won the DP. So just three people there in. I think part of it was we were kind of laughing at it was also chilled us out. Like, we like this is this is ridiculous. So I think that also helped and then I think the same thing kind of the with Jamie who plays who plays Gwen. It was kind of. I mean, you know, we implicitly trust each other. We, you know, she trusted. I wasn't gonna put her in like a crazy situation. You know? Everything everything was filmed from shoulder up. So she had all her clothes on. I had all my clothes on. I'd have my top. Right. So those kind of things I'll try to try to do an, you know, just let everybody know of you. You know, you feel uncomfortable. Let's talk about it. We'll figure it out. You know earlier we talked about this is Nancy hero story. There's also really not much of an antagonistic here because Bruce is his own antagonised for most of the movie, but you were kind of sliding in you know, the competing dog Walker. He was was at any point when you were writing this out was there ever the thought of having a a bigger antagonised for Bruce to be fighting against or was it really just the situation of the trouble. He kept causing for himself as the what he needed to to kind of self correct or fight against. What I remember? I think it kind of always was like this guy keeps getting in his own like him being his own worst than me. I ended that was always kind of the vibe folks jumping in really quick to tell you that. We just published issued thirty six it's twenty nineteen Oscars issue, and we had both the screenwriting winners in there along with plenty of other cool content as well. Now, remember you could read backstory on a desktop or laptop or via our ipad app or on Google play on an Android tablet. So there are plenty of ways to read us, and I truly hope you do. And hey, are you passionate about storytelling than you? Need to be at NABC show, April eighth through April eleven twenty nineteen in Las Vegas. It's an amazing conference where technology meets storytelling because in a B show is the single largest gathering of the world's most renowned storytellers and the technology that allows them to bring their tails to life, you could get hands on training network and interact with industry icons and find inspiration. So I hope. You'll registered today at NABC show dot com with code Vegas, and you will get a free exhibit pass. So make sure to take advantage of this amazing offer while it lasts. And while you're surfing around online. I'm pleased to tell you that. We just published backstory issued thirty six in our Oscar issue, you could read our Oscar lessons section which has great interviews with seven out of the ten Oscar-nominated screenwriters that include the writers of a star is born black klansman the favorite I reformed. Green book if Beale street could talk and vice in each of these articles, not only do we talk about certain scenes that you could read excerpts of you could also read the entire screenplay as well. Plus, our Oscar issue features an interview with actor Willem Dafoe, and even Oscar-nominated editor Hank Corwin who chats about editing. Vice other great articles in issue. Thirty six include our blacklist profile of the script Escher by Jason Kessler. And not only do we interview Jason. But you could read his entire blacklist script as well. Oscar winner, Terrell. Alvin mccranie of moonlight chats about his new Steven Soderbergh directed Netflix movie, high flying bird we interviewed Steve Lightfoot about the latest season of punisher we interviewed the writers of comedy central's corporate and director, David Slade talks about Netflixing groundbreaking. Choose your own adventure black mirror Bander snatch. We also did a funky cool peace with writer Eric Heiser yet. He's the writer of arrival, and he wrote a TV pilot called kingmaker, which was unfortunately, never made. But Eric still loves it and wishes it was a TV show and hopes one day, it still might be was cool enough to share the entire script with us for your reading pleasure issued thirty six also features Sundance stories and so much more. And while this hasn't been announced we are going to chat with the writer directors of captain marvel, but that's the fun of digital magazine. We are always loving to add things into it. Even after we, officially publish. So look, it would really mean a lot to me to have my podcast. Listener's support my passion project over at backstory dot net. Even if you go read the free. Issue and consider subscribing. I hope you give it a shot. But now, let's jump right back into my chat with writer director actor Eden Mary show about his passion project, Bruce, which is in AMC theaters this weekend, March fifteenth twenty nineteen and then it will be available for rental in itunes in June of twenty nineteen. So keep an eye out for it. Tyler actually who plays doll Walker as Marez. We did have a couple more scenes that one of us one of those things we didn't shoot in the nothing. One of them. We cut. Because it does funny. But it wasn't moving the story. Actually, I feel like most I feel like the funniest stuff in the film did not make the film interesting. Yes. So it was it was really about like narrative versus laughs. I guess e- e- eh. Yeah. It was the what was it? What was the funniest thing that you could deal was this scene with Bruce? There was like these three scenes of where Bruce decides he's going to go to acting class because he's going to prove that he knows what he, you know, he so the first thing he goes acting class, and he just basically goes up to like, listen guys goes to act teachers like these guys are terrible. You know between me, and you got a couple of extras in here. Nobody's gonna make it in the second scene were doing these really weird acting. Acting exercises with the plan animals, which again, you go through an act school. Sometimes you just like is mad at thing. We like this snuck in ridiculous in the third thing. Which was I thought probably the funniest thing in the film is this this row there's like role playing thing where the acting teacher has me closed my eyes and sit in a chair, and then this guy like gets up this guy who's like our best acting student with doing like this pantomime thing, and then he gets up on his chair and like pantomime taking his pants down. And then like sound so bad, but I jerk off in my face. And I opened my opened my eyes as he's like jerking off in my face. And I just feel completely a used in an I start losing my mind. And actually, I think it plays even though it's all pantomime. Even all Panama lose Mars Lucking shit. I'm guessing Bruce gets kicked out of the acting glass. Yeah. Actually, leave actually. Yeah. I I don't think I'd be welcome back. But I I kinda like I really lose my shit in liangelo either. That was funny. I was actually the funniest thing it play. I double major theater and film, and yeah that an animal an animal thing theater school is kind of for the birds, no pun intended. What did you need anything rewritten? When you were shooting. Was there anything that you really realize that you needed to re shoots rewrite while while you were suit. Yes, definitely. They would definitely some things that like we discovered. So is the thing like, oh this whole scene. So the first the first when I take when on Bruce takes a cure out to the to the bar restaurant, or whatever it is the first time in a grab something to eat that scene was never really set, and it was really bad. And then when we got onset there was this crazy construction happening outside. So we had time, and my friend, Chris and Chris Nunez who plays who plays. Trevor he's at he's actually finishing his last year at Yale for play riding right now. He Elliot Chris. I can't figure this fucking scene out, man. And I was like this. You know, I'm thinking of this. I'm thinking that he's at I give me. Minute. So he goes off and writes like this three page scene. That was really great. But it had like it was dealing with like heavy issues that I was like this movie is not about you know, politics in and whatnot. But there wasn't as a little nugget in there. I forget actually what it is now. Oh, it was this. It was when she she says, she's basically just like, you know, just cut all the bullshit like cool. The fuck are you, and I was like all of that nugget. And then thou thing about wolverine was ad-libbed. So was like may like I made that story up and early earlier on in the movie on your first date with Kierra you talk about how you defended Greg as yes. Renew taped some knives to your hands and you protected him from a bully. Yes. You ended up with a black guy, which has been has symmetry later in the film where you know, you can't even protect yourself you end up with your own black. I this time around. Yes. So but. The crazy thing was that that wasn't even the. Yeah. That wasn't meant like the kind of symmetry. I thing was like that wasn't meant. I was. Yes. So I took like some stories like I remember getting billed gonna say the school yard. That's a little bit of that. A remember like thinking, I was wolverine with the with the plastic with the plastic knives. And I just kind of like put all that together. So that was definitely one thing that was not written. It was add it was kind of imprompt in then later on in the film when wolverine shows up won't we didn't wanna get sued for using ovaries likeness. And then I have been I love the name wolverine, by the way. Yeah. Yeah. And then we did like this whole kit China figure out, and then say actually came up with the line about two black is you know, one from. I forget the exact, but she came up she came up with that. And that whole Wovlerine thing. Thing was something because when we didn't have money to shoot like the thing that I was talking about with like earlier with like the golden child and him getting out of a DeLorean like, you know, like, Mike ready, oxen. So we had to really make it short. Sweet. So that scene was written SEA actually took probably the longest 'cause I was working on it throughout. Once we shot that other wolverine seen the scene the scene of the movie that he shows the baby shower. Yet thing we worked on the longest and actually even an editing got cut down it got cut down a lot befuddles. It was it was fun because you did this like oh my gosh to superman with his with his dad kind of giving him advice, which I thought was like a really cool way in actually face. That was really important to me to you got some you've got some credit for saying spin Cal 'cause I always love Brenda sick Cal out. So that was yeah. That was really the funny thing about that was so wish shooting we have to shoot, and we use the green screen that I use to take mile additions. So when you do in like auditions as an actor you put this up almost like a reflected like how you can make like squeezed down into a circle. But but it's not like a bounce board right balance for it. Yeah. Yeah. Odor. Reflector? I'm with you. But is not very big. So we we had like a really like medium. Like medium, we had a shoot it in a medium medium close up because it just wasn't that big. And then there's the shot where he kinda like punches through the screen with his plastic knives. And. We were like we like how we going to do that. Because we don't have much. And then as my actually said, why don't we use green construction pap-? So yeah, we took like four pieces of green construction paper taped. It taped it in front held really close to the camera in the not just came through like with the knives. So this is all those things you have to do to be creative when you don't have much. No. And those are the best things was her happy accident was Ramon it that that that really surprised you all the planning in the world couldn't plan for that. That kind of led to something that you really love in the film, or or was what you just told us that happy accident moment. Yeah. That was one of. I mean, man, it was so many. I think we were just so opened creatively to just what will tell you a happy accident or something. So we're shooting. This is this is in the dinner scene with my parents come over. And I'm just there to like, basically, Michigan faces how awesome my life is now. It's it's a super super awkward out of you. Remember that scene? But like, yeah, they're all coming in my house. And I'm Woking welcoming them in you're talking about her entire family to meet care. Yeah. They'll write the podcast listeners. You know, the relationship with cure is going fine. You know, she's she's working as a designer. She comes home from a long day of work, and he surprises her with having his entire family come over. And which is the complete wrong thing to do without telling your significant other and the scene just gets worse from there. So okay. So that scene where everybody's coming in. Yes. So a so basically, I was like, oh, we don't have a dinner table. So I forgot that we didn't have a dinner table to us. And then on a my my really good friend. Who's also in the film. She plays curious curious best friend we were in our apartment. So she was like, I think I have this. And she basically. Like this this this long to like it's like desk, basically, it's like a long white desk on my oh shit. That'd be perfect that it's something stupid that Bruce would do in the other thing. We did was we ran out because in that scene. It looks like just like a normal buffet yet. Like like looked fine. Well, yeah, I didn't think there was anything weird about it at all. And then, and then I guess the other happy accident was we ran out of chairs, and then it was like we have this beach. Like, we have this beach ball, or whatever it is whatever that like kind of ply. Oh ball thing is I was like I could make dads sit on that. And that was like a great like like anytime, we screened whatever that people crack up at that moment that the dad has to sit on that ball. He's going to disrespect them. And I was definitely was a happy accident. We'll will speaking of of BRUCE'S dad, Jean who as you said helped make the post of part of the movie possible. You're the reconciliation scene with you know, BRUCE'S father, and Bruce finally admits that he doesn't have a clue what he's doing. He doesn't know. He wants out of life is actually the moment that is father's happiest with him. Yes. It's maybe one of the true moments where Bruce is actually being honest for one rather than being so fake like he is the whole movie and trying to oppress everybody, so tell us about the challenges of of not just writing that scene. But also fill me a with, gene. Why think the the the the the challenge of the writing of was yet trying to keep it honest, and you know, you gone on this whole, you don't wanna make a super Disney, but at the same time, it's just like, you know, these kind of talks that, you know, a functional debt like. It's the kind of talk that a dad would have with the son. I mean, BRUCE'S BRUCE'S on Mars for most of the movie, but he's broken at least breaking down at this point. And it ever I literally put something I remember having a discussion with my dad when I was in my mid twenties. And I was just like like when did, you know, you're a man like what when did you know that that was like you were a man now as interesting too because I feel like that's something we've lost with rituals. Like there was a time where you know, you literally had a scar. And it was like, okay, you're a men now. My dad said he was just like games like v. I forget how he was at the time. But he's like, you know, fifty something years old. I have you know, I got you your mom of a couple of cause of a nice house. And he was like I still wonder if I'm a man and that really stuck like that really stuck into my core. And I felt like that was something that I. Wanted other folks to hear feel like it was it was like the truth does kind of feel like the pillar or kind of the the the thing that was holding s up like that for me. I don't know what it would be for Jesse from me that that was that was super super important and then the shooting of the scene. I remember we shot it in jeans garage. We have a crazy issues with sound. It was it was really crazy while I was there was there like refrigerators turning on machinery or something like that air-conditioner. It was like a signal thing actually, and the the the the laws were just acting up. Maybe we just weren't doing something. Right. Having a difficult time with it. And then I remember we will call Thrusday the direction. The direction I gave gene was the was I want you to talk like. I want you to talk as if you're surrounded by a huge bubble. Like, a huge of you know, like a like, a, you know, when you blow bubbles like imagine you surrounded by this huge bubble. And if you talk if you talk to or or or are to intensive will pop. As some reason as what came to me in the scene. So he was really delicate with him. Once he once he saw a black is so how fucked up I was that he kind of you know, dial back, and, you know. Kind of take me in. Yeah. He he he keeps the kid gloves on because he knows vulnerable in that scene. But he's also happy for him. So it works in that in that capacity, yet the last stage of storytelling has always editing hand, I know the earning process ended up time talk us through, you know, having all of your footage, cutting an hour out changing the title from hitting thirty two Bruce while you did that. And just kind of what it what it took to to basically, finish the film after what it sounds like going back to what you said earlier, a group of friends didn't initially like it. And it made you shelve it for a while. Yeah. I think I think that that was really cool. I'm Marie now working on working on it in. Yeah. That's the thing you have the script. But then what do you cut out? You know, I think that the editing process. It was just like what is was not moving the story into as I look at it. And I was like oh can lost at a loss that or whatever. But that's another thing yet just have to get. Okay. With the fact that it's over the thing that you created has been created, right? But yeah, I mean that was kind of always it was just like if this thing is not moving a story. It's gotta go watching it. And like, oh, you know what let's pick this. Okay. We can I pick this up in most of the stuff is with me. Right. So that was also very conscious thing. It was like I cast my Jesse was supposed to play Bruce originally. I was going to be Greeley. Yeah. 'cause. For me. It was important to play a black person had all their shit together in it'd be you know, the the white guy that was the one that was kind of all over the place. Right. Like, I just think like, you just don't get you. Don't get an opportunity to see a lot of three dimensional of black characters, at least from my point of view. So that's how that was going to be like I was going to be the one that was on the lawyer tracked, and he was the one like fishing and searching and whatnot. But then Jesse had a really successful film on on the festival circuit called Donald cried. Right. And he was all over the place with that. So he couldn't do it. So I was like all right. I can count on myself to show up. So I was like an I'm in most of this. So so even with the editing stuff I needed to go back and get something, you know, I could go back and get like a quick medium shot of myself that would put these two scenes together, or I could you know? No get that montage sequence where I'm walking down the street and walking walking down the subway. Yes. So that was an and then and then the the how he got to the name was going from thirty. It was years later, I was at thirty anymore, and then and then I think we were going to call it don't be an kept saying like, I just called don't be an asshole. I mean because that's like a SOPs fable. Right. Like, that's the moral of the story. Right. Sure, that's what the movie says. I try not to be an asshole. And then her mouth sitting down. I was doing some editing myself. And then I just remembered as being like everybody keeps stra screaming guy's name. Like, what's the most ostentatious? Like, what's the most conceited title that you could have for film that represents BRUCE'S like he would name it after himself? That's funny. Yes. So that's why I was Bruce and the four exclamation points came off of like the editing sequence in the beginning. And it was like trying to match up those the bangs of the door. And it was like oh exclamation point. Exclamation point. Exclamation point solution point, I'm going to try and listed that way. I tunes. It's going to be really interesting to say if the file goes. Points. But so what's so tell me this though, you put it down out what drove you to pick it back up. But we passed the first draft around people read it God guy like this fucking sucks and in. Yeah. So so how many years later like like it sounds like it was five years later. Six years later. It was backup and decided to shoot it like five and a half years in any meeting major change in that process when you picked it back up to shooter. Did you just go say, screw it? I'm gonna shoot it. I was a combination man. I think just the frustrated I don't like feeling like a victim. So like when you go out to someplace you expect you know, I was like oh like discreet plays. Great people are going to pick, you know, people going to pick it up, and it's going to be awesome. That you go out there. And it's like every single meeting is cancelled. You know, you feel like a victim this the we had the idea at the same time we were talking on the phone. She was like, why don't you make thirty? And I was like I was just thinking the same thing. So I don't believe in coincidence. So anytime something. Like that happens. I'm like, that's right. I always follow my goosebumps. Always. And then yet in terms of like making it it was like, oh, it was the one thing that you could make without any kind of budget. You know, we didn't have much money in the Bank. And then. Yeah. Once once I once, I started listening to the recording. We taped my friends came through the definitely were things that change definitely a lot of things were cut in kind of moved around. But it happened along the way we'll tell me your toughest seen. What was your toughest seen as a writer and as a director, and how'd you creatively rise to the challenge? I think the the scary scene was at I think the final scene. Because everything else is so so intimate, you know, again, because we don't have much money as a lot of like medium sized close ups that kind of deal the final scene at the shower. ES our the baby shower, you navigate in a lot of people people come in and do you favor. This your whole cast was there, essentially. Yeah. Pretty much in and that was too. So we try to hold that off for bit. But we had to eventually you have to shoot it. And that's the thing to you don't have money to when you have to defer payment to people. You can't be like. Oh, yeah. Well, I need you here. You know, I need you here at ten is like eat, and I got I got a job. You know, what I mean like I have to work to to pay for my living situation. So eventually like everybody couldn't be there all on the same day, and we had to finish the movie. So if anybody's watching it like, oh, why isn't this personnel wasn't efforts in that? It's literally because we add to shoot it at we couldn't they couldn't show up that day. Day. So that that was difficult just because you have to get people in get people out, you're in somebody else's you instant body else's space, you dealing with like twenty people you remember, mama, friend hill Lintas DJ equipment, which was amazing. And then we're trying to figure out like how do we prop that up and putting out on like a bunch of Jim Mets figuring out how to do the projection like having a natural projection onto the garage door was like a regular video projector. Yeah, we got a regular video projected. But then it was issues with the connection a boy Brera all his dad, and he actually they figured it out together on yet getting the right exposure on on that on that thing setting again like setting because we didn't have many people like the set like the actual set dressing. All all all that stuff. Was was that was your toughest seen to direct. What was your toughest seen on the page? Scene on the pay when you were writing I'm guessing it's the dads seen like well. You know, what that's the only way. Yeah. That was that was one that went through a lot of iterative 'cause we would just like, I can I can go a little Disney with things like that. And Jesse uses like, you know, no number like, yeah. No in then I could be like not going to listen to it. So it was like, yeah. That was one where we would just trying to figure sometimes it felt like it was in another movie like it was four another movie. But then it was like no man it is about. That you know, there's something about a dad talking to his key son, the super point that's a really good. That's a really good one. I think that one was really hard to end the end the death. I seen with with Keira when they kind of when they go to that. When they go to the restaurant that that was really, you know, I mean that happened on the day. It was that was driving me nuts. And then the the wolverine the will run thing. So I think those three because the wolf a rolling thing was one that was consistently throughout production was like what is the right thing. Like, what's the thing that strings together? And then say said again, I forget what line wasn't. I was like, yes, that's it an-, and you see me like throwing out all these different people's names because it wouldn't have happened without all those people right is I'm like this can't happen without help is just not a thing. What of Gore's will what's next? What what are you? What are you working on next that people could expect from you? Well, a couple of things I'm I'm shooting a mass shooting. I have I've made a of made a film, the first thing that I made it was called first feature kind of thing that may was called eclipse in two thousand and two and it was a it was a recall in a hip, hop a hip, hop fable. And it's about this rap group in Brooklyn and the debt that screenplay was like a hundred and seventy eight pages, but they weren't like limited web series out. Then so estimated some festivals didn't get like didn't get in because they didn't deserve to get in a two hour thing that's supposed to be four things. So my dad had all these old many, DV tapes. So what I'm doing? Now is I'm turning it into like a ten part limited web series. So each episode is gonna be like twenty something minutes. So that should. Be out in the summertime, I'm actually acting in acting in a Broadway. Play the goes up on April twenty twenty fourth called ink with Jonny, Lee, Miller and a birdie Carville, so as acting wise when I'm doing and then awesome. Yeah. Man. It is pre- pretty freaking amazing. And then I'm working on the next play on working on his peanut, which is that's the screen put sparked this whole thing. So the the goal was to what makes something where my friends could really shine. If people could see talented, they were they are in the second thing was to make a business card, and you know, and so now I feel like I have that business card. We, you know, crazy, though, sesame is crazy vision board story, but I talk about that another time. But but yeah. And at the end of the day, I want people's dreams come true menace to. Reason why I'm doing all this. So if anything is just anybody out there listening, and they want to make a film where thinking about doing it just go ahead. Do it is probably gonna suck. But that's okay. Like, you'll learn you'll get better your dream will happen, right? Don't stop keep you all don't get bet. You'll get better every time. Yeah. In don't listen to haters in the problem is the biggest hater is probably the voice in your head a. Yeah. That's in. Look, you have been very generous with your time. I hope our podcast listeners will go support independent cinema in theaters this weekend, March fifteenth twenty nineteen but also look for it on itunes if it didn't play in a city near you in June of twenty nineteen. So that you could you could have a chance to see what this is all about eating. Thanks for being so generous with your time for for chatting today. This was awesome. Thanks, if I really appreciate it rather expend, and that's how the QNA went down special. Thanks again to writer director actor Eden Mary show for chatting with me about his latest film. Bruce. And folks, remember if you want to support independent film, and I hope you do make sure to go see Bruce at AMC movie theaters this weekend, March fifteenth twenty nineteen and then look for it to rent in IT tunes in June of twenty nineteen years. Support makes all the difference in the world to independent filmmakers. So thanks for considering seeing it, of course, thanks again to the fine folks at NABC show dot com for sponsoring this episode. And remember you could get a free exhibit pass to attend the show on April eighth through April eleventh in Las Vegas. All you have to do is go to NABC show dot com and use code Vegas, and you will get a free exhibits pass. So I encourage you to join storytellers in the technology that helps them make their stories possible by going to NABC show dot com to learn more about this special deal. And while you're surfing around online. I'm pleased to tell you that we just published backstory issued thirty six which is our Oscar issue. So there's tons of great stuff for you to read in there. And plenty of non Oscar stuff too. So I hope you'll just go to our website backstory dot net. Check out the table of contents to see what's inside it consider subscribing. And if you wanna test drive us while you're there, you can of course, read our free issue on a desktop or laptop or via our I Pat app as well. So thanks for considering and hey, if you're in L A or going to visit LA make sure to sign up for my screening series. You could come to these events as we're happy to have you could sign up to get on the free Email listed backstory dot net slash events. So I hope to see you at a screening sometime soon the QNA with Jeff Goldsmith a copyright of unlikely films Inc. In twenty nineteen all rights reserved. And hey, if you'd like to show your support and donate to this free podcasts. So it can continue to buy new equipment and use these funds to pay all of my podcast hosting fees. Feel free to send it pay pal. 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The Prodigy - Nicholas McCarthy & Jeff Buhler

The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith

00:00 sec | 1 year ago

The Prodigy - Nicholas McCarthy & Jeff Buhler

"If monitor parenting wasn't tough enough already could you imagine trying to tell little evil possess kid to clean up their room, or they're gonna lose screen time. I know it's just a movie, but I'm telling you, I am one bad game of we g away from totally seeing this become in my life. Howdy. I'm Jeff Goldsmith. Then this is the QNA. My agenda is simple each week. I plan to bring you in depth insights into the creative process of storytelling. Folks, this movie is definitely creepy. But I was most certainly not creeped out by having screenwriter. Jeff bueller? And director nNcholas McCarthy. Join me to the scusi their latest film, the prodigy, you know, Nick is a longtime podcast listener. And this is his third time being the screening series of podcasts. So he was definitely quite game to go in-depth with his answers. And it was also great to meet Jeff and have him there as well to talk about his craft as both of these fellows, really love filmmaking and the horror genre. Now, if you didn't see the prodigy in theaters you missed out, folks. So I encourage you to seek it out. In fact, right now, you can find it on digital via. Itunes and on demand. And it comes out on Blu Ray and DVD on may seventh twenty nineteen. So you could see it that way as well. And I hope you pick one of the many ways there are to finally see it without a doubt. Jeff Nick were very forthcoming about their creative process. So I know you'll dig this episode Ed speaking of things to dig I hope you'll check out the latest issue of backstory magazine at backstory dot net. You can read us on a desktop laptop. Or also our ipad app or on an Android tablet via Google play. And folks around may third twenty nineteen we will be releasing issue. Thirty seven of backstory magazine, it's our avengers in game issue. So you definitely won't want to miss that issue. Thirty seven we'll feature a post release interview with the writers of adventures in game that will focus on all the tasty spoilers that you'll want to read about that made the movie what it is yet before issue. Thirty seven comes out. You could test drive us by reading issue one which is free at backstory dot net. And then you could consider subscribing issue thirty. Sixes our latest issue. That's available right now. It's our Oscar issue which features plenty of cool award season coverage and also a lot of great TV and film features including spoiler specific interviews with the creators of captain marvel and Zam, so I hope you check out issue thirty six and keep an eye out for issue thirty seven which is coming out soon. But now without any further ado, let's jump right onto the stage at the film school right after I introduced screenwriter. Jeff bueller? And director nNcholas McCarthy to chat about their latest film. The prodigy. So this is this is an external time in the screening series apply. Cast. I love you. It's good to see you again. But you know, we always love to start with with breaking in stories. And I think it'll be interesting to to hear about my story. Yes. But both of your stories. I Jeff did you go to did you go to film school or or from whence does thou hill in this journey? I did kind of go to film school. I work. I went to UC Santa Cruz I entered as an undergraduate biochemistry student, and I left in theater arts. Okay. All right. That happens to a lot of BioChem students. Like, what can I do where it would be really hardly we sabotage your future. So how'd you how'd your parents take that little switch? Oh, my parents are. But my dad's an artist I was okay BioChem thing was a re was the rebellious reaction to my family. And then the theater arts thing was like you've come back to the full, right? I did that I did that. And so did you we writing redirecting anything when you were school at UC Santa Cruz? It's more like experimental video art and strange sort of set design and some Shakespeare it wasn't really what I would call. It's not like film school that we have here in LA, which is like the school where you learn how to deal with the film industry. I didn't learn one thing about the industry or how to navigate at making a film at school. But I did have a great time. And I learned a lot about art. Yeah. If you're focusing on your craft is still a win. Nick. Did you go to school for this went to SUNY? Purchase. Didn't you cover this and the other pod? But it's it's so far back on I tunes that I wanted to reset the clock a little now I went to SUNY. Purchase in New York. And that was a great film school, but also absolutely geared towards a kind of super independent. I think we, you know, they would show us guitar films and Brisson films, and then kind of cast us out in the world. And it took me many years to to figure out some way to actually what do you make a living. When you watch last day at Marian bad. And then it's like now go make your career like what are you supposed to do at the time in the the nineties there? There was a pretty robust independent film scene going on in New York City, which a lot of us got dumped into where I was a grip and an electric on a lot of these films that we're getting made then, but it wasn't until I moved out to Los Angeles and sold the fuck out now if I moved out to Los Angeles, and and with with the goal of of saying, how do you how do you make a movie how do you get a movie made? And and it just took me many years to to to get there. I want to give people at baseline before we get to tonight's movie, the prodigy and just kind of go back through your career little because it's always interested. It's always interesting to hear breaking in stories, and you know, Jeff, I the first credit that I could find for you was to interesting credits. Kinda caught my eye UP eight on nine hundred ninety two Buffy the vampire slayer movie and and also on nine hundred ninety eight the thin red line. And I'm just kind of curious what your observations were as young PA on those sets, especially enter any interaction with Terrence Malick who Jeff was really responsible for the thin line. It was my idea. Wait a second. Those were sort of outgrowths of a long period of time. I spent working in independent and sort of commercial and music video production in LA my first job. And I want to give a shoutout to Steve Golan who passed away recently. My first job was propaganda films really win. Because I was there in the ninety s at some point to would you do there? I was like runner like, I drove VHS cassettes around so misguide Zona Thomas. Yes. The original LA map. I was I was across the street from you at satellite. Yeah. Yeah. Don't the cool part is it was a coupe list. I was there for awhile it worked then when they got purchased by PolyGram I worked at PolyGram. And my first writing gig was actually one of the executives at at working title films, which is a very fancy film label for the PolyGram had at the time. Which is now at universal. They Eric Fellner came to me and was like, hey, you like horror. Don't you like doing like Four Weddings and a funeral right at this time. And they were like, oh, we kind of like weird stuff. I think my office had all these like weird shit on the walls, and they're like action figures and Pez dispensers. What was your what was your title that point? 'cause you said office systens assistant as the CEO. Okay. Okay. Of the whole deal. Like, I I got to the point where like I would go to the canned film festival. And like, I this was when Brian singer did usual suspects like things were, you know, very the independent film world felt like it was happening. And if this was also at a time when writers would send specs out on Friday night and on Monday morning or maybe by late Tuesday afternoon, they were millionaires. And I was like that's the job for me. And then, you know, shortly thereafter, it was like, no, we're gonna pay scale. So it was it was a rude awakening. But I I did John I learned post production production. I worked on like on the Terrence Malick film. We drove around on a ship outside of Catalina and shot all the scenes where the guys are going over the edge of the boat. And I basically helped lace up. Boots on extras hundreds of boots. And it was it was fun. It was cool. Did you have any cool stories about Malik? You want to tell us or anything from the buddy Terry doesn't talk. The guy who got me that job still works with Terrence Malick to this day. I was just on the phone with them. And they're getting ready to as new film in can like they're still working together. He about I did stand next to Nick Nolte, who's a frigging nutcase in like everybody was a prize. Yeah. Throws that movie had everybody in it at the time. And it was just I was just standing there going holy shit. And then on like on Buffy, for example, that was my first set job. And I was totally freaking out because Donald Sutherland was the star of that movie in the first night that we shot with Donald subtle and we were in Griffith park at the merry go round. And it was some creepy vampire haunting moment and he's at the craft service table eating tons of raw broccoli, and I'm standing there. And I'm like, I'm like, what are you doing like he could tell I was watching him and he looks over. And he goes it makes me far too. No one can tell me. No one can tell me. It was me because I'm basically just go do scenes and just rip. Sorry, donald. That's that's probably the biggest acting secret that's ever been revealed on this state. I was like why this is insane. This businesses. Crazy. I gotta get into this. Okay. We'll so Nick you're at the same time almost doing like behind the scenes documentaries into the labyrinth inside the labyrinth the silence of the lambs behind the scenes was like one of the earlier credits that I found what was it like kind of getting paid for it right out of school in in kind of breaking in slowly? But surely, it it wasn't that glamorous that job. I had moved out to LA. And there is a guy that I knew who was making extras for these things called DVD's that they used to make and it was this burger to them industry and. So that was an office job and editing were you screening, I was like, you know, picking up the guys laundry and. And. I got fired from that job because I miss bell Jodie Foster's name on a fax. Forced if you wanna stay after if you want to say run afterwards. We'll explain what faxes. But really that got you fired. You explain what a DVD is. Well, it's terrible. So so you started making short films which obviously in this we've covered before but it led to the Sundance short the pact and which led to the Sundance movie the pact. And I'm I'm curious now that you've had a few years to look back on it like some distance. Would you say was the most important lesson from the pact that kind of shell helped shape your creative habits as it was your first feature after you've made some shorts? Well, it was the the movie that kind of gave me everything. But it also it took away everything because you know, you kind of spend so much time working to be this thing that you want to be a screenwriter or in my case a director. And then once you get paid to do it. The first time often there's a sexploitation that people are just going to keep paying you. And it's just an enormously difficult career to maintain. And it's taken me several years to finally get to a place where being a paid director. And a screenwriter is something that I can say this is what I do. And I think after the pact. Which was a movie made for four hundred thousand dollars. It was a movie that kind of affirmed that this is something that I wanted to do because I love doing it. But it was also it opened up a new mystery. Because you you spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make that first film. And then the next thing is how do you make a career out of it? And I didn't really know how to make a career out of it. And I think me and everyone I know who does this for a living, including Jeff we're always kind of trading information because the business is always changing. And essentially, we're all freelance, you know, so you never know if you're going to get something off the ground know. So the pact was incredible gift. But also that that that gifted take it the way it's interesting because in the packed. You know, there's there's something that's kind of a signature of yours in a way that that even relates to the prodigy in which you just have this creeped out version of basements in your mind. And and a lot of people do was there anything that that kind of creeped you out as a kid about basements, because there's there's some good basement stuff and prodigy in the basement yell. It's talk about the basement is when you guys all see tears in my eyes. You're in a safe place. Thank you. No one's listening to this. Right. It's just the three of us, and tens of thousands of people nineteenth. My my family television was in the basement, and it was a black and white television. And. When you why? Well, it was it was three floors this house in New Hampshire. And I mean, I think I grew up Catholic, and I think television was something kind of ugly. I mean, obviously, it still is. But so this was a place for kids me and my two brothers and my sister to to hang out and watch out of samples room. That's yeah. Exactly. And when my when my siblings would be playing sports, I would be watching the creature double feature on Saturday afternoon and watching these monster movies and in also encountering a lot of kind of at least clips of modern films on Cisco Niebuhr it's for show. And there's a moment where Cisco neighbor showed. It was basically an episode that was all about why horror movies were misogynist and should be stopped. And I don't know what that says about me, but it made me wanna make horror films like the like every clip that they showed that the slasher. Yeah. Renaissance of the eighties. Yeah. When you would go to a movie theater NC like we're gonna see the Woody Allen movie or to see when a stranger calls, and like their clips from Halloween, and when a stranger calls and some other films that really made a huge impression on me. And so that television in the basement. I remember seeing the the clip from Halloween where Jamie Lee Curtis is in the closet as the shape is stalking her. And they would rerun it because it was on PBS. And I made sure I tuned in. But during that clip, I went to the top of the stairs of the basement and just peaked around the corner because it was so frightening to me, I never forgot that. And so I think maybe that's the reason why the basement is has some meaning interesting. That's that's don't put TV's in the basement. I think that's the lesson unless it's a refit Alice. Nice basement with some good lighting Jeff for for two thousand midnight meat train. Who's your biggest lesson on that? Because that was your first feature there some lessons on that one. Right. Yeah. Yeah. That was adaptation of a Clive Barker short story that was a huge break for me and credit goes out to the producer, Joe Daley. Who was my roommate at the time. So that's kind of unfair right? I happen to be. Roommates with the guy who worked with Clive. And at one point he came to me and said, you know, we were looking at the books of blood would you at this time? I had started writing my own scripts, and I had done all that production work. And I was really thinking about what I wanted to do. And he came to me and said, which one would you wanna, you know, would you like to take a run at adapting, and and or reread the book will give you the book. And I said, I don't need to read it. I wanna do midnight meat train. And he's like, oh, everyone says that everyone has you know, we've tried it doesn't work as a movie that all this stuff. And I was like no like so that was the first time where I really sort of thought about what makes this story. Not what makes this story work as a short story. What is the block to making it a film? And that was where I came up with the idea to make Leon photographer and to take the visual media all the internal monologue and create a visual medium for him to. Rela- that in film, and all that stuff that that was my first real pitch, right? Where I went to glide Barker and gave him this idea, which at the time, I realize like there was a lot of hubris going to Clive and saying I'm going to take your character from your most popular short story. And I wanna change all the stuff. He just did. They was Stephen King. I know we'll get there a second. But actually an interesting did he was he opened to it? I mean, he's well he was very polite, and he looked at me, and he listened to my whole thing. And then he's like not. About you know, he's like he was into it. And he's also really into art and photography. And I was talking about the characters love of the city, which is what's so comes across so palpable in that story. And how do you express that on film? It has to be a visual element. So I was like, oh, we'll make him a photographer. We'll see his art was it. And then all of a sudden, he could see the film, and I could see the film, and and from that point we had you know, the tracks so to speak. What was your biggest lesson about your creative habits coming off of it something that maybe informed your future work? Then we're gonna talk about both of your creative habits in a second. Because we're still in our non spoiler section and then got dive in deep. Well, so on that one. I mean, I wrote that script five hundred times. And so I think perseverance was the big less real five hundred times or just your probably, you know, thirty eight times. Okay. Not thirty seven. Yeah. So it's the perseverance of just not giving up. The perseverance everyone around me was saying you can't do this the deal won't work. There's no there was no, my lawyer told me shouldn't do this. My manager told me shouldn't do this. I said, okay. No, Clive wants to do it. And and they're like, but you know, he owns there was we had no deal. There was no and doing it speculatively. Yeah. It was a spec. And it was also a very well-known piece of IP. And I was you know, there was no agreement, and if it didn't work, I would have he would have liability on there was all this legal shit that people were like, oh, you can't do it. What was the liability? Exactly, if it didn't work out, if my version of it tanked didn't work out as a script, and he wanted to go forward than he would be, you know, he would be worried that you would -ssume that makes sense. And that's why that's why most people paying me for the rights to my screenplay. That's an I wasn't paying him for an option on the book. And so that's why you always hear about why? People can't accept on solicited materials. That's right. That's exactly why. But since obviously, your friend was working with them. You had a relationship. This makes sense now in which you essentially through your drafts were proving yourself and Kerr tailing, I'm guessing to the point where he finally gave you a brutal. I and I had a conversation with Clive before I started writing script pages. And I said you like my I love your story if it doesn't work out. We'll just let this go. And we had a handshake and said, let's try let's just jump off the cliff literally Hedda handshake too. Yeah. We did. It was what made it click like Clive Barker for all the false for all the full starts. What what do you think finally made a click, Jeff what what was the like the label that went on out of all those drafts that you you cracked it in a sense. So there were a couple of big story elements that we had to get through. And it was the perseverance that I mentioned before that allowed us to get the framework of the story down. And then see the bits that weren't working. And then crack those. Tough pieces and at the time, I wasn't a seasoned screenwriter who had been through the development process with production companies and producers and studios. And so I thought these people are crazy. Are we allowed to swear on this? We fucking are. Okay. Good. I thought everyone's fucking crazy. They keep asking me to do this over and over again. I wrote the script already. It's like there. It is. You see the story. It makes sense. And then it was the do. It was understanding that the writings in the rewriting that. There were little bits and pieces that I hadn't that I couldn't see because I had been so close to it, and it was going over and over and over it. And then at one point we had a draft that worked, and we all knew it when that happened. And then everything went very quickly from there. You know, they took it out. They got money. The thing got made. We've got Bradley Cooper was a big movie too expensive movie. Yeah. Was like twelve million bucks or something? It was a lot for the first feature yet. Could you come sorry? Could you? Tell this story though of like when you were so proud that you got to be wrote this movie got made in there was the trailer. And this is this is the thing like with like the product when the prodigy trailer came out like I went with friends to go to to it was playing before Halloween. We just went to go see Halloween to see our trailer. And you have that story. Well, I haven't number. I think I know the one you're talking about. So I go to see Rambo. Yeah. The the two thousand eight remake Rambo or whatever. And at that time we were slated to come out on a wide. Release the trailer for midnight meat train had tested higher than any other trailer. And in Lionsgate hit. They were all hyped up about it. In the meantime, we'll we'll talk about what happened later. We don't have to. But the point is I'm sitting in a packed theater. And they show the trailer. And I'm like, oh my God. That's my movie, and it's playing and it's really happening. This was a huge moment for me. And then at the end the guys like midnight meat train. And there was laughter because I'm like, oh my God. It sounds like a gay porno, right? The craziest title, I've never dawned on me because I love that title so much it never dawned on me that there were other potential meanings. Do it. You're a wholesome person. I get it. Yeah. Was like. I was like, whoa. Okay. Wow. But then the movie came out, and it was well bring this up because this is it, please. There was a regime change at the at the studio. So it it got sort of switched tracks from wide. Release two straight to video you're saying the me train, switch try. It's all it's all media tracking metaphors. So so what they were releasing a straight to video rather than the ethical point or doing theatrical. That's not even limited. There was a contractual obligation to release it on one hundred screens, and they pushed it two dollar theaters to just bury. It's just I've never understood that because they have the investment, even though there's a regime change, they still have their same investors. It's still the same company. If the movie comes out is a successful. It doesn't mean that they're going to hire back the old regime. That's it just means the new regime was able to market better. That's that's what they take credit for. So I'll never understood that crap. I know, and it's it was I didn't understand it either at the time, and I still kinda don't. But I think the general thinking is that nobody wants to let the movies that came that were developed before they do. Well, so it was basically, you know, strangled and stuffed in a garbage can. But in the past ten years that film was found a lot of people. And that's something that's very gratifying. I still get people who reach out, and they're like, oh, my God is saw that movie. Barker introduce it at the new Beverly, and he was really proud of it. And he was pissed that it that it wasn't seen on on a big screen, and he talked about the shot of the the the dismembered eyeball and how we were finally seeing it on a big screen as we should. Yeah. Yeah. Before we get to tonight's film. We're gonna just talk about your creative process in a second. But before we do, you just you you did the pet cemetery adaptation, which just came out and was a success, and I just did a podcast with Kevin and Dennis about it. What what was your biggest lesson on that? Because because it was it was a lot of fun. And you guys made that great change of having LED rather than gauge which which was fascinating. What was your biggest lesson on that? I know it's reason this is going to sound broken record. But it was perseverance. I wrote many versions of that script, and there were two regime changes at this radio that took place and that project was hanging on through many different the temperature at the studio went up and down on it and the producers and then. You know, it was just we never gave up on it. We all love that story so much that it was just I was never gonna let it die. And just just like those kids, Mike like Louis. I was going to keep going and. Keeping us Assam. Yeah. Exactly. And and then when Denison Kevin came on board that was the first time that there were directors there. And it's uncomfortable that one of them's in the room right now. But there were there were directors there that. That really saw the story the way I saw like we wanted to bring it closer to the book. We wanted to make scary there were there were definitely more attention, Victor got more attention all that stuff. Yeah. So it felt like at that point the momentum. Reno reached a place where it was unstoppable. And there was a at that at at the time we had a team at the studio that was behind it everything came together. And it's weird. It's kinda like I mean, it sounds so spiritual. But like all the little pieces have to arrive at the right time. And if you give up if you write something wants twice or three times, they're like, oh, that's done any in a drawer. It's never going to get made. But if you stick to it, and if you if it's something you love, you just don't ever let it go. And there will be a time where window opens up, and you could jump through it. And that's that's my big takeaway. That's awesome. Nick at the devil's door. We did a QNA's screening forwards and a podcast. You've had a few years. Biggest lesson on that? Well, at the devil's door was made I think within a year of the pact was something like eleven months afterwards. And I, you know, made those two films in a way because I had the opportunity to make films for the first time, and once those movies came out, and at the double door was really kind of difficult process where it went through fucking hell and post that what I really wanted to do was do different things. One of the things was to collaborate with a writer, and I read the script for this movie on the week before we premiered. And it was cut the prodigy was called descendant. Yes. Called the Cendant. And it just it took us four years to make an in this for years. There's a number of different things. I did I directed some television. I did a made for TV movie. I did it. A short film for Orenthal g called Easter. And my also became a professional screenwriter, and which is paid more of my bills than than directing. With projects that haven't been made, correct? Yeah. Well, there is a rose last year called. Call body Cam which stars Mary J Blige minute that was shot and his impost. And then I'm writing a movie are you frayed of the dark, which is like the big screen adaptation of that Nickelodeon. But it was like the that that was all those four years in a way where about finding jobs for higher with something like Easter trying to stay true to the kind of stories that I wanted to make but also all along trying to get this movie made. And it really was kind of there was a trinity of me, and Jeff and then our producer trip who's here tonight who trip Vincent who's been the podcast before for red dawn the somewhere in the room. By the way office. If anyone give it up for trip who's in the audience as well produced the prodigy. Yeah. And I don't know if we're jumping ahead too much. But. Trip in, you know, trips assistant Tara had found this this true life reincarnation story. Instead, this would make a great horror film. And that's how this movie ended up getting written. And I was one of the first directors that he sent it to because trip in the pact. And that was four yards for we only triple probably lie. If he said he didn't to some other people with all the the tell us about the germ of the idea. This is still are kind of mostly non spoiler section. We're going to get into the nitty gritty and a couple of minutes, but tell us tell us the German, the idea was was it reincarnation versus supernatural possession is kind of a new way to hundred percent reincarnation. There was as as a matter of fact that genes Linux gir- footage you see in the film was one of the pieces. We looked at as we're having initial discussions about what would a modern hor. Movie that deals with reincarnation look like, and that was a touchtone from the real world that I thought was really fascinating. And and kinda cool. And then of course, I could remember watching movies like Audrey rose and thinking, I just always thought reincarnation in past lives, and this idea of like maybe instead of heaven and hell things are cyclical in the spirit world and just that that's so cool. So different than go sit so different than demons. It's just and it's something that hasn't been done a million times. And yes, we've seen evil kid movies. But it felt like that layer of it made it interesting to me. And then also having had kids. Around that, you know earlier like I had little kids at that time. And I was remembering what it was like to go through my wife's pregnancy and see my baby and look in their eyes and all the stuff people tell you where it's like, oh, you know, developmentally at eleven months, they can see colors or whatever it's like, there's all this stuff that baby. Doctors know, and you're like, how do you know that like did all the babies tell you? They're like, how do you know? And so that stuff was really kinda creepy and scary to me. I was like this is such a creepy world. Well, it's interesting because I mean, I think this is clear for the trailer. But you're taking the roots of things like bad seed omen, and you're turning it into this reincarnation in which there's just as great setup at which you wrote absolutely fantastically Nick directed amazingly in which the beginning of the movie shows, a serial killer being taken down by the cops on the same day at the same moment that a baby is being born and even the wounds that they both have are similar. So was that basically what sprang forth is your way in that? It's basically the transference of dying Ciller serial killer into acute kids body. Yes. So those events were always in the script the way they were visually represented in those juxtaposition were a hundred percent, Nick. I mean that that that's what director does is find the visual relationship between the ideas and start bringing that language, you know, out in the film, which I think I agree with you was really well done. But the idea that we kind of give you the answer to the mystery upfront. We don't not too much of it. But you know, pretty much we're not we're telling you, what's what's what up front in in in a lotta ways. And then it takes away that sense. When you're watching the film, which is like, oh, I'm going to sit here and try to figure out what's happening. It's like, okay. Kinda know what's happening. So what else do I have to watch? I'm watching this mom go through. This horrible journey. I'm watching these this marriage fall apart. I'm watching this kid change. And so it stops you from being focused on I'm going to figure out the puzzle that they're not showing me and allows you to just experience the emotional weight of family being broken by this these experiences. I think that's a great way in and the first time, I read the script. Trip sent it to me. And the the first, you know, maybe sixty pages I thought, okay? This is a this is, you know, killer kid movie, and that was a sub genre. That I've always been interested in doing something with as a as a horror fan and Jeff found. A kind of way in that was of course, it was clever in that there is a reincarnation mechanism to. But also there is a sort of six sense of humor to it. And in the fact that it was focusing on the kind of. Kind of psychic degradation of this woman. I was like it felt so kind of perverse. But then when I guess I'll say this in the non spoiler away when she decides to do the thing that she decides to do that which takes action. Yeah. In the third act. That's when I felt that this was a movie that that I wanted to see get made. Because that really I think is when the film reveals what it's what it's about. About this woman in that show that this is how far she's going to go. And it also kind of in retrospect is. I mean every time I watched the movie the kind of where it goes in the third act. I'm always a little bit surprised because in some ways, it's a sort of documentary of my experience of when I read the script for the first time, and I kept saying to myself, I can't believe she really going to sheep really going to own my gosh, she's going to do this thing. And that's what I was trying to create as director with and I still don't know how the fuck people feel about it, you know. But that whole thing that third act is why I wanted to make the phone. We're going to get there. And the spoiler section, but it's it's it follows classic horror tropes of sometimes. Even with good intentions when you make a bad decision. You gotta you gotta pay for it as well. I wanna talk about your creative habits really quick. And then we're gonna get to the spoilers outlining for both of us since you're both riders as well. Tell me the importance route lining when you right Jeff, did you outline prodigy? It's okay. If you did. And there's no one way to do it. No. I know and I would say on a project by project basis I do differently every time which is kind of weird because writers are creatures of habit. And I tend to each project has its own personality and its own needs. This one kind of dropped into my head. We were just having this conversation earlier, this the bones of what this movie was landed in my head very quickly. And and the the sort of big turning points were always there. There was a lot of stuff we changed. We had many many conversations and many many drafts. But the big turning points were always there. So I I didn't. There was never the board with a bunch of three by five cards for this one. But on stories that have more complicated mysteries and reveals and stem. Sometimes I have so many things that I can't keep straight in my head than I do either cards or just write a bunch of notes down on no pants, Nick. Yeah. And actually as far as the development of this movie. I mean, like, Jeff after the film came out forwarded this Email that he had sent to trip right after he they had the meeting about what this thing could be. And it was like a bullet point, you know, Email that outlined kind of every major scene in this film in the first draft. I read it it had almost everything you might remember from this film, other than maybe some of the scares, you know, like the hypnotism scene and the kid getting the Schick got him with the ranch and all that stuff was like in that first draft. So it was a real testimony to Jeff the, you know, that it kind of like it all sprung forth and my own personal habits. I do outline quite a bit extensively like the thing. I just finishing writing. Now was it was like twenty five pages of an outline. And and then and then the the actual writing of the script is a necessary evil in a way or feels that way your daily habit. Do you Nick do you have one? Do you spend a certain amount of hours or? Do you give yourself a certain amount of pages to hit? I usually worked for a couple of hours. And then I do some sort of. Wandering lost talking to myself. And then I come back and work for a couple of hours. And I just my whole thing now is just not to have a social life and just work until ten or eleven and night when you walk and talk to yourself. Do you talk to yourself, and Gary and I. I'm just curious. I actually used the voice. This is a true thing. I use the voice memo app on my iphone, and like everyone in my neighbor thinks I'm having like extensive phone calls, but I'm actually the voice memo. Abbas great. That's a great way. Driving and am walking. Also, like, I go if I can't solve something I go on a hike or walk like that. Is if you're if you start to writer's block, but you're giving the answer. Now. That's what you do for writer's block. If you can't you can solve that stuff when you're staring at a computer, you got when you're stuck you gotta get up and get out flow to the brain is go move around. And also stop trying to think of the answer to the thing you're trying to solve because you can't see it. It's like an optical illusion. If you stop thinking about it, and literally don't go on a walk and try to solve it like just gonna walk and look around and the answer will land in your head magically. It's already there. It's just you got to like open up the whatever portal to that's weird that might. No, no, it's all right, Nick. I mean and your daily habit hours or or pages. I try to shoot for five pages. If I'm if I'm honest gripped. I try to shoot. Okay, five and Nick, your your solution for writer's block if you get it. It's the same thing. Sometimes it's getting up and walking across my apartment, and then sitting back down, all right and crying and eating sugar. We'll we'll so. Okay. The last question non spoiler apartment. Yes. Does it have a basement what what was what was the budget and schedule? The budget for this movie was about six million. I think it was shot for five, and then it becomes the mysterious studio world of what they're spending in post. So I think it was about six million we shot it in two thousand nine days. Okay. Wow. Where did you shoot? We shot in Toronto, which is a city in Canada. Great. I've I've heard of it. We're getting to the non spoiler section, folks. If you have not seen the film in your podcast listener, you could find it right now in IT tunes. You could also find it on VOD and then on may seventh. It's going to come out on Blu Ray. So search around you'll be able to find it. Click pause comeback after you've seen it because you can listen to us under spoilers action. So in this weather section. I I'm curious about just right off the bat. How much of the back story of Sarka how much of his back story of wanting hands. You had flushed out or if it was ever going to be revealed as to why he would cut off a hand. Banned from the girls. And what what his goal was with that. Because it because it plays into later this reincarnation fulfillment goal. We had some we had some cool Sarka moments that we didn't put in the film. We we had written and discussed and developed some Jeff put these flashbacks first drafts. And there were extensive and it was like Lowe's Arcus life in Hungary, and his mother like rubbing like. Hands. And I was like fuck gonna want. This is just the stuff is going to get cut. Is going to get cut. But then when when Orion pictures was gonna meet, you know, when it was going to release the film. I know they you wrote a treatment for a sequel, right? Yeah. Yeah. There's a whole mythology behind Sarka that exists that is based in sort of a Hindu religion. It was it. It's not as pertinent to the events of what happens in the prodigy the the methods that Sarka. Uses as a killer were important, his background, his Hungarian culture, the relationship he had with his mother, which is not shown in the film at all. But was a very present. As I wrote it his relationship with women, which is based on his relationship with his mother and the hands and all come out of that. So I knew what was making him tick. But then I. With it. Yeah. And then destroyed it. No. It was it wasn't needed for the film. Actually. I mean, I love that. It's not in there. Because all that stuff where you're going to nineteen forties, Ohio mama's right putting blow shit on our hands. It was interesting because the unexpected is great. And we've seen the the cops, you know, pursue the serial killer seen a bunch of times. Not so many times when the serial killer knows the cops are on their way and just nudes up and run out right outside. What was the aside by and it has a hand lakes Everett hand, wh what was the idea of him, discarding clothing isn't. He I mean, this is kind of. He's kind of preparing for something. He's preparing for his death. But maybe he's preparing for his death because he knows he's going to live on. So he's preparing for the transference, essentially. And it's like, I would know that from right the film. But now, and what Nick was made a sequel. What what Nick was alluding to is that this isn't the first time circus jumped body like this interesting. There's further lives. And so there's a whole I like, I think that's cool. I I mean, it's not really a part of the movie per se, but it makes sense. Of course, when you say it, or what were some of the interesting notes because I mean, obviously when a writer and director are collaborating sewer early on you could really have the project grow to be what you both want. So we'll were some of the the notes, even if they were left turns Nick that you gave early on that maybe didn't end up in the movie, but with something you were both quite pleased with for a while that might have been there. Well, there were there were two main notes that I had just laughing. Because he was like he was so pissed at me. There were two two big notes that I had when I read the script and one was that in the original drafts miles targeted this bully and not the father as in. That was the kind of thing that that was the catalyst for Sarah taking action. And I said it's gotta be within the family. And and so my idea was that dad wants to institutionalize the kid, he's the one who's more rational. But she's the one who really knows. And so we ended up writing it like that. And that and Jeff was pissed off about that. Because he wrote this completely dark scene where these little children with these children are killed reveal between this movie and pet cemetery revealing Jeff Buehler's hatred and distrust children children. It's all the other ones. I have problems with. So the other note, wait a minute just just just out of curiosity. So he killed the bully is I would miles. Did he killed along with? He builds a whole bomb and blows up this family with the baby. And it's like it was so over the top and crazy Jeff semi this. Like when I was learning blowing up the baby I'm like semi this Email that I was like this. We can't blow up the baby. It was really great scene. That's that's crazy. But that's good. But then you gotta you gotta go down the path. It says something chaps. Jeff is in like, that's the thing is like, and that's something I responded to about the script was that Jeff has kind of a sense of humor. And you said that was one of the notes, what was the other note the other? No was that. I think in that first raft miles. By the time. He was eight, and we you know, we met him as the character that we know as as the prodigy. He always was a bit mean, you never really could trust him. And I felt that. We needed to see the child that Sarah was going to save. And so this idea of him having an almost Jekyll and Hyde persona was something that came out of us talking about it. And actually so this movie between the time that trip. Send it to me Jeff had written it. And then by the time, Orion pictures, the the the new Orion pictures made it was at many different companies around town, and we got lots and lots of different notes. And there's this one particular place that we all I think we're probably all at a place where we were so broke and just please let us be paid to make something it's like a terrible position to be as a creative person. And so we thought we were going to make the movie with these people that shall remain unnamed and the notes that they were giving us, we're hilarious. The the particular executive on this movie in the first in the first meeting sat there and watched YouTube clips of like evil kid movies. Like, you know. Orphan and the good son. And and the omen the almond remake. And he concluded forbid not the original. He concluded people are always falling from tall buildings in these. And then he said right is seen where someone falls from a tall betting? They were just watching the trailers they were with. That was watching those movies in the Nita. Mark those and and so in this association, full, but like, Jeff, and I and trip we're like in this conference room, and you know, the executives would come in and be like would give us these notes, and we'd be like, okay? And we'd sort of think about it and try to figure something and here's the thing. There's a lot of crap that came from that. But they're also were good things. And I think. One of them was that there's this babysitter scene in the movie and in the original draft. There was a babysitter scene. But it wasn't as a place out in in the film, and we had gotten this note from from the same executive. He said, I think the kids should play hide and seek with someone. And we were like love your no one's seen that before gonna trenchcoat. I mean, we know we're talking about. Exactly. And you're like, okay. Like that. It was the idea, of course, as a. The idea that addressing this note stands between you and being able to be in the middle class for one year. Like, that's what it means. And say you're kind of like, okay, how can I make this work and this has fall from buildings at? There were like four seems where everyone's like what's over. Here was once in ball. From a building one of those drafts. And we ended up cutting it out doing home improvements. Sorry, so the the babysitter seen the hide and seek scene was suggested by this crazy person. But there was something about that idea in that I realized at that point in the movie about like twelve fifty minutes in to have a really traditional horsing that really embraced those horror. Tropes would be might be kind of cathartic for an audience and. So we decided to do this. And Dr discussion was like, well, what could miles due to this babysitter. Because obviously he can kill her. And the night before I had watched the Bergman film persona for like the five hundred time, and I was like, oh, there's you know in persona. There's that women who steps on the glass, you know, why don't we have that? So that's where that came from like, my ridiculous pretentious kind of like interest in art films kind of gave birth to this idea of that scene. With the glass on the stairs. We made the film we went into post like three weeks into editing. I went and saw quiet place. And there's. Dale, and I was like oh fuck. David. It's just a great example of taking a note. And as you said, you know, you want the job you want to get it done. And I think the best examples of how notes can work is when you take it, and you make it yours because because more Burling than the glass, that's cool about persona. It was it was a strange and creepy moment to just have him standing right in front of her because everybody knows the rules of hide and seek. So she counts she opens her eyes, and this little psycho kids just standing right there. That's that's a good creepy thing. You know that? That's that's a really good. It's also that sequences also followed by one of the first moments of supernatural happening where you see mile shadow grow. And that's a visual element that Nick brought that I that was on my paper at as the next question that sequence, and this is just going back to the idea of being trapped in a room with crazy executives who are giving you notes that. You're banging your head against the wall. What that process does? And what this and we did this numerous times on this film. It was set up at various places. But in particular is it when you're locked in a room and someone's like, you're going to have a green light. We're going to go make your movie, you're actually thinking, you're not writing the script you want to write anymore. You're writing the one that might get made. And you're starting to think about that pathway, and you're starting to wonder if there are is value. Not in the dumb idea that's getting chucked at you. But the impulse behind that dumb idea. And and why is it that that person is like I need people to fall from buildings or whatever it is. What is it? That's missing. What is what is it that they're trying to articulate, and you can find that if you can read underneath it? And then you gotta go watch a bunch of Berlin, originally, I call it two things one is like they are trying to do familiar tropes, right, obviously. Because as you said, they're watching trailers, which is like a bad way to go about trying to make an interesting film. But also, unfortunately, it's I think reprinting which they put a little fingerprint on the glass. So even though you didn't work with that guy. And we're making fun of him right now somewhere in the world. Came out. He turned to somebody and said babysitter that was my that's my trailer showing me like, and that's that's the problem. And that's the problem. But but again on the shadow that's a great example of again, not using CGI effects, but showing this child growing as a danger as a dark shadow without without doing anything, except your lighting, which is a great way to think about it. Folks, I'm jumping in really quick to tell you about backstory magazine, which you could read on a desktop laptop, ipad or even an Android tablet via Google play issue. Thirty seven we'll come out near may third twenty nine thousand nine and it is our avengers in game issue, which features a post release interview with the writers of that fine film, and we will focus on all the spoilers and inner workings of that already record breaking film. You could read all about that. And what else is an issue thirty seven as we will publish the table of contents for it at backstory dot net. So make sure to check back there for details. But right. Now. Our current issue is still issued thirty six Oscars issue, and we've continued to add content to it after the Oscars. So it contains plenty of great TV and film content as well in our Oscar issue, you could read our Oscar lessons section which has great interviews with seven out of ten Oscar-nominated screenwriters that include the writers of a stars born black klansman the favorite I reformed. Green book if Beale street could talk and vice in each of these articles, not only do we talk about certain scenes that you could read excerpts of you could also read the entire screenplay as well. Plus, our Oscar issue features an interview with actor William Defoe, and even Oscar-nominated editor Hank Corwin who chats about editing. Vice other great articles in issue. Thirty six include our blacklist profile of the script Escher by Jason Kessler and not only do we interviewed Jason. But you could read his entire blacklist script as well. Oscar winner Terrell Alvin mccranie of moonlight chats about his new Steven Soderbergh directed Netflix movie, high flying bird we interviewed Steve. Lightfoot about the latest season of punisher, we interviewed the writers of comedy central's corporate and director, David Slade talks about Netflixing groundbreaking. Choose your own adventure black mirror Bander snatch. We also did a funky cool peace with writer Eric Heiser yet. He's the writer of arrival, and he wrote a TV pilot called kingmaker, which was unfortunately, never made. But Eric still loves it in wishes. It was a TV show and hopes one day it still might be. It was cool enough to share the entire script with us for your reading pleasure issued thirty six also features Sundance stories and so much more. And while this hasn't been announced we are going to chat with the writer directors of captain marvel, and yes, it will even be sliding in an interview with the director of Sam. And that's the fun thing about digital publishing kids. We could keep adding things to the magazine. Even after we published it because we are dedicated to bringing you the best possible content. We can so look it would really mean a lot for me to have my podcast. Listener's support my passion project over at backstory dot net. So I hope you go. Test drive us by reading the free issue and consider subscribing. But now, let's jump right back into my chat with Jeff Nick about their passion project, which you could see digitally via itunes, Ron demand and then on DVD or Blu Ray on may seventh twenty nineteen. I hope you do check it out. However, you can because it's schilling creepy film, the prodigy now one of the problems with horror films in general, you know, the curse has always been exposition and people even have a name for it that they make fun of Seifein hordes, Dr exposition now here we have good old Arthur Jacobson who is the doctor who is the doctor exposition. But, but what you did was you you flip that trope into a very sick way in which. Yes, he introduces the idea earlier of the reincarnation plot. But but really in his office. I think a really strong scene is the hypnosis scene because you know, usually in movies. That's where Emma who am I talking to now am I talking? Satan's child. You know, like, you think it's gonna go in that way. But like, you know, the kid is not even the kid. It's it's Garcia is is three steps ahead of them. And you have the scene where he is ingested medicine from the doctors cabinet rubbed pubic hair of the from doctors bathroom into his teeth. Yeah. So he could accuse Dr that's of molesting him. Or, you know, just to basically get the doctor off the case is a rather than that. Yeah. And so rather than being this like long drawn out scene of like where you from tell me about your mother. What do you want like like, actually? No almost no information is really learned because the premise of the movie that Jacobson gives earlier is that oh, these reincarnated people. They wanna finish up one thing. And then they're gonna cruise right? They're gonna leave. And even that's not really true. It's it's a rule that's thrown out as a guest. So tell us the challenges that scene because it's a very tight seen is a very strange scene. And it was good to go against the common. Trope? It was not challenging to write because it was so fun to make a little kid. Well, this is horrible to admit. It was so fun to make a little kid be able to have the intelligence, and that sort of sadistic like chess playing ability of a genius serial killer to be able to turn the tables on this guy who was the expert. So like, you said, we trot that character out. He comes out. In the first scene, and blah. Here's the mythology which is kind of fun because it gets a little dark. But then in the second time, you're like, oh here he comes to like do is thing. And the kid flips it on him, which is fun the making of that scene, which I'll let Nick Speak to is the tough part. And it wasn't until you cast Jackson that I was like oh my God. There's gonna be a little kid who has to say this stuff. What are we going to do? Nick talk about working with Jackson. Robert, Scott who did a great job in this movie and having him talk about some very adult scary stuff here and really directing a scene like that with with with a child actor as well. Well, that scene was one of those scenes from the first draft of the script that was almost untouched. I think the only thing that was changed with some of the dialogue was edited everything that was said about the way that that miles turns the tables was in Jeff's original draft. And then when it comes to to making the film. There's a certain challenge in like, you know, how how are you going to do this because the feet in a way is that you're going to you're going to kind of sell this allusion to the audience that a child would say something like that? And Jackson didn't say those things. It's voice double really. Yeah. And he was that against like sagged bylaws or something like you can't have it was my my more anti preferred. For. Eighteen twenty two. Owed. Are we supposed to say any of those things as a voice double? There was an adult saying those nice. Yes, she is a thirty year old woman and this tall. So did you do did you do like the Italian cinema just have the kid count? And then dub in the lions. So his mouth was moving. So I prepared a separate script for Jackson. He never saw those those lines and says parents, yes. And I spoke to his his parents about the way that we were going to do it and got approval from them. They were you know. Disturbed of course, by the script. And that was like their first question to me like when I met them. But the the way that was done was Jackson kind of said he kind of says everything up until the the kind of pornographic part of it. And then I think maybe he said something else, but it was designed in a way that we could cut away from him. And at some point if you if you watch the movie, and listen, you'll hear that we drop in another voice for for those lines. And it was. It was one of the most surreal moments that I've had as a director sitting in post and. I talking to this person who is the in charge of finding these people who could be the voice double for a little kid and mostly it is women grown women who double male and female child voices. And so. You know, one day the editor was like, okay, we got the the auditions in. And it was like fifteen different women saying cock in my mouth like, you know, over and over and over, and I just felt like the most the dirtiest person. Reminds me train days. Yeah. Jackson was just in and an actually at the premiere his. His mother held his ears for that scene. He's in. And that's the thing about Jackson. I it's it's maybe hard to imagine. But it is a performance in. There was there's there's something about child actors where they're able to kind of go to this place. That's that's really kind of pure. I imagine Kevin who's here with pets. Metairie can probably talk about his his the young girl in his movie as well. Like this where they're able to commit to something that because children know how to play and and so Jackson's performance really was me talking to him about at first it was two different characters. And then it became three. It was you know, the kid who is miles who Sarah, son. And then there is Sarka, and you know, his instincts. There was to go very broad, and I would have to kind of bring him down. And then there was this kind of third version of him that we talked about it. And it was it was about him. Not. Blinking and doing this thing where he would kind of relax his is. And he his mother told me he began to call it the comfy stare because it meant his is. We kind of relax and when I would work with them. Sometimes I would say, okay, it's your miles. And then but in this one line that's the comfy stare, and he would say, okay, and he could ingest very quickly. And then when I would go cut he would be running around like a maniac like looking for rupee or on the said like just being like a normal kid. And and it was. Enu you'd almost think from from looking at the movie that he was like that all the time. But it really is just a whole other character that he's playing. And there's also Sarka imitating miles. So I mean, that's that's the other one tell tell us about production. Like, what was there any happy accidents things that none of the best planning in the world could account for the you kind of discovered while you're shooting? You know, I just walked into watch like the last like fifteen minutes of it. And the the scene at the end were in Sarah shot. That was a very difficult day. We were in, you know, because it was it was written always by Jeff to be to actors explaining the whole end of the movie, and I and I always liked that because it felt very theatrical in grand, but it also meant that these actors were going to have to kind of tie everything together for the audience, and we're gonna have to shoot during the day, which meant that there's only there's only a certain amount of daylight. And it was extremely cold when we shot that in an also started snowing and raining, and so it was it was tense on the set. And what happened was we got up? But then as I walked away. I thought there's something remixing here. And it wasn't until I think it was the third maybe the third to last day we were shooting, and what I realized we were missing was a moment when. Taylor. Recognized. What was happening that I hadn't shot that. Like, I shot I gotten her, you know, shot on the ground and kind of the cruelty of her death physically, but I hadn't gotten a real close shot of her face where I felt like she would be kind of looking at us, and we would be looking at her, and we would understand that this would kind of be the end of this character that she realized that all along she had been fooled because it was a movie at the end of the day that I I responded to because of its its cruelty. I guess and so what we did was on the last day of shooting the last day of shooting was that scene in the the date nights seen when they're in the car. It was a half day of shooting that trip our producer like manage to kind of pull the money together to to get us to do. And because that was a night scene. We scheduled it. So that there was something like fifteen minutes of daylight right before. And I asked Taylor to come a little early, and we just laid her on the. Around on like, a patch of grass that kind of looked like the orchard, and we set up a camera, and you know, and I just told her. This is the last ten seconds of your life. You know, and and checkmate. And so the shot you get of her very very close was shot days later, and I'll never forget Taylor doing that. Because you know, I just I mean, I guess you tell any actor, you know, we're missing some beautiful close up of you. They're going to do it. But you know, when I just watching the scene tonight like it can for me it contributes everything, and it was just something that we got as the light was fading with the camera when we were just about to shoot something else. Let's talk about that ending for a second. Because it's a fascinating inning and such that based on the rules, Sarah. The mother gets this idea in her head all she needs to do is to help Sarka finished the murder that he was interrupted to which was Margaret. And so she tracks down Margaret who's already missing her hands. So that part's compost and. And she has it in her mind that she's gonna shoot her. And then she can't bring herself to do it. And then, of course, miles Sarka wakes up and comes in and kills Margaret very violently and does it himself because theoretically, you're already thinking, well, if if if the mom does it would that really release them, and then after he does it he has this like weird look on his face and goes outside and you're wondering like as she follows them into the orchard is this like part of him being released. And then the reveal in the orchard is that he's still there, and you know in claims that that miles is dead. Whether it's true or not like, you know, they're they're both sharing the same body as we learned earlier, obviously. And so it's an interesting moment where you know, she's yelling at him. She's threatening him with a gun and a nearby hunter happens to see this and shooter out of nowhere and it plays. Really? Well, it shocks the audience. You you're kind of like it's almost a day. Oh sex mock enough because it comes out of nowhere. But rather than saving the euro the euro. Oh and killed wh what gave you that idea? And more importantly was that always your ending like tell us some of the variants you played with if there were various 'cause horror movies always have these these different endings that they play around with and sometimes even shoot more than one. We talked about some different ideas. But it was pretty much. It was always the ending. He always was shot. I mean, get shot. Yeah. She was always shot. And it always felt like that's. When I was saying about the note about that miles is sometimes her little boy, and sometimes Sarka there's a point in the movie, and it actually is if you look at the running time, it's almost dead center in the middle is the last time when he really is her son and also featured very heavily in the trailer. Yes. Yeah. Right. Right. When he says, so would you always love me that that would be the last time that he speaks when I think it's like if the movie's, you know, ninety minutes, it's forty five minutes in and so everything is my idea. There was that every every tiny see him afterwards. It's him playing this role and playing her in again that kind of cruelty of it of this kind of world that Jeff had come up with and that she would be. So what else could she do, you know that this that that the film would become about her irrational love for this kid, and that the this is the way this is what the world does her. The movie is a reflection of. I just feel like the cruelty of not only what a parent feels of that you love your child so much, but they leave you and that your life is transformed in your left. You know, a kind of shell of the person that you you you were before you had a child for me, the the drive of a parent who would do anything to save their child? It didn't really matter to Sarah. I mean, it's it's tragic and it's heartbreaking, and it's always fun to pull the rug out from under under the audience, and and say, oh miles was gone. And this was all for not. And you you went down the rabbit hole. But I think for Sarah. There was no other choice. If she thought there was even the slightest chance that she could save her, son. She would go all the way and that drive that makes her take these incredible this incredible journey and make these these terrible choices she's like trying to load a gun Sheikh. So clearly. It was really what was really important to me. Speaking to the rural America side of it was how easy it was for her to purchase a gun and get one. And you know, the fact that she clearly had no understanding on how to operate it and still loaded it, and then like that that stuff for me was very palpable and real and made the danger feel realistic. And and I thought for me that was the stuff that was you know, gives that ending that power. It was also interesting because in horror movies, we are used to rules, and you're actually upending the rules and saying that, you know, actually, the humans in this movie don't understand the rules of play. They think they do. And it's and it's and it's interesting that that was the ending because you know, we've seen that trope of the parent that now is ready to turn on their child because it's like you're no longer my child in the audience usually at that point is reconciled enough to agree with them. And in this case, she again fails, you know, because and and she's it odd. Against her. Usually, there's a thing. That's like, oh, if it's midnight on Friday, the whatever then you save the kid. And if it's after that, you lose the kid, and what was fun about that earlier scene, which you referenced the sort of the doctor explainer moment was. Jacobsen is saying what he thinks is with souls absorbing in this usually around the age of eight and it might be too late. But the fact is we don't know anything about how the spirit world works, and I love that uncertainty and playing with that. So when when Jackson turns it does comfy stare on her. What turns around and throws that look at her as like, you know, miles has been gone for a long time. It's just like, oh, no. This is such a bummer. Was it was there ever any iterative that that the killing of Margaret would solve something down? Ever down that path. The like we previewed the film a couple of times. And it was interesting because we got a really positive response in the previews, but the. The the guy that conducted the previews with saying, you know, your audience really likes this movie. But there's something about the ending. That's kind of holding holding you guys back, and I was like, yeah. Because she fucking dies. And you know, I remember a conference call where this guy from you know. The people who conduct focus groups suggested an ending where like maybe the spirit of Sark and Mike, you know, come out of the kid and then Margaret like wrestles with him and kills him. And I was sitting there like listening. She residents spirit I like that. But I fall out of buildings. Yeah. Man. They wrestle with spirit of a Bill, and there's hunting accidents. I mean these things, but I I will give props to Orion because. They never thought to do anything different with the ending. And that was always the kind of that was that was the thing that we always kind of really liked this movie was how it just went to this place in the third act. That was so kind of dark, you know, dad's in a coma. Mom's dead new family can't wait to have them in their house. Not good at happy endings. Yeah. Not not exactly I you know, we're we're starting to run out of time. I want I want to get a question or two from the crowd. But was there a lesson that that was eye-opening for you at the test screenings because sometimes they could be used properly as a tool to gauge audience reaction. And if there was something that was aluminum that you did enjoy rather than a movie view guy telling you how to change your ending would that be? Well, you know, I originally came from like the festival world and. And there's something I guess, especially if you kind of read a lot about foam culture, there's a sort of distrust of of previous screenings understand why. Because you know, it could be something where someone makes something and. Because the audience may be doesn't entirely accept it that, you know, an executive producer would kinda twisted and take it away from the filmmaker. And that's that would be a terrible thing. For me. The preview process was was a really positive one just by virtue of the fact that I got to sit with a crowd of, you know, five hundred strangers and watch the film and really feel what was working and what was not. And you kind of you just can't reject that, you know, because you can feel it in the room, and one of the things that was remarkable was this was a movie where like, you know, eight year old has the shit kicked out of him with a wrench in a dog is dismembered which seems to be like the biggest sin that you know, fantasy doggy dies. You know like and then Hitchcock even kill the dog. Yeah. He got he got flack for it. And and you know, all this kind of stuff that we've been talking about. And they had this focus group that they conduct after each of these screenings in the very first one the first question that was asked was how many people like the movie, and it was like twenty people and it was about like eighteen hands. Ray? Raised and said they liked it. And that was remarkable to me. And I think it had to do with the fact that there's something about horror tropes, and kind of knowing that you're inside this Sean that gives licence to this stuff, which is always something. I felt I knew in theory. But then I was seeing it in practice that you could make a film that was had some really gnarly shit. And people were like, it's just a movie, you know, which you couldn't do if it wasn't a horror film with a capital H with quotes around it. And that people understood okay, this is an evil kid movie. Like, if this was a movie that that wasn't under the guise of being like, oh, this is a movie in the style of this kind of other horror film, and it portrayed those things. People might say, oh, that's horrible that you would show in eight year old get the Schick out of them of the ranch. The audiences in particular appreciate they can sense when you are doing the happy ending just for the sake of trying to land the plane and and get away with a smiley face at the end. And I think people really appreciate when you manage to get a film made where you don't do that where you stick to your guns, and it's not just being cruel for cruel sake. It's allowing the film to find its own ending in the story to find its own ending without saying, oh, well, we have to put a little chairperson people. Appreciate that. They can they appreciate it. Because the world is a cruel place. Sometimes there aren't always happy ending. So when you see the occasional cruel ending, you're reminded like, oh, yeah. My life. Maybe isn't as bad as that mom bleeding out in the orchard. And it doesn't mean that. She is not like a really good person. Like, she is a good person. Because of that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. All right. So toughest seen before we get one or two from the crowd. On the page. Jeff, what was your toughest scene? And how did you creatively rise to the challenge? And then same for you. Nick as director. I think for me. The toughest stuff was writing the relationship between the mom and dad getting John. And Sarah's the getting the point of view of the dad who doesn't want to believe all the spirit crap to not be a deck and to have her be able to stick to her guns without feeling like she's a shrew like to not fall into the tropes of who those characters could be and let it be organic and real and feel like a real marriage with real problems and real issues that they don't know the answer to that. For me was the hardest Nick it just is that orchard scene at the end. It just was physically so demanding and the geography of it and getting that straight. Yeah. Like just just that it was raining and snowing shoot shoot it in a day. Well, that's that's a lot to do today at how what? Point in production. Was it? It was the third to last day. Okay. Okay. So they they had inhabited their characters. And yeah, we did that. And I remember the next day was Sarka. Completely naked at four o'clock in the morning in front of like a one hundred people like, you know, sub zero degrees. It was you know, those those days were hard. We're gonna take one or two from the crowd right there. You ma'am, the glasses? Will there be a sequel? There's certainly a lot set up at the end to say that sequel or prequel, by the way, because we have this whole backstory that you talked about we've got the story to tell a sequel that's for the powers that be to decide why was the title change from descended to project. I can. Speak. Yeah. Big because they were just there were there were too many other properties that were called the Cendant. There is the Disney series. And then there was the Alexander Payne movies era. And it was a great title. But you know, interesting. All right. Another question you, sir. What's the significance with miles being completely turned year? Eight or being so susceptible to somebody quantum leaping into his body. Right. So when you look what would you look at developmental ages for children, and in the first act of the film, you see there's a lot of dates that are tagged in the film. So those are sort of I wouldn't say exactly time, but having raised two kids this goes back to that idea of like these are developmental stages, and there's sort of an age where a personality is sort of formed, right? Where you get and obviously development continues in child's live through a dull hood and beyond. But there are certain there's like early childhood that sort of ends around that time period. And that was what we sort of dove tailed into our mythology where the the natural soul of miles would either have dominance, or this invading soul would absorb it. Takeover dominant. So we just had to kind of pick. But a a moment in time where that fork in the road would exist, but it all ties back to this idea of developmental stages, which I always thought was strange in arbitrary. But then it's exactly real when you look at your kids, they like they see colors on the eleventh day, or whatever. So the sequels about how your kids had people jumping in another question. It's all if she enjoyed the movie her question was would you have marketed the same way. Or would you have gone down a different path? I would Mark bent twenty or thirty million dollars on television ads. I mean, really. She was talking to Matt. I don't know. I thought the so the teaser trailer that you guys put together was awesome. So that mystery trailer the one that was just hypnosis. Okay. Yeah. And that's was different. If I said that into a microphone, so the there were two trailers for the film in one was this long trailer that featured the hypnosis scene with these different shots from the movie. And then it had the jump scare in the hallway. And that was actually the first thing that was cut for the movie because right when when I got out of shooting, the film, the studio said, there's this convention of theatre owners, and we'd like to just show them like a scene from the movie, can you just cut together something, and what me and one of the editors did was just cut that thing together for those people to see it. We kind of turned it into. I don't know what that was. It was like in a lot of the shots aren't in the film because we had we literally had cut the film at that. Point. And and the studio just loved that. And then I went in after the movie was done to sit with them when they were going to tell me how it was going to be marketed, and they said, well, the first trailer is going to be that thing that you cut, and which I thought was super Cole. I mean, it was great. I I got to see like the Cinerama dome. And but it was so surreal like I didn't that wasn't intended to be a trailer. It was actually I think people really responded to that. At least what I what I sensed was that. Oh that didn't feel like a typical movie trailer. That was like a cool little vignette seen thing. Which I which I thought was different. And it signaled the fact that we're trying to do something different with the film. So I don't know what you're I mean, like the second trailer was maybe a more conventional horror movie. But I mean, this one of the things about the film, and I guess like all the films. I make like they're, you know. I love kind of all the conventional war tropes in. It's that's kind of the the way that I watch movies, and the kind of movies that I loved to to consume are really traditional horror films. But one of the things I liked about making this film is that that it's very traditional. It's very much in the pocket of of a kind of sub genre of horror films. But if there's a way that movie can can actually kind of take the piping of genre film and just kind of go and some kind of left field way. That's interesting. So I always felt like the ending in the farmhouse that scene between the two women felt like something you might see not exactly in multiplex. And that was the thing that made it different. But then there's lots of other stuff that's very traditional. So I forgot to ask earlier how many cameras did you have when you shot, and what did you shoot on we shot with a two hundred cameras? No, go proce. It's you know, like that scene in the farmhouse between the two women we shot that like Taylor Brittany doing that scene. That's two cameras, and that's more or less one take right that I think I I didn't have to tell them near. I think I told Brittany to go and reach over and touch Taylor because they're so good. But it really depends like, you know, from from day to day, sometimes you just simply can't fit another lens there. Okay. So generally some somewhere between one or two what kind of camera did you have? We you know, we shot on Alexa. Okay. The darks were amazing. I mean, the low light sensitivity just looked beautiful because you know, there's there's a scene in the house. You can't tell if someone standing there or not, and it just it looked great great. A what's next? What are you guys? Wanna tell us this next obviously Jacob ladders in your future. Jeff it's in your past. It's been finished. Your path is coming out, though, grudges being done a grudge, actually, Jeff and I both pitched on and he got it. That's right out. And Nick, patchy got it and redid it. And I think he I I'm such a huge fan of of his work. So I I love the original. I love the story occurrence and Al creek bridge. I mean, I love I love all that. Nick, what's next for you? I am writing. Are you frayed of the dark, which is the big screen adaptation? Nickelodeon TV series. I'm not. Directing at DJ Caruso, directing it, and they're gonna shoot it this summer actually just gave DJ the script like four hours ago. Nice. Look, you guys have been very generous with your time. Nick, this is your third time here. I can't wait to have you guys back give it up again for Jeff and Nick. And that's how the QNA went down special. Thanks again to screenwriter. Jeff bueller? And director nNcholas McCarthy for coming down to chat about their latest film, the prodigy and remember you could see the prodigy right now on I tunes or on demand via DVD or Blu Ray on may seventh twenty nineteen. So I hope you check it out. And while you're surfing around online. I hope you check out backstory magazine at WWW dot backstory dot net where you could read us on a desktop laptop or via our ipad app or even on an Android tablet via Google play. You know, we're releasing issue. Thirty seven are avengers in game issue near may third twenty nineteen and we'll announce more about it backstory dot net. But it will feature a post release interview with the riders. So we could get into all the saucy details on what it took to make avengers in game. So I hope you keep an eye out for issue. Thirty seven. Our current issue is thirty six it's our Oscar issue when it's filled with the nominees the winners and plenty of other great TV and film content, including. In-depth articles on captain marvel and even Zam you could test drive us by reading the free issue over at backstory dot net. Where you could also see the table of contents for all of our issues. So thanks for considering heading on over and checking us out QNA with Jeff Goldsmith is a copyright of unlikely films Inc. In twenty nineteen all rights reserved. And hey, if you'd like to show, your support and donate to this free podcast. So it can continue to buy new equipment and use these funds to pay all of my podcast hosting fees. Feel free to send a pay pal virtual tip to yoga Smith at g mail dot com. Any amount is greatly appreciated as your social networking needs. You could follow yoga Smith on Twitter or check out my Facebook fan page. I'm Jeff Goldsmith the publisher of backstory in the host of the QNA thanking you for tuning in and telling you to stay out of trouble till next week.

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Objection! Top 10 Courtroom Dramas | The Big Picture

The Big Picture

1:35:05 hr | 6 months ago

Objection! Top 10 Courtroom Dramas | The Big Picture

"Today's episode of the big picture is brought to you by. Dc UNIVERSE DC Universe is the ultimate DC membership watch DC content read nearly twenty three thousand comics and connect with other DC fans earn tokens to receive exclusive DC swag with the new DC universe rewards program launching soon. Watch original series like Harley Quinn and get ready for STAR GIRL. Premiering may eighteenth joined. Dc Universe today with a seven day free trial plus fifteen percent off your first three months just visit DC UNIVERSE DOT com slash. Hello POD and enter code big picture at checkout. That's valid for monthly subscription only and it expires on June thirtieth twenty twenty. I'm Sean Fantasy I'm Amanda Ovens and this is the big picture a conversation show about handling the truth two weeks ago. I put a vote to you. The listener on twitter with three choices for a future episode revisiting the Calamitous Two thousand and six Academy Awards building the Bill Murray Hall of fame or ranking our top. Ten courtroom dramas. You order the Code Red and so here we are. Manda ready to talk courtroom dramas. I think a sub genre of movies that is truly diagram of our interests and I suspect that. That's why people voted for this. What do you think? Maybe I hope that people understand us that well. It is also just a classic nineties genre that a lot of people our age or thereabouts have a real connection to. It's it's one of the studio adult drama genres. That doesn't really get made anymore. But that was still made late enough into Hollywood. That a lot of people have connections. I think it's just they're also fun movies at at some point. There's something for everybody in this list that we have made. It's a fun list. I think it's a list that It was it was simultaneously very easy and very difficult to make our choices. I think what we're trying to do on. The show is obviously reflect our personal experience while also reflecting movie history so our list goes way back into the past ways we started in the nineteen forties and we stop in the nineties which is probably showing her hand a little bit but it indicates what you're saying which is that this adult kind of mid tier drama that we're always whining about on. This show is so absent and with it has gone the courtroom drama. We'll talk a little bit about why that's been the case. Little later in the show I do think that courtroom dramas are one of the weirdly even if not in the actual stories themselves the ideas in the themes that they use are really fungible. And you can have a a very different kind of experience inside the courtroom drama. We'll talk about that. I feel like there's a subcategory for everyone of these movies and they're doing different things and I. I was hoping we'd be able to put a list together. There wasn't just ten John Grisham thrillers. You know that gave us a little bit of a different flavor. A little bit of a different style a little bit of a different taste mostly of Hollywood. These are largely English language that we picked their r-gray courtroom dramas and other countries were focusing mostly on those when I say courtroom drama like what's the movie that jumps into your head. I and I don't think you're spoiling the list. Obviously it's a few good men which you've already referred to in the introduction to this and a few good men is an extremely important film to both of us. I believe and too many of the people who listen to this podcast. Or who have been guests on this podcast. If you have not listen to Shawn's interview with Walter Houser from last year I really recommend it. And he also clearly connects with a few good men and the reason that it sticks in my mind when you say courtroom because the climactic scene and maybe like though the one modern at least courtroom drama scene takes place on the stand between Tom Cruise and Jack. Nicholson just yelling at each other. In a courtroom and that scene and particularly. You can't handle the truth. Just became a phenomenon even outside of the movie so to me. That is the number one courtroom drama. I'm going to tell you when we get to a few good men which is on this list because we are ourselves. I have some thoughts about the the legal proceedings and specifically of Tom Cruise in terms of learning how to be a lawyer from a movie. I don't recommend it by the way is not legal in the United States or as far as I'm aware in any other country fight is definitely part of the appeal right. You Watch it and you think okay I now I know what to do and I can be a lawyer and be victorious in the courtroom of my own life. There are other movies on this list that do a far better job of laying out how a courtroom works how the law works making it accessible making you understand not just like the law system which again none of us are licensed practice and understand moving the legal system because of these movies but they do they kind of give you the procedural elements and then there are movies also that maybe explore some of the the seams and the morality and ethical issues that. Come to mind when you when you get into a courtroom. There's probably going to be a little bit of personal history here because you are a daughter of lawyers and so you have a relationship to the idea of the law and lawyers. I'll tell you one personal anecdote before you have an opportunity to share so like many people during quarantine trying to find things to do around the house a few weeks ago. I was cleaning out all of the documents in my home. I've been saving way too many documents for way too long so I had a shredding session and so I'm shredding twelve year old telephone bills. I'm shredding you know a Christmas cards from two thousand and six. I'm just getting rid of stuff that I've been waiting for a moment like this to get rid of and going through all this stuff. I discovered a lot of items from my childhood to those items were. Psat's course and I had sat scores from tenth grade and PSAT's scores from eleventh grade and on the PSAT's. I don't know if this was true for you when you took them but when I took them they asked what will be your major or concentration when you attend college and on my tenth grade. Psat's scores. I wrote Pre Law and on my eleventh grade. The sat scores. I wrote film school now. I studied neither pre law nor film when I went to college. I took film classes and I took actually law classes as well but I didn't study either of those things but I think what happened. If I'm remembering correctly is I was just reading a lot of John. Grisham books and watching movies and at first as I began getting into them and watching the firm and watching all these movies that I loved I was like I should do this as a job. I would be good at this. I'm I'm very good at collecting my thoughts and delivering them clearly. That's one of my only skills may be my only skill and I like the cut of the Jib of all. The men in those movies was like. That's a style that I like and then somewhere along the way I realized that I just like movies and I don't want appear in a courtroom and I think that's how we find ourselves here making this episode. Yes at the end of the day. The goal of all of these movies is to be right to argue with people and emerge victorious as the person who is correct and there is probably nothing unites you sean and me. Amanda more than the pursuit of being right and having other people know that you're right and having other people have to admit it in public. And maybe they're being an entire system an institution supporting the idea that we are right so I to flirted with law for a lot of reasons. Your story reminded me of an Apocryphal. But actually I think true young as you said. Both my parents were lawyers. They're not litigators so they don't have as much connection to these particular films. But I was aware of the law and apparently like in Preschool. There was like one of those worksheets that you feel out. Fill out with like my favorite color is blue. My favorite song is whatever. When I grow up I WANNA be. There is apparently spreadsheet when I grow up I WANNA be an eye dictated to the teacher. I am a lawyer so so that's where I am and it's maybe good to think about everything that I say on this podcast in my thought the law with the with with that in mind that I'm a three year old thought I was a lawyer. So there we go. Your point about being right and the notion of rightness is meaningful. I think to this conversation because really the only place where that character flaw becomes a positive character. Trait is when you're lawyers when you're in a courtroom is when someone literally tells you you convinced me. I rule in your favor and one of the reasons why. These movies are so rechargeable and they work so well and they're so easy to rewatch but also mostly easy to sort of structure and make is because they have such an obvious crescendo. If such an obvious format every time you make them your. We're just waiting on verdict as we wait for verdict. Or we wait for you know impactful meaningful testimony were. The movie is kind of these. All of these movies that we're talking about are all kind of headlong driving towards that great moment. One of the problems with movies is the end of it. And here's the mentally disappointed by the conclusion. You know we talk about it with genres like horror. Movies sometimes struggle with this science fiction struggles with this. A lot of genres have a hard time putting the ball on top of the present. This is one of the few immensely reliable formats for this problem. It's true I realized while watching this that courtroom dramas are essentially my sports movies and I also really enjoy sports movies but the the structure is very similar. Which is that. There are two sides engaging in a specific field and there are rules of engagement and then people battle and at the end one person or one side emerges victorious and you can kind of tinker with the various formulas. Right like there's you can have an under Gar. Underdog that is morally right or an underdog that it may be isn't quite morally. Correct the dock and win the underdog can lose. We all learn something about ourselves. We learn that. But it's there at the end. You are always building towards that climactic game or battle or decision but instead of winning a championship ring you got to be right. Let's make some very quick rules for this podcast. So we asked for courtroom drama not legal thriller. And that's important here and people are going to be I think a little cranky about some of the delineations we've made but I think it's important to to draw the distinction now legal thriller. Obviously that disqualifies movies like the Pelican. Brief which is a huge favourite of yours. And you'll get a chance to talk about soon which is a very fun and entertaining grisham adaptation but that largely operates almost entirely outside of the courtroom. So that's the legal but more specifically this is not a movie about depositions and conference rooms or sees me. This is not a podcast about depositions in conference rooms it's about courtrooms it's about the actual legal proceedings inside the courtroom. So this disqualifies an inordinate number of movies that I think people think belong on these lists so most specifically that includes Michael Clayton the social network the insider and most specifically it disqualifies twelve angry men. Now I think we may have twelve angry reply guys when they see the twelve angry. Men is not on our list but it doesn't happen inside of a courtroom. It's not a courtroom drama in the traditional sense. Morality play inside of a side room related to a courtroom. I agree with this ruling. You and I kind of made are independent like parameters and we both agreed that movies like Michael Clayton and Pelican brief etc couldn't be eligible. It really needed to be specific for the courtroom. Not Twelve angry men is a technicality. However this is a podcast about the law and about courtroom dramas and technicalities win. And I think so you gotTa Accept You. GotTa get in the spirit of things now because it's going to get weirder but I do think also and we'll talk a little bit more about this but we wanted to make a list that reflects the the history of this genre and all of its permutations but also does reflect our personal interests and there is a really specific Classic Courtroom Drama Cannon that exists and we actually have a lot of those movies on on this list because again what's your parameters or specific enough which is like someone yelling like within the confines of a courtroom. You don't have that many to choose from and also it is a format that has lent itself to a lot of great actors giving large speeches on a screen so there are a lot of memorable lines and so at some point if we had twelve angry men than the list gets a little. Samey so twelve angry. Men is a fantastic film that did not meet the eligibility requirements for this podcast. Fortunately we are acknowledging. The work of the Great Sidney Lumet later in the show so he's not been cast aside. There's another movie that we're leaving off the list. I understand if there's frustration. I view this movie more. Like I. View Babe Ruth a sort of like a trailblazer in its field. The kind of change the way that movies work but that I personally just don't return to over and over again Though I I like an admire significance and it has recently been recharged because of a stage play written by one of our hallowed members of this this this hall of courtroom dramas that we're building talking about to kill a mockingbird which we didn't put here which I still think has incredible courtroom scenes And is a very meaningful movie has an amazing performance by Gregory. Pack at the center of it to me. It feels more like homework even to this day because of the circumstances in which was delivered to me and I think what we're going for on the list is the kind of pleasure ability factor of a lot of these movies the twisty nece. The speechifying the overacting that I think tends to make these movies work really well but we do acknowledge its importance. And Its legacy on the Genera and the fact that it's such a significant piece of Hollywood history is significant. He's of obviously literary history the novel by Harper Lee. So what what else do you think of Regarding to kill to me it kind of transcends genre. It is such an important part of film history and also how we're taught film history and how we're taught about a literature and and racism in this country. I mean I definitely was given to kill a mockingbird for summer reading one year as I think many children in America were and I also think that there is not as much of that combativeness that I was referencing when I was talking about sports movies and like being right all the time I mean. Obviously the atticus finch character like is right but that is never that is in question with India events of the movie for sure and it is about how a lot of people in the south can't understand that and how the legal system actually can't under you understand that which are extremely important lessons but the movie itself is just it. There's never any question as to whether he's right and it's about sharing his message with with people who don't understand it so for me. It's more important as you. WanNa talk about great movie speeches because he just stands there and gives. I mean the closing argument speech but really just kind of one of the one of the great speeches that I've seen in my life. We don't really see that many examples of oration in modern society and that way when I understand someone standing up and explaining to me what ideals should be It's that last seen so it's it's extremely important and it is definitely a courtroom drama. I just think it's so much more than a courtroom drama. I agree let's hear a little bit of Peck speech is closing arguments. Stringent IS NOT GUILTY. But somebody in this courtroom is out gentlemen. This country are courts of the great level has now courts all created equal so this to me is a bit related to where I want to take this conversation. Which is why do we love these movies? Why did they work so well? In quarantine is the absence of of disagreement of exposure to different different points of view. Part of the reason why it was so easy to connected these. I think a little bit is that they are at the end of the day. Just people in rooms talking or yelling at each other there is which makes them watchable at home and a lot of these are based on or adapted from plays or novels. They are their script driven and I do find at least on a home screen. That's easier for me to follow. I think that you know we're used to to watching it home TV. Which is also a writer driven medium. So I think that's part of it I think. Also you're right. That is possibly an outlet for the disagreements that we want to share either with the world or with the people in our own homes who were just trying to get along with on a day-to-day basis. Whoever do you mean yeah I agree? I think there's something there's like. A Connecticut feeling about Washington people though SIFFORD disagree in a courtroom setting and some of my favorite moments in these movies. I mean I honestly all of my quote unquote picks feature moments in which people are just absolutely disgusted by the orientation coming from someone else in the courtroom like that is my favorite. Part is the objection. So let's use that to talk a little bit about how you know. You're watching a courtroom drama thing. There are some some some key questions that all watchers of these movies should be asking themselves to confirm that they're watching ineffective courtroom drama in a few of them. Let's trade let's trade these off number one. Is there a plucky young attorney in way over his head now? This isn't always the case but it is frequently the case that effective movies of this sort really need somebody maybe they look like Matthew mcconaughey to take on a case that they have no business taking on the powerful forces beyond their imagination and do their damnedest Pro Bono. Get someone set free sure someone. Everyone just needs their day in court. Right is a really fundamental premise of these movies. And if that also serves a structural purpose. Which is that. If the young lawyer doesn't know what's going on then it he has to he and unfortunately in this movie in this list is like always with one notable exception but he and learning about it will also explain to the audience both how the court works and how the case is GonNa come together so it's very clever and again. You're rooting for the underdog. What's the second thing that we look for when we're watching? These is there a crackerjack showdown cross examination which is code for our two people just yelling at each other in just like being like no. You're wrong no. You're wrong but it's allowed and in fact is what's supposed to happen in a courtroom. Actually that's true. It's what's supposed to happen in a movie. I don't think this is ever supposed to happen in an actual courtroom. I do think that probably the I think there are many fallacies but did the big deal cross examination of witnesses. Just suddenly like I did it. Your doesn't happen that often in real life. My favorite category sub question on this question is when the opposing attorney during one of these cross. Examinations objects and that objection is overruled and then says to the judge. I don't cut a courtroom. You're running here very disgusted by the circumstances of this extravagant dramatic court setting The Third Question. We look for speaking of the judge. Is there a grouchy judge and evil seeming prosecutor and unreliable testimony from a psychiatrist? Now you're not GonNa get all three of these things in every movie but you're bound to get at least one in all of them. You're bounding yet. The opposing counsel that is kind of Shit. He'll or maybe an out of towner. Who's a big shot? Noticed that and some of the movies. That are revisited this week. You're definitely going to get a a judge. Who's just an asshole? Who's just who's prickly who didn't have breakfast that morning you know who's got a tee time that he has to get to or who is close friends with the opposing attorney and because of that. It's highly unlikely that our hero is GonNa win their case and then the unreliable testimony. This is tried and true. This is like you bring your expert. I bring in my expert. The prosecution's expert is is completely dishonest. And then we have to bring it in and out of town or who comes in shines light on the truth of the situation. Which of these three do you like the best? I always liked the unreliable testimony. Because at that does lend itself again to the theatrics of being like you're wrong or isn't it possible that acid dose of whatever this would lead to the breakdown of the good men thing but you guys know what I'm talking about? It has something to do with the cells and the doctor didn't consider the possibility of an underlying medical condition. That's another thing I do. You feel like I've learned a lot about this. Threats of underlying medical conditions from these movies wishes just a good thing to know in your day to day life. When you're going to see the doctor I you know what I take those those doctors forms that you gotta fill out now really seriously. I was like I used to be like. Why are you answering all asking me all these questions and now I'm like? Oh you need to know or else bad. Things are gonNA happen in a courtroom drama in in six to twelve months. You know you I feel like I'm just gonNA burst out into a few good men dialogue every time we start talking about a new part of this when you were talking about doctoring. All I could hear was bad. You cut these guys loose. You had markets in to the transfer orders. I can't I can't get and that's part of what I love about. These movies is obviously aside from the speechifying is the way that they are written because nobody gets to talk this way. And they're real life not even podcasters. Don't get to talk this way. They don't get to talk so they don't get to talk intensely and I think there is a real like legal courtroom chemistry and rhythm that the good movies can capture at when I was re watching a few good men last night which I did not need to do because I've seen it probably more than any other film but I'll take any excuse and there is just something about the comfort that cruise has with the language. And the it's you know it's almost like screwball forties at times like they're just bouncing back and forth off of each other and we don't get that really snappy dialogue as much movies anymore and it's fun they're sparring yet. There's a certain kind of filmmaker it's often writer-directors who excel at this at this format A couple of other key questions. Every time you're watching a courtroom drama does seem like the defense might actually lose the case as we approach the third act of the movie almost always almost always has to feel like well. Wow now are screwed. This witness committed suicide and won't be appearing here or this piece of evidence mysteriously disappeared at the last minute or any number of Plot mechanics that happened during these movies. And then the fifth one really speaks to what you were addressing at the beginning of the show which is do you feel that you could effectively practice law after watching the movie now as I shared in tenth grade I was like I am a lawyer as well. You were a lawyer in preschool. I was a lawyer in tenth grade just because I watched a lot of movies and I think I know what I'm talking about. What the law and I have no idea like I don't know anything. I'm completely untrained. I have absolutely no idea again. I have no legal training. I did take the L set which is in no way of preparation for law school and did not go to law school. But I do what I feel that I can do is argue my way out of anything in a legal way and I. I don't WanNa say that these movies have taught me anything real. In fact they've probably only taught me to value like being right and Lording it over people which I would do anyway as everyone knows and so. That's bad but I just to believe in my argument and believe that I can find the right turn of phrase or find the one exception. I can attack any contract. I don't really know what I'm talking about at all. But they give you a false sense of confidence. How about that? Which in this moment in time I accept it. Thank you very much. I need all the confidence. I can get a good point if you find yourself asking answering any of these questions. Yes and to specifically more than one of them. Yes you're definitely watching a courtroom drama and as I said courtroom dramas are are sort of gone right now. There have been some this century that we could point out. I mean I guess. Find me guilty. Sidney lumet's I think that's his final film You know we talked about Molly's game earlier on the show and that's sort of a courtroom drama. The the the ignominious the judge the Robert Downey junior vehicle. I and J Roman Jay Israel esquire the Lincoln lawyer. None of these movies really made our list. I'm not entirely sure why they don't work anymore. I guess maybe the absence of movie stars means that. There's not as much of a reason to set these up. What do you think it is? I have a theory beyond the basic these or the mid budget adult talkie dramas that studios. Don't make anymore. Because franchise international market. You've heard this explanation million times and I do think that that's very true. I think that the OJ Simpson trial and the rise of the true crime. Economy changed what we think of when we think like quote legal or crime entertainment that we WANNA watch and obviously the the OJ. Trial was a massive cultural event. But it also really put Cable News on the map and in terms of people watching these proceedings in a real day-to-day way and maybe not seeing it as entertainment than but their relationship to the news change slightly and then you kinda see true. Crime Stories bubbling out of that and people's involvement in litigating crimes. It's still there. Were just doing it in different ways and more outside of the courtroom and more on sleuthing way. It's a great point. I hadn't thought of it that way but I think you're right. We've kind of been institutionalized to true crime and not imagined crime and while the sort of legal thriller and courtroom thriller novel I think is still fairly successful for whatever reason in movies and to a lesser extent on TV shows. We don't see it as much but I must say that. We talk about all of these netflix films. And how they all? Kinda for follow a lot of traditional formats in our blending different categories together different sub genres together. I'm surprised that they haven't taken a crack at one of these. I feel like these movies are rewatch. -able they are returnable in so many ways and I just like to have one you know. And maybe it's maybe it's a fear of like spoiler culture. I feel like a lot of TV shows and movies now. Try to be almost like spoiler free or the doesn't even really matter. It's about the experience of watching the show or watching the film. That's maybe a different kind of episode. I would love to do a best movie endings episode. By the way that might be offended during that period but for whatever reason like the ending just doesn't seem as important as it used to in these movies as as as we said so hinge upon what the outcome is that a mine negate the need to watch it. If it's spoiled for you on twitter that makes sense. Yeah it does and I think everything that has such a specific formula as these things do which I mean. This is like a romantic comedy in terms of the beats and tropes in its end sports film as I said earlier. I think that they both lend themselves to streaming. Because you know it's right there you just have to fill in the slots but people aren't as Senate is incentivize on streaming for some reason to keep watching things where you know at the end. The ending is necessarily. It's I gotTa Watch one more. I need this cliffhanger. I need to solve this mystery. I think a lot of things that there is so much extracurricular work now in watching these sorts of shows like that then you go online to the former whatever and you put together your like Kerry from Homeland Board. And it's more about the intricacy of the puzzle. Then like the argument so I think it could work. I mean I would be thrilled if we started making a few good men to like. Let's go Aaron Sorkin. It's your time and you know that's interesting. Aaron Sorkin has a movie coming out this year. That trial Chicago seven which theoretically will be in this exact wheelhouse. I hope so. That's why I've been looking forward to it. It seems like it will be you know. I was just thinking about TV shows in the way that they do this too and I feel like Shonda. Rhimes is really one of the only key figures with how to get away with murder. Who's kind of leaned into this? But that show specifically did what you're talking about. Which is it was much more about the puzzle that is certainly true and to an extent that not in a courtroom but just in terms of puzzles and ridiculousness was what scandal did as well. But Sharon's can still write a speech and it. She essentially took the courtroom drama out of the courtroom. But still keeps that really. Like Listrik like you know to the back of the theater kind of ridiculous but you love it because you just WanNa hear someone or eating speech. Yeah I think this is one of the reasons why law and order also continues to work. It does kind of scratch that it's for people and it's probably the most expiring piece of TV content. We have my favorite show of this kind. I don't know if you ever watch this or this might have been slightly before you got interested in this sort of thing. But have you ever seen the Steven Bochco show murder one now? I haven't as a fairly short lived show. I think they ran for forty episodes. It was definitely the show where I was introduced to Stanley. Tucci is incredible on the show. And it started this guy. Daniel Bhansali who didn't really go on to much fame after this show is sort of an older guy bald head. He was kind of the Vicki before Vic mackey and it was a legal show legal drama and it was so taught and so fun and so full of all of these speeches that we're talking about and really go for a show like this now I don't I don't know why this kind of thing has has gone away so we don't really get it on. Tv We don't really get it in movies anymore. But we do have a a a top ten to go through. So we're going to go through that list chronologically in a moment but first. Let's hear word from Bill. Simmons Bill I wanted to tell you about a new podcast on the ringer podcast network that we are launching this week. It's called TV. Concierge only Adele Bon spotify. These are twelve to fifteen minute mini podcasts. That review the latest TV show streaming on Netflix Amazon Hulu. Hbo Showtime fx Apple TV wherever else premium new shows that are launching. We'll break down. The biggest shows that just launch. We'll review the biggest binge-watch seasons at drop as they happen. It's our new. Tv concierge podcast for the ringer podcast network thinking that like a little bit of a playlist. Pick and choose the ones you and listen to. It's available only on spotify. Okay and do you think it was cowardly that we decided to do this chronologically that I decided honestly I didn't even consult you. Do you feel about that. Do you want to rank them? Well we have some precedent from the top. Ten horny thrillers did chronologically and I. I'm just going to be using legalese throughout this podcast just fyi. So I feel okay with it and I also I do think that we both everyone knows what we would put at number one so we don't need to do it. Yeah we've we've shared our hand here a few times so we agreed on. What do we grant six new? Each chose to. Yeah so the the first film on this list was your pick. What is it it is miracle. On thirty Fourth Street. I understand the post office receives thousands of these letters. Every year I have further exhibitshere hesitate to produce them. Oh show it'd be very happy to see them. Yes Sir yes yeah produce the Mr Gainey. Put them here on my desk. What's your honor? Then here on the days directed by George Seaton released in nineteen forty seven and technically a Christmas movie so that you might forget that. Decline maks of the film is in fact in a courtroom and fair warning. I re watch this scene warning and started crying so that's where I am emotionally but it is. In addition to being very very effective it is a really classic. Courtroom EVIDENCE REVEAL. Which is that the entire. Case turns on their prosecuting. A man named Chris cringle who claims that he is the real Santa. And somehow this makes it to a court. And there's also his friend very tiny natalie wood who has been taught by her strict progressive mother to only acknowledge the truth and so she's been taught that Santa isn't real. So we're doing. The is Santa Real for everyone in the world but also for tiny cute Natalie Wood and it is ultimately determined that because millions not millions but thousands of letters addressed to Santa and Chris cringle are delivered by the United States. Postal Service that therefore if the government in the form of the United States Postal Service acknowledges that Santa Israel then Santa and Chris cringle must be real and there's this great moment when they bring in bag after bag of mail and just dump it on the judge's desk because he agrees to allow the evidence thinking it can only be a couple of things and then it's just sacks full of male so it's both one of the clever. We found a loophole evidence. Tape of lawyer things which comes up again and again. It's just like well if the postal service says it's true but it's just also the ultimate fantasy of the law can protect ideals that what we what we believe in can be true and and can be protected and that also that the law protects good things and I find it really moving every single time and also frankly great defense. How older you and I said. Oh care member. I must have been definitely under ten. And it's not the first thing I think of when I think of courtroom dramas but it is definitely there are scenes in the courtroom and it and it hinges on that. Where do you stand on the one thousand nine hundred four remake of this movie? I saw it. I honestly don't remember a lot about it. I don't WanNa say rude things. But then the nineteen forty. Seven version is the version for me. I seem to recall that. Version starring Richard Attenborough as Kris kringle. Hot off his performance in Jurassic Park and feeling like that was solid casting. But it's not very memorable. Yeah I I like the original too. I think it falls kind of firmly into a category. All its own. Which is the kind of fantasy? Kids courtroom drama. You know. There's not. I wouldn't recommend showing most of these movies two children. They're either going to be incomprehensible or inappropriate but on thirty fourth street is like is kind of the. Starter Kit. You know. It's like a way to get interested in the law and if you're a kid and if he love Santa Claus here you go. Here's how Santa becomes you know. Might Buy Right. He gets told by a judge that he is. He is a legal citizen of the world. Kind of a genius premise. It's it's very smart and it is also. It is a great kids movie but I do think it works for adults in that they are using an actual legal defense and a court of law to uphold. The thing that we all know is silly and we all know. I guess practically speaking isn't true but we WANNA believe I think we're gonNA find in the rest of these movies that wanting to believe in the law and the the ability of the court to uphold the side of good is a is a real team that doesn't always pay off but in this particular film it does so the next two that we've picked are both from the late nineteen fifties. These were shared picks both easily settled on these. And I'm kind of excited to hear what you think about them. They're there. I think a useful match because they're both adult dramas that come very powerful and impressive filmmakers of their time and their movies that I think really hold up. They really like In many ways are ahead of the curve. The first is witness for the prosecution in this country. We are trying to take robin more serious view of manage however trial helmet would appear when you first met the prisoner in. Have you lied to him about your marital status? I wanted to get out of Germany so live. Do Not yes. Thank you and subsequently in arranging. The marriage lied to the authorities. Ion did not tell the truth to the authorities live them. Yes and then the ceremony of managed itself when you swatting love and to cherish your husband at to ally yes and when the police question you about this wretched man believed himself matters and loved. You told them I told them I wanted me to say you told them that he was at home with you. Twenty five minutes past nine and now you say the twister yes by which is written and directed by the Great Billy Wilder. That comes kind of right in the middle of and I. This may have come up briefly in our movie director game episode with Sam 's male but right in the middle of like just an absolute blackout drunk great period for Billy Wilder. Where in ten years? You Makes Sunset Boulevard. Ace in the hole static. Seventeen Sabrina. The seven year itch. The spirit of St. Louis Love in the afternoon witness for the prosecution and then follow that up with some like it hot and the apartment. I mean that's just obscene. And how many great films that is. He's the best and I actually think witness for the prosecution is one of the not as one of the the most memorialized his even though. I think it's still one of the best and one of the most richly entertaining like some like it hot in the apartment and Sabrina like Sunset Boulevard. These are like in AF. I like the most important films ever made and they explained. Hollywood in the fifties for the prosecution is how does the stage so it takes place in England and it concerns an American man who is accused of murdering an elderly woman and who is desperate to find a barrister to defend him and he stumbles by proxy into the Office of a famous. And ill ill. Health Barrister played by. Charles Blondin and Charles. The movie is worth the price of admission. Just for Charles Lodden who is like just on one thousand just setting the tempo for all great over the top prosecutorial kind of lawyer performances. The man who's been accused as played by tyrone power kind of a great movie idol of the Forties and fifties and his wife is played by the actress. Marlene Dietrich and she plays a pretty significant role in the story. This is one of the great twisty movies of its era. I think the twists still holds up. What did you think about revisiting this movie knowing what happens well an important thing that you did? Let me mention. I think that you save this fact in order to let me reveal it. Witness for the prosecution is at adapted from an Agatha Christie. Play Sh short story then play. And so it's very important to me as a person who has read a lot of acts Christie so I knew what the twist was sink before I saw it just because I was in Agatha Christie person or maybe I didn't but again speaking of formulas there is formula to an Agatha Christie setup. Find Very reassuring but also you can kind of see some things coming and even if you don't exactly who it is you know what the rhythm is and you know that three fourths of the way through there is going to be a another person introduced in there might be. There's going to be red herring. I don't want to spoil any of this at all so I won't say anymore just to say that there are some signs if you're an Christie scholar but what I thought was really interesting when you watch it for this. Podcast was and never seen this before on a movie. This old as soon as it ends. There is a credit sequence. That's asking the audience to please not spoil the ending of the movie. Which is something that I think of in terms of you know. Recent like franchise marvel or. Just you know the disclaimers that we have to put on the top of every single piece of content that we do so people. Don't yell at us but it does so rely on the twist ending that there it was in nineteen fifty seven which. I thought was kind of cool. It's fascinating and you know. I think the the historical example of that is more well known in this one is psycho there was. I think actually at the front of psycho there was a message from Alfred. Hitchcock which read please do not spoil the murder jet. Li's character in the first forty minutes in the movie because of the way the movie was marketed. Was Janet as the Star Psycho and she will make it to the in casillas the heroine but this one is arguably more important frankly in terms of twists and turns and how the story is positioned interesting movie. It was celebrated at the time in a hit nominated for best picture director actor. Supporting actress film. Editing sound recording and notably. I think it's one of the only times that a husband and wife were nominated for performances in the same film because Charles Lawton and Elsa Lanchester who movie historians will know. Is the Frankenstein Significantly aged here in this film. She plays sort of his caretaker while he's in firmed. We're both nominated. Which is just kind of a fun fact so really really fun movie. I would highly recommend people. Check it out. Would you think of tyrone power revisiting? It he's very good and again I am. I don't there's only so much that you can say without spoiling and we've been asked not spoil though. Can you spoil a movie? That is very famous. That was released many decades ago. He's really well cast in this and I'm kind of this is a type of character. That is very common in accurate Christy. Books which is You know very charming husband often American actually and he's one of the better film versions of it that I've seen and just kind of making you making you root for him what you need to do. I think when you think about film icons to the movie obviously Lawton is one of the most celebrated actors of his generation. You've got Morley Dietrich who is one of the great screen sirens of all time. She's giving a very showy performance in this movie. Tiro power is a little bit of the forgotten man in the frame and this is his last movie. He died at forty four years old. This is the last film he completed. He's really He he kind of jumped out to me watching it again. I was like wow. He's this is an incredible performance by him. And it's all very sort of melodramatic and I don't mean that in a negative way like the show. The film feels like a stage. Show which of course it's based on and that's part of what makes it work. There's only three or four settings for the whole story and it works really well. Let's go to the third film. Do you WANNA introduce this. One Short Thirties emerged deserve relevant. No evidence has been introduced. Connect Mrs Man's appearance to judge whether to this day on the phone to make sure. The prosecution wasn't withholding evidence. Now look here. I protest to the defense attorneys persistent attacks on the motives of the prosecution. The jury will district guard. The remarks made by the attorney for the defense. There is no reason to believe that the prosecution has not acted in good faith which was struck by auto prime and Jordan came out in nineteen fifty nine and I think that obviously stars Jimmy Stewart was the premise. Is that Jimmy? Jimmy Stewart is one of many small town lawyers. Who IS Approach to defend a Amana husband. Who's in the army who is accused of murder for killing? The man accused of raping his wife and this movie is understood by lawyers. I I believe to be kind of like the ultimate trial movie. It's very long. It's almost three hours long. And you really do see the entire trial and you see the breaks in between the trials you see them collecting evidence you see the ups and the downs and you see the momentum shift between the defense and and and the prosecution and the judge. It's also we should note. I'm George C. Scott is the is the prosecutor he's the out of town prosecutor that you were mentioning earlier and I think this movie is fascinating because again you can see all of the trial and also because it really is your allegiances shift throughout this movie. You don't know. I mean obviously rooting for Jimmy Stewart. Because he's Jimmy Stewart and he's being as charming as can be an he but you can even see him using that he very clearly knows how to work the trial and this is a system to be worked in this movie and everyone is advocating for themselves and their and their interests. And it's less about who is right and who is wrong and who can who can gain the system the most. It's the kind of movie that when you when it's over you walkaway wondering who. The hero of the movie is Did the did this movie. Protagonists this movie have someone we were supposed to be rooting for. It's very cynical. And it's very acidic away and even though it's led by this just the amazingly avuncular Jimmy Stewart who was so charming in this movie and so on shocks and so well suited to this kind of part. He's kind of crazy like a fox in his way. He's obviously immensely intelligent and he's a former attorney. Who's been voted out of office? And who has now getting an opportunity to have a showdown with da who booted him out of office. But it's just got great performances all around know you mentioned George C. Scott very looking very widely in his sort of Dr Strangelove era. You've got bengals are very young Zara as the accused Army lieutenant. You've got Lee Ramic as his wife really really good cast. Arthur O'CONNELL is sort of like boozy sitting at the table with the lawyer. Kind of archetype. Which we see that now. In a lot of movies follow that I think both Stewart and O'CONNELL were nominated for Oscars for this movie and starts about premature premature who I did a lot of reading about premature after I re watched this. And he's not somebody who has the same name recognition as Alfred Hitchcock or as I don't you know who's a contemporary spike Lee or Quentin Tarantino. But in his day was arguably the most important filmmaker of his time. I mean routinely made hit movies was a real kind of commander of Hollywood and where it was going. He made movies like Laura and Carmen Jones and Bunge orcher says and lot. Lots of great films. Lot of socially minded films. This movie to me is like a concerto of taste you've got saul bass the great title sequence Creator. Who makes these like incredibly indelible images in this opening title sequence? You've got this Duke. Ellington score and Duke Ellington actually shows up in the movie. One of the enduring movie soundtracks of all time his score for this movie. You've got all the right actors you've got all the you know it's you're right. It's a very long movie but it's paste. I think intriguingly because even though it seems like it's a movie that is hurtling towards that verdict. Come away realizing that. That's not actually. What the movie was about like the movie is actually? It's a bit of a red herring is not about who wins and who loses. It's about who is on trial and why and who had that trial in their hands. This is a very captain like or maybe just like Oh Amanda stoned point but the title of the movie is Anatomy of murder which I realized halfway through you know putting murder in the title does convey a lot about what this movie thinks about what happened. And what it's trying to convey you and how it's trying to convey it and yeah it is I think it's fascinating it is. You wonder who was I supposed to like? And who has I supposed to trust what was going on? I do think it's also interesting. This is based on a real case. I believe a real trial that happened and there is a little bit of that early. True crime of Gawking. At at what happened. It's both extremely tasteful and dealing with a lot of very serious issues and also a tiny bit purposefully scuzzy if you know what I mean they are. Everyone is trying to get there. And there's like a whole scene where there that's very funny if also like whether the judge and the counselor debating whether you can use the word panties and whether there's like a more appropriate word to be used and ultimate evidence is like a pair of panties there is something very voyeuristic going on here on top of everything else which is certainly part of the appeal of these trials. I mean we like watching all of them and we'd like to know all the details but it's I mean it's amazing that this movie was made as early as it was for. How relevant itself is now. Yeah it's I mean it's way ahead of the curve. The way that it talks about rape the way that it's about sexuality the way that the Lee ramic character is positioned. I mean premature. Does this over and over again. All of his movies feel like they're twenty years into the future than there. I wouldn't say it now feels like deeply sophisticated but for its time. Yeah it's it's it's almost brazen how openly discussing some of these key issues and it gives the judge opportunity to talk about kind of decency in the courtroom and you look at how the the gathering audience is kind of teetering at every insinuation of sex or something sexual very cool movie. I would highly recommend it. Even though it is is it is A. It's it's unusual for courtroom drama to be this long. They all kind of historically clock in right around two hours except for the next two picks that we have here. So I'M GONNA go with my next pick just for the chronological purposes which is inherit the wind gentleman. Progress has never been a bargain. You have to pay for it sometimes. I think there's a man who sits behind the counter and says all right you can have a telephone but you lose privacy and the traumatises. I don't you may vote. But at a price you lose the right to retreat by the pot of your petticoat to the nineteen sixty drama directed by Stanley Kramer. Speaking of issues oriented dramatists Stanley Kramer is perhaps the most renowned of his era making films that works sort of parables for ideas in the culture so just in a span of a few years. You get the defiant ones which is a sort of a treatise on how a white guy in a black guy can get along. Even if they're together in chains you've got inherit the wind. You've got judgment at Nuremberg a movie. That just barely missed the list here for us. You've got it's a mad mad men at world you've got guess. Who's coming to dinner? All of these movies are all kinds of stories about. There's basically civics lessons their stories about while we can learn from one another what it means to be a part of society inherit. The wind in particular is about is about faith versus science. You know it's loosely based on the scopes monkey trial in the nineteen twenties and it features two incredible thunder thunder performances from its two leads. Spencer Tracy in Fredric March who played two lawyers on opposing sides of the same case. Who have a long personal friendship? I would not say that Stanley Kramer makes subtle movies and this is not a subtle movie. I don't know if you had a chance to revisit. This he did. I think it is worth the price of admission because of the yelling in the courtroom because of what Spencer Tracy and Fredric March to do together now to us literally a hundred years later we look at the question of evolution and whether evolution should be Thanh schools it's obvious and now it actually seems almost needling to people who live in the country or in small towns and have faith now. It seems almost like it's thumbing his nose at those people. I wouldn't recommend it for that exact reason. I wouldn't recommend it though for the intense writing very stage stage very play like writing of Jerome Lawrence and Robert Leeann Edrich young and Harold Jacob Smith and honestly just from Spencer Tracy just slowly losing mind in the movie and getting increasingly loud and increasingly sweaty in this brutal courtroom I had a really fun time re watching it. I did too. I when you pick this I I think I responded with a big tenth grade English class energy to you which was unkind though. I do think that I as a tenth grader in Atlanta Georgia was made to watch this film four reason by the way I was taught about evolution. Don't worry but what struck me on watching. It was the extent to with this. Movie is not just about those specific ideologies but ideology. And how it can really warped people's minds and also how battles like this and even courtroom dramas become major cultural social events and again it's not subtle when they show the rallies ahead of time and people singing. GimMe that old time religion again and again you know what it's about but so many of the movies on this list really insular and there about what's happening in the courtroom and what it means for the people in the courtroom and this does speak to the idea that people become really invested in in these trials as a way to litigate these larger social issues that they can become like big firestorms and. I thought that was pretty interesting looking at it from fifty or sixty years later and all of them. The many trials that I have watched on cable news in a similar fashion. Yeah we were witnessing moments like that right now. We're sort of social movements. Gather and very angrily reacting to whatever is happening in anticipation of a legal proceeding. I also thought that this was a pretty neat movie. I couldn't think of something that came before it though. I'm sure there's something that exists like it that depicts. What it's like to have a friend of me you know In this movie. You Matthew Brady. Who is this famed order and political candidate? Who is loosely based on William Jennings Bryan Comes to town and to to sort of defend the teachings of the Bible in schools and then another equally famous man played by the characters name was Henry. Drummond comes to town to defend. Essentially the setup for the film. Is that a teacher has been teaching evolution in a in a class and he's arrested for teaching evolution which is deemed unlawful in this town and so Henry Drummond comes to town to defend him and there's one other amusing side plots of this movie. Which is the presence of a gene Kelly as an eight H L Menken style sort of Sing Song newspaper Man Who at some point in the movies just sitting at the table with the lawyer? Did you notice that what's going in there? Yeah I don't know I mean I could do a whole mini podcast about how the the the tables the lawyer stables are portrayed in various movies and people just having no subtlety or decorum whatsoever. I completely forgot that gene. Kelly was in this movie until I watched it and I'm always happy to see gene Kelly. He is incredibly charming and slimy putting way that must have been very fun for him at this point in his life and as someone who is vaguely journalist made me it made me feel sad that this is what the journalists are doing though. I understood why he was at the table because the Baltimore newspaper quote hires lawyer so I guess he's just involved. Is that what you want? If you're a newspaper to hire a lawyer and then cover the trial. No but again. I think things were very different in the news in nineteen thousand nine hundred eighty s as well as in education. It's a fair point. This isn't notably one of the most remade movies of its kind. I think there have been four different versions of inherit the wind over the years in part. Because it's just CATINAT FOR ACTORS. They get to give these incredible speeches and this incredible cross examination. The culmination of the movie really is when the drum character which is loosely based on Clarence darrow calls the brady character to the stand. The opposing lawyer in the case. Who is this fearless advocate of the teachings of the Bible and they have this showdown and it? I mean it is. It is kind of like ludicrously mesmerizing to me. Just watching these two sixty eight year old men scream at each other about the teachings of God. I don't know this is another one. Where if you see it at the right age you can't forget it and if you watch the now you might be like. This is a little silly by. I still love it. It's over the top but it's supposed to be. I think it doesn't really matter when you see the next one. What did you pick number five? I believe on the twelfth of May Tom. I was for what purpose I was sent to carry away the prisoners books. Do Talk with the personnel. Yes did you talk of kings? You premise the church. Yes what did you say I said to him? Supposing an actor parliament to say that I Richard Rich towards the beginning would not. You must take -nificant I would. He said I picked a man for all seasons direct by Fred sentiment in eighteen sixty six. And this is the story of Sir. Thomas more who was a lawyer and Religious thinker I actually technically a humanist in England in a fifteen hundred during the time of the Protestant reformation and he opposed the Protestant reformation and was ultimately. I mean I'm GonNa Spoil History. I'm sorry guys. 'cause this is kind of how? Western civilization took off for the next three to four hundred years. He was tried for treason because of some hijinks having to do with Angolan. We don't really need to get into it and was found guilty and was executed and so this movie is about the events leading up to his trial and his quote trial and then What happens after the trial and so it's a little bit historical fiction biography and an a lot about the law. There's only the one last climactic scene in the courtroom. Even though it's a pretty extended scene in it is important. It's because in the context of these movies. It's one of the few trials that the guy are rooting for doesn't win But the whole movie is the law and how to engage with the law. And what your faith in the in the law itself and the letter of the law versus the intent of the law can or can't do for you and I think it's I mean it's a great movie it's it's classic Thomas. Moore's played by a Paul Scofield and I believe he wins the best actor Oscar and this wins best picture. His one of his nemeses is played by a very young John Hurt. Which is I had forgotten that it was John. Hurt and then I was like wait a second. That's John Hurt. Just a tremendous Orson Welles seen who? He plays a cardinal Cardinal Wolsey. Who was early opponent of Thomas more? We'RE NOT GONNA get into it. I will say I also recently read Wolf Hall. Which is the novel by Hilary? Mantel won the Booker Prize. And I believe she thousand nine extraordinary and it is about these same events but it is told from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell. Who is the ultimate villain in this film and proceeds over the trial? That convicts. Thomas Tomore and Wolf Hall is in many ways just like a repudiation of everything that is explained in this movie and presents like very different perspectives about the law and faith and belief versus practicality and it was very interesting to watch those two things together. I just if you're looking for a book to read I really really really recommend will fall. And we'll fall also does end with the trial. It's almost the exact same structure but with the opposite spin. But I think this movie Thomas Moore has become kind of a shorthand for for dying for your ideals and going with going with your ideology as far as it will take you though. I'm curious on. I don't know if you had to watch it whether you think the movie presents his ideology convincingly well. That's an interesting question I didn't watch it. I watch scenes. I've seen it a lot. This was a movie that was a little bit of a gateway drug to Oscar history for me because I had an uncle who repeatedly told me this was his favorite film of All time a very idealistic man and he was insistent that I watch it when I started expressing interest in movies. I have seen it quite a bit. I just might have just told you this recently but I was. I went to the new. Beverly shortly before quarantines started to see the incredible heist movie. The hot rock had a great time with some friends but before the hot started they played the trailer for a man for all seasons when I was just like instantly transported. It was a three and a half minute trailer. Those old school long trailers. That have this very overstated language and then that always begins with like the film that every living human is talking about nineteen sixty six. It is a man for all seasons and I seem to remember the first time I saw it. After getting that recommendation for my uncle like the ideas are in general are kind of obscured and that you're only take away from the movie. Is that you know mostly just that. The king is a huge hole. And then Robert Shaw. Who plays the king in this movie? Fans of films like jaws will no well Is just this extremely extravagant? Dolt and insistent upon what he wants in the world and Scofield is giving this like fairly internal performance. You know. He's not that over the top despite the like The power of what Thomas more represents in the story and then you've got wells and you've got Leo mckern as Cromwell you've got all these big showy actors it's interesting that's go field actually won. I mean He. He speech defies but for whatever reason he's not like routinely raising his voice and yelling and almost every other person in the movie is yelling all the time. I think it's I have read. Wolf all watch the WOLF ALL TV series which I thought was pretty good featuring your Gal clairvoyant. Lewis and mark. Rylance rylance was Cromwell. Right as I recall I believe so. Yes because it's about it's about Cromwell and that's that was a little more persuasive to your point because it took eight hours six hours to to talk through the ideas at the heart of the film and I thought it was interesting on a rewatch. I remember it in terms of this being this struggle ultimately over the Catholic church versus the Anglican Church and Protestant reformation and and it doesn't really get into as much of the religious stuff. It is actually just Thomas more scofield just being like the letter of the law says this and I believe the law and a law should say XYZ and the law protects me from this and not that and ultimately the law only protects them. So far is a lesson that we learned in every other film on this list as well that it is Malleable and that the whole point is to manipulate it and the people who don't manipulate it don't succeed. That may just be me like being deepen wolf all but it. It was a great watch and I really recommend it whether or not you feel the need to also read a six hundred page historical novel. It's an interesting example. Two of the good version of Hollywood at the dawn of the new Hollywood. Like this is right before you get this. Wave of influence from young filmmakers. Coming in and Fred cinnamon is this very old school style filmmaker. He's a very sturdy hand. He really knows how to stage these scenes effectively. And it's it's not that like junkie overdrawn musical stuff that we read about in books. Like Mark Ariza's pictures at a revolution. It's like it's the good version of when the studios could make something really powerful adapt to play get great movie performances. An incredible cast. I would recommend a man for all seasons to any person that likes movies. The next pick is the verdict. We have faith in justice. We need only to believe in ourselves. Act with just I believe justice in our heart. We talked about Sidney Lumet. I tweeted something about the judge character from the verdict on Saturday night and I got a text message from Bill Simmons instantaneously instantaneously. This is one of bill. Bill's favorite movies of all time. It's one of my favorite movies of all time. Absolute masterclass in movie star performance from Paul Newman. It's about a down on his luck lawyer which is a very. It's very tropy. The movie itself. Well I was going to say it's very trophy but this also foundational if you look at our list. This is the movie that changes it and you can't have. You really really cannot have a few good men without having the verdict we can draw those lines but everything that we listed in the. How do you know you're watching? The courtroom drama is is from the verdict and this is basically the dawn of the modern courtroom drama completely agree. It's notable that we're jumping from nineteen sixty six to nineteen eighty two because there are vanishingly few courtroom dramas in the nineteen seventies. I have a theory about why that is you want to hear it. I would love to. I think that the purveyors of the new Hollywood that was just referencing. Were not interested in old school formats and this was a very old school format in an attempt to break that up. They were pursuing different kinds of stories. Now it didn't stop them from making war movies like apocalypse now which we had in the thirties and forties and fifties and sixties. But for whatever reason there are very few some people side in justice for all which is a kind of like I totally all over the place. Arthur Hiller movie starring Al Pacino. That I- rewatch thinking. I was GONNA put it on this list and I was like actually. I don't think this works as well as I wanted to. The verdict on the other hand is a diamond. It is like a such a perfectly formed to piece of movie artistry with one rare exception which will talk about maybe. Yeah I had blacked that out. Yeah but it's written by David. Mammon it's one of his for screenplays. It is very elegantly written but also very accessible and feels very normal. I think bill this movie because of its Boston routes But also because it's just a it's a it's a good story it's it it does feel. You're right Amanda Foundational for a lot of crime stories for a lot of the underdog tales about people who've been done wrong by big powerful organizations or institutions and how to how to best seek revenge on those organizations in in the case of this story it's about a couple who comes to a down on his luck and sort of Al and certainly alcoholic lawyer by Paul Newman with case about how a hospital gave their sister The wrong anesthetic while she was giving birth thus Killing a child and rendering the woman brain damaged and they're suing the hospital to get recompense for this terrible tragedy and Newman essentially has a choice to make between accepting the hospital and thus the archdiocese because the hospitals owned by the churches deal or pursuing a trial pursuing a case. Take Wild guess what he actually does here. It's the movie is like a constant question of faith indecency and getting your shit together and using the law but also using somehow. The results of this movie are not bound by. What a good job. He does but more by the expression of his his integrity and his decency which is an interesting counterpoint. To I think a lot of these movies which are about the vagaries of being right and wrong. You know what I mean. Yes he I mean. He gives that incredible closing argument. Doubt our institutions. He says to the jury you know you are the law. Go the law the law and today it's about believing injustice in believing and he's giving his speech and he is giving what we all want to believe as about the justice system even though it is so often not about the lawyers a marble statue. Trappings of court but he is also certainly giving a speech about believing in himself and a human single human person's ability To change do something to make a difference to find an act of justice and so it is more. It's more personal. You wrote down that it's like a character story and it very much is And also just absolutely relies Paul. Men's just incredible charm I'll too. I was watching. This and I will be very honest. I ten minutes I said to my husband. I don't know like a little old in this like he might be slightly old first. Charlotte rampling and fifteen minutes into the movie. I was like no no no. It's good Paul movements still at it. He's in the conversation for my favorite person to have ever appeared in a movie. I you know not every move. He's made his great but for whatever reason he just. Some people are just easy in front of the Camera. They just fit. You Know Newman just fits. And even though this character is not a good guy and in fact at one point in the movie he hits a woman. It's downright bizarre. And it's like I have no idea why it's in the movie it's incongruous maybe clarifies that he is a really flawed figure and has a lot of problems and isn't totally resolved. Maybe it's just the leftovers of a different time when you could hit a woman in a movie forty years ago. I. I couldn't when that happened. It took me out of the movie entirely but otherwise it is immensely convincing performance. I had the same thing I had forgotten that it happens. It happens and I think that it's just something that would not be the movie now and you could even excise it and it would work finding this film it as well. You know like it just doesn't I don't think we need to relitigate and he doesn't need to be a good person at actually just feels a little bit of character which is part of why it takes you out of the story The verdict is a great film. And if you haven't seen it you should watch it immediately. Let's go to the the seventh choice. Had so much fun with this. I I did you in my own way. Seven choices. Jfk going back to when we were children. I think that most of us in this courtroom thought that justice came into being automatically was its own reward that that good will triumph over evil as we get older we know. This just isn't true. Oliver Stone's nineteen ninety-one polemic his counter myth so the JFK assassination. You Know I. This is really a political thriller as procedural in court like so many of these movies. A lot happens before you get into the courtroom and then I would say probably more than most in this three hour and twenty five minute movie happens before we get into the courtroom though it does culminate in a in a very an extravagant courtroom sequence. It's about thirty five minutes long. What can you say about one of the most influential things on me and my entire life? I don't say that to say that I subscribe to any of the theories put forth by Oliver Stone. Because it's been proven time and again. It was proven that at time of release that most of what's in this film is is hogwash. I do not care this to me. Is led the most connecticut exciting extraordinary filmmaking. He's doing everything all at once. The writing is brilliant. Every actor is at their peak. I honestly believe that. I think this is the best costner. The Best Tommy Lee Jones the Best Kevin Bacon the Best Joe. Patchy like it is people just just going for it. Everyone in this movie is so fearless and they do not care what anybody thinks of what they're doing. Which is the kind of movie that I love. I really think that this is like a bizarrely brave act and to go back and read the material about it. I found to be stuffy as most conservative. Nonsense okay you seem dismayed by what I've just said I was just going to say it's not the Best Joe. Patchy that we've ever seen okay. That's a hair disqualifies. It absolutely not Sir. That's what I have to say. I did go back and I'll be honest. I didn't watch all three hours. And forty minutes or whatever it says but I did rewatch key scenes and elements and I just remember thinking. Oh this is why our brains are broken as a generation like because we all saw this movie at a point in time and just became just really strident conspiracy and here we all are and and and my brain is absolutely shaped by the absurd thinking and arguing in this movie as much as anybody else of our generations is. It is a preposterous movie. It's absolutely just over the top the Donald Sutherland seen just goes on and on and on and is extraordinary. But you really feel like you are. It's transported right because you're in the brain of someone else who's operating at a very high speed and thinking about a lot very quickly and you can feel that I it. It felt like strangely intimate in a way that I was like. I don't WanNa be a part of this anymore. I don't want to live in this brain and then the courtroom scene is certainly like extremely memorable. It is Kinda funny to me. It's like almost strangely conservative. That this movie feels the need to. And I understand that it's based on a real trial and an a real novel and a real person and so this happened. But it's funny that all of these completely out their series and this anxiety and this suspicion culminates in an in a courtroom that Oliver Stone or anyone would trust in a courtroom to even be able to be the place to litigate these sort of things. Because it's so far beyond the bounds of anything else that goes on in a in a courtroom but I the the bullet speech is it. Launched a thousand conspiracy bogs. You know it really did back into the left back and to the left. I think that the thing that makes it. I mean the reason that takes place in a courtroom is because you you need the Jim Garrison character. You need a portal to tell the story to to talk about all the ideas he wants to talk about. Garrison was D. A. in New Orleans and was the only man who brought a trial of any kind in the assassination of Jazz K. And he attempts to insinuate Clay Shaw's Aka Clay Bertrand into this conspiracy and insinuate that he was working for the CIA and bring charges against him and he was a resident of Louisiana which why he's brought to trial in this case but that's just the it's just a very narrow little entry keyhole that brings us into this big story but the reason that it's actually a great courtroom drama is not because it has these great courtroom scenes. It's because it's one big long argument. It's just the big. It's just the big listen to me. Listen to what I have to say. And even if you don't believe specifically the events that stone is outlining and whether the military industrial complex specifically organized to assassinate the president. I think it's not unreasonable. To assume that there's a lot of truth in the things that the ex character played by. Donald Sutherland is saying which is why we like. This can be radical for very impressionable. Teenagers like myself when I saw it. I mean listen I went back and rewatch it then. I started googling when did the JFK FILES. Come out and like do you think will of long enough to know for sure. It's definitely all I wanNA know is the answer to it so it's extremely effective and again just the influence of it is. You can't measure are truly. Our brands are broken. So there's that Oliver Stone I also just miss a like a roundly controversial film like this because this movie was either loved her. It was hated Roger. Ebert said it was one of the ten best films of the decade it was nominated for six Oscars at one Oscar as it introduces Hank. Corwin into the movie atmosphere. We talked about him when we talked about vice. Because I think he helped Adam McKay at advice and this incredible commercial influence flash cutting style that he doesn't this movie which is liable to give you a seizure. It's so intense and so aggressive. He's bouncing from films. Dr Film Stock and perspective to perspective. And it's cutting to the pruder film in the recreation of the film and then it's cutting to archival footage of Dwight Eisenhower. And it's cutting back to Kevin Costner. It's moving a million miles an hour the whole time. It's got this incredible John Williams score. Did you read it? All about what they did with the score now John Williams was busy finishing up another film. At the time I wanNA Steven Spielberg Project. Something a little bit more respectable but he had a small window and he composed six separate pieces for the movie without having seen a frame of the movie so Oliver Stone. Cut The movie to the music the John Williams provided. And so that that kind of Metronomic music that you hear as As as the garrison carrots compiling evidence and then when he's sitting down with X. This like undeterred. Don Don Dundee Dutton that like repeating signature is. You might not have gotten that if John Williams got to be in the room and say. Here's what you know. Oliver wants this. Let's do this like the idea of building a round what you have rather than what you want as part of what makes this so good so JFK. Is it a masterpiece? The answer is yes. What's another masterpiece chance? Nobody could answer that question. You're are moved to disqualify Speedo as an expert witness. Can you answer the question now? It is a trick question. Why is it a trick question? Watch this Chevy didn't make it three twenty seven fifty five to three twenty-seven come out to sixty two and it wasn't offered in the Bel Air with a four barrel carb till sixty four however in nineteen sixty four the correct ignition timing before degrees before top dead center. It's my cousin. Vinny released in Nineteen Ninety two and I for me. You didn't put it. We we kind of made our list of like quote important movies and then fund movies and you tried to slide this into into find and I'm going to say that it's important. This is both a parody of these types of movies and a parody of the legal system and also the most loving Endorsement of everything. It is just all of the things that make these movies pleasurable without any of the actual concerns and has the best witness explaining the evidence that you've ever seen an also notably the only time. God Bless Marisa. Tomei that a woman gets to do anything and these movies and she absolutely nails it and it's so funny you WanNa talk about feeling like you could practice law after watching movies. I really feel that I could examine the back of any polaroid at this point and find the evidence that I needed to win a case and I it's so accessible that I think that matters as well because a lot of these movies are translating all of the legal proceedings to things that people can care about. And you do care about everyone in this film. I love this movie. It's a great example of why just because it's a comedy doesn't mean the plot to matter the way that the story is told the script tear the not just performances but the way that every figure is positioned inside. The story is so good and obviously mercer may won an Oscar for performance in this movie the rare Comic Performance. That is great but like every time she's on screen the movie brightens you know she. She gets all the best lines. It's a really great It's a it's a really great peci performance maybe I have underestimated maybe it's not goodfellas or casino or JFK. Maybe it's my cousin vinny that his his shining achievement and also every kind of complimentary character in the movie especially Fred Gwynne as the as the small town judge. Urban Monster is so good I I can hear my my dad's saying to me. Did you say you like the two utes line being like a common refrain in my house growing up? I love my cousin. Vinny also like a peak remarkable that will have to do at some point down the line. Yes colonel the next movie is a few good men attended kindergarten code any. Because that's what you told Lieutenant Kendrick to do Jack these guys shutter traffic log Saddam. Jim Colonel Cobra. You don't have to answer that question. I'LL ANSWER THE QUESTION. You want answers. I think I'm entitled You true. You can't handle. The truth is perfect. World it has walls and those it is perfect to quote the weird signed guy from of actually which seems appropriate at this point in a podcast. Can we get a meam of you holding the sign you? Jack Nicholson Skurdal. Jessop to me. You are perfect. Yeah I so. This is the best to for me for a lot of reasons but it is primarily because you got Tom Cruise and Jack. Nicholson two of the all time. Great Movie Stars Giving just full out movie star performances and not just speechifying and a very grave and profound way but these guys are just going at it and you get at least you get to amazing scenes where it's two of greatest movie stars yelling at each other and what they're saying to each other does not make sense. It do not practice law based on what? Dano cafe is doing in this movie the likelihood that you're just GonNa Yellow Jack. Nicholson for awhile. And he's going to be but that's what happens and you notice last time when I was watching. It is that he actually yells like he admits to it and then does a whole other soliloquy about what it means to stand on a wall and then keeps going like there is just a lot of of Jack. Nicholson being lecture. I'd love to tell you my reasoning for ordering a code red and breaking laws and doing things my way this this doesn't happen but it's so exciting and I think maybe it's so pleasurable because it's really what you want to happen in every courtroom drama and also really had every life situation. What you want is an opponent as formidable as Jack. Nicholson to just yell. You're so right at top volume. I think that's really the number one thing that I'm looking for in my life and pretty any situation and a few good men gives it to you so very strong case Both for the movie in for this podcast. I think you know my theory about this right that the winner of that scene is Tom Cruise and not Jack. Nicholson like Tom. Cruise's performance in that scene the fact that he is nose to nose toe to toe with. Nicholson Nicholson has proven. It already. Nicholson has all the best lines. He gets the big speech he gets. The grimace profoundly. He gets to wear that. That Brown suit you know I. It's crews who should be on the back foot and cruise is thundering. His Way through the cross examination is incredible. I th I think. He's absolutely mesmerizing in that moment this to me as his number one performance and it is not just because he looks so good in that uniform though my Lord Tom Cruise in this uniform was very important to me growing up but as I said before the rhythm and the Keenan's and he has this he is so arrogant and also so intelligent and has total command of the SORKIN LINES. Which as we know are very difficult and not everyone can pull it off and I think I made a lot of fun of the legal showdown itself which is not really how laws work but I think this is in addition to just being two of the great actors just sparring for a long time. It's also a very clever movie and it's a movie within a movie about like what law can and should be and what is an order who what's legal. What's illegal who? How do we decide? What's right and what's wrong? And they're actually trying that in real time and the I think. The actual ideas are possibly slightly more nuanced than the final showdown. But it's really plausible at does also take you through the case and you get to see Tom. Cruise being like I think that that I think better with my baton and then he really does think better with that bat you you do get to follow them along. It has the underdog quality and he is just. Tom Cruise steals absolutely every single scene. You cannot take away from him okay. We'll have to save the rest for another few good men podcasts. Even though you've already appeared under Rewatch ables. We've talked about it three or four times. I'm sure we'll come back to it again at some point soon. The last movie on our list is a time to kill that. Baloney collie shooting new was intentional. No Sir it was an accident you think should be punished for shooting. You know Sir. I hope you'll know he'll will toward the man now. A time to kill US came up during our Matthew mcconaughey conversation last year. I would say that it is a flawed movie. I would say that all of the John Grisham movies of the nineteen ninety s have flaws. Some of them are too long. Some of them are too credulous about the law. Some of them are ridiculous. Impeach overacting a time to kill guilty of a lot of things to put a bad pun on it but it basically takes all of the things that are in all of the moves that we've talked about thus far and puts them in a blender and it gives you every single thing it gives you the simple country lawyer it gives you the A town. Big Shot Prosecuting Attorney. It gives you the down on his luck up. Defendant it gives you a cranky judge. It gives you an extraordinary interrogation. Seen It gives you surprise. It gives you an amazing closing argument from the plucky young attorney it is basically the whole kit and caboodle similarly. Like so many of these movies. It has an amazingly overqualified cast. If you go down the list of people in this movie it is absurd. I was just rewatching the sequence where Chris Cooper is interrogated on the stand and is like he's just amazing in his movie in and that scene. It's so funny I also just watched that scene and I kinda watch it at the end of re watching all of these so I immediately started wanting to object based on the objections that I learned from the other movies of like you can't have a witness offering his opinion. He can't testify to ex. But it is so amazing. Chris Cooper just steals that he's been recently or not. Recently as the case may be Y- I mean I think if we were being unkind you could say that. Were sort of moving in descending order of greatness filmmaker as we go through this billy wilder and auto premature we go to Stanley Kramer and then Fred Zimmerman. Lumet in there but then go oliver stone. Rob Reiner and then we get to Joel Schumacher here Joel Schumacher. You know he's got some hits and some Mrs. He's he's got more. Scott more misses than hits. One thing that he does have is to grisham movies under his belt. Now for me. The client is is Is it silly to say? It's a great film. I remember watching it over and over and over again on. Hbo FOR FOR YEARS. I don't even know if it's good anymore. But similarly stacked casts Susan Sarandon Tommy Lee Jones mary-louise Parker J T walsh time to kill loaded. You would not put a time to kill. Would you put a time to kill? End The client over the firmer. Now where what give me your Grisham power rankings. Me Put it that way. I think the firm is like the best movie I think also again. It's very very important. Tom Cruise period for me. Personally also the firm is a book that I was allowed to read like very very young. The GRISHAM movies also. I think possibly to a lot of people were our first taste of like quote adult fare and so the film is actually good. I think the Pelican brief is also good and I love it. And it starts Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington and also speaking of conspiracies. I mean it's like JFK light sort of but JFK if it made sense and I love that movie and but it's not a courtroom drama so it's not eligible so I think I would go the firm a time to kill because a time to kill so memorable that that closing argument is quite something and has become a joke now possibly with good reason and not with good reason but it is it a lot of people have borrowed from it. If you will as some to better effect than others so I would do the firm attend to kill it the client yeah a good list a time to kill. We should note gave us not just the now. Imagine she's white meam. It also gave us Dave Chapelle. Yes they deserve to die and I hope they burn in hell so we really got a lot from time to kill in a lot from Gresham. So that's our ten. I think it's pretty good list. If you haven't. I'm sure people have seen most of these movies especially the nineties movies. If they haven't seen them. I put together a couple of bonus recommendations before we go out. You may have heard me talk about Russia. Amman on the Toshiro buffoon a episode which features a different kind of a courtroom but is really a kind of legal thriller slash testimonial I also watch paths of glory the other day which I don't think is a great courtroom movie but he's just a fucking great movie Stanley Kubrick's wore one drama. Just Absolute Bang on perfect movie. Did you have you seen compulsion? No I haven't. This was the one discovery that I made. Because I had never seen it before. It is a nineteen fifty-nine movie that is based on a real case. It's a nineteen fifty nine novel. It's based on the Leopold and Loeb murder trial and if features similar to a man for all seasons kind of extraordinary Orson Welles. He checked performance. Where Orson Welles is the top bill person in the movie but then he doesn't show up until there's thirty minutes left in the movie and then he just dominates for the final thirty minutes in a courtroom would recommend it. If you're walls fan any other movies you want to cite bonuses before we go. I did want to shout out legally bought which is extremely important number one because they actually let a woman do the lawyering though even within this movie that is a subject of great struggle in debate. But she finally gets to breakthrough in. It has it. It is a joke but it has one of the great witness reveals For Very funny reason that I won't spoil But it is like my cousin vinny since it comes after my cousin vinny. I don't really think that we need to needed. Put It on this list but in terms of understanding the moments of Genre and then having fun with them it's really up there and shot up my girl reese. I think it's a great call. This is a good list. You feeling good about it. Yeah I love these movies me too. Thanks for doing this with me Amanda. We'll be back later this week on the big picture to talk about some of our favorite movies that have been released during quarantine so even though we haven't been able to go to the movie theater we haven't getting new stuff. Have some stuff to recommend to you. We'll see then.

Hollywood Jimmy Stewart murder John Grisham attorney Amanda Ovens twitter Academy Awards PSAT Sidney Lumet United States Sean Fantasy netflix Alfred Hitchcock Tom Cruise prosecutor Pelican Agatha Christie Harley Quinn
The F**k, Marry, Kill Game: Oliver Stone Movies

The Big Picture

1:59:10 hr | 3 months ago

The F**k, Marry, Kill Game: Oliver Stone Movies

"Today's up. Sort of the big picture is brought to you by an American pickle in American pickles stars Seth Rogan as nineteen twenties factory worker named Hershel Greene bound and his great grandson Ben when Hershel falls into a VAT of pickles, he is perfectly preserved for one hundred years and emerges in Present Day Brooklyn American pickle tells the uniquely heartwarming story of Herschel and Ben as they learn the meaning of family stream the new Max original in. American. Pickle August sixth only on Hbo Max Rated PG Thirteen. Off. I'm Sean Fantasy. Animated Ovens, and this is the big picture a conversation show. About Oliver, stone, Amanda I in my mind have been circling a podcast episode about Oliver Stone probably since about Nineteen ninety-one, which is when I I had some consciousness about the work of one of the most fascinating figures of the last forty years in American cinema. There's a reason we're going to be having an episode conversation about stone today, which is that he has a new memoir that memoir is called chasing the light writing, directing surviving platoon midnight, express scarface Salvador, and the movie game. It's a very interesting book you and I have both read it. We're we're both. In some ways and perhaps frustrated confused devastated in other ways before we get into the book though and before we get into how we're going to talk about the scope, the massive scope, the unbelievable scope of Oliver Stone's career. When I say Oliver, stone, what do you think? Conspiracy Theorist just to be totally honest and filmmaker and. And really and boomer and I think that is going to inflict a lot of the way that I talk about Oliver Stone in his filmography because I am a generation younger I am a child of boomers and I came to Oliver Stone's work and to Oliver Stone's understanding of the world a generation after. He lived at and made it and it was very funny and re watching everything from platoon to to wall. Street to JFK. To realize the way in which those movies shaped, my understanding visual and political about Vietnam, and about JFK and about how we examine America and the government and I am both child of Oliver Stone's world, and maybe because of time in the way, the world has changed a skeptic of Oliver Stone's world at this point, which is just to say on the next generation. I. Think a lot of this will be boomer versus millennial and and that's good. That's how the world should work. Even Oliver Stone would agree with that though maybe not we can talk about it but I don't know what do you think of? Mid already. So many good points I. Think he's an artist to strains credulity while also I think enlivening imaginations he's somebody who is obviously immensely thoughtful and intellectual and spiritual and simultaneously feels like he completely out of control and trying to break the boundaries and stretch the concept of the truth all the time, and so he's just a a generational paradoxical figure. He's a he's a person who I think it makes immensely entertaining movies that. Don't always stand up to deep examination, and so I think he is he is an title baby-boomer figure in that way and that he is there's a certitude about his mission and there's an earnestness in insincerity to the message that he's trying to send. But also underlying that is perhaps a kind of cynicism and a skepticism about what he should be doing with his time versus what he's actually doing with his time, and so I you know I find, I've always found him to be fascinating maybe not as a human being per se but at least the stories that he tries to tell. I was GonNa say I do think he's interesting as a filmmaker and what else was a person and? We're GONNA talk about all the different ways in which Oliver Stone like quote breaks the rules but I have been thinking a lot as I have been reading his book, which is a fantastic read I will just say that the guy can write. and. Have also been revisiting his work that you and I are trained to as much as we can released I wasn't college train a separate the artist in the art the art has to stand on its own can't complete the filmmaker and the and the work, and you also need to understand that the work and the intention are possibly separate as well and Oliver Stone just makes massive all of that, and he makes a mess of that in his actual art and he makes a mess of that in the life that he lives and in the interviews that he gives and the work that he pursues and. To me that's exciting because it opens up conversation to talk about what can you take seriously and what is cynical and what is sincere and what is true and what is not true and how are we like an who is responsible, which is at least a different way to talk about art. So you know I give him that even though I don't agree with where I think Oliver Stone comes down on those the answers to those questions but even there, I'm just guessing. Well I, think if you look at the book, you certainly are looking at the man or at least the the self perception of the man, and so we'll talk a lot about him and his story in his life and and his the way he is capturing his own life on the page which I I agree I mean he's just in case you didn't know this is an Oscar winning screenwriter. This is one of the great writers of the last forty years is also as a person who didn't just write his own films but road scarface and Conan the barbarian and a number of other films over the years. So he knows what he's doing on the page, but he is also somebody who. If you look it the political thought not like a straight line where there is a left and a right. But if you look at it like a wheel like a circle, and if you go too far from one side of the circle to the other you can land. You may think you are liberal person and find yourself with right wing ideology or libertarian ideology and reverse can also be true and I think one of the reasons it's really hard to unpack not just what Oliver Stone says in interviews or what he even. Portrays in his documentaries but even when he puts in his films is it feels like he's constantly running around that track that circle of political thought and so he's actually a perfect figure for this moment where there is this desperation to find art that coincides with our political ideology or our sense of what the world should look like and as you said, Oliver makes a mess of that he really. is trying to he's contradicting himself in real time. He's contradicting the sensibilities of that kind of baby boomer antiwar mentality. But on the other hand, he's like an Avatar spirit animal of truth for certain kind of humanism and that sounds really kind of haughty. But I I think he really wants to representational person who is thinking about putting people before government business political structures, and it's complicated right? Because he's A. Essentially a wealthy well to do white man who was born in the immediate aftermath of World War. Two, and so he had so much opportunity to do the things that he wanted to do in a way that other people don't. So he's not he's just not a tidy figure for that pursuit of humanism. It's interesting that you said he's putting people in front of institutions and ideas and governments because I think that's true. But it's usually one percent, and if you look at his entire his filmography and and really I, think even if you look at how he says. A lot of political issues, but it's it's not. The, greater good. It's usually focused on one character who is often a man and quite often a white man it is and it is understanding history through a single person's experience. So it's like it's almost I. mean he certainly subscribes to a great man theory of history but at the same time as also reversing, which is like the the the one person's experience of history, which can be a really exhilarating in certain films that we'll talk about and really really misguided I find or not even misguided but just doesn't work and isn't illuminating and the way that he thinks it is. IN IN CERTAIN Aspects, and then also in certain cases, it can just be about himself and it is I. The thing that makes his. His memoir. So electric is that it really is self mythology and he is really trying to understand himself and trying to pin down that constantly moving wheel as you said simultaneously and and I really admire having access to that. I obviously read a lot of celebrity junk and and memoirs and. Interested in trying to have access to people's ideas and thoughts and understand their characters and most people won't give it up in that way and won't share and won't be as open and Massey at as as Oliver. Stone is and that's true of the book and that's true of politics for sure and it's it's making. The great man theory is is really relevant to this conversation not just because of the book not because of the film's but because it's a little bit unclear, it's a sort of a chicken and the egg or the proposition with him. Does he subscribe to those theories because we read about in this book, He is interested in the dramatic pursuit. He has a pretty clear understanding literally of how to tell a strong story and that story is usually through a homer like figure or a a habit like figure somebody who is you know on on an indomitable quest to achieve something that seems impossible he's he's really passionate about this and you know again, there is something kind of haughty about this but also he just he seems to come to a very sincerely and so he uses Jim. Garrison in. J. F. K. or he uses Jim Morrison in the doors or he uses Ron. Kovic. In born on the fourth of July as these avatars as these great men who are seeking to achieve something that no one else could even perceive as possible and I think Oliver Stone sees himself in a very similar fashion. He sees himself as this well, to do white guy who volunteer volunteers for the Vietnam War to explode his privilege and to understand the world in a hopefully deeper way, and then after he does that he goes through the tremendously traumatic experience in the war. And then that becomes a centerpiece of the stories that he tells for the next twenty, five years and it it's fascinating to know kind of which came first was it the urge to tell dramatic stories or was it that he experienced life and he had be he came to understand life as a series of stories especially American stories about great men and then chose to pursue those stories as his life's work is if it's Kinda fascinating what if in terms of how he pursued all his work, I would add that there is also possibly a middle ground where he is trying to understand what happened to him and his own experience through the narrative structures that are familiar to him and. And can help further that experience and again that's that's a lot of artists I art, and you know marrying the two things which were quote not supposed to do but we're going to break all the rules in this podcast. So let's talk about what this podcast is going to be before we get into a conversation about the book where we talk about the artist Later in the show, we're GONNA WE'RE GONNA, play a new game. It's an old game for those of us who are alive in two thousand and six when I first heard about this game but it's new to this podcast. It's a it's fuck Mary kill. So Amanda I have chosen a handful of films a number of films that we would like to copulate with that Oliver Stone made that we would like to. Spend eternity with and that we would like to destroy immediately. So that is one way for us to travel through this twenty films demography all of these documentaries that he's made all of this work that he's put on the page and onscreen overtime. And I'm interested because I. Know that you are. You're skeptical Oliver Stone Consumer Yeah Skeptical Consumer of everything, and I also hope that Oliver Stone himself would understand that this skeptical approach that I bring to his films because he is also a skeptic don't trust anything or if you did trust everything anything, then you're GONNA pay the price for it so yes, we will talk about Oliver Stone's filmography I think it is very interesting to watch it. It's millennial it's interesting to watch it as a woman that we won't dwell on that but it's you know because it's kind of boring at the end of the day we're engaging with Oliver Stone's work but I have certainly learned some things about a certain generation of masculinity that. Definitely are are different than my day to day life, and that's that's the point to an extent. I think it's also just really interesting to examine how. Oliver Stone has influenced the way that you and I watch movies and what lessons other people and he himself have taken from it and and what works and what we would rather get rid of. I'm excited. Honestly it'll come as no surprise to you or anybody who has heard me talk in the show just to talk about the very formal aspects of what he does as a filmmaker because he such an outspoken and generational political figure that I think that that has kind of subsumed a lot of the work that he has done in fact in an interview in the New York Times magazine last week David Marquez e directly asked him that question and you know I don't think stone necessarily gave the kind of answer that we wanted. It was sort of like no regrets man that was his answer and. Give a lot of answers in that particular interview that we'll be discussing I. Recommend it. It's a it's a great piece. I mean there've been some very interesting interviews with stone in the last few weeks. He knows how to talk. That's part of the reason why he has stayed in the consciousness for as long as he has is he has. Impressively stoked the flames with his work and with his words. So let's talk about the words a little bit. This is. A fascinating book and I think we should just start from the beginning because the first chapter of chasing the light. Is called child of divorce and Amanda for listeners out there who had heard our marriage story for example or have heard. US. Talk about marriage in any way shape or form in the last couple of years we to children of divorce and I will say that there are parts of his story about his parents and about the way that he was raised that were resonant for me and that I identified with the not other parts that I found confounding almost grotesque. What did you think of young Oliver in in his own I? I think I really excited looked up from the book and announced my husband and that also texted you like Oh my God. It's the childhood wars chapter because I do always kind of see that as A. Source key for understanding really anybody. He approaches with ward distance than then you are I do I think which in one sense makes lot of sense 'cause he's older than us. So he has quite literally more time and distance from it and I think also L. expectations of marriage and and things were different thirty or forty years ago. The child of divorce chapter for me is actually less about divorce and more about his particular relationship to both of his parents which are extremely important to him. As anyone who has seen any of his films would know because we're gonNA, talk about daddy issues but it yeah to me it was just a way of working through those relationships which carries definitely through the book I wanted to read a passage from the book about this specific phase of his life because. As, you said it's There is some critical distance, but he is also trying to tangle with his feelings and you know this is a guy who is born in nineteen, forty six his father was a gi. His mother was a woman living in Paris who his father met and brought her back to the states and. You know they have that very kind of traditional American Romance. You can imagine them being in that photo of the naval officer and the woman in the middle of the street on forty. Second Street during a parade kissing and then of course, like things come apart like so many things did in the nineteen fifties but he wrote something interesting here that I wanted to share Consciousness. Shared by most children of divorce that our lives are being itself is the creation of many lies. If my parents had known each other truly before they were married, they would have never united and I would have never existed children like near born out of that original lie and living a false front we suffer for it when we feel that nothing and nobody can ever be trusted again adults become dangerous reality becomes loneliness love either does not exist or cannot survive and my fifteen years on earth was a quote fake passed a delusion. So, in case you're wondering why Oliver Stone's films are paranoid and riddled with doubt. He it's all. It's all there in the opening stages of this book and a very, very free way and throughout the early stages of it, you also come to learn that Oliver Stone was. Outright in love with his mother and has strong physical urging for his mother, which is a lot to take in although radically honest and the way that he sometimes is but also maybe he is trying to kind of shock and provoke us and the way that it seems like stone likes to shock and provoke, and so it's this really complicated portrait of a young guy who has These wild mommy and daddy issues that may or may not be informing this life's work. Yeah. But you know even the mom stuff is him leaning on? The edible myth in order and using older narrative frameworks in order to help understand himself. You know I listened to the passage that you just read. And I think I'm really glad that my parents put me in therapy shortly after the divorce me. Just, like you know and I and I feel sad that Oliver Stone didn't get access to that yet see because. You know because like at the end of the day, it's really not about you that much man, it's just not and a lot of ways. After what every single? Oliver? Stone movie you say it's really not that much about you man. So that is hilarious too. But yeah, I think there's a combination of. Not, having worked through some of the emotions that maybe we a generation later, they'd get to work and that doesn't just go through divorce that goes through a lot of political issues as well, and then also him having a flair for the dramatic in a very little dramatic sense. That's how he. Understands the world and tell stories about himself and everything else. Yeah. I think that's exactly right. It seems like he was not given the opportunity or did not know how to express himself at this phase. This is the early nineteen sixty s when a lot of this stuff is happening we're not the consciousness that we had about the idea of you know therapy and communicating with your children about divorce that didn't exist forty, five, fifty, sixty years ago. Yeah, and again, it's just peak boomer stuff and I can just I don't know if you're a boomer and listening to to millennials talking about Oliver Stone Right now like I'm sorry I I apologize it must be really I it. Some of it is just such a product of the time in generation and not even just I mean, that is true. But also like artifically like that is what we're talking about when we say okay boomer on Tick Tock or whatever I guess instagram because millennials don't know how to use TIKTOK, but it is it in a way it's a credit to him that even in his his politics and his emotions, he is telling a story at that broad generational level. I think he comes by it honestly I don't again I don't know if it's chicken or egg I don't know if he is a is a drama queen for lack of a better phrase or if he is naturally born this way like it's just impossible to say it is nature or nurture and like the nurture clearly seems to have been a challenging. Aspect of his early life and that leads to. These fascinating decisions that that frankly most of his other kind of boomer generation cohort. Don't pursue. Now we know that you know a lot of boomers especially politically active boomers participated in the protest movement participated in the Civil Rights Movement, the Anti War Movement Women's liberation. These are obviously key talking points or generational points, generational life points for my mother. For example, she was a very active person in the world in that way but. For stone he does something a little bit different he. He's a very bright guy obviously, but he's also a child of privilege his father went to Yale, and so he went to Yale and he goes to Yale after spending some time in boarding school and he kind of washes out after a year he seems Kinda borer seems Kinda. Unclear if he's kind of or at this point and he decides to. Leave Yale to teach in. Saigon. Teach English for a year. which is you know certainly like programs like teach for America exists and this is a not uncommon thing that that frankly a lot of children of privilege do it's sort of get a gap year or to get some new life experience but so he sees Vietnam, really at the earliest stages of the conflict in that country and this is right in the heart of Johnson's. Second. Term I suppose. and rather than flee and find a way to dodge the draft or Put as much distance between himself in Vietnam as possible. Instead, he comes back to the states and he listened the army as an infantryman. and. You. Know it is. It is clearly the signature choice of his life and it is the thing that has completely shaped. Him is the thing that has shaped his art informed all of his art. How much of this stuff these choices were you aware of when you were watching his movies and how much of this did did it kind of inform the films a new for you? I think none at the time though a lot of this is in the films. I mean in platoon he gives that exact choice to the Charlie Sheen character and there is a conversation between Charlie Sheen and another soldier. Charlie Sheen's character explains his rationale and is told like that something only rich people would say I think I'm paraphrasing it which. You have to it's in the movie it's in the script. So Oliver Stone is aware of that and is reckoning with that. So I think I was maybe not aware of it in a literal sense certainly, not the first time. I saw platoon though again, that's another thing where when you come to these films as a person seeing the art versus being aware of the artists and probably I had some awareness of Oliver Stone and a later phase of Oliver Stone. Suit I think you can fill you can feel it in the work but. It does make you go back having having read all of this. And what ask a lot of questions. Well, he does a fascinating thing in the structure of the book. So the section that is functionally after his child that is functionally about Vietnam is very short. He doesn't spend a lot of time in the book on the war. In real time because the book is told mostly chronologically but we get more time about Vietnam and the people he experienced and what he went through and the characters who would eventually become the figure that we see in platoon that they're largely based on real life figures that all comes later when he's writing when he's writing the screenplay for a film called break, which never gets mate. and. Then when he starts writing platoon, which I think is not until about nineteen seventy six or so which is really the film that Kinda gets him on the map in Hollywood even though it isn't made for another ten years after that. So again, this like this concept of artifice and shaping your own narrative is such a big part of this stuff so we don't even necessarily see. Like the more documentary aspect of his Vietnam experience even in his own memoir which I thought was kind of a fascinating choice. Yeah. I went straight child therapy on that and was like this is. Not Avoidance because that's unfair but it's very clear that the only way that he's able to understand talk through it is through filmmaking and I mean and that's very clear in the work as well but it was clarifying for me of just like Oh you mean your life's work has been to understand what happened to you. And what you went through. Yes I mean, and that is something that like that just creates a lot of empathy from me. Honestly I think we can. It's he's a very easy filmmaker to joke about and just to be like Oh god Oliver Stone added again but I think when you see when you try to understand him in that exactly and I agree with what you just said I think that there is clearly an attempt to put his feelings and his understanding into the work and not on the. Page even though he's putting things on the page in the first chapter about his parents that are kind of like mind blowing Lee personal and specific and have clearly not left him and there must have been so much that happened in Vietnam over the course of the fifteen months he served that he's not putting on the page because either it's too difficult or he just needs another way to channel that information, which is just it's like it's a reason to read these books as to better understand these people. So he served in Vietnam, he does fifteen months and he's awarded a purple heart and he's he's wounded I think three times and he has a a tough go I think at sixty seven to sixty eight or the years that he serves, which is obviously right on the precipice of win America explodes and sixty eight with the. Antiwar. Movement. and. So he essentially. Leaves the Armed Services and goes to Mexico. And I guess attempts to smuggle some drugs and is arrested move trying to move into the United States. And is is basically bailed out of prison by his his rich dad who knows the right people to get out and? Not I mean, that's what happens and then he has one line. It's something to the effect of like money it fixes everything or something like that, and it's told in a self maybe not self lacerating but in a self conscious and knowing way like there's the reason that that one line is there but it's one line. Yeah, and he I mean, he says over GonNa the book if I were black or if I. Were Latino or if I were this or if I were that, I just would not be where I am. He has he does have a a self awareness about that, but it doesn't change the fact that all these experiences are so deeply informing all the things that he's going to do this guy got arrested for trying to smuggle drugs across the border. and. Got Out of prison serving virtually no time and if you were any other person, he probably would have spent three years in a Mexican prison. That's just that's just ludicrous and. So, I think you kind of have to bring all of this information. You revisit these movies and I hope if people are listening, they will revisit the movies because they're so interesting in the context of the book you know they clearly informed so much. This is a guy who went on to write the movie midnight express for which he won an Oscar, which is about somebody who tried to smuggle drugs out of a foreign country. It's all. It's all there in the tax, which is so fascinating. So somehow he managed to get himself out. or his father gets him. Out. and. Within, a couple of years, he's at Nyu school and he's decided that he wants to be a filmmaker. He wanted to novelist as a kid. He wrote a novel. He thought it was very bad. It didn't pan out. Then he starts working on screenplays and thinking about what kind of stories he wants to tell him what he wants his life to be and shows up at nyu in the in the seventies and who's there. But Martin Scorsese is professor of all people to be teaching him and even Oliver Stone is this green jacket wearing soul in Vietnam. Vet Who rarely speaks Martin. Scorsese identifies that this is a true talent they this is a guy who's not at all like any of his classmates or at least not in Oliver's perception. That he's a loner. But after he makes his first short film last year in Vietnam, Scorsese identifies the film says that is a filmmaker that's a famous story. It's such a great moment. I mean you can hear him saying well, and you can hear the pause before scores. They'd like that's a filmmaker. It's yeah it's a it's a great story. It's a story that I had heard before it's one of the things in the book. That I had read before because it's part of those stone mythology of how he came to be and it's interesting too. Because over the years many people have speculated that perhaps taxi driver is based on Oliver Stone because taxi drivers about Vietnam Vet who drove a cab oliver stone drove a cab in New York in seventies to to help pay for his lifestyle. You know he was this kind of like disillusioned. Paranoid you know person with a with a history of of time in the war in with violence and the complexity of thought that goes into that film stone says, this is not about me understandably trying to distance himself from Travis Bickel but you know this this collision this time in American movies as you know is like the most interesting time, we're ever going to have this sort of. Mid To late seventy s and so stone being kind of at the feet of Scorsese and then later being at the feet of people like Depalma and Spielberg, and all these people who went on to make Hollywood for the next thirty years also is I. Don't know if it's grand designer good locker what. But he just he finds himself in the perfect position. So He's in New York City. Lebanon's woman named Nausea Circus who has I guess works for the the embassy. In Lebanon, and so she she's a bit older than him and she has a high-powered job and he's writes quite freely about how she was an elegant and beautiful woman who he didn't love and they were they were friends and they had a strong partnership but he already like he evinces. I this like confusing emotional front. You know there's something about the way that Oliver Stone tells the story of his life. That is simultaneously very raw and self effacing, and also completely difficult to Parse what what do you think about the New York period of stone? I think he's comfortable in the world of ideas and ambitions and not comfortable in the world of emotions and so anytime he has to talk about do the people in his life whether it's his parents or a his first wife and no spoilers but there's a second wife and also I believe third. It's you can see him trying to wrestle with the language and the emotions themselves. It seems a bit up blocked off and so then the language that he uses is. Very representative of his time and place in the world. It's not always as progressive as we might wish it to be. No, certainly, not So. While he's in New York, he makes the decision that he wants to be a filmmaker formerly tells the story of having a nightmare one night about three figures that haunted him who has has an author character and eventually kill all of the people in his life and this nightmare becomes his first movie in Nineteen. Seventy four is a very little seen low budget movie called seizure. It's not very good I did rewatch it. you know it's one part horror, one part paranoid thriller. You can see the kind of the makings of where stones imagination is going in the movie, but it's an interesting choice because you can see the he's he made a film before he was ready to make film as is so often the case with so many filmmakers and so unlike. So many of those other guys that was just referring to unlike Scorsese on lake. Palmer Spielberg those guys who who made movies in their early twenties and were ready. You Know Steven Spielberg at twenty years old was ready to be Steven Spielberg and stone is a little bit more of a slow burn in some respects and he kinda constantly refers to that throughout this book. There's this sense that even though he's got all the opportunity in the world, he's not quite getting the opportunity that he wants. something. Kind of confusing about this guy who really has done at all as far as filmmakers go and yet still seems Kinda steamed about the fact that he had to wait until he was in his mid thirties to be as great as he would become. Yes. That's it for him in general of someone who? Really. Has Been Given every opportunity that America can afford someone. Like I have been betrayed by America and he was betrayed by America. In an actual in the sense of being in. Vietnam. But KINDA, parsing the ideological aspects of that and the and the expectations that come with being Oliver Stone is. A very interesting exercise and certainly animates all of his all of his work. Before he fully decides to throw his hat in the ring as a screenwriter for the next ten years he he kinda dabbles. Seizure he's thinking about what he's GonNa do as he's thinking about his writing career. He he he writes he's writing something interesting in the book that I WanNa I. WanNa share. So he writes rather than pursue a career as an actor he writes I wanted to be my looks have my own ideas live in my body not rented I had ego unlike a good actor I couldn't locate it. I didn't know who the Hell I was and that Mr Dreamy. Inwards searching maybe by connecting my own dots, I could help not just myself. But other things I hadn't seen before I could as a playwright or director bring actors to realizations, they could not find on their own. The writer can become the hand holder of the actress dreams. The writer brain washes an actor into feeling the scripts. Words are his own feelings. Perhaps I was being arrogant but towards those goals I was driven to stumble with a blind zealous faith. The perhaps I was being arrogant clause could be at the beginning of virtually every page and writes in this book. But I. It's true and it's an interesting I. think There's some pretty strong self-analysis here. You know because Oliver Stone is a kind of a handsome dashing six-foot-three war veteran. You know he's kind of audie Murphy for the baby boomer generation, but he doesn't pursue that he pursue something that is a little bit more metaphysical, a little bit more romantic and spiritual, and also like power driven you know there's like a power to being in charge of the writing and directing of a film, and so he goes on this question seek all of that stuff out. Yeah. I thought when you were reading this this is going to be the passage that's maybe later on he just. Says that as a director, he's got on a set which in it in a way I suppose it's true as or is certainly one person's and one school's definition of being a director. By I think everything that you said is true. I do also just see it as a little bit of. Not even revisionist history because that's a phrase, you have to be careful with Oliver Stone. It's a it's a way of understanding pretty practical choices and pretty he is extremely successful person and has navigated himself into a lot of situations in his made like ten unbelievably successful movies. A lot comes with privilege a lot comes with lock but also this is a guy who like maybe understood a little bit more of what he was doing. Then I think he wants to. Acknowledge in this book yeah, and it's hard to know if it's because he's he was a great operator or it's because he was truly gifted or probably most likely a combination of both and the book kind of transitions pretty hard bad about page one, hundred from you know the the unknown details of this guy's life up until the age of about twenty five to a lot of things that were much more familiar with when he starts to enter his early thirties. So he moves out to Los. Angeles. He gets a writing gig learning at. The feet of Robert Bolt the screenwriting legend people may remember him getting a shoutout from gwen Tarantino earlier this year at the Golden Globes when he dedicated his Golden Globe to Bolt Bolt wrote Lawrence of Arabia for all seasons. The mission bolts movies to me are very instructive for the kinds of stories that Oliver Stone go on to tell these action oriented morality plays. That are kind of tests masculine metal. That's really those are the stories that Bolt told, and he clearly was a very rigorous teacher taught stone a lot and not everybody gets to. Learn at the feet of the single most gifted screenwriter of a generation and did get that and the film that they wrote ultimately never was made, but it clearly sets him on a course to figure out who is going to become, which is at first this kind of wonder can screenwriter and his next project in nineteen seventy eight midnight express as we mentioned the Alan Parker film about Billy Hayes a guy who tried to smuggle hash out of Turkey. And that movie was a sensation and at the age of thirty one stone becomes an Oscar winner, and then all of a sudden we interface to the book, which is la his second marriage to a woman named Elizabeth a Blonde Idyllic American dream woman in his eyes, and suddenly they both get very interesting cocaine. They start getting a lot of money. And then he starts writing scarface and this is really like the stone myth the life that we know about, and the this will ultimately be a segue into starting to talk about his films and the things that were more aware of about him. But you know this section is where the book took on a little bit more of that character that you're talking about about the celebrity memoir where you're just like, Oh, here's Diane Keaton. Here's John Frankenheimer, and here's a party at Howson. Oh. These. Are All these like Kinda recognizable touch points. This is the gossipy like when they tell you to skip the first hundred pages of the of the celebrity memoir because you don't care about their life in Oklahoma for the first twenty years. This is kind what they're talking about in act two. Yeah. That's true and he'd names names and he was obviously in a ladder rooms and there are some subtle score-settling going on. You can tell he likes who he doesn't like and who he'll tell. Flattering stories of who he just honestly wants to throw under the bus. There's also a great moment and I don't know whether it starts in this section I think it does where he starts quoting another book about him. which is an amazing amazing structure role choice. So he is. I point that out to say that he is clearly aware of how he's telling the story and he's making structural choices and he is doing all during the character you mentioned the interview and then your tenzin with David. Marquez. E. The first question is about the book and Oliver Stone. Answers. In the third person, he's talking about that character Oliver Stone in the book as a person other than himself, which again is maybe pretentious but is also just me like someone's thinking about storytelling, which is usually a word that is used to describe things that aren't storytelling. But in this case, my guy does know how to tell a story. Also you know if your of three watchable a category called half s Internet research, and this is the kind of book that creates a lot of Fast Internet research I. I learned a lot of things that I didn't know about say about what the original incarnation of certain films could have been or would have been. You know, for example, platoon was a movie that. Stone had written in seventy six, the fame producer Martin Bregman former manager of Al Pacino got his hands on the script and that kind of jetstream stone into a lot of meetings in a lot rooms, and there could have been version of platoon in the mid seventies that start Al Pacino and that would have been a very different story for Oliver. Stone. Would have been the director probably not would it have been a Sidney lumet movie or Fred Cinnamon Movie? These are the kind of things that pop up and then later on, we learned that there was a version of born on the fourth of July, which also might have started Al Pacino despite the fact that he was in his mid thirties. And that's another fascinating. What if every movie could've start Al Pacino at some point? It's my understanding reading this book. Yes, and and like you say, some people get straight shots you know William. Freed Kim does not come out of this looking great because William Freakin pass on the opportunity to make platoon and instead I think took on the brink's job which was a movie that was not successful in. Stone has dagger for for. Free Beacon so. These are all reasons to read the book. If you care at all about Hollywood history if you care at all especially about Hollywood in the seventies, there's a lot of really fun and juicy stuff here, and there is a lot of kind of depressing paranoid stuff about his rise to fame and it's it's kind of a tried and true tale where you get a lot of money, you get access to drugs, you get access to a certain class of person. Perhaps, woman you're a man and that. Refraction distorts your perception of self and it leads you into these crazy decisions. You know one of the decisions he makes which is so fascinating and so like. Unexplored. I think about the stone myth is just the fact that he made a second movie after seizure called the hand which I also revisited last night in, which is not very good and this is well after he's already won an Oscar. This is well after he's already achieved kind of incredible fame to horror movie starring Michael Caine about. Cartoonist who loses his hand and his hand then haunts people and kills them at acting as a kind of like. disembodied hid. And again Ulverston guy even though he's got a lot of money beautiful life Oscar on his mantle. Coping with some demons coping with the idea of. Physical violence you know I'm sure he saw his fair share of you know severed appendages in during his time in Vietnam and he's like liberalising some of that pain to create these horror movies. He's just clearly not yet ready to be a great filmmaker, and so the book then spends essentially the final third. Analyzing. His two great trial. In nineteen eighty-six there's plenty of time spent on scarface which entertaining and clearly a frustrating experience for him. There's some time spent on some other films that he made You're the dragon for Michael's Amino and eight million ways to die and some of his writing projects but really the book turns on Salvadoran Platoon. I think makes him I. I don't know I I'm sure I'M GONNA. Get this wrong but he's the only person I think of who was nominated for best original screenplay twice in the same year. Can You? Can you think of any other person who had that? That honor there must be someone over the years. At presumably. But probably like. Decades ago because it seems it happens a lot with actors, but that's just a little bit more because of. One projects release and you know happened in directors with Soderbergh I think in in in two thousand but it's the screenwriters were always just fighting to get anything made. So it's really hard to have to. Once exactly I mean that's that was exactly what I was thinking and it's clearly you know it's a manifestation of two projects that he'd been working on for a very long time finally getting the Green. Light in eighty or eighty, five, I suppose, and then making them in eighty six and they're they're kissing cousins, these movies you know they they set a template for the kinds of work that he's going to do, and we'll talk about them a little bit more we get into the game but like let's just put stone in context here as as a filmmaker before we get into the game. Okay. Okay. Twelve Academy award nominations in his career. He has four. Oscars. He also has two best director Oscars there's a very short list of people who have to best record Oscar. He got them both within the span of four years. That's just that's Pretty. Crazy and now I think is very overlooked when we talk about him because of some of that, you know the political energy that exists around him. Well, I think it's essential to understanding everything that comes after because he is. So quickly goes from all of the trials and tribulations and self perceived failures. He outlines in this part of the book to winning two Best Director Oscars in the span of four years, and he's entirely accepted by Hollywood and the establishment, and like once you are completely validated, then your mind starts going in other directions and that's how you get. JFK, and that's how you get the Oliver Stone of the ninety S. I think that's exactly right. There seems to be an act of defiance going on in the second third of his career where he's trying to take that I don't know that Just the. Comfort and ease with which we talk about people who have achieved a great deal and try to like trying to explode that too. He's always trying to blow something up and it seems like he's trying to blow up that respectability so. You, know his films have garnered forty two nominations and twelve wins over the years. This is one of the most celebrated filmmakers the last fifty years as a writer. As we said, it's pretty clear what his influences are. You know Greek mythology, moby. Dick he literally quotes George Orwell. In this book, he's very cynical but very romantic. He's post modernists but he's also a total classes like he's trying to have his cake and eat it too throughout his whole career which makes for I. Think Fun Art to to disentangle you know this is not Is. Not. Fast and furious five. You know what I mean like I like fast five just fine. There's there's no there's no undertaxed in fast five. Yeah but sometimes, there's not a ton of under Texan Oliver Stone movies I don't think that fast five is the worst comparison in terms of bombast and Cramming everything in to that he's working on a very grand scale always in ideas and execution. That's a good point. In some ways. There's very little that is unsaid in his work, and so that's that's that's these cap captain. Obvious. Yes. Sometimes that works really well I think. In, the case of JFK it's actually great that he just says everything that ever occurred to him about the JFK assassination in other cases not so much. Well, we'll get to that. As I said, the film making style is pretty important. He basically has two different phases of his work as a filmmaker. The I is the those sort of Salvador and platoon films which are very grounded. They're almost like they're almost documentary like in the way they're shot they're but they're still you know still dramatic still kind of spiritual moment were willing to fo- falls to his knees as his character is dying as the helicopter pulls away. But for the most part, he's trying to capture something very earnest and straightforward and right in the characters face, and then there's that second phase which sort of. As, we get into the early nineties that has this fast cutting in multiple film stock, hallucinatory, impressionistic media, saturated overeager hazy portrayal of you know the way that influences kind of poison our brains, and I still don't totally know if Oliver Stone invented that psychology and then made me think that that was all true or if he was reflecting on something that was real you know you know what? I'm saying like, did he invent that commercial style or was he trying to manifest something that he was seeing in the world? I always thought it was a little bit the latter but that's because I. Think I came to that era of Oliver Stone at the same time that I came to pop culture itself. So it's very hard for me to separate. You know what I saw on MTV versus what I saw in A. Oliver Stone Film I just kind of all blends together as as stuff I gotta catch up on. And and you know and how you receive it does affect how its effectiveness as well which I'm sure we'll talk about there's one in particular that I know we're going to talk about. So I think if you look at the subjects that he focuses on that approach that explosive impressionistic approach makes a lot of sense Vietnam and Kennedy and rock and roll and drugs and identity, and love. These are all things that are actually in some ways best understood not in linear fashion because too frequently if they're understand linear fashion than it's their, they're explained to simply and I, think he puts can. The the certitude of some of his ideas by throwing a lot of things that you all at once sometimes I worked sometimes it's it's what you're saying. It's sort of making things too obvious and that's part of what makes him. So interesting the glue of this this second stage approach is definitely Robert Richardson who was shot most of his masterpieces, most of his best liked or best love films, eleven of features. Were done with Richardson and then Richardson went on to become. One of the four or five more celebrated cinematographers of his era teamed up with Scorsese Tarantino Aero Morris all since working with stone notably has not really worked with Oliver Stone in about fifteen twenty five years and that can tell you a little bit about where stones career has gone too. I think that they miss each other and Hank Corwin is the editor who was a commercial editor who helped develop that editing style with Stone Richardson that I think you know when I think of Angkor when I think of. Natural born killers and he's he's been in the news in the last few years because of the big short and vice but he really built that style with stone twenty five years ago, and so those two guys along with you know Bruno Rodeo and a bunch of other people you know the casting directors who found a lot of stone players over the years they built that mythology that first ten years of significant work for him from eighty six to ninety six that I suspect we'll spend most of our time on. and. I guess the last thing just to talk about is what you opened with which is that. People think Oliver Stone is a conspiracy theorist. So. Do you think he actually is a conspiracy theorist or do you think he is trying to upgrade an unnerve conventional wisdom I? Think at some point he has turned into a bit of an actual conspiracy theorist at. The reason I answered the way that I did because because he was good at branding and this idea of Oliver, stone, and what to expect from his movies and from his interviews and handed the world of Oliver Stone extremely well communicated to me and it it's how I understand and I think as we've talked about when we talked. Previously about JFK and I'm sure we'll talk about it some more but. How we all learned to look at like actual film and things like this. You know there's a pruder and what we ask questions of and how we communicate Them and conspiracy like I. Guess our entire generation learned that from JFK. So I give him a lot of credit for that I think is possibly more. Knowing and intentional JFK than it is in perhaps the documentary that he says that he is releasing a follow up today. Again I refer you to the New York Times into New York Times magazine interview with David Marquez e where he is asked about this project and he explains all of the things that have since been revealed. That will be in his documentary and it's very hard not to take as an actual. Conspiracy theorist yeah. I I think the other significant complication around this is the documentary work. He's done spotlighting the leftist leaders of the world and he spent a significant amount of time. On camera off with. Vladimir Putin. Fidel. Castro. Yasser Arafat Hugo. Chavez he has put these people who. Many people believe are very evil and destructive figures in world history, and he's put them in a very positive light stone is very sympathetic to their causes. And he is has been accused of being a bit soft on people particularly Putin. Who you know many people obviously believe is a strong man and very dangerous figure and. I. Perhaps. This is my kind of like simple-minded wish wish casting but I would love to know what we would think of Oliver Stone, if you hadn't made any of these documentaries if he just had not done any of this work over the years because he they're inextricable now the fact that he made two documentaries about Fidel Castro the fact that he made a I thought a very, not good. Documentary about Hugo, Chavez and the revolution in Venezuela and how that affected south. America. Just like a very credulous portrayal of a person who is mentally complicated who is not challenged the movie I think that would be. It would be fascinating to look at these twenty feature films he made and just look at those films as like the text of Oliver Stone's life but I don't think I think there are inextricable now and that's it's it's it certainly complicates them. I do also think that the culture is just caught up to Oliver Stone and and it technologically and. Politically and psychologically where a lot more familiar with the type of sought that he is a presenting in those documentaries and it seems like. Y. You know what we see on Youtube is a lot of ways like an evolution of what started twenty years ago. Now can you hold him responsible for that I? Think no, we're GONNA talk a lot about like the reactions to his films and other people's interpretations of his art and I don't think that you can hold someone entirely responsible for that. But at the same time, Oliver Stone is very aware of his own narrative and he's very aware of the politics and it is very aware of. The media and schools of thought, and so I don't totally know how to untangle all of it because he is actively engaged in the work of his own influence and some of those daddy issues that we mentioned I think crop up. So specifically in all his work documentary and otherwise he seeking this kind of political father figure obviously has this incredible adulation for John F. Kennedy. He's talked recently a lot about his the the the literal hope he had him Barack Obama an how letdown he felt by his administration you know he he's talked about what a meaningful for Castro was to him and. These are really complicated personal issues that he's bringing to deeply political and social issues that. makes him such a difficult person to sort out you know like you can you can feel the psychology in play in the way that he is saying Gosh I idolized JFK in the same way that he represents my father could not be or the way that I was disappointed by this version of Uncle Sam and you know he's he's like he so bald faced in in that stuff that it's it's kind of fascinating. Yeah, and again that's where the real boomer ism of it all comes into me because at some point and I'm only speaking for myself but my reaction I, I do find myself hitting a wall against the America daddy issues. Just because I like I understand that it is like Vietnam is the defining moment of his life and he's working through that, and so I I don't mean to diminish it but it's just also I as a millennial who was born. When I was Just can't understand believing in America and feeling betrayed by America in the way that he did he does still and some of that is it just because of his generation and his time and and he is still working through his experiences in the way that he was betrayed, but it does. I think we all look at politics and the idea of America so differently. Okay before we get into our game, let's hear a quick word from our sponsor. Today's episode of the big picture is brought to you by an American pickle and American pickle star Seth Rogan Herschel Greenbaum Nineteen Twenties American Emigrant. Mentally brined pickles for one hundred years merging in present day, New York, City Seth Rogan as Hertzel's only surviving relatives his great grandson, Ben a mild-mannered computer coder living in Brooklyn from the producers of the disaster artists and fifty fifty and American pickle tells the uniquely heartwarming story of two men from different generations who must learn the true meaning of family stream the new Max original in American pickle August sixth only on Hbo Max Predate PG Thirteen. Let's try to look at him a little bit differently. She should go through his movies. Okay you're just going to read the whole list. Well? No no no I think I. Think what we should do is we'll set some ground rules for this game. We've just had this. Sincere and deep conversation about one of the more provocative artists of the twentieth century. Pretty Fair I thought so too I mean I. Come to this as a big fan of Oliver Stone's movie is not all but a lot of them and I'm proud of the way that we've talked about his work in his book thus far. But we'RE GONNA WE'RE GONNA play a stupid game in order to. Our feelings about him a little bit more coherently. So Fuck Mary kill. Here's the deal. We're only gonNA focus on the feature films. So we're not going to focus on the work that he did as a screenwriter as I said, that includes Midnight Express Conan, the barbarian scarface year of the Dragon Eight, million ways to die, and he does have a writing credit on Vida, which is a film that he desperately wanted to make and was not able to make. It was eventually made in the Mid Ninety s starring Madonna, maybe one day we'll talk about Evita in depth on this podcast fun fact I did see that film on a school trip and I'm not sure what my teacher. To know about David Perron but they thought I needed to know something. And we're also GONNA talk about the documentaries I think I'm not really a fan of most of the documentaries I do think that. The twelve part the untold history of the United States which you can watch on Netflix's interesting. I think it's probably the most interesting documentary work. He's done. It's This really kind of breathtaking comprehensive look at America through the nuclear age starting in the forties running all the way through George W Bush and that. Kind of picturesque Oliver Stone like who could ever believe I'd be the one to tell this story feeling in in that series but everything else I find is. Pretty politically complicated and feels like agent provocateur stuff to me. You know it feels like he's trying to draw people out and get them to embarrass themselves publicly by talking about some of this work, which is something that we have decided to do on this podcast like fools, but we'll talk about the twenty movies. So. Amanda you got three Fox three Mary's and three kills. I got three three and three of the same. So let us go through each movie one at a time and you can tell us. If you decided to fuck Mary or kill it or none of the above. Okay this is interesting because I didn't know that this green writing was off the table. So I have one free spot that I'm. To. Award during the during the run of play. So that'll be interesting will if you want a monologue about Vita, for twenty minutes you'll free I. Also have a very vivid memory of seeing a video that I don't know whether it was a school trip or just my parents like home education. Anyway we'll. Should we use this as an opportunity to talk quickly about scarface I assume scarface is the film you were going to pick yeah. I was going to be one of my Fox because what else are you going to do with scarface? Yes you gotTa Fuck scarface. I I it's just not his movie. You know I think I think it was his movie. It would have been very different movie and he can he he's he says as much and that seemed like a fascinating experience for him Oliver Stone talking about the people who really got scarface, which is something that I've been reading for forty years where he's like you know black and Latino and city inner city people understood this movie always kind of just gives me chills a little bit. It was just feels like he's not the right person to be telling that story even though he in many ways, he's right and in many ways that the film was kind of saved and mythologised. By. By hip hop and by different kind of culture than serve white. Safe Hollywood culture that it it found its way into but you know it's an amazing movie. I. Love. scarface. It's just a complete mess all over the Place de Paul Mad at his urged pomace and stone throwing. Every pipe bomb he has in his in his bag into a screenplay. Well, that's. Why I think it is more of an Oliver Stone Film then you're giving credit for it's just absolutely ridiculous and also. So instantly memorable especially like much of the dialogue but I was watching some clips before we do this, I can't not laugh when Al Pacino is like speaking in in this movie, it's fly habit. I can't believe this happened, which is is honestly the truest Oliver Stone experience. Are You surprised that this movie hasn't been canceled yet because Pacino's playing a Cuban man. I just assumed that you could cancel all. Oliver. Stone's movies I think yes. That's a good point. That's seller stone in the time of canceled culture is fascinating. Fascinating So he's almost untouchable in a way because everything is contaminated. Yeah okay. So you're GONNA have to make another pick you're GONNA have to. Another film, which this is that a challenge for you. This was the last five. This was the one I couldn't. I told you very confidently yesterday that I had eight of nine slots figured out and the ninth one is. Yeah I don't totally know what to do, but I'll get there a figure it out. Okay. So we're flying. Fast and free. So I mentioned those the the first two films in the mid Nineteen seventy-four seizure nineteen, eighty, one, hand I think it's safe to say that neither one of us. Are GonNa, Fuck Mary, or kill either of these movies right Correct. definitely seems like Oliver Stone needed to get fucked after making these movies because they're just really kind of sad and weird and paranoid, and he's you shouldn't be making horror movies. You should be making the kinds of films that he would go on to make shortly thereafter. So the next films that we get. Are the one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, six, duo of Salvador and platoon. Do you have any laurels for either of those films? Is You not? I, I wish them well, and I have like a lot of respect. For platoon sort of. No do but. There to pass for me on both. Let's talk about platoon quickly because I'm GonNa Fuck Platoon, which is a complicated emotion to have about a movie searing platoon I understand platoon because of the way that it was it's it's myth was communicated to me, which is that this was the most real the movie that had ever been made. That was the way that it was silver in this movie comes after apocalypse. Now, it comes after full metal jacket it comes after a lot of these you know harrowing an serious, but also kind of Mythological approaches to to war films, and this was like I said much more of a boots on the ground approach Dale. Dye The the. Was the adviser on this film and he goes on to be an actor appears in many of stone's films, and he's the person who trained a lot of the actors to look like soldiers. And you know this book ends functionally with platoon winning best picture that is like the summation that is like ta of Oliver Stone and his story, and it's funny that he then goes on to literally. Thirty five more years of crazy shit. The the book actually ends with him being like it was so great that I won best picture because it would steal me for the wars to come like that's. How it happens To be. Continued Aka. This podcast. So I have a lot of admiration for platoon. I, think it is like so many movies before it it is not aging wellness -essarily. Because the way that we see war movies has has evolved a lot but it's also it's set the archetype in. So many ways for the kind of war movies we would come to see, and so it's one of those things where it deserves multiple points for the table for the next batch. Casualties of war come shortly thereafter, Brian Depalma's Vietnam movie and they have a lot in common but this guy. You Know Devil and Angel Devil and Jesus figures in the film to is a total literal design from stone the Willem dafoe character of Elias in the Tom Barringer character barns but they create just this like. Straightforward uncomplicated but beautiful metaphor for his tormented soul as he spends time in the jungle and the movie is You know I don I don't think it's perfect. I, don't think it's as best film. I, don't think it's even his most kind of like searing and excitable movie. It's quite a solemn movie in many ways, but it's undoubtedly the work of somebody who knows what they're doing and what they're talking about despite the fact that as he writes about in the book it. Seems like they had to beg borrow and steal just to get the thing finished and it seemed like it was a very difficult shoot and there was a lot of learning that he had to do on the fly while making it but you know it's it's it's one of his signature movies. It's a kind of traditional American four star movies so on having sex with it. Yeah. I watched it. I was reminded just how much like my and I think our generation like understanding of Vietnam is shaped by this movie and a lot of ways I this just a we've moved past it and you know our understanding and that that American centered. Version of war movie is is just kind of not where we are and so I think I'm also just maybe I'm thinking a little bit too much about the definitions of. fucking versus marrying versus killing something, which we didn't really talk about and like possibly for the sake of you know are any everyone should not really define how we're thinking about those in any great terms but I would say the platoon was kind of a second Tier Berry for me and I just didn't get there. So I think that. I have a case for flipping Marianna Faulk, and this is the one that I may. I could flip theoretically but we'll get there when we get there. Okay. So. Nineteen eighty-seven after platoon after best picture after Salvador, which we didn't really talk about. But you know is this kind of crazy adventure movie about a journalist who travels to El Salvador to expose the lies of of what the Americans are doing to support the right wing parts of the party in the rebel rebel soldiers. In the confusion, there has an amazing James Woods performance he was nominated for best actor. Castro yeah. I don't know if they're better. All I know is to some Campesino who can't read or write or feed his own family has to watch his kids die of malnutrition. Do you think he gives a shit about Marxism or capitalism? was that kind of crap thinking loss does Vietnam this guilt chip you liberal assholes. KGB's doing. You guys are here. Some kind of post. Vietnam experience I can need a rerun or something for one hundred, twenty, million bucks into this place you turn it into a military zone. So what so you can have chopper parades in the sky you're blowing bit of alike donut feels like it's still being made by somebody who doesn't totally know how to make a movie, but he pulls off all these crazy set-pieces on the shoestring budget that it's definitely worth a watch but it doesn't doesn't register from Nineteen eighty-seven Wall Street. Point is ladies and gentlemen. Gre-. For lack of a better word is good. Read is right. Greed works greed clarifies cuts through and captures. Of the evolutionary spirit greed in all of its forms, we'd for life for money for love knowledge has marked upward surge of mankind and green. You. Mark. My words will not only save tell our paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the US. Definitely one of the our role Oliver Stone movies. Ton Revisiting. Did Not like it and in fact, I wanted to kill it. I mean Wall Street, Yeah Yeah. Sane. Wow. You don't know what a good fuck is. Then because the I'm fucking Wall Street okay. So. Of course it's not that it's not not good and of course, it's just like it creates Gordon Gecko and then we all have to live in Oliver. Stone's Wall Street world like thinks that it's commentary and it's mythology is saying the you know the Wall Street big-spending greed is good character that it's trying to critique and part of that is because Michael Douglas gives an alternate performance and part of. That is because Oliver Stone is like working through his definition of what a great man is and what ambition is and what you should, what you should admire and what you should revile both in men and in capitalism and and also partly it's bad because you have the Charlie Sheen character in there who has to like go through his daddy issues like make good at the end, which is like. Clearly a stand in for someone who we've been talking about a lot on this podcast and Adding on a moral lesson that you don't really need. But Gordon Gecko of it all. Is All time in terms of creating a character and an image and at penetrating the culture I think you have to give him credit for that even if it gets away with him and a lot of ways that's the story got away from him. It's an interesting thing I I think you made my case very strongly when you said all the things before but which is that it created a culture on perhaps unknowingly perhaps not that I think was pretty toxic maybe it didn't create but it cemented cemented that Michael Milkin you know powerbroker. Pinstripe suit suspended superman figure that is obviously really gross. And Michael. Douglas's amazing. There's no doubt about it but this movie was really not that well received was not a hit and Douglas's the person who got an Oscar nomination and so even though it has this big reputation and it's considered a very big movie, it really wasn't I think many people considered a kind of a letdown in the aftermath of platoon even though it did have. There's an iconography to it. That is still memorable but God Charlie Sheen is not good. Not a good actor and there is literally a scene in which he's standing on the sky roof of skyscraper in screens into the night who am I like it could there be more dumb shit. Representation of a person going through problems than literally asking themselves who am I as they make decisions in life like there still seems to be like a little bit of a one thing in play and he hasn't totally tapped into his essential stone nece and I think I was just surprised by how How simple this movie was not deep it was. All totally fair, and then how you respond to that fact says a lot about other aspects of your life. We should also add it's one of the worst performances by a an actress in an Oliver Stone Movie, which is saying something. I don't Daryl head I don't know what's happening, but it's not good. No, it's not good. But I just kinda think in terms of like seizing Zeitgeist ends like image energy making and putting your finger on something with Gordon Gecko you gotta give credit to it but not enough to marry it so. I get you love to sleep stockbrokers noted. Nine thousand nine hundred and Talk Radio I've chosen to marry the Talkradio. Did you get a chance to look at this before the show? No, I had to watch it I think I've seen part of it though I will be honest. I don't think I've seen it at fall. Happiest, when others are in pain. That's where I come in. Isn't it? I'm here to lead you by the hands with a dark forest of your own hatred and anger and humiliation. Underwriting, about service. So scared. Like a little child under the covers, your of the Boogeyman, but you can't live without. Your fear your lives become your entertainment. Interesting film not exactly what I remembered seeing many years ago. I could probably make the case for flipping the fuck session with platoon with succession session with talk radio and then marrying platoon. It's debatable here. I was really taken with this movie though because something I wouldn't have picked up on when I saw it in the nineties was just how incredibly well made it is and this to me is this kind of signals like stone going to another stratosphere in part because this is Arguably an even harder movie to make cinematic than wall, street platoon and Salvador because the whole damn movie essentially takes place inside of a radio booth. It's just in a radio station and it's just Eric Bogosian yelling into a microphone for about eighty percent of the film, and somehow with Richardson, he manages to use all of these filming tricks make this movie completely riveting. So it's based on a Pulitzer Prize nominated play that big ocean put on the public theater and later on Broadway and Pagodas, of course, this incredible monologue guest playwright in his best known now, probably as the guy who is trapped in the vestibule in at the end of uncut gems. You know and also has been a villain and a lot of films and plays a very unlikable shock Jock in Dallas. Texas in this movie. Gives a searing performance but and you know I think the movie in many ways predicts. The Ben, Shapiro's and Joe Rogan's of the world the kind of like. Intense You know deeply angry and sure that they understand the truth of the world kind of talking head figures dominate. So much of media now and certainly the the big ocean character would fit in in a twitter world very well, very comfortably, and so it has the script has a lot of foresight but to me, it's much more story about like basically a director figuring out how to make movies, not how to make stories that are essential to him, and like platoon is essential to him wall. Street he writes a little bit about his father struggles with money at the end of his life and how you know the way that. stockbroker culture overtook New York, and how that damaged his family like wall. Street's every personal film talk radio. He didn't write it Gordon wrote it, and he comes to an almost for higher because he had to wait a year for Tom Cruise to be available to make his next film and so in year he takes the year and whatever in a sixty day, she would makes this really interesting movie. If you haven't seen talk radio, I would definitely recommend it is not a perfect film, but it is something that. I thought about a lot after seeing it, which is not always the case with with all films. So marrying talk radio with maybe maybe Maybe a aside faulk session as well. Okay. So in a nice marriage but whatever yes. Nine hundred, ninety, nine born on the fourth of July. Jamie Kennedy Jen state. Not My fault communism offer nothing tro running. Do you know what are you know? Yes, I marry on the fourth of July. I am I knew this is where we would meet. Amazing I'm so glad we watched it a god probably his best. Yeah I think it's just it isn't a lot of ways. The most obvious because it is the closest marriage of white Oliver Stone is is working through and the and the themes and how he relates to the ideas of America and politics and Vietnam with with the actual text, and so there is something i. you know I hesitate to use the word honest because I don't mean that the others aren't honest but it just it feels unvarnished a- almost while also being just like a really big tent filmmaking and using all of the American iconography and you know the John Williams score and it's Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise paying on the idea of Tom Cruises, a movie star and you know the American matinee idol. In in nineteen thousand nine. So it's I kind of think it's kind of his most well rounded. Work. If that makes sense and that's what I'm looking for in a marriage. Oh. That's a nice way of thinking about things. I mean I think of when I think about the Mary Concept of this game I think about what's the thing that I? I WANNA spend the most time with and. ronkovics story. Is Powerful to me for very obvious reasons which is that Ron Kovic is a brown haired idealistic kid from Long Island and when I was growing up I went to Walton High School in Huntington and Ron Kovic was friends with many of the people who taught me in high school and so Ron Kobe was a name you would hear all the time is like a long island legend in many ways and he's known as this incredible antiwar activist obviously now in the latter stages of his life but I Just see provide some context for that. I think the film doesn't amazing job of capturing what Long Island is like which is to say it is not really the home of a lot of antiwar activists and for him to be a figure who emerged from that and went through the trials that he through you know losing the use of his legs and Encountering like his own incredible frustrations in PTSD and the problems inside of his family like. It's pat to say that it hit home but it had this is like a movie that hits home so hard for me and KOVAK is just like American hero in both of the ways that we like to use that phrase. He is the person who gave his life and his body for his country, and he has also the person who. Sacrificed his freedom to say the things that he felt were true and stone not being Ronco Vic I think makes him the best person to make the movie you know platoon is so personal. So specifically about stone and I think that that. People glommed onto that and they romanticize that when they were celebrating him for the film. But him having just a little bit of critical distance while also knowing how to tell Vietnam Story and then a story about this guy who lived a slightly different life than he did I think it just makes it's the perfect marriage and as you said crews, this is this is the best crews ever been in my mind I mean at least in terms of the kind of know the serious awards were the. Work that he's done over the years I, it's it's nuts to me that he didn't win get. He lost to Daniel day-lewis for my left foot a similarly you know body sacrificing kind of performance and it's fascinating that they were up against each other at this time. But man, this is just one hell of a movie I really really like it. I was so happy after watching a lot of like mediocre. Oliver Stone. Movies. This was the last one I watched and I was really happy to be with it. So we're both marrying born on the fourth of July nineteen, eighty nine. I suspect we both have strong feelings about the next film. Nineteen ninety one's the doors. FUCKING How long are you going to let them push you around? This I'm GONNA get my. Whole Shit House goes up in flame now. So we're in the sweet spot where in the we're in prime time. For Stone now he's he's just won his second best director Oscar for born on the fourth of July. He is one of the cell Mo-, celebrated filmmakers of his generation maybe in his mind ten years too late but it's all happening for him. He is at the center of movie culture and what he has to say about American Life Matters, more than almost anybody. And he decided to make a movie about the doors. To do like do you like the band the doors? No No. It's like come on I was born in the eighties I don't care about this shit. This is this is peak boomer, which is why I'm. Going to kill in addition to being not good. I re watched part of the doors yesterday afternoon, and then had to have a meeting with our coworker Mallory Ruben and she was like, how are you and I was like, I'm in a really bad mood 'cause i. just watched part of the doors. I. Know we with respect to Jim Morrison and. Lyrics to a couple of the songs. But I why? Why is this the myth that were making? Such an interesting choice for him because I think it speaks to some of that earnestness that. In a movie like born on the Fourth of July in really hurts a movie like the doors because he takes so much of the Jim Morrison mythology at face value and so much of that. Kind of the poetry of the of the wounded man at such face value and it really hurts the movie because. The doors at best and they were not frequently at their best. But at their best I thought we're like a pretty. They were Pretty Fun Blues. Band I you know I I used to be a rock critic and when I was a rock critic, the doors were the number one punching bag of that generation. They were the band that no-one respected because Morrison's lyrics were so dumb and his melodies were so thin and weak and the band had this Raymond's Eric's like Goofy Oregon was a part of all of these songs that didn't really belong but. I always thought Robby Krieger was a great blues guitarist and John Dinsmore was a jazz drummer and so you took a blues guitarist and Jazz Drummer and this guy with this deep deep baritone voice and he sang really good white blue songs. This movie is not interested in that at all this movie is interested in witchcraft and Morrison has like Fuck God and the broken dream of the nineteen sixties, which is that boomer exceptionalism that you're talking about and while I think val kilmer is like maybe the closest any person will ever come to becoming another person for movie because he literally looks sounds and acts exactly. As we imagined Jim Morrison did the movie is just so listless and pointless and self serious. And knock good and it's such a bummer. Like I did the same thing when we watch this week, I watched it. I got to the end of it and I was like God. Damn. This is bad like I can't believe how bad it is I do love the one sequence I do love the. You got you got to this point in the movie, but you know with when the meltdown happens when Morrison Kinda burned to the ground in Miami at this at this infamous concert that they gave. Stone does do some kind of interesting like presaging the natural born killers, manic style of filmmaking. But for the most part, it's a pretty is a really tough watching. It has not. It's the movie that's probably aged the least well because I think we're totally out now generation only on Romanticizing, rockstars of the nineteen sixties like this when to agree. I was never in on it but yes. There is just like a real. Okay. Dad like please stop talking to to every aspect of deciding to do this and making this movie and then having to talk about it with with ours back my father who's also boomer and who I love very much. I don't know if he likes the doors I. I. Hope Not. Are you killing this. I'm killing it. Okay. Okay. Great. So right now let's just do quick tally because we're going through the heart of his filmography. This is really the. This is the key era. So I am fucking platoon chilling Wall Street marrying talk radio marrying born on the fourth of July and killing the doors. Okay and so far. I am fucking Wall Street marrying born on the fourth of July and killing the doors. Okay. So you've got quite a few left which is exciting, which gives us a lot to talk about. Next Film Nineteen ninety-one Kennedy was so dangerous to this. You've heard about it before. It's a little movie called JFK. Who is just scenery for the public? Also, Ruby Cuba a matthew. Keeps them guessing some kind of polygon prevents them from asking the most important question why? Why was Kennedy killed? Benefit. WHO has the power to cover them Goddamn Brilliant Immensely watchable. Masterpiece from Ulverston I am, of course marrying it. What are you doing? I am also marrying it. Yes. We have to marry the best we have to marry the the truest versions of the other person kids if you're contemplating marriage. Mary make sure you know who you're marrying and also Mary the essence of that person which in fraud or stone is JFK. Couldn't have said it better? This is an immensely long film just like marriage. It's a and complex, and oftentimes some confounding film just like marriage. It is a film that is quite sure. It knows what it's doing even when it does not just like marriage and. It's kind of beautiful in its own fucked up way just like marriage I. I really think that you know I think you and I probably talked about this every once every six months for the last two years we've been doing this show. It's just a it's a totemic movie for me but it does signify like you say not just philosophically in creatively what stones about but. Even, though born on the fourth of July I think is the most coherent filmmaking. He's ever done and the clearest straightest truest line he's ever drawn. JFK is so fucking fun. It's just so fun to watch. It's just so crazy. It's just it is is really where he cements that that style that I was talking about that crazy impressionistic style where he's capturing all is archival footage and mixing in film stocks and just showing you things that he shouldn't be showing you and frankly like lying in places making things in an effort to tell this ostensibly true story I mean there are so many composite characters. There are so many twists of the truth to t to make a compelling case but he it's convincing it's a really convincing piece of work. And it also has not one but two really iconic scenes that are not just icon exceed in movie history but I think. Formulate the way people understand schools of thought and and. And and politics and ideas, and that of course is the Donald Sutherland extended scene and then the the bullet at the end and it went this way and the other way you know memes before there were memes and also. Like sixty minute youtube videos parsing. Video before youtube existed. Yeah I mean for a guy who loves Greek mythology this is like his helen of Troy. This is the this is the film that launched a thousand sub. It's you know it's really he is the the macher of of this kind of thinking that is so prevalent in in American Internet culture, you know like he really is like a granddaddy figure of this stuff and while I think a lot of that stuff is toxic and fucking weird it's not surprising that it was an inspirational for so many people living quietly alone in their basement because it is it's just it's in. And We're both marrying JFK. Nineteen, ninety-three Heaven and earth. I got nothing for this movie I was like, yeah, I I found a dull. It's it's I mentioned this you last night we were talking but this actually just feels like Oliver Stone trying to tell a story a bit more conventionally, and maybe the maybe this is a chance to talk about his relationship to female characters, which is not terribly strong throughout his career because this is a story that has favors the female lead, much more than most historians do and while it is. You Know Times I think are very Sympathetic portrait of a woman who went through incredible struggle during the war. It is. Really Bland and he just does not have a feel for how to write a character like this and he just does not. It seems like he does not have a strong feel for writing female characters in general. Disinterest, and you can sense that in the book and you can definitely sense it in the work where there are not very many female characters. They're usually afterthoughts they're almost always miscast which just. Signals to me a fundamental misunderstanding either of what he's writing or you know what he thinks he thinks of women versus what he actually thinks of women when he's When he's casting I I don't want to hold I think it's boring to go through a director's list of of Works and be like you didn't make enough movies about women I. Just I don't think that that is ultimately productive even though I would like to see more movies about women and what I would really like is to see more movies by women because at the end of the day if you're not interested in something I, don't want you making an an entire movie about it but yeah, I agree with you I and some of it is also I think again he is. Just working through what happened to him in Vietnam and his relationship to all those men in Vietnam in so much of his work in his life and and when women were not there. So for me, it's more. It's it's tunnel vision though I have to say just a number of tremendously sexist decides in the book which you know what what are you GonNa do? It yeah. I underlined a few of the tougher hangs. There's some tough hanks, and if you're triggered by that I would say avoid chasing the light heaven and earth is the final film in his trip ditch of Vietnam stories after platoon born on the fourth of July and it's interesting it's very stayed and it was received. A bit stiffly I don't think people really cared for this much more measured approach much more traditional approach to storytelling. So in nineteen, ninety-four, he says fuck it and he makes one of the craziest movies of the last thirty years that movie of Courses Natural born. Killers. Can you look ordinary pissed. Off Guard with kids and then shoot him to death. I mean, heck can you bring yourself to do that? Who who's innocent y you in our municipal? Yes I am. Definitely. It's just murder man all God's creatures do in some form or another. I. Mean. You look in a forest got species killing other species are species killing all species including the forest and We've just call IT industry not murder very interested. Because I don't think you and I ever discussed it. What do you think? I'm going to say about it. I think you're GONNA fuck it. I'm definitely killing it but like Brit-. Brit-. But born from probably the same place as fucking at which again I think you and I are just like revealing too much about our sex lives that we should note that again, we are millennials we learned about sex in the nineties they were teaching some very different things kids go have a positive consensual sex life. But for for you and me. It's you know it's two sides of the same coin I, but I'm not killing it for the reasons that you think I'm killing it I'm like killing it and I say this with a lot of love for you like I'm killing it because of what you're about to spend five minutes talking about I'm killing it because of the shots like I don't care I don't want to. Hear about it anymore I understand that it invented a style of filmmaking that I kinda later and kind of thought was part of the world. I. Appreciate the Technical Aspects of it I find it really irritating to watch like I just don't enjoy watching it I watched again part of it yesterday afternoon. That's why I was such an such bad when I talked to Mallory and I. I you know I find the ideas outdated at best it's. Maybe, they were incisive in Nineteen ninety-four though I don't know the media. Did it. Even, then I know sir. Thank you. So I, just I, don't have interest in talking about it, and that's why I'm killing it i. think that makes total sense I think This is good. Sex at the end of a bad date is the way I think about this and Sometimes, you just have carnal desire for something that you know is bad for you and natural born killers is very bad for people and I agree with you that philosophically intellectually the movie is. A little too basic for my taste and I have always wanted to see the Quentin Tarantino version of the script and obviously you know the film was the script was bought in stone into other writers, rewrote it in their own image and. The idea that I. The idea that Quentin Tarantino would blame the media for violence in culture is obviously that is not what was in the original script. There's just no way that that was in the original script I don't know I did not ask when but just based on his work in the subsequent years you know that's not the case however. You're right formerly. An amazing movie this is an unbelievable thing, and it's forget about like analyzing the shots and talking about the film stock as I have. Just for me, the movie came out when I was twelve and I saw it when I was thirteen. I did not know you could do any of this stuff in a movie it really opened it. It. Put a power saw around my skull and pulled my brain out and poked at all of the wrinkles and was like, did you know that you can? Put a an evil Sitcom as you're at the origin story for character. Did you know that you can put a laugh track in a movie? Did you know that you can have a completely digressive of docudrama Docu series hosted by Robert Downey junior in the middle of your movie. These are all things that when your kid. Are Mind blowing they're just formerly mind blowing and they make you think about whatever Meta text is. Now at this stage of my life, you know taken that hard left into forty not that impressed you know all of these this media has been exploded over and over again, the Internet has completely. has made this film seemed completely outmoded I think the concepts of who is responsible for the violence in the world like it even seems really simplistic for somebody like stone. But? My way of thinking about would be as a teenager and it features like an all time woody Harrelson performance just an amazing performances Mickey I like Julia Louis in the movie I think she's a little bit cartoonish but I think what Woody Harrelson doing is like movie icon work it's the sort of stuff that makes you a legend doesn't movie star so I am having sex with this movie. Yeah. I get that makes sense. I'm just glad you're not marrying it. That would just be a long life to live. No. In fact, I've already married three of his films fresh out a fresh out of marriages what I've got left you. Kill Mary J. F. K. Born on the fourth of July and talk radio three years in and out. Wow. Okay also says a lot. Okay. Keep going. Nineteen, ninety-five Nixon. I don't really have anything on this. I have nothing on either I did not watch it. I've seen it. A couple of times is a very, very long film and I think a bit overwrought. I think he I think stone attempted to shoot the moon again and it's a it's an important movie in the history of his career because it, it essentially sets him off course it sets him off the political course. It's an off the boomer course many ways for a long stretch. This is really the last movie of its kind in that ten year period where Oliver Stone was one of the two or three most important filmmakers in America. But while it does have a great Anthony Hopkins performance at the center of it I, I find it to be not a very effective movie and also a little bit like You know little bit like. Telling a man that he. Needs to procreate. You know like that's instinctual like we we know in our American. DNA. That Nixon was paranoid and evil. You know we don't need a three and a half hour movie that explains it to us in one thousand, nine, hundred, five you know what? I mean. I agree with you and you know maybe Oliver Stone needed that because this is just how he is like making sense of his life but I I don't need it. Nineteen ninety-seven U-TURN I don't think you know who I. The names, Toby Tucker. People Round here calmly Mt. They're not very imaginative because I'm just like dynamite boy and when I go off, somebody gets heart. I was trying to tell me right. Now I'm. Terrified and I've learned my lesson and you can go way. For this movie, Stan they don't. I am I'm fucking. Wow. Your. Company. I was GonNa say something I was going to say something really inappropriate that again is really outdated in terms of just get it up pretty quickly and once again, kids just go out and have safe sex with whoever you want judgment, but you are moving quickly Sean. You're making some good points, which is that you and I are were were border kids were on the border between Jackson millennial you're a little Chris millennial than I I'm not a gen-x. I'm not. That's not even about when I was born but just ideologically, I completely missed the boat on it. Do you think so I'm not so sure. Don't you think though that all of my reactions and just in terms of the culture, I consumed what was important to me and how I come to it. I feel like I'm always the millennial in the room and I deal with Gen xers or Gen X. influence people like you and my husband, and obviously Chris Ryan, who is my favorite old-timey jet next person in my life Well I think that you have a lot of the cynicism of a Gen xer and not a ton of the ceaseless ambition of a millennial. So I think of you in our cohort. But Act that the this. This is notable. I think in having conversation about these movies because you know you turn the ultimate gen-x movie is a movie about a guy after. Breaking his back for twenty years to make these profoundly important films about the American character just makes this really CD neo noir based on a John Ridley novel full movie stars just absolutely teeming with incredible actors. You know star Sean, Penn, Jennifer Lopez right before out of sight when she is just at her maximum powers Nick Nolte Billy. Bob Thornton Claire. Danes Joaquin Phoenix. On Thousand Jon voight. Dunes. Just absolutely absurd shit as a native American really just the wild movie and very fun movie and a real like let me just take the safety off kind of move to cleanse himself and it's really dirty and it's really quick by Oliver Stone standards. I think it's a sub two hour movie and. It's got also I think I might have mentioned it on the show before it's like my favorite trailer of all time is this movie. This is the trailer that like haunted by dreams when I was a teenager, I would I would when when we got the Internet, I like downloaded dot move version of trailer just watch it over and over again like a fucking Weirdo. So I'm I'm I'm sleeping with U-TURN. Nineteen thousand nine. Any given, Sunday? I will be marrying given Sunday. Speak on it. I'm not doing anything with it, which was a twist thing. Yeah, that is interesting. For me it's it's. The entertainment value and that's a little bit why it was like I. Don't really think I'm the experts in I'm the play the hits you know give me something that I am having fun doing and and something a bit more mainstream I. Obviously, it is extremely prescient in terms of all of the issues that the NFL has been working through for the last twenty years, and I don't even really watch the NFL and I know about all of that so. And I give Oliver Stone Credit. That's when his skepticism and his kind of like what is the truth and being lied actually you know pays real dividends. I think they're great performances with the exception of one Cameron Diaz who once again, just I I don't understand that character like. And it's so funny because I believe it's in the oral history that we had on the Ringer last year for the twentieth anniversary. He was Oliver Stone was asked about the character needs just like you know it seemed like in the air there could be a female owner coming sometime soon. So it was almost like it was his version of feminism to be like now I will give the team, a female owner and I'm just like Sir I don't really know what you think's going on with women in. America in one, thousand, nine, hundred, nine or now. But that's okay. I think it's definitely too long but also in terms of. The way that it's filmed in the way it recreates football I I guess that's how I a person who doesn't watch football think and understand it football now because I saw any given Sunday I'm like, oh, it's like super violent and you're in the mix and you can hear the the the crashing and it's really visceral and In that same oral history, a lot of people including Pacino. Talk about how. Watching any given Sunday changed the way that they watch football and I think for me it probably just informed how I watch football when I do watch it when my husband is being a nut. So I I enjoy this movie at the end of the day I just I find it re watchable. So I will marry it because I have to spend the rest of my life with at theoretically and also give it half my money so Wow that's a complicated way of thinking about your relationships any given Sunday I I'm with you. This was a very borderline situation for me if there weren't three movies that I loved more than it probably would have been a marriage for me for the same exact reason I love to watch it to think it's immensely depression. I. Think it's probably not. A very honest representation of the violence inflicted and football infect. Someone's is pulled from their skull in this film and I've never seen that on a football field per se but it's like all. It's like Oliver, some movies, it's the opera version of real life. It's the over the top physical sensation, an intellectual sensation that you get from the ideas of a thing, and he's he's the best at that and football is a big fat target for heaven. It's of perfect for him I think the movie is like. Thirty percent of the movie doesn't work for me I about Cameron Diaz, his character there you know she's not only the owner she's the GM of that team in the NFL. Still does not have a female GM in its league and it may not for a long time to mentally sexist sport full of sexist organizations and so and I think the idea of making her like the young science slash. Ball Buster is a bit complicated, not ideal really but on the other hand got, and then she has to have her own version of daddy issues with Al Pacino because there have to be daddy issues and every single movie but it it makes it makes no sense but it's just so funny to me because I got the impression that he thought that he was really developing a really progressive female character. And it is just kind of a Frankenstein it makes no sense. Well, it's the thing where older men think that the way to make a woman more complex to give her traits that are typically defined as masculine, and that's not necessarily a sophisticated way of writing a female character and he you know he falls prey to that sometimes on the other hand, the male characters in this movie, the the actors are giving some of their best performances. In in terms of late period. Pacino. Yelling phase like this is as washable as he's ever been, the speech is obviously iconic. The you know the the inches speech I think Jamie Foxx obviously emerges here in a way that he had not before. This is when people really started taking him seriously as a performer, his his his character is also just it's it's Cliche to say but it's just such a predictor of where the League was going. Willy B. is the NFL now if you look at what you know, Lamar Jackson and Patrick mahomes players Dennis Quaid basically just plain John. elway is is wonderful in this movie as like a broken down steroidal, you know sunsetting middle-aged man. reunited with James Woods as an evil, Dr Love Him just being a complete shed. He'll. Up and down the cast, it's really just a great collection of of actors and Margaret Getting Look love to see and Margaret Abbey. But I'm not doing anything with it. You're you're you're marrying any given Sunday. Are you doing? Are You doing anything with? With Alexander, the two, thousand, four film. No. I didn't even bother revisiting but I do think i. saw it in Theaters I. saw it in theaters as well. I have also seen the ultimate cut. Are you familiar with the kind of the backstory how this sort of the bladerunner of our generation this movie? No okay. So obviously Alexander is. Comes five full years after any given Sunday. In this time Oliver Stone has started making some of these documentaries that we were talking about he's gotten a little bit more politically active as a documentary filmmaker takes a long stretch off the longest stretch by far he's taken since nineteen eighty-six from feature films he comes back with his Grand Epic Alexander starring Colin Farrell. The movie tested poorly was not a box office success. It was a very difficult shoot and they shot a lot of film a lot of film. I think when it was released I think it was in the neighborhood of two hours and forty minutes. It was long at the time I think that the ultimate cut is in the neighborhood of three and a half hours. It's one of the longest director's cuts ever. It's up there with Kingdom of Heaven, some of the bladerunner controversies. But and I haven't seen in a while but the people who like it love it they swear by it they swear that it is the epic of the Twenty First Century. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that I'm GonNa Watch it I think just because I spent all this time rewatching watching all these other movies and reading this book and going through his entire career but I remember not really liking it at all the first time I saw and kind of feeling a bit confused as to why Oliver Stone made this movie. But after reading the book, it doesn't make sense that he clearly is. He's taken with these stories with these great men that you're describing the classical. Yeah. Nothing for Alexander. Two Thousand Six World Trade Center got, anything for it. And do not. I don't either I think this is probably like his least successful film to me. It's not offensive in any way. It's actually because it's played so down the middle and because it is not the. The well of conspiracy that we expect from him. I'm weirdly holding out against it, and that's what that's the paradox being Oliver Stone if you don't bring the crazy. So the movie somehow we're not as interested in your movie that's gotTa be tough for him. Two Thousand Eight brings a movie called W. Important that we meet that deadline. Right. The only way we can win. is to leave before the job is done. Now. Yeah. I was GONNA say it's a great set of thank you just did and. About not bringing the crazy I will be killing W I will as well w should be. Is. It not a good film. This is a bizarrely sympathetic portrait of a bad person. WHO WHO WROUGHT HAVOC Yet. So here's the thing is that it's like it's not a bad film. It's really traditional them. It's everyone doing snl Bush administration with hints of the daily show and I believe Cordray is actually in W and It is a little bit funny and Josh Brolin Is Amazing in this movie I'm sorry or he He's very good. But what he does, which is both a testament performance and like the problem of the movie but also the problem of George W Bush share our politics is that. He brings the charisma in a in a really big way and. It's tricky because there are flashes in the movie of Oliver Stone Understanding. I mean he definitely understands the is a buffoon and he understands that the larger administration is doing various things that that Dick Cheney speech in the control room. That is quite chilling. So you have to understand that he's kind of working with the charisma and is like maybe trying to expose it and it's a little bit of like the media did it or whatever. But it's the tricky thing with making movies about these really charismatic people because were conditioned to watch a movie and be like Oh. What a charismatic person now I now I am. Very charmed by them, and then you add on all the dad's stuff and I just you know it's it's disrespectful to the entire world that we all have to live in this world because George W Bush like couldn't really work his relationship with his dad I. I don't think that that is that is fair to tabby one I don't WanNa live in that world so I'm killing it. It's a confusing piece of art in so many ways I just listened to an interview with with stone recently in which he said that there is no doubt about it. The George W Bush was a worse and more dangerous precedent THAN DONALD TRUMP. That is what he believes hard to believe that by watching this film that really is not my takeaway from the movie. I. Agree with you it's definitely a buffoonish portrayal of Adultish Guy Who Kinda you know? woke up on third base in thought he hit a triple, but it's not it does not have the searing anger or satire that you would expect from a movie like this. In fact, it's like it's certainly a film about a guy seeking his father's approval and it's a story about a guy who really loves his wife and WHO's wife saved his life, and it's just a weird choice for Oliver Stone I'll never figure out why he made this movie. And Guy who also really likes baseball I was thinking a lot. I have a vivid memory of seeing this movie and I'll tell you I saw this movie on opening weekend the Union Square theatre in New York, and I sat directly behind a winter in a crowded and like a packed theater and no-one that's kind of all you need to know but I was trying to reflect on the fact that in two thousand eight and I, believe it was the fall of two thousand eight when this movie is released. So it's we're kind of in the the the Obama is coming throws, and there's a lot of excitement and Bush has a reviled character was at least among some circles pretty established. So I was like did Oliver Stone think at the time in two thousand eight he was making like a slightly radical different take on the established narrative around this person is and is that why he did it I don't think there's a justification for it but. That was my best. Guess at how it happened is that we've kind of we've gone back and forth or not we but some people have gone back and forth on W A couple of times at this point, and this movie has just from a different face. Well I think it goes back to that sort of that wheel of political thought that I was describing where sometimes you can. You can think a little bit too hard about where you stand on something and somehow end up on the wrong side of what you think about it and also you know stone is he's Zagre he's when everybody else zigging he's zagging and. It feels like he's zagged too hard. I find this to be a really really confusing movie from him not because we needed a movie that told us that George W. Bush was a was a very bad precedent I people understood that at the time you know his. For some people his memory has softened over time because of this Donald Trump period that we've been living through but it let me assure anybody who was not paying close attention in two thousand eight. We were quite sure that George W. Bush, did a very bad job across to two terms, and so the whole project is very odd and and you know this is kind of. This. is where things really start to wane for him and he starts to he becomes a kind of unfavourable filmmaker after this movie because I. Think I think the media in particular I think critics really wanted they wanted a sharp blade on this movie and it didn't have it and world trade. Center was very conventional did not have a sharp blade and then all of a sudden it was like who is Oliver Stone anymore, and then he makes two years later a sequel to Wall Street. A movie that I killed earlier in this conversation called money never sleeps, which is a great title and I did choose this movie in the movie draft of two thousand ten. But. It's okay. It's not. It's not. It's not. It's a watchable movie. It's just not. It doesn't tell us much more than we didn't know already. Yeah. Here's my thing I have to Fox left and there are three movies left and There's one I'm not picking so I think, I'm just like I I do fuck stockbrokers out and I'm also King Wall Street, money never sleeps here we go. This is a couple of things you're looking both Wall Street movies I know just happened what am I supposed to fuck on this list? Wow it just happened. Okay at least it has Shaya. It's got Carey Mulligan it's got bits about day trading that Chris, Ryan will dine out on for the next five years so I don't I don't know I. I. Don't know what else. I was supposed to do here. I. Kind of forgot that I had that many. Fox, left but. Here we are you have no fucks to give because you've given them all to stockbrokers credible show you I have I have one left that I'm about ready for completely wild movie because I am giving it to savages. Savages. Savages is the next film. Pretty Fun movie I have nothing to give it because I've run out of categories but. What's what's your memory of this? I remember wanting this to be a little bit more than it was. I just remember it being such a product of its time in such an electrifying way because the main stars are Blake lively two, thousand, twelve, lightly Taylor kitsch and Aaron Johnson. Taylor and then also you've got Samaha Aca just throwing heat in this movie she is amazing and I remember it being fun in a which is a really twisted thing to say about like a very dark movie about a drug cartels. So I find is a relative term but just in the sense of like Oliver Stone like had some energy and and was trying to make a really like. deranged. Big Top like well, we'll just try it movie I mean this literally, this movie starts with Blake lively whose characters name feel but she says just call me Oh and she narrates a lot of the movie and she is narrating like a pretty. Intense but like she and Taylor Kitsch are definitely fucking at, it's just like close up on Taylor pitches bare-bottom and then she's narrating and she says the line I have orgasms he has war Gazprom's so. I. Point. At. Some point if you're GONNA go for it, you gotta go for it and and so here I am I, think that is for. The novel, which I have read by Don winslow that quote which is you know this is a lurid maximalist crime story. It's very much in keeping with what he did. Fifteen years earlier with u-turn where he pivoted away from, you know the the seriousness of Wall Street money never sleeps and W to make something that is just kinda down and dirty and also is. Surreptitiously about the drug war and cartels and the the absurdity of the way that we wage violence across the border, and that's what a lot of winslow's work about. He's written great books about this power, the dog and the cartel and They're an interesting match. You know to hyper masculine humanists, which is just a just a fascinating mix and unusual mix really Chris Ryan special. If ever there was one, those two, those two working together savages is pretty cool. I just wanted more out of it. This was also in the heyday of Taylor Kitsch probably shouldn't be the star of movies like this like he is great for thirty minutes, but is great for one hundred minutes and I, Blake lively. Is is alive is human. I don't know if she's a great actor. She's She's not she has not starred in as many movies I in recent years i. think because of stuff like this but I don't want to degrade your your desire. I'm just trying to have a little fun. You know I'm not I'm not marrying it. Speaking of fun or perhaps not Oliver Stone's final narrative feature was released four years ago his twentieth films called Snowden. Don't remember this being a fun time at the movies did not revisit this movie. Obviously it's understandable why it's an important film to stone the story Edward Snowden, as portrayed by Joseph. Gordon Levitt in the movie. But he's talked at length about why he hasn't made a film since this, which it seems as though it was one very hard to raise money for it because of the subject matter to very difficult to make. But it's not a movie that I WANNA marry fucker even kill I'd rather just not watch it again. It's it's an thanks for me. That's the twenty films. That's FM K for the Oliver Stone filmography we walked through every phase. Do you have any regrets anything? You'd like to take back I don't think so I probably could have thought a lot harder about the fuck category but that would also kind of contradicts the category so I just I with my instincts and that's the point. Right knows instincts took you straight to Wall Street, which is Beautiful Amanda thanks so much for for bearing your soul. Thank you to Oliver Stone for bearing his soul in his book chasing the light in his many films over the years I admire and appreciate, and I'm also a little bit concerned about everything that he's ever done. Any closing thoughts now you said it well. Okay this has been the big picture. Thank you to. Bobby. Wagner thanks for listening to this show please mask and we'll see you next week when we talk about something in the world of movies if we ever get more movies, CNN.

Oliver Stone Vietnam Vietnam Oscar America Amanda I Stone Richardson A. Oliver Stone director Hollywood scarface Salvador US JFK Hbo Martin Scorsese Seth Rogan David Marquez boomer Sean Fantasy
Valkyrie Q&A - Christopher McQuarrie

The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith

00:00 sec | 1 year ago

Valkyrie Q&A - Christopher McQuarrie

"For those keeping track. The Runtime Valkyrie is two hours, coincidentally, so's the Runtime of this QA. And yes, what you just heard was taste of my old microphone before podcast listeners chipped in and bought me, a new one Howdy. I'm Jeff Goldsmith. And this is the QNA my gender is simple. Each week. I plan to bring you in depth insights into the creative process of storytelling. So folks, I've run my screening series since two thousand three and began podcasting my QNA's in two thousand five and this episode fallen off the grid swim pleased to say I finally have time to dust off. This two thousand eight episode for Valkyrie with co writer, Christopher Mkhori. I'd known Chris for years, and he hadn't had a film produced in a few years. And I knew he wanted to get some stuff off his chest and talk. So when Valkyrie came out I went out of my way to make sure that we did a Q and A screening podcast together. And it was just one of those fantastic night's where he showed up, and although we were at a public movie theater. There was nothing programmed after us in really we were just. Left to our own devices to gauge the audience interest and see just how long we could keep this fascinating conversation going, and yes, I was very excited in two thousand eight to do a two our podcast as very few podcasts were dare run at that link back, then although a few had, and it really turned out to be a fun chat. Now as this is a flashback episode. I'll give you a little heads up that I decided at one point to read verbatim. Some of the very foul language from Chris's film. The way of the gun win talking about the dialogue at the start of the film, which was written to grab your attention. So I'd say that if you are listening to this episode right now without headphones, you might want to turn the volume down or better yet put some headphones on after we stopped talking about the usual suspects. And you hear me start to talk about Chris's process for writing dialogue. So that's your warning. And that way, you won't have folks randomly hearing this crass dialogue out loud. And wondering just what the hell you're listening to. But look Valkyrie was a great step forward and Chris's career. Whereas it also began as long partnership with Tom Cruise, which is a fascinating tale to here. And it's really cool knowing that they've gone onto cloud rate multiple times since then while a lot has changed in Chris's life, and the film industry in general sense. Then this is a really fun episode to flash back to as McCue stories and advice both remained quite excellent. So I know you'll dig this episode and speaking of things to dig backstory magazine has some really cool Christopher McCoy articles in it that you won't find any place else in the world, for instance, recently timed with the video release for mission impossible fallout. Chris gavea storyboards to share with you. So you can gain insight into what he was walking onto a set with. And if you're a fan of fallout. It was also our cover for issue thirty three and not only did we interview Chris and talk about things not included in our podcast. But we ran an indepth interview with the film star Tom Cruise along with Henry Cavill, and Rebecca Ferguson even wilder than that way. Back in issue. Four backstory. Chris did an interview with us about his script blast mission. And he led us exclusively run the first act of the script. That's right. The first thirty eight pages, which you could still read an issue foreign it's the only place in the world that you could read them. So the good news about backstories that once you subscribe, you'll get access to everything we've ever published, and you could subscribe and read us on a desktop or laptop or via our ipad app, or you could purchase single issues and all those places plus you could purchase a single issue on an Android tablet via Google play. You just can't subscribe on an Android tablet via Google play. So if you'd like to support this podcast, I hope you'll check out our free issue over at backstory dot net to test drive us and then consider subscribing to backstory magazine. But now I'm going to let my two thousand eight self ramble on a little more into that bad microphone to get you into the mood for this fun episode with Chris Corey talking about Valkyrie. Of course, the film is Valkyrie and our guest is co writer Christopher Mkhori who. Co wrote Valkyrie with Nathan Alexander. He is a podcast listener. And it was kind of a bummer that he wasn't able to be here where he was missed, but he was in New York, and it was either get this on the record with Chris or maybe not get one at all. And I chose a to get this. So so Nathan's with us in spirit. But now without further ado, let's jump right onto the stage as I introduced Oscar winning screenwriter Christopher Mkhori to talk about his latest film that he co wrote with Nathan Alexander Valkyrie. For coming by the way, sitting through all that happiness thing. Good family film. We always kind of like to start with breaking in stories, you and you and Bryant originally grew up together to my knowledge. Yes. And the same hometown. Yes. Princeton junction, New Jersey to my memory the first project that you were involved in and I could be completely wrong. Here was on one of his student films called lion's den. Is that correct or am I totally off indirectly in that? Ethan Hawke another schoolmate of ours was in lion's, Dan, and he played a loser security guard who used to be a writer named Chris. So you did not write lines right life. I did not right life. We did a feature at uptight of lions, Dan, which was our first real screenwriting collaboration. I had written short stories in high school that Brian had turned into scripts and so at the age of sixteen I was already an expert and learning what happens when the director gets a hold of your work. And so we we wrote he he made lions, Dan and screened at the DGA along with two other filmmakers, Henry standing Arthur Boorman, and they got Ted Ramey to host the event, and they basically with borrowed money and extended credit cards. They had this evening at the directors guild, and that a group of people came among the many people who came to see it. And this Japanese group came and watched it, and they were looking to finance independent films, and they saw lines then and tapped Brian to make a feature, and we had written lion's den. And of course, we thought lines was the greatest screenplay in the world, and we didn't trust these guys. So so just once again start interrupt. You did not write the short. But you had rented right now written the feature version of lines by hand on yellow line paper. And and that's kind of where I learned where you put act breaks and seen breaks. I didn't understand any of. That stuff and and by and I was still living in New Jersey. We were doing this by mail by hand, this is before faxes this before cellphones. I remember having a pager that was like how Brian in me. And I was working for a detective agency in New Jersey and working as a loser security guard named named Chris who didn't look as good as Ethan Hawke either. And Brian of these people approach Brian and asked him to do this film it because he didn't trust them. He made up another movie on the spot. He had been watching public access television than I before which was kind of a new thing. And he found it fascinating. And they said what's your next project, and he said public access and he made up the plot of the movie on the spot. And they said that's great. We love to see a script and he called me New Jersey, and I had kind of run. My course at this detective agency and had applied to the New York police department with another friend of Brian in mind that we grew up with and we had the idea that we were going to join the NYPD is kind of a gag. As young kids. Do it's not a it's it's not a job. It's just an adventure. And and Brian called and said, I think I have the opportunity to to shoot a feature film. And I think they're going to give me two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to make this feature. Do you want to write it? I was thinking about it. I said getting shot writing for Brian. And that you really do have to think about that for. And I said, yeah, I'll do it. And he goes good. I need the scripted fifteen days. So my father bought me a word processor, and I learned how to type while I was writing public access. We just Tinder up which word processor because that was before I still computer. I still have it. It was like a Panasonic. You know, it had like a two inch wide tiny screen. Yeah. A little tiny thing only a typewriter beneath only half of the the top of it came up, not the full lid Etta Smith and krona the tone and their high tech and. And so I printed it out and sent it to Brian and shortly thereafter got into car and drove out to LA. And when I got there, there was another guy writing the script that Brian had brought in from USC named Mike do Cam. And I rewrote Mike, and Brian and a couple of months went by what we were rewriting the script, and we sent it to the Japanese, and we were told that the way the Japanese do business is. Yes means maybe and maybe means, no. And you and we didn't hear anything. So we waited for a couple of months and Bryan had leveraged all of his credit cards. He had extended his limits and leveraged all of his credit cards to finance lines. Then because he couldn't get into not for sixty six. The other critical study eighty four eighty that finances your film. Yeah. The final project kind of your thesis project at USC would make a student right and four eighty is the part of USC were all the. Great assistant directors line producers come out of and critical. Studies is where all the directors come out because they've been watching movies for four years while the other guys were making them. No sarcasm, and that's David. Well, that's actually all factor. And at least it was back in the day. I know it's changing if if anybody here's, you know, four eighty and I'm. And so so Brian called me up one day. And he said, I'm broke out of money. And I can't borrow any more money from my parents, and I've maxed my credit card debt. I'm now paying for the privilege of being in debt. And I said, I'm broke to and I'll pack my shit, and we'll we'll I'll drive you home and that day Brian went home from one of the many jobs that he held for no more than five days and showed up at his house. And there was a FedEx envelope sitting on the on the bed, and it was a contract from the Tacoma corporation in Japan promissory note for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars they never called. They never gave us notes nothing. They just sent the money. So that was a yes, I was yes. Now what we didn't tell the Tacoma corporation is that in the months of silence. We have figured they had abandoned us and we hit completely rewritten screenplay. Try thinking we would sell it somebody else. So we started making. A movie that had nothing to do with the movie the Tacoma corporation had financed and decided not to tell them that. And that movie became public access, which was it's cruciate painful to watch. But it was a lot of fun to make. But not everybody would agree with that statement because at won the grand jury prize at Sundance in nineteen Ninety-three, I will remind everyone there were four judges that year at the film festival that means to be people needed to like your film in order for you to split. The grand jury prize with ruby in paradise and the right to people at the festival liked it. And everyone else hated it. There were fistfights in the QNA. It was violently rejected by a lot of people and. But it was fun. Don't wanna usual suspects. And I know you've been through this a million times. Sometimes the million never talked about it, actually. What would you say first off changed about your writing habits as you went from public access into usual suspects as the next project that I know of these started, I would say an increased amount of cigarettes, and it somewhere in there is where I learned to start drinking coffee that would be that would be about it. I I was at the time. I was single, and I was not distracted by things like the internet and E-mail and didn't have a cell phone and had no money had nowhere to go lived in an apartment with no cable TV. So I I was extraordinarily focused and free of distraction. And I also didn't know what I was doing. I really did not understand the beginning middle and end of the process the way that I do now, which is actually I sort of long for and we're and regret ever having learned anything about screenwriting because I was so blissfully unaware when I was writing. Script that I was doing everything wrong. And that I was violating every rule which later I was told I had done and immediately claimed that I was genius. But I had no idea that you weren't allowed to use flashbacks. And I did know that the narrator couldn't lie. And and so everything that I did was simply I came up with an ending and I needed a beginning. And I try to first thing they hit, you know, it was I was working at a law firm in downtown, Los Angeles and. I was twenty four twenty three twenty four I was working the copy room and all day just making legal documents thousands and thousands of pages of legal documents and staring into a copy machine. And I recommend all of you to go out and get a giant Xerox machine and just stare at it for hours a day. It's very productive. And had nothing to do. But to think about this stuff, and when we were at Sundance with public access, I was on line to go into the movie with good friend of mine named Dylan customer. He's an actor who was in public access. He was in dead poets with Ethan. He's Cameron the red headed guy that rats everybody out at the end of the movie, his very talented, actor and Dylan always seems to be around when the best bad ideas, come up, and he asked what the next movie was going to be. And I said, you know, I was reading this magazine. And I had this idea the title of the magazine is called the usual suspects. I thought there the title of the article I thought this would be a really cool name for a movie, and he said, well, what's it about? I said, I assumed the usual suspects the guys who were always arrested for committing whatever crime. And we were standing in the lobby of of a movie theater at the Sundance film festival where all the posters are designed by the filmmakers and not the marketing people, and so we. Zayn the poster for the usual suspects came up with a tagline, and we're very proud of the tagline. It was all of you can go to hell and. And then we told Brian about it gets great idea. These five guys meeting a lineup. Brian was like. Yeah. Okay. Great. All right. Forgot all about it. Then we the film. Did very well at the festival, and Brian was called to go to Japan and meet with the Tacoma corporation with whom he had never spoken and had never really answered for this film that we made that didn't really resemble the script that they had paid for. And what was remarkably got there, and he showed them this film is filled with obscure, insanely obscure inside jokes between Brian. And and the Japanese got it all they were like, oh, we know what his glasses. We love the symbolism, and what that means to you. They understood all of it. They love the film. They're very pleased with it and Brian sit. Great. Well, can we talk about another movie? And they said, yes, we want to do the same thing. Again, we want we wanna do six films. They had done six movies public access was the only one that had really gone anywhere. So we want to do six more and this time for half a million dollars. And Brian said, I've got a better idea. Why don't you give me the whole three million and make one movie and? And they said they would think about that. And Brian called me in the copy room and said, do you remember that poster you told me about I sit? Yes. And he goes the other movie were trying to make it's way too expensive. But I think I can get three million dollars out of these guys. Can you write a script to go with that? Poster. And I said, yeah, I think I can do that. He goes good. I'm going to be home in three days, and I want you to pitch me, the usual suspects. So for three days, I sat staring at a copy machine and not getting any ideas and feeling this enormous sense of tension. And the the sense of obligation that Brian manages to do in everybody associated with him. And on the third day. I was sitting in the copy room at the law, firm and. Sorry in the break room, rather and the break rooms this little sort of cinderblock cube with a table and two chairs and nothing else in it. And I kept thinking how much it looked like an interrogation room? So I thought I'm going to have a mock interrogations with myself and see what I come up with. So. I started interrogating myself. Top. And then it was the guy answering the questions the guy answering the questions didn't really want to answer the questions, but he couldn't help talking. So we just talk about anything. But the answer to the question of the cop started referring to him as verbal and I needed a name for the cop and the office manager was named Dave Kooyong. So Dave coup. John was interrogating. Verbal and I needed a last name for verbal. So I looked up at the no smoking sign, and it was like, no smoking beyond this point started picking out letters king. He can't be really be verbal king. It's too strong name drop, the G I Lynch to tears a purple Kent. So verbal Kint is now talking to Dave Kalayaan. And I ran out of ideas that I just completely. It went nowhere from there. And I had written a bunch of names down on a piece of paper people that I knew lawyers at the law firm. There was one lawyer at the law firm named Kaiser Su-mei, and I said you've got a really cool name you're going to be the villain in a movie someday. And he said, yeah. Okay. Kid, all right and six months later. I was calling to ask permission to use his name in the movie. And so some sitting this break room, I've got no ideas. And I look up at the bulletin board hoping that there's something there, and there's nothing on the bulletin board except for this medical chart for how to like rinse people's eyes out for like a chemical accident. I guess in case there was a toner explosion in the Cup. And there was nothing on there. And I looked down at the name of plate on the bulletin board. And it said quartet Skokie, Illinois and Fergal Qin said, you know, I was in a barbershop quartet in Skokie Illinois, and he starts telling the story about Kipp Diskin in which is a riff on name of a person. I went to school with why didn't like, and I started telling his very offensive story. And I said this is the worst is going nowhere. And then it suddenly occurred to me I saw the whole end of the movie and Brian came home. And he said, okay, pitch me, the usual suspects. I said I have no idea what happens in the movie, but this is the end of the moving. And I pitched basically the end of the movie, including the description of the office. I said it's very important at the office be very messy and cluttered with a lot of crap. And at the end of the story that guy now that the one difference from the pitch to the to the what the movie eventually was is that Kuan was looking for Kaiser associate at the beginning of the movie, and I pitched Brian the movie, and he said, that's great. I want to draft in two weeks. So I sat down to write the usual suspects in two weeks. And I try to in those days, I tried to write ten pages day nowadays. I literally just try to move the cursor to the right of the page. And I was staring at the not no longer the Panasonic. Now. I was working on a stolen NEC laptop that Greek girl, I've been dating a New Jersey got from two guys off the back of a truck. And and they called it a laptop. It was literally the size of an American tourist. And it would give you a hernia tried to carry it. But it was a lot cooler than the MacIntosh is now you could actually put on your lap. And. Staring at the screen, and I knew how the movie ended. I couldn't figure out what started in nowhere all this crap began. So I started looking in my computer and back in those days. I'd get an idea, and I'd actually write it down as opposed to say it's going to work on that someday. And I had written a scene that was the became the opening scene of the usual suspects two guys on a boat and one guy's laying there dying. The other guy asked says are you ready? And I thought I know what time I was born. I wonder what time I'm going to die. So the guy asks what time is it and? And the scene was five pages long. And I thought well that's a half day's work. And that was the beginning of the usual suspects. And I was too lazy to go back and change it. So now I had the beginning. And I had the end, and I didn't know anything that happened in between these two points in the circuit. And so I just started writing to get from point a two point be. And I knew instinctively not from any sort of book, I had read I just knew I should probably have an action action scene. I should probably have three action scenes one at the end, and then to to sort of break up what I learned later. We're act breaks. And so I figured out what these action scenes were. And I just wrote to the action scenes I wrote to get to the next way point. And the I had worked in my time at the detective agency as bodyguard for jewelers who would travel around the country and go to hotels and make appraisals and by shit and carry a lot of cash, and and I thought I know how to rob those guys. So I wrote the I wrote the scene in which I killed the people that I used to work for and and that's and the one thing that I didn't know it was what happened on the boat. I have no idea where the movie was going what the twenty seven dead guys in the ninety one million dollars. I don't even know how I came to ninety one million dollars. I think it was an amount of money that somebody had one in a divorce that was stuck in my head. And but I didn't know what the macguffin of the movie was I just knew that it was nineteen ninety four and it couldn't be cocaine because if it was cocaine you had to have Mel Gibson. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie to justify the presence of all those keys cocaine. It was so tired and used up. I just didn't want to do it. And I was driving to San Diego. On my way to somebody needed a ride to San Diego. They were going to take a bus at the copy room. I said I'll drive you. They said why is it because I can think coming back. So I drove them to San Diego. And I was on my way back and I saw those signs for immigrants crossing the highway and that for some reason triggered the idea of human trafficking. And I got this idea if they're not there to buy drugs that they're to by person. And that was the first time as I was thirty pages away from the end of the movie that the notion of what the whole movie was about it occurred to me and went home that night and finished the script, and I handed it to Brian. And I said we have a problem before he'd even started reading it. He said what's that? I said if we ask the question who is Kaiser Soza on page one the audience will figure out this movie by page. Ten Kuan can't be looking for Kaiser associate we have to come up with another question. And he said, we'll figure it out. So it's that sort of agonized over what the other question was. And I really. Well, in the first scene of the movie, you see Keaton get killed what if I spend the rest of the movie telling you that. That's not really what you saw. And that. Kuan is chasing after keeping and wants to figure out at and he believes that keeping is still alive. And that's what the whole movie, you think is about and Brian I engineered everything from that moment on based on the belief that the audience knew everything that we were doing and most the way I compare the usual suspects to most of the movies that you see. Most the usual suspects is sort of presented to you saying, I hope I can fool you as opposed to most movies, which are presented to you saying, I hope you are a fool and. And so Brian Brian, and I were sitting in a movie theater watching a movie with very bad twist in it, which is ruined. By the fact that they cast the wrong guy. It was somebody in the move in the audience will be able to tell me. Nicole Kidman and Bill Pullman malice there's a whole rape subplot in the movie it takes up the first act of the movies. There's a rapist on campus randomly raping all these people, and it's Paltrow's first movie and Paltrow comes into built women's office. And you know, right away. She's this flighty ditsy girl, and she's pretty she's gonna get raped and. And I'm sitting there going, I know Nicole Kidman is not going to rape her. So it's either Bill Pullman or Alec Baldwin. I'm being led down the road. I'm being told that one of these two guys sit which one is it and at the end of the scene with Bill Pullman, Gwen. Gwyneth Paltrow who's been skipping. All these classes runs out of the office and bumps into a janitor. Who's on his way in carrying a filing cabinet? And he kind of almost drops the filing cabinet. She runs out you cut away, except that the janitor was the Bino from the firm and the counterfeiter from in the line of fire and like seventeen other movies where he played a murderous villain. I remember the exact same. They thank you. And I was sitting in the front row the theater at USC next Brian singer. And I went that's why you gotta cast Kevin Spacey. And he said, I get it. You're right. And we wrote the script for Kevin Spacey. Because at that point. Nobody knew Kevin Spacey was and everybody was going to be sitting in the theater going. Well, I know it's not that guy. I don't know who that guy is it's I it's one of the other home most famous actors in the movie that I can and you sort of picked which guy you had seen in the most movies and assumed it was him. And and so we were devastated when suddenly Kevin Spacey came out in and seven seven came out ahead of our movie, and we thought it's going to blow the whole thing it's going to be completely around. And then the distributors designed this whole campaign with these giant movie posters, and all it said on the movie poster was who is Kaiser Soza. And we were begging please don't do that, please for God's sake. If that's the question it's over before they've gotten there, and I will never forget the woman saying to me, the marketing woman, which began my long relationship with marketing people, and she said, Honey, these people are crayton's, you gotta hit them over the head with it. And fortunately, they were so cheap. They didn't get the word out. So no one knew about the movie and no one knew about the advertising campaign and everybody that saw the film and theatre saw by accident. And they thought what the hell was that wasn't in the original release posts of the lineup. Yes. The poster was but the the ad campaign. Oh, a different lead-up campaign driving in New York with a friend, and my friend said who is Kaiser SOS acid what and he points. And I was there was a bus stop. But you said geyser Soza. Geyser? So of course, it was the only bus stop in New York that said that because they were so cheating. And then the movie got discovered on video, and so people were just sort of passing it around. And and it's an I it's a situation the exact opposite of the next movie I made, but it's a situation where the lack of marketing actually saved the film. The film was allowed to be discovered and people were allowed to find it and allowed to judge it solely on its merits as opposed to other films, which have prejudgments and all sorts of other things with it was also at a time when independent film in the early nineties was really coming back alive and people were into the concept of discovering, and film, and that theaters and towing all the friends. Yeah. It's a great film. I definitely going to move on. But you know, you won an Oscar for its Spacey won an Oscar for it. How would you say that changed you as you as you kind of went off to your next project ruin ruined? Okay. We're we're and we're going to get to that yet. You're catcher Oscar right before you die. Jim Coburn thing like eighty thousand movies, get an Oscar done. One quick question on the on the special DVD fister played by Benicio del Toro. He says that he felt an early time that his character's function was really to die in the movie, and that he said, that's why we started mumbling all of his dialogue. So his character became kind of a mumbles character. I haven't heard from you. What did you was the writer think as an actor started using your dialogue? So unintelligible much time. Do we have because I. Good. I will tell you one I suspect anecdote because it's one of my favorites. I was not allowed to talk to the actress back in those days. Brian was like don't talk to them. You talk too much, you'll confuse them ilk. Just stay away from the actors. Don't don't fuck me. And so I was bound to stay away from them and back in those days again before cellphones. I still had my detective agency pager and my patriot goes off in the middle of the night, and it's been easier Toro who I had vehemently opposed being in the usual suspects. Brian, and I work very closely together with casting. And and Brian says just bring me all the guys you like, and I'll pick and Benicio del Toro had come in from Francine Mazlan casting director who is a an absolutely extraordinary casting director, and he came in. And he said he had his hair was standing up, and he looked like he just gotten out of bed, and he was very tall. And I'd seen him and stuff and thought he was very good. And he said, listen, I don't I don't read. You know, I takes me a while to come up with a character, and I will come up with the character. And if you like it, we'll do that. And if you don't do something else. And Brian said, okay, that's great. He left the room. I was like are you insane. The guy didn't read you don't even know what he could do. And my biggest problem was that. He was not what I imagined fence to be I had a whole other relationship between fencer and McManus that I'd embroidered into the movie this sort of Lennie and George relationship. Fencer was supposed to be older and McManus was sort of caring for him at protecting him. And this suddenly through the whole thing off. So I get a call in the middle of the night from beneath sale del Toro. He's like. Said yes, he goes is basil and I'd never spoken to him released called me out of the blue. I said, yeah, I got a problem with one of my lines. I said what is it? And he says I had these guys out of my Astle. Yeah. What about it? He says, I don't think my character would say that. And I said, okay goes. Oh, come on over. I want to talk to you. I want to talk to you about my. So I went to over against orders to Venecia's. They're the only way you could describe it. I remember he had a big metal. Oh in his with no explanations. Just a large metal off of like a hotel sign that all the neon had been broken up. Remember when Bryan singer songwriter walked, and he goes, hey. You got it. So beneath CO, he's got and we stayed up until four o'clock in the morning with me going. It's a funny line. And he's like, yeah. But I wouldn't say it you have no choice. I mean, if a bunch of cops hold you down in one of them puts on the glove. I mean, you're just because my character wouldn't take that he wouldn't do that. It wouldn't be beat up. And we went through it for hours, and suddenly I realized he's right? The fence. I wrote would and the fencer that Benicio is becoming would not. And I said, okay. It's a funny line. The line will serve you. If you can find a way to say, the line say it, and if you can't don't it's it's your character. You're the one who knows what you're doing. Incidentally. What are you doing? And no because no one has spoken to this guy. No one had dishes him. They just said that guy from that movie where he was the Indian runner when he was the pot dealer and he had like three lines and they cast him. He said well the makeup department. They've wax, my eyebrows. And I look Chinese. Yes. But I'm Puerto Rican. Yes. And I've got a Jewish last name, and I'm a criminal from Brooklyn said, okay. So I'm gonna play like a black Chinese Puerto Rican June. Now, I wasn't allowed to be there. So I wasn't allowed to tell anybody, and I just left and Benicio showed up for his first day of work. And the only person on the set that knew that a black Chinese Puerto Rican Jew was playing was me. And Benicio has aligned very late in the scene. The first day. He was shooting was that scene in the pool room where Kobe she comes to see all of the guys and beneath Zeo is just sitting there with the sunglasses on smoke the cigarette. Look, so cool and all the other actors kind of out in front and we're doing all their coverage. I and his very long day hours into Benicio finally gets to say as first line, and he says, so why are you telling us the it comes out? So I not. And you could see it in the dailies all the actors are standing there and Gabriel Byrne, especially and they all go. And then they continue and we did three or four takes that in between takes Gabriel Byrne. They all took a vote and Gabriel was the one he walked up to Brian Brian with all respect respect of an ACO and his process. None of us can understand fucking wordy saying. And Brian to his credit. And this is this is a classic Bryan singer moment, Bryan singer, his mind flashes through the entire film, and Brian plays all the dialogue in his mind. Brian suddenly realizes two things. One is a really interesting character development for a character that was very problematic because his job was essentially to die. And also he didn't have one pertinent line of dialogue in the script. And Brian said fine. If you can't understand him. Neither can we make him say it again. So all of the actors now had carte blanche to go. What what do you say what? And it ended up in the film, and it suddenly sounded like I had written it as opposed to the one actor. I didn't want in the movie had started to utilize every single word that I had written and Benicio. And if he if Benicio was up here right now having Acuna he would say all I did was say what Christmas Corey wrote, and is very generous about that. And he did say what I wrote. But fencer was never written as that character. He said all the lines. You couldn't understand any of them, and that character was complete creation of concealed. Oh, Toro who understood? If if I'm here to die. I'm gonna go out bake. Smart actor. Great story. Where we're getting to tonight's film. But I we gotta talk about this for second. You have a great knack for dialogue. I want to talk about your process, but I as a request I was just going to how many people in the room have seen way the gun. All right. All right. It's about half for podcast listeners. Everyone to seen the way the gun showed up. Podcast listeners around the world. I wanna read some dialogue away the gun in the movie opens with Ryan Philip, Phil Felipe. Philippine exhausted playing Mr. Parker Benicio del Toro as Mr. Longbow sitting on the hood of someone's car party. The car alarm goes off Sarah silverman's character known as the raving bitch in the credits. Start screaming obscenities at them to get away from the car to which Mr. Parker responds. Just checking to see if there's children in the room to which Mr. Parker responds shut that smell. They're all come over there. And fuck start her head. Sara Silverman keeps yelling obscenities the boyfriend. Who's now walked over? And is looking for trouble interrupts her saying, she's got a big mouth. But she's not kidding. I'm going to whip you silly. And I'm going to fuck you stupid. You want to do the man dance. I is yours. So the question is when you sit down to write poetry. How is it different from screenwriting? I love the dialogue talk about your process variable in the scene is the brilliant, Sarah Silverman. The only line that he's just read that I wrote was shut that. That that line which was something I actually typed into a chat room on the internet. Typed? Fuck start her head. Yeah. Genius. Just off the cuff kind of like this is somebody needs to. This particular person with that opinion journal your process for dialogue. Do you speak it out loud? When you write it on suspects on all your movies on this movie. I do dialogue in the shower a lot of dialogue in a car. There are certain things that I'll here, and they'll they'll sort of inspire things and more than anything. I I write to to rhythm. Sometimes a character with an accent. And I'll and I'll write to that accent. But I won't write in Fernando. So a lot of times writing for cockney, but I'm writing I'm leading the whoever the actress put the ears and the things in there. And and for me, there's a fine line between interesting dialogue and mannered dialogue. And I find myself writing what I think is interesting, and then a year later, I go Christ that so mannered. So I don't consider myself to be a very good writer. I think that I have a pretty strong pretty strong storyteller. And if I've got a story to tell I can tell you, I struggle a lot with with writing dialogue, and and and I'm always self conscious of the fact that is the dialogue self conscious. I agonized about exposition I Ag about sort of fruity, overstated dialogue and. Scene in that movie was literally and Henry Griffin the actor with the crazy red hair. The the guy who gets beaten up for defending his girlfriend. He did the whole thing about she's going to be silly fucked. Stupid wanna do the mandates that was all improv and my only direction to Sarah was I'd walk up to her in between takes and say try this, and I would say some utterly awful profanity to her. I I tend to hyphenate profanity's it's not enough to bring one where you got to put two that are really offensive together. And so I was bringing these hyphen it's that were really awful and Sarah. She just look at me like. Yeah. And and she'd go. I love your dialogue. Totally the movie takes slight change. Because it's a very comedic beginning keeps getting darker more serious there still is a dark comedy aspect was that all your drafts of that. Just just briefly. Yeah. I mean, the script was pretty true to what road I wrote it in. I wrote the first draft of that script and five days while I was waiting for notes from the studio on X men, and I was I was rewriting X men for Brian and the studio which taking very long time to turn notes around. So while I was waiting wrote a movie and. Okay. So the total change. Very much. What what would you say that you learned on on this experience that was your writing directing debut us close ups? That's because I just refuse to do. I didn't want us. I didn't want to manipulate the audience. I there was a deliberate. There was a deliberate use of the steer. And I realized that the reason why John Sturgis films and Sidney lumet films can do that is because John Sturgis. And Sidney lumet are really good directors and films aren't just good because they're all done at master's actually done in masters because they're so good. And and so I was I I was trying my best to do something that was totally destabilized because John had become so stylized. And as a result, I made a film that was very alienating to a lot of people. It's a very polarizing movie and people either very much like that movie or are really angry about it. Very hateful. Some awful things written about it. And me personally. And and I think part of it is that the way the gun you came from the usual suspects into the way the gun expecting a certain movie. And not only defied your expectations. I kind of said this to your expectations. And and that's that's something inherent in me that I can't really that. I'm still dealing with don't go change in the kind of inbetween years between that movie in this movie linearly, we're going to go you moved to Seattle with your family and you hired. You wife's assistant Nathan Alexander. He was to be your system on way the way you did a lot of assignment writing. It's a tough job waiting through conflicting studio notes, and, you know, conflicting exact talk, and I think you kind of enjoyed it at first, but you slowly grew tired of assignment writing, and you explain to me when we were talking about for the article for the magazine kind of what you've learned about the studio system. Yeah. It's great money. And it's great fun because I like to I like to work from from upper screenplay. It's a lot easier than coming up with one on my own. But what I learned from the development process was that if you come onto a movie, and there's no director or no star attached to the movie, the movie will never get the reason being that the process of development that sort of enclosed development where there isn't the the the element. That's getting the movie made you're constantly writing to get. It to a place where it's safe enough to show to an actor or director. And so the studio is constantly trying to get the script to where it's good enough to show to director. The problem is the only person qualified to tell these people if the script is good enough is a director. They won't believe anybody else. You says that they certainly won't believe you. And as a result the script just kind of gets stuck on this hamster wheel and your constantly developing. It you're constantly second guessing. And you know that if you show it to one director, and he passes every other director will pass because somebody else's passed on it. They don't want it. And at a certain point in that cycle, the notes that you get on a specific draft are in direct conflict with the notes that you got on the last draft that they are the snake is now eating its tail and that's the point at which I know is I put it the project has cancer. And it's just a matter of time before it dies, and I've seen it happen again. And again, and again and the problem with that was while I was making very good money while I was doing it when the movies don't get made. They don't pay dividends. And the and the longer you stay with the project you start to burn through the money that you're making. And then suddenly, it's costing you money to work on that movie. If you stay on too long, if you care about it, if you're willing to walk away and quit and be the person who never delivers that's another thing. And so it became this sort of golden handcuffs where this and what I did to sort of keep my sanity during that time was I started to develop what I call the bad idea. Series of movies, which were his. I was very much into history and Dylan Cosmin yet. Again, brought me a book one day a very small book. And he said this should be your next moving. And it was a book about Alexander, the great it was very small very easy book to read which is what I need. I read it, and I fell in love with this character and was talking to everybody. That would listen about Alexander, the great and how I was one day gonna make this movie. But there was no way I was ever going to get around to doing all that research, and Brian talked about it as one of the projects I was working on in conjunction with one of the projects he was working on while he was doing press for the usual suspects and a writer in Seattle named Peter bushman read incorrectly. We ab- Ryan was quoted as saying that the next movie, Brian, and I were doing was Alexsandr the great he got to imagine. Here's this guy's a playwright and Seattle any sitting somewhere in this theater right now, he sitting in his apartment that is filled with books about Alexander, the great and he's read every single one of them. And he knows everything about it. He knows how he fed his army knows how he armed his army knows what siege engines are, and it was his dream to write a script about Alexander, the great, and he's just read that the guy. Who made the usual suspects are doing it as their next movie, and he was devastated and a couple of days later, he picked himself up, and he got the idea to call Bryan singer. And he called information and Bryan singer was listed, and he talked to bribe for about an hour and Bryan singer said, well, this is not really my thing. Some Chris do it. Let me call them. And let me get you number, and I'll have him call you and Brian called me. And he described his phone call the ended it by saying, I think this guy's one of us. I think you can call them. So I call them and we talked for about a half an hour about Alexander, the great and got very excited. And I said, okay, let's stop I need to come to Seattle. She's where he lived, and I need to we need to meet each other before we get to involved in this. I think we should find out if we actually like each other because it's going to be a very long process. So I flew up to Seattle, and he only he can tell the other side of the story. He got the tell the short version he got to the airport. He walked up to the gates that are you Chris. Yes. Gotten the walked all the way to his car before he realized he'd picked up the wrong. Chris. Came back found me we went and we walked around Seattle for about two days just talking about history. And and finally he said I said, here's the deal. I wanted to wreck this movie it's one hundred eighty million dollars a dime. It's my first film. And. You must understand Oliver Stone's making one Baz Lerman John Claude van Damme. You name it somebody had in Alexander. The great MO said we're getting in this race waylay, and we're never going to have the clout to get it made it's doomed to fail with that. In mind. You're not limited by budget or length or content. You can really write whatever you want because nobody's ever going to make this movie. And he said, well, does it bother you that I've never written a screenplay before? I said does it bother you that I've never directed a movie before. And he said, no, we're done. And we spent the next seven years developing Alexander, the great and reached and always said to everybody who is interested in taking the project over. Peter's the writer director take it or leave it while they all left it until one day. A guy came to me and actually talked to me truthfully about the way the movie business works, isn't it was Graham, king and grand king. Brought me into his office and said I've read your script which a lot of people don't do instead of registered like very much. And I understand you are the director. I said, yes, that's true. And I I have heard it said that you would rather see it not get made than not directed. I said he s that's true. And he said, I'm glad you said that I would not have respected you as much if you had told me any other other answer so K he said now I'm gonna explain to you how the market works. I I am in foreign distribution. And I went to all of my distribution partners with the script and said, here's the movie, and they said, we will make this movie we will make this movie for an enormous amount of money, but it has to start in order to carry up. He said now I happen to. I happen to underwrite Leo's company. I have his overall deal. I know Leo very well. So I showed him your script any red at me likes. It very much wants to do it. Sit. Okay. He said now, Leo has restrictions. He really only wants to work with three directors and with all respect to you. You're not on that list. I understand he said now one of the people on that list is Martin Scorsese. I happen to underwrite Martin Scorsese's deal. I have I look with Marty. I showed him a script. He likes it very much. He wants to do it. Okay said so the only thing left for us to discuss is your fate. And I say this is after he'd explained to me all the sort of ins and outs of the market. And I said. The record. Said I'm sorry. What's the record for a screenplay? You don't have to tell me now. But it should be divisible by three. Because I have two partners on this movie. I have my producer, and I have Peter, and I'll leave you think about that. And after seven years of saying, no, no, no, no, no. It's because everybody said can we buy it? Can we give it to another director? They never said who the director was guy walked into ruin Leonardo DiCaprio Martin Scorsese in front of me. And I thought he's an adequate substitute. And we sold them the script. And and then of course, they did the aviation first and Oliver Stone got to the correct version. And as a result that never went anywhere. Now, I had another script that I had written with a writer named Dylan cosmic, and he had come to me and said, yeah, you did Alexsandr. I got one I want to do with you about John Wilkes booth. Terrible idea hate the period, not interested civil war. Who cares? He said I'm going to tell you three things about John Wilkes booth and at the at the I'm going to tell you five things, and if I can get if I can get to the fifth one, and you don't want to do the movie don't do it said. Okay. Go ahead. John Wilkes booth was the most famous man in America and the most photographed man in America next to ABRAHAM LINCOLN before he killed ABRAHAM LINCOLN didn't know that John Wilkes booth was part of the Royal family of American theatre the act. His father was considered the greatest actor of the century. Didn't know that. John Wilkes booth was part of a conspiracy to assassinate three people on the night. Abraham LINCOLN was killed and there were three assassination attempts that were carried out. And booths was the only one successful. I definitely didn't know that John Wilkes booth was secretly engaged to the daughter of Abraham Lincoln's secretary of ambassador to Spain who was being courted at the same time by ABRAHAM LINCOLN, son. I didn't know that. And he went to stop working, and we started to develop booth now booth existed at the same time that this Alexander thing came into being and now Martin Leo wanted to do. And I sit great I would love to do it. And you get a call from Martin Scorsese say Reggie scripts page Turner. Dream of getting that call and I said, okay, great. I'm very excited. You're going to do it next. Right. Well, we're doing this other movie the departed, and we're going to go do that. No, thank you. Because there were three other booth projects competing with mine, and I was not going to be in the same boat again. So I took booth and put it in a drawer and said, thank you very much. And then during the end, so that was sort of my journey for seven years was writing scripts that everybody wanted to read, but nobody wanted to make everybody wants to make deliverance. Nobody wants to play knit Beatty. People would call and say, hey, really wanna read your booth script ahead? Great things about it. And I'd say great not send it to them. And they take three months, and they'd send it back. Yeah. We're really not interested in doing the civil war right now. Oh, I see you didn't know that it was set in the civil war until you read the screenplay. So now when people call and they say I would really like to read booth. I said great, okay, go back to your boss, whoever that is when your boss says I wanna make booth. I'll let you read it. Because you're going to pass for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the script. I can speak for the quality of the script. It's a good script is good enough to good story. I'd have to make anything up. You're you're not going to make the movie screenplays. Don't get movies made everybody. I'm assuming a lot of you in here screenwriter's screenwriter regime. Okay. Your job my job. And by the way, it doesn't matter. What level you get? You can dismiss everything I say say the experiences that I've had at cetera et cetera. I can't get a script anybody. I can't do it. Scripts. Don't get movies made screenplays are the after thought to the decision to make a moving a director decides he wants to make a film about Chinese ice. Skaters? All of a sudden, we need a Chinese ice skater guy to write a script to go with the director's vision. And actress decides she wants to make a movie about World War, Two test pilots female, test pilots because she likes the close. I've had that meeting. And the script is the script is an afterthought to that process. So when you have people that come to you and say, they want to read that they're looking as they're reading your script gauging the interest of the universe. Trying to find the person who will make that movie ago movie and then attach your afterthought to their vision. So in that month that you think they're reading your script. They're actually gauging the interest of the six or seven directors that get those movies may it's directors who get movies mate, you'll say it's actors who get movies made. And you're correct except the first question the actor will ask when you send the script is who's directing the movie, and it really comes down to a very small group people and my seven year saga had been learning this process because no one explains it to you. And it was my learning this process through trial and error of writing scripts that people liked and trying to get actors to read it and actors wouldn't read it because studios wouldn't finance it. So I'd go to the studios and say, hey, why don't you finance this movie? And then I can give it to an Akron the studios didn't want to finance. Nobody wants to be the first one to jump in the pool. So Nathan Alexander by the time was my sister anway the gun and now Nathan after seven years of watching me rewrite studio movies had decided it was time to move on. And I say this is the craziest part of the story. So I said what are you going to do? I don't know. Produce direct. I don't know. I have figured it out. I just know I want to do something different. I said well until you figure it out your writer, and here's a book on the German resistance, and I wanna make a movie about the attempt to assassinate Hitler. I been in Berlin couple years before and had been on a tour and the tour guide at the end of the store of Orlan took me to the Bendler block the place where these guys were killed and that actually the in the in the movie, that's actually the the the the location where they all died. Thomas standing right where south from Burke stood when he was executing. An interestingly Tom's assistant in the movie is like a grandchild or relative of stuff Enberg. Kenneth Braun is assistant who's building the brunt that they put on the plane is Phillip on this staff in Berks grandson. He is the child of the child that needed her belly which was born in a concentration camp, get it. All that. It's great. So I said, here's a whole bunch of books on this thing, I learned now from Peter and from Dylan that I couldn't ever sit down long enough to do that kind of research because I was so busy rewriting studio movies to pay the debt that I'd incurred writing the last studio moving. And so I don't know anything about writing script. And I just put the the history script form, you know, how it ends just make a script out of it. So we did a time line. And from the time line we constructed an outline and Nathan went off. And I said if you get to a scene, and you don't know how to write it just write this has to happen in this scene, and I'll do the rest so four months later. He brought me very historically accurate. Very dry. Very long. Time line of the events leading up to July. Twentieth. And we had decided early on. We wanna make a movie about July twentieth. We don't wanna make a movie about war. We wanna make an old school war movie. Like, the greatest gape the characters are compact, the motivation is clear the story is straightforward. It's not an somehow somewhere along the way all were movies became a meditation on war because somehow it was like the filmmaker was saying, I know you all came here to see people get shit blown out of him at Normandy. But now we have to pay our Texas. We can't feel good about it. And I just wanted to get back to the movies that I had grown up watching the great escape and the devil's brigade and patent and all those movies, midway, I wanted to make a movie that sort of existed with those so Nathan came back to me with the script. And he said, dude, I don't I don't know what. I did. And I don't know if it makes any sense, let me work on this. Here's a book about the last night of World War Two in Japan. Go write a script based on that book, and I'm going to rewrite this that was the book the last mission last mission. So Nathan goes off and writes, this movie about a coup in Japan on the last night of World War Two five days after the atomic bombs in which the conspirators are not trying to end the war. They're trying to actually trigger the mainland invasion of Japan. And we wrote these sister movies these two coups from within the enemy taking place during World War Two and for year. That's all we were doing was conspiracy and coup conspiracy. Overthrow and Nathan would write a historically accurate script, which he would give to me, and I would dramatize it. And then I'd give it back to him. And he'd say you have completely mutilated history. And I said that's not my responsibility, fix it and Maitha would fix everything that I had ruined. And then I would make it entertaining. And then he would fix it. And I and the pendulum sort of swung until finally it sort of. Centered where you had what is a fairly accurate telling of the events of July. Twentieth. But that's also a thriller. And I like to think of this movie is a boiling kettle. And it starts in your kind of like wins. The t wins t coming come on start with the t already and then it gets louder and louder and louder in the news gets tighter and tighter and tighter. And that's kind of how we designed it. And we finish these two scripts and we put them in a drawer. We didn't show Danny buddy. We went on looking for the next project to do and. Somewhere in the midst of this whole process got tired of doing it. I question why did you decide not to show them to anybody? I mean because I would have shown this exactly what would happen. It was the thing. Fascinating story. I'd really love to read that. Thank you, two months later. You know, we're just not interested in World War Two. What's insane though? Because you're almost hoping up in Seattle that you were somehow going to get a call that said, hey, Kristy of any World War Two scripts lying around. No. I was there. I knew nobody would call me and do that. I what I did know was that. I was constantly looking for the next thing that I was going to direct to get myself out of directors jail for what I had done to myself and to the audience with the way the gun. Okay. And and in the process of looking for that next low budget movie, I couldn't help but keep going back to the thing that fallen in love with working with Peter, which was these historical epochs that are horrible unmarketable ideas. A movie about Germans in World War Two who fail and all die. That's a very short bitch that I never got past. It's about the Germans who just stopped me there. But here's the part of the story that fascinates me your assignment writing continued. And it seemed like after Logan's. Run fell apart. You came to a very strange decision and talk about why Logan's Ronin fell apart and your trip to Spain. Which I believe was that spring of two thousand six Logan's run is really was was a heartbreaking experience. Brian was making superman and had called me out to Australia to the set of the movie to start rewriting Logan's run and other people had done drafts of it, and Brian, and I when we were sixteen years old were sitting in his car and talking about this movie that Brian dreamed of making one day, which was a movie about colonies in space. And as typical of Brian he did not have a story. He had a shot. He had had an image that he very much wanted to see in a movie, and it re and it was an image. That could only exist in the sort of bizarre artificial gravity of of a centrifuge in space, and we talked all the time about what the movie would be. And we spent many many many nights trying to come up with a story to go with the image that Brian we'd never quite do it and Brian called me out to stray area. And on the set of superman there was a office way in the back of the the art department and hidden in there was the pre-production for Logan's run that that Joel silver had juiced into existence to keep the movie alive and I walked in. And there was the inside of Brian's head all over the room, and this massive model in the middle of the room, which was this colony and. Idea was that Logan's run was not going to take place in a bubble on earth. But in a colony in space. But the the ideas had not been fleshed out in a way that they were very allegorical. And what and what I tend to do is when Brian was struggling with X men, Brian which come in and do it. I walked in. I read this gripped. It was Ed Solomon wrote a very fun sort of popcorn movie. And that's not what I do. And I looked at it and said what if people were really mutants like what would the world be like if it was real. And I remembered reading that magneto had these numbers on his arm. And so I started writing X men in a concentration camp and in eastern Europe, which is not where one traditionally starts comic book movies. And so with Logan's run. I said, let's let's make it real. And let's figure out how the colony got there. Let's get into the history of this whole thing. And let's take it there. And what happened was it went from being this sort and I had a mandate from the studio which was can't make the island. Don't make the island the islands total rip of Logan's run. We don't wanna do that. So I watched the island wouldn't want to do that. And. The island created certain obstacles for me that I had to work around anytime, something we even sort of remotely brushed against the island. You couldn't go there. And what I ended up with was a massive massive movie. In a colony outer space that was a low budget, Cold War spy movie. It was like the spy. Okay. Mitt from the cold. And and I loved it, Brian Lucas shortest grip that ever written one hundred seven pages it was tight, and it was going to be this this auditing because that's kind of where I always end up with auditees. And the problem was that the story that had been written was a story that Brian, and I really liked we had a very difficult time with the very last few minutes of the movie, we we'd never quite nailed what the last five minutes, we're going to be. But there was no way that anybody was going to infuse that amount of money into. Cold War spy movie in a colony outer space. So Logan's run sort of went away. And I just went with it. I was on vacation in Spain with my family and two thousand six is in two thousand six and my wife about ten days into the vacation. She said you're happier than you've ever been our marriage is better than it's ever been. You're better with our kids than you've ever been. Why do you think that is? And I said without hesitating because I haven't thought about those fucking people in LA for ten days. And it's the first time in ten years that I haven't done it that I just wasn't working. And I don't mean working writing. I mean working how do I get Jake? Jalen hall to read the script. And how do I get them to make the cash offer to Jake Jilin? Also, he'll read the script. And how do I get people to care about making a movie about World War Two? That's got all Japanese people in it. No American star. How do I? And I was on this hamster wheel inside my head and my career had become my work. It was no longer about the joy of writing. It was now no longer in the business of making movies. I was in the business of getting movies made and they weren't getting made. And I said to my wife, if I quit if we went home and sold our house, and I never rewrote a movie again, and I found another way to make a living. And we we lived in whatever we could afford based on my fixing MacIntosh computers, or whatever I could get a job doing would that be okay? And my wife, which is why. Lover said if every day can be like today, then yes. So I said, I quit. I'm done. I'm not done writing. But I'll never right for those people again. And and we continued on this occasion, we traveled around Europe. And we ended up in Cape Cod. And I and I got a phone call from Brian singer who had just come back from finishing superman and superman was absolutely draining. The movie was massive, and Brian was pretty pretty burned out. And he said, listen, man, I read Valkyrie. And I want to do it. And again, there you are you're getting the call and you're like, here's a guy he can literally just touch this movie, and it goes, and I just thought about it for me. I should I think about it my hung up. And anytime I tried to revisit work on that vacation. I would begin feeling thing Zayed's horrible anxiety that I realized I had been feeling for ten years. And I didn't notice it until it was gone. And it was coming back, and I just kept putting it away. It didn't want to do it. I came back to LA and I sat down with Brian. And I said here's the deal. I'm going to give you the movie. This is my price. I'm going to build in a little bit to rewrite the script. And when the movie goes leaving. I'm going to be gone and Nathan knows the history. He knows what he's doing. And you guys are going to make this movie, and I'm out and he said, okay? Where do we take? I said I just had a meeting United Artists. This is right after crucial actor had left paramount read after the re the relaunch of United Artists. Correct. No just before. As a matter of fact, I was having the meeting at you at MGM couldn't understand why their offices were in MGM. There are no posters on the wall. And it was you know, there was still wires from the people who had just left the office hang on the wall. And I was like this is Whitman. These guys are really on their ass like. Repossessed all their posters. It's really not knowing that what they were in the middle of doing was taking over UA, but everybody had been speculating and reading the tea leaves that since they were leaving paramount that they were done. And I thought that's when you meet a guy. So I called my agent said I wanna meet at UA, and they had a meeting with Don Granger, and we talked about for three hours. He said, you really got to be Paula Wagner thought that'll happen. Next day got a call went and met with Paula Wagner. One hour meeting lasted three hours. She said, you really gotta meet, Tom. Never happen. The next day at nine AM, Mr. crews would like to see you at eleven AM, and I went to Tom Cruise's house. And so I'm sitting at Tom Cruise house and Tom Cruise comes in the room and sits down and now I'm face to face with a person of whom I've heard a lot, and I'm now waiting for that person to manifest himself. And he's like, hey, man. I read booth that really love it, really. And he's like, yeah. And we start talking about booth. He was a great great great script grade script, not anything. We're going to do. But it's a really good script. If you put the embargo on booth had been out there. Okay. Now, what happens enough of people come to me to hear about a script. And they say we want to go find it. It's out. It's out go find it. And and so we talked and there was a point in the meeting where I said, do you have other stuff to do? I'm good cool. I love in the ship's keep going, and I'm talking because I'll talk as you can tell talk a lot. And I talk for a long time at Tom just any asked a lot of questions, and he just sucks. A lot of information that he goes, let's do this again tomorrow. Poor guy. No Fred's back. The next day. We sat for like three hours. Awesome. I talked about everything that I was doing at walked into every project told him the five hour version of what I've just told you and growing up with Brian and all this other stuff in the one thing. I didn't talk about was Valkyrie because Brian remembers at don't tell anybody about it. Don't talk about it until we're making the movie, I don't want anybody know, we're doing their control the information said, okay, we'll do that. And we we control the information brilliantly as you might have noticed over the last year or so. We'll get to that. We will. Yeah. Pull up chair everybody. Hope you brought you lunch. We haven't even started making this movie. So. So I didn't talk about Valkyrie, and Tom didn't bring Valkyrie what I didn't know is that behind the scenes, my manager was telling them about alcohol, and they knew all about it, and Tom was doing all sorts of research, and he was reading about style from Berg, and he was reading about the German resistance, and Paula Wagner wanted this movie. And she wanted to make a movie with Brian Brian said when he called me I wanna make a little movie between two giants superman movies. I wanna make a movie I wanna go back to the usual suspects. I want a movie that doesn't have the pressure of an opening weekend. I want a movie that doesn't have to make one hundred million dollars. I just wanna make a movie that everybody looks at it. And goes, it's not a moneymaking movie. I mean, that's just a movie that's just something. They did for fun. He's like I wanna make conspiracy. I wanna make downfall. Then that's that's the kind of movie I wanna make great I'm with you. But I want to do and. The studio very much wanted to make them. So I went to Brian. I said listen I've been meeting with. Tom Cruise and UA, and I think they might actually wanna make this movie, and you should sit down with Paula. And then we'll take it to the next level. Now, Brian's really really into control, and Brian is he's very specific. And he's an ease very measured and the one person on earth. I think Brian was more freaked out about working with than perhaps Satan was Tom Cruise. Not because of anything he knew from working with Tom. But because of what you think, you know, about Tom and we'd heard cruise control, and we'd heard Tom producer on all of his movies. And you know, he's got his hand up the directors was due and he's and so Brian was just like, okay. Well, let's take the meeting with the understanding that you were saying to us is not just making Tom Cruise movies. We want to be making other films. So please understand that when you meet with Tom, you are not meeting with Tom the actor meeting with Tom from the studio, we Brian was a great, that's no pressure. So we went we sat down with Tom. And it was an Tom didn't want to be in the movie and Brian didn't wanna make that kind of moving. And so we just sat for six hours talking about style Berg. And of course, you go off on tangents for two hours about girls, we dated in high school and all this other stuff of the seventeen different schools. The Tom went to as a kid. Sudden. And you're sitting there having the script meeting, and then suddenly Surrey comes in the room and. Turn thick and. And again, you keep waiting for the real Tom to come out because this guy is so cool, and he's not he's had us over. And we're hanging out. And he's showing us is car, and he's just he's just like a guy, and he's a he's a movie geek, he's like really into talking about movies, and it occurred to me this is the theory. I've never asked him. But it to me this is where he meets new people. This is where new people come into his universes, the people with whom he collaborates, and he's very familiar that way in the the set is a very familial atmosphere. And what Tom was doing all those meetings was sort of getting up to speed with this twenty year collaboration that was sitting in front of him. And he was sort of finding out what we were all about and somewhere in the third meeting that lasted thirteen hours. Somewhere in that third meeting. The biography of staufer was sitting on the table and on the cover of the biography is a photograph of classmates now from Bergen profile this very sort of handsome dynamic as the book describes him intensely focused intensely. Charismatic guy on the cover this book, and Brian I can see him. Brian was going. And and then. Tom was just kind of. There was this. And you suddenly realize it was like he doesn't want to impose on us. He doesn't want to say make the movie if you make it with me, he's going to let this movie leave the room, but he wants to be in it, and I could see Brian going. I don't think he's the guy that I think he is movie would be huge and somewhere in that meeting. Somebody stopped saying him in reference to south and Bergen started saying you and somebody else stopped saying him and started saying me, and I left the meeting, and I was with Brian. And I said is Tom in the movie. I think he is. I think that's what's. So there was never an official moment. There was never a thing. It just arose organically from hours and hours and hours of all of us, realizing it would actually be really fun to work with this. And so the next day. I was I sat down to lunch with Paula Wagner, and we're eating at lunch and the restaurant across the street from CAA and UA had now officially been announced. And I'm sitting in the corner restaurant or CA agents everywhere, and we're in this corner. And everybody's like this. And Paula says now we're going to make an announcement in the traits tomorrow that we're doing the movie and that we have an actor. And I said a specific actor. She said, yes, I said, okay. And we start talking about the logistics of this. And one of the things that I'd said to Brian was look, you know, I wrote the script developed it. I put this whole thing together, I'm going to take a producer credit on the movie before I leave. And I'm going to go direct this little movie called the Stanford prison experiment, and that's going to be it. I'm going to see that that's a movie that I that I had developed. I was very attached to the writer involved. I felt responsibility. Am I going gonna make this movie? And then I'm out, and he said, okay, but I'm gonna take producing credit on during this lunch. So you're producing the movie I understand. And I said. I am now. And she's a great. So you'll be there. You'll be on the set because I'm not going to be there. And if in twenty five years, I haven't been on the set with Tom, and I'm I've got a new job now. So I can't be there. So you'll be there. Right. That'll be you. Yes. And then I called people who had produced movies and said, how do you produce a movie? And we found ourselves we had now entered what I call the alternate reality bubble, which is when Tom gets involved in a project reality, simply changes and people's behavior changes the size of the movie, suddenly morphs and the everybody is suddenly their game changes. And they're and they're all very different over different and all very focused and Paula during this lunch. She said you don't seem excited about this. You know, we're talking about this because Paul is had this conversation before people backflip, and I said, Paul, I gotta be honest with you. I'm not used to ship working out. This is very weird for me. And I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop in it never did. And then we were suddenly I was on my way to Berlin. And we were scouting locations, and I was at the Bendler block which I had seen from the street, but never been in. And there I wasn't pre-production. And again, we'd never finished the script. We were writing the script. And we always thought one day we'll get around to actually meeting people who were involved in the story. And maybe we'll go and meet the family, and you know, we'll do the real research, and we'll take out all the crappy exposition and put good writing in there. And now I'm standing in the spot where clouds wants now from Burke died, and we're going to start making the movie in six weeks. And I realized that we we don't know what we're doing. We're way behind a whole lot of shit. We gotta learn before we can do this movie, and that's where Valkyrie started. And so I found myself in this place of wanting very desperately to get away from the movie business and never make a movie again to suddenly being at the place where you're. Not only making a movie again, you're making this movie with that guy in this situation. And then. All hell broke loose. And that's ask your next question. Folks, jumping in really quick to tell you that. We just published issued thirty six twenty nine nineteen Oscars issue, and we had both the screenwriting winners in there along with plenty of other cool content as well. Now, remember you could read backstory on a desktop or laptop or via our Pat app or on Google play on an Android tablet. So there are plenty of ways to read us, and I truly hope you do in our Oscar issue, you could read our Oscar lessons section which has great interviews with seven out of the ten Oscar-nominated screenwriters that include the writers of a star is born black klansman the favorite I reformed. Green book if Beale street could talk and vice in each of these articles, not only do we talk about certain scenes that you could read excerpts of you could also read the entire screenplay as well. Plus, our Oskar issue features an interview with actor Willem Dafoe and even Oscar-nominated editor Hank Corwin, chats about editing. Vice other articles in issue thirty six include our blacklist profile of the script Escher by Jake. Jason Kessler and not only do we interviewed Jason. But you could read his entire blacklist script as well. Oscar winner Terrell Alvin mccranie of moonlight chats about his new Steven Soderbergh directed Netflix movie, high flying bird we interviewed Steve Lightfoot about the latest season of punisher we interviewed the writers of comedy central's, corporate and director, David Slade. Talks about Netflix groundbreaking. Choose your own adventure black mirror Bander snatch. We also did a funky cool peace with writer Eric Heiser yet. He's the writer of a rival. And he wrote a TV pilot called kingmaker, which was unfortunately, never made. But Eric still loves it and wishes it was a TV show and hopes one day, it still might be cool enough to share the entire script with us for your reading pleasure issue. Thirty six also features Sundance stories and so much more. And while this hasn't been announced we are going to chat with the writer directors of captain marvel and yes in the coming weeks, we'll even be sliding in an interview with the director of Zam if all goes as planned, and I'm sure it will. And that's the fun thing about digit. Publishing kids we could keep adding things to the magazine. Even after we published it because we are dedicated to bringing you the best possible content. We can and remember subscribers get access to everything we've ever published. So you could go back and read the first thirty eight pages of MacOS the last mission in issue four or are huge mission impossible fallout issue number thirty three. So look, it would really mean a lot to me to have my podcast. Listener's support my passion project over at backstory dot net. Even if you go read, the free issue and consider subscribing, I hope you give it a shot. But now it's jump right back into my chat with co writer. Christopher Mkhori about his passion project from all the way back in two thousand eight his film Valkyrie. It's interesting. You talk about the research because I mean, you were lucky in your focus that you kept it focused on July twenty four th so it was a present tense movie. You knew the events of the day, the exposition that you had that was the toughest was explaining operation Valkyrie, which we talked about an article, and I think he did a really good job of. One of the biggest challenges actually is that one of the classic coup movies would be seven days in may John John Frankenheimer movie, and is very clear antagonist in that movie. This movie has the threat of being caught as the primary Tagore without a primary tag nest. Otherwise, this is the end the system is the tag disavow group. What was the challenge and discussions that you had briefly of of briefly tried? But, but but I mean like of dealing with that there were there were a lot of scenes in the movie that were sort of amping up the paranoia. There's actually a moment that really happened when they were out in the woods writing the order that that actually has amalgam of lots of scenes where they wrote the order over many months where they're walking down the street with Tresco and the secretary and a car came screeching to a halt. And all these SS men got out ran into a building. You know, ran right past them ran into a building drag somebody out we had that it was kind of like this false scare and but the problem was we we realize that what mattered most about the movie was getting to July twentieth. And how to quickly contextualized the police state, and we I would say the most debate on this movie was about how much do people know on their own about Nazi Germany versus. What are they bring to the movie? I mean, everybody knows who Hitler is if they're really pressed, but you don't come to the movie thinking hitting there was a really bad guy. I want to see him get killed now you need to stir the tank and we needed to figure out a way to do that. And the mandate that we imposed upon ourselves and has to be done without a history channel documentary at the beginning, you know, without title cards at the beginning saying the rise of Hitler, and you had to find a way to do it and also express Steinberg's motives. Before africa. And what happened was we were Thomas a process whereby you read the script every weekend and without an skip over the stuff you've shot. You just read the stuff that still coming? But when you say read, you mean, stay in a room with Tom read it out loud, and it generates a lot of really good conversation. And it keeps the script sharp, and it keeps everything in focus and about the third reading Tom an Africa was going to be done at the end because we didn't want to be shooting in the summertime in the desert. So Africa was going to be shot either Jordan or Spain which we had in the scouted yet. And Thomson, you know, I'm really worried that that that this is gonna look like staufer killed Hitler because he lost an eye hand. And it's got to be more than that. And it was and so Thomson. We're just I what we're going to do is we're gonna shoot the whole movie, and we're going to table Africa. Now, some people have speculated on on the internet. That other place that it was a cash flow problem. I will answer when we go to the audience I will answer every single question about rumors. If you promise to print, my answers on the internet. I'm giving you the chance to bullshit. Okay. Good. Tom said we're in. No hurry table Africa, finish the movie cut it together. Let's look at the whole film, and then we'll rewrite Africa. So that it works. We'll know exactly what we need. Because if we get it wrong. We'll get this guy wrong, which is fascinating. Because the problem with this guy is, you know, you're watching a movie about the enemy at least as an American, and you know, movies like even dust boots or recently letters from me with Jima, they took their time to really make you sympathetic to the protagonist. And that was a guessing what you guys were planning for the Africa sequence all along. No. It was really I have a big problem with the word sympathy. I don't care about sympathy. I care about clarity. Tom is big into. He's got his two words. Hear all the time clarity geography. What's happening in the scene, where am I in the movie? That's it. That's all he really cares about. And it's a very simple philosophy from me. I. Just need to know why the character makes the choices they make. I don't need the audience to identify with two or to feel imbued by that. And for me Valkyrie is a story of an event. It's it's a depiction of event, and if the event interests, you you're in and and if the event doesn't interest you. I'm sure there are other movies that will. Very good. So I mean after you got threatening you knew at your movie was that rewrite that you needed for the beginning. What went into it to kind of show him already in dissension before being injured writing in his diary. Well, when the when the movie was a diary that there were letters there were letters to the diary is is an album of different letters written by the conspirators by to their lines from Tresco lines from south and Berg lines from other conspirators. But all of those things were taking their words, and I sort of put them all together into this in in my mind. It was the voice of the conspiracy has expressed by staff and Burke and a conspiracy that existed and had been growing throughout the war. These guys are condemned as too little too late rats jumping from a sinking ship and that line is in the movie because Tom hurt somebody one day on on the on the food line at lunch. One of the German crews at just rats jumping from a sinking ship and Tom Kaine too many. Goes put it he said, let's not avoid it. Let's meet it head on. And we don't wanna look like we were. I don't wanna look like we're trying to make heroes of these guys. Let's get every point of view that we can and. But when you read their writing, and when you you read the way that they talk to one another you understood that there was a deeply moral core to the conspiracy. And that they had resisted Hitler from his early thirties when the movie is described as a Nazi movie, we all winced because staufer was not a Nazi Tresco was not an Ozzy aback garter, which leaving none of them were in the Nazi party. And in fact, a lot of the guys you see wearing German uniforms in this movie. We're not Nazis, they were not in the Nazi party that the Nazis were very different faction from the Vermont. That's not to say that the Vermont wasn't full of very bad people. But that the situation in Germany was a lot more complex than we've been led to believe from sixty years of popular culture and raiders of the lost ark. But they also did take the oath, but they did take the oath. In the beginning of the film. Took the oath before crystal night right before the invasion of Poland. And you took the oath before Hitler started to go back on a lot of the things that he had said to people that he was going to do and when he invaded Poland. That was something he promised the country wouldn't do. Stephan Burke, said he has broken his word to the German people, and he should be removed and style from Burg than hoped that people close to Hitler would take Hitler out. They would depose him Gurtler really believed. This is again, we're looking at World War Two through sixty years of history. Gurtler really believed. Hey, man, I know Hitler. We can just go reason with the guy if we all just lock arms and go into the room together and confront him. Hitler will step down hill. He cares about Germany, and and you guys like which LeBron sleeping wasn't saying. But he he speaks for a large number of people were saying, just let the allies comments scorch the earth. And then we'll take over and Tresco at the center of all of it believed. No Germans have to try and. Kill him. What are we succeed whether we fail? It doesn't matter. Someone within the air Mark has to demonstrate to the rest of the world that we oppose this man, and we opposed his policies the best described as beyond being rats leaving a sinking ship or something like that they were in the German army. They knew who said that they were fighting on the they were not fighting and self defense. They were the aggressors World War Two. But it was it was it was kind of said that these plots all became about self preservation because once they saw the end was being near. They wanted a peaceful surrender without the Russians coming in rather than Germany and greater Europe being destroyed by another all out war. That's what they saw as the possibility back Gurtler Staffan Burke Tresco opposed the war at a time when Germany was kicking ass. Germany was burning across Russia. They were absolutely unstoppable in the in the west. And the problem was that you couldn't gain popular support to depose Hitler when he was winning. And that pro so Africa was the turning point at which they suddenly realized he's now made mistakes. He's now losing the confidence of the people closest to him. Now, we can act now that's that's this specific conspiracy. They had been trying to assassinate Hitler active. Those fifteen attempts are mentioned the end of the movie were happening from as early as nineteen thirty eight people trying to kill him all the time. It was not about self preservation. That's that's a blanket statement. I'm sure there are people within the conspiracy who definitely signed on because they were like, I'm without a. Yeah, I'm going with the dot com over here. I think this could take off. But but for the key members of the conspiracy. There was a very strong very moral reason what they cared about. They when they were on trial in front of fries ler, the judge and the red robes that guy was he was really liked that. When they were on trial of fries learned he said, what were you thinking in the guy said, I was thinking about the murders. And when somebody said to Tresco it's too late. We can't make any difference. Now they've landed in Normandy. It's done fate accompli. And Tresco said they are killing sixteen thousand Jews day, we have to do something. And and it's very difficult for people for for myself researching this to reconcile a guy with a swastika on his uniform writing orders that were specifically saying we're gonna shut down the concentration camps. What we're what we're gonna do? Immediately upon seizing control of Berlin is shut down the concentration camps, and we're going to we're going to lock up the SS anybody who who who resists shoot them. These were these were serious guys. And these were and these were people who understood staff burger, devout Catholic haven, Salvador exaggeration was recruited to be the assassin. And the reason he didn't go through with it because he could not reconcile his face. With the idea of murder. He knew that killing Hitler while. It was just was also. In direct conflict with his religious faith. It was not war. It was murder. And so you had all of these men were intellectual. They were aristocrats they believe very strongly in their word. They had taken this oath, and they had lawyers come in. They had guys within the conspiracy who are jurists. And what they did was look at the oath and say, how do we get around this legally and one guy finally came up with the with the notion that Hitler had violated his oath to the German people, and that made your oath null and void and once the end, and they all were able to sort of rationalize their way around it and say, okay, we can do this. Now, a very painful process because they knew in the end in success. They would be remembered as traders, that's the best thing they were ever going to get is there. They were going to be traders their children were going to be the children of traitors, and even after the war and after Hitler committed suicide that the second generation the children of the conspirators suffered enormously because they were they were viewed even though. As traitors back to those the the opening scene. You know, I love the sense of history. And I and I liked this movie a lot how many pages were you essentially rewriting with such a large onus of get the audience in the line of thinking that you were just talking about within the opening of the film, briefly five or six five or six pages. Because I mean, that's not a lot of space. So. You had to get in there at the state of the war strategic importance of Africa, all of those things you had to contextualized World War Two and contextualized Nazi Germany with two guys walking along a row of tanks. You also told me that Brian and Tom both had mandates that drove you and Nathan kind of crazy talk talk about the the rules that they had for the rewrite of that opening. Oh, well, the rules were you know. And we we mandated this to ourselves as well characters. Couldn't say anything that they wouldn't have said conversationally at no we wanted desperately to have somebody stand up and go there is a difference between the Vermont and the Nazi party and some guys are Nazis and some guys are some guys are serving Germany summer serving Hitler. There was no way that that to people who knew each other whatever have that it was basically like a no monologue was no monologue. No speech. It was Tom and Tom was like find a way, man. Find a way to get it across an express the holocaust because the holocaust was motivating factor. But. But none of them had witnessed it personally. Steinberg knew about the holocaust from letters that he was getting from other. It was a letter that really set Staffan Bergen motion to where he finished a military briefing and said out loud in front of a number of general, some of whom were not his close friends. Somebody oughta shoot the son of a bitch, your concept of Nazi Germany is this police state where everybody is just sort of like this and keeping their mouths shut. They were all speaking openly. They were objecting to this out loud, and there and and Stephan Berg had spoken out so much finally said you need to go to Africa 'cause you'll be safer in combat. If you keep talking like, this, you can get killed, and we had to express all of that in that scene within the journal and within the walk and talk. It's just that sort of talk that had you sent here Colonel what I said was much worse. It's all in reference to the to the to the deeper history. But it we couldn't we would not allow ourselves a history lesson. We would not allow ourselves to dictate to you. What this was Normandy. The Normandy invasion is a casual mention because in the end everybody in that room knew at Normandy was we had a whole scene where haven installed number driving in the car talk about Normandy and Haytham talks about all the ships and all the men style from Burke explains to the audience what that means to Europe, and we were just like get rid of it, man. And he's in the car. He's thinking about the book he's got to get them to sign the order and anything that is pertinent to history. It will be said in the way that it would have been set in the room. And it doesn't come up until Tom Wilkinson brings up the ugly elephant in the room. Normandy my fear the end of the world, as we know it, and if you know about Normandy, you understand the deeper world that's going on outside. If you don't know about Normandy. You're sitting there going is he gonna sign the book? And and that's that all comes from the process of working with Tom and Tom, really? Focusing on what matters in the scene, and how to take this movie, which was written with an initial point of view about this year, the European theater and making it the point of view of the conspirators. Last question before we opened it to the crowd. Nathan Alexander lives in New York. That's why he wasn't here tonight. And you know, I think it's interesting to mention was like for you to kind of have somebody that you're able to kind of mentor a little because this was his first script, and you know, what were some of the lessons and things that he imparted the UN parted to him that you you saw him kind of grow from because you know, there's a lot of screenwriters listened as podcast even this theater that would love to have you annoyed them as as a as a random not random actually Nathan's case but annoyed them to to be a co writer. So what was something that you realize it was like just a habit of yours impart in Nathan, the kind of grow from the one thing that I said, I first thing that I told him was right? The movie that you want to see don't write the movie that other people tell you that they want to see it will always end in failure. And so just think about think about the movie that you see in your head and right that and and don't think about anything. Else? And I think there was another one that I said to you during the phone call. There was something else that I said to him which was. What was it? Did you? I hope you wrote it down. Oh, it's oats recorded. Right. Right. The movie the that you want to see let's let's let's it's the crowd for a couple of questions. Right. Question was regards to basically the loss of accent? After the beginning of the film. I think it was the right choice that almost resemble the hunt for Red October when they gave up speaking Russian in which you know, very very smoothly. While he's writing his diary starts German goes to English. I would have hated to have seen this movie with a whole bunch of heavy German accents on everyone really briefly, the the reading of the tea leaves is that Tom Cruise couldn't do German accent? And that's why we didn't do it. Tom wanted to do a German accent and came to the party doing a flawless Swabian German. Accent was ready to do it and had brought in dialogue coach was totally game. And Brian, and I actually reacted like oh, God he wants to do accents. Because that's the last thing we. Wanted to because and I believe that for the half of the audience that finds it difficult to watch the movie without accents, the other half would be so mortally offended if this Mel Brooks comedy of a movie was everyone walking on the opening and not see again. Oh. And and. And it's so it's so mixed me. Crazy when people say, well, why are they speaking with German accents, I because their German, and they're speaking English is that odd we're in an alternate universe where everything is written in German. And everybody's speaking English would they have German accents? And we walked back and forth between do we do it? Do we not do it? And we just thought in the end. It's it's so everybody knows who Bill Nye is. And Tom Wilkinson is and who Tom Cruise is. And everybody's going to be doing these slightly. Outrageous, never perfect always mismatched you watch movie where a movie takes place in the south and everybody speaking with a southern accent? Nobody has an accent. That is correct to the region that they're in or that matches the accent of the person they're all just talking with a southern drawl. Oh, we're in the south. I know where we are now. Well, I read the street signs, and I think, oh, oh, we're in Alabama. We just passed the sign now entering Alabama. And so with this all the iconography and everything was going to be. There. And there was a movie that stuck out in my mind. The inner circle which is about Stalin's projectionist starring Tom Halse and Robert vol and low lead individ- and everyone in the movie speaking this outrages Russian accent. And it just so gets in the way of the movie because all you're hearing is the accent. And what we wanted to do was not alienate the audience so that they were standing outside of this movie. Watching Germans try to kill Hitler. We wanted you to be in the room with the conspirators because you're in on it. It's your asset is on the line as well. And and that was very important to us. So we made a very very clear decision, right? From the beginning and said, we don't want to do that. And you could see on time. He was kind of excited. He was ready to get into this character. But because that's what Brian wanted to do. That's what Tom did you made the right choice. Another question read their user in the middle. He was interested in the season. Vision the discovery that you made about lawyers being brought in to to have people. Miles and miles and miles of stuff in the beginning of the movie that was you know, I wrote some of the worst dialogue I've ever written in my tire life is he a Nazi are any of us. You know that kind of. Since red critiques of the script with are just talking about, of course to scripture meant to be read not shot, and they're not meant to be read by movie fans. They're supposed to be read by executives who can't read. So. So I had a lot of stuff like that in there. But again, the mandate was July twenty July twenty and get get to July twenty because what we realized Brian at one point. I said look man, we gotta do something we're in the editing room. And we're we're we still haven't shot the first chunk of the movie. So we got to do something to tell people that these guys weren't Nazis embryos, really turned the movie on John turns around, and he turns around, and he just begins pointing to everybody in a German uniform going that's a Nazi. That's an that's not obscene. Look, they're all Nazis for sixty years. You've been telling people that the guys wearing the swastika on the uniform, and Nazis what line of dialogue. Do you think is going to re educate people, and is going to change their opinion? They're Nazis, they're in the German army and they're fighting for Hitler. Let's move beyond that, and let's focus on their actions. They're trying to kill Hitler. It doesn't really matter if they're not or not and that brought such clarity to it. And that just sort of made it all about you're right. I'm not. To re I'm not here to teach people. I'm not here to give a history lesson. I'm here to put you in a time and place, and and so it by the time staff and Berg enters the conspiracy all of those debates had long since been had. And that's that's why it's not in the movie if you want to make sure that there's a right there in the front row. Humam question was regards was there ever attempt to establish his childhood or background? Obviously would take away from the present tense nature of the movie. Well, it would it would have done that. But I'll tell you. The other reason we never St. set out to make a movie about stuff, we never set out to make a biopic, and we start what I wanted to do the scene that drove me to this thing. More than anything else was Rommel was implicated in the plot. And he knew about it. But was not actively involved he sort of gave his tacit approval and said, I'm not going to help you. But if you kill him, then I'll help you negotiate a truce with the allies because the allies respected Rommel Hitler found out and he had Rommel brought back to Berlin. And for many years. It was believed that Ramleh died of heart attack. And what happened was Hitler sat down with them and said, he can have a state trial or state funeral. And if it's a trial bring your family into it. And it'll be death for you and disgrace for them and Rommel left with two s guys and took a Bill and committed suicide and everybody thought Rommel had a heart attack and the allies thought he had a heart attack. And it was years before anybody knew that the reason Rommel died because see. Joe suicide over disgrace. And that scene was so godfather esque, and such a good moment that I wanted to write to that. I said find a way to get that Rommel scene in there. And when Nathan was putting together this whole thing. He just kept saying if we're doing July twentieth. He wasn't there. He wasn't involved. His death came way later and this guy's dolphin Bergman. He was he was all over it. This guy was everywhere, and he really was the guts conspiracy. So then we got we studied his childhood. We studied is upbringing in his his involvement in Stephan Gheorghe secret society, he was a student of this poet, his family were seven hundred years of nobility. There are nine hundred year old family. They were infused with this duty that aristocrats responsibility was not to be served, but to serve others and to serve those in the in the in the classes below them, and he believed that very strongly and all of that. However, you wrote it distills down to I would have thought a man of your background would have suggested an honorable approach and your left to wonder you must have some background that that means he's an honorable man. And that was real because the train had left the station, and we were on we were on course to loan Hitler and trying to do it in under three hours. Usa right there in the middle. I was going to ask that question. I mean that that could be a marathon question. But but the bullet points the bullet points when you want to know what you shout them out. No actually from your in the bullet points. Like, I two in the press that it was I thought it was very unfair a lot of the treatment that this film was receiving well before anyone even seen it. What were some of the things that were kind of driving? You nuts behind the scenes that were just outright. I'll tell you the one that really got me that I thought was so disgraceful when we shot at the Bendler block, which was the the Bengals block was made into a new story that we were banned from the Bendler block that we were banned from shooting in Germany by the time it got back to L A. And then rebounded us we were being kicked out of the country and the truth of the matter was that we were in active negotiations throughout two. To allay the concerns of the curator of the museum that we would treat this place. Respectfully, and other movie had shot there and the truth is we had never asked. So they had never said no and people having nothing to do with the situation had made noise, and it had reverberated it was very long very delicate very diplomatic process. I was meeting with members of the German government. I was meeting with cabinet ministers. It it was it was an experience that while. It was happening to me what I was going through was I I would literally be thinking to myself, what are you doing sitting in this room? What qualifies you to be talking to these people? And yet what we're reading on the internet was just a confection. None of that bothered us. We thought that was kind of funny, and it didn't matter because we were going to we were going to shoot there. And and everybody understood that we were dealing with it what we were doing was a movie that ultimately if well received would be good for Germany. The problem was then the night we got to shoot the Bendler block. And before that Tom said, listen, man, we we I want no chewing gum. No cigarettes. No coffee. No food on the set. I want every I don't want cursing. I don't want people yelling on the set, and I want he goes this. You have to treat it like a place of remembrance. You've got to be really careful with this place in show respect. And and I carried that to everyone. And he said before it all begins. I want a moment of silence. I'd like you to get up and say if you words that moment of silence. And so the night was come. We were so busy. I was like, I don't know. What say I don't I turned to Nathan Nathan. Find me a letter. Find me something that one of the conspirators said that would be appropriate and Nathan just be like the the human conspiracy machine goes to his trailer and comes back with a letter written by one of the conspirators conspirators who had been executed, and it was written the day. It was a letter to his mother the day before he was executed and I'm standing all impromptu. I'm standing on the curb that we have installed where the traffic turnaround used to be. We have completely recreated the vendor blocks that it looks like nineteen forty four. The only thing that's different is the cobblestones. And I'm standing a few feet away from where from Burke dot. And I'm reading this letter. And I could everybody just you know, could everybody come on over here and everybody sort of came, and they sort of without any sort of thought to what we were doing everybody stood around. And you realize you're standing in this very. I didn't realize it at the at the moment. And I read this letter that had just been handed to me. And in the letter, this conspirator was saying that he hoped that one day they would be remembered as patriots and not as traitors, and that this was his fervent prayer. And I started crying and Brian was standing next to me. And Brian was really having a hard time holding it in and Bryan who's not accustomed to speaking publicly just suddenly spoke to the crew and said the whole thing this is a place of remembrance. Please treat it with respect. And visit was this beautiful moment. And then it ended and it just sort of dissolved. And I suddenly thought somebody take a picture of that. And I looked up on the balcony where Frahm standing in the movie was Christly the executive producer with a little tiny Sony, two megapixel camera. And I was looking for the unit photographer who I could never find when I needed them. And suddenly I saw him just walking by. He was just kind of Franquet, dude. I look for where the hell you been. He goes oh wasn't down here. We had thing occurred. Frankie goes up in the window. And I would and he showed me the picture. And it was stunning thing of the whole crew standing around in a circle, and it looked like a church, and it was. It was the most magnificent picture, and it was one of the most moving experiences to be standing on the spot where the idea had Ford and to be there seven years later and shooting the scene and reading the letters of these of these men and then on the next day. Nathan's wife sends us a thing from a blogger who says that somebody farted on the set. And the Tom was and the producers were staging an investigation to find out who it was. And you know that Tom was furious. And he was obsessed and he was and I read that. And I thought I've read a lot of crap about Tom. And by now, I've been working with them for a long time. And I realized that at one percent of it is true. There is a person named Tom Cruise everything else in the story is bullshit. And I read this. And I thought I'm I mean a sense in this story. I was there for this moment that didn't happen. And I am one of the producers who is conducting this investigation that doesn't exist and I walked into Tom's trailer and a handed it to him. And I was like so that's what happens, and he just looks to me. Yeah. And and you must understand how important it was that he shoot at that location. And that the only news that comes back from the United States is just the sort of crass fart joke of something that was very important to us. And I said what do you do that? Then he says what can you do is keep making the movie he says, we give them nothing. They make something up don't worry about it. And and that was that was the experience time. And again that the things that were coming were coming because you know, he's obviously a very critical time in his career. And and what people wanted from. This was the it gained momentum. Until the only thing that this could be was the second coming of Christ or the most phenomenal trainwreck since Heaven's Gate and nothing in between would be satisfying and the. Reaction. Now as the movie is coming out is one of the. They we we cheated. We robbed them of their victory. The movie may not be the second coming of Christ. I don't think it is. I think it's a good film. It's what I set out to do it kept its soul. It's still the little movie that it was it just it just got bigger props and bigger toys, and we got to really have fun doing it originally envisioned Zilic, a seventeen seventeen million dollar movie. It was going to be old men in a room talking about killing Hitler. What was the final budget? No idea. And but I will tell you where you down Mkhori. I will tell you that it is not as high as they report on the internet, and I will tell you that just about everything agreed on the internet is not true. And that no one ever in my entire year and a half of working on this movie has ever called me to confirm even one of those stories. No one's called the studio. No one's called Tom's people. No one ever called nasty for a quote, no one ever said. Hey is truth. Somebody on the set or hey, is it true that you've been recruiting the movie, and that the test audiences that don't exist are laughing at the movie all of those things were lies when we finally did test the movie six months after the first disastrous screening was supposed to have happened. It's a movie about Germans who fail to kill Hitler and all get shot with scoring eighty five with women over twenty five. This is not that's not a high five moving. And and yet those things were never those things were never promoted. They were never pushed forward. And I realized that is the movie comes out when I finished the way the gun, and I knew. On some level. What the way of the gun was going to be. I knew how it was going to perform. I knew how it would be rejected. I knew it would happen to be afterwards. And I was at the premiere, and you know, when you've made a successful movie versus an unsuccessful movie because at the premiere the usual suspects, people are thickest flies. You can't get to the door. And when you make a movie that's not going to do. Well, there's a circle about ten feet wide around you at the reporting. And Juliette Lewis broke that circle and walked up to me and reminded me why made the movie in the first place because everybody wanted me to make a crime film, and I didn't wanna make another crime film. And Finally, I said, okay, if I'm gonna make a crime film, it's going to be about criminals. I'm not going to give you what you want to give you what you asked for. And Juliette walked up to me. And she said, hey, man, you made a solid movie and its untouched by the may. And I realized and there's a very key moment. The beginning of that film that opening scene where they beat up. Sarah, so punch, Sarah Silverman. Rather than fight the guys. Heels fifty guys are going to be out of them. And they punch the woman in the face because they know they're going to go down, but I'm going to steal your victory. And when the way of the gun came out, everybody came wanting usual suspects, and they didn't get it. And they were very mad and the and what a Kurd to me only in the last forty eight hours, the only pleasure that I will take from this movie, whatever its fate on Christmas day. I don't care because people were hoping for a disaster. And I didn't give them what they want. That's right. I agree. One last question from the ground. The bathroom. Brian Johnson are sound recorders up in the projection booth. If for any reason I've lost track of time. If you see this thing has gone to ours. And I know it is not stop the stop the podcast recorder. And will we use our backup device because that memory card has two hours six minutes on it? So I beg you stop it immediately. It's fine. If you go past two six it'll be very bad one more question from the crowd, all the way all the way in the back white shirt from. Ready change, what hasn't changed? Now this project. Newsgroups and gossip about this. Trying very hard process is one of the nation and technology has had a pace faster than from. I need something to motivate me to write that usually is. Financial? I don't think there's one thing. In the world that everybody has story. The magazine stressors. Very. You. Gone in which you told me that. Ms acetate, you moving back. Yes. I asked you what? About. So many Catholics around the world. That are running. And there's a lot of people that are fine. For you. Coming home was deal. What is what is your? Here's here's what I learned. Two years that I was living outside of Seattle. Everything that I would. It was. When my when I believed my career is over that. I had left that business. I stopped some word, I stopped selling myself and everything. You had to be. Because of your sight outta mind limited. I've seen happen to them where I was gone. Come back. The. The business really about relations as much as it's about making films. And no one wants to be sold. It is the same way. The women in the audience. Would you rather say, hey, I'm going to move you want to join or hate one of those? I asked the question whereas all going and you defenses go out, but you don't want to be involved. And the business of you can't sell. Price. Same thing that. Most of the time you wasted. Don't sit there air cursor wonder what next I three years of doing one day. Was twenty. So. I want to. It was a long time and everybody all the time. Berry. The night that I want. Boards that are still very. Rest of my life is. Why? Criticism. No. One of the worst. Nice. Terribly nowhere. Brian. Supposed to be the greatest. My life. Because I knew. Really good. That were. And no matter how far I went away from that. It was what I'm sitting in the car. Bro. Oh, man. On. Well. Was. To this story spirits. Great movie. Pathway. Fail. Great. Sure. Had me and around. You have. Back years. Relied very giving. And that's the QA went down special. Thanks again to Kurai, Christopher McGrory forgiving such a fantastic interview about Valerie. And also for being such a good friend, the podcast and backstory magazine over the years, I hope after listening to this episode. You'll have a renewed interest in Val Korean go rewatch it or see it for the first time. If you missed it way back when and folks while you're surfing around online. I also hope you'll check out backstory magazine over at backstory dot net where you could read us on a desktop laptop or via our Pat app. Our current issue is number thirty six it's our Oscar issue, and it's filled with the nominees. The winners, plenty of other television, and film content, including an in depth article on captain marvel and coming soon if all goes according to plan, and I'm sure it will the director of Zam. So I hope you'll test drive us by reading our free issue number one and then consider subscribing. So that you could go back and read all of our great content that we did with Chris Corey including the first act. Unproductive grip. The last mission in issue number four and plenty of mission impossible fallout stuff and issue number thirty three it's alright over at WWW dot backstory dot net. So thanks for considering and hey, if you're in L A are going to visit L A make sure to sign up for my screening series. You could come to these events as we're happy to have you could sign up to get on the free Email list at backstory dot net slash events. So I hope to see you at a screening sometime soon, of course, as McCoy was signing posters. The stuffy started talking about that wasn't in the film that we didn't have time to get to that. He was considering putting in was amazing. I really wish they had room for some of it. Just just just more great stories, but he was very adamant as was, you know, Alexander crews and Bryan singer that they really stay focused on the July. Twentieth plot. So that's why those are the stories didn't fit in of course, special. Thanks to our sound recorders. Brian Johnson who was in the projection booth without a chair for most of this while he was recording. Somehow, no one gave him a chair poor. Brian was up there standing an eventually someone saw that he was standing for that long. Brought him a chair so specialties for Brian for going through with the endurance challenge. But actually, he said that until I said in the podcast to shut off the recorder that he didn't realize how how long it actually gone. And I was actually losing track of time myself even listening to it again when I was mixing it at ending it. There is nothing that I would really say, I would've I would've cut because Mkhori is very self aware of his process. Had great stories to tell and really articulated them beautifully. So, you know, thanks again to Chris for being so generous with his time that night, the QNA would Jeff Goldsmith copyright of unlikely films Inc. In twenty nineteen all rights reserved. And hey, if you'd like to show your support and donate to this free podcasts. So it can continue to buy new equipment and use these funds to pay all of my podcast hosting fees. Fuel free to send it pay pal. Virtual tip to yoga Smith at g mail dot com. Any amount is greatly appreciated as your social networking needs. You could follow yoga Smith on Twitter or check out my Facebook fan page. I'm Jeff Goldsmith the publisher of backstory in the host of the QA thanking you for tuning in and telling you to stay out of trouble till next week.

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