Have some chocolate cake.

Monday, 02 February, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Master Tucker Max explains his very bad moviei :

Well, I thought I understood how the Hollywood system worked. I was still arrogant enough that I thought truly understood the system. And you could think of it the same way as starting a company, like a first time entrepreneur saying I know how to do a startup. You may think you know, but you don't know until you've done it, right? I thought I knew how Hollywood worked. I thought I knew how the set would work, etc. So we picked our own director, and we ended up picking a director who essentially sold us in the room that he would act a certain way and do a certain set of things on the movie, but when it came time to do it did something totally different. And by the time we got to that point in the process, there was no way to unfuck the decision. And then because he didn't live up to what he said he would do, I instead of, what I should've done is said, "Okay, we are where we are. We can't change it. I need to figure out how to make the best situation possible out of this." What I did was the wrong thing. I got fucking pissed and I got angry and I didn't deal with those emotions. So instead they kind of came out in the way I acted towards him and towards a lot of other people, and it negatively . . . a movie set's a very sensitive, delicate artistic place and you can't act like that there. And I did because I was fucking pissed off because this guy had fucked me. And it negatively impacted the movie in a lot of ways, and I can't even watch the movie because I can see on screen in scenes where I know what's going on in the background and I know someone's fucking up a scene and I know it's at least partially my fault and it drives me nuts. It drives me nuts because I didn't have to act that way. Even with the bad decision, I could have just swallowed it in the short term and gotten the best product out and then dealt with the director later. I didn't. I was short sighted in that way.

Question for you : is he right or is he wrong ?
slave How could he be "right" or "wrong" in that? He's describing how he felt about something.

Master "what I should've done".
slave Ah. No. If he realized he picked a shitty director he should have fired the guy and scrapped the whole thing until he had enough dough and the right director to do what he wanted.

Master "The one thing I learned with the movie was to never, ever do any sort of creative endeavor unless I have full, complete, real creative control, because if you don't have any creative control, you essentially have no control. This book, I finished it, I turned it into Simon and Schuster, and I said, "Print it the fucking way I did it, don't change a fucking thing." And they said, "Yes Tucker, whatever you want". What are they going to say to me, right? Hollywood doesn't work that way. Hollywood doesn't give a fuck. If you don't write the check in Hollywood, you don't matter. That's true even for Steven Spielberg. He gets more control than I do, but he still gets the boot on the neck in Hollywood. That's a battle I've been fighting the last six years. That's why I cancelled two TV shows because both times they were going to do something stupid and I wasn't going to deal with it."
slave Otherwise wth is this, "I wanted to knit an afghan but it turns out I bought celery instead of knitting needles but w/e, I should have figured out how to make the best of it."

Master He's actually right, I would say. Why did he get the bad director ?
slave Because he doesn't know how to interview for a good one.

Master Point in case :

Well, the big thing that I would say would be that the co-writer Nils [Parker] and I would direct it. We had a director on the last one, and he just didn't - we thought he understood the vision, and we thought he got it, and it turns out he didn't...it seems like a little thing, but it makes a difference if you understand movies. Like, I think the movie is lit really poorly. I think it looks like - you know, I mean, we spent $7 million on the movie, which is not a small amount - it's not a huge amount for a movie by any stretch, but definitely more than enough to make a movie look professional, you know? And that version looked very indie and very gritty, and I just thought it looked like sh*t. Like, it didn't look good. And that's the director's fault...he fuc*ed up; he lit it incorrectly. And that seems like a small thing, but it makes a huge difference. Like, that's one thing I would do differently. And I don't know, there's probably a million other little things that we would do differently, but that's, like, the big thing.

That's like, really, the big thing ? Oookay >D The problem isn't that he's smart and the director lied to him. That's what he likes to think, that he's MP sitting on MP's throne and some scammer worked his butt off for 2 years to get through the gates and well, ran off with some BTC. He's not that. He's a dumb kid who has no idea, and what he SHOULD have done was to use that film to learn. Build and test hypotheses.
slave Still not seeing how this makes him "right".

Master He should in fact have made the best of it.
slave Interpreting "make the best of it" that way is takin' a loootta liberties. This shit never crossed his mind, it's not what he meant by several thousand miles. But anyway, nitpick.

Master Certainly not. But that is the other way this is all about the meta problem. He actually is right and not aware of it. This is what that means. What "idea" ? You can't have an idea. It's not a thing, not something to "have". It's not like a chocolate cake, you get your hands on it that's that, it's yours.
slave :) I sees!

  1. I don't think you can begin to believe how bad that thing is. []
Category: Trilterviuri
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18 Responses

  1. " The fact is, the movie did poorly at the box office because we failed at one of the most, if not he most, important aspect of making a successful movie: Marketing that movie."

    "That's the bad news. The good news is that losing this battle does not mean the war is over or lost. Many many great movies that got no attention at the box office became classics by doing great on DVD, and there is no doubt in my mind that is what is going to happen with this movie."

    Doing poorly at the box office sucks right now, but in ten years when "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell" is one of the best selling DVD's of all time and spawned hugely successful sequels, etc, etc...well, I think everything will end up fine.

  2. Ha! That's not even the best stuff.

    Tucker Max on how writing a book to explain how a bad book got made into a worse movie and what it all means is the way to go.

    Nils and I have a long and involved dissection of the movie being written right now. We will post it at some point for everyone to read, sort of like a scene by scene guide to what we were thinking and what each line/interaction means. We put a ton of thought into this movie, and if you look, you can find it, but this guide will help you see all of it.

    I think that will clear up a lot of the confusion that some people have with some of the scenes or characters, and it's probably a lot more productive and easier to deal with than responding to random people and their random misunderstandings of various aspects of the movie.
    Tucker Max quote screenshot

    Another thing I regret not doing: Having all this explanation up and ready to go the day the movie released. I feel like so many of these questions could have been addressed and answered and avoided a lot of confusion. Not for the haters or critics--they aren't going to do any research anyway--but many of the fans have missed stuff that I thought was obvious, but with hindsight, I can see might require some explanation for certain people. It seems like most people get most of it, but everyone misses something different, and a comprehensive scene-by-scene guide would have helped avoid this.

    We'll get this up eventually, but I will add this to the things I wish I'd done differently.

    Tucker Max about wars and battles.

    First off, of course we are going to keep promoting it. The problem is not hte movie, the problem has been the marketing--we haven't reached enough of my fans.

    But I don't pay for this Darko does, and if they choose to stop, then we stop. If the movie looks like it has legs, we keep going. I will go for as long as they keep paying.

    And dude--this thing going to DVD is not a bad thing. Of course I want it to hit as huge as possible theatrically, but there is zero doubt in my mind it will be huge on DVD. We actually make a ton more money on DVD as well. If it's a huge hit on DVD, and sells like 5 million copies on DVD in the first 18 months--something every realistic--the we're going to end up doing sequels anyway. It'll just be a little later than we anticipated.

    The fight doesn't end with the theatrical release of this movie. Losing this battle doesn't mean the war is lost.

    How huge ad spends yielding no effect prove that the movie's pure gold and Sean McKittrick should spend 15 million dollars on advertising a dead mule. Aka "Tucker Max and wounded narcissism".

    Thats a great idea. How about you call Sean McKittrick and tell him to buck up and drop 15 million do we can have a real ad spend?

    Exactly. I love how all of you are so full of suggestions, without any concept of what the fuck is going on. Like how I DON'T MAKE ANY DECISION ABOUT WHERE MONEY IS SPENT.

    Do you think I want the movie playing in crappy dead malls and in shitty outliers suburbs? Of course not. Freestyle booked those theaters, ask them why they are fucking up.

    Do you people think I am making every decision on this movie? FUCK NO. If I was, I can guarantee you things would be going much different. But I'm not. So in the meantime, please forward your suggestions about spending money and booking theaters--whoich are often good suggestions, things I have said for six months--to the people who are making the really stupid marketing decisions that are fucking my movie.

    Because its not me. Telling me is pointless. I have known all of this for months. And I have told it to those people. And they haven't listened to me. And now they regret it.

    But that doesn't matter right now. What matters right now is where we stand today, and what we can do going forward. So unless you have a suggestion that involves the facts in front of me, and not so imaginary world where I have millions to spend on commercials and a huge staff of 100+ to implement all this shit, do everyone a favor and shut the fuck up.

    And just an FYI--The only things that HAVE been effective are the online marketing and the tour. The evidence of this is the Chicago market--that market had a huge ad spend. NO EFFECT.

    Tucker Max and the realities of modern media.

    Would any of these idiots have picked Office Space as one of the great comedies ever made from the trailer? Or Big Lebowski? Or picked Slumdog Millionaire as an Oscar winner (like I did)? OF COURSE NOT! Not a single one.

    The professional haters that are hating on the trailer are just doing their thing--they hate everything, and the fact that they had such a viseral reaction to the movie is actually good news, and all that will play in fairly obvious ways over the next 60 days (if you can't understand that, you are profoundly fucking blind to the realities of modern media).

    Tucker Max about being BFL Josh.

    But the fact that some of these people saying this stupid shit have been here for years, have seen this EXACT same thing happen with the book, and they are too stupid to remember it, is almost mind-boggling. I said for years my writing was revolutionary, was going to be huge, book would be a hit, etc, then the book came out, and a bunch of people said the same things to me about the book that the idiots are saying about the trailer now...and what happened?

    The book is fucking legendary. Already on a collision course with it's destiny as part of the American canon.

    All those people who shit on the book are doing what now? Well, they shut the fuck up about the book because they can't say shit about that, so they are trying the same thing with the movie. And what is going to happen this time? They're not only going to be wrong again, they're going to be wrong in such a more profound and public way, because the movie is even BETTER than the book.

    The movie is awesome. The movie is going to do amazing numbers and change the way comedy is made. Pretty much everyone who has seen it agreed--even people who don't like the book. You've read dozens and dozens of the reviews posted here over the past six months. If you can't see it from the trailer, well, that means one of two things: Either the greenband trailer isn't doing a good job of showing what the movie is like (a definite possibility--my view of the trailer is colored by the fact that I've SEEN the movie), or you are just missing it. Either way, if you want to minimize how stupid you feel about yourself in the future, I'd hold off your proclamations about what you think of the movie, based on the trailer.

    [There is a third possibility that will be part of the equation: The movie isn't going to appeal to all my current fans. Just like when I want from site to book I lost fans because I wrote a book for the non-fans, this movie was made for the non-fan, and as a result, some of the real hard core fans will hate it. A casualty of success, and one we are willing at accept. Especially if it means losing some of these people on this thread. And of course, it means picking up about 20 million more fans. Which will help dry the tears.]

    Tucker Max about how bad the marketing was.

    Anytime I can bet on myself, I am down. It was ballsy and brilliant and I fucking loved it. And the best part: Because there was no studio who bought the movie from us, we control the distribution strategy AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, we control the marketing materials. This is why the trailer and the one sheet are exactly what Nils and Sean and I want, instead of being some piece of shit an idiot studio suit picked out.

    Tucker Garza version of the old testament.

    I mean, remember when I announced the movie early last year, and because the trades didn't write about it, you all went nuts with ridiculous claims about me lying and it all being a charade...and look what happened, we attached a director and actors right away. Or remember when I announced that we were financed, and it didn't run in the trades for like two weeks, and you went nuts claiming it was all bullshit...and look what happened, we got the finance deal of the centruy. And remember when that failed writer claimed to have read the script and hated it, and they went nuts celebrating...and looked what happened, we are being mentioned as potential Oscar nominees. And remember when the distribution deal took a few weeks longer to close than I thought it would, and they went nuts, and look what happened...we not only got distribution, we got an AMAZING deal.

    And after each one of these steps, they just ignore all the predictions and proclamations they had made perviously--because they are now obviously false--and they move their target to the next step. "Well, he may have got a deal, but whatever, anyone can do that--IT STILL WON'T BE IN THEATERS!, "Well, it may be going in theaters--BUT IT'LL STILL FAIL!!"

    That to me is going to be the funniest part of all of this: Watching the haterz try to explain away the huge success of the movie.

    The hung up hangover.

    Not at all. Our movie is nothing like The Hangover except in the vaguest plot descriptions, and in the most important way--humor--its way way better. Like, not even comparable. The worst jokes in our movie kill the best in The Hangover, even ignoring the fact that pretty much all the best lines were in the trailer.

    Sex without women and other things that are "viable"

    Plus, I am super excited to see that movie do well. It proves the market for our concept--that hard R movies without stars, about guys and drinking are viable--and anything that movie can do at the box office, we can beat.

  3. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 2 February 2015

    Lol such gold and all I got is this lousy

    David Zuckerman was the first one to say the words "oscar" and "screenplay" to Nils and I in the same sentence. I scoffed at him, thinking he was just being nice to me.

    Well, I have had someone else say that. Not to me, but to other people. And not just some scrub, but someone who has an idea of what they are talking about. Their exact quote was something to the extent of "sleeper nomination for best adapted screenplay." I wasn't there, I can't confirm this, but...I was told this by someone who has no reason to lie to me.

    Look, I expect massive, massive commercial success for this movie. No theatrical gross you could tell me would shock me for this movie. But any sort of awards-type recognition - that will shock me. I would be blown away by an MTV movie awards nomination, much less a real awards show nom. Not because I think the script doesn't deserve it, but because we are such outsiders and because this movie is so different in so many ways, I just don't think it'll happen. I would take any bets against that happening. No fucking way the Academy is going to nominate two random guys who made an indie movie and aren't even in the WGA. No way.

  4. Gotta love the beta backtrack there. Guy's got game!

  5. But I wasn't even done yet!

    If you look at what I'm doing, I'm not bragging about the movie or just hyping that its going to be big. I am showing you people that, before the event occurs, the evidence was there to predict the outcome. It was subtle and non-obvious, but if you look in the right places, you can see it coming. The pieces to the puzzle are spread out, but they are there.

    Why do I care about this?

    Because I think its funny that everyone always says that no one can predict success in Hollywood, and that hit films like this are Black Swans, and shit like that. They're wrong. Within a certain set of parameters, you CAN predict a lot about what people will and won't like, you can predict what will and wont be received, that its possible to look at the real evidence to see this. It's just that the current Hollywood establishment is terrible at it, not that it can't be done.

    What I'm trying to do, both to learn for myself and to teach my readers, is to find out what to look for in order to make accurate predictions of the future in this business. And you can only do that by making predictions PRIOR to the event, then judging to seeing if you are right or wrong and why, based on what happens. Ex post rationalizations of events are worthless.

    Thats why its comical that all these talking heads on CNN are making themselves out as experts. Really? You didn't have ANY CLUE that crisis was coming, why the fuck do you think you can pass yourself off as an expert now? Everyone makes mistakes of course, but to miss all the signs about this event when you are supposed to be an expert in the field is unforgivable. Especially when it was glaringly obvious even to someone like me (granted I was just reading Umair, Taleb, Roubini and others, but still, I got it), means you need to shut up.

    My point? I'm not just blindly wishing for success for this movie. I am telling you it will be a success, and most importantly, I am telling you WHY it will be a success before the fact, and you can judge me by these predictions after the fact.

  6. I want to give my assessment of what the past six weeks have been like:

    First and foremost, I want to make this very clear: I think we nailed it.

    I had an image in my head of what this movie should be, how it should look and feel and what it should be. After all, this entire project began as my life, was brought into existence by my writing, and was driven forward and into a movie by my will. It began as nothing more than a dream I had, and as I sit here, having just seen us film all the scenes that I lived and breathed and wrote and dreamed about, I truly believe we did it, and we did it right.

    Don't get me wrong - it wasn't perfect. There were details here or there that I thought were off, maybe a scene or two that didn't quite pop the way I wanted, things like that. No filmmaker has ever finished a movie and thought they got every detail in every shot right. But not only did we get all the big things right, we got almost all of the little things right, and I am pretty confident that the things I don't like are the types of things only I would notice.

    Plainly put: This is the movie I wanted it to be.

    I'm out.

  7. No, actually, one more. Let's do a side by side!

    What more can I say about Bob Gosse? Other than the fact I thank God every day we were lucky enough to get him to direct the movie, I'm not sure. EVERY financier (except Darko Entertainment) questioned our selection of Bob Gosse as director on this movie, and now that we are finished shooting, I have to say it: I told you I was right about him! Not only was he the right pick to direct this movie, at this point I can't even imagine anyone else doing it, and keeping it together. Bob had the impossible job of containing and dealing with Tucker Max on his first movie, and he not only did it, he made a great movie in the process, and taught me a lesson I needed to learn. I haven't written about it because now is not the time and this isn't the place, but Bob and I had our issues during filming. That story - the one about the movie behind the movie - is very interesting and will be told in full one day, but I will say this now: Bob saved me from myself, and in the process helped me more with life than he did with the movie. And he directed the movie - which should tell you how much I have learned from Bob Gosse.

    August 2008

    I know many of you are capable of thinking for yourselves, so play this game. Ask yourself:
    Was Bob on the premiere tour?

    Was Bob at any of the premieres, save the LA one?

    How much press has Bob done during this process?

    There is a reason he hasn't been involved in this movie since he showed everyone his directors cut, and answering those questions above can give you all the understanding you need of Gosse's attempts to spin the situation to help his career in the one interview he has done for this film (an interview he scheduled for himself through a contact with a friend).

    Answering those questions above can give you all the understanding you need of Gosse's one interview he has done for this film. There is a reason he hasn't really been involved in this movie since he showed everyone his directors cut. I mean, it should tell you something when the director can't get basic facts right about his own movie--for example, Matt was cast LONG before we got to Shreveport, in fact he as cast before we even secured financing. It was Marika we cast when we were in Shreveport.

    Look, Gosse has his own issues, and I don't care about them or want to discuss them beyond this post. They aren't relevant to me anymore, or to the movie, or to anything in the future.

    October 2009

  8. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 2 February 2015

    You wouldn't happen to be one of those lurking haters the guy kept roilin gagainst, hm ?

  9. Not really. I had some exchange with the kid early on, predicted about 20mn total if they made 1200 theaters or so. Obviously, this was early on. Then he wanted to bet me or something.

  10. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 2 February 2015

    Pity he didn't, I guess.

  11. Reading this after a whole night wasted on following asciilifeform's flailings through the logs is downright eerie. Comment #1 sets the tone, and then it's all gravy from there.

  12. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 20 April 2020

    In the immortal words of Sun Tzu (in Fallout -- The Movie), "War. War never changes."

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