From an interview of Seth with Uproxx:
You’re doing your first non-animated sequel, Neighbors 2. People always say comedy sequels are tough…
It’s hard. It was one of the hardest movies to write I’ve ever worked on. Because you have to write another comedy. There has to be an idea in it that itself could be a movie.
Because that’s always the downfall of most of them, they just try to do it again.
Exactly. And we didn’t want to do it again. And we really looked at like Marvel movies and Pixar movies, honestly.
Like what Marvel movie specifically?
Just their approach to sequels, because they seem so effortless. It never seems like, “Ugh, another? You’re doing another Captain America?”
People are looking forward to the next Captain America.
No one would question it. And so it really is what’s the next logical chapter? It seems to be what those movies do well. They’re not trying to like recapture anything, they’re really looking forward. They’re looking at what would be happening next. And once we did that, we actually came up with tons of ideas and realized that there was enough to write what would be an entirely different movie. And I think it’s going very well. It’s been very exciting. But it was incredibly difficult to crack the story and to make it something that we really just felt like it deserved to exist.
Which comes first? You cracking the story or greenlighting the movie? If you had felt you didn’t crack it, would there be a movie announced?
I mean, we’re ultimately in charge of steering the boat and if we didn’t feel like we had a movie worth making, we wouldn’t have made it. It’s just, it’s too hard to make a movie and it takes too long. No, we wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t think we were going to do it well, basically. Because we have lots of other ideas, we would have just done something else.
From an interview of Max with Collaboritive Fund:
What were some of the constraints working on your latest film, We Are Your Friends?
Money and expectations. The budget for We Are Your Friends is certainly the biggest I’ve ever had, but we were still struggling with how to make things work.
When we first started making the film, we didn’t have domestic distribution. Warner Brothers came on after we had already started shooting the movie. It was a tier one movie by union standards, less than $5.5M.
The project was about making something focused about the subculture of electronic music, and doing it in an interesting way. We wanted to create a story that was set in this world, but didn’t exist on the big screen yet. But because it involved a big movie star, Zac Efron, all of a sudden there were a lot of expectations for what the movie needed to be. So, we didn’t have a lot of money, we didn’t have a lot of time, but we had a ton of expectations and pressure to make it seem bigger than it was.
Tomorrowland, Electric Daisy Carnival, Coachella, and all these giant festivals — there hasn’t been a movie that tapped into that subculture.The big challenge was how to do this story in a way that was both acceptable to the insiders, but also to outsiders. How do we not alienate people who are very protective about their subculture, but also teach outsiders about the subculture in a way that lets them in without watering it down or diluting it?
It’s a tough thing to do, especially for a film that might get widely released. It’s even tougher to do when you cast someone like Zac Efron, who is still somewhat polarizing to a lot of grumpy haters on the internet.
The internet is full of haters.
Yes, but there are even more haters when you start talking about a subculture that a lot of them are a part of.
I made a little documentary about DFA Records, which was maybe the most pressure I ever put on myself to get something right. I really looked up to these artists and wanted to make something that was true to them and true to the spirit of who they were, but also wasn’t so insider that it alienated anyone who didn’t know who they were. I wanted to help spread their music and what I loved about them to other people. Which is a tough, I mean, you’re serving two masters.
With this movie, that was a major challenge. How do we make a movie that is authentic and real? Every step of the way you’re trying to get things right. You’re trying to tell an emotional story over the course of an hour and a half that the audience can go on.
If you’re not concerned with getting it right, you’re unfettered by the constraint of needing to be authentic and true to that. This movie would’ve been very easy to get it wrong. On paper, this movie could be the worst movie you’d ever see in your life.
What would you tell someone looking to make something authentic and true to their subject. What advice would you give them?
You need to ask for feedback. I love feedback. Almost too much. I ask too many people what they think and it’s a painful process. I think that getting a ton of feedback and knowing how to process it is maybe one of the most important skills of being in the creative field.
You need to surround yourself with people from the world that you are portraying and constantly ask for their input. Am I getting this right? Is this authentic? Is this not authentic? With We Are Your Friends, we had DJ advisors who helped every step of the way. One met with Zac three times a week for months leading up to the movie to make sure that Zac had these movements down to second nature. He also sat with me while I was editing the movie.
You have to gauge how you respond to feedback and which pieces you respond to. Not everyone knows the right answer. Learning to process feedback is tremendously important and is applicable to whether you’re creating a film or launching a company.
"Dirty Grandpa" home stretch! #dirtygrandpa #art #harborsound
@ZacEfron lol we couldn't ignore them abs.— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) October 4, 2015
Birthday cake(s) anyone? 🍰 pic.twitter.com/Rk0FDXghvw— Sami Miró (@SamiMiro) October 2, 2015