Interview: Tucker Max
We had the opportunity to speak with Tucker Max, the self-proclaiming asshole and bestselling author, to discuss his new film ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.’ He shed some light on his thoughts, the new film and some of the challenges he faced.
SM: Why did you decide to make this movie?
TM: Well, because I wanted to make a movie. It is the obvious thing to do with a bestselling book that definitely lends itself to theatrical cinematic translation and because, well, we actually wanted to do TV. In America you cannot do only TV and keep creative control so you have to make a movie if you want to be able to do what you want to do.
SM: Now, I was told you were actually picked up by two television stations but you dropped them because of problems with creative control?
TM: Umm, yeah. That’s why it took so long to get this done. We had two TV deals – one with Twentieth Century Fox and one with Comedy Central – and both times I couldn’t get the creative control I wanted. It just doesn’t work on TV so we had to do movies.
SM: And what exactly were you looking to do that they wouldn’t let you?
TM: Basically, Hollywood is run by suits and, because of media consolidation and other economic trends, especially in the last 15-20 years, creative control for media has kinda been shunted into the hands of MBA’s and suits and people who don’t know what they are doing. So anything that is edgy or different, through the process of getting made, gets its edge taken off; because that’s what happens when you have a huge multinational corporation - and all media in America is owned by large multinational corporations. It is almost impossible to get something new or original or fresh made – unless you are already an established star. No one in Hollywood gives a fuck about you unless you have already made money for Hollywood, which I haven’t done yet, so no one is going to do what I want to do. Greg Daniels, three hit shows, can do what he wants to do. Maybe ten people in Hollywood, maybe ten – twenty people in TV, get that kind of freedom. If you want that kind of creative freedom you have to make a movie and you have to make it independently, so you need financiers who will let you take risks and go off and do what you want to do. Something that is different, outside of the norm and edgy. It is just the way the system works in Hollywood; it doesn’t allow that.
SM: Right. So how hard was it to get financiers for your movie?
TM: It was very easy. It is essentially impossible to get financiers for an independent movie, you know, any major independent movie. I mean, it is not actually impossible but considering the number of scripts that go out to get financed and the number that do get financed, it is a statistically insignificant number. It was actually super easy for us though.
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