Tommy Wiseau

Enlisted show

This post is in partnership with Cadillac Cadillac and the Producers Guild of America recently launched Make Your Mark, a short film competition that challenges producers to create compelling content with limited resources. Contestants will make a short film over a single weekend in late June, and the 30-second Cadillac spot featuring the grand prize winner’s film will air during the 2015 Academy Awards. As such we’ll be speaking with last year’s winner Jason Shulz, who offers his experience and some helpful lessons for those filmmakers who want to hoist the trophy for themselves this year. Plus, in a segment that tears us apart, Geoff and I will chat about the pure, accidental brilliance of The Room and what it’s like to watch an unintentionally terrible movie while sitting next to its director. Last, but definitely not least, we’ll talk to Enlisted creator Kevin Biegel about why he’s fighting so hard to promote a show that’s already been cancelled. He’ll also offer some keen advice about breaking into TV writing that you won’t want to miss. You should follow Kevin Biegel (@kbiegel), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. Please review us on iTunes Download Episode #62 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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The Disaster Artist

We’ve already determined that the cinematic marriage of James Franco and The Disaster Artist, actor Greg Sestero‘s account of whatever the hell happened during the making of Tommy Wiseau‘s infamously bad (and infamously beloved) The Room is a match made in weirdo heaven and, quite frankly, we didn’t expect that any other bit of news about the film would delight us more than that Franco teaming. Unless, of course, there was another Franco teaming involved. Yup, The Disaster Artist isn’t going to start just one Franco — it will now star two. 3News reports (via The Film Stage) that James Franco’s own baby brother (and current comedic rising star) Dave Franco will also star in the film, playing the Greg Sestero (and reportedly the true lead of the feature) to James’ Tommy Wiseau. Could this possibly get even more weirdly perfect?

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This past summer marked the 10th anniversary of The Room’s opening at two theaters in Los Angeles. Since its cult reception began with a couple of college students during the last week of the film’s initial 2003 exhibition, The Room accelerated into a bona fide cultural phenomenon complete with Rocky Horror-like rituals, public script readings, a video game, and countless experiences of uncanny disbelief from everyone who has enjoyed the enviable experience of viewing this film for the very first time. There have been great bad movies before, and there will be more in the future. What separates The Room from the rest is that the context from which it was made seems like something that could only exists as a hypothetical: what if somebody with an enigmatic personality and no evident competence for filmmaking produced – and somehow completed – a feature film from his endless well of unspecified resources? Other great bad films emerged from conflicts between producers and talent, misguided attempts at earning a cheap dollar, or earnest efforts at a high-concept idea on a shoestring budget. What makes The Room unique is that it is unquestionably the singular vision of its maker, writer/director/producer/actor Tommy Wiseau. For all its obvious and beloved faults, The Room must be recognized as an ideal work of indie filmmaking passion. It is, in total, an uncompromising film characterized by its author’s total intent. So, accompanied by a large grain of salt, here is some free advice (for fans and filmmakers alike) […]

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Last weekend, a film called The Worst Movie Ever! (complete with an exclamation mark in the title) played two midnight showings at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in Los Angeles and made only $11. That means that one person attended only one of the screenings, which means that if the filmmaker’s mother came out to support him, he wasn’t there to hold her hand. It’s difficult to say with certainty, but the whole thing seems fishy. If you were four-walling your own movie, wouldn’t you want to be there? Wouldn’t the actors and people who worked on the thing show up for support even if it meant paying for their own ticket? Is it just blind luck that advertising brought in only one person interested in seeing it (thus making it the lowest-grossing opening weekend ever)? For any other movie, these questions might not even pop up. When the infamous Zyzzyx Road scored $20 during its one-weekend-long domestic run, it became a humorous anecdote in movie history, but there was nothing suspicious about it. In that case, producer Leo Grillo only opened the film in order to fulfill a domestic run needed to sell it to foreign markets. In the case of the self-proclaimed The Worst Movie Ever!, writer/director/producer/star Glenn Berggoetz has clearly made a film so intentionally bad that a newsworthy, historically low weekend take can only benefit it. And it has.

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And obviously, that’s not the strangest thing about Tommy Wiseau. Since you’re reading Film School Rejects, we can assume a few things. Primarily, you’re really attractive and have lots of friends, and less important, you’re well versed in movie news, no matter how weird it is. In that case, this means you probably already know of Tommy Wiseau, someone who has managed to be called a master of all crafts (acting, directing, and writing) based solely on the drama dark comedy satire movie, The Room. If you haven’t heard of it, take a moment to YouTube it. I’ll wait. You’re back? Excellent. You’ve now had a taste of Tommy Wiseau and hopefully you’re hungry for more. Combine that hunger with a little bit of insomnia and you can watch Wiseau get blood dripped all over him as he runs acting train all over you face tonight on Comedy Central at 3am. If you can’t stay up that late, well….

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Culture Warrior

The Room is different from other bad movies. Anybody who has seen it knows this. Its success is so potent, and the film is so rewatchable and addictive because it resides in an exclusive liminal space between the token wonderfully bad genre movies (e.g., Plan 9, Hobgolbins, Troll 2, and everything in between) and infuriatingly incompetent beyond-amateur crap like Manos: The Hands of Fate or Birdemic. The Room is so incredibly unique in part because, at a $6 million investment from the enigmatic Tommy Wiseau that covered everything from production to advertising, this is bad filmmaking on a relatively “large” scale. With The Room, Wiseau found himself in the impossible position of being able to – as the film’s sole source of funding – exercise total creative control while simultaneously displaying unwieldy incompetence regarding the entire filmmaking process.

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