Sundance 2016 Interview: Adam Scott Gets Rad With OTHER PEOPLE
This year Gettin' Rad proves two for two with Other People, starring Jesse Plemons as a younger version of Kelly dealing with the impending death of his mother, triumphantly played by Molly Shannon. The plot may sound bleak, but the film's bittersweet perspective comes in the form of honest humor as a method to cope with a very real and traumatizing situation. Consequently, Other People is often hilarious, but it can be a tougher watch than you'd expect from a company that in its initial naming brainstorm session, once strongly considered titles like, 'Please Kick Me In The Penis Productions" or "Please Don't Kick Me In The Penis Productions" (a subsidiary).
Jokes aside, Scott is very serious about making quality films. And if his first two feature efforts are any indication, which they most certainly are, rest assured, rad things are underway.
ScreenAnarchy: Can talk a little bit about the initial conversation that prompted Gettin' Rad?
Adam Scott: Naomi and I were making these Adult Swim specials, like The Greatest Event in Television History. We needed to form a company because Adult Swim, the way they worked on that project was to come up with a budget with us and give us a budget to work with. We made it so we had to form a company. We had to quickly come up with a name, and form a company really fast to make those things. That's where it started - with those specials.
So it was special first, production company second.
Yeah, pretty much. We had been planning on working up to a company for a while. We had never really thought about what to call it. Once you come up with a name, then it's pretty official.
I understand Gettin' Rad is something you and your friends used to do to prop yourself up for a night out, or something like that.
I think that's probably what it is. It's joking about lamest thing you could possibly say.
You might you say that you are Gettin' Rad cinematically.
We're happy with the two movies we've made so far. Hopefully, we can keep finding scripts that are as good as Overnight, and this one.
THE OVERNIGHT was one of the raddest films of 2015.
My pleasure. It's been a year now since THE OVERNIGHT premiered at Sundance. How did you find the experience of releasing your first film?
It's great. It's weird that it's only a year ago, and it's come out. Now a movie has three lives. It has the theatrical, if you're lucky. It has itunes, VOD, and Netflix is where it lands. That's when absolutely everybody sees it.
Four lives including the festival circuit.
Yeah, exactly. It came out on Netflix just a couple of days before we came up here. It was a nice way to send it off before we embarked on this one.
Did it get exhausting defending your penis all year?
Heh, yeah. There was a period of a couple of months where Jason and I were spending most of our time talking about our penises.
I can imagine. Did you have a favourite part of the entire experience of making and releasing THE OVERNIGHT?
It was really satisfying top to bottom. We got this script from Duplass. It was basically a script in a laptop and we just went from there. Naomi really got the crew together, and we just made a movie. Made it really quickly, and really cheaply. To see it go off and have this great life, and see people really, really, love it is the most satisfying thing.
Had you seen CREEP prior to going into OVERNIGHT?
I hadn't seen it until after we shot. It's so good.
How did OTHER PEOPLE materialize? How did you meet Chris?
We share an agent. We both read it and immediately thought it was a lovely story, and a great dialogue, and a new take on this kind of story. We weren't the only people interested in it. Chris had a couple different companies wanting to produce this for him. We're lucky that he wanted to do it with us. We're really happy that he did. We love the script, and really loved getting it together. He's a great collaborator.
How would you describe what you responded to most about the screenplay?
I guess the simplicity of it. It's a very simple story. I think you know the saying the more personal the more universal. Chris really had the balls to write an incredibly personal thing. Lo and behold, it becomes the most relatable thing for the most amount of people.
Right. Sexuality notwithstanding.
Yeah, yeah. The simplicity and the honesty of the script is what I really responded to.
How has producing met your expectations? Has it been more or less challenging than you thought it might be?
I don't know if I ever really thought about what it would be like. It's a really satisfying job, you know? It's not an easily defined job either. It's different for every movie or TV show. It takes on different forms with each project.
What has been the most rewarding thing that's happened since starting your production company?
Last night was one of them. Seeing the reaction of the crowd last night, standing ovation for Chris and his movie. That was incredibly satisfying.
Were you not knocked out by those performances?
I was knocked out by those performances, yeah. I've seen the movie probably 40 times now. Continually knocked out.
Do you mind talking a little bit about the future of Gettin' Rad and things in the pipeline?
Right now we have a couple TV shows we're developing, and a few shows, and some other movie stuff that we're ... We're trying to figure out what our next movie project is going to be. We're still figuring it out. So far we've found things that really speak to us, and are really the kinds of movies we would like to see. I think that's what we're going to continue to do, is try to find stuff that we read, and think, 'I would love to see that'. That's basically our only criteria.
Can you talk about BUDS?
It depends on the question, I guess.
What is BUDS?
It's a pilot about a group of people that run a marijuana dispensary in Denver.
Yeah. Now, all of a sudden there's a Chuck Lorre project that's the same exact setting.
Oh really? Dammit!
I just saw Kevin Smith just made one. All of a sudden... We've been working on ours for over a year.
We'll see. We'll see. We'll see where it goes.
I think I have a pretty good idea of your tastes from the projects you choose and such, but nevertheless, what are some films you've been really feeling over the last year?
I loved Cop Car. I think that was my favorite movie of the year. It's great. Loved it. It's just terrific.
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